Westminster Park Residents Association

Bringing our community alive

January 18, 2021
by Penny White


Cheshire Fire Authority is seeking residents views on its plans to increase its share of council tax (called its precept) for the 2021/2022 financial year.

How are we funded?

The Authority receives the majority of its funding through Council Tax. It also receives grants from central government and some funding through business rates.

The Authority levies its share of council tax on properties across Cheshire. This precept currently stands at £79.29 per year for a Band D property. You may pay more or less than this amount depending on the council tax banding of your own home.

For 2021/2022 we are proposing to increase our precept by 1.99%. This would see our share of council tax increase by £1.58 to £80.87 per year for a Band D property.

Why are we proposing this?

The Authority’s plans up to 2024 are set out in its Integrated Risk Management Plan 2020-2024. This is an ambitious plan that will improve how we provide cover across Cheshire to respond to fires and other emergencies. Within this plan we also detail our plans to modernise many of our premises. This is to ensure our older fire stations across Cheshire can meet modern standards and be fit for the future.

The Authority also has ongoing capital requirements such as replacing fire engines and equipment as necessary. Since 2014, the Authority has received no capital funding from central Government so must meet all of these needs through its own revenue budget.

The forecasts in our Medium Term Financial Plan assumes that going forward we will receive no, or very small, increases in the funding we receive from Government. This will not be sufficient to cover additional costs such as inflation, so we need to bridge the gap ourselves.

The Authority has been fortunate to receive some funding from Government to help with the impact of Covid-19 on our services. This has enabled us to make temporary changes to our operations to keep our staff safe and available to respond to fires and other emergencies; and to provide assistance to the NHS and local partner agencies in the community by delivering thousands of prescriptions, food parcels and other essentials to those in need.

However, we are also affected by the impact of Covid-19 on our partner local authorities; for instance if local authorities collect less council tax or business rates income than they originally expected. The way the Authority is funded means that we are also liable to make up some of this shortfall if less income is received than was originally forecast.

Let us know what you think

Between now and 28 January 2021 we are seeking the views of residents on our proposed increase in our share of council tax. Please let us know what you think by completing a short online survey, which you can access through the link below.

Complete our short online survey

Alternatively, you can provide your views by emailing consultation@cheshirefire.gov.uk, telephoning 01606 868700 or in writing to Freepost Cheshire Fire Consultation (no stamp required).

January 13, 2021
by Jennifer Crew

Help to Stop Damage to Heronbridge Scheduled Ancient Monument

Over the past year, metal detectorists have been damaging the archaeological site at Heronbridge, which lies on both sides of Eaton Road between Heronbridge Cottage and the bridge over the A55. This is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and metal detecting there is illegal.

Heronbridge is uniquely important to local and regional history as the site of a Roman settlement, a rare early medieval earthwork and the location of the 7th-century Battle of Chester between the forces of Northumbria and Mercia and the Welsh kingdoms.

Perpetrators can be prosecuted for Theft by Finding if they remove objects from the site. They can also be prosecuted under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act for damage to a protected monument; use of metal detectors on a Scheduled Monument; and removal of items from a Scheduled Monument.

The site is already being watched by the Cheshire Police Rural Crime Team as part of Operation Arrowhead, which targets Heritage Crime across the country, but you can play your part as well.

If you are in the area you can help to stop this damage by visiting the site and looking out for illegal activity. If you see any metal detecting, do not get into a confrontation but phone 999 as it is a Heritage Crime in progress. If it is safe to do so, take the registration numbers of any vehicles that may be associated. Please report any other relevant information by phoning 101.

While you are out and about, be sure to observe the current lockdown restrictions. Many thanks for your help in helping to protect our shared history!

Chester Archaeological Society

If you would like to know more about Heronbridge, there are two recent articles in the journals of Chester Archaeological Society:

D J P Mason, III: The Heronbridge archaeological research project: an interim report on the 2002 and 2003 seasons of the Society’s new fieldwork initiative, JCAS 78, 2003, 49-106

C V Tolley, V: Æthelfrith and the Battle of Chester, JCAS 86, 2016, 51-95

January 11, 2021
by Penny White


Your Chance To Put Your Questions To Chief Constable and PCC

Cheshire Police Chief Constable Darren Martland and Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane will be holding three virtual public engagement sessions over the coming weeks for Cheshire residents to attend.

It’s part of a new consultation to obtain your views on policing priorities and funding and community safety.

The sessions will take place on the following dates:

Tuesday 12 January, 6.30pm-8pm
Saturday 16 January, 1pm-2.30pm
Tuesday 19 January, 6.30pm-8pm

If you would like to attend one of the virtual sessions please email your name and address, the date of the session you’d like to attend and your question for the Commissioner or Chief Constable to pcc@cheshire.pnn.police.uk.

Registration for each session closes 24 hours before it takes place. The link to join the sessions will be emailed to those registered shortly before each session.

Questions can also be submitted by those unable to attend the sessions to pcc@cheshire.pnn.police.uk using the subject title ‘question’.

Alternatively, if you’re unable to attend the sessions but you’d like to give your views on policing priorities and funding, you can complete this short online survey: https://wh1.snapsurveys.com/siam/surveylanding/surveylogin.asp?sk=160759151682

January 9, 2021
by Penny White


Lockdown 3.0
Third Times a Charm
Chester Businesses have you covered as we once again find ourselves in a national lockdown.

We’ve updated our Experience Chester website with new #ChesterTogether information, connecting businesses and the public (that’s you lovely lot!) so we can all support each other.

There are 4 key categories which are essentially lists of the businesses offering services:

1. Open During Lockdown
2. Shop From Your Sofa
3. Food & Drink To Go
4. Everything Else!

TOP TIP! Once you go to the list you can click the business name to link to their own pages for details on how to order, hours, days, etc.

REMINDER: it is no longer lazy to get takeaway, it is now part of your civic duty to support the high street and keep #ChesterTogether 😉

January 8, 2021
by Penny White


Cheshire West and Chester Council services affected by lockdown restrictions
Cheshire West and Chester Council has announced how its services in towns and villages across the borough will be affected by the national lockdown.

Council officers have been assessing the potential impact of the new lockdown and the continued effect on services of the coronavirus pandemic.

Covid-19 infection rates in Cheshire West and Chester are too high and the public residents have been urged to stay at home to slow the spread of the virus. The council is looking at how keep both residents and staff members safe and prioritising resources for frontline services that many people rely upon.

Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Councillor Louise Gittins said: “Following the Government’s third lockdown announcement, there will be some changes to how our services are delivered.

“We are doing everything possible to continue to deliver vital services to support the borough. However, to keep everyone safe some facilities do have to close or reduce the services available during the lockdown period. Our aim is that the vast majority of our services will continue to be operational.

“Stay safe, be kind and above all let’s all play our part to turn this around during these challenging times.”

The effects on Council services are as follows:

Parks, open spaces, outdoor play and youth areas will remain open for the purpose of daily exercise. Visitors should follow government guidance regarding social distancing, follow any signage and wash their hands when they return home. Residents are able to meet outdoors with one person not from their own household for their daily exercise.
The outdoor gyms located at Westminster Park, Chester and St Anne’s Field in Chester have closed.
Public toilets remain open (between 10am and 5pm) in the following locations:
Ellesmere Port Town Centre (Wellington Road)
Castle Park, Frodsham
Whitby Park, Ellesmere Port
The Groves, Chester
Princess Street (near the Market), Chester, these facilities are temporarily closed, there is alternative portable provision located close by, next to the Market
Grosvenor Park, Chester
Stanney Fields, Neston
Marbury Park, Northwich
Westminster Park, Chester
Moor Lane, Frodsham
Frodsham Street, Chester
Shakerley Mere, Little Budworth (disabled toilet only)
Hadlow Road, Willaston
Brook Street, Neston
Little Budworth Car Park, Coach Road

Allotments remain open.Again, social distancing should be maintained and residents are permitted to meet outdoors with one person not from their own household.

Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) remain open but we ask that people only travel there for essential reasons and be patient to ensure distancing can be maintained on sites.A proof of residency will need to be shown to HWRC staff.

All fixtures and training for indoor and outdoor youth and adult grassroots football will be suspended. (Further information is available on Football Association website). Tennis, golf, bowling and croquet facilities will be closed.
All libraries, including the home and mobile library service, will close. An Order & Collect service will be available from 7 January from selected libraries. For more information or to place an order visit the Order and Collect web page or telephone the libraries during the times shown.


Order and Collect orders via telephone:


10am to 1pm

10am to 1pm

10am to 1pm


10am to 1pm

2pm to 5pm

10am to 1pm


10am to 1pm

2pm to 5pm

10am to 1pm

Ellesmere Port

10am to 1pm

2pm to 5pm

10am to 1pm


10am to 1pm

2pm to 5pm

10am to 1pm


10am to 1pm

2pm to 5pm

10am to 1pm


2pm to 5pm

10am to 1pm

10am to 1pm

Many library services will continue to be available via online and digital methods including eBooks, audio downloads, eMagazines, eNewspapers and eResources visit www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk.

Existing loan periods have been extended until 1 March 2021 and overdue charges are suspended. You can check items on loan by logging in to your account or by calling 0300 123 7739 (24 hour line).

The Education Library Service will continue to supply resources to subscribing schools and educational settings.
The majority of volunteering activities within Council settings will stop. The Council’s Community Champions network will continue.
Ranger stations, pavilions and community centres remain closed except where existing community food distribution is currently being provided.
All museums in the borough will close to the public, including school visits.The museums’ website and social media channels will have up to date information and interactive activities.
Public access to the Cheshire Record Office is suspended but online services will continue to be available and staff are still responding to enquiries.
The Registration team will continue to provide death registrations by telephone.
Weddings and civil partnership ceremonies will not be permitted to take place except, in exceptional circumstances and where one of the couple is seriously ill and not expected to recover, or is to undergo debilitating treatment or life-changing surgery In these limited circumstances a maximum of 6 people would be allowed to attend.
Funerals up to a maximum of 30 may take place at Chester crematorium and at Council cemeteries. Social distancing must be maintained at the funeral between individuals who are not from the same household or support bubble.
The Council will continue to monitor all its front-line services and will review the impact of COVID-19 on service delivery as the lockdown progresses.

Information on the Council’s website will be updated regularly.

December 31, 2020
by Penny White


WPRA Committee wish all Westminster Park residents a happy and healthy new year. If you haven’t already please join or renew your membership to WPRA, the form and details are on page 11 of WP News, or you can email me at sec@wp-ra.org.uk.

December 31, 2020
by Penny White


Date: 30 December 2020
Reference Number: 4954

New Tier 4 restrictions for Cheshire West and Chester (updated 30 December 2020)
Cheshire West and Chester will move into Tier 4 (Stay at Home) from the beginning of Thursday, 31 December 2020, after the Government reviewed the borough’s high infection rate of 266 cases per 100,000 population and decided tighter restrictions were needed to suppress the spread of COVID 19. Three quarters of England’s population will now be in this category of restrictions.

This means that as the borough enters Tier 4:

residents must stay at home, apart from limited exemptions set out in law such as medical care
people must work from home if they can, but may travel to work if this is not possible, for example in the construction and manufacturing sectors
non-essential retail, indoor gyms and leisure facilities, and personal care services must close
people should not enter or leave Tier 4 areas, and Tier 4 residents must not stay overnight away from home
you cannot meet other people indoors, unless you live with them or they are part of your support bubble.
individuals can only meet one person from another household in an outdoor public space
communal worship can continue to take place
those in tier 4 areas will not be permitted to travel abroad apart from limited exceptions, such as for work purposes
Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said, “This latest news is clearly disappointing, although we have a duty to act in the best interests of our residents. We now must stay at home except for specific reasons such as work, outdoor exercise or medical care. We realise that as well as affecting all of us individually, many of our businesses will be hit hard. The announcement was not subject to prior notice or consultation with the Council, but we will be working with a range of local organisations and the government to get assistance to those that need it.
“We must follow these rules to slow the spread, protect the NHS and save lives. As we roll out the vaccine, it would be an even greater tragedy if we don’t follow the rules and we lose more lives that in a few months could be saved. We will all need to pull together once again. We’ve brought the infection rate down before, and we can do it again.”

Read the full guidance on GOV.UK

December 24, 2020
by Penny White


If you are coming into Chester during the Christmas break, please take extra time and care if you are unfamiliar with the new Clockwise route for the inner ring road while Chester’s new drainage tunnel is built.

As part of the second phase of works, the Nicholas St. section of the inner ring road will be closed to southbound traffic from Monday 11th January 2021.

As a result there will be no right-turn into Nicholas Street from the Watergate Street/New Crane Street direction.

Please use your smart phone’s sat-nav (handsfree) to get the best routes, journey time information and live updates on traffic- even if you know the route.

For more details and FAQs see www.clockwisechester.com