April 10, 2021
by Jennifer Crew
Now in our Centenary Year people still ask us ‘What is a Soroptimist?’
We are members of a global organisation who work to improve the lives of women and girls, both at home and abroad.
If you would like to enjoy fun and friendship, whilst addressing some of these issues then why not come and meet members of the Chester Club at our forthcoming Open Evening on Monday, 17th May at 7.30pm? The meeting will be held via Zoom and for details please email us at: SoroptimistsinChester@gmail.com
Not able to make it on the 17th May? Then come along to any of our regular meetings held at 7.30pm on the second Monday of every month – excluding April as this is our AGM.
We look forward to hearing from you.
April 2, 2021
by Penny White
This April Chester city centre welcomes you with outside dining, retail openings, free family fun and much more
Whether you’re patiently waiting to hit the shops, trim your locks and dine outside on 12th April, or you’re trying to figure out how to keep the kids entertained during the school holidays, Chester city centre has something for everyone.
Easter is nearly upon us but it’s not too late to order in and avoid cooking this weekend. The brilliant restaurants of Chester have once again put together delicious menus to suit all tastes.
Use our handy Food & Drink To Go list to place orders ASAP. Selected restaurants have also done special Easter offerings including Old Dukes, Joseph Benjamin, Covino (last orders 5pm tonight!) and Exotic Booze Club but act fast to avoid disappointment!
Free, Outdoor, Contactless family friendly fun with Mr. Finniebaker’s Easter Factory Trail…
Join us for a super family day out in Chester city centre this Easter!
10 of the Easter Bunny’s woodland co-workers have been spotted in these parts and it’s your job to find them! Families in Chester are invited to take part in this fantastic, free trail. Learn the names and stories of all 10 characters and then create your own, free e-book with the selfies you’ve taken along the way creating part of the story. Learn more…
Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre 2021
Pop the prosecco and celebrate coming together in Chester with an extra-long summer of joyful theatre from Storyhouse. 🎭 Members Priority Booking is open now! 🎟️🎟️🎟️ until Easter Monday (5 April) 🐣 Learn more…
Chester BID launches a week-long spring clean effort in anticipation of city’s re-opening
‘Chester city centre is being spruced up prior to re-opening thanks to the efforts of the city’s Business Improvement District, Chester BID who are set to clean hundreds of metres of the city. Read more here…
Updated list of where you can eat and meet in Chester city centre from 12th April
The journey along the road map to lockdown restrictions easing can be confusing. To help you navigate how you can meet to eat in Chester city centre’s hospitality establishments, we’ve put together a list of where you can book a table for your first sit down shenanigans. Read more here…
You can still see all the ways you can access the city in person or remotely for Food, Drink, Shopping, Essentials and Everything Else on our website here: https://experiencechester.co.uk/chestertogether/
JOIN the #ChesterTogether Facebook Group to show your support for our high street and SHARE with your friends to spread the word using #ChesterTogether.
Stay updated and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
April 1, 2021
by Penny White
New collection points for COVID-19 home testing kits
Home COVID-19 testing kits are available to collect at sites across Cheshire West and Chester.
Kits can be picked up from Cheshire West and Chester Council no-symptoms testing centres and a number of libraries across the borough.
The home testing kits are currently available for people who live with or share a bubble with children or staff who attend nursery, school or college.
The new Community Collect points include:
COVID-19 no symptoms testing centre at Stanney Oaks Leisure Centre, in Ellesmere Port, from 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays
COVID-19 no symptoms testing centre at Winsford Lifestyle Centre, in Winsford, from 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays
COVID-19 no symptoms testing centre at Chester Cathedral, (once opened from 7 April) 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays
Northwich Library, in Witton Street, from 10am to 1pm on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays
Neston Library, in Parkgate Road, from 10am to 1pm on Mondays and Saturdays and from 2pm to 5pm on Thursdays
Frodsham Library, in Princeway, from 2pm to 5pm on Mondays and from 10am to 1pm on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Residents can also collect home testing kits from the Mobile Library Van in the following locations:
Tarporley Community Centre, from 2pm to 4pm on Mondays
Malpas – Bishop Heber High School car park from 4pm to 6pm on Tuesdays
Tattenhall Barbour Institute from 2pm to 4pm on Wednesdays
Tarvin Community Centre, from 2pm to 4pm on Thursdays
Currently, home test kits are still available at the existing collection points at the borough’s five Local Testing Sites, including:
Little Roodee Testing Centre, in Chester
Queensway Testing Centre, in Winsford
Sealand Road Park and Ride Testing Centre, in Chester
The Old Depot Testing Centre, in Northwich
Wellington Road Testing Centre, in Ellesmere Port.
At present, the Local Testing Sites are open from 2.30pm to 8pm to pick up tests, but this is subject to change. To check the opening times of the Local Testing Sites visit: find-covid-19-rapid-test-sites.maps.test-and-trace.nhs.uk.
Ian Ashworth, Director of Public Health at Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “One in three people with COVID-19 do not show any symptoms and could be spreading the virus without knowing it.
“As restrictions gradually start to ease it becomes even more important for us all to take advantage of these free home testing kits so that we can test ourselves regularly for peace of mind and stop the spread of Coronavirus.”
If you receive a positive result from a home testing kit you will need to book a confirmatory test at one of the five Local Testing Sites by visiting: nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling: 119. You only need to self-isolate if you test positive with the confirmatory test.
If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, including a cough that will not stop, a high temperature or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste you must self-isolate immediately and book a test by visiting: nhs.uk/coronavirus or calling: 119.
The Council also advises residents to book a test as a precaution if you have other symptoms that may be related to COVID-19.
These can include shortness of breath, muscle or body aches, fatigue, sore throat, headache, nasal congestion or runny nose, diarrhoea, nausea or vomiting. However, it is important to remember that these are very common symptoms, and most people who have these symptoms will not have COVID-19.
Book a test by visiting: nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling: 119. When booking choose the option that the local council has asked you to get a test. If you only have these wider symptoms, you do not need to self-isolate unless you test positive for COVID-19.
For more information visit: cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/coronavirus and click on COVID-19 testing.
April 1, 2021
by Jennifer Crew
WPRA has submitted objections to the plans lodged with the Council for a development on the field – a Local Wildlife Site – at the back of Winkwell Drive, Lower Field Road and Lache Lane.
This site, which is designated by the Council as a Local Wildlife Site (LWS), is a precious area of green space which acts as a wildlife corridor running through our estate and as such should not be built on. The plans submitted by Blueoak Estates have many flaws and raise further worries about flooding if this soak away area is built on.
The plans can be viewed on the Council’s website – application number 20/04861/FUL – and comments can still be submitted up until the plans come before the Council’s Planning Committee meeting.
Download (PDF, 1.77MB)
Download (PDF, 918KB)
March 18, 2021
by Penny White
What, where, when and how can I meet and eat in Chester city centre?
With four weeks to go until the hopefully definitely maybe physical reopening of our hospitality establishments on 12th April, we’ve been getting lots of enquiries from you eager beavers as per where you can book a table for your first sit down shenanigans.
The journey along the road map to lockdown restrictions easing can be confusing. To help you navigate how you can meet to eat in Chester city centre’s hospitality establishments, we’ve put together a list of where you can book a table for your first sit down shenanigans.
ACCEPTING WALK-INS FROM APRIL 12
Commonhall Social – both Commonhall street location and the finishing post at Chester Racecourse
Church Bar & Restaurant open 12-12 including new terrace bar
Off the Wall
The White Horse
The Coach House
CONFIRMED OPENING, BUT NOT YET TAKING BOOKINGS
Ye Olde Custom House
FRIDAY 16th APRIL
TAKING BOOKINGS FOR MAY 17th ONWARDS
The Chester Grosvenor Hotel
Palm Cocktail Bar & Eatery
It goes without saying that this a preliminary list, subject to change, that we look forward to regularly updating once the whole gang are back together.
BOOKMARK THIS PAGE https://experiencechester.co.uk/the-countdown-is-on/ and follow our @ChesterBID socials on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to make sure you don’t miss any updates or tips on how to book.
March 16, 2021
by Penny White
Free PPE for extra resident unpaid carers in Cheshire
Unpaid carers across Cheshire, who do not live with the person they care for, can now get free personal protective equipment (PPE).
Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cheshire East Council in partnership with Cheshire West Carers Support Service, Vivo Carers Choices, and Cheshire Carers Hub are providing free PPE for all unpaid carers, who do not live in the same household as the person they are caring for.
An unpaid carer can be anyone, of any age, who cares, unpaid for a friend or family member, who due to a condition, illness, disability or addiction, cannot cope without their support.
To facilitate the distribution PPE hubs have been established in Northwich, Winsford, Ellesmere Port, Winsford and various contact points within Cheshire East.
Hubs will operate on an order and collect service, which will mean that extra resident carers are able to contact Cheshire West Carers Support Service, and Cheshire Carers Hub if you live in Cheshire East, by telephone or email to arrange to pick up a preprepared PPE pack containing masks, gloves, aprons and hand sanitiser.
For those living in Cheshire West and Chester collection from Cheshire West Carers Trust is available from the following hubs:
• Northwich – Cheshire and Warrington Carers Trust office, 146 London Rd CW9 5HH Monday to Thursday 10.00 – 16.00
• Chester – Cheshire and Warrington Carers Trust office, The Bluecoat building, CH1 4EE Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 10.00 – 14.00
Starting 15 March 2021 the following hubs will be also be open for collection and distribution:
• Ellesmere Port – Coronation Centre, Coronation Road, CH65 9AB, days and times to be confirmed
• Winsford – Meadow Bank Lodge 12 Green Lane, CW7 2BP, days and times to be confirmed
Contact Cheshire West Carers Support to arrange a collection:
• 0300 102 0008
For those living in Cheshire East can be arranged via Cheshire Carers Hub, who will direct carers to their nearest collection point:
• 0300 123 5035
All collections are via prebooked appointments only and all social distancing guidelines must be followed.
For those carers who are unable to physically travel to any of the distribution hubs a limited delivery service will also operate.
Councillor Val Armstrong, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health at Cheshire West and Chester Council said: “It is great news that our unpaid extra resident carers are being offered this additional layer of protection free of charge to keep both themselves, and the people they provide such vital services for, safe.
“Our unpaid carers continue to do an amazing job of providing vital care services in the face of very real challenges brought on by this pandemic.”
Councillor Laura Jeuda, Cheshire East Council’s portfolio holder for Adult Social Care and Health said: “This is very welcome news and will help to keep extra-resident carers safe whilst they undertake such a commendable role.
“This will also protect the residents themselves, many of whom are extremely vulnerable so need all the levels of defence possible from the deadly COVID-19 virus.”
It is not currently recommended that you wear PPE when caring for someone you live with unless advised to by a healthcare professional.
March 12, 2021
by Penny White
Council increases opening hours at some Household Waste Recycling Centres
Cheshire West and Chester Council is extending the opening hours of its larger Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) from 12 March 2021.
All HWRCs are currently open to the public for essential journeys only but demand has been high and the Council has seen an increase in the number of visitors to the sites.
Councillor Karen Shore, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport said: “The current opening times are due to change from 1 April; however, due to the increased number of visitors using the HWRC we are extending the opening hours at our larger key sites at Winsford, Ellesmere Port and Chester recycling centre by two hours to 6pm and Northwich by one hour to 5pm.
“I’d like to thank residents again for thinking twice about their journey and everyone who has visited our HWRCs for following the social distancing rules and guidance from our staff. Safety remains a key priority and following social distancing guidance is essential.”
From Friday 12 March Winsford, Chester and Ellesmere Port recycling centres are open seven days a week from 8am to 6pm. Northwich site will be open five days a week from 8am to 5pm and Neston, Frodsham and Tattenhall sites will remain open until 4pm.
Due to the volume of cars queuing to use the sites, visitors may be turned away before the closing time to allow those already on the sites to dispose of their waste safely before the site closes. Road signs have been placed outside Northwich, Chester, Winsford and Ellesmere Port recycling centres to show the 30 minutes and one-hour waiting points.
From 1 April 2021 all larger sites will close at 8pm on weekdays and 6pm at weekends, secondary sites will close at 5pm.
March 8, 2021
by Penny White
News from CWAC:
As part of the current works in the city centre to install a new surface rainwater drain to a river outfall along Castle Drive, the following closure will take place:
Nuns Road will close on Monday 29th March 2021 and is expected to reopen in January 2022, this is to allow for significant drain shaft works at the junction of Nuns Road and Grosvenor Road.
The tunnel shaft will be approximately 7m wide and 11m deep. A short video of the shaft construction process being used is available: https://youtu.be/LfVPqihZWO8?t=100 (starts at 1:40).
As a result, only emergency vehicles will have access to this junction for safety reasons. Access-only routes to Blackfriars, Nuns Road properties, Roomzzz Aparthotel and from the HQ Building/Abode Hotel car park exit will remain open to/from the Watergate Street direction only.
Pedestrian and cycle access along Nuns Road in both directions will be maintained during these works.
Our highways teams are working very closely with the tunnel contractors to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum and the timescales can be kept subject to any unforeseen delays.
We greatly appreciate your patience while these works are carried out and apologise for any inconvenience.
March 4, 2021
by Penny White
Additional measures put in place as schools prepare to welcome all pupils back
Cheshire West and Chester Council has been working closely with schools and colleges across the borough to prepare for all pupils returning to face-to-face learning from Monday 8 March.
The Government announced last week that all primary, secondary and special schools as well as colleges in England will welcome pupils back in to the classroom in the first stage of the national roadmap for easing restrictions in England.
All education providers in the borough will follow the latest Government guidance to ensure their premises are COVID-secure and all precautions are taken to reduce the transmission of the virus.
Secondary and college pupils will now be required to wear face coverings on school premises, where a social distance of two metres cannot be maintained, this will include in classrooms and communal areas.
Pupils in secondary schools and colleges will also be encouraged to take a rapid result COVID-19 test, called a lateral flow test, at their school as they return. Three tests will be done on the school or college premises, three to five days apart, and home testing kits will be provided to families to test twice weekly thereafter. Instructions about completing home testing will be provided to families.
Introducing testing for staff and pupils without symptoms will ensure that positive COVID-19 cases and their contacts are found early so they can self-isolate for the required 10 days. Alongside the additional measures in place in schools, testing will also help keep rates of COVID-19 low and stop the spread of the virus.
If you’re a member of a household, childcare bubble or support bubble of staff or a pupil in primary or secondary school you can also get a twice-weekly rapid lateral flow test. You can collect two packs of home test kits at a local collection point, which are open daily from 1pm to 7pm. Households in England with people who attend or work in schools in Wales are also eligible to access these tests. Full details of where you an access a test can be found on the ‘Testing and Self-isolation’ section of the Government website: www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
The below additional measures are already in place in schools across the borough and will remain for this term.
All adults to wear a face covering when visiting or entering the school premises including outdoor yard areas.
Parents/carers to arrive and leave promptly when dropping off/collecting their child – please do not congregate and maintain social distancing as we know that the virus is easily transmitted from person to person.
In schools where it has been agreed that a parent/carer can enter the school premises for drop off and pick up, only one adult should enter.
Young people to avoid congregating outside school, mixing with pupils from other schools and go directly home.
Pupils travelling on mainstream home to school transport or those aged 11 years and over travelling on public transport must wear a face covering unless they are exempt. This includes pupils travelling on SEN transport.
Councillor Bob Cernik, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “The announcement by the Government that face-to-face teaching can resume is a welcome step in the right direction. Children and families have done a remarkable job learning from home supported by our schools and colleges.
“Our schools and colleges have robust risk assessments and have put all the precautionary measures in place to make their sites as COVID-secure as possible. We do need to remain cautious so please follow the latest guidance from your school when returning next week. It’s also very important to remember the basic rules outlined below.”
Please play your part to help stop the spread of the virus by keeping two metres apart as much as possible, wearing face coverings if you are in year seven or above, washing your hands regularly, walking or cycling to school if possible and following your school’s instructions for drop-off and pick-up times.
If you or your child has any COVID-19 symptoms (a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) please self-isolate at home with your household and get a test by visiting: www.nhs.uk or calling 119.
From the 8 March the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme will be extended to assist parents and guardians whose child is required to self-isolate. This is restricted to one parent or guardian who are unable to work due to caring for a child who is required to self-isolate. For more details go to the ‘How to get help’ section on the Council website: www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/covid.
March 4, 2021
by Penny White
Working together to deliver a successful Census 2021
Cheshire West and Chester Council is working with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to deliver this year’s national census.
The 10-yearly survey, which launches later this month will help to shape the future of local services.
Households will begin receiving letters with online codes this week explaining how they can complete their online census.
Cllr Louise Gittins, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council said, “We urge everyone to complete their census form in writing or online because it a crucial way of ensuring that, in future, we can give the right support to the right people at the right time.
“Understanding the needs of the nation helps everyone from central government to local organisations, such as councils and health authorities, plan and fund public services across England and Wales. Census outputs inform where public funding is spent on services like transport, education and health.”
The census, taking place on 21 March 2021, will shed light on the needs of different groups and communities and the inequalities people experience.
It ensures that the big decisions facing the country following the coronavirus pandemic and EU exit are based on the best information possible.
Graham Povey has been appointed by ONS as the borough’s Census Engagement Manager. Graham said, “I feel very fortunate to help support the residents of Cheshire West and Chester. Alongside key departments within the Council, I am working with organisations, charities, faith groups and community leaders to help and encourage people to take part in the census and make a real difference in their community.”
All households will start to receive letters this week explaining how they can complete their online census with an online activation code. People can also request a paper questionnaire if they would prefer.
There is plenty of help available. You can complete the census over the phone with assistance from trained staff via the ONS’ freephone national contact centre on 0800 141 2021 or via the local census support centre on 0300 123 7728.
The ONS also provides in-person support to complete the census online through Census Support Centres where it is safe to do so. The main census field operation will begin only after Census Day, contacting those who have not responded. Field staff will never need to enter people’s houses; they will always be socially distanced, wear PPE and work in line with all government guidance. They will be operating in the same way as a postal or food delivery visit.
Census 2021 will include questions about your sex, age, work, health, education, household size and ethnicity. 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 in 12 months, although personal records will be locked away for 100 years, kept safe for future generations.
For more information and advice on how to answer the questions, visit census.gov.uk.