Reader's Letter: Someone has got their priorities wrong!

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Can someone please explain to me why in Wilmslow we have the most expensive and elaborate flower displays, not to mention the elaborate cast iron containers which must have cost a fortune, and yet we have roads full of holes!

While I love to see beautiful flowers, I can't help feeling that someone has got their priorities wrong!

Due to back problems, we are going to have to change our car, and get one with a softer suspension. I suppose the plus side is that the physiotherapists and the car repair people keep busy!

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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Mark Goldsmith
Thursday 31st August 2017 at 2:21 pm
Peter - the flowers are funded by Wilmslow Town Council, which has responsibility for non-essential services within the town. However, our roads are maintained by Cheshire East, who has responsibility for our highways.

The two bodies are funded by separate parts of your council tax, so the monies are not interchangeable. Even if they were and we gave the small amount we spend on flowers to Cheshire East to spend on roads, then I doubt you would notice the difference.

However, the Wilmslow flower displays are regularly praised by many of the towns residents who would soon notice if they were not there. They feel it brightens the town and makes it look a well cared for place.

Yours is the first complaint I have received about the flowers but I realise some people have different spending priorities. I guess we cannot please everyone, all of the time.

Hope that this answers your question.

Cllr Mark Goldsmith - Residents of Wilmslow
Pete Taylor
Thursday 31st August 2017 at 2:41 pm
Mrs T and myself drove from Fulshaw to the Wilmslow Garden Centre this morning and we remarked on both these very subjects- well done to WTC for the fantastic floral displays thro' the town and what a bumpy mess the stretch of Manchester Road is from Styal Road, past Stanneylands Road to the River Dean has turned into.

CEC- must try harder.
James Coppock
Thursday 31st August 2017 at 5:15 pm
Along with the pot holes, I would like to see the roundabouts on the A34 maintained , the grass cut more than once a year. The state of them bugs me. I suppose it's Cheshire east's responsibility and if they can't fix the potholes they are never going to maintain the roundabouts !
Ruth McNulty
Thursday 31st August 2017 at 6:37 pm
Mr Yates makes a number of value judgments in his comments about the flower planting around Wilmslow not least about their relative and absolute cost.
Councillor Mark Goldsmith has offered a proportionate argument about the cost to Wilmslow Town Council on the one hand and the responsibilities of the local and unitary authorities of different activities on the other.
The Town Council makes a crucial but relatively modest grant towards the entry of Wilmslow into the RHS In Bloom competition. The encouragement by the In Bloom team of the wider involvement of local businesses and volunteer groups around the centre of the town and in other dispersed communities makes a significant contribution to the appearance of the town on the one hand and, probably more importantly, to community cohesion and involvement on the other.
Mark Russell
Friday 1st September 2017 at 10:19 am
Thank you for your in depth reply Mark Goldsmith. But i feel the need to pull you up on your side stepping. As informative it is that you advise us who is "to blame" for the frankly disgraceful state of the roads around here (especially given the millions of £ we all pay in tax) im still waiting for someone to take responsibility. now im no expert in local politics, but surely you should be making representations to the people concerned, to deal with the issues of the parishioners. I am a manager, and i dont just say to my team, "not my job". I go away get the answers and help sort the issue. Why does nobody in public service around here deal with the obvious major issues we are suffering from?? How long before a cyclist falls off and breaks their neck, or they swerve in front of a lorry and end up all over the road. Unfortunately i get the feeling thats whats going to have to happen to get things fixed. Its called reactionary, and trust me, it ALWAYS costs more that pro actively fixing the problem. Perhaps some of the lovely flowers can be used at the poor guys funeral??
Brian Braybrooke
Friday 1st September 2017 at 11:12 am
While we are talking about spending Money, How about the promised replacement of the Benches around the Pond close to the Leisure Centre Cricket Field , they were taken away for no good reason as they were still in good order ,but when the area was tidied up they were taken away and probably destroyed BUT there was a promise to have them replaced and so far nothing has been done , I know some local chaps would spend time together having a drink or two BUT they did no harm to anybody , so who ever is responsible could we please have an answer or some action in having the Benches replaced please
Ruth McNulty
Friday 1st September 2017 at 12:29 pm
The benches were removed - and will be replaced - as a part of the programme to renovate the area. The construction of the all-weather path which is significantly wider than the dirt track it replaced meant that the benches had to be taken away.
To set the record straight, the benches were not in 'good order'. All three had been torched, one very badly.
The chaps who like to have a drink during the day have moved into the Library Gardens, where two benches have been torn from their fixings and where there is an ongoing problem of discarded litter.
Pete Taylor
Friday 1st September 2017 at 12:33 pm
@Mark Russell, I have had great success by contacting "Fix My Street" online.
With rather less effort than you have expended having a go at the wrong Council, you could have kicked things off and done us all a favour too.

Dave Topping is pot-hole supremo at CEC; he's frequently telling us what a good job he's doing. His email address is on CEC "your Councillors " page. Let us know how you get on.
Manuel Golding
Friday 1st September 2017 at 12:54 pm
It would appear that Mark Russell like so many people, do neither understand or appreciate the differing roles the town & parish councils play and that of the borough councils. Here in Wilmslow, the Town Council has no authority or involvement with highways, i.e. roads, footpaths etc and their maintenance.That is the sole responsibility of Cheshire East Borough Council. Therefore Mr Russell, may I respectfully suggest you follow Peter Taylor's advice by contacting the very man responsible, Dave Topping, indeed he is paid for this job, in ensuring our roads are fit, safe and in good order. Also, maybe worth contacting your CEC's ward councillor with your justified concern.
Councillor Mark Goldsmith of WTC clearly highlighted the areas that are within the town council's responsibilities and those that are within the domain of the borough council.
Rod Menlove
Friday 1st September 2017 at 1:00 pm
Time to update some records. David Topping retired at the May 2015 election. The name you want is David Brown. Do let us know how you get on.
Mark Goldsmith
Friday 1st September 2017 at 2:27 pm
@Mark Russell
I should amend my reply to include that some people have different priorities for how I spend my time too. This is another area where as unpaid WTC councillors, we cannot please everyone, all of the time.

I also think it unreasonable to hold me responsible for our roads, NHS, national security, care homes or any other areas you think need improving that could result in a fatality. The government pays £billions to other bodies to run these services, not your Parish Council.

However, I am working on improving the Wilmlow Town Council web site to make it far clearer what our council responsibilities and activities are. It will also make it simple for residents to find the right people in WTC or Cheshire East who can resolve their problem.

Work is already under away on this and we hope to launch the new site later in the year.

Cllr Mark Goldsmith, Residents of Wilmslow
Brian Braybrooke
Friday 1st September 2017 at 2:36 pm
Hi Ruth Thanks for your prompt reply If you say the existing benches were damaged , my recollection was when I saw the men removing them was what a shame as 2 of them were certainly in good order , they did not impinge upon the newly laid path and I ask the men why they were being removed as was told they had been instructed to do so , as for the Men moving to the Library Gardens Look no further for the damage than the Wilmslow youths that congregate there and cause mayhem don't blame the Men although I dont know them personally the men were always polite and cleared away any rubbish , to see what some youths get up too you only need to look at the state of the Cricket Field and surrounds, thats who throw the litter down and do not pick it up, end of rant
Pete Taylor
Friday 1st September 2017 at 2:56 pm
Apologies to Mark and Manuel, I have indeed got my Daves mixed up! i'm obliged to Cllr Menlove for correcting me.
is the chap you need, Mark.
Roger Bagguley
Saturday 2nd September 2017 at 11:27 am
The secret is to have the Tour of Britain cycle race use a different route through Wilmslow each year!

On a more serious note I have concerns for where money to resurface roads will come from post BREXIT? It is my understanding that much of the current inadequate funding for roads comes from Europe.

It is not just the roads but footpaths too. My 6 months on crutches had me struggling on paths not ever repaired since I moved to Wilmslow in 1967. A fall experienced over 2 years ago leaves me with a damaged shoulder. Photographs were submitted to indicate the problem kerb but nothing has been done.

Onwards: I anticipate I will need to own a mobility scooter. Many of the footpaths will be in the same state, rough surfaces, camber too steep and frequently too narrow. Thus I will be on the roads with an anticipated bumpy ride.

I know who is responsible for providing and maintaining our infrastructure. Holding CEC to account is the job of our elected Ward Councillors. It is at this point in the process we need to have evidence the councillors are giving their officers a seriously hard time.
Manuel Golding
Monday 4th September 2017 at 10:32 am
May I remind my good friend Roger, that as the UK is one of the few EU member states that contributes a gross sum, considerably more money to the EU than we receive in misnamed "EU funding", so called to confuse those who are not aware of the funding system, I believe it should be called "propaganda",
Therefore any monies the EU passes back is in fact our very own money, not the EUs.
Roll on 29th March 2019!
However, Roger is quite right in stating that the footpaths & roads come under the remit of CE Highways. CE is far too frivolous with its budget, preferring to pay grossly inflated salaries for third rate, in the main, senior officers, resulting in gardening leave for some, mad cap schemes via arms length companies, financial fiascoes as Lyme Green, the East & West Cheshire councils bottomless pit joint project and more.
With good financial management that would cut out wasteful, exotic, legacy projects along with jobs for the controlling party's voting "good boys", we may then have saved enough money to bring our roads & footpaths up to a good standard. Apologies for my wishful thinking.
Helen Hayes
Tuesday 5th September 2017 at 4:54 pm
I love flowers and planters as much as the next person, I enjoy "parks and gardens" planting it makes me smile and remember the ordered rows of annuals planted in borders of my childhood!

However, yesterday, I drove down Princess Parkway - wow! The wild flower seeds have taken and (Siemens/Chorlton area) are stunning. Poppies, Nigella, Marigolds etc all for little money, which support wildlife and will continue to flourish, spread and be enjoyed for years to come I hope!

Perhaps this is something wilmslow town council could look to copy?

I've reported for 3 consecutive years the blocked solid grids on Altrincham Road to Cheshire East Council. The road is swept but the grids are no longer cleaned - hence the flooding photos we now see on social media every time we have significant rainfall. The grids are filled and compacted with soil.

Given Altrincham Road is the main arterial route to the M56, Airport City it is surely negligent to deliberately allow a road to flood?

Could wilmslow town council donate money to cheshire east to facilitate grid drainage? Loss of life and serious accidents on flooded and poorly drained main roads is something I would rather have than planters
Gerald Norden
Wednesday 6th September 2017 at 5:58 pm
Manuel Golding expresses absolute common-sense, sadly, maybe wishful thinking??
The UK has cultivated over recent years an army of incompetent bureaucrats on inflated salaries that beggar belief, depriving "cutting edge" funding for seriously needed services required by the taxpayers they are supposedly serving.
Sanity needs to be restored, an evaluation of merit combined with salary re-alignment with that of productive middle management in the private sector, which is likely to be a salary reduced to in the region of 40% of the present "take" as well as a reduction of "out of the office" or, "at a meeting" syndrome.
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 6th September 2017 at 7:16 pm
CEC needs to be served with a winding-up order. Another two Senior Officers reportedly suspended today, plus another (the next in line) off with stress.
Mary Sunderland
Wednesday 6th September 2017 at 10:32 pm
It always seems to me that the problem is politicians what to make 'popular' decisions rather than 'essential' decisions.

Mark goldsmith - I am very pragmatic, I have many skills, and I would love to offer a helping hand. I presume the town council and the CEC are happy to accept volunteers who will work for nothing?!
Mark Goldsmith
Friday 8th September 2017 at 1:30 pm
@Mary Sunderland: yes, there are several ways in which you can help WTC. I will try to contact you directly to discuss what possibilities there are.
David Scott
Tuesday 12th September 2017 at 6:56 pm
I agree with Peter we have got our priorities wrong there are more important things needs in Wilmslow than flowers. Town center toilets for one.
However my main point of concern is there seems to little thought to where these flowers are placed.
Coming down from the town center and turning right towards the train station
The traffic lights and filler is block from line of sight by the flower basket.
Highly dangerous as needs sorting.
Laurie Atterbury
Friday 15th September 2017 at 7:50 am
Peter, the holes are allowed by CEC to make you slow down so that you can observe the lovely flower displays.
Fiona McEwan
Wednesday 20th September 2017 at 5:30 pm
The problem is the 'councillors' do what they do to keep there position in the council. We cannot upset any one that might mean 'I lose my position@

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