The Town Mayor wearing a bright jacket and the mayor's chain stands outside the Mere Hotel

Mayor’s Autumn Ball now on Sale

The Mayor of Knutsford’s Summer Ball has been postponed. The glamourous fundraising event promised to give Knutsford residents a welcome opportunity for fun and dancing while supporting The Mayoral Charites but to comply with government requirements the event will now be a fabulous Autumn Ball.

The ball is the Town Mayor’s biggest fundraising event of the year and promises to be a fun filled evening with entertainment from Fun Time Frankie’s band, a DJ and a close up magician.

Town Mayor Cllr Stewart Gardiner said; ‘While I am clearly disappointed at having to cancel the Summer Ball, I am hoping that moving the event to early Autumn will be an opportunity for everyone (including those who have been reticent about getting out and about in July) to come together for a fabulous evening of good food, fine wine and quality entertainment.

“So put the date in your diary, dust off your glad rags (or even use it as an excuse to splash out on some new ones) polish your dancing shoes and limber up to make some shapes on the dance floor. 

However, let us remember the reason for this event is to raise lots of money for two local and worthwhile charities while celebrating being out and having some fun. I would like to thank the Mere and all those involved in the Summer event for agreeing to the rescheduled date and I look forward to working with you all to make October 9th a night to remember.”

Tickets are available for the night at £48 per person for a delicious 3-course meal, arrival drink and entertainment.  To book your place you can contact the Civic Events Officer Michelle Bate on 01565 653929 or email michelle.bate@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

Raffle tickets are also now on sale for the Mayor’s Prize Draw at £2 each with a range of great prizes up for grabs. The raffle will be drawn at the Ball but anyone can purchase tickets by contacting Michelle or visiting the Council Offices.

Any businesses wishing to make a prize donation for the raffle or auction can contact Michelle at the details above.

Cllrs Gray, Robertson and Dalzell sat at a meeitng

Volunteers sought for CIL Committee

Knutsford Town Council is seeking two volunteers to join a committee to help determine how money from development is spent in the town.

Community Infrastructure Levy was introduced in Cheshire East in 2019 and 25% of the receipts for Knutsford housing development is paid to Knutsford Town Council which expects to receive over half a million pounds over the next ten years.

The ‘neighbourhood share’ of CIL can be spent on infrastructure or anything else which addresses the demands development places on the town and the Town Council has adopted a CIL Framework to govern how it will make decisions on using this important investment in the community.

The framework acknowledges that whilst the town council is the recipient of CIL it may be that the best use of the funds would be for projects delivered by partner organisations and the framework sets out that decisions on which projects should receive CIL funding will be chosen by a joint committee of residents and councillors.

Building on the success of creating the Knutsford Neighbourhood Plan, the council is establishing an advisory committee which will include eight resident leads covering the themes of the neighbourhood plan – town centre, environment and open spaces, heritage, housing and employment, sports and leisure, health, education and community and getting around. Six of the residents who led the neighbourhood plan have volunteered to continue leading their theme leaving two spaces to fill.

The role of the advisory committee will be to review bids for funds and produce a recommendation to the council’s Finance Committee.  The council is looking for two residents to join the committee with a special interest in the ‘sports and leisure’ and ‘education and community’ themes.

“CIL presents a significant investment in the community but we know that there will be more investment needed than funds we’ll receive. By being part of this committee you’ll help determine which projects are prioritised and play a role in shaping the future of our town” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Green.

If you are interested in joining the committee, contact the Town Clerk on 01565 653 929 or email townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk setting out the reasons you would like to be considered.

Cllr Mike Houghton stands by a bin branded as Knutsford Town Council's against a green leafy background

Campaign to tackle dog fouling

Knutsford Town Council is spearheading a campaign to tackle the increase in dog fouling across the town and is calling on residents to help in one simple way – report the poos they find.

Using the information of where fouling occurs, the town council will take a targeted approach to tackling the issue in that area as part of a four pronged plan agreed by its Environment Committee.

Under its plan to tackle fouling the council may take a combination of the following actions:

  • Installing temporary signage to remind dog walkers of their responsibility to clean up after their dogs and the potential fines they can receive if they fail to do so.
  • Installing signage on existing litterbins so dog walkers know that dog waste can be deposited there
  • Installing dog poo bag dispensers so dog walkers don’t have the excuse that they don’t have a bag
  • Installing new litter or dog bins if there are none close by

There are 115 litter bins across Knutsford emptied by Cheshire East Council and these have been mapped by the Town Council ready to tackle the problem. It is no longer the case that dog waste can only be placed in dog bins – bagged dog poo can be deposited in any litter bin.

“Councillors have received an increasing number of complaints from residents about dog fouling and we are working to tackle this” said Cllr Mike Houghton who is leading the campaign.

“Whilst the majority of dog owners are responsible and clean up after their pets, we are looking to take away the common excuses of the minority who are causing the problem.”

“We are asking all residents to help us by reporting fouling they come across so we can map the issue and determine the best approach for stopping the fouling in that location”

Residents can report fouling using the free PooperSnooper app (see website here: https://poopersnooper.app) which creates a map of fouling reports to help the council understand exactly where fouling is the biggest problem. Residents can also report fouling by emailing enquiries@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk with a description of the location.

The Town Mayor, wearing his chain of office, stands in 60 King Street where ripped wallpaper can be seen in the foreground

Funding Bid for 60 King Street

A firm of specialist consultant partners who are experts in reimagining historic buildings for sustainable future use have been engaged by Knutsford Town Council with the aim of securing a significant investment to renovate and breath fresh life into its property at 60 King Street.

The consultants, who have supported the regeneration of historic buildings across the UK, will be assisting the council in creating a costed business case and options for the building to operate sustainably. The council is looking to secure a significant Heritage Lottery Fund grant to regenerate the Grade II* listed building and bring it into operation as a mixed-use community, civic and commercial space.

This early consultancy phase of work, including the exploration of options and the development of funding sources is being completed by the consultants on the basis that compensation and future work is subject to funding success.

“We are looking at an exciting new approach to bring this iconic building back to life” said Town Mayor, Cllr Stewart Gardiner “Over the coming months we will be working with our consultants to develop proposals for the building and are optimistic about our prospects of securing funding to rejuvenate one of the town’s landmark buildings”

60 King Street was formerly home to La Belle Epoque but has been vacant since June 2019 when that company went into administration. Over the past two years the Council has sought to obtain a new tenant through national estate agents Savills and had been in negotiation with a prospective tenant. Negotiations folded in early 2021 with the business withdrawing due to the scale of investment required in the building which similarly deterred other potential tenants.

The Council was then faced with the tough decision of either selling the building or needing to borrow significant monies to fund upfront repairs. A report prepared by surveying firm Fisher German highlighted a likely expenditure in excess of £675,000 being required in the next 10 years as the 116-year-old building requires re-roofing, in addition to render and stonework repairs plus the renewal of a concrete deck amongst a range of other smaller works.  The building also needs a new heating system not to mention extensive redecoration owing to the building being left in a very poor internal condition by the former tenant.

“Our goal with 60 King Street has been for it to be in active use, good repair and to deliver a surplus for the council to reduce the precept. We were naturally disappointed that it was not possible to secure a tenant for the whole building due to its condition.” said Cllr Peter Coan, Chairman of the Assets and Operations Committee.

“We are hopeful that this new approach will secure a sustainable future for the building, and we have engaged the consultants on terms which ensure that if they are unable to win funding there will be no cost to the Council.”

If you have any questions about this article please email townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk

Engraved stone column with the names of Kings of England

Notice of Public Rights and Publication of Unaudited AGAR 2020/21

ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 31 MARCH 2021

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

  1. Date of announcement Friday 11 June 2021
  • 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 – 01565 653 929

commencing on Monday 14 June 2021
and ending on Friday 23 July 2021

  • 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.

  • 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

The unaudited AGAR can be seen here: Unaudited AGAR 2020/21 (PDF)

A sculpture of King Canute in the council office gardens, with a tree

By-Election Results

TWO NEW councillors have been elected in by-elections held on Thursday 6th May; both by-elections had been delayed due to the suspension of elections during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bexton Ward by-election was called following the death of Cllr Barbara Hamilton Coan in November 2020 and two candidates sought election. Millie Morris (Conservative) was elected with 422 votes, defeating Amy Rosalind Hobson (Liberal Democrat) who secured 394 votes. The turnout was 38.78%.

In Nether Ward the by-election was called following the resignation of Cllr Katherine Fletcher in April 2020. Three candidates sought election but it was Scott Lowe (Independent) with 379 votes who was elected, beating Annie Greer (Conservative) with 319 votes and Bill Tenger (Liberal Democrat) with 162 votes. The turnout was 40.91%.

The Town Council congratulates its two newest members on their election and thanks all five candidates for putting themselves forward to represent their community.

An audience at the annual town meeting

2021 Annual Town Meeting

Knutsford Town Council is inviting residents to join its first virtual Annual Town Meeting next Tuesday evening and has booked two special guests for the evening: Claire Sawyer of We are Knutsford and Davina Armitage, owner of Cocoranti.

Claire will be giving a talk on how We are Knutsford was founded to support the community through the first lockdown and the great work it has been doing for Knutsford over the last year. Davina will be interviewed by Town Centre and Marketing Officer Sandra Curties as a special edition of her ‘behind the door’ talks with local businesses on how Davina adapted her business to survive the pandemic.

There was no town meeting in 2020 due to the coronavirus restrictions but legislation allows for the meeting to be held virtually for 2021. The meeting, which is chaired by the Town Mayor, is not a council meeting but an opportunity for the town to come together to raise and discuss issues affecting the community.


“The Town Meeting goes back over 100 years when it was how town councillors were elected; now it is an opportunity for residents to directly raise any issues that they feel need to be addressed by the council or wider community. It could be to draw attention to an issue, or to see if there are others in the community interested in working to tackle a problem” said Town Clerk Adam Keppel-Green.

The meeting starts at 7pm on Tuesday 4th May. Residents can either join via Zoom or watch live on Facebook. The agenda and more information is available at https://www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/council/town-meeting.

A path through a woodland

College Wood Community Meeting

“How can we improve College Wood” is the question Cllr Andrew Malloy will be asking at a community meeting next week.

After a successful community meeting in February to set up a Friends of St John’s Wood the Town Council is now turning its attention to College Wood, the small woodland on Thorneyholme Drive which is owned by the Shrewsbury Roman Catholic Diocese.

Cllr Andrew Malloy, one of six Over Ward councillors on the town council, lives opposite the woodland and will chair the meeting which will be hosted on Zoom.

In 2019 the council secured the woodlands registration as a ‘town green’; a designation which permanently protects the public’s right to use the woodland for recreation. Now the council is keen to hear from those who visit the woodland and the residents living nearby to discuss how College Wood can be improved and what the community wants to see change and what it wants to stay the same.

The meeting will also be streamed to Facebook where residents can comment along to have their voices heard. At the end of the meeting will be an opportunity for people to put themselves forward to form a committee for a new Friends of College Wood community group. All residents are welcome to join the meeting and there is no obligation to put oneself forward for the committee.

If any residents are unable to attend the meeting but want to comment on how the woodland could be improved, they can email enquiries@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or call 01565 653929.

The meeting will take place at 7pm on Tuesday 20th April. For details of how to join the meeting visit: www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/collegewood  

Town Mayor stands at attention under a flag pole

Town Mayor’s tribute to HRH Prince Philip

At noon on Saturday, Town Mayor Cllr Stewart Gardiner laid a bouquet at the foot of the flagstaff outside the Town Council offices to mark the death of Prince Philip.

The Mayor, whose badge of office was covered by a black velvet pouch; as convention requires, was accompanied by his consort, the Deputy Mayor at other members of the Town Council.

This short ceremony took place 24 hours after the announcement from Buckingham Palace that His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh had died and coincided with the national 41-gun salute.

Before placing the bouquet of white roses and lilies in a vase, the Mayor said that he lay the flowers on behalf of all the people of Knutsford. He went on to say they were laid in memory of the Duke of Edinburgh, in thanks for his life and all his achievements and in the hope that he might Rest in Peace.

Standing for a short period in silence, after laying the flowers, the Mayor then read a short piece reflecting on death from ‘The Prophet’ by Kahlil Gibran which included the poignant line ‘For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one’ and ending quite hopefully ‘… and when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.’

The Mayor then thanked those who had attended the short Act of Remembrance.

Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh

Death of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

The Town Council is saddened to hear of the passing of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.

A condolence book will be opened at the Town Council Offices on Monday 12th April. Those who do not wish to visit the offices but wish to have their condolences recorded in the Town’s record can email them to hrh@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

Floral tributes may be laid at the front of the Council Offices near the flagpole. We ask that where possible no plastic/cellophane is used.

The flowers will be collected after the funeral and composted; the compost will be used to fertilise a tree which will be planted in his memory.

Speaking on the announcement from the Palace, the Town Mayor Councillor Stewart Gardiner said:

“I was saddened to hear the news earlier today that The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh has died. On behalf of the people of Knutsford, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Her Majesty the Queen and to his children and grandchildren. I trust that all their wealth of shared memories will be of some consolation to them all at this very sad time.

I would also like to pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh for all he achieved; particularly for the World Wildlife Fund and with the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and to thank him for his unflinching service to our country; both as a naval officer during World War II and as Consort to the Queen.

God Save The Queen.”

The Town Council is encouraging residents to stand in their doorways for a minute silence at 3pm on Saturday 17th as part of a national silence.

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