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6 The Chronicle, Thursday, 11th March, 2010. www.chronicleseries.co.uk
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Committed to future of town’s community hub
By Lyndsey Telford Alsager Town Council could find itself in need of new offices if consultations with Cheshire East do not go to plan.
Proposals have already been unveiled to move the One Stop Shop information point from its current home on Lawton Road to the library and the unitary authority must decide what to do with the space left behind.
At a town council meeting recently clerk Terry Fitton revealed that the lease on the Cheshire East-owned offices is due to expire in October this year.
The Press and public were excluded from the discussion but according to the minutes published afterwards, councillors were briefed about a previous meeting with Cheshire East officers, at which the financial implications of continuing the lease were discussed.
Town councillor Shirley Jones, who is also a member of Cheshire East Council, told the “Chronicle” that plans for after the lease expires remain “unclear”.
Despite the uncertainty, the town council has assured residents that it is “firmly committed” to continue providing “easily accessible” services, such as being open for people to drop in for one-on-one meetings with councillors to make suggestions and air grievances about different issues within the town.
But, if the offices were relocated it could be to a less central location.
Alsager’s handyman is also based in the Lawton Road offices, so he would have to move as well.
Coun Jones added: “The offices on Lawton Road are our natural home. We are just looking to make sure that Cheshire East keeps us in the picture.”
“At the minute we know nothing. They won’t tell us anything. We’ve just got to keep working with the authority as closely as we possibly can.”
Assistant town clerk Carol Jennings added: “This all came about because the council’s information point is moving to the library, but we have a total of three offices on the ground floor.
“We are now trying to get some consultation with Cheshire East to decide what the future holds. Until we can get some decisions made from them, we have no idea what will be done with the offices.”
An official statement said: “This year between June and September, Cheshire East Council will move its customer information point from the information office on 3, Lawton Road into Alsager Library.
“Even after Cheshire East Council has moved to the library, people will still continue to be able to contact Alsager Town Council staff for help and advice about town council issues at Lawton Road.
“The town council recognises that 3, Lawton Road, together with the civic hall and the library, are the hub of Alsager community life and the town council is committed to retaining these community services in the centre of the town.”
More details about the council’s office’s future are expected to be revealed at the next town council meeting on Tuesday, 23rd March.
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We do right by you
Megan wins a seat after Youth Parliament vote
Schoolgirl Megan Pancutt will be swapping the corridors of Alsager School for the halls of Westminster after winning a seat at the Youth Parliament election last Friday.
The 16-year-old was voted to represent east Cheshire as a member of the Youth Parliament along with Sandbach Girls’ School pupil Laura Trevett and will serve as an MYP for the next two years.
Sophie Marr, Ryan Allen and David Hodgeson will act as their deputies during the term.
Megan, from Church Lawton, learned the results of the election at the final count in Middlewich Town Hall, which were announced by Cheshire East Council’s chief executive Erika Wenzel and deputy leader Brian Silvester.
Voting in the area had been taking place over the last month in schools, colleges, youth clubs and Connexions centres, and the final count reached nearly 13,000 — around 3,000 more than in 2009.
Megan wants to champion the image of young people, which is something she said she feels “very strongly” about.
She told the “Chronicle” in last week’s edition: “The image of young people needs to be sorted out before we progress, because if we are to trust each other, then maybe we could get somewhere.”
Around 25 young people attended the count, which included a question and answer session with Congleton MP Ann Winterton and retiring MYP Carrisa Tossel.
Connexions youth worker Sarah Gaskell also announced that she is looking forward to the two years ahead and said she has confidence that the new team will do “a great job”.
Nationwide, 21,000 votes were cast before Friday’s election, meaning that over 32% of the population eligible to vote did, which Kellie Burgess from Connexions described as “a fantastic turnout”.
ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984 (AS AMENDED) ROAD TRAFFIC (TEMPORARY RESTRICTIONS) ACT 1991
STATION ROAD, BIDDUPLH DIVERSION OF VEHICULAR TRAFFIC
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Staffordshire County Council intend, not less than seven days from the date of this Notice, to make an Order the effect of which will be to prohibit any vehicle from proceeding in that length of Station Road, Biddulph so much as passes over and is in the immediate vicinity of the bridge just north of Dorset Drive unless the vehicle is being used in connection with the works. There will be limited vehicular access to frontages from either end throughout the works. The preferred alternative route for traffic will be available via Halls Road, A527 Congleton Road, A527 Meadows Way and vice versa. THE ORDER WILL COME INTO OPERATION ON 29 MARCH 2010, AND THE SAID WORKS WILL COMMENCE ON OR AS NEAR AS PRACTICABLE TO THAT DATE. IT IS ANTICIPATED THAT THE WORKS WILL BE COMPLETED BY 11 APRIL 2010. The Order will remain in force for a period of 18 months or until the gas main replacement works, which it is proposed to carry out on or near the road, have been completed, whichever is the earlier. Ref: HG421F; Enquiries: Mrs Stewart; Tel: 0800 232323
ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984 (AS AMENDED) ROAD TRAFFIC (TEMPORARY RESTRICTIONS) ACT 1991
WELL LANE AND MARSH GREEN ROAD, BIDDULPH
DIVERSION OF VEHICULAR TRAFFIC
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Staffordshire County Council intend, not less than seven days from the date of this Notice, to make an Order the effect of which will be to prohibit any vehicle from proceeding in that length of Well Lane and Marsh Green Road, Biddulph, from the junction of Mow Lane to Marsh Green Road and Marsh Green Road from the junction of Well Lane for a distance of approximately 150 metres unless the vehicle is being used in connection with the works. There will be limited vehicular access to frontages from either end dependant upon the works. The preferred alternative route for traffic will be available via Marsh Green Road, A527 Congleton Road, Mow Lane and vice versa. THE ORDER WILL COME INTO OPERATION ON 29 MARCH 2010, AND THE SAID WORKS WILL COMMENCE ON OR AS NEAR AS PRACTICABLE TO THAT DATE. IT IS ANTICIPATED THAT THE WORKS WILL BE COMPLETED BY 18 APRIL 2010. The Order will remain in force for a period of 18 months or until the gas main replacement works, which it is proposed to carry out on or near the road, have been completed, whichever is the earlier. Ref: HG421F; Enquiries: Mrs Stewart; Tel: 0800 232323 Date: 11 March 2010 John Tradewell, Director of Law and Governance County Buildings, Martin Street, Stafford. ST16 2LH
CHESHIRE EAST BOROUGH COUNCIL
We have received the following applications: Development Affecting a Listed Building Application No: 10/0314C Applicant: Mr. Tim Woods Location: 90, Congleton Road, Sandbach, CW11 1HQ Proposal: Demolition of a previous single storey extension and the construction of a new single storey extension linking the existing dwelling to a proposed annexe. Listed Building Consent Application No: 10/0688C Applicant: Mr. Tim Woods Location: 90, Congleton Road, Sandbach, CW11 1HQ Proposal: Demolition of a previous single storey extension and the construction of a new single storey extension linking the existing dwelling to a proposed annexe. Details of all planning applications and plans can be viewed online at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk or between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Mondays to Fridays, at the Planning Customer Service Point, Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe, CW1 2BJ. Anyone who wishes to make representations on any of the applications can send them in writing to the address below, or by e-mail to Planning@cheshireeast.gov.uk by noon on 1st April, 2010, quoting the application number. The whole of your comments will be publicly available, including on the internet, so please consider carefully what you say and the information you include.
ADRIAN FISHER, Head of Planning and Policy, Cheshire East Borough Council, Town Hall, Macclesfield, SK10 1DP.
CHESHIRE EAST BOROUGH COUNCIL
We have received the following applications: Development Application No: 09/4113C Applicant: Mrs. Nicola Joyce. Location: 2 Falmouth Road, Congleton, CW12 3BH. Proposal: Retrospective application for construction of conservatory to the rear of the property. Details of all planning applications and plans can be viewed online at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk or between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Mondays to Fridays, at the Planning Customer Service Point, Municipal Buildings, Earle Street, Crewe, CW1 2BJ. Anyone who wishes to make representations on any of the applications can send them in writing to the address below, or by e-mail to Planning@cheshireeast.gov.uk by noon on 1st April, 2010, quoting the application number. The whole of your comments will be publicly available, including on the internet, so please consider carefully what you say and the information you include.
ADRIAN FISHER, Head of Planning and Policy, Cheshire East Borough Council, Town Hall, Macclesfield, SK10 1DP. C4539h Village split over plans for holiday lodges at nursery
The Chronicle, Thursday, 11th March, 2010. www.chronicleseries.co.uk
Plans to build 25 holiday lodges in Gawsworth have divided the village.
Some residents have described the development planned for Holland’s Nursery as “attractive and appealing” but it has also een compared it to a azi prisoner of war camp.
The joint application has een submitted by nursery owner Toby Holland and Metier Property. Mr Holland will sell the land to Metier if the plans are approved. The existing buildings would then e demolished. The application is due to go efore a Cheshire East Council lanning committee in April.
The single storey holiday village lodges, each with a arking space, would be located around a circular access road.
Metier believes the development would increase tourism and therefore bring more money into the area, especially shops, pubs and restaurants.
According to the application Dowd Town Planning, the company’s agents, consulted the ublic before submitting the lans and a public exhibition at Gawsworth Scout hut in ovember attracted 70 people. The application said: “The comments received ranged from strong support to concerns about particular issues.”
One of the positive responses was “a pleasant enough looking development” while another described it as a “very attractive development, certainly an improvement on the existing site”.
However, some people were not so happy with the lodges. One Gawsworth resident said: “The ‘village’ appears like a cross between a poultry farm and Stalag Luft III (the Nazi prison camp featured in The Great Escape).” The same person added that the lack of private gardens would put those staying in the cabins at risk of other people’s dogs and “nosey parkers”.
Another person called the plans “absolutely preposterous” and “a nonsense”.
Cheshire East Council has asked that the issue of flooding on the site be addressed by any developer — the council’s farms estate owns land to the north east of the proposed development.
Others Gawsworth residents questioned the site’s location close to another holiday lodge development at North Rode.
The nearby Ladera Lodge site, between Back Lane and Macclesfield Road, currently has planning permission for 32 timber houses, although not all have been built yet. Permission to expand this site by a further 23 lodges was denied by Cheshire East Council in February.
A representative from Dowd told the “Chronicle” that anticipating these concerns had led to the extensive consultation process, and the views of Gawsworth residents have been
Sizes 10-28 (Under the new ownership of Pat Wain)
SPRING STOCK arriving daily
Holland’s Nursery, which could be demolished and replaced by holiday lodges. (“Chronicle” photo. 1020a/10).
taken into account in the application. They said substantial amendments had been made from the original plans due to public feedback.
These include increased landscaping to minimise the impact of the buildings on the surrounding area, and two lodges being dropped.
The application ends by saying: “The plans will provide economic investment in the rural economy, it would be inclusive by providing opportunities for all to visit the countryside.”
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Outsiders who marry in Cheshire East are ‘burden on taxpayers’
The variety of non-traditional wedding venues in Cheshire East is attracting couples from outside the area — but at a cost to local taxpayers, it was claimed.
Coun Frank Keegan, the council’s portfolio holder responsible for the budget, said the cost of “out of office” marriages, such as those taking place at stately homes or other nontraditional venues would have to e increased. He said many couples came from outside the Cheshire East area to wed, and the nontraditional nature of those ceremonies cost the council more than regular weddings: “What we were finding was that most people in Cheshire East were happy to e married in register offices and churches.
“Most people getting married outside of register offices come from outside the borough. We reviewed the costs and it was not roving effective for the taxpayers of Cheshire East.”
He added that it was the first review into marriage registration service costs for several years. The amount would go up by a third in the 2010/11 financial year from £270 to £385.
Coun Keegan said: “The rise reflects what these ceremonies cost us as a council.”
This week, the local Liberal Democrat party released its post-
udget statement in which the Conservative-run council was criticised for the increase.
The Lib Dems said it went against David Cameron’s policies of promoting marriage, which the Tory leader has made an election issue.
According to the Lib Dem statement: “The increase is an unacceptable rise to what is generally an already very expensive day for most young couples.
“The large increase in the cost of marriage registration is surely at odds with the Tory central office message of encouraging marriage within our society.”
The Lib Dems also criticised the rise in charges for home care, from £17.76 an hour to £19.80, saying: “While this may not seem like a large increase, it can be for those on a fixed income.”
Coun Keegan said that that the fees for almost everyone would be included in care packages, and so the cost would not come out of their own pocket.
The Lib Dems criticised the budget consultation process: “The late availability of detailed financial information included in the budget to non Cabinet members does not assist opposition groups in offering alternative, in depth budget proposals.”
Coun Keegan said the council had learned from its mistakes, and next year’s budget process would start in June. He said: “We will be starting then so we can take an in depth look at how different people and departments of the council will be effected by the budget.”
The Lib Dems took a shot at the council’s controversial car parking charges implementation. Their statement read: “It perhaps gives a salutary lesson in the art of public consultation and the ways in which the views of the public should be reflected in policy formation, rather than last minute policy changes.”
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