Archive for News

New Town Guide Released

townguideThe 2014/15 edition of the Knutsford Town Guide has now been released. At 56 pages the guide covers all aspects of Knutsford and focuses on introducing what Knutsford has to offer to visitors and new residents.

Produced by Burrows Communications at no cost to the Town Council, it is the 30th edition of the Official Town Guide, the earliest of which was in the 1920’s. It was compiled by Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Garner with content provided by local visitor attractions, such as the Heritage Centre and Gaskell Society.

“My aim was to make it as comprehensive as possible so for the first time it properly showcases the Heritage Centre, Little Theatre, Brook St Heritage Site and other attractions in the town.” Adam said.

The guide also features an A2 pull-out map of Knutsford as well as sections on Markets, the Moor and Heaths, Churches, Sports and Leisure, history and the town centre.

“The Town Council also decided to include a page on war memorials in the town given the centenary year and increased interest”

“We would like to thank all those who submitted content, the advertisers who fund the guides and local photographers such as Jonathan Farber and Paul Worpole who provided some fantastic photography which really sets the guide apart from previous editions”.

4000 copies of the guide have been produced and are available from a number of areas in the Town including the Library, Heritage Centre and Council Offices. An e-edition can also be viewed here.

“The aim of the guide is to encourage people to visit Knutsford, visiting our attractions eating at our restaurants and shopping in our independent shops”

“Feedback so far has been great, one resident said it was the best town guide they had seen since they moved here in the 1970’s and the Heritage Centre are really happy with their coverage which in previous guides had been little more than a paragraph” Adam added.

“We have so many fantastic features in Knutsford that we can proudly shout about and that’s exactly what this guide does”.

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2014 Town Awards

Winners of the 2014 Town Awards

Winners of the 2014 Town Awards

The 2014 Knutsford Town Awards were presented on Civic Sunday, June 29th at a special awards ceremony following the Civic Service.

The awards scheme, which is run by the Town Council, aims to recognise the valuable work undertaken to the benefit of the Knutsford community. Following the success of the 2013 awards a new category was introduced for 2014 recognising those aged 21 and under with a Youth Award.

The ceremony was presented by Ian Cass representing The Forum of Private Business which sponsored the scheme.

The three Civic Awards, made to individuals or groups of individuals who have worked to the benefit of the Knutsford Community were presented first, followed by the Community Award, Youth Award and Business Award.

The first civic award was presented to Vivienne Pike for her contribution both locally and internationally to the development of young Knutsfordians through Scouting.

The second award went to Kevin Hollins for his dedicated service to the Knutsford Academy and its integration with the wider Knutsford community.

The final civic award was presented to Derek Empson MBE in recognition of his work with a number of community organisations including the Old Folks Club, Town Plan group and for developing the Community Emergency Plan.

The 2014 community award was presented to The Welcome for being the heart of the Longridge community and encouraging interaction through a wide range of activities and community groups.

The 2014 business award was presented to Stefanie Meachin of Gusto for their engagement with fellow traders creating positive spirit for visitors and the community with initiatives such as the Bunny Hop.

The inaugural youth award was presented to Emily May Walker for her work with the 2nd Toft Guides and wider girl guiding movement in Knutsford.

In addition to the awards there was also three commendations issued by the decision panel. The first two went to Val Bryant for her work with the Knutsford Heritage Centre and to Kane Gunter for his work with Community Spirit and other charities; both of whom narrowly missed out on winning a Civic Award.

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Market Transfer Documents Signed

The transfer documents for the Market Hall and rights to hold markets in Knutsford have been sealed by Knutsford Town Council. Following the transfer of the two toilet blocks in 2013, the Town Council have been working on the transfer of the Market Hall, outdoor market and market rights.

The documents were sealed by Town Mayor Cllr Neil Forbes and Deputy Town Mayor Cllr Tony Dean. Cllr Dean, lead member for the transfer of markets said “I am delighted that we have now signed the legal documents for the transfer with completion expected on June 30th”.

“We have plans to improve the Market Hall and promote the use of the market to the community. The Council will also be looking into re-invigorating the weekly outdoor market” said Cllr Dean.

Cllr Forbes added “This is another historic moment as the running of the market returns to Knutsford for the first time since 1974 and I look forward to working with my fellow councillors to improve the facilities just like we did with the public toilets”.

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Cllr Neil Forbes elected Town Mayor

Mayor Neil (small)I consider it an honour to be elected by one’s peers to be Mayor and a privilege to be Knutsford’s First Citizen. I hope I live up to your trust and expectations as expressed in our ‘Civic Protocol’ from which I note with a little trepidation I should “ .. seek to use my influence .. to stimulate community pride, encourage business and promote the voluntary sector.”

Unlike my predecessor I was not born in the town and have only lived here for some 23 years after moving 190 miles or so to Knutsford on a temporary basis with my work – it only took about a week before I decided to try to stay a bit longer than the originally planned four years. So I’m an incomer and unrelated to the town’s Mayor of 1986 – ‘7 whose surname I share.

I am indebted to my friend the late John Eden for introductions both to local government and to the person who was to become my wife and your new Mayoress. Jacquelyn has a longer Knutsford history than I do having been in two May Day parades herself.

This marks the start of my eighth year as a councillor; I’m hoping the experience I’ve gained during the last seven years will stand me in good stead for the year ahead.

Cllr Barbara Coan’s charity fund raising activities were supported magnificently by the people and businesses of Knutsford and has set the bar high for those that follow.

I aim to hit the ground running and with the support of the excellent Lisa (my PA) plan to publish a schedule of different events for the year ahead by the end of this month. With a range of accessible activities and costs, I hope something will appeal to everyone from the oldest to the youngest residents. So watch out for updates and announcements and, if you want to be ‘in with ‘in-crowd’ ’ and get the fastest news by email for ‘hot ticket’ items please send Lisa your email address to be added to the distribution list. lisa.benskin@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk (This commits you to nothing other than getting information and keeps our costs down.)

This brings me to the Knutsford charities and good causes I plan to support for my Mayoral year. I’ve been working in the third sector for the past nine years during which it has become clear to me that older people’s charities are the poor relations (especially small local ones) having no tear jerking posters and adverts to tug at our heart strings, perhaps because let’s face it, if we are lucky we will live to a ripe old age but don’t want to think about it too much. Now I’d be the first to agree I’m no poster boy but perhaps you can help-me-help by supporting all the events you can and encouraging others to do the same.

So with that in mind I’ve chosen one local good cause, St John’s Wood Lunch Club, and one local charity: Knutsford GROW

In addition to the serious council business, I’m hoping we can all have a great deal of fun and entertainment raising funds for them both – with your support we will.

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Mayor Presents Charity Cheques

Cllr Barbara Coan presents Cheshire Search and Rescue with their Cheque

Cllr Barbara Coan presents Cheshire Search and Rescue with their Cheque

After 12 months of fundraising Knutsford Town Mayor Cllr Barbara Coan presented her chosen charities Knutsford and District Lions Club and Cheshire Search and Rescue with £4,626.80 each in the last week of her Mayoral year.

Cllr Barbara Coan has organised a number of events to raise £9,253.60 for her chosen good causes beating the previous record of £6080. Events held included a meal at Don Giovanni’s, collections at the Artisan Market and Christmas Lights Switch on, a raffle at the Town Council Christmas Markets, a May Day Meal at the Rose N’ Crown Chop House and of course the highlight of the Mayoral year the Civic Ball at La Belle Époque which this year raised a record £5000, and at which an additional donation of £10,000 was made from Monckton Properties directly to Cheshire Search & Rescue.

Cllr Barbara Coan with representatives of the Knutsford Lions

Cllr Barbara Coan with representatives of the Knutsford Lions

Town Mayor Cllr Barbara Coan said “I am hugely thankful to the generous residents, businesses and visitors to Knutsford without whom I couldn’t have raised such an amazing amount of money for my charities. I would also like to thank the Councillors, Town Clerk Adam Keppel-Garner and my previous and current PA’s Helen Dytham and Lisa Benskin for their steadfast support throughout the year in my role as Mayor and for their invaluable assistance with the organisation of the Civic and fundraising events this year. Being a Knutsfordian through and through it has been a tremendous honour to be able to represent the Town as Mayor at the events I have attended, and I am overwhelmed that we have managed to raise so much money for my charities as a result of the community working together, which was one of my aims at the start of my Mayoral year. I am delighted that this has been the case.”

During the Mayoral year the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councillors have represented the Town at over 120 events.

Frances Miller President of the Knutsford & District Lions Club added “we are most grateful to the Town Mayor, Cllr Barbara Coan, for all her fundraising efforts throughout her Mayoral year, supporting both our club and Cheshire Search & Rescue. She has been very generous in her support for her two chosen charities and Knutsford & District Lions Club would like to convey its thanks and appreciation for the funds raised from these events. Monies will be invested in serving the local community and meeting the needs of individual hardship, providing a Christmas Day lunch for those on their own and staging the annual Lions Senior Citizens’ Variety Show.

Robert Davies MBE, Chairman of Cheshire Search and Rescue said “On behalf of Cheshire Search and Rescue Team I would like to say a big thank you to the Mayor of Knutsford and everyone involved in the fundraising events this Mayoral year. As a voluntary organisation, the team can only exist to support the community of Cheshire when people in the area commit to help us raise the necessary funds. Attending events such as those organised by the Mayor provide a great opportunity to promote our work and talk to people about why Cheshire needs a Search and Rescue team and exactly what it is we do. The funds raised from these events will be used to help keep the team mobile and able to respond quickly, for new equipment and training to enhance our water rescue capability and medical equipment all of which are vital to our operational capability.”

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New Town Clerk Appointed

mayor-and-town-clerk

Cllr Barbara Coan and Adam Keppel-Garner

The Town Council is pleased to announce the appointment of Adam Keppel-Garner as Town Clerk.

Adam joined the Town Council as Deputy Clerk in September 2012 and has been Acting Town Clerk since August.

Upon his appointment Adam said, he said was looking forward to working with town councillors over the coming years to help realise the ambitions set out in the recently-adopted 2020 Vision.

“It’s been a time of change at the council as we have had our first assets transferred back to council ownership, and as the markets and allotments transfer I look forward to helping improve and develop these facilities for the town,” he said.

“One of my aims will be helping to define the role of the town council so that all Knutsfordians know what the council does and how it can be a pillar of support to all the organisations.”

“I will be working with the councillors to develop greater community engagement and effective consultations when necessary.”

“Knutsford is such a fantastic town with a great community, excellent town centre and rich heritage. It is a pleasure to be able to work here, helping to make it an even better place to live, work and visit.”

The council will soon be recruiting a new deputy town clerk.

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Christmas Window Winners 2013

The annual Christmas window competition was judged this week by the Town Mayor Cllr Barbara Coan and Deputy Mayor Cllr Neil Forbes.

Once again the two judges had a difficult time deciding on the winner due to the number of fantastic displays Knutsford businesses had created. “It took Cllr Forbes and me a long time to agree on the three winners for this year’s competition. We both created a shortlist of 5 windows to try and help make the decision easier, but they both featured 5 different shops!” said Cllr Barbara Coan.

The winner for this year was Wendy Diddams, whose window featured the entries to their annual Christmas Decorations competition and was praised by the judges for involving the community and featuring their product with the characters in the windows all wearing glasses.

As she was passed the certificate and cup winner Wendy said “I am very surprised and pleased – it’s lovely for us and the children that were involved. I’m thrilled”

Second place went to Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe and the Cha Bar came in a close third. “The effort that our traders go to really helps make Knutsford such a special place at Christmas. It is great to see that yet again they have done our Town proud and creating some fantastic displays” Barbara continued.

The winner of the best Charity Shop category went to the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust shop on Canute Place.

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Flushed with Joy

Knutsford Town Council was flushed with success on Friday 6th when the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Neil Forbes attended the UK Loo of the Year Awards which saw Knutsford’s public toilets achieving Gold.

The Town Council announced the completion of the refurbishment works to the two toilet blocks at King St and Bexton Road in November. The toilets, which transferred to the Town Council in July, have now been completely refurbished by leading UK toilet company DANFO in partnership with the Town Council.

Cllr Forbes said “I’m pleased we have been able to save these facilities from closure for our residents and many visitors at the same time as improving their quality and keeping the overall cost to council tax payers low.”

Now under Town Council control the two blocks benefit from increased opening hours – now 6am to midnight every day. The toilet blocks both comprise of three toilets, unisex accessible, unisex & female and cost 20p to use which offsets the cost of maintenance and refurbishment.

Town Mayor Barbara Coan said “These are the first set of assets to be transferred back to the Town Council under the drive for localism. For the first time in a long time the town council have direct control over the standards and quality of what is provided for Knutsfordians”.

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Toilets Transfer to Town Council

ToiletsThe first asset transfer from Cheshire East to Knutsford Town Council has completed today. The public toilets at Bexton Road and King Street are now owned by the Town Council,and will undergo complete refurbishment by Danfo, the leading public toilet provider in the UK, who will operate the toilets for the Town Council.

The toilets at Bexton Road are the first to undergo renovation, which is set to start today with a completion target of September. Once Bexton Road toilets are operational, the refurbishment at King Street will begin.

The new toilet facilities, which at both sites will include an accessible toilet and baby changing facilities, will cost 20p to use.

Cllr Neil Forbes, lead member for the toilet transfer at Knutsford Town Council said “I’m pleased the town will soon have facilities for our residents and visitors to be proud of.”

The Council hopes that the renovated toilets will end the years of complaints the current toilet facilities receive.

Town Mayor, Cllr Barbara Coan said “These are the first set of assets to be transferred back to the Town Council under the drive for localism. More are to follow e.g. the market. For the first time in a long time the town council will have direct control over the standards and quality of what is provided for Knutsfordians ”

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Civic Awards 2013

Jan McCappin

Jan McCappin

The inaugural Civic Awards ceremony was held in the Cranford Suite of Curzon on Civic Sunday, 30th June. The awards, the brainchild of the Events Committee were presented by the Town Mayor, Cllr Barbara Coan and Phil Orford, CEO of the Forum of Private Business who sponsored the event.

The first Civic Award was made to Jan McCappin, who amazed her nominators with her level of commitment to the groups she is part of, which include Friends of the Moor, The Heritage Centre, Knutsford Conservation + Heritage Group, Town Plan and Promote Knutsford Forum. Her award was made for the dedication to so many community groups.

The second Civic Awards were made to Patricia McAndrew and Louise Reed for their role as volunteer youth group leaders at the Welcome Café. Their nominator emphasised how many hours of their time they give to inspire the young people of Over Ward, and praised them for bringing fresh ideas.

Rowena Acton received the final Civic Award, for her work in Longridge and Shaw Heath. One of her nominators said “Rowena has been doing community work for more years can remember, and is very deserving of recognition for all the years of tireless community work”.

The Community Award went to the Knutsford Lions praising the vast and varied amount of work they carry out across the whole town. One of the nominations received for the Lions commended the ceaseless work they do for the entire community, from Christmas Lunch for those who would be otherwise alone, working alongside the Town Council for the Millennium Bursary and organising the annual Street Fayre.

The final award was the Business Award which was presented to Pulse of Perfumery for the work that Peter Murray does bringing together the business community. The nominations for Pulse of Perfumery praised Peter for being an inspiration to the business community, and the extreme level of enthusiasm in promoting Knutsford.

The awards were sponsored by the Forum of Private Business, and organised by the Town Council.

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