Archive for July, 2020

Resident Town Centre Recovery Focus Group

Knutsford Town Council is seeking a cross-section of residents to take part in a small focus group to contribute towards efforts to support local businesses in the recovery of the town centre and encourage footfall and local spend in the town centre post-lockdown.

The focus group will be held using Zoom and will discuss the reasons residents visit the town centre, what would encourage them to visit more and how the town compares with other areas.  

“This focus group is about the town centre now and in the new future, we won’t be tackling the wider and longer-term issues of public transport, accessibility and car parking which will be tackled through our emerging Town Centre Masterplan, but focusing on what we can do now to support the town centre.” said Sandra Curties, the Town Centre and Marketing Officer at Knutsford Town Council who will be hosting the focus group.

“We are aiming to work with local businesses to support them through the economic recovery and ensure our town centre survives”

If you are interested in participating please email sandra.curties@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk. To help ensure the focus group includes a cross-section of the community please include your age, address, profession, and an overview of your household unit. This information will be used solely for selection of the working group.

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Bug Hotel installed in Wallwood

A new hotel has opened in Knutsford Town Centre – Bob’s Bug Hotel is now accepting bookings!

The bug hotel can be found in Wallwood and was created by Town Ranger Bob Garner as part of the town council’s Nature Action Plan and will soon be followed by a sister hotel on Higher Town Green.

Bug hotels provide a safe hideaway for wildlife and are made with an assortment of recycled materials, they are popular as nest sites for insects and solitary bees.

The hotel accommodation has been started off by Bob with space left for families to take part and complete. Families visiting the town centre can bring an assortment of materials to create a range of nooks, crannies, crevices, tunnels and cosy beds!

“I’ve filled one side with natural materials for our mini beasts’ stay but we need your help to fill it all. This is a great project for young people to spend some time with nature” said Bob.

Materials that can be used include pinecones, straw, bamboo canes, non-plastic tubes, old tiles and even cardboard. The key is to create a diverse and varied hotel with a range of habitats.

The Town Council adopted its Nature Action Plan in March, setting out three missions to increase the number of trees in Knutsford, improve biodiversity and connect green corridors and increase wildlife friendly planting. The council is currently planning a survey to map all trees in Knutsford and identifying locations where new trees, shrubs and wildflowers could be planted. 

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Opportunity for Nether Ward by-election

Electors living in Knutsford’s Nether Ward now have the opportunity to demand an election to fill the vacancy created when Katherine Fletcher stepped down from the council in April as Knutsford Town Council has today posted the notice of vacancy.

If ten electors write to Cheshire East Council before 4th August requesting a by-election to fill the seat an election will be triggered. If an election is not triggered the existing councillors will choose a new councillor to fill the vacancy.

Under current legislation an election will not be held until May 2021 as all elections, national and local, have been suspended until this date. If no election is called a new councillor will be co-opted in November.

To request an election electors must write to: The Returning Officer, Cheshire East Council, Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach, CW11 1HZ stating they wish to request a by-election of the vacant Nether Ward seat on Knutsford Town Council, giving their full name and address.

Recognising the delays in postal services due to coronavirus, Cheshire East Council will also accept service of this demand by email to electoral.information@cheshireeast.gov.uk to ensure it is received by the deadline of 4th August but require that a hard copy is posted at the same time to comply with Electoral Commission guidelines.

You can view the notice here: Notice of Nether Ward vacancy

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Publication of Unaudited Accounts

NOTICE OF PUBLIC RIGHTS AND PUBLICATION OF
UNAUDITED ANNUAL GOVERNANCE & ACCOUNTABILITY RETURN

ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2020

Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 Sections 26 and 27
The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/234)

1.Date of announcement Tuesday 14th July

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 2019, these documents will be available on reasonable notice by application to:

Adam Keppel-Green, Town Clerk
Council Offices, Toft Road, Knutsford, WA16 6TA
townclerk@kntusfordtowncouncil.gov.uk – 07896 669 042

commencing on Monday 20 July 2020
and ending on Friday 28 August 2020

3.Local government electors and their representatives also have:

  • The opportunity to question the appointed auditor about the accounting records; and
  • 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.

4.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

This announcement is made by Adam Keppel-Green, Town Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer.

You can view the unaudited AGAR here: 2019/20 Annual Governance  and Accounting  Records

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An update regarding Knutsford Christmas Market 2020

We will be opening applications to this year’s Knutsford Christmas Market on Friday 17th July. Whether you are a trader who has traded at our market previously or a new trader who intends to apply for the first time, please read the following information detailing changes that may need to be put into place following the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic to ensure that our event is safe for visitors, traders and town centre businesses. Whilst some of this may sound negative, we wanted to be upfront about the way we may have to hold this year’s event and we hope it does not put you off applying.
 
We are currently exploring options to run our market differently this year to reduce crowding and ensure the market is safe for users. This will mostly likely mean holding the market on Silk Mill Street and Princess Street car parks rather than on Princess Street as holding the market in its usual format would not enable social distancing at the market or for local businesses. Changes to the layout will be to  enable us to space out stalls and create designated walkways with a one-way system in place. These changes may also involve reducing the overall number of traders at the event to ensure that we can allow adequate space between stalls and large enough walkways to allow social distancing between visitors if required.
 
If we are required to reduce our usual number of traders, this will be communicated to all applicants as soon as possible – we are continually monitoring the latest government advice and our aim is to run an event that is both safe and successful. We may choose to offer fewer weekend slots than usual to allow us to showcase a greater number of traders while still reducing overall numbers; we would ask that all traders please bear with us if we are unable to offer everyone weekend slots and work with us to offer trading opportunities to as many local traders as possible.
 
We may be required to omit certain types of stall from the market to reduce crowding or to ensure that there is no blockage to walkways, and that we can fit in as many stalls as possible whilst still maintaining any necessary distancing. This might include stalls that sell large or bulky items or usually trade across a larger area; we may have to reduce the number of stalls of this kind for this year and we apologise in advance if this will affect some traders – we encourage you to still apply as we will work to find solutions to enable us to accommodate as broad a range of traders as possible.
 
The Christmas Market will most likely be more of a traditional market this year with entertainment stripped back or removed  to prevent crowding in order to allow users to safely visit their favourite traders and shop in a safe and secure way.
 
We will proceed with our Park and Ride shuttle bus service which has been popular at our event for the last two years. The Park and Ride offers visitors a chance to park and board a shuttle bus for free into the town centre. This service helps to drastically reduce the number of cars trying to park in the town centre and we would encourage as many users as possible to utilise this free of charge service as car parking spaces in the town centre will be greatly limited.
 
Knutsford Town Council considers the health and wellbeing of our residents an utmost priority and will continue to monitor government advice as the year progresses to determine the safest way to hold the market this year. Whilst we appreciate that this is a hugely popular event not only to the local community but for people from further afield, we will continue to prioritise the safety of our residents and, reluctantly reserve the right to cancel the event at any time if we believe that this is the best way for us to keep our community safe. We will continue to communicate our plans with all traders and the public and will seek to proceed with the market in the safest way possible for all. We are grateful for your patience and co-operation at this time.
 
If you have any questions regarding this statement or this year’s festivities, please contact us at christmas@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or call us on 01565 653 929.

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