Res­i­dents billed £33 for new coun­cil

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

MACCLESFIELD’S new coun­cil is to get a bud­get of £575,000 to spend on lo­cal ser­vices.

But res­i­dents will see their coun­cil tax bills go up by an av­er­age of £33 per year through a new parish pre­cept.

Macclesfield Parish Coun­cil will be re­spon­si­ble for al­lot­ments, public toi­lets, town cen­tre man­age­ment, street fur­ni­ture, Christ­mas lights, flo­ral dis­plays, We­ston Com­mu­nity Cen­tre and CCTV cam­eras.

The author­ity will have 12 coun­cil­lors spread across seven wards, based on the ex­ist­ing bound­aries.

Bro­ken Cross and Up­ton, Macclesfield Cen­tral, Tyther­ing­ton, Macclesfield West and Ivy, and Macclesfield South will each get two coun­cil­lors, while Mac- cles­field East and Hurds­field will get one each.

Each rep­re­sen­ta­tive will serve for four years.

The first elec­tions for the new author­ity will be held on May 7, the same day as bor­ough and par­lia­men­tary elec­tions.

Coun­cil­lor David Mar­ren, chair­man of Cheshire East Coun­cil’s com­mu­nity gov­er­nance re­view sub­com­mit­tee, said: “Cre­at­ing a parish coun­cil for Macclesfield will help im­prove com­mu­nity en­gage­ment and de­velop lo­cal democ­racy so that lo­cal ser­vices can bet­ter re­flect lo­cal need and pri­or­i­ties.

“All Cheshire East will now be parished and that is in the in­ter­est of all tax­pay­ers, en­abling each lo­cal com­mu­nity to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for and pay for those lo­cal ser­vices they wish to have, that are not pro­vided by Cheshire East across the whole bor­ough.”

Macclesfield is cur­rently the only area of Cheshire East which is ‘un­parished’ and does not have a lo­cal level of gov­er­nance.

Last year the author­ity launched a re­view of com­mu­nity gov­er­nance to look for a way for­ward.

A bal­lot of res­i­dents saw more than half who took part vote for a sin­gle town coun­cil in­stead of op­tions to cre­ate seven smaller parish coun­cils, or ex­pand­ing the cur­rent Lo­cal Ser­vice De­liv­ery Com­mit­tee (LSDC).

But coun­cil leader Michael Jones ar­gued the poor turn-out did not give a clear vi­sion of what the town wanted.

Then in Oc­to­ber, fol­low­ing pres­sure from fel­low Tory coun­cil­lors, Coun Jones made a u-turn and agreed to give Macclesfield its own town coun­cil.

Cheshire East Coun­cil is hold­ing a se­ries of brief­ings to help prospec­tive can­di­dates for the forth­com­ing elec­tions.

Brief­ings for Par­lia­men­tary can­di­dates will take place in Sand­bach on Fe­bru­ary 20 at 10.30am and 2.30pm.

Brief­ings for parish town or bor­ough coun­cil­lors will take place in Macclesfield on March 5 at 5.30pm and 7pm.

To book a place call 01270 685922 or email elec­toral. in­for­ma­tion@ cheshireeast.gov.uk

●● Macclesfield Town Hall is to be the seat of gov­er­nance for a new town coun­cil, which will see coun­cil­lors elected in May

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