Why did councillors leave early on key vote?
AS chairman of Brookfield Lane Allotment Association and a resident of Macclesfield, I attended the Local Service Delivery Committee meeting at the Town Hall on Thursday, January 8.
Eleven of Macclesfield’s 12 Cheshire East ward councillors were present to discuss and vote on recommendations for the transfer of assets and services from Cheshire East to the new Macclesfield Parish Council when formed in May.
These recommendations will then be taken into consideration by the Community Governance Review Board on January 16 and the Constitution Committee on January 29, when decisions about the setting of the new council’s first year budget will be made.
This budget will be met by an extra payment or precept, on the council tax bills of every household in the Macclesfield Parish Area.
I am writing to say that as a tax payer, I was relieved to see that all elected members but one (who had given their apology) had attended such an important meeting.
I was however shocked when four of the councillors left well before the end of the meeting with no explanation or apologies given.
This resulted in them missing out on discussions and votes that could ultimately cost the residents of Macclesfield thousands of pounds.
It is my opinion, and that of other residents who I have spoken to since the meeting, that the elected councillors who left the meeting early need to consider why they are carrying out the role before they stand for reelection in May this year. Mick Warren Union Road Macclesfield
CARE HOME WAS BRILLIANT
MY grandmother Iris was an independent woman who cared for all her family throughout her life.
However, when it got to the point that the health started to deteriorate, we knew there was one place that would ensure she would be safe and comfortable for the rest of her life – Genesis Care Home.
We were met with warm hugs and welcoming smiles, making the transition much easier. My late grandfather, Jimbo, was a resident at Genesis, where he settled well into a secure, restful home.
All the staff at Genesis were hardworking and understanding of our situation and very supportive, allowing my grandmother to settle into life at Genesis very well.
My grandmother, a loving, confident and inspiring woman, sadly passed away on Friday, December 12, staying at Genesis Care Home for her last few days.
The doctor told us my grandmother had only a few days left, which was when myself, my sister and my mother stayed by her side taking shifts to ensure we were with her.
The staff and district nurses were fantastic and very comforting during this emotional time.
They provided us with hugs, snacks when needed and emotional support – this was highly appreciated.
I would personally like to thank all the Genesis staff and district nurses for all the love and care provided to myself and my family throughout this. Dawn Lancaster Longden Street Macclesfield
WELL DONE TO COUNCIL STAFF
I wish to place on record my thanks to all the Cheshire East highways officers and staff for their excellent work in keeping the roads and footpaths of the borough safe for our residents during the cold snap over the Christmas period.
Footpaths in the towns were treated so that businesses did not suffer and that pedestrians could walk in safety.
In addition, our Ansa refuse collections are working hard to collect the post-Christmas waste.
They may be running late on occasions, because of the extra trips required to dispose of their loads, but they are keeping to schedule.
Well done to all. Coun David Topping Cabinet member for environment Cheshire East Council
APPEAL OVER FOUND VIDEO
AT a jumble sale held at the scout hut in Bollington on November 8, a resident donated a box of old VHS videos to include and sell to raise proceeds for local causes.
Within the collection of videos was one labelled ‘mum and dad’s ruby wedding anniversary 16 March 1991’.
Macclesfield Lions Club is now trying to reunite this family video with its rightful owner.
If you recognise the couple, please contact Macclesfield Lions on 0161 998 4786 and we will return the video to them or their family. Christopher Oatway Secretary, Macclesfield Lions Club
THANKS FOR DONATIONS
MACCLESFIELD District GENERAL Hospital would like to extend a huge thank-you to everyone who very generously donated gifts to our Children’s Ward this Christmas.
Specifically we would like to thank Thomas Cook Cooperative Travel, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Lifestyle Fitness and Arighi Bianchi of Macclesfield, The Botanist of Alderley Edge, Anson Engine Museum of Poynton, avarto UK of Cheshire and Virgin Trains, but also to many very kind local donors who wish not to be named.
The children were thrilled with their gifts this Christmas and that’s thanks to you. Your generosity and community spirit is what Christmas is all about.
We really appreciate the support we receive from local people and companies throughout all areas East Cheshire NHS Trust operates in.
If you would like to get involved with the charity work we do for the trust, or to make a donation, please contact ECHO – the official charity of East Cheshire NHS Trust - www.echohospitalcharity.org
Many thanks and best wishes, Claire Finlay Children’s Ward Manager Macclesfield District General Hospital
DISAPPOINTED OVER DECISION
I am extremely disappointed about the recent decision by the Cheshire East Northern Planning Committee to allow residential development on the flood plain on the south side of the river Dean in Lowerhouse, Bollington.
I am very aware that this was a difficult decision and I believe that the wrong decision has been made and this will offer a precedent for further residential development on the North side of the river on the same site.
I feel that the whole planning process has let down the local residents of Bollington who campaigned to return this greenfield site to green belt or at the very least, prevent change of use from commercial to residential use.
Despite strong support from the Leader of Cheshire East, Councillor Michael Jones, Cheshire East Bollington Ward Councillor, Bill Livesley and from Bollington Town Councillors (who were unanimous in their objections to the development), the planning application was upheld.
Local residents and Bollington Town Councillors gave repeated warnings about the flood risks, the impact on traffic flow and the danger to local children attending the two schools and the Scout Hall on Albert Road.
However, the experts from the Environment Agency, from Highways and even Cheshire East Councillors from other parishes, felt they knew better and local officers were effectively required to recommend approval.
On the day of the planning application, more than 50 local residents, Bollington Town Councillors and other interested parties, demonstrated their strong opposition to the planning application and the large Capesthorne room at Macclesfield Town Hall was packed.
Bollington Civic Society had always argued that there should be no buildings of any kind on these green fields which had been the site of numerous floods over the years. Bollington Town Council recognised that it would be difficult to return this green field site to the green belt, but until the local plan for Bollington had been agreed, no more employment land should be given up to residential use.
There were passionate arguments from local residents led by Dr Elaine Stokes objecting to the development on many grounds including the poor access, the flood risk, the impact on this historically important area, etc. The planning officers recommended approval, purely based on the factual information that they had available to them.
The site was already approved for building development, the Environmental Agency did not believe there was a flood risk and Highways were content that a residential development compared to an industrial development was the lesser of two evils, from a traffic perspective.
It was at this point that I believe that the Cheshire East councillors should have been brave enough to take the wishes and knowledge of the local community into account.
It is no good describing yourself as an “Independent Councillor or an independent thinking Labour or Conservative Councillor” interested primarily in promoting the wishes of the local community, if you then go ahead and vote against the wishes of local people.
I consider myself an independent thinking Conservative Councillor, I will support the people of Bollington, the community in which I live.
There have been a number of Bollington Town, Macclesfield Borough, and now Cheshire East Councillors from the different parties who have worked hard to try to prevent this land moving first from green belt to employment, and now to residential land and they should be thanked for their efforts.
We all need to challenge the developers when we know that this is the wrong place to build houses.
We need to be brave enough to challenge the views of the so-called experts and when necessary, we need to take a risk and be prepared to fight an appeal, risking rate payers money to do so.
The fact is that the whole planning process has let down local residents and I am very disappointed in the outcome.
If readers would like to write or email with comments, I would appreciate their views. Councillor Jon Weston Bollington Town Council
●● A wintry scene at Macclesfield Forest taken by reader Kat Beardmore