Audlem highlighted in Cheshire East event

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Cheshire East Borough Council held their annual budget consultation evening in Congleton with Town and Parish Councils last Thursday, 27th January.

Audlem Parish Council were asked to speak about how they had helped establish our local charitable trust, Audlem & District Community Action, to continue to run the local Day Club for older people.

The item was introduced by local Borough Councillor, Rachel Bailey, as an excellent example of how Parish Councils can work in partnership with the Borough Council to take over local services which are run for and by local people.

Parish Councillor Richard Furber represented Audlem Parish Council and Roger Millns, Chairman of ADCA, did the ten minute presentation, in which he highlighted the importance of the Parish Council taking the lead in establishing an action committee to coordinate local efforts and responses.

Local peopleHe also stressed the importance of full involvement and consultation with local people and the need to draw up a simple business case in partnership with Borough Council officers as to how a local service could be established, financed and properly run into the future.

Roger also highlighted the importance of ensuring that statutory Borough Council services such as those in social care which were delivered locally were properly funded under contract with Cheshire East.

Although ADCA has been able to plan to provide the services at one third less cost than Age UK, this was because it could harness local expertise and voluntary effort in a better way than a large distant social care provider like Age UK, and not because the services could be provided 'on the cheap'.

He also spoke of the long history in Audlem of voluntary and charitable effort, which had preceded the notion of the Big Society, on which ADCA has been able to build.

Well receivedThe presentation was warmly received with a round of applause from over one hundred representatives of town and parish council's from throughout Cheshire East. Audlem's efforts also received a word of thanks from the Deputy Leader of the Council at the summing up session as being a good example of how services could be effectively devolved to local people.

More to follow shortly from ADCA on its planned Open Day in March 2011 when information will available on options for future development and more opportunities for volunteering.

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