Don’t miss chance to have your say on proposal to merge Wilmslow, Handforth and Chorley

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Cheshire East Council is urging residents not to miss out on having their say on plans to merge the parishes of Wilmslow, Handforth and Chorley.

The local authority is urging people to take part in a consultation on proposals for the governance arrangements for town and parish councils in the borough – by the deadline of 28th November.

The 12-week consultation began on 6th September as part of a borough-wide review, as Cheshire East is responsible for the governance and electoral arrangements for the borough's 186 town and parish council wards in 135 town and parish councils.

The review, which follows central government and Local Government Boundary Commission for England guidance, is to ensure community governance arrangements continue to reflect local identities and facilitate convenient and effective local government.

As communities change over time, government guidance advises a review of town and parish governance every 10-15 years, to ensure the arrangements are fit for purpose. The last one was done before Cheshire East Council was created in 2009.

The review looks at a range of issues, including town and parish boundaries, numbers of town and parish councillors, grouping of parishes and warding.

The Community Governance Review draft recommendations report makes a series of draft proposals for consultation, beginning with parishes where no changes are being proposed, to other relatively minor proposals, and, finally, to more significant area or boundary changes – largely adjoining the borough's urban parishes – which have a knock-on effect for surrounding parishes. Maps showing the details of potential boundary changes can be found via this link.

The key proposals for the Wilmslow area (Wilmslow, Handforth, Styal and Chorley) are as follows:

  • Wilmslow, Handforth and Chorley parishes should merge to become a single community called Wilmslow.
  • Handforth should become a single parish ward within the merged parishes.
  • The new housing development between Clay Lane and Sagars Road should be transferred to the proposed enlarged parish of Wilmslow.
  • The number of seats on Wilmslow Town Council should be increased from 15 to 20.

Councillor Sam Corcoran, chair of Cheshire East's corporate policy committee, and leader of the council, said: "We have had more than 2,000 responses so far, but we want to make sure that people don't miss out on the chance to have their say and share their views in this important matter.

"Reviewing community governance arrangements for town and parish councils is normal good practice and I would encourage people to take part in the online consultation.

"The current governance arrangements date from before Cheshire East was formed and there has since been considerable change to our settlements, the population, and its distribution. This review and consultation offer an opportunity to ensure that town and parish arrangements meet local needs and are fit for purpose for the future."

The public consultation, which ends at midnight on 28 November 2021, can be accessed via: https://surveys.cheshireeast.gov.uk/s/CGReview2/

Paper copies of the consultation can also be obtained from local libraries. People are urged to send in their completed paper forms as soon as possible. All responses should be based on the proposals contained in the official consultation documents. The aim is to complete the review process well before the scheduled local elections in May 2023.

This review of community governance does not include the electoral arrangements for borough council or parliamentary seats. These would be the responsibility of Whitehall (the Local Government Boundary Commission and the Boundary Commission for England, respectively) and are not currently proposed.

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Comments

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

Nick Jones
Monday 15th November 2021 at 12:23 pm
Sam Corcoran; This merger proposal should only be considered when this small bifurcated county with approx 1M residents is rejoined from East + West, and you save the tax payers money by removing duplication of costs and services at either end of The County of 'Cheshire'. Lead by example. In the meantime NO.
Clive Cooksey
Thursday 18th November 2021 at 11:48 am
Quite simply:~ Just keep Wilmslow as Wilmslow. If it aint broke then why fix it? People have tried for years to merge our town with other interested parties. Lets just leave it as it is. Its a pointless and costly exercise for no good reason
Jon Williams
Thursday 18th November 2021 at 12:33 pm
I think Wilmslow is "broke" and it will take a lot of fixing !
Stuart Redgard
Friday 19th November 2021 at 5:03 pm
Jon

I would be interested in why you think it is 'broke".

What do you think broke it; when; and why?

I've lived here 27 years and I don't see what you see.
Jon Williams
Saturday 20th November 2021 at 1:19 pm
Town Council invests £100k in new Christmas lights

Lack of support to new Care Homes in and around the town, they are needed and provide much needed jobs

Not enough Town Council money spent on things that the tax payers need

(I have lived in the area for over 15 years and can see it's gone down hill)
Stuart Redgard
Saturday 20th November 2021 at 2:55 pm
Jon
Thank you for the feedback.
I've lived here for 27 years. When I arrived there appeared to be no community spirit other than the annual Charity Bonfire. `

No, everything isn't perfect, but I now see more community spirit and a Town Council willing to do what it can to invest in the Town and its community.

The Town Council is limited by law what it can spend is money on. It cannot duplicate or invest in services that are the responsibility of Cheshire East Council. It is there to represent the views of the people. So if the people don't want new Care homes in then it is duty-bound to object to them.

Pre Covid I attended a lot of Town Council meetings and even stood for election. I see numerous posts on this site knocking the Town Council. I will step up and defend it when I see it doing a good job and also criticise it when I think it's made poor decision. What I've seen is it makes more good decisions than bad ones. But you are quite entitled to hold a different opinion.

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