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Registered at the Post Office as a Newspaper Est. 1893



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Treasurer has extra brain power

Superstore to open later? Readers'ViewsPages26-29 Page 31

Page 5

What’s on... What’s gone...

Pages 22-25

Minibus service is under threa

Page 32

Council cuts ‘last nail in the coffin’ warning

By Kelly Harris The full impact of the Government’s spending review, announced last Wednesday, has yet to be felt, but a town councillor predicted it would be “the final nail in the coffin” for Congleton.

Coun Ernie Clarke said: “The old and the young are really going to feel it.

“Until we find out exact

Clocks should be put back by an hour at 1am on Sunday as British Summer Time ends.

Summer time begins again on Sunday, 27th March.

ly how people are being affected I can’t really say but Congleton is dying.”

Coun Clarke said the cuts would be the final nail in the coffin for the town and the shops would suffer because “people won’t have the money to spend and shops in Congleton will definitely find it hard to survive.

“It will be the final straw for the shops with less money to spend and the parking charges and everything else.”

Labour supporter Coun Clarke said of the Government: “They’ve got a plan and no matter what we say it is going to change anything but something has to be done.

“We can’t neglect the people who will be affected. Everyone is thinking ‘will it affect me?’ but I think it will affect everyone.”

Local councils must cut Government funding initially by 7.1% by April but Cheshire East Council revealed it was in the “strongest possible position” to handle cuts as it knew where savings could be made.

Council leader Coun Wesley Fitzgerald said: “We now know the headline details of the Government’s comprehensive spending review. However, it would be wrong of us to comment further at this stage until we have a chance to assess and discuss fully the effects they will have on Cheshire East’s budget.

“As a responsible local authority, we have been working for several months to identify areas where savings may be achieved to ensure we were in the strongest possible position to deal with funding reductions.

“We have identified areas where savings may be achieved through a combination of service transformation and the work of an efficiency group, which has spent the last few months examining the council’s budget and the suggestions from staff.

“The Chancellor has announced savings of 7.1% per year over the next four years.

“We now need to assess the implications of these reductions in light of the package of proposals we are presently considering.”

Coun Fitzgerald said Cabinet members would meet senior managers next month to discuss the draft balance and a pre-budget report was expected by early December.

He said: “We will not comment on where reductions may be made in advance of our prebudget report except to say that we can assure residents that everything will be considered carefully and individually to judge effectively and fairly any impact at a local level.”

Police The police service will be hit and Deputy Chief Cons Graeme Gerrard, Cheshire Constabulary, said: “The recent announcement of Government cuts provided “a real challenge” to the force over the next four years.

“We have a lot of work to do to find out how we can maintain policing, with fewer resources while continuing to be as efficient and effective in preventing and detecting crime and tackling anti-social behaviour.”

• —Turn to back page.

“Gunpowder, treason and plot” were the orders of the day when the Rotary Club of Congleton meant to pick the best Guy for their bonfire on 6th November. But the competition standard was so high that three equal winners were selected, all winning the right to sit on top of the bonfire. Abbi Heyworth poses with Smallwood Coppice Club’s prize guy. For more pictures and full story see back page. (“Chronicle” photo. 4305c/10).



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Congleton Cheshire. CW12 1BN

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Be our guest if you can pay, council will tell MPs and mayors

A Finance and Policy Committee meeting on Thursday decided to make guests pay for tickets from 1st April next year.

Guests will have to pay to attend civic events in Congleton after the town council decided to end its policy of complimentary tickets.

Previously, the Mayor had free tickets for guests, who would usually make a donation to the charity or organisation running the event. • —Turn to back page.

At a town council meeting in September, Coun Doug Parker said: “I think it’s rude to ask someone to a civic event and then expect them to pay.”

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