Congleton Community Transport Partnership Mini Bus Hire Scheme.

Mini Bus For Hire Congleton


Congleton Partnership launches a New Community Minibus for Congleton

Life has just been made a little easier for Congleton groups in need of transport thanks to a brand new  15-seater Community Minibus which has been given to Congleton Partnership by the Department of Transport.

Members of the Congleton Partnership and New Life Church witnessed the official launch and handover of the new minibus at a ceremony at New Life Church on Wednesday 15th March.

Congleton Partnership will take on responsibility for this new minibus as well as continuing to manage the 8 seater mini-bus which was donated by Cheshire East Council in 2014.

Chairman of Congleton Partnership, Steve Foster, said:  “Congleton Partnership is delighted to be one of 300 local charities and communities across England to receive a new minibus from the Department of Transport’s community transport mini bus fund. This is a great asset for Congleton and will make life easier for groups and organisations struggling with transport. We are grateful to Glen Williams for applying for the bus on our behalf and to New Life Church for agreeing to provide parking for the bus and managing the booking process.”

Any group linked to the Congleton Partnership is able to book the bus. Membership can be through association with sub-groups such as Congleton Youth Forum, Congleton Senior Forum, Congleton Creative, Congleton Sustainability Group or the Executive.

The bus costs £20 per event or day to hire plus 40p per mile. Groups using the bus need to provide their own driver. To comply with the insurance drivers must be aged 30 or over with no more than 3 points on their licence.

Congleton Partnership is also looking to build a pool of volunteer drivers that can assist groups that wish to hire the mini bus but don’t have access to their own driver.

For more information about the minibus contact the Congleton Partnership Officer, Mike Smith, on 01260 270350 ext  7

To Hire.

Contact Jeff Cutts

New Life Church, Danesford Community Centre, West Rd, Congleton CW12 4EY

01260 297961


£20 per outing

40p per mile

Contact Person for hire

You will need.

A driver age 30 or over, with no more than 3 points on his/her licence.

No provisional bookings can be made, as others may want to use the mini bus(s)

Regular bookings can be made if space available


Complete documentation as required:-

Before taking the Mini Bus out, complete the “Drivers Daily Walk Round Checklist”

At the end of the trip, complete a Vehicle Defect Report Form if required, and check that the mini Bus is clear and tidy internally.


Congleton Partnership 01260 270350 extn 7

Congleton Partnership Executive Meeting 7.03.17

Congleton Partnership Executive  meeting took place recently, download the full meeting minutes HERE.

Highlights Include:

Community Projects.

MS sent out Jo report prior to the meeting.

Subjects covered included :-

A new date for the Xmas light switch on ( SAT 25th November)

Food 7 Drink Festival (Sun 11th June)

Hidden Places Theatre Day (6th May) plus workshops starting 8th April.

Vol Fest – CVSCE’s Volunteer and Gala Evening in Congleton Park (1st July)

Get Involved booklet update and print, letters gone to almost 100 groups.

Margaret Sculpture, planting, stepping stones and plaque to finish off.

Town Centre Report – J.MacArthur


1.     Occupancy Rate: We currently have 183 filled town centre properties out of 204 – making our occupancy rate 89%.  We have some worrying vacancies in the pedestrian area. A planning application has been re-submitted by Boots Opticians for the large unit on the corner of Victoria Street. But we have 5 empty units on the pedestrian area as well as some big gaps in the High Street. Once the Public Realm improvement works have taken place on the pedestrian area the whole area should look more attractive and which should help stimulate interest.


2.     Business Rates  –  there’s some good news for smaller independent businesses. The nationwide rates review put Congleton prices up slightly (now based on 2015 rentable values rather than 2008) the government set annual multiplier has slightly decreased (Businesses Rates are worked out as the Rentable Value x the Government multiplier). The standard multiplier has reduced from 49.7p to 47.9p and the small business multiplier reduced from 48.6p to 46.6p. On top of this the qualifying level for Small Business Rate Relief has increased so that 100% relief is given on Rateable Values of £12,000 compared to £6,000 last year and those with rateable values of £12,000 – £15,000 will get tapered relief 100% down to 0 meaning more of our independent traders, providing they only have one shop are paying less than in previous years.


3.     Big Data Small User Project: Data patterns for footfall and sales are starting to establish and the maths department at Cardiff University is having fun detecting patterns. They have identified four main types of town based on annual footfall flows. Congleton is falling into the community/convenience town pattern.  (A term that the universities are using to group together towns with similar footfall packages) Congleton market has limited impact on footfall. Saturday is consistently our busiest day, followed by Friday. Sunday is the quietest. Tuesday or Thursdays usually take third place. Weather has an influence. The interesting work will come with the interventions to see what impact they have on sales and footfall. Nationally shopping centres are losing more footfall than town centres. It appears that some of the older planning assumptions with hierarchy of towns is becoming outdated, Institute of Place Management looking to put out a policy paper based on population and accessibility research – but the five mile radius is more accurate than the traditional catchment zones.

4.     The Public Realm £1 million funding: Public Realm works in the pedestrianised area and immediate road either end, is due to start in Spring 2017. Cheshire East is in the final throws of contracts – the public realm team is expected to present the final designs to the Town Council soon and these will be shared with the partnership. The design is picking up on the heritage but with a modern twist. The works are expected to start at the B&M end of the pedestrian area, working on a section at a time before starting the next section. Information will be forwarded as it becomes available.


5.     Gas Works : The pedestrian area was completed two weeks ahead of schedule and was relatively smooth. The works in Mill Street are causing more problems and I am starting to work with some of the traders on compensation claims. The latest update is that the current works in Mill Street should finish on Thursday. The works on West Street – just around the corner from Swan Bank will start on Monday 13 March and must be finished by the 10 April, although hopefully won’t need the full time. During the West Street works traffic will be able to travel up Mill Street and Swan Bank but will be diverted up Waggs Street and around the crescent. We know we are going to have to work at getting customers back into town and are looking at a  Congleton Treats day on Tuesday 11 April and have also planned an Easter Egg shops hunt for April 1 – 18th.


6.      The Mills Congleton – AKA Scarborough Development :   I understand from Cheshire East Councillors that Scarborough is presenting the Congleton Ward Councillors on Wednesday 8th March with the intention of moving towards a planning application, Scarborough will be discussing releasing the information to the Town Council and Partnership following their meetings with Cheshire East.

(NB Scarborough presenting to CEBC ward members 8.3.17)


7.     Congleton in Bloom: This year the team is going out to win North West in Bloom and get the town back in the National Finals in 2018 which will be the 20th anniversary of Congleton in Bloom. The In Bloom team are delighted with the support of the partnership on so many projects to improve the town –Moody Street Gardens, Margaret’s Place, Greening Mountbatten Way and Public Realm. All of which add up to making Congleton more attractive. The judging will be in July. There will be monthly town tidies – starting in Congleton Park on Saturday 25 March from 10-12 and led by Glen Williams  – all very, very welcome!


8.     Christmas: The Christmas Group is shaking things up a little this year, and following consultation with a wide range of groups involved with the switch on the main event will take place on Saturday 25 November. There were a number of reasons for the change, but ultimately we aim to attract more people into town for longer at a time when more of the shops are open and make the event more of an all afternoon celebration rather than a very concentrated period that it has become. The Town Council is putting £4k into this event and Bob Edwards, David McGifford and myself have started looking at sponsorship deals for the town for the year to include Christmas and In Bloom.


9.     Welcome  MAP : These will be up by the end of March this year.


10.  Bear Necessities: The next edition will be distributed from the 4th April. Copy is being written at the moment. If any partnership member has information for April, May and June please let Jackie know urgently – 01260 270350 ext 3 or


St John’s Community Centre

Peter Holdsworth advised us of the grand Opening of the St John’s Community centre in Buglawton. Around £400k has been spent on renovating and developing St John’s Church Hall and Headmasters House.

Thanks to agencies and sponsors (including The Partnership providing 4 cookers) most of the work is now complete and they are holding a grand opening event from 12 noon on Saturday 11th March.

Leaflet drop has been carried out around Buglawton, MS has Emailed all of the Partnership Groups and Town Councillors. Everyone welcome to attend.

The group was successful in the health and wellbeing PB funding exercise being awarded funding to run cookery classes.

Mini Bus. Congleton Community Transport Partnership ( sub group but separately financed arm of The Partnership) is holding an event to officially launch their mini bus scheme at New Life Church on Wednesday 15th March, 2.00 to 3.00pm.

Two mini buses are now available for use by organisations with some attachment to The Partnership at very reasonable rates.

1 x 8 seater

1 x 15 seater.

Choral Society Stage. Currently being housed at OSM, but as they are about to enlarge the stage it will be too much for OSM to cope. DM suggests that PA has a word with Cheshire Police to see if they have any storage we could use.


Next Meeting is:- Tuesday 6th June 2017, Bridestones Suite, 5.30pm.

Congleton Sustainability Meeting 06.03.2017

Congleton Sustainability Group meeting took place recently, please download the full meeting minutes HERE.

Hightlights include:

Dane Valley Community Energy.

The scheme has a new name “Havannah Weir Hydro”.

Public meeting being held at Eaton Bank Academy , Tuesday 28th March 6.30pm.

This engagement event will both brief the public on the scheme as a whole and the opportunity to become involved in community share ownership and volunteer support to the project.

The main partners Siemens, HMK and EBA will all be in attendance and fully supportive of the scheme.

Neighbourhood Plan.

A.Thompson is planning a drop in session with each of the group chairs to through the policy detail fo their groups.

A group chairs meeting is planned for March to follow up the drop ins and sing off their documents for their teams.

Regulation 14 stage will then kick in with consultation on the document with CEBC .

Planned timetable:-

w/c  13 March 2017 draft the Neighbourhood Plan for the Regulation 14 consultation with Cheshire East, other statutory bodies and the wider local community. There is a 6 week period of consultation.
May 2017


(Steering Group booked 11 May)

we review all of the responses received and consider revisions and amendments to the plan. We edit the plan and include all photographs, plans and supporting documentation.
June 2017 we finalise the neighbourhood plan, complete the statement of consultation and basic condition statement for submission to Cheshire East under Regulation 15.There is a further 6 week period of consultation.
Summer 2017 Cheshire East appoint an Independent Examiner.
Late summer 2017 The Examiners report is received and the revisions and amendments to the neighbourhood plan are considered and a decision is taken to take the plan forward to Referendum.
Autumn  2017 the Referendum is held.
Autumn / Winter 2017 After the Referendum the Plan is found sound and is ‘made’.


Congleton Cooperative OSM Project.

BF/MT have be working on trying to get of the OSM’s energy costs, using a large amount of Oil/ Electricity. Insulation is the major issue. PA contact Mike Rance but he could help other than suggest we contact someone in The carbon Trust.

PP advised that she has a contact for Eco Schools that does this king of work (cost around £150) she will see if he can help.

Family may be willing to sell the whole site to Congleton Cooperative, need to way up the pros and cons before spending too much more money on the building.

Flowcrete have taken OSM on board as part of their social/community support and working on improving its profile.

Bookings are still growing , we now have around 30 members registered, PA to take application forms to the exec meeting 7.3.17

Now have a bookkeeper Joanne Reeves and accountant John Davies

Annual account now moved to end of March (tax year end)

AGM will be held April / May.

Kitchen upstairs now being developed and have been gifted a disabled toilet which is currently being built.

Room Rates. New room rates and booking form being put out.

PR – Facebook followers 217 / Email 1100 (400 readers)/ Chronicle, Bear Necessities & looking at The Independent.

Signage. MS look at a “Blue” similar to play area signs off Antrobus St, and discuss fingerposts with JMac

Cycle rack. PH to design a rack to go on the front of the building


Next meeting: Mon 3rd April 2017 The Old Saw Mill ,10.00am

Havannah Weir Hydro Project. Tuesday 28th March 2017

Havannah Weir Hydro

Generating energy from the River Dane

Community Engagement Evening
Tuesday 28th March, 6.30pm at Eaton Bank Academy

Congleton Sustainability Group invites you to ‘The Dane Valley Community Energy Hydro Generation Scheme’ Engagement Evening at Eaton Bank Academy on 28th March at 6.30pm. The evening will provide you with the opportunity to discover more about the environmental benefits of hydro power, find out about community share ownership and volunteer to support the project.

  • The Havannah Weir Hydro will generate up to 250,000 kWh of green energy for local residents and businesses each year
  • Congleton school children will be able to use the weir to learn about hydro-power and renewable energy generation.
  • The community will be invited to own a share in the scheme which plans to give a rate of return of 4% p.a. Full information will be available in the share prospectus to be issued in due course.
  • The project will generate a forecasted £5000 per year, to be invested in raising community awareness in renewable energy and promoting energy saving activities.
  • The weir will be funded primarily by a community share offer with supporting grants and loans.
  • For more information about the project, the Community Engagement Evening, or to complete an expression of interest form, please visit



Latest news from the Old Saw Mill – Congleton

CW12 1HJ


“Many thanks to all those generous customers who have signed up to become members of the Old Saw Mill. We aim to make your membership a worthwhile experience, so in March in addition to 10% discount in the cafe we will be giving you a free cup of tea or coffee and a slice of one of Yvonne’s delicious sponge cakes on production of your membership card.We will be making a similar free offer in subsequent months so if you want to take advantage of this sign up without delay!

Click here to obtain the application form

New Events

Come and celebrate International Women’s Day at the Old Saw Mill on 8th March from 10.00 – 12.00. We believe this is the first time that this has been acknowledged in this way in Congleton.

The event will also include the launch of “The  Monthly Gift” which is an initiative where women can drop-in and receive free hygiene products. These items are expensive and still subject to VAT and the costs can be problematic for women on low incomes. Since 2010, infections have risen markedly because women use substitute materials which are not hygienic.

We are looking for someone with bookkeeping skills to help us to manage the day to day finances along with liaising with our accountant to prepare monthly and annual accounts. If you think you have a few hours to spare each week we would love to hear from you. Please contact Peter, Pete or Anna.
Easter Lunch

Our Xmas Lunch was so successful, we are planning to have an Easter Lunch on 16th April, so if you know of anyone who would really appreciate a hearty meal then please get in touch.
Contacting us

We hope this newsletter is reaching everyone but if you would like to contact us here are a few methods:-

Facebook :- The Old Saw Mill
General E-mail:-
Direct E-mail and phone for Finance and Governance –
and 07971805372
Direct E-mail and phone for Bookings, Café, Volunteers and Marketing – and 07738877114
Direct E-mail for Buildings, Development and Maintenance –
and 07717003847

Kind regards
Peter, Anna and Pete

Congleton Community Partnership – Get involved with the Old Saw Mill!

If you have visited the Old Saw Mill you will know what a fantastic facility it is and also appreciate the benefit it can offer to our local community in Congleton. To be successful we have to rely on a team of willing volunteers and donations of materials and equipment which have all contributed to what we have achieved so far. Congleton Community Co-Op

We want to move on to the next stage of our development by establishing an effective management structure and also involve as many people as we can in the project. We are therefore launching a membership scheme and are inviting you to become a member of Congleton Community Partnership.

For as little as £3 a month you can have a stake in the Old Saw Mill and at the same time get 10% discount in the cafe and a similar discount on some room bookings on production of your membership card.

Membership also entitles you to attend our board meetings and elect member directors to the management board at the AGM. You may even wish to stand to be a director yourself! Alternatively you may just be happy to make a small financial contribution towards the development of the Old Saw Mill project, in order to help us achieve our aims.

You may have seen in the Chronicle an article about our plans to provide a “meals on wheels” visiting service for elderly people who live alone, rarely go out and may not have many visitors. Your contribution will help us to establish this valuable service.

If you would like to join us please complete the attached application form and give us back page 3 with your contact details on and retain the rest which includes details how you can make your membership payment.
We are really looking forward to hearing from you. If you have any further queries please contact us on:
Click here to obtain the application form
or just call in for a chat and a cup of tea and one of Yvonne’s fantastic scones!

Kind regards
Peter, Anna and Pete