Thank you for allowing me to comment on this cut to a vital and treasured winter service for Audlem and surrounding areas by Cheshire East Council, via the removal of our essential country lanes from the winter gritting programme. A winter gritting programme is key to safe transit of key workers, children accessing their local school and ensuring that rural residents aren't isolated during the icy winter months.
Cheshire East will, however, provide grit bins anticipating that volunteers will pick up their shovels when required and whilst Audlem is rightly known for its wealth of volunteers, I fear an army, working through the night with regular 'bin top ups' will struggle, for example, to address the length of Coole Lane.
Thank you to everyone who responded to me with such cogent reasons as to why All Routes within Audlem Ward should be retained. I am sorry that your evidence and the importance of inclusive services has been ignored and even more concerned that this is has happened now, in a back drop of'a so called highways pilot' where Parish Councils are obliged to pay a 'top up fee' if they seek repair of roads, beyond Cheshire East's 'basic maintenance'.
Its great news however, that a Government Grant is available for three years to enable Rural Mobility for Audlem, via a flexible bus service and I urge you all to respond to the consultation; if we don't have a sustainable model I fear we can't rely on Cheshire East to fund it beyond that!
Audlem Ward CE Cllr
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