MP ad­vice ig­nored by coun­cil chiefs

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

BELINDA RYAN AND STU­ART GREER

COUN­CIL chiefs ig­nored the ad­vice of one of their own MPs when it voted to close four of its fa­cil­i­ties.

Con­ser­va­tive MP Fiona Bruce asked Cheshire East Coun­cil not to take any de­ci­sion on the fu­ture of its chil­dren’s cen­tres un­til the out­come of a par­lia­men­tary in­quiry into chil­dren’s cen­tres was known.

But the Tory-con­trolled coun­cil chose not to take the ad­vice of its Sand­bach MP and last month voted to ‘de-des­ig­nate’ the chil­dren’s cen­tres at Bro­ken Cross in Mac­cles­field, Nantwich, Sand­bach and Knutsford and re­place them with mo­bile ser­vices.

Mrs Bruce said: “I have chaired a lengthy re­view of chil­dren’s cen­tres over sev­eral months in Par­lia­ment. The in­quiry re­port will be pub­lished shortly and I asked Cheshire East not to take a de­ci­sion on our lo­cal chil­dren cen­tres un­til af­ter that, since I firmly be­lieve that there is a fu­ture for chil­dren’s cen­tres and, in­deed, an aug­mented one.”

Mac­cles­field MP David Rut­ley backed his Tory col­league and urged the coun­cil to lis­ten to Mrs Bruce’s ‘ex­pert ad­vice’.

He said: “It is im­por­tant to con­tinue to pro­vide ser­vices like th­ese which are val­ued by fam­i­lies. I un­der­stand the coun­cil is look­ing to do this in new in­no­va­tive ways. I would en­cour­age it to seek ad­vice from Fiona Bruce in de­liv­er­ing th­ese ser­vices as she has real ex­per­tise in this field.”

Pres­sure con­tin­ues to mount on the coun­cil to re-think its de­ci­sion and save the four cen­tres it voted to close. Cam­paign­ers are tak­ing ad­vice about a pos­si­ble a le­gal chal­lenge.

A spokesman for Cheshire East Coun­cil said: “We wel­come the work that Fiona Bruce MP is driv­ing for­ward as part of her all par­lia­men­tary lob­by­ing group on chil­dren’s cen­tres, but be­lieve that the pro­pos­als for change in Cheshire East will sup­port bet­ter out­comes for chil­dren.

“Change is al­ways dif­fi­cult but we re­main clear that the rec­om­men­da­tion voted upon was the right de­ci­sion for the fu­ture of our bor­ough and re­tains a clear fo­cus on our most peo­ple so far.

It is the lat­est stunt by the club to hit the head­lines. In June last year the club mounted a vul­ner­a­ble and on ser­vice de­liv­ery and not build­ings.

“We have 11 chil­dren’s cen­tres which are work­ing very well in our ar­eas of most need, in ad­di­tion to the four which are be­ing de-des­ig­nated and re­placed with an al­ter­na­tive ser­vice model in­clud­ing mo­bile pro­vi­sion.

“Fiona Bruce’s ideas will be wel­comed and con­sid­ered as part of the on­go­ing work we are de­liv­er­ing in those ar­eas of most need.” spoof bid to host the foot­ball World Cup in 2026 in re­ac­tion to Fifa’s cur­rent woes with cor­rup­tion claims.

They also launched a crowd-fund­ing bid to buy Ra­heem Stir­ling for £50mil­lion ahead of a ri­val bid from Manch­ester City.

●● Mac­cles­field Town FC cre­ated its own ‘high­lights’ of the game against Bore­ham af­ter be­ing asked to pay for footage

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