BIG PIC­TURE

Macclesfield Express - - YOUR VIEWS -

●● Fam­ily ‘ab­so­lutely dev­as­tated’ by death of dad Jason North, brother-in-law of mur­der vic­tim Robert Hart, who was try­ing to save chil­dren from sea. Wendy McGin­nis: Ab­so­lutely tragic and heart break­ing x thoughts are with his loved ones and chil­dren x RIP. ●● ST Albans pupils dance their way to a greener fu­ture (web­site) Sinead Fox: This is so de­served, I’m so happy for all in­volved and the whole school! Amaz­ing news for an amaz­ing school with amaz­ing pupils and staff! Clare White So very proud of my son and all the dancers in­volved to­day, they were amaz­ing and did St Albans proud xxx Rachel Fowler: Well done to all the chil­dren and teach­ers at St Albans - they were amaz­ing! Ca­role Poyser: Well done, a won­der­ful school where my son was ed­u­cated and my mum worked. Great mem­o­ries, en­joy the makeover and trea­sure your mem­o­ries of this time. JUST how lucky can the Con­ser­va­tives get?

Firstly, the re­port that pro­poses in­tru­sion into the area’s Green Belt be­yond our worst fears was re­ceived by them just days be­fore the elec­tion and could not be un­veiled in time to af­fect the re­sult.

The the new town cen­tre re­de­vel­op­ment plans just hap­pens to emerge im­me­di­ately af­ter the elec­tion!

We now face a se­ri­ous threat to the char­ac­ter of our town through poli­cies not prop­erly put be­fore the elec­torate in the re­cent lo­cal cam­paigns.

Lo­cal busi­nesses have been joined by con­trib­u­tors to this pa­per’s Face­book page in ex­press­ing their dis­may that new pro­pos­als threaten a town cen­tre in need of a boost.

Car park­ing is the lifeblood of a shop­ping cen­tre. Los­ing con­trol by selling it off is reck­less in the ex­treme and this coun­cil has no man­date to do so. Older read­ers may re­mem­ber the Lib Dems cam­paign­ing about 25 years ago against selling off some town cen­tre park­ing and then in­tro­duc­ing ticket ma­chines to charge for shop­pers’ park­ing.

As a coun­cil­lor at the time, I can tes­tify to the groundswell of protest that the Tories chose to ig­nore.

Ex­cept, that is in Poyn­ton, where our cam­paign was more suc­cess­ful and the parish coun­cil joined the re­sis­tance. Park­ing near the lo­cal shops re­mained free. To­day Poyn­ton has a thriv­ing lo­cal shop­ping cen­tre.

Mac­cles­field re­tail­ers now de­serve sim­i­lar sup­port. De­spite re­cent prob­lems we still have a bril­liant range of small shops and larger chains.

Both might be bet­ter ap­pre­ci­ated if peo­ple didn’t have to pay for the priv­i­lege of brows­ing and weren’t con­stantly look­ing at their watches.

A cin­ema would be nice, but thriv­ing shops are the heart and soul of a town like ours.

The Tories have no proper elec­toral man­date for the changes they pro­pose, and by the next lo­cal elec­tions it will be too late.

Per­haps now is the time to re­mind them of their cur­rent fond­ness for ref­er­en­dums.

How about giv­ing us all the chance to vote on two ques­tions; 1) Should the first two hours in shop­pers’ car parks be free? And 2) Should town cen­tre car parks be sold off?

●● This week’s Big Pic­ture is of Bot­tom Tegsnose Reser­voir, near Mac­cles­field For­est, af­ter the heavy rain and was sent to us by Chris Heapy. Email your pic­tures to mac­cles­field­ex­press@men­media.co.uk or upload them to our Flickr page at www.flickr.com/groups/mac­cpics. We’ll print the best ones

●● An­drew Hal­dane says Poyn­ton town cen­tre is thriv­ing be­cause park­ing near the shops is free

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