Parish news letter

You should all have now received your annual parish newsletter.

In it is the chairman’s report

On planning

It mentions sibelcos application but does not say that the parish council voted not to object to this application despite the huge numbers of residents who did, over 300 letters of objection received by Cheshire east.

It talks about affordable housing being required, yet cranage is one of very few parishes that does not have a neighbourhood plan in place despite  requests for one to be established because the then parish chairman  thought it a waste of time, so developers can descend any time they like. And they will.

On openland

It says the paddock is to be retained in parish council ownership following a campaign by residents against any development on the site.

This is factually incorrect and is misleading, firstly, the parish council were charged with protecting the paddock after the referendum that they carried out three years ago, which gave an overwhelming majority not to develop this land owned by the residents.

Since then the parish council have on two occasions in the news letters said that it was going to go to fields of trust 2015,which would have resulted in the total loss of the asset value to the parish and residents. And then just last January 2016 that it was going to be held by a company that the parish council had set up that was made up of directors who are residents and at least one parish councillor. The secretary of state was approached and gave approval for this to go ahead, this decision was arrived at after spending over six thousand pounds for legal advice and documents etc. then they decide to ignore all that at the last minute and create a standing order for the council.

This order does not give legal protection; and can be removed by any council now or in the future without difficulty. Or reference to the residents. This was confirmed by Cheshire east legal department after an information request was presented to them.  It’s not worth the paper it’s written on but it panders to those on the council who wish to present misleading information to residents, that they are protecting the land when in fact it’s not protected and they want to develop the land and have always voted that way. They totally wish to disregard resident’s views which were shown by the referendum result.

It shows yet again a total disregard for residents and that they are incapable of carrying out what they were charged to do. What was the point of the referendum, or the huge amount of money on legal advice to produce documents to actually safe guard this land, to then to just disregard it.

Sand quarry

The way the extra meeting in October was called and handled over the sibelco planning application, and that two councillors were effectively prevented from taking part and voting on this controversial application was disgraceful. Over 300 objection letters have been received by Cheshire east on this matter. Yet despite requests to rescind the vote they refused to look at it.

Unfortunately the council have every right to ignore the mass majority and are not bound by any referendum or parish other words they can do whatever they like with impunity. But they are considered by many of not listening to resident’s views and seem to disregard the bigger things that are causes of concern to residents, like the paddock or the sand quarry or the M6 noise and pollution, and the call for some mitigation to be put in place on the M6, and they are not proactive in getting involved to protect the environment and residents wellbeing.

Of further concern is the matter of the three complaints sent recently to Cheshire east monitoring office by the former chairman, over three councillor’s not declaring interest in sebelcoes application in two cases, and the Paddock in one. These are to be adjudicated on by Cheshire east in due course and in my view they are without foundation. But it further puts into doubt the effective running of the parish council.

I have been accused of being critical of the parish council, but I think it’s justified when residents contact me and directly ask for my help,I have even been asked by a councillor to get involved on an issue ,that’s how bad things have become.  Over a council that is not representing them or their concerns, what many see is the way the council lurches from one self-imposed mess to the next, due in the main from not doing any in depth research and having interaction with residents.

Do I trust the council to protect the land known locally as the paddock? No I don’t.

Do I trust the council to represent the mass majority of opposition to sibelcoes sand quarry? No I don’t

Do I trust the council to lobby all the relevant bodies over the noise and pollution from the M6? No I don’t.

Do I trust the council that allowed one now ex member to attend an appeal hearing and give assurances to the appeal officer without giving him authority, and that he was to personally gain from this action. No I don’t.

Do I trust the council to carry out with due diligence and conduct its affairs in a proper manner? No I don’t.

Do trust the council to look objectively at all planning applications and not bring personal issues to bear? No I don’t.

Is it perhaps time for this council to be dismissed by resident’s attending the annual parish meeting by requesting a parish poll? So that residents can decide if they are happy with the way the council is run by a vote, and if they are not then proper elections can be held. They can still choose to ignore the pole results if they think fit. The council cannot be sacked by Cheshire east nor is there any procedure for residents to sack them. Yet we have never in my memory had a proper election. Can anyone remember the last time you voted to elect any councillors?

If you are going to attend the annual meeting on April the 18th at cranage village hall you will get the opportunity to speak at the end of the meeting, if you wish to comment or join with the growing number to ask for a parish pole please let me know by contacting me Peter Wild on. [email protected]

No doubt I will be vilified by some for criticising the council.

But I will just say this, democracy is run by the people for the people, its everyone’s right to be critical of any council or body that directly impinges on our lives and it’s not undemocratic to voice a view that is opposite to there’s.