News from Alsager

Strange Decisions Over White Moss Quarry

On 12 November 2014 the Cheshire East Council Strategic Planning Board will consider a report on the change-of-use application for land known as the triangular field by White Moss Quarry. Since 2005 this greenfield site has been used for parking and storage of vehicles, machinery, building materials and other equipment. In 2011 the Council approved a retrospective change-of-use application, but after the Local Government Ombudsman had investigated in April 2013 and found maladministration that decision was reversed.

The report to be discussed on 12 November confirms the Ombudsman’s finding of a catalogue of gross errors made by Cheshire East planning department in approving the application and confirms that enforcement action to prevent the use of the green field for parking vehicles is possible. The report concludes that part of the triangular field has been used for parking vehicles on since 2005 and that this change of use required planning consent. It remains to be seen whether Cheshire East Council will take any action as a result of this report. It is very galling to many residents when some people appear to flout planning rules in Cheshire East and get away with it.

Labour Group Leader, Cllr David Newton, said “There has been a long standing breach of planning rules. No enforcement action has been taken over the last 9 years. Will any enforcement action be taken now?”

The Ombudsman also found that the Council had knowingly and persistently misled the public. This disturbing finding has been taken up by Labour councillors shocked at how little action has been taken by the ruling Conservative administration after the Ombudsman’s damning report.

Speaking about the Ombudsman’s report at a Cabinet meeting on 22 July 2014 Sam Corcoran, Labour Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East, said, “There was one item of that that particularly concerned me and it was an allegation that the date on an aerial photo that had been uploaded to the website was changed in order to make it appear that the aerial photo had been available during the consultation period, whereas in fact the photo was uploaded after the consultation. I have now obtained under the Freedom of Information Act the audit trail relating to that aerial photo. If it had simply been uploaded to the website there would only have been one entry on the audit trail. I can now reveal that there are 2 entries on the audit trail.”

Cllr Corcoran then asked that the second item on the audit trail should be investigated thoroughly to find out: Who did What and Why they did it.

In July Cllr Michael Jones said, “I ask the chief executive to formally look into this,” but since then nothing has been reported back to Cabinet

The Conservative Council Leader added, “I am very concerned that certain sites historically in the Council have come forward with strange decisions around them. That won’t happen on my watch. I’m not part of any secret group, masons or whatever.”

White Moss Development to be discussed

Strange Decisions Over White Moss Quarry On 12 November 2014 the Cheshire East Council Strategic Planning Board will consider a report on the change-of-use application for land known as the...

Alsager Labour campaign for energy price freeze

Alsager Labour were out campaigning for Ed Miliband's policy to freeze energy prices on Saturday 7th December.  Local residents supported the policy by signing Labour's petition.

Energy campaign in Alsager

Alsager Labour campaign for energy price freeze Alsager Labour were out campaigning for Ed Miliband's policy to freeze energy prices on Saturday 7th December.  Local residents supported the policy by...

Labour councillors drive through living wage in Alsager.

At the Alsager Town Council meeting on 22 October, the council agreed to pay all its employees a living wage.  Labour Councillors proposed the motion, which was passed despite opposition from the LibDems.

Alsager Town Cllr Simon Bishop said, “We are delighted that our motion was supported by the overwhelming majority of Councillors as it shows that we want our council to be one that values its staff.  At a time when in-work poverty is reaching shocking levels we can be proud that Alsager is leading the way in ensuring a well-motivated and valued staff team.  This is also important news for the wider community, as studies have repeatedly shown that the extra income gained is usually spent within the local economy, as well as reducing the benefit bill.”

Labour Councillors have been pressing for workers across Cheshire to be paid a living wage. At the Cheshire East Council meeting in December a motion to increase the hourly rate of the lowest paid workers at Cheshire East Council to a Living Wage of £7.45 per hour was proposed and seconded by Labour Councillors Laura Jeuda and Gill Boston.

Cheshire East Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East Sam Corcoran said, “When the major accountancy firm PwC implemented a living wage policy they noticed improvements in staff morale, retention and productivity. A living wage is not only a fair and just policy; it also makes good business sense.”

Alsager becomes living wage council

Labour councillors drive through living wage in Alsager. At the Alsager Town Council meeting on 22 October, the council agreed to pay all its employees a living wage.  Labour Councillors...

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