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S I T TI BI
Registered at the Post Office as a Newspaper Est. 1893
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THURSDAY, 10th DECEMBER, 2009.
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Not too late to stop parking charges: MP By Lyndsey Telford
Congleton’s Tory MP Ann Winterton is ready to do battle with Conservative-controlled Cheshire East Council next Friday.
High on the list of things to discuss with leader Wesley Fitzgerald and chief executive Erika Wenzel is the introduction of car parking charges on 11th January.
Hostility to the charges caused an army of residents from Congleton, Alsager, Sandbach and Holmes Chapel to join forces last month to protest outside the Municipal Building in Crewe.
Lady Winterton said she was “strongly opposed” to charges.
She said: “Many people have indicated their opposition to car parking charges and I have been one of those who has written to the council on behalf of my constituents to have the plans overturned.”
Lady Winterton, whose Macclesfi eld MP husband Sir Nicholas will also attend the meeting, added that as the council was the body responsible for making the decisions to implement the parking charges, it needed to be “responsive” to the public and its concerns with regards to the “adverse effects” they would have on local traders.
When asked what she hoped to achieve by meeting council members so late in the game, Lady Winterton, who intends to retire before the General Election, said it was still not too late to win the battle.
“I personally oppose the potential imposition brought about by car parking charges and have been seeking this meeting for a long time,” she explained.
“One can only continue to express opposition until the 11th hour, to point out the adverse effects that car parking charges will have on small rural towns and particularly on local traders.”
She added that the council should exercise “fl exibility” in the face of such strong local opposition.
On 9th November, Lady Winterton submitted a written appeal to transport minister Paul Clark on behalf of Alsager resident Ted Gibbins.
In his appeal, Mr Gibbins, a retired railway worker, publisher and author, outlined details of the Department for Transport’s Guidance to Local Authorities on Parking Charges issued last year and the Road Traffi c Regulation Act 1984, which indicates there are no grounds to use charges to raise revenue or as a local tax.
Mr Gibbins said: “They are apparently doing that, having admitted that car park income will plug a gap in the budget, which councillors say is £375,000 or even £600,000.
“The council’s demand that residents tell them how to fi ll this gap if the parking charges are not imposed further confi rms that charges are being imposed for revenue.”
Aliens invaded The Quinta Primary School at West Heath this week, as the children presented an out of this world Nativity play. Pictured back, from left, little helpers Jacob Darton, Sam Worthington, Flo Booth and Ellie Mcallister. With front, Bobby Eckersley and Sophie Anderson. For the full story and more pictures, turn to back page. (“Chronicle” photo. 5005a/09).
Appeal for witnesses to accident at bypass
A 19-year-old from Congleton was taken to hospital on Friday after being in a collision with a lorry just outside the town centre.
The accident happened at the junction of Rood Hill and the Clayton Bypass, at around 2.50pm.
The white curtain-sided lorry was travelling along the bypass in the left hand lane, heading from Congleton to Manchester, when it was in collision with the youth as he was crossing the road.
The driver of the lorry, a 45 year-old man from Staffordshire, was not hurt, but the pedestrian was taken to the North Staffordshire University Hospital with head in uries. It is now thou ht he will make a full recovery.
Sgt Paul Burke, from Crewe Police Station, said: “One of our offi cers went with the man to the hospital.
“We were very worried at fi rst because we thought that his injuries were critical, but after getting him to the hospital we found they were not life threatening and he will certainly make a full recovery.”
Traffi c backed up as ambulances and police cars blocked the roads, which stayed partially closed until after 4.30pm.
Police are appealing for any witnesses to contact Sgt Carl Bailey at Wilmslow Police Station on 0845 458 0000.
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