Why did coun­cil­lors leave early on key vote?

Macclesfield Express - - YOUR VIEWS -

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

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