Dozens attend first town meeting – then make their demands
DOZENS of residents turned out to witness the historic first meeting of Macclesfield Town Council.
The event saw a mixture of experienced politicians and new-comers convene at the town hall to start a new era in local democracy.
The journey to the inaugural meeting on May 21 was far from smooth following a ballot box blunder at the recent elections where voters were given the wrong forms.
Cheshire East Council had to go to a court to get permission to review the result which eventually saw Couns Neil Puttick and Chris Andrew elected to represent south ward.
They joined Couns Liz Durham and Martin Hardy representing Broken Cross, Couns Beverley Dooley and Janet Jackson speak for Central ward, and Coun Philip Bolton representing East ward. The Hurdsfield ward elected Coun Matthew Sharrocks, West and Ivy ward elected Couns Alift Harewood and Adam Schofield and Coun Ainsley Arnold and Coun Gareth Jones represent Tytherington.
Residents wasted no time in setting out their demands of the new council.
Former local authority planning officer John Knight urged councillors to respond to the latest version of the Cheshire East Local Plan, while newly elected borough councillor Mick Warren and Amanda Berry, from South Park allotments, called for work to begin on managing the town’s allotments, which now fall under the council’s remit.
Keith Smith from Macclesfield Civic Society made a plea for Macclesfield to get new signs to replace the ‘dirt and broken’ street furniture in place on the town’s boundaries.
Other issues raised was creating a website for the council, funding for WW1 displays and work to restore war memorials.
Councillors also paid tribute to Janet Jacket who clocked up 138 mayoral visits during her year as mayor.
She said it had been a ‘fantastic experience’.
The new mayor and chairman of the council is Liz Durham, while Alift Harewood will be deputymayor and deputy chairman.
The council is to get a budget of £575,000 to spend on local services and will be responsible for allotments, public toilets, town centre management, street furniture, Christmas lights, floral displays, the Weston Community Centre and CCTV cameras.
It’s interim clerk is Pete Turner.