Full refund within 30 days if you're not completely satisfied.
THURSDAY, 4th AUGUST, 2011.
200 homes refused
Gooseberry shows Readers'ViewsPages21-24 Page 56
What’s on... What’s gone...
School bus runs threat
Plan hits a wall
By Chris Young Several local bus routes — including some school runs — are facing the chop.
On Monday, Cheshire East Council, which subsidises a number of routes across the borough, announced plans to cut funding by £500,000.
Routes in Congleton, Alsager and Gawsworth will be among those hit when the money is withdrawn in October.
All are currently subsidised with taxpayers’ money, and one, from Broken Cross to Gawsworth, is so poorly sed that taxpayers have to ay out £20 for each passenger’s journey.
Three routes that ferry upils to Eaton Bank School from locations in Congleton are on the danger list, after it was revealed they were subsidised by up to £7 for each return journey, on top of the fares paid by passengers.
The 315, which runs between Scholar Green and Alsager, will also lose its annual funding of £30,988.
And the 38 from Broken Cross in Macclesfield to Gawsworth Primary School receives £18,410 a year despite only 900 passenger journeys annually. Because of this, it is considered the lowest priority route.
Stanway Coaches, which runs some of the services from Congleton to Eaton Bank, said that while it currently relied on the subsidy, it would look into other ways of keeping the services running.
A spokesman for Bakers Coaches, which operates the 38 (Gawsworth) and the 108 (Stockport to Leek, via Rushton Spencer), has already told the “Chronicle” that it will not be able to continue services without subsidies.
Call us first and we’ll take care of everything
Accident & Emergency
24 Hr Recovery 07850 340192
burnsaccidentrepair centre good as new!
The most popular services will remain safe, with the Congleton based Beartown network keeping £117,845 for its 185,889 passengers a year, and the 38 from Crewe to Macclesfield, which stops at Congleton and Sandbach, keeping its £74,186 subsidies. Over 55,000 passengers use the service.
Councillors admitted the cuts might make some people angry, but said they were not getting value for money by subsidising some services.
At a meeting of the council’s Cabinet in Sandbach, on Monday, members approved the cuts and said passengers might have to use dial a ride services or other community transport if the cuts terminate some routes.
The man in charge of implementing them, Coun Rod Menlove, said: “The world has moved on in terms of funding — we are getting less money from the Government and we don’t have unlimited funding from taxpayers.”
To decide where the cuts would be made, the council has ranked all bus routes in terms of importance, adding weight to services that would be difficult to replace with alternative transport.
Coun Menlove a dded: “ I n e v i t a b l y, t h e r e a r e go i ng t o b e winners a nd l o s e r s . We wi l l make s u r e p a s s e n g e r s know who t o t u r n t o f o r h e l p .
“While I acknowledge the disruption to people who use current journey routes, we are still spending more than £2.2m a year on public transport.”
Alsager councillor Derek Hough criticised the announcement of the plans, which were discussed several t imes in secret in June before details were revealed for the first t ime at Monday’s meeting. He said: “There was no chance for any member of the public to put forward any different proposals. There was no chance for people to suggest alternat ives.”
Congleton councillor Roland Domleo said: “We are removing our support, not the service. The routes may cont inue — i t is up to the operators.
• —Turn to back page.
Sit-down protestors demand freedom from alfresco licences. (“Chronicle” photo. 3203a/11).
Sunshine sit-in to fight alfresco fee
Protestors brought along chairs to join a sit-in in Congleton town centre yesterday (Wednesday) as the noon sun beat down.
But the mood was equally sunny among the outdoor coffee drinkers who want to see the l ifting of the alfresco dining l icence regulation, brought in last month by Cheshire East Council.
Around 80 demonstrators gathered outside Bread and Basil Delicatessen, led by Congleton town councillor John Saville-Crowther and resident Phyllis Brightwell.
Proprietor Martin Bailey said he was “absolutely gobsmacked” by the turnout, saying: “I thought i t could have been a damp squib but I’m touched, especially when other shop owners in Congleton have come along to show their support.”
Armed with placards bearing slogans such as “No to Cheshire East alfresco charges” and “No to Cheshire East stealth tax”, supporters met on the street to enjoy a coffee in the sunshine.
Michael Hutton, a Congleton town councillor, said: “We think i t’s unfair that the charges will compromise the vibrancy of Congleton; they seem to come out of nowhere. We’re here to raise awareness.”
Marie Johnson, a Congletonian, said: “They’re tr in to make sho s that ut chairs and tables out on nice sunny days to pay for the use of the pavement. But, I think i t brings a taste of the Continent to Congleton; i t’s lovely to see people sitting outside.
“Everything we do to try and improve the town they oppose. We want them to see a bit of sense.”
Pat McDonnell, agreed, saying: “How is i t that others can put signs outside?
“I always bring my dog with me because i t’s the only way I can enjoy a coffee outside.” • —Turn to back page.
Summer Sale Now On Genuine Reductions and Special Offers
Quality Carpets • Vinyl • Wood Flooring • Beautiful Fabrics • Curtains • Blinds • Rugs, etc.... ✶ Custom-made & Ready-made Curtains ✶ Fabric from only £1.99 per metre (While current stocks last!)
✶ Free luxury underlay offers save up to £8.36 sq. m. ✶ Indoor/Outdoor Rugs Stylish + Weatherproof for patios, decking, conservatories, etc....Now in stock! Plus 100% wool striped rugs at LESS THAN HALF PRICE Hurry, limited availability!
Visit our store in a traditional mill
Open Mon. - Fri. 9am - 5pm. Sat. 10am - 4pm.
FREE CUSTOMER CAR PARK
• Free Measures/Quotations • Free Pattern Loan • Home Selection
• Jantex Own Fitting Teams
24/7 Online Carpet Store + Free Sampling Service
Salford Mill, Milk Street, Congleton, CW12 1JD.
Tel. 01260 271470/277662