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

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.

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.

An old sign stating "to car park"

Council responds to CEC Parking Survey

Knutsford Town Council is encouraging residents to ensure their voices are heard on all matters parking as part of the Cheshire East Council paring survey. The borough council, which operates the majority of car parks and parking enforcement in the town, will use the feedback to develop its parking policy for the next five years.

The Events and Town Centre Management Committee of the town council has agreed its own submission to the survey where it calls on Cheshire East to closely involve the Town Council with any proposed changes to parking charges and policy in Knutsford.

The Town Council’s response, available here: Town Council Parking Survey response, urges Cheshire East to implement the parking proposals in the From Top to Bottom Street report which was supported by 79% of respondents at consultation in February 2020.

Amongst the points made by the Town Council it is calling for the development of at least one well designed multi-storey car park to increase parking provision, the introduction of long-stay parking at the Booths car park and a redesign Tatton Street car park to increase the number of spaces.

Responding to questions on potential changes to parking policy, the town council has lodged its objection to parking charges being introduced on Sundays and says that charging in the evening should only ever be introduced in a town if its town council consents. The Town Council has also said that on-street charging shouldn’t be introduced and that each town should have parking charges appropriate to the needs of the specific town centre.

The Town Council has also urged Cheshire East to move the coach parking from Tatton Street car park, where coaches cannot actually get to them, to the Bus Station. This will enable the town council to commence work on promoting the town to coach operators and boost tourism.

The Town Council is also calling on Cheshire East Council to invest in parking enforcement and ensure that illegal and inconsiderate parking is enforced and targeted at problem areas with local knowledge.

Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Green said “Effective and appropriately enforced parking is vital for the success of our town centre and this is an opportunity to ensure Cheshire East Council hears directly from residents to help shape future parking policy.

We have made a number of proposals for improvements to parking and offered our commitment to work closely with Cheshire East to ensure that any changes are right for Knutsford”

The Town Council has also highlighted that more must be done to address the inequality of access to the town centre by non-car users and is committee to work with Cheshire East Council to deliver covered cycle parking at all car parks.

The survey can be completed at: https://surveys.cheshireeast.gov.uk/s/vztq7t and closes on 31st January.

NHS logo with the word 'Vaccinations' on a blue background

Coronavirus Vaccinations

Vaccinations against COVID-19 are beginning in Knutsford from this weekend. Led by the Knutsford Medical Partnership which operates the three doctor surgeries in Knutsford, the vaccinations will take place at Knutsford Hospital on Bexton Road.

The aim is to vaccinate all those entitled under the first phase of vaccinations within the next 10 weeks; starting with those over 80 years of age.

There is no need to contact your doctor to arrange your vaccination as the surgeries will directly contact you if you are eligible; this will be either by letter or telephone. Those over 80 should expect to be contacted within the next seven days. Please wait to be contacted and avoid contacting the surgeries directly as this will slow the process down.

As a result of the vaccine rollout the doctor surgeries are extremely busy at this time; the surgeries remain open for those requiring medical attention or who have developed new illnesses but we can all play our part in supporting the NHS and our local doctors by not contacting the surgery about non-urgent matters such as an ingrowing toenail you have had for a few weeks. 

Professional medics, such as retired doctors or nurses, who can assist with delivering the vaccinations should contact Sophie Hulme on sophie.hulme2@nhs.net

You can support the vaccine rollout by volunteering to assist with the administration and marshalling of the vaccination clinics. This is being coordinated by Knutsford Rotary Club who are coordinating short (2.5hr) shifts for volunteers between 8:30am and 4pm. If you can volunteer please contact either We are Knutsford on 01565 364 785 or the Knutsford Hosts on knutsfordhosts@gmail.com

When attending the hospital for a vaccination directly (by car, walking or cycling) please enter via the normal door. If being dropped off or taking a taxi, please enter via the Bexton Court entrance.

Please note, patients are required to remain on site under supervision for 15 minutes after receiving a vaccination and at this stage no refreshments can be provided to attendees.

Mayor Presents Certificate for Christmas Window Competition to Geralds of Knutsford

Christmas Window Competition Winners 2020

Town Mayor, Cllr Stewart Gardiner and Managing Director of Knutsford based Forum of Private Business, Ian Cass, toured the town centre to judge the efforts of local businesses in the annual Knutsford Christmas Window Competition.

Each year the standard of the Christmas Window displays continues to get higher and higher. All the Town Centre window displays were viewed as part of the competition though we had formal entries from a large range of retailers and businesses including, but not limited to; Holly Johnson Antiques, Kanoa Living, Cheshire Quality, Arthur Lee, Nicholas Austen, The White Orchid, Dafferns, Mr Simms and Clare and Illingworth.

The overall winner was presented with a trophy and certificate with highly commended certificates going to the runners up.

This year the winner was Gerald’s of Knutsford with Nicholas Austen coming in 2nd place and Daniella Draper in 3rd place. There was also a prize for the best dressed Charity Shop window; this was won by Barnados on Tatton Street.

Mayor Presents Certificate for Christmas Window Competition to Nicolas Austen

Cllr Stewart Gardiner said “I was impressed at how people had gone the extra mile in their window displays this year. Everybody should be extremely proud of their efforts in making the town look particularly festive. Picking winners was especially difficult and six or seven shop fronts were in the running for first place. However, there could only be one winner, Gerald’s of Knutsford!”

Mayor Presents Certificate for Christmas Window Competition to Daniella Draper
Engraved stone column with the names of Kings of England

By-Election Opportunity

Electors living in Knutsford’s Bexton Ward have the opportunity to request an election to fill the vacancy created following the death of Cllr Barbara Hamilton Coan.

If ten electors write to Cheshire East Council before 7th January requesting a by-election to fill the seat an election will be triggered. If an election is not triggered the existing councillors will choose a new councillor to fill the vacancy.

Under current legislation an election will be held in May 2021 as all elections, national and local, have been suspended until this date. Any election will be held on the same day as the election for the vacancy on Nether Ward. If no election is called a new councillor will be co-opted in March.

To request an election electors must write to: The Returning Officer, Cheshire East Council, Westfields, Middlewich Road, Sandbach, CW11 1HZ stating they wish to request a by-election of the vacant Bexton Ward seat on Knutsford Town Council, giving their full name and address.

Recognising the delays in postal services due to coronavirus and Christmas, Cheshire East Council will also accept service of this demand by email to electoral.information@cheshireeast.gov.uk to ensure it is received by the deadline of 7th January but require that a hard copy is posted at the same time to comply with Electoral Commission guidelines.

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

Students – apply for the Millennium Bursary

Second year university students from Knutsford are encouraged to apply for the Millennium Bursary from Knutsford Town Council.

Since 2000 the Town Council and Knutsford Lions have offered a £500 bursary to a second-year student from Knutsford to assist with their final year studies. The Knutsford Lions often also provide further smaller awards to runner-up students.

The bursary is open to all second-year university students whose term-time address is in Knutsford or Toft. To apply, students simply need to complete a short form giving a background to their studies and how the bursary will help them achieve more at university.

The deadline for applications is 21st December. The application form can be completed online at: www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/services/millennium-bursary

All applicants will be invited to an interview in early January with the Town Mayor and Knutsford Lions who will seek to better understand how the bursary can help students’ studies.

Mayor presents cheque to Netball Club

Community Grants Deadline Approaches

The deadline is approaching for groups in Knutsford to apply for funding from the Town Council’s community grants scheme.

Grants of up to £1,500 are available from the Town Council for projects which meet one of its grant outcomes: providing improved opportunities/services for under 18s or over 65s, providing new or improved assets or services which benefits a significant percentage of residents and projects which enhance the profile or reputation of the town.

Previous grant awards from the council have included £1,500 to 2nd Knutsford Scouts towards resurfacing the driveway at their scout hut and £650 to the Knutsford Talking Newspaper to purchase new equipment.

“We’ve been able to fund some excellent community projects through our grant scheme in the past and invite community groups, sports clubs and charities to submit applications to us at any time throughout the year” said Town Clerk Adam Keppel-Green.

The council will not fund salaries, hospitalities, religious organisations (except for non-religious activities), core school expenditure or projects with party political links.

The deadline for the final round of applications in the current financial year is 11th December, with decision being made by the council in January 2021. More information on the grant scheme and the application forms are available at: www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/services/community-grants

The Knutsford Jubilee Arch

Notice of conclusion of audit

The audit of accounts for Knutsford Town Council for the year ended 31
March 2020 has been completed and the accounts have been published.

The Annual Governance & Accountability Return is available for
inspection by any local government elector of the area of Knutsford
Town Council on application to:

Adam Keppel-Green (Town Clerk and RFO)
Council Offices, Toft Road, Knutsford, WA16 6TA
townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk

Between the hours of 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday.

Copies will be provided to any person on payment of £0

Announcement made by Adam Keppel-Green, Town Clerk and RFO

You can view the Annual Governance & Accountability Return here: www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/council/finance

Date of announcement: 25/11/2020