Cllr Paul Findlow, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member for corporate policy and legal services, has responded to the announcement of a petition which could alter how decision-making takes place at the council.
‘Change Cheshire East’ aims to gather support for a referendum on the issue of governance and transparency at Cheshire East Council.
Councillor Paul Findlow
Cllr Findlow said in a statement this afternoon: “The change from the current cabinet system to a committee system was the subject of a notice of motion proposed at full council in February.
“This notice of motion was considered at the council’s constitution committee, in June, where it was resolved “that the report be noted but no changes be made to the council’s governance arrangements at this time, given that these have only recently been considered on a cross-party basis and in view of the proximity of the May 2019 local government elections.”
In reference to the changecheshireeast.co.uk website, Cllr Findlow added: “The council’s comments regarding all the points highlighted under ‘Why should Cheshire East taxpayers demand change?’ on the petition website have already been well publicised in the past.”
The points listed include senior officer suspensions (chief executive, legal officer and chief financial officer) which have cost the local taxpayer in excess of £1 million – in particular the £3 million cost of the Lyme Green waste transfer site in Macclesfield.
The Change Cheshire East campaign asserts that “the cabinet system [at Cheshire East Council] has allowed a culture of bullying within the council to thrive,” and adds that the money spent on management consultants to fix issues could’ve been better spent on delivering public services.