Posts Tagged Town Clerk

Volunteers sought to transform garden

Volunteers sought to transform garden

Knutsford Town Council is appealing for volunteers to help regenerate a community garden in the town centre. The garden area behind Booths on Stanley Road is currently owned by Cheshire East Council, with the Town Council having expressed interest in improving the area for the community.
The Town Council recognises that this space has potential as a calm oasis in the centre of town and is keen to explore ways it can improve this area for residents and visitors. One option currently being explored is building a core of volunteers to help maintain a regenerated area.

“We have ideas of how the space could be improved for users, primarily by opening the space out, planting flowerbeds and relocating the benches to the centre of the garden” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Garner.

The Town Council would look to organise a number of ‘clear up’ days to prepare the site which could then be maintained by volunteers with support from the both the Borough and Town Councils.

Cheshire East Council would continue to maintain the majority of the site, including tending to the trees, grass and bushes whilst the Town Council would step in to deliver the enhancement of the area.

“We have written to nearby residents and already had some fantastically enthusiastic responses, but need a core of volunteers to make this sustainable” Adam added.

“At this stage we are appealing for volunteers to offer their time either for a clear-up day or to support the ongoing maintenance of the garden”.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact the Town Clerk on townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or 01565 653 929 by February 29th.

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Consultation on Roll of Honour

Knutsford Town Council has published the proposed Roll of Honour for the new central war memorial and is asking the public to review the list to ensure no-one is missed.Working with the Knutsford Royal British Legion the Town Council is planning to create a new war memorial in the Library Garden in commemoration of the centenary of World War I.

War Memorial Proposal

An early depiction of the statue in the proposed location. The actual new plinth is likely to be much larger to include the names.

Having received overwhelming support from the public on the plans through a consultation in 2015 the Town Council has been furthering the plans which it hopes could see the new memorial in place in 2016.

“It’s ambitious, but if all goes to plan we hope to be in a position to have the memorial ready for 2016” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Garner.

The new memorial, which will feature the statue of Haron Baronian currently outside the Memorial Hospital on Northwich Road, will have the roll of honour engraved into a new plinth.

“Our priority now is to ensure the roll of honour is correct and whilst we are quite confident that it is comprehensive are asking the public to review the list and let us know of any we might have missed.”  Adam added.

As well as those who gave their lives in the two World Wars, the new memorial will also include the names of those who have died in subsequent conflicts.

Town Mayor, Tony Dean added “I would like to thank Derek Empson and Sylvia Chaplin for their hard work researching and compiling this roll of honour and encourage everyone who lost family in conflict, who had a Knutsford connection, to review the lists”

The proposed roll of honour can be viewed here www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/consultations. The closing date is 29th February.

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Parking Enforcement Trial

A new trial has started in Knutsford which sees the Town Council locally directly the parking enforcement officers. The Town Council was approached by Cheshire East Council about the trial, which had been successful in Nantwich, with a view to providing a more targeted service.

The Town Council’s Environment Committee has been tasked with monitoring the trial’s success and will have oversight of parking issues in the town.

“The trial brings greater flexibility into the civil enforcement of parking in Knutsford with the Town Council now able to direct where and when parking officers focus their time” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Garner.

“This enables us to respond to concerns raised by residents, such as on twitter, in a way that just wasn’t possible before.”

Under the new arrangements the Town Council will have a say in when civil enforcement officers are in Knutsford such as introducing patrols after 6pm and on Sundays to minimise antisocial parking. However, the civil enforcement officers can only enforce parking restrictions where there are designated restrictions, such as double yellow lines, parking and bus bays and on Cheshire East car parks. Issues such as parking on footpaths and parking which causes obstruction to the road remain a matter for the Police.

“The Town Council encourages residents and businesses to highlight parking issues that require additional enforcement.”

“This will enable us to direct the officers to the areas of greatest need, at the right time”. Adam added.

If you know of a regular parking issue provide as much detail including the times and days in which the problem is occurring to townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or Council Offices, Toft Road, Knutsford, WA16 6TA.

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2016 Precept Agreed

Knutsford Town Council has set its annual precept demand at £247,108 a slight increase of £5,262. The precept, which is collected with Council Tax, funds the work of the Town Council in addition to the income it derives from its assets and sponsorships. In 2015/16 the precept worked out at £42.95 per year for each Band D property in Knutsford and this increases from April to £43.49, an increase of just 54p a year or 1.26%.

One of the new budget lines for the Council is £35,000 towards the production of the Neighbourhood Plan which will be supplemented by external grant funding. Other new budget lines include £2,000 set aside for improvements to public open spaces, £1,000 for investigating potential highway improvements and £2,500 towards commemorations of HM The Queen’s 90th Birthday.

The Council has also increased budgets allocated to the Cemetery to allow further improvement works to take place and agreed in principle to provide a grant of £6,000 towards the Heritage Centre’s planned Canute Millennial events.

“The budget process this year was especially thorough with both the committee’s themselves examining every line of their budgets for potential savings and the Finance Committee providing strict scrutiny of the budget submissions” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Garner.

“As a result, Knutsford looks set to continue to have the fourth lowest Band D Council Tax of the towns in Cheshire East”

View the agreed 2016/17 budget: 2016/17 Budget

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Open Spaces Survey

Knutsford Town Council is continuing to work towards meeting the aims of its 2020 Vision; now with a survey asking residents what should happen to the numerous areas of public open space in Knutsford. In the plan, adopted in 2014, the Council set out an aim of “ensuring Knutsford’s open and green spaces are protected and where possible, improved”.

The Town Council has created a map and database of all publically accessible land in Knutsford with a view to protecting the spaces for future generations and working with owners to make improvements and now wants to hear from residents what they think should happen to their spaces.

The Council has started the process of writing to residents living around a number of the identified spaces and is now appealing for all residents to share their thoughts on how areas could be improved.

“We want to hear from as many residents as possible on how they want to see their open spaces preserved; it could be that they need to just remain as they are or residents may feel that spaces would benefit from trees planting, benches installing etc.” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Garner.

The map of identified land can be viewed at www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/open-space and comments can be sent to the Town Clerk at townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or via the Council Offices.

“The feedback we receive will be shared with the owners of the land and also provide data for the emerging Neighbourhood Plan” Adam added.

The Town Council has already begun receiving feedback with one resident commenting “I think it is fantastic we have a council who recognise the importance of these open spaces”.

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Nominations Open for Town Awards

Nominations are now open for the 2015 Town Awards which aims to recognise those who give time for the Knutsford Community.

Town Clerk & FPB CEO

Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Garner and CEO of the Forum of Private Business, Phil Orford.

Sponsored for the third consecutive year by Knutsford based Forum of Private Business, the Town Awards will this year feature a special sponsor’s award – the ‘Young Entrepreneurs Award’ chosen by Forum of Private Business CEO Phil Orford and Sales Director Ian Cass.

There are four categories for nominations to be made are:

  • Civic Award – made to individuals who have worked to the benefit of the Knutsford community
  • Business Award – made to a business which has made a positive contribution to the Knutsford Community
  • Community Award – made to a community group or organisation which has worked to the benefit of Knutsford
  • Youth Award – made to an individual aged 21 or under who has worked to the benefit of the Knutsford community

“The Forum of Private Business is once again delighted to sponsor Knutsford’s Town Awards. The company and staff have played an integral part of our town’s activities for over 35 years and celebrating the civic, community, youth and business contributions is something we can all be rightly proud of. This year, the addition of the Young Entrepreneur Award will help bring or education, business and youth communities closer together” said Forum CEO Phil Orford

The 2014 awards saw 171 nominations submitted to the decision panel which had such a tough time deciding who should be given the 6 awards that it made commendations to an additional three community heroes.

“The aim of these awards is to recognise the unsung heroes in our community; those who give their time to the good of Knutsford; the businesses which go above and beyond in promoting the community they have become part of and the community organisations which make Knutsford such a special place to live” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Garner.

Nominations to the four categories can be made online at the Town Council website or at Knutsford Market, the library, the Welcome and Knutsford Heritage Centre. Nominations close on May 29th and the Awards will be presented at a special ceremony on Civic Sunday – June 28th.

Make your nomination – www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/community/town-awards 

Photo courtesy of the Knutsford Guardian.

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Meet the Funders Event

Knutsford Town Council has teamed up with Cheshire Voluntary Services Cheshire East (CVSCE) to host a ‘Meet the Funder’ morning at the Curzon. Free for Knutsford based community, faith and voluntary organisations to attend, the event will offer organisations to meet individually with a range of funding organisations.

Funders already confirmed to attend to promote their grant schemes include the WREN community fund, Heritage Lottery Fund, Cheshire East Council, Knutsford Town Council, Public Health Grants Schemes and Cheshire Community Foundation – with more to be confirmed.

“A key part of our 2020 Vision is to support volunteer organisations and charities” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Garner. “We hope that as many Knutsford organisations will attend as possible to discuss their funding requirements with a range of funding bodies”.

In addition CVSCE staff will be offering support with searching for funding and inviting groups to bring in draft funding applications for their read through service. Colleagues from their VOICE network will also be on hand to collect views from groups which can be fed back to local statutory organisations.

CVSCE Development Officer, Alison Ellison said “This is a great opportunity for local voluntary and community groups to meet face to face with a range of funders. Groups will be able to discuss future plans and funding needs and receive feedback from funders.”

The ‘Meet the Funders’ event will be held on Wednesday May 20th from 10am to 1pm in the Cranford Suite, Curzon.

Booking is now open for organisations to attend: https://www.cvsce.org.uk/civicrm/event/info?id=1668&reset=1. The event is free for Knutsford based organisations and members of CVSCE, for other voluntary groups a charge of £10 is made per organisation.

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2015 Annual Town Meeting

The 2015 Annual Town Meeting is to be held on Wednesday 22nd April in the Cranford Suite, Curzon. Organised by the Town Council, the meeting is a meeting of the Town and not the Council but is chaired by the Town Mayor.

Following on from the success of 2014 where a fantastic 18 organisations booked to speak, from the Knutsford U3A, Scouts and Beer Festival Committee – the Town Council is again appealing to organisations who would like to attend and give a 5 minute talk on their achievements in 2014 and plans for 2015.

“We want as many groups as possible to attend and give a short talk to the town – it’s a fantastic way to share success and ideas as well as raising awareness of what your group does” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Garner.

If your community group would like to book a slot to speak please contact the Town Clerk on townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or 01565 653929. You can find out more about the town meeting at www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/community/town-meeting

Adam added “The Town Meeting is all about listening to the residents; it is not a meeting of the Council but a meeting of the Town so we encourage as many interested residents to attend as possible and share their thoughts and ideas”
At the meeting you will be able to collect a copy of the Town Council’s annual report, make the first nominations for the 2015 Town Awards and find out more about what the Town Council has done during 2014.

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Council launches new Website

The Town Council has launched a brand new website in the hope to increase content and create a more efficient web presence.

This is the third new website launched by the Town Council since July; along with www.knutsfordmarket.co.uk and www.knutsfordneighbourhoodplan.org.uk – all of which were developed by the Town Clerk to improve the Council’s digital presence.

The new website is responsive to work with mobile phones and tablets and has social media integration to enable sharing of news articles. It has been developed to also help the Town Council achieve the Quality Gold Award under the Local Council Award Scheme.

“The new website will enable us to host more content and has a much more user friendly navigation system” said Adam Keppel-Garner, Town Clerk.

“There is plenty still to come as we add a directory of community organisations and venues, details of open spaces and information on the Citizens Advice Bureau.” Adam added. “We will then be adding information on the new Town Ranger scheme, and Allotments once they transfer to us”

The Council welcomes any feedback on the new website, suggestions for improvements and the reporting of any issues – just e-mail townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

In 2014 the Council’s website was awarded runner up in the Cheshire Community Pride awards for best community website. “I hope that this year, with our new website, we can win the category” Adam concluded.

Engage with the Council using Social Media:

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Christmas Weekend 2014

Christmas comes to Knutsford this weekend (29th/30th) with the annual Christmas weekend organised by the Town Council.

Christmas Market

Knutsford Christmas Market returns on Saturday 29th (12 noon to 7pm) and Sunday 30th (11am to 5pm) along Princess Street. The market includes an array of traders from Knutsford and Cheshire offering delicious foods and great gift ideas.

“We have a handpicked selection of some of the best local food and drink artisans for a fantastic Christmas offering” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Garner. “From macarons to cheese, local gin to local beer and a whole host of other tasty treats there really is something for everyone”.

The market will also feature great gift ideas and decorations “we have some incredibly talented artists and crafters at the market making it the perfect place to get some unique Christmas cards, Wreaths or find the perfect handmade gift” Adam added.

The market, which aims to bring footfall to the town centre and kick of the festive season in style will feature live entertainment and has been designed to complement the existing retail in Knutsford. Northwest Funfairs will be at the market with a traditional funfair on Princess Street car park (behind Waitrose). The Indoor Market will also be open for the duration of the Market.

Best of the Market

Visitors to the market on Saturday can be in with a chance of winning the “Best of the Market” thanks to Town Mayor, Cllr Neil Forbes. The raffle; in which one lucky entrant will win a huge selection of donated prizes from each of the market traders raises funds for the Mayor’s Charity and Good Cause, Knutsford GROW and St John’s Wood Lunch Club. Last year the prize was valued at over £300.

“Traders have been extremely generous and have donated some amazing prizes – the winner will be very lucky and all entrants will have helped raise money for two extremely worthy causes” said Town Mayor, Cllr Forbes.

Christmas Lights Switch On

A superb array of entertainment has been lined up for Saturday 29th from 4pm in Canute Place for the switching on of the Christmas lights. Silk 106.9 FM return to present the evening which will feature acts such as Rock Choir Knutsford, LIPA 4:19, Tatton Singers, Rokit Performing Arts, local band Three Wise Men, school choirs as well as the under 16s category winner of Knutsford has the Talent Factor.

Switching on the lights is Knutsford resident BBC Radio 2 and Radio 6 DJ Mark Radcliffe. Mark who is the recipient of 8 Sony Gold Awards also presents Glastonbury coverage for the BBC alongside Lauren Laverne and Jo Whiley.

“We are really excited about this year’s event and have a great line up of entertainment. Santa, the Mayor and Royal May Queen will all be on stage to help switch on the lights with our special guest, Mark Radcliffe. We are working alongside Knutsford based Event Buddha this year who will be adding some special Christmas Magic to Canute Place” said Deputy Town Clerk, Lisa Benskin.

The entertainment runs from 4pm until 7pm with the actual switch on around 6:30pm.

Santa and his trusted reindeer will parade up King Street on Saturday 29th at 4pm heading along into Minshull Street and finally Canute Place where Santa will greet the children. His reindeer, getting ready for the big day, will be held in a pen on Canute Place to enjoy the entertainment on stage.

Crib Service

The annual crib service will be held on Sunday 30th at 4pm outside the Old Town Hall. Mereside Brass will be performing 5 Christmas Carols chosen by the Mayor and everyone is welcome to join in the short service and carol singing.

Following the blessing of the crib, the new lighting display on the trees outside the Old Town Hall will be switched on. “The new display looks fantastic and will be a great culmination to the Christmas weekend” said Tony Dean, Chairman of the council Events committee.

“The Christmas Weekend is a highlight of the town calendar and we hope that everyone has a great time.”

Road Closures

To enable the Christmas Weekend events to take place safely, road closures will be in place across the weekend. On Saturday 29th November there will be a rolling road closure along King St from 3.45pm to 4.30pm to enable Santa and his reindeer to parade through the town.

Canute Place will be closed from 12 noon to 8pm on Saturday to enable the stage to be set up for the Light Switch On.

Princess Street will close from 7am to 8pm on Saturday 29th and from 6am to 7pm on Sunday 30th for the Christmas Market.

If you have any queries about the Christmas Weekend please call 01565 635929 and speak to Lisa or Adam.

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