A graphic which says make a change, become a councillor.

Become a Councillor

On Thursday May 6th two by-elections will be held to fill the vacancies on Bexton ward and Nether ward.

The elections process will start at the end of March when the notice of election is published. Potential candidates will then have until 4pm on Thursday 8th April to hand deliver their nomination papers to Cheshire East Council, the elections authority.

We’ve added a new section to our website to help you understand how you could become a councillor. Check it out here: Become a Knutsford Town Councillor Page

Full details on the elections will be available on our Elections Page.

The skips as Knutsford Waste Recycling Centre

Two Day Closure for Recycling Centre

Knutsford Household Waste Recycling Centre will be closed for two days in March for essential site maintenance.

The centre will be closed all day on Tuesday 2 March and Wednesday 3 March so that the works can be carried out safely.

Cheshire East Council would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

More information about Cheshire East’s household waste recycling centres can be found at: cheshireeast.gov.uk/waste

A path through St Johns Wood

St John’s Wood Meeting

“How can we improve St John’s Wood” is the question Cllr James McCulloch will be asking at a community meeting next week.

Knutsford Town Council is hosting a virtual meeting to discuss how the woodland, which is owned by Cheshire East Council and Great Places, could be improved for the community through the establishment of a Friends of St John’s Wood community group.

Cllr James McCulloch, one of six Over Ward councillors on the town council, is the council’s appointed representative for a Friends of St John’s Wood group and he lives close to the woodland in Gaskell Rise, Longridge.

Hosting the meeting using Zoom, the Town Council wants to hear from those who visit the woodland which sits between Longridge, Boothfields and Southfields as well as the residents living nearby. The meeting will also be streamed to Facebook where residents can comment along to have their voices heard.

The meeting will be an opportunity to discuss how St John’s Wood can be improved and what the community wants to see change and what it wants to stay the same.

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 St John’s Wood. All residents are welcome to join the meeting and there is no obligation to put oneself forward for the committee.

Cllr McCulloch said “St John’s Wood is a wonderful community space in the heart of over ward and is long overdue for investment and improvement. This meeting aims to kickstart this and hopefully over the coming months we’ll see some great changes to this much loved woodland“

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 16th February. For details of how to join the meeting visit: www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/sjw

Two men looking at a stage wearing t-shirts which say "crew" on the back

Knutsford Music Festival 2021

Knutsford Music Festival is set to return this summer from 11th – 13th June 2021!

Festival organisers at Knutsford Town Council are working on plans to bring back the popular event this summer. The festival was launched in 2017 and enjoyed three successful years before the pandemic saw its cancellation in 2020.

Organisers are hopeful to run the festival this summer, bringing together an array of musicians in a three-day celebration of local talent. The event will feature festival staples including Mark Radcliffe presents Folk at the Theatre, which runs across the three days of the festival and features Folk Award nominees and winners, hosted by the popular BBC Radio 2 and 6 presenter.

The festival will also bring back Music on the Moor, the open-to-all Saturday afternoon session which features live acoustic music, entertainment and activities for families and new features to include food and drink vendors at the free four-hour event. Organisers are also exploring a second Sunday afternoon session to offer more free and safe fun for local people to enjoy during the festival.

Some fringe events may return to local businesses which offer free alternatives to headline events, where local bars, restaurants, pubs and more will host local musicians for some relaxed entertainment.

Any musicians wanting to apply to perform at this year’s festival can get in touch by contacting info@knutsfordmusicfestival.com with some information about you, links to videos and websites or social media pages.

Knutsford Town Council will continue to monitor the current lockdown situation and whether the event can go ahead and will provide updates to the public as plans proceed. For full updates and news you can visit www.knutsfordmusicfestival.com or follow the festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

An image with text stating "Census 2021"

Census 2021 is coming..

Households across Knutsford will soon be asked to take part in Census 2021.

The census is a once-in-a-decade survey that gives the most accurate estimate of all the people and households in England and Wales. It has been carried out every decade since 1801, with the exception of 1941.

It will be the first run predominantly online, with households receiving a letter with a unique access code, allowing them to complete the questionnaire on their computers, phones or tablets.

“A successful census will ensure everyone from local government to charities can put services and funding in the places where they are most needed,” Iain Bell, deputy national statistician at the Office for National Statistics, said.

“This could mean things like doctors’ surgeries, schools and new transport routes. That’s why it is so important everyone takes part and we have made it easier for people to do so online on any device, with help and paper questionnaires for those that need them.”

Census day will be on March 21, but households across the country will receive letters with online codes allowing them to take part from early March.

The census will include questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. And, for the first time, there will be a question asking people whether they have served in the armed forces, as well as voluntary questions for those aged 16 and over on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Results will be available within 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.

For more information, visit www.census.gov.uk or email michael.cash@field.census.gov.uk

The Knutsford Jubilee Arch

Council Precept Reduced

Knutsford residents will see the council tax paid to Knutsford Town Council decrease from April as the Council honours its commitment to reduce the precept as part of the 2021/22 budget. The total precept (amount collected through council tax) decreases by £55,697 from £511,118 to £455,421 meaning a Band D property will pay £78.61 over the year to the Town Council, a decrease of £9.41.

Residents in Knutsford pay the 7th lowest precept of the 13 towns in Cheshire East, lower than Nantwich (£174.79), Congleton (£91.09), Sandbach (£83.88), Poynton (c. £83.21), Holmes Chapel (£82.79) and Alsager (£79.46).

The council’s total budget for the 2021/22 financial year is just over £660,000 and includes provision for the by-elections in the Nether and Bexton wards (estimated cost £6,500 each) and additional spending to support the recovery of the town centre following the impact of lockdowns.

The council’s budget also includes two new larger grants; £2,420 to Knutsford GROW to support the reinvigoration of the charity and £15,520 to The Welcome to support the charity and fund counselling to support older residents following the impact of lockdown and self-isolation.

The budget continues provision for the Town Council to lead reviews of the five Conservation Areas which have been delayed due to COVID and provides funding for the continued implementation of the Nature Action Plan tree planting programme which starts in March.

The full budget is available to view on the council’s website at www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/council/finance 

Photograph showing rows of graves in Knutsford Cemetery

Memorial Safety Inspections

On Thursday 21st January Knutsford Town Council is commencing a programme of routine memorial safety testing in Knutsford Cemetery. All memorials are required to be tested for safety every five years and the council is undertaking tests on every memorial in the cemetery over the coming months to bring records fully up to date as no records of memorial safety were passed on to the council when it took the cemetery back in 2020.

Testing will be conducted by section in the following order: A, B, L, M, C, D, E, F, J, H, G, K, D.

The testing involves applying a small amount of pressure to the top of a memorial to identify if the memorial is properly anchored into the ground and no damage is done to a memorial through this test. Every memorial which fails the test will be immediately but temporarily made safe. Most memorials failing the safety check will be supported with a stake and banding; where this is not possible the council may have to cordon an area of the cemetery off or temporarily lay the memorial down. After testing in each section of the cemetery has been completed, the council will write to the burial rights holder advising what works are required.

It is the responsibility of burial rights holders to maintain memorials and they will be responsible for any repair costs. The Town Council will look to secure a discounted rate for any memorial repairs from a registered memorial mason using its purchase power to reduce the repair cost for individual grave owners; grave owners will also be able to arrange their own repair through the usual memorial works approvals process with the council.

Town Clerk Adam Keppel-Green said: “Undertaking these tests are an important part of managing safety at the cemetery. For a period, a number of graves may be staked and feature warning notices – we will endeavour to keep this period as short as possible and the swift cooperation of burial rights holders will help keep the cemetery presentable.”

“We are also taking the opportunity to remind burial rights holders to ensure their contact information is up-to-date; if you own a grave in the cemetery but have moved house since it was purchased please check with us that we hold your latest address so that any letters make it to you”

The Town Council is also encouraging visitors to family graves to consider who might own the grave. Burial rights last around 100 years and there is a process for the rightful owner of a grave claiming the rights to graves where the owner has passed away.

If you have any questions about the cemetery, the programme of memorial testing or transferring burial rights please call us on 01565 653 929 or email cemetery@kntusfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

Town Ranger Bob Garner holding two bird boxes

Bird and Bat Boxes Installed

After opening a (bug) hotel last year Knutsford Town Council is now offering seasonal lodgings for birds and bats after installing 21 bird and bat boxes on its open spaces as part of its Nature Action Plan.

Boxes were installed on mature trees at the cemetery, Higher Town Green, Wallwood and the Obelisk green, the four open spaces which are managed by the town council.

The boxes were all made by the council’s Planning and Facilities Officer, Bob Allen, who volunteered his time to create them with his son. Bob’s role includes coordinating the work of the council’s Nature Action Plan and he is currently preparing plans for the council’s first major tree planting scheme in March.

Bob created a number of bat boxes and a range of bird boxes tailored for the demands of some of our most common feathered friends – great tits, sparrows, blue tits and robins.

Bob said, “I enjoyed making the boxes with some help from my son Edward and it is rewarding to see them up on our open spaces.”

“The next stage of our Nature Action Plan is to commence our ambitious tree planting programme and we hope to share details of the areas we’ll be covering this year very soon”

The boxes were installed by Knutsford’s Town Ranger, Bob Garner who will ensure they are cleared out each year to encourage new visitors the following season.

The Knutsford Nature Action Plan was adopted in March 2020 as part of the council’s commitment to tackling climate change and improving the town’s biodiversity and natural habitats. You can find out more about what Knutsford Town Council is doing for nature as part of the Nature Action Plan at www.kntusfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/natureactionplan

Adopt a Shop Logo

Adopt a Knutsford Shop Launches

Knutsford is to launch its own Adopt a Shop Scheme after seeing it promoted by High Street guru Mary Portas, and its success in Dublin, and other UK towns. The scheme sees residents champion their three favourite local shops – shops that make their town special and which if they were to close would be most missed.  Using the #adoptaKNUTSFORDshop hashtag they commit to spending money in their adopted shops, talk about them, and promote them via social media and amongst their friends and family.  They also ask three friends to do the same and help the network of adopters grows.  Some examples of what people can do are:

  • Tweet a selfie outside your adopted shops
  • Share a photo of your latest haul
  • Share a video talking about what you most love about them.

The scheme caught the eye of Sarah Flannery, founder of local volunteer group Knutsford Hosts.  Sarah said, “Many communities are trying to support their local economy and when I heard about this initiative which started in Dublin, I thought it could be brilliant for Knutsford. We’re all doing much more online now, and this is a really innovative way for residents to support the businesses that are most dear to them and for businesses to engage online with their customers.

We all have our favourite shops; #AdoptaKnutsfordShop simply lets us tell everyone! It’s wonderful to see the Town Council support the idea. Making a conscious effort to give our favourite businesses our support will not only help them keep their virtual doors open, it’ll give us all some pleasure to champion our favourites.”  Knutsford Lions are also on board, Paul Buttrick said, “We heard about the #AdoptaKnutsfordShop initiative at our meeting, Knutsford Lions fully support this anything that helps bring back vibrant life to our town after the pandemic.”

Local resident and Radios 2 and 6 DJ, Mark Radcliffe is also on board saying, “During lockdown there have been many local businesses that have provided a lifeline, a friendly face and a valuable service. This scheme is a chance to show the people who work there how much we appreciate their resilience and good humour. The challenges faced in retail have made us all focus more on our local high street and we have learned afresh not to take it for granted and to show our support and thanks for the people keeping those establishments up and running’.

Sandra Curties, Town Centre and Marketing Officer at Knutsford Town Council, said, “We are always looking at ways of promoting our local shops and never more so than present.  When Sarah contacted us about the scheme, it was obviously one we knew we and our community could champion.  We will start by working with members of the Knutsford Hosts and Knutsford Lions, hoping to get #AdoptaKnutsfordShop trending on social media, mentions in the local press and maybe some live videos!”

If anyone wishes to take part in the scheme, please contact Sandra.curties@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk 

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

Sarah receives Millennium Bursary

Knutsford Town Council has awarded its 2020 Millennium Bursary to Sarah Healey who is studying English Literature with Creative Writing at the University of Leeds.

Sarah, who attended Knutsford Academy, is in her second year of the programme and is interested in feminist narratives, narratives outside the western world and renaissance. The £560 bursary will be used to supplement her studies by buying more books, attending literary festivals and venture to research facilities.

Sarah said: ‘In the hope that I secure a placement for next year, the bursary will help minimise the stress of finding accommodation and alleviate travel expenses. Given the current situation, the bursary will be of huge benefit to my studies and will allow me to attend more prestigious literary festivals which I have yet to experience.’

The annual Millennium Bursary is awarded in partnership with the Knutsford Lions and supports a Knutsford student from in their second year of university with the aim of supporting their final year project/dissertation.

Knutsford Lions made two supplementary bursaries of £125 each.

Sarah Healey - winner of the 2020 Millennium Bursary

The first went to University of Cambridge student Bree Livesey who is studying Geography and the second to English Literature Student Helena Searle, who is also studying at the University of Leeds.

Michael Goldman, of Knutsford Lions, said: “It was a pleasure to talk to these enthusiastic undergraduates, each with a love of their own field of study and coping with the hard impact of the pandemic on their time at uni.  Reaching our final decisions was difficult with such good applicants.  The Lions have been participating in the Millennium Bursary awards since the outset and we are always pleased to make additional awards when good candidates apply.”

Town Mayor, Cllr Stewart Gardiner said: “I was very impressed with the four candidates; each of whom presented their respective qualities very well. While I enjoyed talking to these young woman and finding out about them, it was a very difficult task to identify one overall winner.

Whilst Congratulating Sarah, I would also like to thank each applicant for applying and take this opportunity to wish them all the very best in their future studies and trust that they will each realise their potential in whatever careers they choose to follow thereafter.”

Students currently in their first year of university should look out for the 2021 Millennium Bursary opening for applications in the Autumn.