Archive for August, 2020

Trustees needed to help Jubilee Hall

One of Knutsford’s key community buildings is in search of new trustees to help manage it. Located on Stanley Road as part of the Libris building, the Jubilee Hall is managed by the Knutsford Old Folks Club, a registered charity. It is home to groups such as the Thursday Club, the 58 Club and the town’s three WI group as well as being the venue for a range of community meetings.

Two long-serving trustees are stepping down in September and the charity seeking three new trustees to oversee key aspects of the hall’s management, without which the hall’s future could be uncertain. The hall, which opened in the year of HM The Queen’s golden jubilee, is currently closed due to the coronavirus restrictions on gatherings.

The three new trustees needed are:

  • Chairman/secretary to oversee the general management of the charity including to coordinate monthly trust meetings
  • Treasurer to manage the charity finances (turnover £10,000 per year)
  • Building supervisor to oversee the maintenance and general management of the hall and supporting the booking secretary

Encouraging volunteers to come forward, retiring chairman Derek Empson said “I have fulfilled the three roles myself for the last twelve years but now need to hand over the reins. 

With the support of three new trustees the Jubilee Hall will be able to continue serving the Knutsford community, providing a modern, accessible and affordable meeting space. Without new trustees the future of the hall is unknown, and it would be terrible if it was lost”

Knutsford Town Council is supporting the charity to help it find new trustees, if you are interested in supporting the Jubilee Hall by taking on one of these roles, please contact Town Clerk Adam Keppel-Green on 01565 653 929 or email townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk

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Volunteers sought to map town’s trees

Volunteers are sought to help map every tree on public land in Knutsford.

The tree mapping project is part of the Town Council’s Nature Action Plan and will see a record made of the species and location of each tree to help create plans to ensure the town retains its sylvan character.

The project is being led by volunteers Malcolm Thomas and Kevin Griffiths who came up with the idea and volunteers will be given an area to survey with guidance on how to identify the different tree species. Volunteers will then attach a metal tag to the tree and log it using their smart phone.

“Malcolm and Kevin’s preliminary work suggests there are over 8,000 mature trees in Knutsford around half of which are in private gardens; the other half are on public spaces and this project will help ensure their long-term protection to keep Knutsford a town amongst the trees” Town Clerk Adam Keppel-Green said.

The tree mapping project will be followed by the Town Council setting out plans to see thousands more trees planted in Knutsford as part of its commitment to nature and the environment. Other projects include installing bird and bat boxes on council trees and sowing a wildflower meadow on the Barncroft.

Those interested in volunteering to help map trees can contact the Town Council on 01565 653 929 or email jill.webb@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

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Mayor’s Charity Ball Cancelled

Mayor’s Charity Ball Cancelled

The star event of the Mayor of Knutsford’s events calendar, the annual Civic Ball, has been cancelled.

The event was originally planned for 21st March but was postponed to 18th September at the introduction of the lockdown period due to the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. It was initially hoped that a September event would be viable, but organisers at Knutsford Town Council made the difficult decision that the current social distancing requirements prevent a suitable enjoyable event being held.

An alternative fundraising event will be planned in its place for the early autumn and will likely be an interactive online event. Cllr Andrew Malloy, the town mayor, hopes to announce details of this new event will soon and anyone wishing to participate or find out more can register their interest by emailing mayor@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

Andrew is also preparing for his final sponsored event to raise funds for Knutsford youth sporting activities and a starter fund for a new skate park. Details of his Cheshire Three Peaks walk, including how to sponsor him, will be released once a date for the challenge has been set.

Cllr Andrew Malloy, Mayor of Knutsford, said: “The Mayoress and I are really disappointed to not be able to host a Mayors Ball this year. This is the biggest event in the Mayoral diary, and the opportunity to try to raise a significant amount for my causes, youth sporting activities and a skatepark. But as you’ll understand, in the current Covid situation, it would be very difficult to justify getting a large number of people in a room together for an indoor celebration, even with the intention of raising money for local causes.

Hopefully we can organise another Covid safe event to close out the extended Mayoral year, and we still hope to take on the Cheshire Three peaks in the coming months too, so anything you can do to support us raise as much money as possible in the remaining few months would be very gratefully received”.

All guests booked to attend the Mayor’s Ball should have received an email with information on claiming a refund, if any guests have not received this or have any queries they should contact the Town Council Office on 01565 653 929 or email.

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Events to Return to Knutsford this autumn and winter

Events to Return to Knutsford this autumn and winter

Work is underway to deliver Knutsford Town Council’s autumn and winter events programme with plans being put in place for the annual Knutsford Pumpkin Path and Knutsford Christmas Markets.

The Town Council’s Events and Town Centre Management Committee agreed revised plans for the Halloween and Christmas events which will return with a number of measures in place to ensure that social distancing and other preventative measures can be in place due to the ongoing Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

The Pumpkin Path, which usually takes place on the evening of 31st October will instead take place over the span of a week and encourage families to attend at their own leisure to enjoy the Halloween trail through the town centre. None of the usual on-street entertainment will be arranged for 31st October, and no road closures will be in place. Instead, the council is encouraging families to plan their visit to the town centre at a time best for them as they hunt to find the hidden pumpkins in shop windows and enjoy the spooky window displays. Participants will also enjoy a few freebies and submit their completed entry forms to be in with a chance of winning one of a handful of special prizes.

The council will be holding its first ever pumpkin carving competition, with families encouraged to send in photos of their spooky carved pumpkins; these will be judged by the public via social media and the winners will receive a special spooky prize.

Local businesses are being encouraged to add additional spooky-fun by organising their own small Halloween themed workshops or activities for the week.

Knutsford Christmas Market will return on Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th November, from 11am to 4pm, at a new location on the Princess Street and Silk Mill Street car parks. The number of stalls for the market has been significantly reduced to allow sufficient space for social distancing. Other Covid-19 preventative measures will be in place including sanitiser stations at every entrance and exit and a one-way system.

The Christmas Lights will be switched on by the Mayor of Knutsford on Friday 27th November but this year the celebration will be livestreamed for residents to join from the comfort of their own homes rather than crowding in Canute Place.

Two events won’t be held in 2020 – the Santa Parade and the Lantern Parade have both been cancelled due to the crowding these events traditionally promote. There will also be no Santa’s Grotto at the Christmas Market due to social distancing guidelines making an enjoyable grotto experience for children impossible.

The annual Crib Service will take place on Saturday 5th December, mostly likely as a livestreamed, digital event.

Alex Brown, Events Officer at the Town Council, said: “We are really pleased to be bringing back some form of our autumn and winter outdoor events, as we know these are very popular and help to support our local traders.

We have made significant changes to the set-up of these events to provide for social distancing and introduce a range of other preventative measures, and we will work hard to ensure that the atmosphere and excitement of the events is still in place despite the changes.

We will release more details of the events in the run up to them, and we encourage regular visitors to familiarise themselves with the plans for this year to avoid disappointment.”

The council is continually reviewing the latest government guidance and will refine or postpone arrangements should it not be possible to organise safe events for the community.

Any residents who would like to get in touch with the Town Council regarding the events can contact alex.brown@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or call the office on 01565 653 929.

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Town Council calls on Cheshire East to support the From Top to Bottom Street report

Knutsford Town Council has officially called upon Cheshire East Council to begin work on implementing the proposed changes to traffic and parking in Knutsford Town Centre, following the proposals receiving 58% public support in the From Top to Bottom Street consultation.

The consultation report has been published and can be read here: Consultation Report. Full details of the proposals are available on the Ton Centre Masterplan webpage: Town Centre Masterplan

The Town Council has requested that Cheshire East Council:

  • commits to work with us to further analyse the proposals in our From Top to Bottom Street report and develop them into an integrated workable scheme.
  • commits to support these proposals and allocates budget and expert resource to work with us to take them further including to undertake traffic flow measurements and computer simulations for the different options for changes to the road layouts so that together we can determine a feasible, detailed plan for traffic in the Town Centre.
  • holds in abeyance any proposed changes to the Canute Place roundabout, Adam’s Hill and Toft Road/Bexton Road junction until such time as they can be harmonised and integrated within these proposals – this is particularly important to ensure that investment from development taking place is not wasted on schemes which damage our ability to improve the town centre
  • ensures that the proposed Knutsford Parking Review (under the Local Transport Plan) fully considers these proposals and that Cheshire East Council works with us to develop a restructuring of public parking in the town centre including studies to prepare for one or more multi-storey car parks

Cllr Christopher Gray, lead member for the Town Centre working group said “As a Town Centre councillor I am delighted that the proposals put to the businesses and residents to ensure the long term viability of the town centre have received an overwhelming positive response following the public consultation.

In such uncertain times with shopping habits changing due mainly to the success of on line shopping it is essential to ensure that our historic town centre is attractive, safe and pollution free.

The Working Group comprising mainly of residents and business owners recommended sweeping changes to the traffic and parking in the town centre which were approved by the Town Council in order to progress the scheme with the highway authority, Cheshire East.

The Councillors recognise the urgency of the situation and will press the three local Cheshire East Councillors to actively promote the  ideas as a priority.”

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