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Tonight's meeting – an Open Letter

30th October 2014 @ 8:08am – by Peter Morgan
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As I am undergoing dental surgery this afternoon I may not feel up to partaking in tonight's discussion or what little the general public and taxpayer will be allowed to participate in.

However, I would like to put my views and concerns forward for consideration by the council as the issue is of considerable importance to the future of the village.

Also, having played a part in the revitalization of the Play Area when I served on the parish council, which will also be included in the transfer, I don't want to see the opportunity of future improvements to these combined assets being put in jeopardy.

So, to address the acquisition, we need to see the figures.

We need to know in financial terms, what we are taking on and how the funding stream will impact upon us. Cheshire East are offering to hand over a substantial asset to us but on what terms?

C.E. will be free of the burden of upkeep but will still be taking our council tax without diminution, is this the case or are they prepared to offer us a guaranteed annual income stream in perpetuity so that we can fund the upkeep ourselves?

The takeover and management of this asset will involve considerable work and expense but the benefits that could accrue to the village, once freed from the dead hand of bureaucracy, should more than make up for the downside.

The creation of an Audlem village/community charitable trust would appear to be the best way forward which would free the parish council from day to day running of the facilities, but it would necessitate an annual grant from the PC.

An important consideration for the future is the provision of additional car parking and whilst relining the existing car park in a logical way will provide a few extra spaces the village needs to find a site for the many long stay visitors that are now attracted to enjoy the delights of Audlem and surrounding countryside.

I hear more complaints from local people that they cannot find parking space for doing a spot of shopping or meeting friends for coffee, the result being that they drive elsewhere.

Many challenges lie ahead but faint heart is not the answer.

Peter Morgan

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