The last Vote Poll on whether "Crewe & Nantwich Borough Council should be abolished, as proposed by Cheshire County Council", closed yesterday morning with the final result showing 59% agreeing; 38% against and 3% unsure out of the 240 votes cast.
The Government appears to agree with this local verdict saying they prefer Cheshire County Council's bid for a single unitary council in the forthcoming reform of local government. This would create a 'Cheshire Council' covering most of the county, including Audlem and Nantwich, with six towns, such as Crewe, having town councils. It would spell the end of borough councils such as Crewe & Nantwich.
An alternative proposal to split Cheshire into two unitary authorities has been given a weaker assessment by Whitehall where the competing proposals were assessed against five criteria such as service availability, affordability, neighbourhood engagement and strategic leadership.
The new Vote Poll asks "Should the Audlem stretch of the canal retain its own local lengthsman?". We are not expecting as close a result as recent Vote Polls on 'alcohol exclusion zones'; 'dogs on leads on the canal' and the 're-organisation of local government'. The new poll arises out of plans by British Waterways, whose budget has been put under severe pressure by Defra, to replace Audlem's dedicated locally-based lengthsman with contractors who will carry out maintenance when needed.
As the canal is such an important attraction for Audlem, we are campaigning to keep the current level of maintenance which has helped make the Audlem stretch of the canal one of the most beautiful in the country. Do cast your vote by selecting Yes/No or Unsure and then clicking on 'Vote Now'.
Two Audlem Parish Councillors are attending a British Waterways meeting this evening near Whitchurch. Hopefully, there will be an opportunity to raise the maintenance issue. You can read the background to the budgetary problems at British Waterways by clicking on the news stories published on Audlem Online on Saturday and yesterday.
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