Wilmslow West Ward Borough Council Election 2019: Candidate Ellie Brooks

Gary and Ellie 1

In the run up to the local elections on May 2nd I have been 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'.

Ellie Brooks is a Conservative Party candidate for the Wilmslow West ward on Cheshire East Council.

Ellie has lived in Wilmslow for the last 31 years with her husband John and their daughter who was born here. She previously worked as an airline manager for a large European airline and in her spare time enjoys catching up with family and friends, walking, reading and travel.

Are you a member of any local groups or societies?

I am an active member of our wonderful 'In Bloom' team, last year winning Best Town in the North West and we are now in the Nationals – a huge achievement for Wilmslow by very hard working residents led by Local Area Partnership Chair Ruth Menlove. Volunteers always welcome! Green fingers not necessary!

I am also a member of The Lindow Common Advisory Group and attend meetings with Paul Hughes its dedicated Ranger.

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

Wilmslow is the town I chose to move to 31 years ago and for me supporting local residents is always my aim. By speaking too many of you (Gary and I have called on 90% of houses in Wilmslow West and Chorley this last year and we are still doorstepping) we understand that 'small things matter' as well as those that make the headlines. Making sure Wilmslow is well represented on CE and gets its fair share of resources is important and fighting its corner is ongoing. I am retired so can devote plenty of time to helping with residents problems, attending Council, committees, and meetings.

Being made CE Heritage Champion 3 years ago has been rewarding and fits in with my feel for our natural resources.

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

By talking to our residents Gary and I identified the looming parking problem some time ago and worked hard with our Conservative colleagues meeting regularly to force updates and 'get things moving'. We have tirelessly campaigned for a multi storey on Broadway Meadow as we cannot hope to solve parking problems without more provision.

Challenging unwise planning decisions on Northern Planning, such as sub division on Pownall Park, which has now been comprehensively stopped, supported by the planning inspectorate.

Fighting for Wilmslow's fair share of funding.

Working with Transition Wilmslow and Wilmslow Town Council, to stop the digging on Lindow Moss. We must always try and preserve our natural resources.

Supporting local groups who aim to improve Wilmslow's move to more environmentally friendly ways.

Supporting Engine of the North who were successfully awarded Government infrastructure funding for Cheshire East (£41.7m to date). Thinking big is no small thing.

What has been your biggest disappointment as a councillor in the past 4 years?

Without a doubt the time it takes to cross T's and dot I's. Its very frustrating as I like to work at a much faster pace. However I also understand that it is important to be mindful of the tax payers money.

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

Parking – The review has now been completed and results awaited

Housing – no large scale building in Wilmslow West & Chorley. Fields in Morley Green and Chorley now safe until at least 2045

Shops – Thankfully the Cinema seems to be causing a 'revival' with shops re-opening

Speeding – measures in place at Morley Green, one of the worse cases, to try and address this ongoing problem ('cleat' for speeding van, SID's, new 30mph signage)

Environment – Gary and I support CE's 'carbon neutral' by 2025

Plastics – I support both CE and Transition Wilmslow's campaigns to rid CE and Wilmslow of single use plastic

Supporting local MP's in their bid to get better funding for health and our schools.

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

I am a practical person, hands on, and have never shied away from hard work. There are always challenges to be met but working with individual residents and groups, and, importantly, listening to what they have to say, has helped achieve good outcomes. I have previously managed a large team and have always worked in a 'team' environment.

Why should Wilmslow residents re-elect you?

I have been a town and borough councillor over the last 8 years. I hope residents will see visible improvements to our town in that time. Over the years Gary and I have spoken to many of you, investigating and bring to a successful conclusion many issues that you have raised. We welcome your feedback. Should you decide to elect me on May 2nd I would be honoured to represent Wilmslow West & Chorley for the next 4 years.

2019 Conservative Party Candidate, 2019 Local Elections, Wilmslow West Ward


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

Roger Bagguley
Friday 26th April 2019 at 9:58 am
One or two points:

Neither you more Gary have visited my home. Out canvassing for RoW I find very few people have any knowledge of either of you.

Gary told me several years ago there will be a multi storey car park on Broadway Meadow. Some two or more years ago your flyer told us you had secured a
survey on parking. But no such survey existed. The current survey is down to public pressure following the arrival of parking on Alderley Road. Residents of roads in Wilmslow West have been suffering for years.

It is true upon approval of the application for 14 semi prestigious houses (not the kind of houses needed in Wilmslow) on the Lindow Farm Peat Workings site, the licence to extract ceased. But such is the poor quality of the remaining peat, extraction had already ceased some 3 or more years ago and was unlikely to ever be restarted.

I live in Wilmslow West. My house backs on to land you and Gary supported being taken out of the Green Belt, safeguarded to provide some 500 or 600 houses post 2030 (It is fingers crossed this does not happen before this date), The CEC Local Plan states there is no intention to alter
the Green Belt boundaries until 2045, not that there will be no major developments within the Green Belt within the lead up period. Again, fingers crossed the current supply rate is maintained. If not then, as you well know, any Green Belt land around Wilmslow, including land within Wilmslow West and Chorley Ward, is at risk.

As I commented on the Gary missive, the English language gives licence to spin.
Oliver Romain
Friday 26th April 2019 at 1:33 pm
Roger: To be fair, I know that Ellie has been canvassing residents on sections of Carwood Road. Sorry but I have another question for her.
Ellie: Ellie you must have to work very hard to make up for Cllr Gary Barton's lack of effort and I think you have got the short straw with his selection. He has only attended half of borough council meetings in the last eight years and regularly ignores residents contact. I know you try to pick up the slack, but it can't be easy in what should be a two councillor ward. The Tories select him and whilst I know his dad is one of the Tory bosses it is not helping your cause or the people of Wilmslow to be carrying him.
Could you make an election pledge to deal with his work ethic if you are both elected? People don't want him to promise to help you with Wilmslow in Bloom. People want him to be less lazy his role as councillor. If he is to be selected again maybe he should have a single seat ward and then he will have to step up to the plate. Do you agree its time to cut the apron strings?
Anthony Evans
Friday 26th April 2019 at 2:08 pm
The mind boggles. Now Ellie Brooks is claiming an input into the saga of Lindow Moss.
In twenty years of campaigning Ms. Brooke's met our group once (and proved as useful as Gary Barton). The plain and simple fact as to why Croghan Peat have stopped digging is because they breached the sand beneath the peat causing a huge drop in the water table.
We said to CEC after the Strategic Planning Board meeting 'watch this space'. We said it again after Gary Barton claimed he found the solution and we will say it again to Ms. Brooks. Watch this space. Hopefully as soon as next week.
Philip Barton
Friday 26th April 2019 at 5:08 pm
Ellie. Is always approachable and works hard on many of the community initiatives. We want councillors that are active in the local community groups.
Oliver Romain
Friday 26th April 2019 at 10:28 pm
Philip: Ellie has to work harder because your son Gary Barton doesn’t. 52% CEC attendance record. The people of Wilmslow want councillors who are active too. If you feel bound to select him, give your boy a single seat ward make him stand on his own two feet.
Ellie has no chance having to pick up his slack. It’s letting her down and the people of Wilmslow.
Manuel Golding
Saturday 27th April 2019 at 1:21 pm
Unfortunately for Ellie, when the party called she ran to obey and in so doing badly let the Wilmslow community down - I'm talking about the council meeting that voted for the destructive Local Plan Strategy (LPS). Ellie was too inthralld with her Conservative peers who responded to the Party's whip by voting overwhelmingly for the destruction of the local Green Belt sites - if I recall correctly Ellie voted to "abstain",which in effect was a vote "for" the LPS, thus joining the rest of her duplicitous Wilmslow party colleagues (Barton, Menlove & Stockton).The ONLY Wilmslow councillor to vote against the LPS and in favour of saving our Green Belt was Cllr Toni Fox (RoW - Dean Row) together with other local Independent (of thought, of mind & of will) councillors, Craig Brown (Alderley First) and Barry Burkhill & Denis Mahon (Handforth Ratepayers).

Whatever the current crop of Conservative candidates are saying, they are all guilty of voting for the destructive local Green Belt and for clearly and deliberately choosing to ignore the consequential lack of infrastructure planning that was & is now desperately needed to allay the consequences of their deliberate myopia (roads, schools, GP services, etc, all overwhelmed as a consequence of the Conservative Yes men voting fodder) .

And they have the gall to expect us to sanction more of their mayhem? Not this time around because Residents of Wilmslow (RoW) candidates are going to stand-up for Wilmslow's long maligned voters - at long last a genuine opposition to the Conservative hegemony which with the voters help will be played borough wide on election day.

Whatever any of the Conservatives claim in their missives here,their collective track record of choosing to ignore local feeling tells a very different story, how can any of them be trusted any longer with anything that affects the local voters? Their collective track record is clear for all to see - they only vote for their party's demands, clearly not for their voters' concerns.

2nd May is the time & opportunity to clear these party hacks out of our lives, the lives they have wilfully blighted for years.
Pete Taylor
Saturday 27th April 2019 at 2:01 pm
"What do you think has been your biggest achievements as a councillor in the last 4 years?"
You said:

"Supporting Engine of the North who were successfully awarded Government infrastructure funding for Cheshire East (£41.7m to date). Thinking big is no small thing."

But surely much of this is provide infrastructure for unwanted (remember the Wilmslow Vision consultation?) Green Belt destruction- Handforth Growth "village" etc?

As you are a Director of Engine of the North, I can understand you giving them a plug; I fact, I can think of £5000.04 reasons why you should.

You disputed claim: "Working with Transition Wilmslow and Wilmslow Town Council, to stop the digging on Lindow Moss." is a bit of a worry; can you tell us how you contributed to this on-going disgrace?
Manuel Golding
Saturday 27th April 2019 at 2:53 pm
Philip Barton's sad and repeated "message" is stating the same well worn out mantra for all the Conservative candidates, including for his son Garry.
He says he "wants councillors who are active in the local community groups" and "initiatives". If that be his criteria he should be supporting those who are like RoW, rather than repeatedly pay meaningless lip-service to his wishlist.
His Conservative candidates have repeatedly & severely badly let this town, and borough, down, Garry included. The truth is there to see and hear for all including Mr Barton, just open your ears & eyes.
Methinks Oliver has it in a nutshell.
Alan Brough
Saturday 27th April 2019 at 8:52 pm
Manuel Golding & Pete Taylor,

I share your frustration at the duplicitous messages spat out of the mouth of the Conservative propaganda machine.

But I fear you’re wasting your time. Wilmslow is a true-blue, nailed-on Conservative meal ticket and the folks here will simply and unthinkingly vote for a pig if it wears a blue rosette.

You can be as right and as principled as you like, and you can point at Lyme Green and CoSocious and CoreFit and falsified air quality data and Police investigations and suspensions and the waste of MILLIONS of pounds of public money, but Wilmslow will vote Conservative...... get over it!
Manuel Golding
Sunday 28th April 2019 at 10:27 am
Alan, RoW candidates, canvassers and more importantly, the people we talk to on their doorstep plus those who came to our Artisan Market stand do believe the Conservative controlled dictatorship that is CEC is in need of a great kick up the rear. Wilmslow us a Conservative town but the voters/residents firm;y believe their party has let them down badly, locally, at CE level and further afield (we don't go there!).
Voters have this far felt they had no alternative to the Cons, they would't dream of voting Labour, the Lib Dems are seen as "pointless, fluffy & too left wing", thus leaving the non-political Residents of Wilmslow to carry the flag for listening sensitivity and wuth not being associated with our discredited political parties.
So we approach Thursday with confidence and ask Wilmslow voters to have faith in RoW to stand up & strong for your concerns, concerns the Conservatives have repeatedly brushed aside over many years.
At last the voters have a real alternative home for their votes.
"Vote Residents of Wilmslow, vote for Change"
Pete Taylor
Sunday 28th April 2019 at 11:18 pm
So, finally, people of Wilmslow, can we kick party politics out of WTC elections? You folks have seen the claims and counter-claims, you have seen the state of the roads, the lack of Police on the streets, seen the desperate situation in our local hospitals (my daughter has waited eight months for a statutory 18 week appointment for a really serious condition) how many of you are in the same boat? Seen the lack of any progress on parking issues (despite four years ago the sitting Councillors said they had a solution to parking problems within the life of this council term.
It’s time for a change, time to kick out all those tired faces the Conservatives have dragged out. Time for the young people of Wilmslow to have someone they can vote for. Vote Residents of Wilmslow.
Alan Brough
Sunday 28th April 2019 at 11:39 pm

In fairness I’m persuaded as I try to keep up with what’s going on at CE Council - after all, it’s MY blimmin money they’re spending on investigations into wrong-doing and dodgy, failing public / private companies that they’re setting up to “manage “ public assets.

But I do worry that for the vast majority of people, as long as Coronation Street appears at it’s allotted time four times per week, life is good and they’re oblivious to what’s going on with their Council Tax.

I may be doing Wilmslonians a big disservice but apart from the same few folks on this forum, no one seems to give a damn.
Martin Theobald
Wednesday 1st May 2019 at 7:18 pm
Another reader made the the following comment elsewhere in this organ:

"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."

My experience to date with obtaining information from Cllr Brooks has not been fruitful either. Most emails (and followup reminder ones) go unacknowledged and unanswered. As an example, I made an enquiry to both councillors in June 2018. After five followup reminder emails from myself I received then following one line response from Cllr Brooks towards the end of August:

"We’ve been called to a meeting late October to find out what its about."

So I waited until late October and then into November and I had still not had an update from either councillor. In early November I reminded the councillors about my original question. Over the following five months I sent the councillors reminders. Eventually towards the end of last month Cllr Brooks sent the following reply:

"They’ve already been awarded - info on CE website."

So follow readers (Ok you don't know the subject but) how is that for a timely and comprehensive reply and an apology for the delay in responding?
e.B. 1. All of the the above was addressed jointly to Cllrs Brooks and Barton. There were no responses or acknowledgements from Cllr Barton.

N.B. 2. The information of the CE website was quite sparse, in fact the information I subsequently found in this organ was far more informative. Thank you Ms Reeves.