The recent announcement from Cheshire East Council regarding the rates payable by residents that it will rise by 4.99% this coming year, and that further rises are planned for 2019, along with the increases by the police and fire services all make for a huge increase in the payments required from residents, added to this is Cranage Parish Council have increased their portion to be added to the tax by a staggering 67% yet at the same time they have £73.000 pounds in the bank.

Approximately 80% of the houses in Cranage Parish fall into the band G rating ,when the increases are applied it will put the extra to  £150.67  per household ,not an insignificant amount especially for those on fixed incomes like pensioners and basic wage earners. £51.63 of this is going to Cranage Parish Council; it’s perhaps unfortunate that the PC decided to apply such a large increase for 2018/2019

Perhaps they might like to explain why they need such an increase.

We see Cheshire East pay over £725.000. so far this year to cover the costs of suspended officers some of which are under investigation by the police, some top officers are earning in the region of  £1000. Per working day.

Some time ago we asked the question of a serving councillor why are we paying such exorbitant wages to the officers, he gave the answer well if you pay peanuts you get a monkey, well we certainly are not paying peanuts but we defiantly have the monkeys.

We see cuts made and further cuts planned to all parts of the council to the services they should be supplying, everything from social services , library’s, road repairs, bus services, school transport ,you name it has been or is  being cut.

We see a flood of housing developments in the local area that all add to the amount that Cheshire East collect , with no thought given to the local resources that are struggling to cope, health services and schools are at more than capacity already, but so long as the cash cow can keep supplying more they carry on unchecked.

More than 800 letters of objection were recently received by Cheshire East over a planning application for houses in green belt yet the elected councillors went on to approve on the advice of the planers the development!

What’s the point of anyone objecting on that scale if it’s to be disregarded?

The figures referred to above and below are based on actual G band rates for 17/18  for a Cranage  G  rated property

Basic council tax  for 17/18    £2104.55
Adult care                               £103.65
Fire service                            £122.15
Police                                     £274.07
Total                                       £2604.42

Increase at 4.99%                 £129.96

Subtotal for 18/19                 £2734.38

Subtotal carried forward  for 18/19  £2734.38

Then add the  Parish Councils amount for 17/18      £30.92

Plus the increase of 67% for 18/19                            £20.71

Final total to pay for 2018/2019                               £2786.01

This makes for an increase of  £150.67 over the previous year

This also makes the assumption that the fire and police only request a 4.99% increase, signs are they will be requesting a significantly larger percentage.

Whilst everyone would agree we all have to pay to receive the services that we rely on and they will inevitable cost more each year, what we don’t need is the constant waste of money by the councils and poor standards of management and accountability. And such a huge increase by the PC all in one year.

Several residents have also pointed out that the PC have taken on the cutting of the grass verges in various parts of Cranage because Cheshire East have cut back on doing this, the PC are paying for extra cuts to make up the difference, but we are already paying for the service via Cheshire East so for the PC to pay for it means we are in effect paying twice.

Also comments have been raised over the money spent on the roundabout at the entrance to Needham drive by the PC when again it falls under the Cheshire East highways department to look after this.

There is the issue over the two kissing gates purchased by the PC without obtaining permission for them to be placed , they presumably are now held in stock somewhere but don’t seem to be listed on the accounts as such.

There is the £6000 spent on legal fees to place the paddock land into a company controlled by residents and the PC after the referendum that was held that overwhelmingly was in favour of no sale or development. The object of the company was to ensure no council in the future disregarded the will of the residents, at the eleventh hour having spent the huge amount on fees the PC decide to no longer form the company and that the standing orders will service, what do we see only a month later but a councillor put forward a plan to build on the paddock, in total disrespect of the residents wishes shown in the referendum who actually own the land.

There have been calls from several residents made direct to the government for Cheshire East to be placed in special measures we would go further and ask it includes Cranage Parish Council.

This article was compiled by several residents of Cranage

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