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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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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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Knutsford Music Festival 2020 Cancelled

Knutsford Town Council has continually monitored the latest government advice concerning the spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the evolving social distancing advice designed to limit the spread of the virus. Our priority is always public health and we strive to make responsible decisions when planning events to protect the public, our volunteers and our staff.

The Events and Town Centre Management Committee met on 26th May to review the latest guidance with respect holding the Knutsford Music Festival in September. With huge regret the decision was taken that it would not be sensible to attempt to hold the event and as such there will be no Knutsford Music Festival 2020. Knutsford Town Council prioritises the health and safety of our residents and we do not feel that continuing with a large-scale event at this time is the best way to do this.

We know that this will be disappointing for those who were planning to join us for a great line up of musicians, for the performers who were due to perform and for our local businesses who were organising events in their shops, bars and restaurants but we hope that all can understand this decision was made with the best of intentions to keep our residents and visitors safe. Planning for the 2021 festival will begin immediately with a view to announcing the dates of next year’s events as soon as possible.

We will be contacting everyone who purchased tickets for events to offer a refund and ask that all ticketholders bear with us as we process a large number of refunds.

The council will continue to closely monitor the guidance in relation to events as things develop over the coming months. 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.

Knutsford Town Council 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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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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COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Knutsford Events

COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Knutsford Events

Knutsford Town Council is continually monitoring the latest government advice concerning the spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and following yesterday’s (16th March 2020) announcement by the Prime Minister recommending the public avoid social gatherings to limit the spread of the virus, the council is assessing its events programme.

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

The Mayor’s Ball planned for Saturday 21st March has been postponed to 18th September.

The Knutsford Bunny Hop is the next event organised by the Town Council currently scheduled for 11th April; we will monitor the advice over the coming days and make a decision as to whether it is feasible and responsible to continue with this event within the next two weeks.

We have decided to shelve our planned VE Day celebrations scheduled to take place on 8th May. This event was particularly looking to bring the younger and older members of our community together and we have noted the advice that those aged over 70 stay at home for the next 12 weeks. We are hopeful that we will be able to reinstate this event at a later date as a celebratory event on the Moor and we will seek to identify a suitable alternative date for this event as the situation develops.

Our next major event is our annual Knutsford Music Festival. This event is not scheduled to take place until 12th-14th June and as such we are aiming to hold off making a final decision until the end of April. We will continue to monitor the situation as it evolves over the coming weeks. This is a hugely popular event and we will be cautious as we proceed, however do not wish to cancel the event until a clearer picture of the situation emerges. If we are unable to proceed as scheduled, we will seek to re-arrange the festival for later in the year. In the event that the festival is cancelled or re-scheduled and you cannot attend on the new dates, full refunds will be offered to everyone who has purchased tickets. Ticket-holders for cancelled events will be contacted with details of future dates or to process refunds.

We would like to thank everyone for your 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 Events Officer at alex.brown@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

Other Event Cancellations

The following non-council events have been cancelled:

  • Knutsford Beer Festival, 23rd – 25th April
  • Knutsford Royal May Day, Saturday 2nd May
  • Knutsford Fair on The Heath, 1st – 11th May

Details as to whether the monthly Makers Markets will continue will follow.

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Santa’s Grotto supported by Ivy Cottage Tree Farm

A child’s visit to Knutsford Christmas Market wouldn’t be complete without a visit to see Santa and his Elves.

Situated on Silk Mill Street, Santa’s grotto will be open throughout the Christmas Market, closing before the reindeer parade at 5pm on 1st December to allow Santa to prepare his reindeer and sleigh before arriving in Canute Place to switch on the new Christmas lights.

Tony Riley of Ivy Cottage Tree Farm, supplier of the town’s shop front Christmas trees has kindly agreed to help decorate the grotto this year, donating a Christmas tree and decorations.

“We are very pleased to support Knutsford Town Council and, of course, Father Christmas in their efforts to raise funds for such a great charity. Every child deserves to have a magical Christmas and the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust do a great job of trying to ensure that is the case”

Ivy Cottage Tree Farm, Cheshire’s biggest grower of Christmas trees, encourages residents to buy Christmas trees direct and is and based on Racecourse Road, Wilmslow. Open 7 days a week from 20th November.

The grotto will raise funds for the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust.

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Gold Award winning Knutsford in Bloom seeks new volunteers

Knutsford has won the sought-after Gold Award in the North West in Bloom competition for the third year running. Volunteers from Knutsford in Bloom worked in partnership with the Town Council to provide stunning displays around the town.

Knutsford in Bloom is a volunteer group established in 2009 which is made up of 10 dedicated members. The success of this year’s entry is even more impressive given the long drought that preceded the judging day in July this year.

The group is now looking for new members to join, offering opportunities to be involved in larger projects such as planting a wildflower meadow as well as the opportunity to work on displays in prominent town centre locations.

Sam Youd, member of the group and former Head Gardener at Tatton Park, is particularly keen to see younger people involved in the projects, inviting interest from local schools and youth groups such as the Scouts and Guides.

Cllr James Power, Chairman of the Town Council Environment Committee said “A massive thank you to the incredible volunteers who have won gold again for Knutsford. I would encourage anyone who is interested in joining Knutsford in bloom to get in touch”

If you or your group would like to know more about how you could be involved, contact the Town Council to register your interest in taking part on 01565 653929 or email townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk

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Public feedback Highways Priorities

A call for residents’ input to the Highways working group review prompted feedback from dozens of residents, assisting the group in identifying over 20 areas for improvement.

Speeding issues and rat runs raised particular concern and the areas identified will all be monitored using the speed indicator device, which not only records speed, but also shows volume of traffic on the road. The SID is currently located on Longridge, an area which residents have expressed concern that drivers are breaking the 30mph speed limit. This data will feed in to police monitoring and longer-term traffic management strategies.

Parking caused a number of residents’ concern where vehicles parking on the pavement and grass verges are causing an obstruction to pedestrians and other vehicular access points. It is recognised that this is often the result of limited parking on roads, in particular those which are only suitable for one vehicle to pass. Resident parking schemes can be challenging to implement as if introduced must see vehicles parked wholly in a marked bay – meaning that on some of Knutsford’s streets (such as Queen Street) it would half the number of cars able to park.

Residents are reminded that parking on the pavement is unnecessary where there is enough space for another vehicle to pass and that consideration should be always given for a wheelchair or pushchair to pass on the pavement. Obstructive parking should be reported to the police who can issue penalty notices or remove the vehicle.

Other problems raised in the review included the high numbers of HGVs travelling through the town, some residents calling for a bypass and town centre restrictions.  Suggestions for new and improved pedestrian crossings were given and concerns were raised about the bus stop provision on Longridge, where passengers are now boarding and alighting on to grass verges due to new service routes.

The working group would like to thank all the residents who participated in this review and welcome feedback at any time. All of the issues reported will be considered when the Council gives feedback on consultations and will be reviewed to establish priorities for funding.

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Minor Highway Improvements

In the coming months Knutsford Town Council’s Highways Working group will be reviewing Knutsford’s roads to put forward suggestions for minor highways improvements to Cheshire East Council.

Whilst the larger junctions in the town centre are already earmarked for improvements through s106 contributions from the housing developments, the Town Council is focusing on the minor improvements in residential areas, such as improvements to parking or changes to traffic flows.

The council is keen to hear from residents on any small highways issues they have encountered in the Town.

Deputy Town Clerk, Sarah Morgan said “We are seeking your views on Knutsford’s traffic in residential areas, particularly in relation to traffic flow, rat runs and problem parking areas – but not major infrastructure such as a bypass or maintenance issues such as potholes”

Pot holes are not part of the review, but the council urges people to report these directly to Cheshire East Council using their online reporting service.

The speed indicator device purchased by the Town Council earlier in the year is in constant use for monitoring speeding problems around the town. Suggestions for new monitoring locations are always welcomed and previous data capture can be viewed on the Council website at www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/speed-monitoring

If you know a problem area or have any suggestions for minor improvements for the Highways Working Group, please email sarah.morgan@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or call 01565 653929

 

 

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