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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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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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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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Town Centre Traffic and Parking Consultation Conclusions

The Town Council held a consultation on proposed changes to traffic and parking arrangements in Knutsford Town Centre from 5th February to 16th March 2020. These form the first stage of a comprehensive Town Centre Masterplan.

In total we received 658 responses to the consultation which demonstrate overall support for the proposals. A report on the consultation has been prepared and will be published in July when the recommendations from the Town Centre working group are presented to the Town Council.

The number of respondents supporting or opposing the three aspects of the proposed scheme are:

Discouraging through traffic – 426 (65%) FOR | 232 (35%) AGAINST

More parking & a multi-storey – 517 (79%) FOR | 139(21%) AGAINST

Limiting parking on King and Princess Streets – 505 (77%) FOR | 151 (23%) AGAINST

The numbers answering the question “Overall, do you support this 3-part scheme as a first step towards securing the future of Knutsford town centre?” were:

                                                YES:  383 (58%)  |  NO: 268 (41%)

61 respondents identified themselves as business owners/ managers; of these 38 voted YES, 23 NO.

The many comments qualify and explain the support or lack of it for the various aspects of the scheme.   Topics attracting comment include:

  • traffic congestion on the A50 and Adams Hill caused by closing King and Princess Streets to through traffic,
  • drivers being confused by the proposed road changes, and disappointed at having to drive around the town, not through it,
  • support for a multi-storey especially at the Tatton St. car park, but concern that unless well designed, it would be out of keeping with Knutsford’s heritage.
  • concern that a multi-storey on the King Street car park would spoil the view from the Moor,
  • traffic along Moorside posing a hazard near the children’s playground,
  • the desire to be able to park near a shop and call in for a few minutes, free of charge,
  • the pedestrianisation of King Street,
  • enforcing the double yellow lines,
  • the state of the pavements in King and Princess Streets,
  • consideration for the particular needs of town centre residents,
  • low cost parking for town centre employees,
  • the ultimate need for a bypass.

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Council writes off La Belle Epoque Debt

The Town Council has resolved to write off a debt of £67,494.44 owed by La Belle Epoque Limited. The company was tenant at 60 King Street and entered administration owing the council legal fees, rent and VAT. The administrators have now confirmed that none of this will be recovered and the council was therefore required to remove the debt from its accounts.

The company was a limited company, this means that it is a distinct legal entity and the liability of its directors for the debts incurred by the company are limited to the value of any shares they hold. Whilst it is noted that the directors of La Belle Epoque Limited now operate a similar business (Larkspur Lodge Limited) it is not possible to pursue either the directors individually nor the new business for any part of the debt.

The debt written off is:

                Recharged legal fees                                 £ 49,619.44
                Rent (25/03/2019 to 16/06/2019)              £ 14,895.83
                VAT on rent                                                 £    2,979.17

The VAT will be recovered with the council’s next VAT return. The council’s 2019/20 budget and precept forecast that this debt would be written off.

History of the Debt

The company was tenant in the property with an internally repairing lease originally granted in 1974 and subject to the security of tenure provisions of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954. The issues leading to the bad debt began in 2014. In accordance with the lease the rent was due in four equal instalments on the 25th of March, June, September and December. In accordance with the lease, the company was required to reimburse the council all legal costs connected with enforcing its rights as landlord under the lease. As the chronology below sets out, the council was forced to commence numerous proceedings to enforce the payment of rents as the company continually failed to pay rents on time and in spite of assurances and extensions to deadlines. The council recovered the majority of its legal fees up to the middle of 2018.

 2014

In March 2014 the council’s agent informed the company that the council would be ‘opting to tax’[1] the property with effect April 2015 and that from this date the quarterly rents would be subject to VAT.  June 2014 was the five-yearly rent review date and the council commenced the process of reviewing the rent with the company.

2015

The June quarter rent was the first quarter to be paid with VAT, the payment received from the company did not include the VAT element and the company’s director explained that he had not amended the standing order. In July the rent review was concluded, increasing the annual rent to £71,500 ex-VAT. The lease specifically provided that where the revised annual rent is not agreed on or before the review date the company shall continue paying rent at the pre-review date rate and once it is agreed shall pay the shortfall (if any) between the amount paid for the period from the review date to the next payment date following agreement. In accordance with the lease, and the signed memorandum of rent review, the revised rent was therefore backdated to the rent review date of 1st June 2014.

In September the company challenged the fact that VAT was charged on invoices and the quarter rent was paid without the VAT. The council had incorrectly charged VAT on the backdated rent (for the period 01/06/2014 to 01/04/2015, i.e. covering the period prior to the option to tax) and once guidance had been received from HMRC to ascertain this the VAT invoiced was credited to the company’s account in December, leaving an outstanding balance of £14,533.08.

On 25th December a further £21,450 was due (the quarter rent), the council received payment of £10,000, leaving an outstanding balance of £26,003.08.

2016

In January a further £5,000 was paid by the company and the director stated that he could not explain why full payment was not made as it was being dealt with by his accountant. In February the director stated, “as far as I’m aware I’m not withholding rent, I’m seeking answers to the queries I have raised.”

In March the agent met with the directors who apologised for being in arrears and stated that that the reasons were due to being unaware the rent review would be backdated, that the VAT change had impacted the company’s cashflow and that the company had expended funds on surveyors and legal fees for the rent review and subsequent arrears dispute. The company gave assurances that the March rent would be paid in full and the arrears settled in three monthly instalments to bring the account to balance by the end of June.

The March quarter rent was not paid in full, a payment of £10,000 was received leaving a total balance of £32,453.08. In April the company requested an extension to pay the balance owing to theft of takings; this was granted and payments totalling £12,001.03 were received in May, reducing the balance to £20,452.05. No payment was received in June and the June quarter rent was unpaid leaving a new balance of £41,902.05.

In July the company advised the agent that it was having cashflow issues which would be temporary; they were attributed to the loss of a “substantial” court case and the theft of a “substantial” amount of money but that the company would be receiving a “substantial” cash injection which would enable it to pay the rent arrears immediately “with plenty to spare” and payment was assured for the 23rd July.

At a meeting of the Assets and Operations Committee held on 18th July it was resolved [A16/040] that should payment not be received action to recover the debt would be commenced with the courts. The company subsequently reported that it could not pay the rent, but thought it could pay the previous quarter by the end of August. A payment of £5,000 was received.

In August the council issued the first claim for the arrears through the courts. In September the company admitted the debt of £39,950.05 and requested time to pay. The Council rejected the offer of payment by instalments noting that the company had failed to honour previous promises. The September quarter rent was unpaid, increasing the debt to £52,852.05. In October a £10,000 payment was received.

In November the County Court issued judgment ordering the company to pay. No payments were received and the council instructed bailiffs to recover the debt in December; settlement was made before the bailiffs visited and a balance of £950.05 was left outstanding. The December quarter rent was not paid, increasing the balance to £22,400.05.

2017

In January payment of the £950.05 was received and the council issued a second court claim for the new arrears. Payment was received in March. The March quarter rent was not paid in full, leaving a balance of £7,921.28 which the company was given four weeks to settle.

In March the agent wrote to the company requiring it to undertake repairs to the staircase in the Gaskell Memorial Tower, a tenant obligation in accordance with the lease. At a similar time the council was notified that the company had breached the lease by removing an internal stud wall and installing decking without authorisation.

In May a third court claim was issued due to non-payment of the arrears. In June the rent was unpaid, increasing the balance to £29,371.28.

At the July Assets and Operations Committee meeting it was resolved [A17/027] to issue a notice under Section 146 of the Law of Property Act 1925 requiring the tenant to remedy the breaches. In August the tenant paid the June quarter but the council was obliged to return this payment so as not to prejudice the action to require the remedy of the breaches as acceptance of payment after a breach has occurred indicates acceptance of the breach.

On September 14th the Town Clerk and Cllr Julian Goodrich, the then Chairman of the Assets and Operations Committee meeting met with the company directors to discuss all the issues. At this meeting the directors stated they were in a position to pay the rent and explained the financial issue the company had had, acknowledging they should have been upfront about the financial problems rather than promising the rent it would be paid when it was unable to do so. At this meeting the company stated it was preparing a claim against the council for the cost of cleaning pigeon waste around the property.

Following this meeting a number of the issues highlighted in the s146 notice were resolved and a stay in proceedings was agreed until January. The council also agreed to waive £10,000 of legal fees if the rent was paid on time and undertook to commission a heritage report to guide the necessity of the repair of the staircase. The council also undertook to continue to review options for the method of undertaking major works to the front of the property.

The September quarter rent was unpaid, leaving a new balance of £50,821.28. In October the June quarter payment was received and the Town Clerk met with the directors to discuss progress on the matters agreed at the September meeting.

Despite assurances that payments would be made the company continued to fail to clear the debt. The council decided it was necessary to change the approach for debt recovery and issue a statutory demand for the debt of £38,743.39. Failure to settle a statutory demand indicates a company is unable to meet its debts and allows creditors to commence court proceedings for the winding up of the company.   Following the issue of the demand a payment of £21,469.39 was received and the December quarter rent was paid within 10 days of it falling due.

2018

In January the council rejected an offer from the company to settle legal fees incurred by the council by instalments, requiring payment of the full debt. The legal fees were settled in January and a balance of £7,921.28 remained outstanding; this related to the March 2017 quarter rent which formed part of the stayed court claim.

The company failed to pay the March quarter rent and a statutory demand was issued for settlement. The company settled the statutory demand in April. A formal request for mediation was received. Mediation took place over a full day in June but was unsuccessful. The £7,921.28 was settled.

The company paid £5,000 of the June quarter rent in advance, but on the due date advised it could not make full payment but would do so the following week. The council gave the company a seven-day extension as requested; the company did not settle the quarter until 26th July. At the end of July the company owed £21,387.50 in legal fees, principally the costs incurred for mediation.

The September quarter rent was paid within two days of falling due. The December quarter rent was waived by the council as compensation for business interruption whilst essential works were undertaken to the front of the building in January 2019[2].  By the end of 2018 the company owed £26,187.50 in legal fees.

2019

The council was continuing to incur legal fees in respect of the outstanding 2017 court case. The claim against the company had been settled (by the tenant paying the debt it related to) and by this stage the case was the counter claim from the company against the council (primarily relating to the company claiming the council owed it money for cleaning the exterior of the property[3]). Legal fees were routinely being recharged to the company in accordance with the lease. At the end of February the balance owed was £31,687.50.

In February the company entered into a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) with its creditors but failed to include the debt owed to the council nor inform the council of the CVA. The company’s published statement of affairs details debts of £774,522.64 excluding that which was owed to the council. 

The entering into a CVA triggered the forfeiture clause of the lease and set into motion the termination of the lease.

The lease was forfeited in June 2019 and the company was issued with invoices for the rent (between 25th March and 16th June) and final legal fees dealing with the disputes. An inconsequential sum was recovered through the sale of chattels (£162.44) leaving a total balance of £67,494.44 inclusive of £2,979.17 of VAT.


[1] Lettings of property are by default VAT exempt (no VAT is charged). If the total amount of VAT to be reclaimed on expenditure relating to VAT exempt business exceeds £7,500 in one year, then the organisation can reclaim none of the VAT incurred. In a review of its finances, the council determined that it was likely to exceed the threshold due to the costs of repairing the building combined with other VAT-exempt business (e.g. markets). It was determined that it was necessary to elect to charge VAT on the property (and the Market Hall) and convert them to standard rated supplies which have no cap on VAT reclaim. The lease provided for this and set out that the rent must be paid with any VAT which may become due.

[2] The works involved the erection of scaffolding for an eight-week period. Following discussions between the agent and the company the works were to be programmed in January/February at the to minimise business disruption.  In September 2014 the agent notified the company of the intention to undertake these works between January and March 2016. As the date approached, the company objected and the works were postponed.  The council explored alternatives for undertaking the works but this was the only viable option. The works were reprogrammed during 2018 to take place in January/February 2019 with a rent holiday provided as compensation for the loss of business during this period; at the 11th hour the company requested the council move the works to the summer months. This request was refused as the council had provided a rent holiday and programmed the works when requested and it was not confident that they would again be delayed if pushed back.

[3] The company claimed that the council was responsible for the cleansing of bird droppings. The company invoiced the council in excess of £20,000 backdated to 2009 (the commencement date of the then lease). The council took extensive legal advice from Kings Chambers and was set to robustly defend its position that this was a tenant responsibility.

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Proposals Submitted for Temporary restrictions in Knutsford Town Centre

Knutsford Town Council has put forward proposals to Cheshire East Council for temporary restrictions in Knutsford Town Centre to enable shoppers to maintain social distancing.

The proposals were submitted to Cheshire East Council today (22nd May) and aim to provide more space for pedestrians in the main shopping streets through limiting traffic and widening pedestrian spaces by the removal of parking.

The decision on what measures to implement will be taken by Cheshire East Council at which stage the detailed implementation of the measures will be agreed and widely communicated, but the suggestions put forward by the Town Council are:

King Street

  • Closure of the central section from the junction with King Street Car Park to the junction with Egerton Square.
  • Removal of on street car parking from the entrance to the railway station to just after Giovanni’s restaurant – except for a limited number of disabled parking bays where pavement widths allow
  • The King Street Car Park to be signed as entrance only from King Street, whilst remaining entrance/exit from Moorside.

Princess Street

  • Through traffic to be deterred from Princess Street through the installation of ‘access only’ signage
  • Removal of on street parking along the length of Princess Street from the junction with Canute Place to Simon Boyds, except for the provision of limited disabled parking bays

In tandem to these restrictions the Town Council has also stressed the importance of delivering an increase in parking provision elsewhere in the town centre and has put forward proposals for increasing the number of parking bays in Tatton Street car park and on Gaskell Avenue.

The Town Council has proposed a two-hour free parking period on Cheshire East car parks to replace the on street parking and encourage turnover of visitors.

The Town Council has also suggested a blanket ban on a-boards to ensure pavements remain clear for pedestrians.

The proposed measures seek to maximise space for pedestrians whilst minimising disruption to residents and businesses within the town centre.

The Town Council has already secured public use of three private car parks thanks to local hoteliers:

  • The Rose and Crown car park (accessed off Silk Mill Street) is available Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
  • The Cross Keys car park (accessed between Fine and Country and the Lost and Found) is available all week until the hotel reopens
  • The Courthouse Cheshire carpark (Toft Road) is available all week whilst the Courthouse undergoes extensive refurbishment

Town Mayor, Cllr Andrew Malloy said “As we begin to emerge from lockdown, Knutsford Town Council has been very conscious of the need to maintain a social distancing for those visiting the town centre.  As a result, we’ve been discussing the best way to implement a solution, listening to businesses, residents and government advice, and as such we’ve set out our recommendations to Cheshire East Council for implementation as soon as possible.

This is just a first step, and the situation will remain under review, with further steps to be requested as required, but it is important to implement restrictions to traffic on both King and Princess Street to ensure safety for all during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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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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