News

At the Cheshire East Council meeting on 22 October 2015, Sam Corcoran, Labour & Co-operative Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East, proposed the motion that

This Council would welcome an appropriate number of Syrian refugees to Cheshire East.

On 13 September 2016 Cheshire East Council has agreed to welcome 3-5 Syrian refugee families to Cheshire East.

 

Speaking at the Cabinet Meeting on 13 September, Sam Corcoran said, “I am pleased to see that the Council has finally reached the position where it is ready to put forward a recommendation to accept some Syrian refugee families and I would like to suggest 2 amendments. Firstly remove the words ‘maximum’ and ‘across the lifetime of the programme’ from recommendation ii. These words make the Council sound mean and negative, allowing “a MAXIMUM of 3-5 families”. Why not sound positive and open and say ‘welcoming 3-5 families to Cheshire East’.

Secondly, section 7.3.2 sets out the net cost of roughly £220,000 of accepting 52 Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC). I would like this Cabinet meeting to agree, in principle and dependent on the government financial support outlined in the report, to accept 52 children (UASC). I remember when my Council resolution was first brought to Cabinet the next item on the agenda was the Tour of Britain and Cllr Gilbert said that the costs of staging the Tour of Britain were unquantifiable at that time. We committed to the Tour of Britain and made a success of it. I look forward in due course to knowing just how much it cost to have a stage of the Tour of Britain in Cheshire East, but if we were prepared to make that commitment to the Tour of Britain then surely we can make a commitment where the costs are known and quantified. We can change the lives of 52 children.

There is also a political reason for agreeing today, in principle and dependent on the government financial support outlined in the report, to accept 52 children (UASC). I strongly suspect that the government will in due course force this Council to accept 52 children (UASC). How is this Council going to look if it is forced to accept refugee children? Wouldn’t it be far better to agree it now so that when the government does make its announcement the Council will be able to say “Yes we voluntarily agreed to do that on 13 September”.

 

Speaking after the meeting Sam Corcoran said, “I am pleased that the Council has agreed to welcome 3-5 Syrian refugee families to Cheshire East. I think this is a good start. I am also pleased that the Cabinet accepted my amendment to remove the word ‘maximum’ when referring to a maximum of 3-5 families. I think 3-5 is the right number for now. In due course, if the initial programme works well, then I hope that the Council will welcome more Syrian refugee families as the need is great.

I am disappointed that the Conservative Council Cabinet were not willing to agree to accept 52 unaccompanied asylum seeking children, even in principle. I strongly expect that the government will in due case force the Council to look again at accepting unaccompanied children as it is grossly unfair for councils in the Kent area to have to deal with all the unaccompanied children reaching our shores.”

 

Chehsire East welcomes Syrian Refugees

At the Cheshire East Council meeting on 22 October 2015, Sam Corcoran, Labour & Co-operative Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East, proposed the motion that This Council would welcome an...

Congleton CLP has nominated  Peter Wheeler, Ann Black and Christine Shawcroft as its preferred candidates for the NEC

NEC Nominations 2016

Congleton CLP has nominated  Peter Wheeler, Ann Black and Christine Shawcroft as its preferred candidates for the NEC

At the Cheshire East Council Cabinet meeting on 3rd May, Labour councillors raised concerns that Cheshire East Council will be affected dramatically by the draft TTIP trade agreement with USA. TTIP will affect the services we all receive and the cost to the council tax and business rates payer. It will stop the council awarding contracts to local independent suppliers.

Under TTIP Macclesfield and other hospitals could face further privatisation of services, spiralling costs of drugs and many believe, we'll ultimately lose our hospital to cost cutting as a result of this agreement. Small businesses will be affected because they will come under increased, unfair pressure from much larger companies.

TTIP will make a nonsense of local planning decisions. It will increase the number of appeals and the workload of our, already overloaded planners and will ultimately take decision making away from the planners and put it in the hands of corporate lawyers.

The European Parliament has called for publicly-funded education, health and social services in the UK to be clearly excluded from the trade agreement. However, the past experience of Canada with exclusion clauses written into trade deals with the US, shows that such exclusion clauses are ineffective.

Talks are still taking place in secrecy with corporations being handed 'privileged access' to negotiations while civil society is locked out. It's a backroom deal that puts corporations before citizens, profits before the environment, and private interests before public services. Because TTIP negotiations are conducted in secret, there's no way of knowing what that system will look like until the agreement is signed. There is no transparency.

The proposed Investment Court System to replace the Investor State Dispute Settlement is already being criticised. Just a few days ago Germany's largest association of public judges and prosecutors publicly rejected the ICS questioning its legal basis and the EU's competence in its establishment. The ICS provisions "do not meet minimum standards for judicial office". And they went further, questioning an even more fundamental issue: is the proposal legal in the first place? When prominent judges question the legality of the Commission's plans, and their impacts on the existing court systems, then surely there is an urgent need to reassess the position.

This trade agreement poses a serious threat to environmental sustainability, consumer protection and more to the point, local democracy.

Janet Jackson, Labour Councillor for Macclesfield Central said, "In reality, TTIP isn't about free trade but about increasing corporate power and undermining the capacity of governments, both local and national, to regulate legitimate areas of public policy. TTIP will focus on so called 'non-tariff barriers to trade' such as environmental, and health and safety regulations."

The Conservative Cabinet rejected the proposal to call for an assessment of the potential impact of TTIP on local authorities, ignoring all the criticism at regional, national, and international level made of this process. The report to Cabinet, and its subsequent decision suggests that, irrespective of competing arguments, it had already made up its mind before the debate ever took place!

TTIP - Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

At the Cheshire East Council Cabinet meeting on 3rd May, Labour councillors raised concerns that Cheshire East Council will be affected dramatically by the draft TTIP trade agreement with USA....

Splits within the local Conservative Party have emerged over the future of Children’s Centres, with a Conservative Cheshire East Council Cabinet member belittling the work of Conservative MP Fiona Bruce. At the Cheshire East Council Cabinet meeting on 3 May, Cllr Liz Durham referred to a letter from Fiona Bruce MP on Children’s Centres saying “The reporting of the contents of this letter implied that there is a parliamentary inquiry into Children’s Centres which is not the case” and referred to the group chaired by Fiona Bruce as an informal group of MPs.

Now it has emerged, following a Freedom of Information request by Labour Councillor Dorothy Flude, that Fiona Bruce’s letter to Cheshire East Council was wrongly excluded from the consultation results. The consultation opened on 4 January 2016 and the letter from Fiona Bruce obtained under the Freedom of Information Act is date stamped as being received by Cheshire East Council on 4 January, but it is not included in the consultation responses on the Council’s website and is not referred to at all in the Council’s report on the consultation. At the recent Cabinet meeting it was stated that, “All the correspondence we received during the consultation period regarding to the Children’s Centres themselves were included in all of the considerations.” That statement appears to be inconsistent with the exclusion of Fiona Bruce’s letter.

The proposals to cut £500,000 funding from Children’s Centres in Sandbach, Nantwich, Knutsford and Broken Cross (Macclesfield) were narrowly passed at a Council meeting in February. During a lively debate at the February meeting there was a notable difference between an individualistic Conservative approach and a community based Labour view. Conservative speakers advocated an individualistic one-to-one service and Labour councillors stressed how Children’s Centres promote communities and group support. Children’s Centres were praised by Labour Councillors for the way they bring people together and promote self-help in groups.

Cllr Rachel Bailey, at her first Council meeting as the new Conservative Leader following Michael Jones’s departure, said that some people didn’t go to Children’s Centres because they might meet people they didn’t want to mix with.

Sam Corcoran, Labour Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East, said, “Fiona Bruce’s letter is clearly headed “Re Consultation…” and is date stamped as being received during the consultation period. If Councillors had been aware of that letter from Fiona Bruce stating that she was against the closing of the Sandbach Children’s Centre, then perhaps more Conservative councillors would have been prepared to vote against their party whip and support my budget amendment.

“I am disappointed that the 3 Conservative councillors representing Sandbach, Cllrs Gill Merry, Barry Moran and Gail Wait and also Cllr John Wray for Brereton Rural all voted on party lines and supported the ‘de-designation’ of the Sandbach Children’s Centre. If Fiona Bruce’s letter had been available might they have voted differently and my amendment accepted?”

Dorothy Flude, Labour Councillor for Crewe South, said, “The failure to include Fiona Bruce’s letter in the consultation results calls into question the validity of the consultation process and therefore calls into question the validity of the whole decision making process.”

Tories split over children’s centres

Splits within the local Conservative Party have emerged over the future of Children’s Centres, with a Conservative Cheshire East Council Cabinet member belittling the work of Conservative MP Fiona Bruce....

Women Working For Women

We have now been in existence for six months and I am very pleased with how things have progressed. I was surprised to find that I had a membership list of 157 women across the constituency and started out by trying to make contact with everyone on the list. Most were contactable by e-mail but there were a few that only had phone numbers and some no contact details at all.   This was by choice not bad administration I hasten   to add.

 

Some members replied and some didn't but I have managed to get together a list of e- mails that appear to work and I have had no negative responses to my emails which is a bonus. However, we now find that a small number, around 25 attend the meetings at different times, and seek to participate in activities on behalf of the Party. This is a nice, friendly, workable number and I am encouraged to think what we can achieve working together for the good of women across Congleton. We also have a secret Facebook page. If you're not on it and want to be, contact me.

 

Our first meeting took place at my house in December and we had  a really good night of getting to know each other, eating, drinking and feeling festive. We will definitely be repeating that one.

 

Considering that it was Christmas week and it had been arranged very quickly at virtually the last minute, I was very pleased to have ten guests on that evening. (Better planning needed for this year's Christmas Bash).

 

 

Our January meeting was a curry night at Nobannos in Congleton and was attended by just eight people but bad weather and winter illness had caused six other people to call off at the last minute. It was a good night and we were made to feel very welcome by the excellent staff at Nobannos.

 

We will return.

 

February found us at the Beartown Tap in Congleton with Deborah Darnes speaking to us about Palestine. It was an  interesting  meeting during which Deborah told us all about her work  in  Palestine, the history of the region and the situation for the people living there. Food for thought, informative and fair reporting from our sister.

In March we were at The Market Tavern Sandbach where thirteen people met to hear Paula Eaton's talk on Fracking. We learned a lot and had a lively discussion about fracking and its implications for Cheshire East.

 

On April 15th a group of us attended a meeting at Addlington Hall near Macclesfield, which was hosted by the Wirral and Cheshire Badger Group. We listened to several speakers which included a scientist, a vet and Simon King from BBC's Springwatch.

 

They told us about the applications for licences to cull badgers in Cheshire. We learned about the science and the politics around the badger cull as well as the details of the shooting. We came away committed to finding out more and being active in any protests or actions against this terrible cruelty.

 

Melanie Lawton has agreed to be our lead woman on this and any other animal issue. Thanks Melanie you are now our Animal Champion.

 

On April 23rd we hosted a meeting at Congleton Town Hall where we were visited by Julie Ward MEP.   After she spoke to women she spoke to all members about Europe and her work there representing us, the

people of the North West. We had in excess of thirty people attend which was very encouraging.

 

After speaking for well over two hours, Julie did a walkabout in the Town Centre. She was well received and I managed to get coverage in the press helping to get the Forum known in the area.

 

Julie is an extremely hardworking woman and is totally committed to Europe and our remaining in.

 

There will be lots of work to do in the run-up to the referendum on 23rd June. All help thankfully received for leafletting and market stalls in all towns. Contact Peter Munro our EU Champion if you would like to volunteer. 01260 279235

 

We did manage to film her women's talk for those who were unable to attend on the day and it is available to all forum members. (Just ask)

 

On Wednesday 27th April I joined our Junior Doctors on  the picket line in Macclesfield to show the Forum's solidarity with   their strike action against the new contracts and creeping privatisation. It was an interesting day as the doctors had decided that rather than picket Macclesfield General they would teach C.P.R. in the Town Centre and get signatures for their petition.

 

I mingled amongst the crowd to recruit people for the C.P.R. training and to gauge the mood of the general public. Most were supportive of the doctors but there were a few nasty remarks, someone called them "murderers" and apparently I'm "disgraceful" for supporting them!!

 

I got an unexpected opportunity to see the doctors at work when a real life accident occurred; a lady fell and broke her shoulder. She was surrounded in seconds by more doctors than you could shake a stick at. They stayed with her until an ambulance arrived and then administered morphine and a sling, before sending her off to A&E; they're never really off duty or on strike.

 

I approached a young man on the street to ask him to sign the petition and learn C.P.R. He said he would but his head was everywhere as his wife had given birth to their first baby the previous night. "I know" said one young doctor, "I delivered her". The young man did a double take and said "Oh yes, so you did". It was a fantastic moment and a small insight into the life of one of our junior doctors; they were brilliant and deserve our full support.  I had a really good day and sharpened up my resuscitation skills.

 

A couple of things that have come up at meetings.

 

Training

 

People interested in standing for Cheshire East or any of the Town Councils in 2019, please contact me as I am in the process of trying to organise some training, which is available through Labour Women's Network. It would be fabulous if we could field some well-trained, able women to stand for Labour in 2019, so thinking ahead, even if you only think you might be interested, come along, learn more and do the training.

 

 

Your Party Needs You

 

Monthly Gift Campaign

 

This is an idea I had back at North West Conference where some Young Labour women were taking a collection of women's hygiene products for homeless women in Manchester and Liverpool. Apparently hostels for the homeless supply food, shampoo and soap, shaving supplies and even condoms but they don't supply tampons and towels for the women.  This means that women have real difficulty each month.

 

I did a bit of research and found that food banks are the same. Young mothers using food banks are having the same problem. So I came up with the idea of making a little pack containing a packet of tampons or towels and perhaps a little treat (bit of chocolate or a small bubblebath) and calling it Monthly Gift. It would also have a little card in identifying the Forum and our work.

 

For the Forum this would be a good outreach, women to women, and would help get    our heads above the parapet and show our concern and solidarity with women in the community who are suffering under the austerity policies imposed by the Tories.

 

I have been mulling this over since last October and dithering whether to go ahead or not.   I don't want to start something and be unable to continue with it. The constraints   are the usual, money and willing helpers and also the difficulty of getting into the food banks or women's hostels.  I have made tentative enquiries but the hostility to the   Labour Party is a massive barrier in Congleton. If anyone is interested in fundraising for this campaign and/or has some ideas for fundraising or accessing food banks, hostels etc then please contact me.  Otherwise I will ditch the idea as a non-starter.

 

Our next meeting is Thursday 26th May at 7:30 at Market Tavern Sandbach and we have a speaker from the Women's Refuge coming to tell us about their work.

 

A.G.M. This is 7:30, Monday 6th June at Market Tavern, Sandbach. I am up for re- election so please, please, pretty please, come along and vote for me to stay as your Women's Officer.

 

Susan Munro Women's Officer M: 07534510841

Very first Congleton Labour Party Women's Forum Newsletter

Women Working For Women We have now been in existence for six months and I am very pleased with how things have progressed. I was surprised to find that I...

Congratulations are certainly due to Labour members, supporters, and voters in Congleton CLP this week.  This week's local elections saw a Labour mayoral candidate win amidst strong opposition in the mass media and disgraceful scare tactics amongst some opposition parties.  But in addition to the London Mayor, Labour also won the two MP by-elections in Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough and Ogmore, South Wales.  Labour picked up wins up and down the country and have achieved a majority in the Wales and London Assemblies.  The last time these council seats were up for election was 2012 and the Labour wins there were considered a high water mark for Ed Miliband's leadership.  Although not all counting is finished we are seeing that any loses have been minimal and less than our major opponents in government.

But most important to ourselves in Congleton CLP was the win by 3,000 votes of David Keane as the new Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) in Cheshire.  The Congleton CLP based campaign team worked hard in our part of Cheshire over the past few months dropping leaflets, running information stands, and hosting events and activities, many of which David Keane attended and supported.  And David has been very excited to come to our area, hear our concerns, and support Labour initiatives within the CLP.  He knew our area was vital to his success in this campaign and both he and our supporters' contributions did not go unnoticed.  This is why he and his campaign team celebrated this win in Middlewich Friday night.  Although the win was heavily contributed to by Warrington and Halton borough election turnouts, the Labour vote for Cheshire East was higher than might be expected for an area where less than 20% of the borough council is currently made up of Labour councillors.  Also to be considered impressive is the Labour support in light of the incumbent PCC being local to Cheshire East (Nantwich based).  The 3,000 votes David won by could easily have been lost in Congleton constituency or Cheshire East without this work by our members, supporters, voters, and campaigners.

But our success and celebrations this week would not have been possible without the work of our members and supporters on the ground within the Congleton constituency donating what time they could spare to getting the word out and getting the vote out on the day.  A massive congratulations and thank you to everyone who contributed their time within our constituency to supporting this campaign.  Because this win and future wins are only possible through the involvement of members and supporters on the ground, we would gladly welcome any time any members and supporters can spare in helping our local Labour initiatives, grassroots campaigns, and local Labour canvassing.  As a movement and a party led by members we encourage and welcome your ideas and suggestions at all of our events.  If you are interested in getting more involved at a local level, please come along to our monthly CLP or local branch meetings, get in touch with your branch secretary, or any local Labour councillors who will point you in the right direction to being more involved in this movement and achieving even more victories for Labour values within the Congleton constituency.  Well done all and thank you again for your continued support of our values for a more equal and fair society for all!

Congleton CLP plays strong role in Cheshire PCC Labour win and contributes to Labour success in 2016 elections

Congratulations are certainly due to Labour members, supporters, and voters in Congleton CLP this week.  This week's local elections saw a Labour mayoral candidate win amidst strong opposition in the...

John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, welcoming the decision by BP shareholders at their AGM today in opposing a pay package of almost £14m for the corporation’s chief executive, said:

“The rejection by BP shareholders today of the director’s eye watering remuneration package is a welcome sign of ethical shareholder action, given the company is making large job cuts in other parts of the business.

“It further shows a sign of a growing revolt against the ‘rewards for failure culture’ that we have got so used to seeing at a boardroom level for far too long. Labour wants to encourage more shareholder activism linking to trade union pressure in order to secure increased accountability in our corporations.”

Rejection by BP shareholders of director’s remuneration package is welcome sign of ethical shareholder action

John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, welcoming the decision by BP shareholders at their AGM today in opposing a pay package of almost £14m for the corporation’s chief executive, said:...

On Labour In, he will say:

“The Labour party is overwhelmingly for staying in, because we believe the European Union has brought investment, jobs and protection for workers, consumers and the environment, and offers the best chance of meeting the challenges we face in the 21st century. Labour is convinced that a vote to remain is in the best interests of the people of this country.

“In the coming century, we face huge challenges, as a people, as a continent and as a human race. How to deal with climate change, how to address the overweening power of global corporations and ensure they pay fair taxes. How to tackle cyber-crime and terrorism. How to ensure we trade fairly and protect jobs and pay in an era of globalisation. How to address the causes of the huge refugee movements across the world and how we adapt to a world where people everywhere move more frequently to live, work and retire.

“All these issues are serious and pressing, and self-evidently require international co-operation. Collective international action through the European Union is clearly going to be vital to meeting these challenges. Britain will be stronger if we co-operate with our neighbours in facing them together.”

On changing the EU, he will say:

"When the last referendum was held in 1975, Europe was divided by the Cold War, and what later became the EU was a much smaller, purely market-driven arrangement.   Over the years I have continued to be critical of many decisions taken by the EU  and I remain critical of its shortcomings, from its lack of democratic accountability to the institutional pressure to deregulate or privatise public services.

“So Europe needs to change. But that change can only come from working with our allies in the EU. It’s perfectly possible to be critical and still be convinced we need to remain a member”.

On remain and reform, he will say:

“EU membership has guaranteed working people vital employment rights, including paid holiday, maternity and paternity leave, protections for agency workers and health and safety in the workplace. Being in the EU has raised Britain’s environmental standards, from beaches to air quality, and protected consumers from rip-off charges.

“But we also need to make the case for reform in Europe – the reform David Cameron’s government has no interest in, but plenty of others across Europe do.

“That means democratic reform to make the EU more accountable to its people. Economic reform to put jobs and sustainable growth at the centre of European policy, labour market reform to strengthen and extend workers’ rights in a real social Europe, and new rights for governments and elected authorities to support public enterprise and halt the pressure to privatise services.

“So the case I’m making is for ‘Remain - and Reform’ in Europe.”

On steel, he will say:

"But real reform will mean making progressive alliances across the EU.  Something that the Conservatives will never do.

“Take the crisis in the steel industry. It’s a global problem and a challenge to many European governments, So why is it only the British government that has failed so comprehensively to act to save steel production at home?

“The European Commission proposed new tariffs on Chinese steel but it was the UK Government that blocked these co-ordinated efforts to stop Chinese steel dumping.

 

“Those proposals are still on the table. So today I ask David Cameron and George Osborne to to start sticking up for British steel and work with our willing European partners to secure its future.

“There are certainly problems about EU state aid rules, which need reform. But if, as the Leave side argues it is the EU that is the main problem.  How is it, that Germany, Italy, France and Spain have all done so much better at protecting their steel industries?

“It is not the EU that is the problem, but a Conservative government here in Britain that doesn’t recognise the strategic importance of steel,  for our economy and for the jobs and skills in those communities.

“The Conservative government has blocked action on Chinese steel dumping.  It has cut investment in infrastructure that would have created demand for more steel and had no procurement strategy to support British steel.

“A Labour government would have worked with our partners across Europe to stand up for steel production in Britain.”

On tax, he will say:

"Of course the Conservatives are loyally committed to protecting one British industry in Europe  - the tax avoidance industry.

“The most telling revelation about our Prime Minister has not been about his own tax affairs but that in 2013 he personally intervened with the European Commission President to undermine an EU drive to reveal the beneficiaries of offshore trusts. And even now, in the wake of the Panama Papers, he still won’t act.

“And on six different occasions since the beginning of last year, Conservative MEPs have voted down attempts to clamp down on tax dodging.

“Labour has allies across Europe prepared to take on this global network of the corrupt and we will work with them to clamp down on those determined to suck wealth out of our economies and the pockets of our people.

“On Tuesday, the EU announced a step forward on country-by-country reporting.  We believe we can go further but even this modest measure was opposed by Conservative MEPs last December.

“Left to themselves, it is clear what the main Vote Leave vision is: for Britain to be the safe haven of choice for the ill-gotten gains of every dodgy oligarch, dictator, or rogue corporation.

“They believe this tiny global elite is what matters, not the rest of us, who they dismiss as ‘low achievers’.

On the case for Europe, he will say:

"It is sometimes easier to blame the EU, or worse to blame foreigners  than to face up to our own problems.  At the head of which right now is a Conservative government that is failing the people of Britain.

“There is nothing remotely patriotic  about selling off our country and our national assets to the highest bidder, or in handing control of our economy to City hedge-funds and tax-dodging corporations based in offshore tax havens.

“There is a strong socialist case for staying in the European Union,  just as there are is also a powerful socialist case for reform and progressive change in Europe.

 

“That is why we need a Labour government, to stand up at the European level for industries and communities in Britain, to back public enterprise and services,  to protect and extend workers’ rights and to work with our allies to make both Britain and Europe work better for working people.

“Many people are still weighing up how they will vote in this referendum and I appeal to everyone, especially young people who will live longest with the consequences, to make sure you are registered to vote.  And to vote in June. This is about your future.

“By working together across our continent we can develop our economies,  protect social and human rights, tackle climate change and clamp down on tax dodgers.

“You cannot build a better world unless you engage with the world, build allies and deliver change.   The EU, warts and all, has proved itself to be a crucial international framework to do that.”

Extracts from Jeremy Corbyn’s speech on Europe

On Labour In, he will say: “The Labour party is overwhelmingly for staying in, because we believe the European Union has brought investment, jobs and protection for workers, consumers and...

Lucy Powell MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education, commenting on the Opposition Day debate on the forced academisation of all primary and secondary schools, said:

“Again and again Conservative MPs made reasonable calls for the Secretary of State to abandon her plans to force all primary and secondary schools to become academies in multi-academy trusts. We share their concerns that this costly, top down reorganisation of our schools system will break the link with parents and local communities and divert attention away from raising standards.

"It’s absolutely clear that the government would not get the support for these proposals as they stand. They should hit the pause button and have a serious rethink.”

Ministers should hit pause button on forced academisation plans their own MPs don’t support

Lucy Powell MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Education, commenting on the Opposition Day debate on the forced academisation of all primary and secondary schools, said: “Again and again...

Following the revelation that Cllr Sam Gardner is currently disqualified from being a director of a company, Labour councillors are calling for the council rules to be updated so that a person who has been disqualified from being a director cannot be a Portfolio Holder in Cheshire East Council Cabinet.

If you’re disqualified you can’t:

  • be a director of any company registered in the UK or an overseas company that has connections with the UK
  • be involved in forming, marketing or running a company

If you’re disqualified, you might not be able to:

  • sit on the board of a charity, school or police authority
  • be a pension trustee
  • be a registered social landlord
  • sit on a health board or social care body
  • be a solicitor, barrister or accountant

However, the rules do not specifically prevent a person subject to a disqualification order from being a councillor or being a Portfolio Holder in Cheshire East Council Cabinet. So a person who is unfit to be a company director, a school governor, a charity trustee or a committee member of a registered social landlord is held by the Conservatives fit to be a councillor, fit to be deputy finance portfolio holder and fit to be Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Open Spaces.

Sam Gardner was disqualified from being a director on 25/6/13 for 4 years for conduct whilst acting as a director of Fomfest Ltd. Fomfest Ltd was set up to run a music festival near Macclesfield and went bust shortly after the festival leaving numerous local businesses unpaid.

Brian Roberts, Labour Councillor for Crewe West, said, “Being disqualified from holding a Directorship due to business failings or incompetence is a very different from being a Director of a business which goes into liquidation due to market forces. Disqualification is not a corporate failure issue but a statement of one’s personal lack of competence or integrity. Disqualification is a statement that the person is not fit to hold a further Directorship and prevents the person from doing so.”

Sam Corcoran, Labour Councillor for Sandbach Heath & East, said, “So someone who is not fit to be in charge of a small company has been put in charge of a multi-million pound portfolio by the Conservatives! No wonder Cheshire East Council seems to lurch from crisis to crisis.

“Sam Gardner blames the failure of Fomfest Ltd on ‘bad weather and the recession back in 2011’, but this does not explain why he was disqualified as a director. Action is only taken to disqualify directors of failed companies if there has been ‘unfit conduct’. If the failure of Fomfest Ltd was just due to bad weather and the recession then I would not expect any directors to be disqualified.  If Sam Gardner wishes to clear his name then he should publish the report of the Insolvency Service into the failure of Fomfest Ltd and their explanation of why he was disqualified from acting as a director.”

Fit & proper person to be a Cheshire East Council portfolio holder?

Following the revelation that Cllr Sam Gardner is currently disqualified from being a director of a company, Labour councillors are calling for the council rules to be updated so that...

Liquid syntax error: Error in tag 'subpage' - No such page slug cookies