A young tree on a large green in summer

Tree Planting Consultation

Knutsford Town Council wants to hear from residents on its plans to plant almost 7,000 trees across the town as part of its Nature Action Plan. The town council is consulting on its Tree Planting Plan which aims to deliver over half of its target of seeing 13,000 trees planted in Knutsford to tackle climate change and improve biodiversity and wildlife.

The proposals include planting over 250 1.5m to 2.4m specimen trees on verges and open spaces with a further 6,600 whips planted to create large new areas of woodland in suitable areas – including an extension to St John’s Wood.

The plan also sets out proposals to four fences around open spaces with hedges and identifies a number of verges where additional wildlife friendly planting could be supported.

“We adopted our Nature Action Plan in March this year as part of our commitment to make Knutsford a greener and more wildlife friendly town. Our planting plan is a key part of this and will drastically increase the number of trees in the town” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Green

“We see it as a win-win, the town will look more beautiful, CO2 will be absorbed from the air and locked away and in time wildlife will flourish.”

The council’s Nature Action Plan working group has identified areas where additional planting will not affect the existing use of open spaces and has chosen a range of native and ornamental trees suitable for each location.

“We would like residents to view our proposals and let us know what they think of the areas we plant and what we plan to plan. We’ll review all feedback received and finalise a planting plan in early 2021 with the intention to complete all planting over the next three years”.

To view the tree planting plan and submit your feedback visit www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/consultations. The consultation runs to 18th December.

A £5 Knutsford Voucher

Knutsford Voucher Launches

A gift voucher unique to Knutsford is launching just in time for Christmas.

The Knutsford Voucher is now available to purchase from the Town Council website and (after lockdown) in person in the Council Offices on Toft Road.  Initially the vouchers will be in £5 and £10 dominations and will be able to be redeemed in over 50 local shops. 

The aim of the scheme is to keep spend local and support the local economy.

Sandra Curties, Knutsford Town Council Town Centre and Marketing Officer, said, “We have kept the initial launch simple – low denominations for spread of spend and we’ve had a great response from local shops.  There are too many to mention here but the vouchers can be redeemed for everyday goods such as meat and vegetables to flowers, soft furnishings, bikes, and gifts – there really is something for everyone.  Once the voucher is redeemed, we pay the shop back in full.  It is a great way of ring fencing local spend.”

The vouchers will be available for one year from date of purchase, have been designed by local marketing agency 438 Marketing and have security features to disable fraud.  Full terms and conditions will be on Knutsford Town Council’s website along with a full list of participating retailers.  They make great gifts all year round and an excellent incentive for existing staff or a welcome to new starters.  Chris Eversfield from Serenity Designs said, “We are really excited about this new voucher scheme.  It is a great initiative from Knutsford Town Council – enabling local people to spend money in local shops”

If any Knutsford based business is interested in the scheme, they should get in touch with Sandra Curties on 01565 653929.  Please note only Knutsford based shops (not surrounding villages) can take the vouchers.  If successful, higher denominations will be introduced and longer term a digital option may be developed.

2020 Town Awards Winners

The winners of the 2020 Knutsford Town Awards have been announced in a special video created by Knutsford Town Council.

The Town Awards aim to celebrate outstanding individuals and organisations that help to make Knutsford such a special community. The awards have been running since 2013, organised by Knutsford Town Council and sponsored by the Forum of Private Business.

An awards ceremony is usually organised where the winners can receive their prize in person, presented to them by the Mayor of Knutsford and Ian Cass, founder and director of the Forum of Private Business. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic it was not possible to hold an award ceremony with all of the winners and so organisers at the Town Council decided to get creative.

A special video has been created, put together by Rachel Bishop Consulting, where the Mayor of Knutsford presented the seven awards, plus a special award presented by the Knutsford and District Youth Council, to the deserving winners.

Ian Cass, director of the Forum, said: “The Forum of Private business has been part of the Knutsford community for over 40 years, based in our offices in the Ruskin chambers since 1977. We are very proud to be the sponsors and supporters of the Knutsford Town Awards again and look forward to supporting them for many more years.

We have a brilliant community here in Knutsford, one that supports each other, promotes the town and keeps coming up with new and innovative ideas, this is driven by people and those people have stepped up again, particularly during the current Covid-19 pandemic, we have a community who deserve to be recognised and celebrated for another year of great achievements, something the Forum are delighted to be part of!”

Three Civic Awards were awarded; to Mark Radcliffe for his work with Knutsford Music Festival curating the popular folk nights, Ian Robertson for his work with Hope Central and Garry Davies for his work with the Knutsford Scouts.

The Youth Award was presented to Lucas Cronan and Lillie Bryers who spend their Sunday mornings litter picking on the Moor whilst their mums attend bootcamp classes.

The Community Award was presented to We Are Knutsford, a community group formed in response to the first national Covid-19 lockdown to provide support to those who are self-isolating or otherwise in need, for their work in supporting the Knutsford community throughout the pandemic.

An Extra Mile Award, which was first launched in 2019, was presented to Chris Pountain for his time spent as a PCSO in Knutsford until summer 2020. Chris supported many town events and initiatives and worked with the Beat team to keep Knutsford residents safe.

The 2020 Business Award was presented to the traders of Knutsford Market Hall, for their commitment and hard work in supporting the community during the first nationwide lockdown providing vital food and supplies to many residents, including offering delivery services to keep residents fed.

A new Sustainability Award was launched by the Knutsford and District Youth Council, designed to celebrate businesses who have taken strides to promote eco practices in their day to day operations. The award was presented by Alison Hooper, headteacher at Egerton Primary School, to Serenity Designs for their hard work to make sustainable changes and stock eco friendly products for their customers.

Cllr Andrew Malloy, Mayor of Knutsford, said: “The Knutsford Town Awards for me is one of the most important things we do as a Town Council. It is a direct representation from the people of the town acknowledging the amazing things that so many people do to support individuals within the town, as well as communities and businesses.

It has been a real thrill for me to meet the winners, hear their stories and present them with their awards of recognition. I really look forward to the 2021 Knutsford Town Awards and what they will bring for us.”

The front of a war memorial with cadets in the background out of focus

Remembrance Sunday Services

Knutsford proudly remembers the fallen of Knutsford with strong attendances at its annual remembrance services. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year the town council and Royal British Legion have had to scale back the services and cancel the annual parade.

In line with Government direction for remembrance services, the wider public are encouraged to visit memorials during their own time and outside the services. Attendance at services is reserved for those who wish to lay wreaths and serving members and veterans of the armed forces.

Our services for Remembrance Sunday on Sunday 8th November are set out below.

The principal service will be held at the Centennial War Memorial at 10:45am and will be livestreamed to the Town Council’s Facebook page to enable the community to join the service remotely. Whilst the public will not be prevented from attending, if necessary, the Library Gardens will be closed during the service to ensure social distancing can be maintained. Anyone who wishes to lay a wreath during the service should register by emailing enquiries@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

At 11:45am a service will be held at the Crosstown War Memorial. Due to the limited space around the memorial this is strictly limited to representatives of St Cross Church, the Town Mayor and the Royal British Legion.

At 12:20pm a short service and wreath laying will be held at the War Memorial Cottage Hospital. This will be limited to the laying of wreaths by the Royal British Legion, Cheshire East Council, the MP and the Town Mayor. Space will be set aside for public spectators, but we ask that where possible people visit the memorial earlier/later in the day to pay their own respects.

A final service will take place at 1pm at the Parachute Regiment Memorial in Tatton Park. This will principally be limited to the laying of wreaths by the Royal British Legion, Cheshire East Council, the Town Mayor, and representatives of the Air Cadets and Parachute Regiment. Again, space will be set aside for public spectators, and we ask that where possible people visit the memorial earlier/later in the day to pay their own respects.

“It seems perverse to be encouraging our residents not to attend remembrance services particularly during the year of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, but we hope that many of you will tune in via our Facebook page for the main service or take the opportunity to remember the fallen over the course of the day” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Green.

Kevin Griffiths and Malcolm Thomas Measure a Tree

Help map Knutsford’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.

A view down King Street

Join our Town Centre Recovery Focus Group

Knutsford Town Council is seeking a cross-section of residents to take part in a small focus group to contribute towards efforts to support local businesses in the recovery of the town centre and encourage footfall and local spend in the town centre post-lockdown.

The focus group will be held using Zoom and will discuss the reasons residents visit the town centre, what would encourage them to visit more and how the town compares with other areas.

“This focus group is about the town centre now and in the new future, we won’t be tackling the wider and longer-term issues of public transport, accessibility and car parking which will be tackled through our emerging Town Centre Masterplan, but focusing on what we can do now to support the town centre.” said Sandra Curties, the Town Centre and Marketing Officer at Knutsford Town Council who will be hosting the focus group.

“We are aiming to work with local businesses to support them through the economic recovery and ensure our town centre survives”

If you are interested in participating please email sandra.curties@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk. To help ensure the focus group includes a cross-section of the community please include your age, address, profession, and an overview of your household unit. This information will be used solely for selection of the working group.

Town Ranger with Bug Hotel in Wallwood

Bug Hotel Opens 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.

Town Councillors at Mayor Making 2019

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.

The Knutsford town boundary sign with a floral planter beneath

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

An aerial view of the Moor

Town Centre Masterplan 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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