Wilmslow West Ward Borough and Town Council Elections 2019: Candidate Gary Barton

Gary 1

In the run up to the local elections on May 2nd I will be publishing brief interviews with each of the candidates - standing for seats on both the Town Council and Cheshire East Council - that respond to my request, in the order in which they respond.

To read interviews with other candidates you will be able to click on the tags at the bottom of the article. For example, pieces on the other candidates for the Wilmslow Town Council election will all be tagged 'Wilmslow Town Council 2019 Election'. Candidates representing the same party or group will also be connected via the tags, candidates competing in the same ward will be connected by tags as well and all articles will be tagged '2019 Local Elections'.

Gary Barton is a Conservative Party candidate for the Wilmslow West ward on both Wilmslow Town Council and Cheshire East Council.

Gary has lived in Wilmslow since hiss family moved here 1984 when he was 21 months old. He went to Ashdene County Primary, Manchester Grammar School, and then on to the University of Manchester. He works as an industry analyst within the telecommunications industry.

He told me "I still have an interest in history and visit battlefields and ancient sites whenever I can, and I enjoy gardening when I have time. I am a life long Manchester United fan and a season ticket holder at Old Trafford. I am a keen reader and cinema goer, so I am very much enjoying have the Rex back open in Wilmslow."

Are you a member of any local groups or societies?

I have previously been a Cub Scout leader at 4th Wilmslow Cubs and a Governor at Ashdene. I am now starting to become involved with the Friends of Wilmslow station group and I have promised to help Ellie and Julie with their Wilmslow in Bloom efforts over the summer.

Why have you decided to stand for re-election as a parish councillor and ward councillor for Wilmslow?

Wilmslow is my home town and being in the position to fight for Wilmslow and to support our town means a lot to me. As the national political scene has become fraught, it has reminded how much of what matter to us on a daily basis happens locally and is decided locally. I very much want to continue and finish the work that Ellie and I have started with the parking review. I also want to work with Cheshire East and the Town Council to support our town centre, not just on Grove Street and Alderley Road, but in areas such as Chapel Lane.

How long have you been a councillor?

I was first elected to Macclesfield Borough Council in 2007 and then to Cheshire East in 2008.

What do you think have been your biggest achievements as a councillor in the past 4 years?

Getting the funding for the parking review and seeing the process begin and the consultation take place has been very important. The success of local businesses is great, but Wilmslow needs a plan in place to deal with the knock-on effects. I am proud that Ellie and I were able to ensure that no major Green Belt developments have been allowed in Wilmslow West and Chorley and of the work we both did finding a solution to the peat extraction at Lindow Moss.

What have been your biggest disappointments as a councillor in the past 4 years?

I was disappointed that it took too long to start the parking review process. But I am grateful for residents' patience and understanding and glad that Highways recognised the importance of finding long-term solutions to the problem and that the process for putting yellow lines on Alderley Road has now begun. I would also like to see central government do more to support local communities: e.g., by reducing rates for high street businesses and releasing more money for infrastructure development.

What do you consider to be the important issues facing Wilmslow?

Parking, planning/protecting the green belt, improving the town centre, and improving local infrastructure are what I see as the main priorities for Wilmslow.

What do you hope to achieve and how in the next 4 years?

Finishing the parking review is the first priority because roads such as Alderley Road, Knutsford Road, Buckingham Road, Bourne Street Westward Road, and various others across the town need action taking to improve safety and to make life easier for local residents. Work needs to continue to improve local roads and pavements. Moor Lane, Gravel Lane, Nursery Lane, and Chapel Lane have all had work done recently, but there is much more that needs doing. I also think that the Neighbourhood Plan will play an important roll in revitalising the town centre and I want to support that process.

What experience and personal qualities will you bring to the role?

My time as a councillor has given me the experience of who talk to and how to get things done in local politics. Budgets are tight and resources are limited, and it is not easy making sure that Wilmslow's priorities are put first. I also have experience from my day job of working with people and working with large and complicated organisations. Most importantly, working with Ellie over the last four years has seen us build a strong team for Wilmslow West and Chorley.

Why should Wilmslow residents vote for you?

Ellie and I have spent many, many hours knocking on doors, talking to local residents to understand what matters to the people of Wilmslow West and Chorley. We are both Wilmslow people and know the area well. Ellie and I have a track record of working hard for Wilmslow over the last four years. Most residents we have spoken to can also see that we are working to address the local issues that matter most to them – such as parking, protecting the Green Belt, better roads, and improving household recycling collections.

2019 Conservative Party Candidate, 2019 Local Elections, Wilmslow Town Council 2019 Election, Wilmslow West Ward


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

Philip Barton
Tuesday 23rd April 2019 at 3:19 pm
I have had many good reports from residents he has helped. Good luck in the elections.
Pete Taylor
Tuesday 23rd April 2019 at 6:39 pm
Well; that's a ringing endorsement from the Deputy Chairman, Membership & Fundraising and Treasurer of the Tatton Conservative association; your Dad.
Oliver Romain
Tuesday 23rd April 2019 at 7:48 pm
Aaawww daaaad stop embarrassing me! Thanks Pete. That may explain how Mr Barton junior has been reselected by the Tories despite only turning up to 52% of council meetings. Maybe dad can have a word.
Julian Abbot
Wednesday 24th April 2019 at 9:36 am
Surprised you could find Gary, I'm still waiting for a reply to the email I sent him about the parking on Buckingham Rd I sent 18 months ago, as are a lot of people are, I understand. As for Ellie Brooks, I had to raise an official complaint with CEC to get a response from her about the dangerous crossing outside Chilli Banana. Funny they both saying they are frustrated with the state of affairs. The parking review was flawed and will, I expect, only result in the lowest cost option of more yellow lines that will displace the problem again. As for the Neighbourhood Plan, that is no more than a pipe dream. They are the people that were elected to solve these issues, seems like they've failed. CEC receives plenty of money from Wilmslow, if the Tory controlled council fails to see this contradiction then it's time for a clean sweep. I'll be voting RoW.
Roger Bagguley
Wednesday 24th April 2019 at 9:43 am
The English language offers a poetic licence, also an opportunity to spin to advantage. We people of Upcast Lane, Cumber Lane and Lindow Fold Drive etc.know only too well what "Safeguarded" means. You Gary, along with Ellie and all other Conservative Councillors voted to adopt a Local Plan that safeguarded our land for development. Whether this does not happen until 2030 or not, this land is now removed from the Green Belt and could be called in at any time if needs must. You were told at the time that the housing need was too high based upon inflated population growth figures. Also, that windfall on brown sites will provide a significant return. You voted for 900 houses in Wilmslow by 2030 and today we have over 1200 committed, many now having been completed or are under construction. You should know Gary that the increased number JCBs, bulldozers etc. digging holes in the road and carving up the fields around this end of Wilmow West Ward only serve to feed the anxiety brought by your decision to support sageguarding our Green Belt land for development.

Residents of Wilmslow (RoW) was born out of the people's overriding wish to save the Green Belt. You should not be surprised that the same people will never trust you and your's again to protect our green spaces and will remember forever you approved a Local Plan that has taken out of the Green Belt more land for development than was required.

It remains to be seen whether the approval of 14 semi prestigious houses on the peat workings site brings about a much desired regeneration of the bog. But your team mate Ellie knows only too well what is on offer is a huge gamble. After years of neglect on the part of your council in not enforcing conditions to maintain the water table, the bog is drying out and fires occurred last summer. Planning permission was granted under threat from Crogan Peat to continue extraction to 2045. But the low quality of the peat is such extraction had already ceased. At RoW we take the view
this historic and site of scientific importance deserves to be treated with greater respect by tour council than to have the bog restored to a natural wetland hanging on to a return from a gamble. Extraction is now legally ceased but I am not holding my breath on the future for this part of Wilmslow West Green Belt.

On the parking issue you rightly need to thank the people for their patience but you and your's told us you had secured a
survey some 2 years or more ago only for RoW to discover no such survey
existed. You are right to prioritise infrastructure but need to be reminded that current issues plaguing our town have not suddenly occurred. They have been coming for a long time and on your watch. Should we be surprised many people are fed up and want change.

As a footnote Oliver: Gary's attendance at council is recently improved.
Anthony Evans
Wednesday 24th April 2019 at 3:37 pm
It's interesting to read how you have found a solution to the problems on Lindow Moss. During our meetings with you over the years your input has been as useful as a chocolate teapot. In fact, you once told us that no-one at Cheshire East listens to you.
And if you do think you have found a solution, why not speak to Joel Millett at Newgate Kennels who has to carry out remedial work to his buildings on a regular basis. Or to Peter Smith and Julie Browning at the White House on Rotherwood Road, who last weekend had approximately 1000 tonnes of topsoil delivered in an attempt to raise the garden to its original height.
All this is caused by the ongoing subsidence, which after 20 years of
reporting, has not been dealt with and is continuing.
We said after the meeting of the Strategic Planning Board, where the Tory mafia voted in favour of the housing, watch this space. The facts are nearly complete now and will make interesting reading, so continue watching.
Deleted Account
Friday 26th April 2019 at 5:29 pm

Haven't these interviews by Lisa Reeves proved 'enlightening'?

And now this from 'Experienced' Clr Gary Barton:

(1) An endorsement from .... his Dad

(2) Gary claiming responsibility for the 'solution' to Lindow Moss.
Pete Taylor
Friday 26th April 2019 at 6:14 pm
Mr Barton senior (Tatton Conservative Association Treasurer, reportedly) is now systematically endorsing all the old Tory candidates; whether they want it or not.
I think I hear the sound of the bottom of barrels being scraped.
William McQueen
Friday 26th April 2019 at 6:50 pm
Mr Barton promised all sorts to Pownall Park Residents Committee in the past - none of which were followed through despite the Chair sending repeat emails.

The ‘Grand Plans’ on their leaflets for Thursdays vote apparently include solving the parking on Alderley Rd (actually solved by fed up residents) and winter green bin emptying - waste of money Gary, very little green waste in winter as nothing grows surprisingly.

Waste of time. Voting for someone more reliable!!
Martin Theobald
Friday 26th April 2019 at 7:03 pm
So far Mr Barton (snr. as apposed to cllr.) has yet to endorse the Conservative candidate on the website for Alderley Edge. I do hope that that the candidate does not feel left out and on their own.
Alan Brough
Friday 26th April 2019 at 8:40 pm
@Martin Theobald,

I’m guessing that even Phil Barton can see the futility of the Conservative campaign in AlderleyvEdge.

They’ve now had three years of excellent service from an Independent Village Council and I guess the Tory candidate will blow in and out of the village like brushwood.
Pete Taylor
Sunday 28th April 2019 at 6:46 am
The destruction of Lindow Moss is truly tragic. Did CEC not have a statutory duty to ensure that protection measures were put in place?
Martin Theobald
Wednesday 1st May 2019 at 6:40 pm
In the CEC register of interest Cllr Barton describes his occupation as a 'Telecoms Analysis'. This is might be considered to be ironic when it would appear that he is not easy to communicate with.

My personal experience is that repeated emails to him go unanswered. As an example, the last response I had from him was in July 2016. I attempted to follow the issue in question up with him for almost two years but in that twenty one month period he was not polite enough to acknowledge or answer any of my reminding emails. The issue is still outstanding.

I have also attempted to engage with Cllrs Brooks and Barton jointly on other matters but the responses have not been from Cllr Barton. The responses from Cllr Brooks have been sparse.

Back when Wesley Fitzgerald was the other CEC councillor for Wilmslow West Cllr Barton was more responsive. Maybe that was the influence of the then leader of CEC.
Oliver Romain
Wednesday 1st May 2019 at 9:32 pm
Martin: You are not alone. I and my neighbours have had similar experiences with Gary Barton over a dangerous situation locally. One response then silence to multiple reminders. Politeness costs nothing. Gary Barton just can't be bothered. 50% attendance at council meetings over eight years. Doesn't respond to emails. What does he do? Is he really the best that the Tories can offer? Why do the Tories think he deserves the chance of another term?
Alan Brough
Wednesday 1st May 2019 at 11:06 pm

So, in fact, you could say he is sleeping on the job?

My view is that there is much work to be done locally and any councillor acting on our behalf should be embarking on his or her task with their eyes wide open.
Oliver Romain
Thursday 2nd May 2019 at 9:09 am
Alan: Its been a very long slumber. Since 2008 Gary Barton has attended only 49% of borough council meetings and only apologised for 58% of absences. Per meeting he must be the most expensive councillor in CEC. The other councillors must always have a surprise when he turns up.

Check it for yourself here.


Stop this Tory waste.