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S I T TI BI
Registered at the Post Office as a Newspaper Est. 1893
INCORPORATED WITH THE CONGLETON AND MACCLESFIELD MERCURY
THURSDAY, 21st OCTOBER, 2010.
INSIDE: OUR COMPREHENSIVE PROPERTY GUIDE FEATURING LOCAL ESTATE AGENTS
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Will organ pipe down? Readers'ViewsPages25-27 Page 10
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Legal challenge delays parking charge change
By Tom Byrne Some of Congleton’s parking charge grouses were almost settled at a meeting on Tuesday but the decisions are now being legally challenged.
Cheshire East Council was accused of “conspiracy” by members of new olitical party
Congleton First after an administrative error meant the meeting started without the Press and public.
It was scheduled for 9am in room F1/2 at council headquarters Westfields in Sandbach, but at 4.26pm on Friday was changed to the committee room, leaving members of the public waiting in the original meeting room for 25 minutes.
The meeting continued at the new venue without the Press and public, who came in at the point parking charges were being discussed. They had missed the parking review.
Congleton First member Iain McKinlay has lodged an official challenge to the legality of the meeting with the borough solicitor.
Cabinet member for environmental services and meeting chairman Rod Menlove, who approved the parking changes recommended by Congleton Ward councillors, said he would take legal advice before allowing recommendations to go forward.
Congleton First accused the council of “conspiring to omit the public from the meeting”, calling it “invalid” and asking for it to be reconvened.
Mr McKinlay said: “This is a democracy and this is a conspiracy. You started the meeting knowing that the Press and public were in the building.
“All the decisions made in the meeting are invalid and we’d like an apology.”
Mr McKinlay, who is appealing against 25 parking tickets for illegally parking on Antrobus Street car park, said he would challenge any decision made in the meeting.
Coun Menlove assured the room that it was no more than a regrettable administrative error.
He said: “The room was changed to another, within the building, to avoid overcrowding.
“An administrative error meant that the public, press and some members of staff were not informed of the change. This was entirely accidental. I apologise for this mistake.”
Congleton First member Graham Goodwin had planned to lodge a question at the meeting and argue against residents’ parking charges. He said: “Another mistake. You’ve made the decision without the Press or the public present.
“I don’t see how we can argue against a decision that has already been made.”
Coun Menlove had approved recommendations to change offstreet car park charging hours from 8am to 6pm to 9am to 5pm and on-street charges from 8am to 7pm to 9am to 5pm.
• —Turn to page 28.
A sizzling production of “Hot Mikado” is getting pulses racing at the Daneside Theatre, Congleton, this week. Taking the lead roles of Yum-Yum and Nanki-Poo are Hannah Bours and Andrew Jones (pictured above). For a review and more pictures, turn to page 29. (“Chronicle” photo. 4212d/10).
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Dying wife’s carer could be forced to leave the country
A failed visa application could lead to the closure of a Congleton-based property company, according to its owner.
Malcolm Roach from Wincham Investments said he might have to give up work to look after his invalid wife, Jackie, if her Philippine helper Herlina Bondaug is forced to leave the country.
Wincham, based at Greenfield Farm industrial estate, specialising in Spanish properties and tax advice, employs 12 people in Congleton and 14 in Spain.
Mrs Roach, (58), who was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease in 1998, has difficulty moving and communicating and needs round-the-clock care. For the past two years Mrs Bondaug has been her live-in personal assistant while also studying for an NVQ in care, funded by Mr Roach.
expire at the end of her course, Mr Roach applied to the UK Boarder Agency for a certificate of sponsorship for a work visa.
Last week he received a letter turning down the application that stated: “We received many more requests for initial and additional certificates of sponsorship than we had available this month.”
Mr Roach has complained to the agency, calling the situation a “bureaucratic nightmare” and that human stories behind applications are ignored in favour of arbitrary immigration caps.
He said that his wife’s condition, which is terminal, required a strict routine and familiarity, and after two years’ experience, that is what Mrs Bondaug provided. If she had to leave the country, Mr Roach would have to become her carer, placing the business in jeopardy. A care home would not suit her needs.
With her student visa due to • —Turn to back page.
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