Members of Parliament representing constituencies in Cheshire East are campaigning to protect local villages’ identities — in response to Cheshire East Council’s Community Governance Review on the future responsibilities and boundaries of local councils in our area.
At a recent meeting of the Conservative MPs in Parliament, Fiona Bruce (Congleton), Esther McVey (Tatton), Kieran Mullan (Crewe & Nantwich), David Rutley (Macclesfield) and Edward Timpson (Eddisbury) all set out their strong concerns about the plans, which will see the closure or merger of many parish and local councils across the Borough of Cheshire East.
Other villages will be brought into areas represented by larger town councils, causing even greater concern about how their unique characters will be able to endure.
The Parliamentarians are raising awareness of the varying and complex impacts of the plans, which are currently being consulted on, and when finalised will be implemented before the scheduled local elections in May 2023.
It is vital that local residents understand what they are being asked to feed back on, and that they are not just taken for granted as a rubber stamp because highly localised and technical issues have not been explained in plain English.
The following plans will deeply damage local community spirit and the identities of local villages in the constituencies they represent.
Congleton Constituency: Fiona Bruce MP is concerned that Somerford Parish Council will lose its individual identity and ability to represent its residents, as they best deserve.
Crewe & Nantwich Constituency: Leighton and Shavington are proud of their areas and they do not think of themselves as a mere extension of Crewe. Dr Kieran Mullan MP wants Cheshire East Council to listen to their views.
Eddisbury Constituency: Local residents are opposing plans relating to Leighton, Church Minshull and Minshull Vernon, and Edward Timpson CBE MP is supporting them in their cause.
Macclesfield Constituency: Local residents are opposed to the villages of Lyme Green and Gawsworth Moss becoming part of Macclesfield Town Council. Eaton, Marton and North Rode Parish Councils each want to see plans to merge their Councils rejected.
There is also active opposition to proposals that would bring Macclesfield Forest, Wildboarclough, Wincle and rural parts of Sutton Parish Council into a new—less local—single council.
David Rutley MP has been campaigning on these issues continually, and is very keen for his constituents to have their say about these regressive proposals.
Tatton Constituency: The amalgamation of Wilmslow, Handforth and Chorley in the Tatton constituency will create a mammoth town council made up of three very diverse communities. Esther McVey MP feels that the justification makes no sense, and also highlights how there is no appetite for the plan to amalgamate Little and Great Warford.
Local residents now have the chance to express their views in the public consultation on Cheshire East Council’s Community Governance Review, which can be accessed online at https://surveys.cheshireeast.gov.uk/s/CGReview2.
The consultation started in early September, and ends at midnight on Sunday 28 November 2021.Paper copies of the consultation can also be obtained from local libraries.
After their meeting, the Cheshire MPs issued a joint statement, saying:
“The plans in Cheshire East Council’s Community Governance Review are causing widespread concern in local rural communities and villages across the Borough of Cheshire East.
“We would urge as many local residents as possible to take part in the consultation and set out their views. If you have any questions, please contact your local MP.
“It’s time to show active support for our rural communities, our local identities, and our County’s heritage over the crucial days ahead.”