Archive for News

Nether Ward By-Election

A by-election will be held on Thursday 13th November for a Town Councillor for the Nether Ward of Knutsford Town Council.

Three candidates have stood for election:

Christopher Robert Gray (CON)
of 8 Glebelands Road

Julie Tempest (IND)
of 5 Hillside Road

Graeme Webster (LAB)
of 7 Branden Drive

Only those living in the Nether Ward of Knutsford are able to vote in this election. You can view the ward map of the town here. If you are not already registered to vote, you can find out more about registering here.

Electors and their proxies should take note that any changes to, or cancellations of, existing postal or proxy vote records and new applications to be treated as postal voters, must reach the Electoral Registration Officer by 5.00pm on Wednesday 29th October 2014 if they are to be effective for this election.

All new applications for proxy voting arrangements must reach the Electoral Registration Officer at the above address by 5pm on Wednesday 5th November 2014 if they are to be effective for this election.

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Trio of accolades for Knutsford

Knutsford received three accolades at the 58th Cheshire Community Pride Awards organised by Cheshire Community Action.

A Little Gem award was presented to Knutsford for the Knutsford Heritage Centre and its courtyard garden which had particularly impressed the judges. The Town also received a Highly Commended plaudit in the Community Website Market Town category for the Town Council Website. Knutsford was also runner up in the Best Kept ‘Village’ Category for parishes with 10,001 to 30,000 inhabitants.

Knutsford Town Mayor, Neil Forbes attended the awards ceremony alongside his wife the Mayoress Jacquelyn Forbes on 9th October at Congleton Town Hall to collect the awards on behalf of the Town.

Cllr Forbes said “it was an honour to attend the Cheshire Community Pride awards on behalf of Knutsford and see the Town receive such recognition for the Heritage Centre, the Town Council Website thanks to the work put in by the Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Garner and of course coming second only to Sandbach in the Best Kept ‘Village’ category for our population size. Knutsfordians can be very proud of these achievements.”

Neighbouring parishes Mobberley and Plumley with Toft and Bexton also received accolades on the night with Mobberley being Highly Commended in the new “Les George OBE award” Category for the best community Playing Fields for Hall Bank Playing Field which has recently been refurbished sympathetically within the Conservation area and proved to be a popular hub for the community.

Angela Atkinson, Vice Chairman of Mobberley Parish Council said “we are very proud to have been Highly Commended; this area is a peaceful little “oasis” within the village.”

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Neighbourhood Plan Public Meeting

A public meeting will be held in the Cranford Suite, Curzon on Tuesday 7th October at 7pm to discuss the prospect of creating a Neighbourhood Plan for Knutsford.

Organised by the Town Council, which has a commitment to investigate a Neighbourhood Plan for Knutsford as part of its 2020 Vision, the meeting is open to all residents, community organisations, property owners and businesses in Knutsford.

Neighbourhood plans establish general planning policies for the development and use of land in the neighbourhood, such as where homes should be built and what they should look like. The plan could be as detailed or general as the residents of Knutsford want.

Neighbourhood Plans can decide where and what type of development should happen and include policies on aspects such as design standards, providing more detail on existing policies within the Local Plan. The key aspect is that it cannot conflict with the Local Plan prepared by CEC.

The meeting, hosted by the Town Council, will feature presentations from Cheshire East Council and Cheshire Community Action on what can be achieved from a Neighbourhood Plan and how they fit alongside the Local Plan.

“The purpose of the meeting is to enable the community to ask questions to help determine if producing a Neighbourhood Plan is right for Knutsford” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Garner.

Neighbourhood planning must be led by the Town Council, but would involve a committee of representatives from across the town.

“The community engaged thoroughly with the Local Plan process and this is the next step. Other towns and parishes are also embarking on the process and Cheshire East Council is offering support and resources to reduce the costs of its production.”

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Mayor pays tribute to Cllr Clive Nicholson

It was with deep sadness that the Town Council announced the death of Cllr Clive Nicholson; who passed away on Thursday September 11th. The Knutsford flag was flown at half mast on the day of the announcement and will be flown again on the day of his funeral. The thoughts of all members and officers of the Town Council are with Clive’s family.

Town Mayor, Cllr Neil Forbes prepared the following eulogy:

“Clive was a hard working councillor who believed if something was worth doing it was worth doing well, especially when on behalf of the Knutsfordians he represented. Some might consider him a little old fashioned as he much preferred the personal approach of ‘phone calls and face to face meetings rather than the current ‘addiction’ of emails and being ‘glued’ to computer screens.

He enjoyed a robust discussion and would call a spade a shovel before metaphorically burying you with it if your argument was weak in committee or council meetings. However win or lose the debate he recognised it for what it was; politics and would always be happy to share a pint or two afterwards.

Clive’s previous experience as a senior local authority officer meant he had a wealth of experience to call upon as well as from being Mayor’s consort to Jan’. Clive and his sage words will be missed greatly. He will be a ‘hard act to follow’.”

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Great Knutsford Cake Off

Budding Mary Berrys and Paul Hollywoods put their baking skills to the test on Sunday 3rd August and entered the Great Knutsford Cake Off to raise funds for the Mayor’s Charity Knutsford Grow and good cause St John’s Wood Lunch Club!

The event organised by the Town Council raised over £240 both from entrants into the competition and from selling the cakes produced by the adult entrants to the public on a stall at the Makers Market on Sunday.

The Judges; Dave Mooney from New Moon Pub Company, Pippa Orford from sponsors Waitrose and Kane Gunter from Community Spirit and Knutsford GROW praised the quality of the entries particularly from those under 16.

Town Mayor Cllr Neil Forbes said “It was clear from the quality of the cakes entered into the competition that those taking part had spent considerable time and effort producing their creations and I am very grateful to them for doing so to help raise money for such worthwhile causes. I would also like to thank our judges, sponsor Waitrose and our supporters the Makers Market and Monckton Properties for their assistance in making the event possible. ”

There were two judging categories under 16’s and over 16’s and the winners were:

Under 16s

  • 1st Place Bella Manley with a Lemon Drizzle cake
  • 2nd Place Mia Wheatley with a Lemon & Thyme Loaf
  • 3rd Place Ellie Froggatt with a Caribbean Coconut Cake

Over 16s

  • 1st Place Jenny Gough with a Rainbow Cake
  • 2nd Place Stewart Gardiner with a Chocolate & Cola Cake
  • 3rd Place Sarah Flannery with a RHS Themed Victoria Sponge

The first placed winners in each category received a trophy and Waitrose vouchers with rosettes being presented to the 2nd and 3rd place entrants. All under 16 entrants received a certificate for entering the contest. Bella Manley also kindly donated her cake to be sold to help raise funds for the charities.

Photographs featured courtesy of Sam Benskin

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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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