Congleton Sustainability Group Meeting Minutes 01/10/18

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


Highlights include:

Air Quality

PA has contacted Nigel Standley re hand held Air Quality monitors, still awaiting a reply.
MS has recirculated M.Brown’s Air Quality presentation for information.
Following the “greening” of Mountbatten Way, In Bloom are looking at other areas around the town (eg Clayton By-pass)
The issue of parking outside of Wetherspoons (Swan Bank) since the new block surface has been laid was raised. CEBC are looking at reinstating a form of yellow line control to put a stop to this.


Dane Valley Community Energy.

Planning application in 18/0773M
Eco surveys now completed, all information to be back with CEBC by November.
Need to get things in place before feed in the tariffs disappear on 31st March 2019.


The Old Saw Mill.
Apple Juice and Cider
AJ production is now in full swing a little earlier than normal (23rd August) 1696 bottled so far.
Dewi to put together a leaflet to explain usage of Cider Vinegar. Currently have 400 bottles (RPS £5)
OSM Cider to enter the CAMRA North of England Cider and Perry Competition at the Manchester Beer & Cider festival 25th January 2019 (This is not now happening)
DJ attended a cider making course in Bakewell, picked up some good tips and practices.
New director Alison Hughes has joined the team, there are now 4 directors in total.
Café targets and room hire targets being met, around 15 volunteer helpers.
Connected Communities Centre.
GRIPP is now competed for being recognised as a Connected Communities Centre.
Grand opening planned for Thursday 11th October, 2.30 to 5.00pm. All welcome.


Enhancing Congleton’s Greenspace.
PP reported that Mossley guides are interested in the project, it would need to be a CSG project as In Bloom feel it is too far out to fit in their current programme.

Next Meeting:- Mon 5th November, Astbury Mere Visitor Ctr, 10am.

Congleton Sustainability Group meeting minutes 06.11.17

Congleton Sustainability Group meeting minutes, download the full meeting minutes HERE.

Highlights include:

Dane Valley Community Energy.
No real change from the last meeting. Still waiting for wall renovation to take place.
Issue around Derwent Engineering and when they would be able to commit to the work. Still hoping for Spring 2018 but could be more like Spring 2019.
Community Share drive will be dependent on the above time table.
Extraction permissions have been sent to the Environment Agency, full planning application should go in by the end of the year.
Next newsletter should be out soon.


Neighbourhood Plan.
Monday 13th November is the last day of the 6 week consultation process. The steering group will then meet to discuss the results of the consultation and add anything significant before forwarding to Cheshire East to prepare for the Regulation 15 stage.
The final stage to adoption will be a public referendum. This completed document will include a delivery plan of actions which will help some of our long term project planning.


The Old Saw Mill .
Café. This is going very well and showing a 600 to 700% on last year when first opened. More staff have been taken on both paid and volunteers.
PR /Events. Harriet is working towards her NVQ Level 3 and making great progress getting our message out to the general public with some god turnouts resulting for our recent activities.
Partnership. PA wished to record OSM’s thanks to The Partnership for its financial support in the extra power sockets and equipment required to meet our energy demands with all that is now going on at the centre.
AJ, Cider & Vinegar/ CSG relationship. PA /DJ reported on the substantial growth in both production and overheads since taking the drink production in house. The upfront purchasing of bottles, labels and various pieces of equipment that was previously the responsibility of the outsourced juicer has had to be met by OSM. Two directors have loaned the OSM close on £5000 which will need to be paid back through sales/ 2017/18 profits.
Once this has been completed then an agreement will need to be reached between OSM & CSG on the level of profit that should go towards future operating costs and towards CSG projects. PA, DJ & PR are working on a paper which will lead to a PENCE per bottle agreement (30p/40p) which will then be annually negotiated.
CSG will need to draw up a list of potential projects (possible ideas drawn for the emerging NH Plan) which can then be made public and meet our community promise to use AJ to improve our environment.
Storage for the product is an issue, the Community Store at The Park has no space available, if anyone is aware of places that may be of use please let the production team know.
DJ shared a recording document with the group. This shows production Volumes, Dates and Batch Codes by Product on one spreadsheet, with Sales by Batch Code, Type and Quantity on another. This will be vital information for various reasons as the “business” grows and accurate stock and sales figures become a requirement.


Green space / In Bloom – P.Pinto.
MG. Major successes for Congleton In Bloom, with Gold and Best Small Town in the North West, which once again puts us into the Britain In Bloom National Competition. So plenty of new ideas and commitments for 2018. PA stated that The Rossendale Trust involvement at OSM may offer an opportunity for work with them on improving the environment in the around the area local to OSM.


Next Meeting:-
Mon 4th December 2017 , The Old Saw Mill ,10.00am

E-MILL NEWSLETTER 12th October 2017

Hello Subscribers!
All replies to this eMill will be going to Harriet, not Peter Aston. If you need to contact Peter directly his details are at the bottom of this email. Many Thanks!

Firstly a huge thank you is in order, to all the lovely people who attended our Macmillan Coffee Morning and helped us raise £142.05 for the fantastic cause! We had lots of fun playing Cake Bingo; Peter did a brilliant job as our bingo caller, I think he’s in the wrong job! Thank you also to everyone who made something delicious for us, I’m happy to say there were only crumbs left by the end of the day!

I’d like to please draw your attention to just some of our upcoming events:

Halloween Party – Tuesday 31st October
All ages are welcome, there will be plenty of games for everyone to enjoy, and delicious food included in the price of the ticket. There will be apple bobbing (of course), pumpkin painting, sweetie hunt, and much more!

Christmas Craft Fair – Saturday 11th November
We will be holding this event upstairs, anyone wishing to have a stall please reply to this email with details of what you’d like to sell and how much space you need. We are asking £10 per table, and anyone is welcome to come and sell anything they’ve made.

To see what other exciting things are happening in the coming weeks please look at the Events Section of this newsletter!

Until the end of October we have a slot in the Bags for Help scheme at Tesco. Please next time you’re in either of the Tesco stores in Congleton, ask for a blue token at the checkout and put it in our box. Winning will give us £4000 which will go into making our hub even better at supporting our community.

There are a few items we still need to ask you for, including book shelves, a cabinet suitable for storing children’s toys and books, and shelving units or cupboards. If you aren’t sure if you have something suitable then just pop in with a photo of you item, or send a photo of it to our Facebook page or email address so we can tell you if we can make use of it! We would also like to ask for old photos of Congleton that we can display around The Old Saw Mill.

We desperately want more volunteers to help in our cafe so if you can spare even just a couple of hours one day a week to do some washing up or waiting on, we’d be very grateful. The pay will be free membership, excellent company, and delicious free food! It’s hard to say no really! 

It never hurts to be too organised! We are now taking booking for Christmas lunches, please contact Harriet for a menu; you can directly reply to this email or pop into our cafe and ask for her.  We will be offering lunches from December 11th, and will be open until 7pm for bookings. We promise we’ll hold off on the Christmas music for a while yet……



Thank you to all those people who have been bringing apples to the Old Saw Mill and Astbury Mere, please keep up the hard work! We are also able to collect donations of apples from you if you are unable to bring them yourself for any reason. Pick up days will be on Tuesdays unless arranged otherwise.

We are bottling the cider from last year’s apples and also apple juice from this year’s harvest, as you have hopefully seen from the videos and pictures on our social media pages! This is for sale in the café at £2.50 per bottle.

We’re beginning to find businesses in the town who are willing to sell the juice or cider on our behalf. So if you have a business in town and would also like to sell our product please contact any of the numbers at the bottom of the newsletter.

Given that we are increasing our production as the apple harvest is more plentiful this year, we are anticipating having some storage issues. If anyone can offer us a place to store our bottled cider and apple juice, for example a storage unit or garage, we would be very happy to hear from you. Please contact Dewi Jones on 07554 990403 if you think you can help us!



Members offer this month is our freshly bottled apple juice or cider for just £1! As well as the usual 10% member discount on food & room hire.

Have you joined yet? If not follow the link to download or call into The old Saw Mill for an application form.




Every Monday, 4:30 – 5:30, 5:45 – 6:45, or 7:00 – 8:00.
This is run as a 6 week course, and costs £30 per person. For more information contact Alison: 07798 555458 or on the website.

Every Thursday 7 – 9pm.
We can provide supplies for making all kinds of things, so whether you’re a pro card maker or fancy coming along to develop a new skill, we will have anything you need! Alternatively please bring along any projects you have already!

Every Friday, call in anytime:
Come for a chat, tea and cakes.
Mum’s, Toddlers and a story – if there’s enough little ones we’ll read a story and entertain them for a bit while mum’s can enjoy a snack!

Saturday 21st October and then every other Saturday:
10.30am – 12.00pm. Donations £5 + (nobody turned away!) There will be Meditation, Silence, Sharing, Satsang, and Darshan. For more details call Dhyan on 07807 044908 or on her Facebook page.

Every Tuesday 2pm – 4pm
Come and join the group, bring any wool and knitting needles you have and enjoy a good natter! We also have wool and needles here for anyone who doesn’t have their own! We are currently encouraging people to knit Robins if they want an easy project that can be displayed in our cafe.

Starts Friday 27th October.
This is a course of three sessions, completely free, suitable for complete beginners and those with more experience. All are welcome from age 19+.
More info can be found here.

Life Modelling Art Sessions
Saturday 14th Oct & then every other Saturday 11am – 1pm.
Professional and amateur artists are welcome, there will be male and female models available. For more details or to book a space please contact Angie: 07789687428 or

Once a month. The first being Friday 20th Oct 10:30 – 13:00.
More information can be found here. Sessions are £8.



£4 in advance or £5 on the door. 

Food will be provided, please let us know if you have a dietary requirement. All ages welcome. There will be Pumpkin Painting a sweetie hunt, Apple Bobbing and much more fun activities! there will be a 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize for the best fancy dress, so many sure you have a fantastic costume!

£8 Per Person
The first of many monthly themed nights! We would like to invite you to enjoy authentic Caribbean food, music and rum punch! Please respond to this email, contact the facebook page or let a member of staff know if you’d like to book a table.

Every Wednesday between 10am and 11am:
Congleton Woman’s Forum invite women to receive their monthly gift, contact Sue Munro on 07534 510841.



Kind Regards,
Harriet and the Team

Contacting us:
We hope this newsletter is reaching everyone but if you would like to contact us here are a few methods:-
General E-mail:-
Direct E-mail and phone for Bookings, Events & Newsletter: – and 01260 277658
Direct E-mail for Volunteers, Buildings, Development and Maintenance: and 07717003847
Direct E-mail for Marketing: and 07554990403

Congleton Sustainability Meeting Minutes 02.10.17

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


Highlights include:

Geothermal Energy in the Cheshire Basin – D.Griffiths.

Dan took us through a presentation on the science and possible benefits of geothermal energy. The Cheshire Basin has a huge resource, the same amount of energy of around 3 billion barrels of oil. Whilst Crewe sits in prime position to benefit the most there are also opportunities for Congleton and Macclesfield with heat network development stages indicated within the presentation. Temperature predictions within the base of the basin indicate a possible heat of 100C.

There is still a lot of work to be done, not least funding and partners, but if successful could result in extra jobs within Cheshire, cheaper fuel and a significant reduction in CO2. A copy of the presentation has been circulated to CSG members. Dan happy to come back to future meetings to keep us informed on progress of the project.

Item for the next agenda (Mon 6th November) Domestic Heating in the Country.


The Old Saw Mill.
Apple Juice / Cider / Cider Vinegar
A sheet indicating stock levels of the above was circulated at the meeting. Storage is becoming an issue and any help would be gratefully received.
DJ is visiting various businesses to try and build some regular business with them. Pricelist order form circulated at the meeting, MS raised the possibility of interest from McColls in Buglawton, DJ to follow up.

Apple waste is now being collected and used by an outlet in Somerford.
All products carry batch numbers, production and best before date information
DJ still to put together an options report on ownership etc.


Neighbourhood Plan.
Moved to Reg 14 today, sent out to around 700 consultees.
Copy of Jackie email for information:-
Just to let you know that we have just put the Congleton Draft Local Plan out on its Regulation 14 consultation. This lasts for 6 weeks (until the 13th November). It has been sent to 701 people who were either on the Cheshire East Council list of consultees or local Congleton groups which have expressed an interest in the plan.
A copy of the draft plan has been loaded onto the front of the Town Council Website and the My Congleton website.
Paper copies for reading at the premises have been given to the TIC and the library.
An article should be the main back page piece in the Chronicle tomorrow.
Once the comments are in the draft plan will be reviewed, changes made, then a second round of Regulation 15 consultation will take place where people can have their say.
Ultimately it there will be a referendum on whether or not to accept the plan – this is likely to take place in Spring 2018.

Next Meeting:-
Mon 6th November 2017 , The Old Saw Mill ,10.00am

E-MILL NEWSLETTER 18th August 2017

saw mil


Do you have any of the following:-
• Tumble Dryer
• Kitchen sink with a base unit
• Afternoon tea style cups and saucers

If you have or know anyone who is getting rid of any of the above please contact any of us on the list at the bottom.
We need volunteers in our café, so if you can spare a couple of hours drop in or contact one of us below.

We’re part of Congleton Jazz and Blues this year: we’re welcoming the Salt City Jazzmen on Saturday 26th at 6pm. and Jazzworks, Congleton’s very own Big Band at 8pm on Sunday.
The Old Saw Mill is now part of the Congleton Big Heart Lunch Club so for just £5 you can enjoy a 2 course meal. Come and join Yvonne at midday every Wednesday.

The Member’s gift for August is free tea and coffee with any food ordered; plus enjoy your usual 10% member discount.

…………..and finally, we are now collecting apples which we will use to make apple juice and cider which we sell in the café. So if you have some windfalls or an excess of apples, then bring them here.


Every Monday 1.15-2.15pm; 6-7pm, and 7-8pm:

Discover Pilates

Classes are up and running, you can join any anytime, more information from Alison on 07798 555458.


Each Tuesday 2pm to 4pm

Knit and Natter Group: Come and join the group, bring any wool and knitting needles you have and enjoy a good natter! Also desperately need balls of wool, knitting needles, crochet hooks to be donated please.

Every Wednesday between 10am and 11am:

Monthly Gift: Congleton Woman’s Forum invite women to receive their monthly gift, contact Sue Munro on 07534 510841.


Every Thursday at 7pm



Every Friday, call in anytime:

Mum’s Bumps and Babies – come for a chat, tea and cakes.

Mum’s, Toddlers and a story – if there’s enough little ones we’ll read a story and entertain them for a bit while mum’s can enjoy a snack!




Congleton Sustainability Group Meeting Minutes 05.09.16

Congleton Sustainability Group meeting took place recently, download full meeting minutes here.

Highlights include:

Congleton Co-Operative

Weekly newsletter continues to be sent out to a wide readership.

Stewart issued a callout for a plumber a.s.a.p

A lot of progress made since the last meeting, the commercial kitchen (ex Airbags) should go in during the next couple of weeks.

Bank account still an issue but should be sorted this week.

Rent (£400 per month) kicks in November.

Are planning to sell breakfast baps on T O B Day

Congleton In Bloom

Patti reported that the Bloom judges were very complimentary about Congleton and its community offering in general. Good interaction between them and the volunteers that they met. Results of both competitions will be announced mid to late October.

Winter Tub planting (with the children) October

Congleton park achieved its 9th Green Flag

Secret garden progressing well at the Old Saw Mill

Global Gardens – 2 weekends left for you to visit (Sat/Sun 2 to 4.00pm)


Apple Juice. Apples starting to come in, adverts posters / social media started. PP to put together a press release which will also advise residents what any profits are being spent on.

First batch of apples will be processed at Dunham Massey, but labelled at the OSM. We should be processing ourselves by end of September.

Excess apples?

Don’t worry, Congleton Sustainability Group are going to turn them into Congleton’s very own apple juice with the help of Dunham Massey.

All you have to do is collect your excess apples – desert or cooking – and we’ll turn them into 750ml bottles of Congleton Apple Juice.
Collecting apples


Just bag up your apples
– with your name &
contact details (phone
no. or email) & leave
them at:




Astbury Mere Visitor Centre

(open daily from 9am to 5pm)
Old Saw Mill, Back River St
(open Monday-Friday, 9am – 5pm)


Bottles of Congleton Apple Juice will be available from October and we’ll give a free bottle to everyone who
contributes apples. apples congleton

Congleton Sustainability Group meeting minutes 1.08.16

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


Highlights include:

Congleton Community Coop

SH working on opening a bank account, currently discussing with Handlesbanken at Wilmslow.

The meeting was asked to give their permission for CSG to act as CCC’s accountable body until the account is opened.                                                                                                           This was unanimously agreed.

Weekly letter continues to be sent out to all.

Titanic Breweries (12 outlets) approached us to be their Cider suppliers (approx. 20 Tonnes) they would supply the apples via their collection system. PA / SH have met with Dunham Massey to keep them informed of our long term plans. Phil Worthington (CHS) is designing a new Logo/ Label for the bottles for 2016 vintage, we must make sure the brand name remains constent.

Bookings for use of some of the rooms are starting to come in at an encouraging level.

Membership of the Coop will commence around the end of September

Neighbourhood Plan Draft.

First draft was issued to members last week (80+ pages) have until the end of August to make comments. Next steering group meeting early September to review comments and further rerfine the document.

Apple Juice / Cider.


Congleton Apple Juice won 1st Prize for Cheshire Life – Food & Drink Award. Congratulations to all involved.

Stock left. Apple Juice 3 c/s & Cider 600 Litres 9unbottled) at Dunham Massey.


Next Meeting:-

Mon 5th September, The Old Saw Mill ,10.00am


Congleton Sustainability Group Meeting Minutes 07.03.2016

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

Highlights includes:

In Bloom.

A lot of new items underway, small group set up to look at the Heritage element.

New In Bloom member – Bath House Group/ Physic Gardens

Community Orchard (behind Emmerdale Drive) is progressing. New Steps are built, 2 beds are ready for fruit bush / hedge planting, the Sycamore tree is in situ and ready ofr carving into an Apple Core ( Apr/May), new destination signage to be developed.

Clean for the Queen .Friday 4th – 8 people in town, full school at Buglawton, 1 x class St Marys’ and Canal & Rivers Trust all kicked off this year’s C4Q campaign in style.

PM commented on the litter that was laying around in The new Cemetery.

Dane Valley Community Energy-Havannah Hydro.

Feasibility study continues, should know results this month.

PA / GW met with EBA who were keen to be involved in any way they could.

Siemens also indicated interest around supporting the capital equipment requirement as they as a company manufacture these items.

Cycling Campaign / SECCAG.


SECCAG have drafted a map showing a network of ‘aspirational’ cycle routes as part of a CE wide Cycling Strategy initiative.

We are advised that by having a ‘wish list’ of routes and facilities CE can demonstrate to funding bodies the grassroots support for cycling and thereby attract money to CE. To be frank, there are so many things on the wish list that if only 10% get done it will be a coup!

Tour of Britain comes to Congleton! The third stage of the 2016 Tour of Britain will start in Congleton on Tuesday September 6th. No more detail yet but some of the Campaign will be at a Cycling Club meeting on 3 March and we may be able to give more to the meeting on Monday.

Look at

And follow the links to ‘stages’ for an overview of where the stage will go. More detail to follow.


Next Meeting:- Monday 4th April – Astbury Mere Visitor Centre


Congleton Sustainability Group Meeting Minutes 7.12.2015

Congleton Sustainability Group met recently, please download the full minutes HERE.

Highlights included:

“Congleton Co-operative” – S.Halliday.


Stewart took us through a presentation entitled “Congleton Co-operative”.

This is a scheme to build on the success Apple Juice /Cider/ Preservatives and increase the usage of abundant produce which would lead to a reduction in food wastage.

He looked at the reason for this project, possible siting (in town)of the Community Bistro/ Juicing Plant, timing (ready Mar 2016), the people organisations he would envisage being involved and type of products that could initially be produced.

There are a number of challenges that need to be overcome, Stewart who would lead the project is going to put together a full blown business plan which will be put before CSG at the next meeting ( 11th January 2016).

Copy of the presentation is held on file.

CSG supported the project in principal but reserve judgement waiting the Business Plan presentation in January.

Olga advised the meeting that Suma Wholefoods may provide a possible link to the Bistro/Shop arm.

Vale Allotments.

As this project had now fallen through PA advised the meeting that any monies received had now been returned to the people who had made donations.

Next Meeting:-

Monday 11th January 2016 at Plus Dane.