CWAC joins Heritage Crime Initiative

Cheshire West & Chester Council has signed up to an alliance with the police, Crown Prosecution Service and English Heritage to prevent crimes that damage historic buildings.

The borough contains 116 scheduled monuments and 2,500 listed buildings. Recent crimes include theft of lead rainwater materials at the Grade 1-listed St Mary's Church in Great Budworth. At the Grade2*-listed Hooton Lodge in Ellesmere Port, now the entrance to a local authority golf club, large vehicles using the site have left it in an unstable condition and the council with a large repair bill.

Cllr Hilarie McNae, heritage champion at the council, said: "Cheshire West and Chester Council recognises how much we in this area depend on our heritage – not just to provide a beautiful setting for residents, but also to attract inward investment, facilitate regeneration and increase our tourist economy.

"That is why the council will be among the first local authorities to sign the memorandum.

"We are lucky to live in a part of the world which is renowned for its historic beauty but we cannot be complacent; for example, Chester's unique system of historic walkways and shops in the Rows dating from medieval times and a proposed World Heritage Site, regularly suffers from a wide range of anti-social behaviour.

"Councils who are signed up to tackle heritage crime have a shared interest in preventing heritage crime and if it occurs, in seeing that relevant laws are effectively enforced.

"Heritage crime is any offence which harms the value of England's heritage assets and their settings, to this and future generations."

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