In 2014 the Town Council adopted the 2020 Vision which sets out the Town Council’s strategic aims for the next 6 years. The vision is split into two areas, those directly within Town Council powers and those which involve the Town Council influencing and working with other bodies.
Committees were tasked with developing an action plan to set out how they will meet the aims assigned to them. These plans were then submitted to the Town Council for adoption.
1 Produce a Neighbourhood Plan reflecting the wishes of the residents and businesses of Knutsford in ‘the peoples’ vision for Knutsford.
The Council has established a Neighbourhood Plan Committee to develop a Neighbourhood Plan for Knutsford. You can find out more on the dedicated website www.knutsfordneighbourhoodplan.org.uk2 Use Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and other income to the benefit of Knutsford by providing tangible improvements to the town, whilst minimising the annual precept requirement.
Once a CIL agreement is put in place by Cheshire East Council the Town Council will seek to ensure it uses any CIL monies it receives on suitable projects. The Council also maximises other income streams, such as the Christmas Market, which helps reduce the precept required.3 Establish the appropriate level of ‘community space’ available to residents of Knutsford and organisations/activities based in the town. Ensuring this space is available and actively promoted to all residents, encompassing Knutsford’s wide age related and socio-economic need.
The Environment Committee is responsible for this aim and has arranged a survey of community spaces in Knutsford which will be followed by a survey of community organisations to determine their requirements.4 Undertake appropriate asset acquisitions from CEC to Knutsford Town Council, enhancing facilities and providing an improved service.
A working group has assessed all assets owned by Cheshire East Council to determine what would be suitable to transfer to the Town Council. The Town Council Offices and Booths Garden are on the list to transfer. You can find out more here.5 Develop the existing good relationship with businesses in Knutsford, working together to promote and enhance the economic vibrancy in the town.
The first step was to appoint a representative to the Promote Knutsford Forum (the Mayor) and to consider regular reports from that body. The Events Committee will also be working with business in Knutsford to improve Christmas Illuminations and minimise the impact of empty units within the town centre.6 Encourage, support and promote volunteer organisations and charities within Knutsford for the benefit of the town and act as a dependable signposting centre.
The Environment Committee is overseeing the development of a directory of community organisations which will be hosted on our website and available in hard copy. The Council will then be consulting organisations to find out what they need to develop.7 Evaluate the cost/benefit potential on the transfer of historical play areas in Knutsford from CEC to Knutsford Town Council improving recreational facilities across the town.
A working group has assessed all assets owned by Cheshire East Council to determine what would be suitable to transfer to the Town Council. Land at Ashworth Park and Longridge/North Downs has been identified for transfer, with former parks at Manor Crescent and Mobberley Road identified for stage 2. You can find out more here.8 Work with partners to protect the heritage and character of Knutsford, ensuring conservation areas, buildings, developments, modifications and materials are in keeping with Knutsford.
A working group has been established to begin reviewing the Conservation Areas and the Planning Committee will also be reviewing the listed buildings in Knutsford to ensure that all important buildings are suitably protected. The Planning Committee will also ensure it reflects the views of the community as expressed in the Neighbourhood Plan.9 Work with partners to ensure Knutsford’s open and green spaces, street trees and woodland are protected, maintained and safeguarded for the future.
The Environment Committee is overseeing the development of a community asset register of open spaces which will identify which bodies are responsible for the areas. The Committee will then be investigating if the spaces can be better utilised through partnership working with community organisations. The Committee will then look to ensure that any important trees are protected with TPOs.10 Work with Highways, Transport for Greater Manchester, rail, bus and other companies, to improve public transport and reduce road congestion in Knutsford and to consider diversion of ‘through traffic’ and reduced speed limits, where appropriate.
The Environment Committee will be assessing the findings of the Town Plan regarding traffic and highways to establish priorities and consulting with the public over their highways concerns and suggestions for improvements. The Town Council has lobbied for improvements to the Rail Services through CEC, our MP and other bodies. The Committee will then begin to look at working with CEC to promote usage of the bus services and establish if there are any gaps in pubic transport.11 Work with relevant partners to promote cycle routes and pedestrian access as a sustainable and healthy form of transport.
Details of the footpaths and rights of way within Knutsford will be published on the Town Council website and we will investigate potential improvements to the network with CEC and work with Cycle Knutsford to develop initiatives to promote cycling as a form of transport.12 Work with NHS bodies and CEC to hasten the delivery of the new primary healthcare provision for Knutsford in line with results of the public consultation
The Council’s Health and Social Care working group will be working with partners to push for a new primary healthcare facility as soon as possible.13 Consider taking on enforcement duties for low level anti-social activities from CEC.
The Assets and Operations Committee will be investigating potential enforcement duties which could be undertaken by the Town Council to deter low-level antisocial behaviour (littering, dog fouling etc).