Lache masterplan
  • Lache residents are invited to see the latest plans for Lache on Thursday 24 February, at a drop in between 12noon and 7pm at Lache Community Centre, Hawthorn Road.  There will be free refreshments and activities for all ages. The new Masterplan is the result of discussions and workshops with residents, local schools and youth groups and an in-depth analysis of the area. The final plan is due for completion in March 2022.  Councillor Val Armstrong, Chair of the Steering Group said: “The emerging plans are very exciting.  New designs will be shared during the drop-in session to make sure they include local aspirations from the ideas and suggestions given. Thanks to the many residents who have already worked with us during the different sessions. The drop-in is a chance to see where all your ideas have led. We want to continue this conversation making sure the plans will lead to the best improvements for Lache. Residents said that not everyone knows what activities are available, with better information needed.  They also talked about the great community spirit in Lache.”  The Masterplan includes a wide range of proposals and ideas :   The Community Centre could be redeveloped as a place that brings together many services under one roof including the library and health services. Residents could then find everything they need in one place including a range of services and advice.  There may be an opportunity to use buildings like the former butchers to create community enterprise locations with community café, repair café, arts and crafts café, knowledge exchanges and community rooms or kitchens.  The Masterplan includes suggestions for making sure the green spaces are welcoming for families to enjoy and for wildlife to flourish, including creating new Pocket Parks for residents to enjoy. The play facilities would welcome an upgrade alongside improvements in Sycamore Field.  Cliveden Road could be a safer and more welcoming shopping area, with outside eating areas, pedestrian crossing points, tree planting, rain gardens and parking bays. This will benefit residents and support local businesses.  There are also ideas for improving road safety for all residents including one-way traffic, road narrowing, parking bays, greening areas, pedestrian crossings, cycle signage, road markings and better street lighting. The Masterplan also considers the opportunities for building new housing where it’s needed for both families and single people. There are opportunities for new events to be held in Lache, including markets, adult education classes, local walks and history trails, possibly a repair shop where knowledge can be shared.” 
Reflect and Respect
  • A powerful new visual campaign has been launched across University of Chester sites in Cheshire to drive home the proactive message that violence against women and girls will not be tolerated. The awareness-raising campaign will be supported by the introduction of a network of Sexual Violence Liaison Officers for students at both the University and at Reaseheath College and University Centre Reaseheath. The campaign has been funded as part of the UK Government’s national Safer Streets initiative and received £550,000 following a successful bid from John Dwyer, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire. Police statistics nationally found that there was a significant demographic of 18 to 23-year-olds identifying as the victims of sexual violence. Although some incidents were reported, there was also significant under-reporting. Plans to help students feel safer across campuses include enhancing lighting and CCTV cameras; developing a student safety app; introducing new safe spaces where students can go to if they feel unsafe; and the introduction of a safe taxi scheme, allowing students to use their student ID card to get home if they feel unsafe. A series of workshops will also be delivered to promote acceptable behaviour and encourage healthy relationships, alongside training for staff on how to support victims and manage disclosures. Additionally, there will be dedicated Sexual Violence Liaison Officers who will be trained to provide a single point of contact for those who have experienced sexual violence. In addition, a ‘Respect’ campaign is being launched on February 18 and will include posters, billboards and digital signage around the University of Chester, Reaseheath College and University Centre Reaseheath, and in the surrounding areas. The thought-provoking campaign aims to alert people to sexual violence and controlling behaviours, encouraging young people to recognise the signs which could easily be overlooked.
  • A new public toilet block is now open in the former Gateway theatre at the back of the Forum shopping centre. The toilets replace the closed down market toilets until the new facilities open in the new market in the autumn. The toilets are open 10 -5 and Friday/Saturday evenings til 10pm.
  • “The Missing building” is a new exhibition at the Contemporary Art Space Chester (CASC) in the Forum from artist Neuza Morais. ” The Missing Building project explores how children and their families experience and understand the built environment and its possible re-interpretation. In the summer of 2021, we partnered up with Grosvenor Park Academy, Lache Primary School, and St Clare’s Catholic Primary School and distributed 30 architectural Kits to children and their families. Each kit contained 6 workshops, each relating to a building or landmark in Chester and materials to conduct the workshops. The 6th and final workshop was entitled the Missing Building and participants had no materials left besides the cardboard box itself. The purpose of this exercise was the letting go of patterns that limit ones thinking, expanding their creativity, and thinking outside the box.” The exhibition features children’s designs of buildings they would like to see in the city from an animal sanctuary to a Roman experience hotel, a wildlife museum and a sports and gaming centre. Visitors are encouraged to add their own building. Until 18th March. Gallery open mon/wed/sat 10 til 4 and fri 12-6.
  • Celebrations will be taking place across the borough this Fairtrade Fortnight (21 February – 6 March) as 2022 marks the 20th anniversary of Chester becoming the UK’s First Fairtrade City, as part of the Fairtrade Foundations Communities scheme. The borough’s Fairtrade Steering Group, which currently includes campaigners and supporters from Neston, Ellesmere Port and Chester, first secured Fairtrade status for Chester city in 2002 and for the borough in 2011. The achievement, spearheaded by Cheshire Development Education Centre, and supported by the Council and many individuals, community groups, churches, schools, and businesses, has seen the promotion of Fairtrade across the area over the last 20 years. Graham Proctor, who was the Lord Mayor of Chester at the time, said: “It was a great honour, as Lord Mayor, to sign the documents making Chester the first Fair Trade City in the UK.” John Tacon, Acting Chair of the Fairtrade Steering Group, said: “We’re proud that the Fairtrade Steering Group has successfully renewed Fairtrade status for the borough over the last 11 years and are celebrating Chester’s 20th anniversary of becoming a Fairtrade City. We’ve welcomed no less than eight Fairtrade producers and farmers to Chester, and some have made visits across the borough, inspiring so many by sharing their stories about how Fairtrade really does make a difference.” Fairtrade is a system of certification that aims to ensure a set of standards are met in the production and supply of a product or ingredient. For farmers and workers, this means workers’ rights, safer working conditions and fairer pay. For shoppers, it means high quality, ethically produced products. This year, the focus of Fairtrade Fortnight is climate change, and the growing problems this poses to farmers and workers within the Fairtrade community. The two-week period will highlight how climate change is a huge challenge for farmers and workers in countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia and Honduras, who face such issues as droughts, crop disease, floods and heatwaves, yet these are the countries who have contributed least to the causes of climate change. Events for the fortnight include : 25 February – Neston Fairtrade Town Steering Group Fairtrade stall at Neston Market,26 February , Fairtrade coffee morning at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church, Whitby Road, Ellesmere Port, 10am – 12noon, ,28 February – Cheshire West Fairtrade steering group is hosting a Fairtrade breakfast at Chester Cathedral, 1 March – Fairtrade talk focusing on chocolate at the Tuesday Club, The Centurion Pub, Vicars Cross, 4 March – Members of the Cheshire West Fairtrade steering group join the Lord Mayor for afternoon tea. 4 March – Traidcraft Big Brew at Neston Methodist Church and Community Centre Welcome Café, 9.30am – 12.30pm plus Oldfield Primary School, Vicars cross and Kingsley St John’s CE Primary School, Frodsham will host Fairtrade stalls. Chester Fairtrade shop, based in Wesley Church Centre, Chester, will be offering 10 per cent off everything during Fairtrade Fortnight. To find out more about how to take part in Fairtrade Fortnight in 2022, including online events, visit: 
  • Round One judging of the Taste Cheshire Sausage competition 2022 was completed this week at the University of Chester’s NoWFood facility. Now in its 15th year, Taste Cheshire’s annual Sausage competition goes from strength to strength. Butchers from across Cheshire, North Wales and the Wirral go head-to-head to compete for the honorary title of Best Plain sausage and Best Flavoured sausage of the festival. The first round of the competition sees around 14 local butchers entering and is judged at the University of Chester Now Food Centre in a blind tasting by industry professionals. These are whittled down to just three sausages in each category to go forward to the Grand Final at the Festival. A panel of 6 judges led by Chairman and four-time winner Steve Vaughan, included Tori Hayes from Taste Cheshire and returning judge, “sausage queen” Izzy Grey of We Love Good Times. New to the panel were champion of shopping local, Amanda Cope from Made in Northwich and Chester restaurateur, owner of Popcorn and sausage specialist Steve Davies, who deliberated in a blind tasting over sausages from right across Cheshire and North Wales. The finalists in the Plain Sausage Category are, S.J. Bebbington (Chester), Muffs of Bromborough and David Joinson Quality Meats (Chester). The Finalists in the Flavoured Sausage category are, Chestnut Meats (Nantwich) for their Pork and Tomato entry, Muffs of Bromborough for their Millennium Sausage entry and Pen-y-lan Pork for their Spiced Mango, lime and coconut. The final is judged by 40 members of the public judges at the Taste Cheshire Food and Drink festival on Sunday 17th April who will taste and vote these finalists to become the overall Sausage champions
  • TV PERSONALITY, author, artist and long-distance cyclist Timmy Mallett is coming to Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden. The Wacaday presenter, who has also appeared on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, will speak at the Library on Saturday February 26. He will discuss his book, Utterly Brilliant!: My Life’s Journey, which charts his 3,000-mile-long solo cycling Odyssey. In 2018, he pedalled alone from home, across Europe, to Santiago de Compostela in North West Spain and back again. Timmy said: “I was inspired by my brother Martin, who had Down’s Syndrome and with his language and learning difficulties always lived in the here and now, I’ve always loved that. We’d go out on a cycle ride together and I have a brilliant photo of him concentrating on the ride itself, rather than thinking about the next hill. He understood the ‘nowness’ of living, and that’s what I wanted to capture. My mission was to cycle alone across the continent without pre-booking accommodation, painting the landscapes and people I encounter. It’s not about the destination. It’s about the journey. During the grueling trek, he grappled with treacherous weather, as the ‘Beast from the East’ descended, bringing freezing cold and high winds. Despite these challenges, he produced a series of paintings based on the landscapes he encountered along the way. Timmy said: “I’m really looking forward to coming to Gladstone’s Library. It has a special place in my heart for my family and I’m looking forward to sharing the adventure, touching on my TV and chart-topping career and my love of art and history. He added: “There will be cycling, art, history, Wacaday Mallett’s Mallet and Itsy Bitsy. There should be something for everyone to come along and enjoy. Peter Francis, Director of the Library, said: “Timmy Mallett’s links with the Library go back many years – his father trained as a clergyperson here in the 1960s. Since he first rang the Library’s doorbell over 20 years ago, Timmy has been a wonderful ambassador and enthusiast for the Library and has become a good friend. The talk takes place at 2pm. Online and in person tickets are available, as well as lunch and talk bundles. Prices start at £8. You can order online through or via Reception on 01244 532 350
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