Cllrs Su Russel and Gus Watson sat on swings, with Cllr James McCulloch stood behind holding them

Win £100 by sharing your views on green space

Knutsford residents could win £100 to spend in the town centre by sharing their views on the town’s parks and open spaces in a survey that launches today.

The survey, which has been created by Knutsford Town Council, asks residents a series of questions about how they use green spaces and what improvements or changes (if any) are needed to encourage use.

The data will feed into a Green Spaces Strategy which will help guide and secure investment in public open space across the town. The aim of the strategy will be to ensure Knutsford has a diverse network of open spaces to support the needs of all the community and the evidence gathered from the survey can be used to support applications for external funding.

Launching the survey, Town Mayor Cllr Colin Banks said “Whether its walking your dog, picnics or play we are keen to better understand how residents use their green spaces and what changes could be made to make them better”

“We are keen to hear from as many residents as possible so as an added incentive you could win £100 of Knutsford Vouchers – that could be a great meal at Evuna, some jewellery from Clarity or PR Jones or essentials at Woods Butchers.”

The survey includes optional sections on facilities for young people, the community orchard, heath and Moor. The survey is open for six weeks and closes on Friday 12th July. It can be completed online at www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/greenspacesurvey. Paper surveys are also available at The Welcome and Knutsford Library.

Flower Planters on a Roadside Barriers

Notice of Public Rights and Publication of Unaudited Annual Governance and Accountability Return

ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2024

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

1. Date of announcement Wednesday 29 May 2024

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 2024, 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 / 01565 653 929

commencing on Monday 3 June 2024
and ending on Friday 12 July 2024

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-l.com

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

You can view the unaudited Annual Governance and Accountability Return here.

The top of a statue of a saluting soldier

Memorial Service to mark 80th anniversary of D-Day

Knutsford will join towns and villages across the UK and commonwealth as it commemorates the 80th anniversary of D-Day on Thursday 6th June.

D-Day was the large-scale invasion of Normandy, France by Allied forces during World War II on 6th June 1944. It was a pivotal moment in the war; after years of planning, troops stormed the heavily fortified beaches beginning the liberation of German-occupied Western Europe. The success of D-Day paved the way for the eventual Allied victory in Europe and the end of World War II the following year.

A memorial service will commence at 8:45pm at the Centennial War Memorial with a beacon being lit at 9:45pm. The service will be led by the Town Mayor, Cllr Colin Banks and his chaplain Rev Paul Deakin, all are welcome.

Town Ranger with Bug Hotel in Wallwood

Search is on for a Town Ranger Apprentice

The search is on for an apprentice to work alongside Knutsford’s Town Ranger.

The Town Ranger Apprenticeship is being offered by Knutsford Town Council and will see the apprentice completing a Level 2 Horticultural Operative apprenticeship with Reaseheath College in Nantwich.  Applications for the role opened today (23rd May) and close on Friday 14th June.

An apprenticeship offers the opportunity to ‘earn while you learn’. Apprentices spend 20% of the working week completing a formal qualification alongside learning on the job.

The Town Ranger Apprenticeship will help set the apprentice up for a career working outdoors in landscaping or grounds maintenance. The apprenticeship is initially for two years and in the first year the apprentice will earn £6.90 per hour.

The role will support the Town Ranger (and Cemetery Groundskeeper too) across a broad range of duties, from cutting grass and maintaining hedges, planting flowerbeds and maintaining barrier planters and keeping Knutsford clean and tidy with responsive maintenance.

Town Ranger Bob Garner has been with the council since 2018 and is looking forward to supporting the new apprentice.  “KTC offers so much variety and opportunity… plus you get to work with me” Bob said.

“It’s like community pay back but without wearing a tag, an opportunity to give something back to the community and be proud of what you achieved.

“If I can make one person’s life happier and easier today, that’s enough for me.”

The apprenticeship has been introduced to expand the Town Ranger service so the council can tackle more of the jobs that “somebody” should do across Knutsford, such as clearing overgrown paths and sweeping leaves in autumn.  The council chose an apprenticeship to enable it to do this whilst also offering someone the opportunity to build a career and develop a formal qualification and new skills.

The council is looking for someone who enjoys working outside, takes pride in their work and has a positive “can do” attitude.

An application form can be found online at www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/council/jobs

Cllr Peter Coan presents a cheque to Neil Forbes of Knutsford GROW

Cllr Coan raises £7,500 for mayoral charities 

As his term of office came to an end at last week’s Mayor Making ceremony, outgoing Town Mayor Cllr Peter Coan announced the success of his fundraising efforts, raising £7,500 to be split between two good causes.

Cllr Coan had been raising funds for Knutsford GROW and the establishment of a Knutsford Men in Shed’s initiative and hosted series of fundraising events including a Summer BBQ, a beer tasting at Dexter & Jones, Dine with the Mayor at Linden Stores and guests discovered a Winter Wonderland at Tatton Park in November.

In December the Town Mayor ran a charity raffle stall at Knutsford Christmas Market with two lucky winners walking away with hampers that were kindly donated by the market traders at the Christmas market.

The mayor’s annual quiz night at The Angel was a roaring success, with many laughs and lots of money raised! Katy Collins and team walked away with the winner’s trophy.

The highlight of every Town Mayor’s year is the Mayor’s Charity Ball which, this year, was a glittering affair at Cottons Hotel and Spa.  With entertainment kindly sponsored by Mesoestetic, and drinks sponsored by Georgina Chase from Slater and Gordon. Local band “The Avenue” got everyone up on the dancefloor, whilst DJ Pete Deane entertained us with his DJ set and ice breaker games.

Prizes for the raffle and auction were generously donated by local businesses, the evening started with a bang as guests popped helium balloons, sponsored by Love the Dentist, inside which were vouchers for amazing nights out at restaurants, hotels, and the cinema.  The first prize winner of the raffle was treated to an overnight spa break at Cottons hotel & spa, whilst the silent auction included a signed Manchester United shirt, Bespoke shirt from King & Allen and a signed Everton FC shirt.

Cllr Peter Coan said “I would like to thank everyone who has supported me over the past 12 months. To each of the businesses who have sponsored or hosted my events, my fundraising efforts would not be possible without you.

I would like to personally thank everyone who has attended my events, I hope you enjoyed yourselves whilst raising much needed funds for my two charities.

I would like to congratulate Cllr Colin Banks on being elected as Knutsford’s new Town Mayor and I hope you will support him as much you have supported me throughout my term”.

Neil Forbes, trustee of Knutsford GROW “I’d like to thank Cllr. Coan and Civic Events Officer Gemma on behalf of Knutsford GROW’s Trustees, volunteers and especially our beneficiaries for the year of hard work building up to this donation.  It means a great deal to smaller charities like ‘GROW’ where every penny counts.  For example, we intend buying some extra rechargeable batteries for our equipment.  If you attended or hosted or contributed to any of the events, well done and our grateful thanks to you too”.

Rachel Meadows of UK Men’s shed association “Thank you to Peter and all those involved in supporting the progression of the Shed Movement in Knutsford for this generous donation. The UK Men’s Sheds Association believe there should be a Shed available for every person who wishes to access one and we are thrilled that Knutsford will soon have its own. The new Shed at Knutsford will be a valuable community space where people can socialise, share skills and support their mental health. We wish them every success in the future.”

Aerial view of development off Northwich Road

Workshop to inform Town Council’s response to first Local Plan Consultation

Knutsford Town Council is inviting the community to help shape its response to the first consultation on a new local plan for Cheshire East.

The Local Plan is a major strategic plan that guides development across the borough. The current (2010-2030) plan allocated over 900 houses to be built in Knutsford. Cheshire East Council is now consulting on “issues” for its new local plan which would set out development needs across Cheshire East for a further 15+ years.

Cheshire East Council has published 13 topic based issues papers covering rural matters, homes for everyone, towns and villages, historic environment, transport and infrastructure and more. These documents can be read on the Cheshire East Council website at: https://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/planning/spatial-planning/cheshire_east_local_plan/new-local-plan.aspx. Cheshire East Council’s consultation closes on 1st July.

To inform the Town Council’s response to the consultation, the Town Council is hosting a workshop where residents, businesses and other stakeholders are invited to discuss the topics and what is important for Knutsford. This takes place on Wednesday 5th June at 7pm in St John’s Church.

The evening will see the community discuss seven of the topics each in 15-minute rounds with each topic facilitated by the Town Council to capture everyone’s input. The output of the workshop will then shape the Town Council’s response to the consultation which it will agree in late June.

“The Local Plan is an incredibly important document that will determine how Knutsford develops over the coming years. It is vital that we, as a community, are switched on to the local plan process and play an active role in shaping this plan from this first stage all the way through to the end” said Town Clerk Adam Keppel-Green.

“The objective of this workshop is to engage more people in the local plan process and for you to inform the Town Council’s own submission to the consultation. We know this isn’t the most exciting way to spend a Wednesday evening, but it is important and as a Town we have to be actively engaged in the whole local plan process ”

Attendees are encouraged to read the topic papers published by Cheshire East Council for the areas they are interested in discussing, though each topic will be facilitated by the Town Council to enable all to participate and share their views. The meeting will run from 7pm to 9:30pm. Refreshments will be provided. The community is also encouraged to respond to the consultation directly with Cheshire East Council.

Town Mayor Cllr Coan presents a cheque to the Welcome

Premises costs funded through council grant

A community café and support centre serving the most disadvantaged area of Knutsford has secured support from Knutsford Town Council for its core operating costs.

The Welcome provides support, events and access to essential services for all age groups to reduce the impact of people living in crisis, reduce social isolation, improve physical and mental wellbeing, alongside building a strong and vibrant community.  Since its founding in 1997 as a mobile coffee shop it has developed into part of the everyday life of many residents in the St John’s Wood area of Knutsford.

Chief Executive of The Welcome, Nick Sherburn, said “We are absolutely delighted to have gained the support of Knutsford Town Council by way of grant funding. Our respective organisations serve the same community, and we are proud that the Council recognises the vital support and services we provide, and our community deserves.

The Town Council is providing a grant of £20,000 to fund the charity’s central premises costs. This enables the charity to focus on securing income for its operational costs and delivering services for the local community.

Advisors at the Welcome provide support five days a week and can give guidance on matters such as employment, benefits, hardship, housing and emergency assistance. The Welcome also hosts the Citizens Advice service once a month, provides a Meals on Wheels service and hosts community activities such as a lunch club, knitting group and coffee mornings. The Welcome also coordinates The Bread and Butter Thing which enables 80 households to access more affordable food every week.

Town Mayor, Cllr Peter Coan said “The work The Welcome does for the residents of St John’s Wood ward is fantastic, so we’re only too pleased to be supporting them. From providing advice to those in need, hosting a monthly citizens advice drop in and running a meals on wheels scheme, it’s a busy charity and this grant helps them focus on their service delivery”

The Mayor presenting a cheque to in bloom volunteers

£1k boost to Knutsford In Bloom

A group that works in partnership with Knutsford Town Council to ensure Knutsford blooms has received a grant of £1,060 to continue its work.

Knutsford in Bloom is a small group of volunteers who maintain a number of flower beds and planters in the town centre, such as at the railway station, along Princess Street and in front of the Curzon. The group works in partnership with Knutsford Town Council to co-deliver the town’s floriculture efforts which have seen Knutsford awarded “Gold” in the North West in Bloom competition since 2017.

Chair of Knutsford in Bloom, Barry Tilby said “We are grateful for the continued support from Knutsford Town Council. This annual grant allows us to purchase plants in order to help make the town a desirable place to live, visit and work”

“We are always looking for support so if you can spare some time, you will be made to feel very welcome”.

Knutsford in Bloom volunteers have a dedicated area they each maintain or support the maintenance of – more volunteers can enable them to expand their remit. If you are interested in volunteering with Knutsford in Bloom contact Barry at barrytilby@hotmail.co.uk

Knutsford Town Council is further supporting the group’s work by replacing a number of planters outside Curzon, which are maintained by Knutsford in Bloom.

Town Mayor Cllr Peter Coan said “The volunteers at Knutsford in Bloom do a cracking job making the town centre brighter and blooming. We couldn’t deliver our floriculture service without them so we’re delighted to fund the group’s work” 

The Mayor presenting a cheque to Hope Central

Debt Centre to be expanded with council grant

Knutsford residents will have increased access to debt support thanks to funding provided by Knutsford Town Council to Hope Central.

Hope Central provides a free Debt Centre service to people across the WA16 and SK9 area which aims to help get people out of debt and the council’s funding supports recruitment of a debt coach to help more people access this service.

In addition to operating a food bank, Hope Central has a strong success rate for supporting people into work and volunteering placements via its Job Club, and their Fresh Start course supports people out of life-controlling habits. All of its services are aimed at supporting people out of poverty and giving them hope.

Town Mayor, Cllr Peter Coan said “Supporting those in the greatest need in our community is incredibly important to Knutsford Town Council. The work that Hope Central does can change lives, and we’re proud to be funding them to help support more people in our Town”

The Hope Centre in Knutsford is based at St Cross Church and has about 20 people attending each Monday morning to receive a free lunch and meet people in the community. The charity also runs a life skills course, teaching people how to live well on a budget by considering money saving techniques and cooking skills.

Director of Hope Central, Kay Barker said she was thrilled to receive the grant and spoke of the difference it will make to Knutsford residents “We have seen first hand the darkness debt can cause in peoples’ lives and we have had the joy of working with people, and seeing the difference in people as they become debt free. This money will enable our Debt Centre to expand and help more people in Knutsford who are struggling with debt and will give them hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.” 

Barney Howard, Debt Centre Manager at Hope Central added “People around the country are struggling with rising costs and being on a low income many people can’t respond to this. Knutsford is no different. It eventually leads to people being in poverty. We are so grateful for this funding so that we can bring hope to people and that there is a solution if they are in debt. If anyone is in debt then they can call the freephone number 0800 328 0006 to book an appointment with our Debt Coaches.”

If you or anyone you know is in need of an emergency food parcel, you can be referred to Hope Central’s Food Bank by a social care professional (e.g. your GP, housing officer, support worker, social prescriber, social worker and school etc).

This grant was awarded under the council’s Large Grant Scheme which provides grants over £1,500. Applications are considered annually with the next deadline at the end of August for grants paid in April 2025.

Photo L-R: Ian Albiston, Ian Robertson, Cllr Peter Coan, Kay Baker, Doreen Robertson, Barney Howard, Rev Paul Deakin and Karen Andrew. 

The Mayor holding a giant cheque with trustees of the heritage centre

Council continues support of Knutsford Heritage Centre

Knutsford Heritage Centre has received £7,500 from Knutsford Town Council as part of a four-year support agreement.

The Town Council has provided annual funding to Knutsford Heritage Centre since 2019. The funding covers the core operational costs of the centre, including utilities and insurance so the charity can focus on its efforts on exhibiting and archiving town artefacts.

The Heritage Centre was established in 1989 and is housed in a former tinsmith and ironmonger building which is accessed from King Street or Heritage Way. The premises is provided free of charge by the Tatton Estate.

Visitors to Knutsford Heritage Centre can view the incredible Knutsford Tapestry, displays of May Queen crowns and regular exhibitions on the history of Knutsford. The centre also includes a beautiful garden which features a life size carved oak statue of King Canute.

“Knutsford proudly boasts a rich heritage so its only right we have a place where visitors and residents can explore it – we’re pleased to continue our support of Knutsford Heritage Centre and look forward to working with them through our appointed trustee, as the centre secures a new manager this year” said Town Mayor, Cllr Peter Coan

Val Byrant, retiring manager of Knutsford Heritage Centre who was recently presented with an award for her contribution to the heritage of Knutsford, said “Our thanks go to the Town Council for their continuing support of the Heritage Centre.”

“The Heritage Centre is the jewel in the crown as a tourist attraction to the History of Knutsford. It has the beautiful Millennium Tapestry, which is a must to see. Do come and visit us.” Knutsford Heritage Centre is open Thursday to Saturday at 11am – 4pm.

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