Call for shake-up at Cheshire East Council voted down


A call to replace the current cabinet system at Cheshire East Council with a committee system was voted down at a special meeting of the full council held at Sandbach Town Hall today, Tuesday 5th March.

The motion (changing to a committee system form of governance) from the Independent members of Cheshire East Council was proposed by Councillor James Nicholas and seconded by Councillor Craig Browne.

Whilst 25 members voted for the motion, 39 voted against and 1 member abstained.

Cllr James Nicholas, Independent councillor for Bollington, said ""I am very disappointed in the conservative leadership. By voting down our motion they have failed the residents of Cheshire East. They are in denial, they believe control is their right and something they are not prepared to relinquish. They are willing to waste £700k of public money to delay the inevitable and have put their own interests first."

Cllr Craig Browne, Independent for Alderley Edge said ""We have tried everything in our power to avoid a costly referendum. Sadly, the conservatives are not prepared to listen to residents. Our poll showed that 97% of the electorate want the more open, transparent and democratic form of governance, which is the committee system. The Independent Group will continue its campaign to make that happen."

The Independent members of Cheshire East Council say a referendum has just become far more likely. They have until the end of September 2019 to call for a referendum, which they can do if more than 5% of voters in Cheshire East (c. 15,000 people) sign the petition.

If Cheshire East Council was forced to hold a stand-alone referendum it is estimated that the cost would be between £500,000 and £700,000.

The Independent group say that a committee system, which was used by Macclesfield, Congleton and Crewe & Nantwich until 2001, would mean that a wider group of councillors would be engaged in the decision making process rather than "a small 'clique' of 8 members having almost total control and decisions being made out of the public arena at informal cabinet".

Cheshire East Council


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

Nick Jones
Tuesday 5th March 2019 at 4:01 pm
The Turkeys were never going to vote for Christmas... But residents can vote for change in the forthcoming elections !
Manuel Golding
Tuesday 5th March 2019 at 5:35 pm
As Nick says, turkey's don't vote for Xmas but why have the CEC Conservatives stick their collective party empty heads into the oven that is called "2nd May CEC elections"? The time for Change is boiling up for the cooks of nondemocratic governance.
Howard Piltz
Wednesday 6th March 2019 at 3:19 pm
I heartily concur with these statements, I just wonder how the Conservative group have the brass-neck to still carry on in this fashion. They must realise that they are heading for a 'Nuremberg' style trial after the next elections. Every one of them should be down the road.
Iain Macfarlane
Wednesday 6th March 2019 at 4:47 pm
A disappointing but predictable result in favour of the current undemocratic cabal. Voters now have a clear choice between choosing candidates blindly following the "Party Line" or supporting the independent local voice of Residents of Wilmslow at the 2nd May elections.
Chris Easdown
Wednesday 6th March 2019 at 4:55 pm
Seems that CEC as with Parliament, the Tories refuse to accept 'open' politics
Seems they are afraid to justify or defend any decision they make or propose in debate
No wonder we are seeing a new INDEPENDENT movement starting to appear both here and in Westminster
John Harries
Wednesday 6th March 2019 at 6:18 pm
I'm a conservative at heart but with their history this lot should be ashamed of themselves - but they aren't because they are arrogant, corrupt and worst of all believe they are untouchable.
They act like turkeys, smell like turkeys and sound like turkeys so why would they vote for Christmas!!
Across the county they are discredited and abhorred so come May - KICK 'EM OUT.
There is no guarantee what could replace them will be an improvement but let us give 'them' a chance - do nothing and nothing will change, at least a vote for change has a chance to get things going in the right direction, if not we can at least collectively take the blame and maybe think again.
Nick Jones
Wednesday 6th March 2019 at 6:26 pm
If we wait long enough, I’m sure one of the currently elected Cllrs supporting this evidenced flawed cabinet system… [or should that be KABINET DIKTAT] … will be along very shortly on these pages to explain; What a fabulous job they have done … and Why more of the same at more cost and less efficiency is the greatest gift they could ever leave our town to remember them.

Leaving aside CEC building on green belt, flawed local plan, flawed consultation, failing to return closed accounts for 3 yrs, hiking up taxes and parking charges.. and a myriad of other ill-conceived plots in between to cash grab from the ignored residents left paying for their frivolity .. Whilst difficult to defend the indefensible without being self-serving, duplicitous and hypocritical.. I’m sure one of the currently elected Cllrs supporting this flawed cabinet system… will be along very very shortly to explain…

probably in the same clear manner as the CEC policy mentor Sir Humphrey Appleby “… there is a real dilemma here, In that, while it has been [CEC] policy to regard policy as a responsibility of [Councillors] and administration as a responsibility of Officials, the questions of administrative policy can cause confusion between the policy of administration and the administration of policy, especially when responsibility for the administration of the policy of administration conflicts, or overlaps with, responsibility for the policy of the administration of policy.”

So.. Maybe not then !

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