Concerns over Jodrell Bank council meeting accessibility

Cheshire East’s ‘Green’ credentials have come under the microscope following concerns being raised over a council meeting at Jodrell Bank Observatory, with virtually non-existent accessibility for local residents.

Cheshire East Council is holding a full council meeting there, but one councillor has concerns about people being able to attend, especially in the winter.

The council said it was important to meet in an area that has not previously been used for council meetings.

The authority does not have its own council chamber and regularly holds meetings elsewhere.

However, there are no public transport links to the observatory site in Lower Withington.

Rachel Bailey, Conservative councillor for Audlem, said it was a “real privilege” to visit the site.

But added: “Council meetings are about residents as well and their ability to access meetings if they wish.”

Jodrell Bank, which opened in 1957, is known as the birthplace of radio astronomy and was added to the Unesco World Heritage List in 2019.

Ms Bailey said she believed the council should have taken up the site’s “kind offer” in summer.

A council spokeswoman said it was a “very good opportunity” to meet at a different location.

“The venue in question is an internationally important, premier scientific facility, which was attracted to the borough with the council’s support,” she said.

“Meeting at the facility will come at nil-cost to the council, unlike other venues.”

The council said members of the public are welcome to attend and the meeting would also be live streamed.

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