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THURSDAY, 12th MAY, 2011.
Going on a bear hunt
Win Cheshire Show tickets Readers'ViewsPages22-25 Page 56
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Hunt fo cat killer
Tories didn’t pay price for parking fees
The backlash against car arking charges didn’t materialise at the ballot ox at Congleton Town Council’s elections on Thursday.
Although the charges were introduced by the Tory-run Cheshire East authority, the fall-out could have ruined the chances of the Conservatives’ town council candidates.
But instead Labour and the Lib Dems were the losers and no longer have any representatives at the town hall. Some of their candidates blamed a change in the number of wards, as the Tories won 17 out of a possible 20 seats. One of their new councillors made history by becoming the town’s youngest while another is a former Olympic Games silver medallist.
Congleton First Independent Party, born out of the parking charges protest, won three seats.
The Congleton East Ward turned completely blue, with the Tories winning all 10 seats.
High profile casualties included two former town mayors, Denis Murphy (Lib Dem) who was Congleton’s Mayor in 2008/09 and Ernie Clarke, (Lab) who held the office from 2009/10.
Another former Mayor, Louise Bours, was running on behalf of UKIP, but failed to gain a seat.
Sitting Labour councillors Robert Boston and Lisa Bossons also lost their seats. Lib Dem Coun Jeanne Whitehurst had vacated her seat when she emigrated to Egypt last year.
George Hayes, at the ripe old age of 19, gained a seat on the Congleton
East Ward for the Tories by gaining 1,710 votes.
Another new councillor is Robbie Brightwell, former Olympic silver medallist and wife of gold medallist Ann Packer, who won a seat on the Congleton West ward with 1,726 votes.
The three successful Congleton First independent candidates were former Cheshire County Council leader and fierce council critic Neville Price (1,348 votes), John Saville Crowther (1,415 votes) and Michael Hutton (1,413 votes).
• —Turn to page 28.
Ancient tombs could lie beneath farmland earmarked for homes
Homer is where the heart is: Congleton Amateur Youth Theatre is performing the classic Greek epic “The odyssey” at Congleton’s Daneside Theatre this week. Pictured from left, are Circe (Jessica Smith) and Calypso (Whitney Jennings) who concoct plans to keep Odysseus from returning home while Aeolus (Andrew Kruze) has other ideas. For the report and more photos, turn to page 21. (“Chronicle” photo. 1916d/11).
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An action group believes plans for 200 houses near Congleton High School should be rejected if there is evidence to show that pre-historic tombs lie beneath the land.
Donald Muir, chairman of Sandy Lane Action Group, originally set up to fight plans for a business park, said: “We were not very happy about the whole proposal, and I don’t think that’s going to change.
Residents criticised the proposals, for land at Loachbrook Farm on Sandbach Road, during a consultation process earlier this year, because of concerns about traffic problems and the development’s size — the houses would range from two to five-bedroom properties.
“First of all I don’t think Congleton needs all of those houses. At the moment it’s just a farm with very limited traffic getting on to the road but, if they had houses, it would worsen the whole situation. It’s going to have a knock-on effect on the whole town.
“We are also unhappy on environmental grounds because of the long barrow. It will be very interesting to see what evidence the developers produce to say it is not a long barrow.
According to the application’s design and access statement, the development will include “affordable housing, which will be accommodated in small clusters and evenly distributed around the development”.
“On those grounds we would be against the application and, without seeing it, I think we will be objecting to it.”
The application outlines that the overall visual effects will be “minor adverse” during construction and the short term, reducing to negligible within 15 years and as the “considerable amount of green infrastructure matures”.
But there are also concerns that the houses could be built on a long barrow — a prehistoric monument consisting of earth mounds that are traditionally interpreted as collective tombs. • —Turn to back page.
Mark Hourigan, a director at Hourigan Connolly, consultants for the development, said: “We didn’t hear from the council for quite a while. Cheshire East told us we were required to produce an environment statement but we spoke to the Secretary of State who said we didn’t need it.
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