Campaign for shake-up at Cheshire East Council passes milestone

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Independent councillors who are campaigning to change the current cabinet system at Cheshire East Council say "we have obviously hit a raw nerve with residents".

Over 5,000 residents have signed their petition so they are now well over a third of the way to reaching the required target to request that the Council holds a referendum about making a change in how it is governed at the same time as next May's elections.

If more than 5% of voters in Cheshire East (c. 15,000 people) sign the petition, then a referendum can be demanded. The referendum would likely be a choice between the existing cabinet-style system and a new committee-led system.

Councillor Toni Fox representing the Dean Row ward in Wilmslow said "Residents across Wilmslow feel their views have been, and continue to be, largely ignored. Too many promises have been made and broken - parking issues in Wilmslow being a current case in point. Residents are all too aware that their tax payers money has been wasted on Chief Executive's gardening leave and pay offs when this money could have been used to keep essential local services running and putting into place badly needed local infrastructure."

Councillor Fox also added "According to sources from within the Council the highly publicised issues over the last couple of years are now affecting recruitment. No suitable applicants have been forthcoming to fill the vacancies in senior management and these will not now be advertised again until after the elections next May. If this is the case clearly it is not only residents that have lost confidence in Cheshire East Council. Unfortunately this also means that remaining staff are being put under even more pressure and it casts further doubt on the Councils ability to meet the needs of residents given the current budget constraints. Without the change we are proposing through a referendum at the Council it is difficult to see how this is going to be resolved."

The Independent Group is in the process of delivering additional leaflets across the Borough. From the feedback received from residents the new leaflet can now also be used to support the petition by signing and returning it. Alongside the on-line petition this is proving to be widely supported.

Cheshire East Independent Councillor Amanda Stott, Bollington ward, who is collating the returned leaflets which they are in the process of delivering across the borough, commented "It is a sign of the strength of feeling that people are taking the trouble to sign our petition and then put it in the post. What started as a trickle of envelopes seems to be turning into a torrent."

Further information can be found at changecheshireeast.co.uk.

Photo: Independent Councillor Amanda Stott, Bollington Ward, opening the days mail.

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Cheshire East Council
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Comments

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

Manuel Golding
Tuesday 6th November 2018 at 1:04 pm
Residents of Wilmslow's Councillor Toni Fox states a telling concern for all Cheshire East's residents - "No suitable applicants have been forthcoming to fill the vacancies in senior management."
This is a shocking state of affairs and the leadership and its voting fodder supporters in council should be thoroughly ashamed of this "achievement", May I suggest to the Leader, that she seriously considers placing a job specification advert in Private Eye's Rotten Borough's columns as this council is & has been an extremely frequent "visitor".
Or maybe the Leader prefers to defer a decision until she has "consulted" via one of CEC's in-house surveys?
This situation is precisely why the residents of this borough need to SIGN THE INDEPENDENT COUNCILLORS' PETITION demanding radical change to the current "governance" culture in CEC.
John Duckworth
Wednesday 7th November 2018 at 3:30 pm
I think a better name other than Leader would be more appropriate - She is certainly not a leader.It appears to me she is leading people up the wrong path.

Residents of Wilmslow want less talk and more action, surely not much to ask for.
Maria Quin
Wednesday 7th November 2018 at 5:23 pm
Enough is enough! Change is absolutely essential now as I believe residents have been incredibly patient with the current system and personnel. It appears to me that Wilmslow Town Council is the place to get things done for us residents as well as Residents of Wilmslow. Wouldn’t it be lovely if they could join forces and look after the town with integrity, transparency and common sense? Or am I just dreaming? ;)
Maria Quin
Wednesday 7th November 2018 at 5:30 pm
Please sign the petition (takes only a few seconds and could help improve so much for us).
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 7th November 2018 at 11:07 pm
I’m not sure how anyone can continue to condone a system whereby eight individuals are able to affect the day to day lives of thousands of folks. We, the people, certainly did not vote for this.

Lets kick Party Politics out of OUR local government. Time for a change, vote Independent.

Alderley First- Wilmslow next.

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