I will try to answer Mr Lechey's points as best I can.
Who was voting? As often is the case those who could be bothered or who were exercised enough to go to the OPEN meeting.
As to the question of control the Parish Council does not have the means to issue identity cards or police the meeting. Quite often it is hard enough to raise people's interest. Even on such a topic. It is no surprise that there would be interest from neighboring parishes, Audlem is a hub large village, we have the school, surgery , pharmacy and public hall , annexe and a variety of shops.
As to the vote being a minority vote and therefore not a mandate that has not held back our leaving the EU. Similarly the leave campaign used overestimates of benefits accruing etc. as well as lies. I heard no untruths or misleading statements in the meeting. I have yet to hear of any project that has not escalated in price, HS2 to name one, along with NHS computer systems. Yes HS2 has been slightly rethought at more cost .
I am unsure what you mean by having a rethink, start the whole project from scratch? Erase the hours of effort put in freely by volunteers?
As to people from outwith the Parish boundaries benefitting from free parking surely many of them come to use village services , amenities and shops.? Heaven forbid a non Parish child should come to use the playground .
Putting barriers up and parking meters is not a trivial exercise, or free of cost implications. If however you can help with the field or source a cheaper quote please do.
The ongoing activity at Corbrook is concerning. Due to the unreasonable noise and working hours perhaps the CEC environmental health office could help with and abatement notice ? As the spoil seems to be being tipped for reward, the Environment Agency may wish to be assured that the consent to discharge permits are in place, that analyses of the spoil are in order and waste transfer notes are available. The road conditions..... are dangerous. I hope no one suffers due to this.
Christina, the ready solution to the poor drainage and resulting highway surface degradation is to enable drainage by repairing the existing drains, maintaining the silt traps and ensuring that the road surface is higher than the gullies. CE Highways seem to think that they can get water to flow uphill and also have the equally laughable notion that standing water on a road surface creates no problems either for the road's structure or for those attempting to use the road.
Agricultural vehicles have not increased in their width for decades, in fact many larger machines such as combines have decreased in width due the increasing utilisation of tracks which also reduce ground pressure resulting in less damage to soil structure.
Thanks Norman for pointing out that there have been flooding problems on the A529 at Corbrook for over 14 years. This seems to be problem without a ready solution, and the objectors to this Retrospective Planning Application for a better access road to the field here are pointing this out . This existing danger is made even worse by the Heavy Lorry traffic which has been using this access since October 2021. This has involved in excess of 1000 x 20 ton tipper truck movements of soil and rubble since October, making the road even more muddy and slippery , to say nothing of the danger of lorries turning in and out here. Some days have seen continuous streams of trucks carrying soil both in and out. If this application is granted there will be a road created for long term ability to carry on with this. Note that the lorries have so far come from the Nantwich direction, but the other direction through Audlem could be next.
This is such a serious issue that the Planning Response deadline has been extended now to 6th March.
Ref 22/0111N on the Cheshire East Planning Website. For further information please see the objections received so far, and add your voice.
The Union flag should not be flown from the Church only on certain special occasions
The St Georges cross should be flying from the Church with the diocese of Cheshire emblem in one of the sections of the flag
Message on Twitter from CECHighways regarding damage to the wall they are rebuilding. They want info but it happened on Feb 1st. What strikes me looking at the work now is how narrow the carriageway is on that corner. Can't see the new work lasting long with the increasing width of farm vehicles. Wondered what the residents/farmers feel. They describe the location as woodhouse lane Crewe!
Thanks Stephanie Richardson!! You have made me smile with your contribution. Fantastic ideas!!
Thanks Steph for a little light relief, good and fun to read.
Chris Spring accurately points out that I presented the survey data in a specific way.
He is correct that in both of the key surveys that I referenced in my own article, the Car Park project received that highest number of votes. As a long term supporter of the car park plan, my objective was to not to present this project negatively but to re-affirm that the actual primary reason for the purchase of the field was to keep it as an area of community open space in perpetuity.
For that reason, I accentuated the large number of votes that had been made for variety of wildlife and community open space projects. As you can see in the tables that were referenced in both of our articles, the individual scores clearly support this. I should however have made my objective more clear in my article. I'd like to thank Chris for the opportunity to re-state these facts.
Not strictly true, the road was already in a parlous state due to poor drainage issues over the last fourteen years.
I have to say I find the figures and their presentation rather garbled. Nevertheless it is my recollection that parking spaces was a major plank of the justification. However there are a few key points
Firstly, who was voting? What control was there to ensure only Audlem precept payers were voting (either at the meeting or online) – I know for a fact that at the open meeting where the hand show for acquiring the playing field vote took place there were a number of people from outside the parish voting.
Secondly, as I've said before the numbers participating in the vote are a minority of the parish population, and whichever vote is hardly a mandate therefore.
Thirdly, and most importantly, we were voting on the basis of gross underestimates of cost it now seems. For that reason alone the whole thing needs a rethink.
I'd also just add in addition to the breakdown on relative precept levels across the county given the other day, those in the parishes nearest Audlem – Buerton, Hankelow, Burleydam and Adderley – are a lot less than ours – they're the people most likely to be parking free of charge at our precept payers' expense.
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Well said Chris Spring, I agree with your interpretation and also your suggestion.
Sorry, omitted from my first post that the closing date for comments is NEXT WEDNESDAY 16TH FEBRUARY.
So no time to lose!
Anyone driving on the A529 over the last few months must have noticed the dreadful state of the road near Mill Lane and Corbrook Court, due to lorry traffic and mud from a widened access into a field on the slope opposite Corbrook Court land. For more information about this, please read the comments made so far about this on the Cheshire East Planning Application website, Ref 22/0111N, and add your voice . Remember the lorries coming from Nantwich at the moment could be coming from the opposite direction through Audlem at another time.
I observed a comment in a post on Feb 9th that said "Audlem Parish precept is one of the highest in the county".
It intrigued me so I did a bit of research.
Audlem's Band B&D precept is currently £52.49 (same as for last year).
There are 8,877 precepting councils in England and Audlem's rate places us at 3,400 – i.e there are 3,399 higher precepts. The highest is £369.32 in Spaldington, Yorkshire – wow – I'm glad I don't live there!!!
Of the 202 precepting parishes in the county of Cheshire, Audlem is at 32, so yes, it is one of the higher ones in our county.
The highest precept is Nantwich at £122.66
Well I found it interesting!
I would have a read here first : https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/free-cavity-loft-insulation/
Val has a point regarding the car park. Far better to start with a low-key approach to see what the demand and volume of use for this element of the T.F. is before jumping in with heavy costs to construct the whole thing. A secure entrance is obvious, then a single perforated green trackway delineated by white marker posts to stop people driving to their favourite picnic table. The track could divide into two tracks in the car park area itself and drivers would simply park on the grass. The facility would have to close temporarily if there was a very wet period and the grass cuts up, but at least it would give the management and community it serves a better understanding. Hopefully it will attract some of the long stay parking from the village centre, particularly if a time limit was eventually imposed on the Public Hall car park.
If you look at the website who-called.co.uk you will find a lot of comments about Vision Homes. It looks as though you need to be wary of this company. You will also find further comments if you enter 'vision homes loft insulation' into Google.
We are going to get a roof insulation survey from this company – apparently there is a government scheme which subsidises oldies like ourselves to have better loft insulation.
Does anybody know anything about this company or had work done by them?
Why do we need 40 spaces? Make 5/10 'green' spaces along the hedge between the access points, if we must. No charging points, and parking at your own risk. The rest of the relatively flat area can continue to be used for occasional parking for village fair weather, seasonal events, as already is. I am more concerned with a height barrier and lockable gate to control the access of undesirable vehicles, and not tempt our village youth with access to 'do donuts', like they do on the playing field, given the opportunity. "You build it, and they will come"! And it's all very easy to suggest any building on it, however small a development, when the main reason it was purchased was to stop just that, and when you don't personally overlook the field. Those who do, already have to endure every Tom, Dick & Rover, many, many times a day, AND night, parading past, and the parking outside of their houses, by those who don't live in the village, who don't contribute to the costs, so they can use the field too. However, I have no objection to those who live in the village, using the field to exercise their pooches. At least you are getting something for your money! But can you vary your routes, its a veritable quagmire in places!
Just a thought on an overage charge for development of the field, has anyone looked at what it means. I have not seen it but from past experience with this type of charge there is usually a formula which looks at a percentage payment based on the difference in value from what was paid for the land and what it's worth once developed. If this is the case with the costs involved in establishing a car park the land would probably not have any real increase in value that a percentage for a payment could be applied to so no payment to the previous land owner. Also, and I don't know the landowner, had anyone asks if he would expect the overage charge to be applied to a car park?? I may be way of the mark here having not been involved but just a thought.
Excellent points made by Kevin Mellor and Peter Morgan. Given the massive escalation in estimated costs the whole funding model should be reassessed. It has to be remembered that Audlem Parish precept is one of the highest in the county already and some of us are on limited incomes. This will mainly benefit people from outside the parish who will be parking for free at residents' expense. I've felt for some time that there is an over abundance of enthusiasm for local spending driven by the vocal desires of relatively small groups of individuals (the quoted numbers of votes on the proposals are a small proportion of the parish population – less than 10% – and hardly a significant mandate). Additionally the "sell" on this project was, as usual, based on obvious underestimates for the costs and liabilities (remember every uninsured claim paid out will be borne by the precept payers). And given events in Nantwich in recent years has the potential cost of removing illegal dwellers been considered?
The whole thing needs a deep rethink.
It is easy to forget what was said, agreed or done prior to lockdown. But it is certainly the case that any permanent development would incur an enhancement fee to the vendor. However, the green car park concept, involving a removable mat or perforated tile base which would allow grass to grow through it, would not lead to such an uplift as it is not permanent.
The issue of purchase funding and the ability to raise additional car park funding needs to be examined in detail. I seem to recall that the purchase loan was taken out in the name of the parish council whilst the running of the field is undertaken by the T F committee. Is that correct? If so, is it possible for the management committee to be turned into a charitable trust which would possibly open several funding opportunities currently denied to the parish council. After all, people are understandably reluctant to donate to the parish council, which is funded by an unavoidable precept, in order to put extra towards a green car park. Even more when we are still (months on) waiting for the results of a financial investigation. The Public Hall is an excellent example of what has been achieved by a charitable trust raising over 600k for the new annex.