Wilmslow scoops 4th Gold and a whole bunch of other In Bloom awards

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Wilmslow has scooped their largest haul of awards and accolades from the North West In Bloom judges.

No fewer than seven awards were collected over the past two days at ceremonies in Southport.

On Thursday 2nd November, three 'It's Your Neighbourhood' awards went to Wilmslow groups. The Friends of the Carrs achieved the top tier of 'Outstanding, whilst the Chapel Lane Business Group and Transition Wilmslow were both awarded the 'Thriving' tier for their work on Chapel Lane and in The Temp.

To cap this recognition, on Friday 3rd November, the work of the Clean Team was rewarded with a Highly Commended certificate to acknowledge the contribution they make to the general appearance of the town. To follow the Gold medal award went to the Wilmslow Brew House and Kitchen in the Small Accommodation category.

Not only did Wilmslow win a fourth Gold Award in the Best Large Town category, in their fifth year of entry, but they also achieved the Pride of Cheshire East Award – a prize made at the discretion of the Judges among every town entry in east Cheshire.

Ruth McNulty, Chair of Edible Wilmslow In Bloom, commented "The quality of our entries in various categories demonstrate the commitment and expertise among the business community, in the voluntary groups and in the strength of the community involvement around the town.

"As Chair, a major part of our responsibility is to encourage activity, to know what is going on and to put the results in front of the Judges. As the clutch of Award certificates and the trophy for the Pride of Cheshire demonstrate all too clearly, the level of achievement and the standards attained are remarkable. I am so very proud to be a part of this initiative, which gives so much pleasure. I thank and congratulate everyone who contributes to this remarkable drive to make Wilmslow an even more pleasant place to live, work or visit."

Meanwhile Alderley Edge in Bloom picked up a silver gilt in the Best Small Town category and Styal were awarded a silver medal in the Best Large Village category.

Wilmslow in Bloom


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Sally Hoare
Friday 3rd November 2017 at 9:41 pm
Brilliant news, well done to all the volunteers who worked so hard for this.
Alan Brough
Friday 3rd November 2017 at 10:15 pm
Who are these brave, fabulous five who have laboured long and hard to preserve our green spaces despite the threat from Developers and ill-minded politicians?
Debi Whitney
Monday 6th November 2017 at 11:37 am
Well done to all of you, especially the Chapel Lane team, being a local resident of this particular area, the improvements the Chapel Lane Business Group have made, have not gone un-noticed and the flower tubs and even the small finishing touches have made it a lovelier place to live.
Pete Taylor
Monday 6th November 2017 at 6:58 pm
@ Alan Brough, I think that I recognise Cllr Rod Menlove (he voted to remove Green Belt protection from areas around Wilmslow) and his partner (former Cllr) Ruth McNulty (she was responsible for the "wildflower meadow" (patch of scrub opposite the Ford garage, estimated cost to you and me £1900). Details are available via the search function on this site.
No doubt they will correct me, if I am mistaken.
Rod Menlove
Monday 6th November 2017 at 8:44 pm
Mr Taylor invites corrections so here is the first:-
I voted for the CEC Local Plan that is for the entire Borough. The Plan was voted through to prevent developers pushing through their speculative applications that would have been the worst case scenario. 98.5% of Green Belt land in Cheshire East has been protected. Developer applications are now being rejected at appeal since CEC now has a Local Plan with a proven 5 year supply of land. The next review of Green Belt will not be until the 2050/70 Local Plan.
I have offered to meet Mr Taylor on several occasions to understand his concerns (he lives in the Ward I represent) but he declines. Why?
Ruth will correct the second point.
Surely Mr Taylor should be congratulating all the volunteers who have made the achievement of 7 awards possible rather than yet again taking cheap shots.
Ruth McNulty
Monday 6th November 2017 at 9:07 pm
The area to the north of the slip road to the A34 was until early 2015 a sterile site containing a densely packed clump of self-seeded saplings. In early 2015 the area was cleared and rotavated. In March 2015 the site was replanted with wildflower plugs. The cost of the plug plants and the labour to plant was £1,900. However, the cost of the plug plants and the labour to plant were donated free of charge.
Thus the 'cost' was £1,900 but the 'charge' to Wilmslow Town Council and its residents was zero. Nothing, Not a penny.
The current and former Chairman of Wilmslow Town Council have already confirmed this on more than one occasion.
This area is already buzzing with insect life. The Rangers, who supervised the project, assure that it will take some time to mature. In the meantime it is proving a valuable source of wildlife, which is a prime objective of our In Bloom activity and which we are continuing to promote.
I am disappointed that comments on this site are not supportive of the considerable effort to use the In Bloom activity widespread through the town.
Perhaps I could encourage Mr Taylor to volunteer for In Bloom activity or even join the Clean Team and pick litter in an area of his choice?
Tuesday 7th November 2017 at 8:52 am
"Wilmslow in Bloom" is a great initative and I love to see the plant displays around the village, - and Wilmslow and Alderley deserve their awards.

Re Councillor Menlove's comment, "98.5% of Green Belt land in Cheshire East has been protected" - there is a problem with that when the bit that has gone is in the North, and next to the Manchester conurbation. Is the Council offering buses to visit the "Green Gap" by Crewe in return?
Alan Brough
Tuesday 7th November 2017 at 10:39 am
Mr Menlove,

Before you get too carried away with another piece of obfuscation, could we perhaps reflect on the fact that the "Local Plan" to which you lend your support will bring over 3000 homes to the immediate area in pretty short order. Whilst the protection of ("worst case") 98.5% (what do they say about statistics?) is reassuring, it does little to ameliorate the threat that the proposed expansion places on local resources.


Again we hear that our High Achieving" (should that be "Highly Deceiving?") local council will be "delivering" new homes in line with Government guidelines.

How many "affordable" homes do you think will be included in the plan - and by affordable I'm thinking of young couples, working hard on below average incomes - I'm not thinking of Premier League soccer players or re-located Chief Execs.

It's NOT just about the Green Belt - it's also about sustainability.

We are already woefully short of infrastructure to support the current needs of the area. Our roads are heavily congested and in parlous condition and will continue to be so long after the opening of SEMMS.

We currently have insufficient Primary and High School places for our children making it necessary for parents to transport children miles out of area to school. Perversely, at a time when Council cut-backs have removed school transport and thus wreaked further havoc on our roads at peak times.

As has been well publicised, our local Health Service is operating dangerously close to full capacity and face huge crisis's in funding and recruitment.

Our local Elderly Care is stretched to the maximum and for those unable to stump up the exorbitant cost of private care, prospects look pretty bleak.

Now, whilst this goes on, we have a Council that appears unfit for purpose. The recent resignations of senior members (usually linked to some investigation or enquiry) will rightly be viewed with a great deal of scepticism, as will the extensive back-catalogue of errors, overspending and general unpreparedness that has been obvious in recent years.

Against this backdrop, can you perhaps understand the very real concerns of local people expressed on this forum about the quality of life that they and their families can expect in the coming years?
Rod Menlove
Tuesday 7th November 2017 at 8:59 pm
Good evening Mr Brough

You raise a number of interesting and highly relevant concerns over a wide range of subjects in your above piece. I receive information on issues and concerns from individual residents in Wilmslow East Ward and use what influence I have to resolve.
Why don’t we have a face to face meeting for a rational discussion on these matters. Please nominate times and places and you are welcome to invite others.
Pippa Jones
Wednesday 8th November 2017 at 5:24 pm
Can we not just use this site to celebrate the hard work of lots of people in the town making it more beautiful? It is a great tribute to all those people in the town who turn out whatever the weather to clean up, plant, harvest, weed, build raised beds, plant planters and care for our neighbourhoods. Whatever your politics, why not join some of the established groups doing so much? Just imagine what Wilmslow could look like if we all donned a pair of gardening gloves and some wellies occasionally and joined one of these groups and did something useful?
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 8th November 2017 at 8:29 pm
@ Cllr Menlove, unfortunately, once again your memory has let you down. I asked you to come to Fulshaw Park to meet a group of residents who wished to discuss the ongoing street-lighting and flooding problems; you responded that you were reluctant to meet groups but were happy to meet me on an individual basis. Unfortunately both times you made this offer I was travelling in Europe, as I told you at the time. If you look at the search function on this site (and at your emails) you will be able to refresh your memory. Cheap shot.

What I find astounding is that you, and the other three CEC colleagues voted to take virtually all the Wilmslow/Handforth Green Belt out of protection and allow speculative development and, rather than showing any remorse, try to bluff out your misjudgements.

You are on record as supporting Royal London in their planning applications; they have now, thanks to your help, achieved their goal and now are selling prime development land, as opposed to Green Belt agricultural land as they (as predicted, yet you did not see it) prepare to pull out of Wilmslow.

You accuse me of taking "cheap shots" yet it is you who has, time after time let down the people who elected you. You, and your fellow Cllrs are responsible for removing the Green Belt protection from around Wilmslow and Handforth, yet you pitch up for yet another "Green" photo opportunity. Shame on you.

You were asleep at the wheel during the Lyme Green fiasco and, rather than merely stepping down from Cabinet, you should have resigned your seat and let someone more in tune with current events take your place.
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 8th November 2017 at 8:43 pm
Ruth McNulty, I'm not sure when you last looked at your "wildflower meadow". Last year the grass-cutting contractor shaved it bare at least twice and this year too. I have taken photos whenever I have passed by.
It looks like it was reduced to bare earth again in the last couple of weeks, no wonder it will "take some time to mature".
Thanks so much for confirming that the £1900 was not paid for by the public; could you let us know who did actually pay for it?
As a long-term resident I've not felt the need to join the Clean Team; I've been picking up other folks rubbish for 30+ years without once feeling the need for a photo-opportunity, however, well done to all those who do this.
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 8th November 2017 at 8:54 pm
I totally agree with you; I'm on long-term record on this site (and other local media), as being absolutely against the self-seeking local party politicians. I really regret their continued photo-appearances.

The volunteers in this area do splendid work (as I've publicly said before) they, from various groups, have made such a change to our street-scape (is that a real word?) since the financial screws were applied to local government.

Well-done to those who have achieved these splendid awards and whose faces did not appear in the photo-op.
Alan Brough
Wednesday 8th November 2017 at 9:57 pm
Good Evening Mr Menlove and thanks for your quick response.

I am reassured to see your affirmation that the points I raised were interesting and relevant, and would simply ask that, before progressing to the "rational face to face" discussions you request, you give me a flavour of your thoughts on the problems I alluded to, and in particular the concerns that I (and many others) have about CE Council.
Rod Menlove
Thursday 9th November 2017 at 5:01 pm
Good Evening Mr Brough

Thank you for responding.

As I have said I am more than happy to meet and I give you full control of the subject matter on the day. So over to you for time and place.
Alan Brough
Thursday 9th November 2017 at 5:57 pm
Mr Menlove,

Please re-read my above comment.

I can only speculate on why you seem reluctant to make public your thoughts on the "interesting and relevant" points I've raised, but until you do, I can have no idea as to whether a meeting would be worthwhile.
Ruth McNulty
Thursday 9th November 2017 at 7:06 pm
I am pleased that Pete Taylor collects litter - he will know that bags collected can be amalgamated with those of the Clean Team and picked up by ANSA. The planting of the wild flower area was largely the activity of Manchester University and I would be most interested in any photographs shot by him
Rod Menlove
Thursday 9th November 2017 at 10:12 pm
Mr Brough

I have no idea why you are so reluctant to meet to exchange views.
My offer stands
Alan Brough
Friday 10th November 2017 at 9:57 am
Mr Menlove,

I can see that I will have to be a little more "blunt" in order to assist you.

I have explained (twice) that I would like to understand your views on the various issues before meeting to discuss in further detail. Not an unreasonable request, but one which you are studiously and (might I say) arrogantly avoiding.

You offer to give me "full control of the subject matter on the day" - please explain this as I find the haughtiness of your invitation slightly offensive.

This is a public forum and I have (I think) made clear my concerns regarding Council Planning decisions, the effect on local infrastructure and the perceived position of the local council.

All I ask is that you, as our local Councillor (Wilmslow East,) offer your thoughts - on this public forum, before we take it outside.
Pete Taylor
Friday 10th November 2017 at 11:02 pm
"Good evening Mr Brough
You raise a number of interesting and highly relevant concerns over a wide range of subjects in your above piece. I receive information on issues and concerns from individual residents in Wilmslow East Ward and use what influence I have to resolve.
Why don’t we have a face to face meeting for a rational discussion on these matters. Please nominate times and places and you are welcome to invite others."

Forgive me, Cllr Menlove but is this an open invitation?
Some while back, on this forum, I suggested that you might want to hold a surgery for the folks who elected you. You declined to accept this invitation, suggesting that you would prefer to meet your constituents on a one-to-one basis.

However; you have now sent out an open invitation; perhaps you might want to book a venue on behalf of your electorate? I'm reasonably sure that you could secure the Parish Hall for such an important meeting- after all, when was the last time any of our CEC Cllrs put themselves forward to face the public when there was not an election pending?

Please feel free (forgive me for adopting your arrogant tone) to invite the other three CEC "representatives" along. that would be only fair (and I'm sure that the electorate of Lacey Green are desperate for some sight of their Cllr).
Rod Menlove
Saturday 11th November 2017 at 12:57 pm
Mr Taylor: Mr Brough

You both seem to be on the same page so I hope you do not mind one email.
You are both in Wilmslow East ward so I want to meet you. I do not feel sufficiently important or indeed arrogant, to suggest a public meeting. So together or separately and indeed I leave the subject matter to you. The written tone adopted by both of you is aggresive but I trust face to face you will be calmer. Quite likely we will agree to disagree but I trust not disagreeably.
If your answer is no then you can continue to hide behind your keyboards.
If the answer is yes then you have my email to offer day/time/venue options.
I'll add nothing else to this thread as it should be about the In Bloom volunteers and the successes they have brought to Wilmslow.
Claire MacLeod
Sunday 12th November 2017 at 9:43 pm
Good evening, Councillor Menlove

I've read through the thread above and can only reach the conclusion that you are deliberately obfuscating in response to a clear request by concerned constituents of yours to clarify your position. If you are so modest as to think you are not important enough to call a public meeting, which you have been directly asked to do, then surely the least you can do is make your position on Alan Brough and Pete Taylor's questions clear on this forum? As you say, these are 'interesting and highly relevant concerns', and so you can be sure that Alan and Pete are not alone in wanting clarification.
Your point blank refusal to do so, repeatedly insisting on a private conversation, does nothing to allay everyone else's concerns about these issues. In fact, it just makes us all the more unsettled and, dare I say, suspicious.

As a seasoned Councillor, am I right to understand you do not hold regular 'surgeries', as our Ward Councillor in Alderley Edge does? How on earth can you keep a handle on what concerns the constituents you represent might have? And why on earth would you not want to openly engage with them on a forum such as this, to answer questions, and allay concerns, if you are not willing to meet, or speak to them all in person?