As many of our readers are aware, the Parish Council is facing challenging times. In July this year, it became apparent that approximately £163,000 appeared to have been fraudulently removed from the Council's bank account leaving it virtually empty. Most of this large balance had been earmarked for the proposed car park at Turnpike Field. In early 2022 almost £30,000 had been transferred by Cheshire East arising from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) paid by developers on recent housing developments in Audlem.
We employed a forensic accountant to investigate, and notified the Police and Santander Bank who are all engaged in attempting to ascertain what has happened to the funds. We are still awaiting the outcome of their investigations with no indication how long that will take.
In the meantime Cheshire East and the Cheshire Association of Local Councils (ChALC) are supporting and assisting us as best they can, especially in regards to payment of essential outgoings.
But after the difficulties of the last few months it is important that the Council resumes its normal activities supporting the local community. It is endeavouring to progress matters of importance to the parish and currently preparing budget proposals for the 2023/24 accounting year.
As the previous Parish Clerk left our employment on 31st January 22, and was not replaced, we employed an interim Clerk who has been our principal contact during the investigation. However we now need to employ a permanent Clerk to enable us continue our normal council activities. To that end, we are currently advertising the post, see https://www.audlempc.co.uk/news/parish-clerk-vacancy.html
The Parish Council currently has an allocation of twelve councillors, but as we have five vacancies we are asking members of the community to step forward for co-option. We must have a minimum of four councillors to be quorate. Should we fall below that number, this area will not have a Parish Council, will be merged with an adjacent one, or taken over by Cheshire East.
Ideally prospective councillors will have experience in one or more areas such as finance, business, local government, committee/trustee roles, and be able to give the time and commitment to help us move forward. These are voluntary unpaid roles, the reward being contributing to an active, progressive Council supporting our village.
Meetings are usually held once a month and members of the public are welcome to attend and observe. There are some committees and working groups which meet separately to progress specific matters such as Finance, Planning etc.
More information about the work of the Council can be found on the website https://www.audlempc.co.uk/, by contacting any of the councillors or attending a Parish Council meeting.
Details of how to apply can be found on the Parish Council website,