Cllr Mike Houghton stands by a bin branded as Knutsford Town Council's against a green leafy background

Campaign to tackle dog fouling

Knutsford Town Council is spearheading a campaign to tackle the increase in dog fouling across the town and is calling on residents to help in one simple way – report the poos they find.

Using the information of where fouling occurs, the town council will take a targeted approach to tackling the issue in that area as part of a four pronged plan agreed by its Environment Committee.

Under its plan to tackle fouling the council may take a combination of the following actions:

  • Installing temporary signage to remind dog walkers of their responsibility to clean up after their dogs and the potential fines they can receive if they fail to do so.
  • Installing signage on existing litterbins so dog walkers know that dog waste can be deposited there
  • Installing dog poo bag dispensers so dog walkers don’t have the excuse that they don’t have a bag
  • Installing new litter or dog bins if there are none close by

There are 115 litter bins across Knutsford emptied by Cheshire East Council and these have been mapped by the Town Council ready to tackle the problem. It is no longer the case that dog waste can only be placed in dog bins – bagged dog poo can be deposited in any litter bin.

“Councillors have received an increasing number of complaints from residents about dog fouling and we are working to tackle this” said Cllr Mike Houghton who is leading the campaign.

“Whilst the majority of dog owners are responsible and clean up after their pets, we are looking to take away the common excuses of the minority who are causing the problem.”

“We are asking all residents to help us by reporting fouling they come across so we can map the issue and determine the best approach for stopping the fouling in that location”

Residents can report fouling using the free PooperSnooper app (see website here: which creates a map of fouling reports to help the council understand exactly where fouling is the biggest problem. Residents can also report fouling by emailing with a description of the location.

The Town Mayor, wearing his chain of office, stands in 60 King Street where ripped wallpaper can be seen in the foreground

Funding Bid for 60 King Street

A firm of specialist consultant partners who are experts in reimagining historic buildings for sustainable future use have been engaged by Knutsford Town Council with the aim of securing a significant investment to renovate and breath fresh life into its property at 60 King Street.

The consultants, who have supported the regeneration of historic buildings across the UK, will be assisting the council in creating a costed business case and options for the building to operate sustainably. The council is looking to secure a significant Heritage Lottery Fund grant to regenerate the Grade II* listed building and bring it into operation as a mixed-use community, civic and commercial space.

This early consultancy phase of work, including the exploration of options and the development of funding sources is being completed by the consultants on the basis that compensation and future work is subject to funding success.

“We are looking at an exciting new approach to bring this iconic building back to life” said Town Mayor, Cllr Stewart Gardiner “Over the coming months we will be working with our consultants to develop proposals for the building and are optimistic about our prospects of securing funding to rejuvenate one of the town’s landmark buildings”

60 King Street was formerly home to La Belle Epoque but has been vacant since June 2019 when that company went into administration. Over the past two years the Council has sought to obtain a new tenant through national estate agents Savills and had been in negotiation with a prospective tenant. Negotiations folded in early 2021 with the business withdrawing due to the scale of investment required in the building which similarly deterred other potential tenants.

The Council was then faced with the tough decision of either selling the building or needing to borrow significant monies to fund upfront repairs. A report prepared by surveying firm Fisher German highlighted a likely expenditure in excess of £675,000 being required in the next 10 years as the 116-year-old building requires re-roofing, in addition to render and stonework repairs plus the renewal of a concrete deck amongst a range of other smaller works.  The building also needs a new heating system not to mention extensive redecoration owing to the building being left in a very poor internal condition by the former tenant.

“Our goal with 60 King Street has been for it to be in active use, good repair and to deliver a surplus for the council to reduce the precept. We were naturally disappointed that it was not possible to secure a tenant for the whole building due to its condition.” said Cllr Peter Coan, Chairman of the Assets and Operations Committee.

“We are hopeful that this new approach will secure a sustainable future for the building, and we have engaged the consultants on terms which ensure that if they are unable to win funding there will be no cost to the Council.”

If you have any questions about this article please email

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

By-Election Results

TWO NEW councillors have been elected in by-elections held on Thursday 6th May; both by-elections had been delayed due to the suspension of elections during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bexton Ward by-election was called following the death of Cllr Barbara Hamilton Coan in November 2020 and two candidates sought election. Millie Morris (Conservative) was elected with 422 votes, defeating Amy Rosalind Hobson (Liberal Democrat) who secured 394 votes. The turnout was 38.78%.

In Nether Ward the by-election was called following the resignation of Cllr Katherine Fletcher in April 2020. Three candidates sought election but it was Scott Lowe (Independent) with 379 votes who was elected, beating Annie Greer (Conservative) with 319 votes and Bill Tenger (Liberal Democrat) with 162 votes. The turnout was 40.91%.

The Town Council congratulates its two newest members on their election and thanks all five candidates for putting themselves forward to represent their community.

An audience at the annual town meeting

2021 Annual Town Meeting

Knutsford Town Council is inviting residents to join its first virtual Annual Town Meeting next Tuesday evening and has booked two special guests for the evening: Claire Sawyer of We are Knutsford and Davina Armitage, owner of Cocoranti.

Claire will be giving a talk on how We are Knutsford was founded to support the community through the first lockdown and the great work it has been doing for Knutsford over the last year. Davina will be interviewed by Town Centre and Marketing Officer Sandra Curties as a special edition of her ‘behind the door’ talks with local businesses on how Davina adapted her business to survive the pandemic.

There was no town meeting in 2020 due to the coronavirus restrictions but legislation allows for the meeting to be held virtually for 2021. The meeting, which is chaired by the Town Mayor, is not a council meeting but an opportunity for the town to come together to raise and discuss issues affecting the community.

“The Town Meeting goes back over 100 years when it was how town councillors were elected; now it is an opportunity for residents to directly raise any issues that they feel need to be addressed by the council or wider community. It could be to draw attention to an issue, or to see if there are others in the community interested in working to tackle a problem” said Town Clerk Adam Keppel-Green.

The meeting starts at 7pm on Tuesday 4th May. Residents can either join via Zoom or watch live on Facebook. The agenda and more information is available at

A path through a woodland

College Wood Community Meeting

“How can we improve College Wood” is the question Cllr Andrew Malloy will be asking at a community meeting next week.

After a successful community meeting in February to set up a Friends of St John’s Wood the Town Council is now turning its attention to College Wood, the small woodland on Thorneyholme Drive which is owned by the Shrewsbury Roman Catholic Diocese.

Cllr Andrew Malloy, one of six Over Ward councillors on the town council, lives opposite the woodland and will chair the meeting which will be hosted on Zoom.

In 2019 the council secured the woodlands registration as a ‘town green’; a designation which permanently protects the public’s right to use the woodland for recreation. Now the council is keen to hear from those who visit the woodland and the residents living nearby to discuss how College Wood can be improved and what the community wants to see change and what it wants to stay the same.

The meeting will also be streamed to Facebook where residents can comment along to have their voices heard. 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 College Wood community group. All residents are welcome to join the meeting and there is no obligation to put oneself forward for the committee.

If any residents are unable to attend the meeting but want to comment on how the woodland could be improved, they can email or call 01565 653929.

The meeting will take place at 7pm on Tuesday 20th April. For details of how to join the meeting visit:  

Town Mayor stands at attention under a flag pole

Town Mayor’s tribute to HRH Prince Philip

At noon on Saturday, Town Mayor Cllr Stewart Gardiner laid a bouquet at the foot of the flagstaff outside the Town Council offices to mark the death of Prince Philip.

The Mayor, whose badge of office was covered by a black velvet pouch; as convention requires, was accompanied by his consort, the Deputy Mayor at other members of the Town Council.

This short ceremony took place 24 hours after the announcement from Buckingham Palace that His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh had died and coincided with the national 41-gun salute.

Before placing the bouquet of white roses and lilies in a vase, the Mayor said that he lay the flowers on behalf of all the people of Knutsford. He went on to say they were laid in memory of the Duke of Edinburgh, in thanks for his life and all his achievements and in the hope that he might Rest in Peace.

Standing for a short period in silence, after laying the flowers, the Mayor then read a short piece reflecting on death from ‘The Prophet’ by Kahlil Gibran which included the poignant line ‘For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one’ and ending quite hopefully ‘… and when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.’

The Mayor then thanked those who had attended the short Act of Remembrance.

Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh

Death of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

The Town Council is saddened to hear of the passing of His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh.

A condolence book will be opened at the Town Council Offices on Monday 12th April. Those who do not wish to visit the offices but wish to have their condolences recorded in the Town’s record can email them to

Floral tributes may be laid at the front of the Council Offices near the flagpole. We ask that where possible no plastic/cellophane is used.

The flowers will be collected after the funeral and composted; the compost will be used to fertilise a tree which will be planted in his memory.

Speaking on the announcement from the Palace, the Town Mayor Councillor Stewart Gardiner said:

“I was saddened to hear the news earlier today that The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh has died. On behalf of the people of Knutsford, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Her Majesty the Queen and to his children and grandchildren. I trust that all their wealth of shared memories will be of some consolation to them all at this very sad time.

I would also like to pay tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh for all he achieved; particularly for the World Wildlife Fund and with the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and to thank him for his unflinching service to our country; both as a naval officer during World War II and as Consort to the Queen.

God Save The Queen.”

The Town Council is encouraging residents to stand in their doorways for a minute silence at 3pm on Saturday 17th as part of a national silence.

A photo of a polling station sign

By-Election Candidates Announced

Both by-elections taking place on May 6th have been contested meaning electors in these wards will go to the polls to vote for who they want to see representing them on Knutsford Town Council until 2023.

Bexton Ward

Two candidates have stood for election.

Amy Rosalind HOBSON of 111 Ashworth Park (Liberal Democrats)

Millie MORRIS (address in Cheshire East) (Conservatives)

Nether Ward

Three candidates have stood for election.

Annie Greer (address in Cheshire East) (Conservatives)

Scott Lowe (address in Cheshire East) (Independent)

Bill Tenger of 33 Manchester Road (Liberal Democrats)

Register To Vote

If you were registered to vote in the last election and your details have not changed, you don’t need to take any action. If in doubt, you can check with Cheshire East Council on 0300 123 5016.

It only takes 5 minutes to register to vote and you can do this online at

 The deadline to register is midnight on 19 April 2021.

If you want to vote by post, you can apply to do this now. This will make sure your application is processed early, and your postal vote can be sent to you as early as possible.

To apply to vote by post you need to download, print and fill in a postal vote application form. If you can’t print the form, contact the Electoral Services Team at Cheshire East Council by calling 0300 123 5016 so that a form can be posted to you.

Once you have completed the form and signed it, you can email scanned forms to or post them to the Electoral Services Team, Cheshire East Council, Macclesfield Town Hall, c/o Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe, CW1 2BJ. 

The deadline to apply for a postal vote in is 5pm on 20 April 2021. 

If you are not able to vote in person, you can ask someone you trust to vote for you. This is called a proxy vote and the person is often referred to as your proxy.

To apply for a proxy vote, complete the form to vote by proxy, explaining why you can’t get to your polling station in person. The person voting on your behalf can either go to your polling station to vote or can apply to vote for you by post.

The deadline to apply for a proxy vote is 5pm on 27 April 2021.

Notice of By-Elections

The countdown to two by-elections for Knutsford Town Council has officially commenced with the publication of the formal notice of election.

The elections, which if contested will both be held on Thursday May 6th, were called following the resignation of Katherine Fletcher in April 2020 (Nether Ward) and the death of Barbara Hamilton Coan in November (Bexton Ward). The elected councillors will serve until the next full elections in May 2023.

Those vying for election can download nomination papers from the Electoral Commission website or from Macclesfield Town Hall and candidates now have until 4pm on Thursday 8th April to hand-deliver their nomination papers to the Returning Officer at Macclesfield Town Hall.

Candidates need a proposer and seconder living in the ward in which they are standing and must phone 01270 685922 to make an appointment to deliver completed nomination papers.

Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Green said “This is your opportunity to put yourself forward to represent the community and help direct the work of the town council. We will provide all the training and guidance that new councillors need, and councils are strongest with a diverse membership, so please don’t think that being a councillor is not for you.”

Unlike borough councillors, town councillors do not receive an allowance and freely give their time in service to the community.

Residents who are not yet registered to vote in the by-elections, which take place the same day as elections for the Police and Crime Commissioner, have until 19th April to apply – applications can be made online at  Applications for postal or proxy votes must be made by 5pm on Tuesday 20th April

Formal Notices

Notice of Election – Bexton Ward

Notice of Election – Nether Ward

A group sit in a circle playing drums

Music Festival Postponed to August

Knutsford Music Festival has been postponed to August 2021 by organisers Knutsford Town Council.

The festival, traditionally held in June, was due to feature from 11th to 13th June 2021, but has been rearranged for 13th to 15th August. This is to allow a better chance for the festival to proceed safely as the country slowly moves out of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions over the spring and summer months. The festival was launched in 2017 and enjoyed three successful years before the pandemic saw its cancellation in 2020.

The Town Council is keenly now planning for an August festival which will bring together an array of musicians in a three-day celebration of local talent. The event will feature festival staples including folk events, free Saturday afternoon session Music on the Moor as well as the fringe festival featuring many local businesses.

Music will also be brought directly to the town centre streets as musicians will entertain shoppers and visitors throughout the festival weekend.

Any musicians wanting to apply to perform at this year’s festival can still get in touch by contacting

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 or follow the festival on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.