Wilmslow Dean Row Ward Borough and Town Council Elections 2019: Candidate Frank McCarthy

Frank McCarthy

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'.

Frank McCarthy is a Conservative Party candidate for the Dean Row ward on both Wilmslow Town Council and Cheshire East Council.

Frank and his family moved to Wilmslow 34 years ago when he was appointed Audio Manager North Region at the BBC. When the BBC closed their North Region operations in Oxford Road Manchester, his career took him into Education. He worked for 15 years in Wilmslow High School in the Science and ISS departments and ran the school's Computer Club for 10 years. He also became the school photographer!

Are you a member of any local groups or societies?

I was a member of the Wilmslow Show committee for over 20 years, and its Chairman for 15 years, transforming it from a small horticultural show to the large family event we know today. I am also a member of Wilmslow Dean Rotary, and deeply involved in all its community activities including the Swimathon and the annual Scarecrow Festival. I am a member of the Evans Arts Trust.

How long have you been a councillor? Why have you decided to stand for the Town Council and Cheshire East Council?

I first became a Councillor back in the 70s in my home city of Cardiff in South Wales as a member of Cardiff City Council, where I became deputy chairman of the council's Transport Committee, which ran the city's buses. I also served on the Education and Waterworks committees – yes we even ran the waterworks and owned several large reservoirs in those days!

On local government reorganisation, I became a member of South Glamorgan County Council, where I became Chairman of the Education Committee and later Leader of the Council. All these posts were of course completely unpaid, and done as a service to the community. They were also run on the committee basis, a system that I would promote in Cheshire East. I also served as a Magistrate until my move to Wilmslow.

Why have you decided to stand for the Town Council and Cheshire East Council?

Having worked for many years running the town's annual Wilmslow Show, I was delighted to be given the opportunity four years ago, to serve our community as a member of the Town Council. (Again unpaid)! I thoroughly enjoy the work of the Town Council, where even though it is limited in its remit, I do believe we make a difference to our town and its people.

However, there are certain very important things which are not within the purview of the Town Council and that's the reason why I am putting myself forward as a candidate for Cheshire East so that I can actually make an even bigger difference on behalf of the residents of Wilmslow Dean. I'm standing for both so that I can also offer myself as a conduit between the two councils.

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

I wouldn't like to claim anything as an individual councillor, as one of the special attributes of the last council is that we all worked together as a team with common objectives and aspirations.

One notable success was the council's behind the scenes work to restore the REX as a functioning cinema, which included a major grant from the Town Council towards the lift, which will enable easy access to disabled people.

In the town itself the council can be pleased that it achieved the new toilet block and kiosk in the Carrs, along with its involvement in the outdoor adult gym, also in the Carrs, which was provided in a joint project with Cheshire East and Wilmslow Dean Rotary.

Other things we can be proud of include the Cinema in the Park, the Christmas trees and lights with Santa visiting and the floral displays throughout the town. Our support and involvement also led to the notable success of our town in the Britain in Bloom competition, with Wilmslow now representing the North West of England in next year's national competition. I enjoyed serving on the planning and finance committees and chaired the community and order committee.

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

Having been involved in local government in different guises for some time, I was very disappointed in the speed, or lack of it shown locally to many projects by other bodies, including our building and commissioning of the toilet block and the transfer of allotments from CEC to the Town Council, and of course parking! Also it has been extremely frustrating to see many planning applications recommended for refusal or modification by our Town council, being granted by Cheshire East.

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

With the large number of new houses coming on stream there will inevitably be great strain placed on already stretched resources. The imminent increase in numbers effecting both Primary and Secondary Education requires urgent and innovative action. The burden on existing medical facilities also needs to be addressed. Parking facilities, already a source of much frustration and increased traffic flows will need sensitive action.

Any monies being generated locally by the new homes bonus and Community Infrastructure Levy needs to be spent locally and not diverted to other parts of the county.

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

Amongst many other things including Educational provision, and a sensible approach to an increase in parking provision including a double story car park at Broadway Meadow, if I'm elected I would I would work to change the present system of Cabinet Government in Cheshire East to a Committee Based system. I already have experience of this form of local government, and believe it to be more open and properly democratic.

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

30 years working for the BBC was an education in itself and the 15 years I spent in Wilmslow High School went some way to completing it! I have been involved for most of my adult life in voluntary service to the community ranging from serving as a councillor, a magistrate and running the Wilmslow Show. I do enjoy being in the thick of it, and making things happen.

Why should the residents vote for you?

I have lived in Dean Row for 34 years, and have a proven track record of working for my fellow residents. I am passionate about making our town a better place, and will always place the needs and requirements of the residents of Dean Row before any other loyalty.

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


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

Philip Barton
Friday 26th April 2019 at 4:12 pm
Frank brings great experience in his bid to be the CEC representative for Dean Row. Frank always fights his corner and will be a great advocate for Dean Row.
Terry Roeves
Saturday 27th April 2019 at 7:41 am
However, CEC Cllrs are predominately men and it’s the men who are giving Wilmslow Residents such grief. Mr McCarthy is a good candidate for CEC but we already have a very very good Cllr in Toni Fox, whom with her independence, works without bias on our behalf. Also in the interests of gender equality she has to get the job.
Diana Jennings
Saturday 27th April 2019 at 8:07 am
I have lived in Dean Row for 31 years. I have never had any communication with Mr McCarthy apart from an election leaflet this year. In this article his answers suggest that none of his achievements involve Dean Row? Having read both leaflets I feel there is no one who actually does anything so I won't bother voting.
Pete Taylor
Saturday 27th April 2019 at 10:32 am
Diana, unfortunately your experience seems to be typical of the wards where the "old guard" Conservatives are established. No contact with the electorate until a few weeks before the election, no response to questions, or on the odd occasion when they do, talking down to the unworthies from hwat they see as their "entitled" position.
I think this is one of the reasons why folks, from across the political spectrum, decided to stand independently (under the banner of Residents of Wilmslow) at the last election four years ago, and in greater numbers this time around. I've been lucky to have an RoW councillor for the past four years and the difference to the previous 18 years has been unbelievable.
I would urge you please not to waste your vote; vote Residents of Wilmslow (people before party) and take control of our Council for the people, not for their party.
Jon Armstrong
Saturday 27th April 2019 at 11:12 am
I have no allegiance with the Conservative Party but to be fair to Frank he's knocked on my door three times as far as I can remember in the 5 years or so I've lived at my current address to introduce himself and ask about any local issues that concern me. He certainly didn't talk down to me and was friendly and personable.

I don't remember any other candidates or councillors from any of the parties or independents ever coming round at this house or either of the previous two houses I've lived in here.
Manuel Golding
Saturday 27th April 2019 at 5:05 pm
Frank McCarthy has made statements above which suggest he does not have a full grasp of the situation pertaining to CEC. His numerous complaints can be categorised below -
1) He is rightly frustrated that many planning apps that WTC recommend for refusal are being ignored & granted by CE. The problem here is that it is the Conservative councillor majority , his own party, that chooses to ignore local opinion.
2) New houses create a freat strain on over stretched resources, including schools, GP surgeries, roads, parking etc. It was his party colleagues, the Conservative Party's councillors who blindly voted for the Local Plan Strategy (LPS)WITHOUT considering the consequences for the local infrastructure, something RoW was at great pains to warn the Conservatives about & to request the issue be resolved well before granting approval of the LPS. They refused to listen, the results of their narrow political view is now only too apparent for all to painfully witness. He pleads for "urgent & innovative action" - his Conservative pals left the stable door wide open. On;y RoW & its other independent colleagues can possibly rectify this damage his friends have wrought because, of they are returned that will not happen - admitting a case of "Oops, we slipped up badly."
3) Now he is pleading for "monies ....generated ......by...the New Homes Bonus & Community Infrastructure Levy needs to be spent locally.......not ......to other parts of the county." He forgets to say that it was his party that didn't want to release ANY NHB money at all. Only thanks to RoW councillors, Mark Goldsmith (candidate for West) and Toni Fox (for Dean Row), did any money at all become released to the localities and for which it was intended. The Conservatives were keeping very quiet about NHB money. RoW has a Freedom of Information letter from Dec 2016 staying that as there were, at that time, 47 new homes registered on Arlington Rd, Wilmslow was due to receive circa £97,000 - with more homes having been completed since Wilmslow should have received additional sums as designed by the NHB. After Cllr Toni Fox badgered the CEC leadership, Wilmslow eventually managed to receive some £83,000 but to be split between Handforth, Alderley & Wlm. But the question as to where the total money due to Wilmslow via the NHB remains unanswered by the Conservative controllers of this council.
4) He says he "would work to change the present system of Cabinet Government in Cheshire East to a Committee Based system" He states "...the ...present system of Cabinet Government at CEC..." doesn't work and he would prefer to change to a "committee based system." Wow!! Hallelujah!!! Would he really?? The Conservative councillors have REFUSED every independent group's request to even consider changing the flawed & dictatorial governance by cabinet cabal.
N,B. - At the Special Full Council meeting held last month to debate this issue, the Conservatives were whipped to vote against it,even though the Council Leader, Rachel Bailey, would not publicly confirm this though at the meeting the Independents were told by several Tory members that they had been instructed in no uncertain terms which way to vote! Fortunately we live in a democratic & open governance environment!!

Has Frank had the wool pulled over his eyes by his political "friends"?
Has he meekly accepted the stories the Conservatives have concocted for his consumption?
Either way, it appears he has clearly failed to research the issues he is pronouncing on.
This would appear to be a warning to all voters concerned for the future governance of a Conservative controlled CE.
If this Conservative candidate can so easily accept all his party's vacuous words of past deeds & future initiatives then he is not the man, or party, deserving of your votes.

If he strongly believes in the concerns he is expressing, will he ignore his party's whip? Maybe you may conclude, he is in the wrong party and should be with RoW where he will be free to express his independence?

A mighty strong difference between RoWs Cllr Toni Fox to the Conservative candidate's wish list. Toni has done, is free to do & act entirely in the very best interest of HER Dean Row voters, no whip, no political pressure or threats. Toni and RoW is about "Putting People before Party".

Make your vote count on the 2nd May - "Vote Residents of Wilmslow. Vote for Change" at Cheshire East
Roger Bagguley
Sunday 28th April 2019 at 9:39 am
No matter what the Tory candidates tell us in the run up to the vote on Thursday they are the very people who have presided over all of the issues confronting Wilmslow people today. Nobody else can be blamed. More of the same for me is not an option. I want independent councillors who will challenge and bring clarity to the way Cheshire East Council is being run. I, like so many others am still angry that so much of our green belt was lost when brown sites were available. There is no excuse for continual delaying tactics on parking. So many problems caused by chasing growth without advanced planning for infrastructure. In representing people on planning issues, people who bring their issues to RoW because their Conservative Ward Councillors fail to give support, I have witnessed at first hand the way the Chairs of committees steer the vote. My complaints have simply been met with shrugged shoulders by those who should be concerned.

Thus, a no brainer for me, I will not be voting Conservative this time round as I have so frequently done so in the past. Change is required. RoW has my vote on Thursday.