Parish Council lease challenge

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Public Forum

Monday’s Audlem Parish Council meeting saw the way the council had handled his tender to lease land at Longhill Moss questioned by a local resident during the Public Forum at the start of the meeting.

Danny George, who submitted a sealed bid before the council’s November meeting in response to the invitation to tender published on Audlem Online, said he was very concerned the land was put up for tender a second time when he understood his had been the only tender submitted.

He claimed he had asked exactly what was required in his bid and had complied fully after being told that there was no stipulation about what the land was to be used for.

He had submitted a second bid for the December meeting, despite feeling that he was now at a disadvantage as other potential bidders would know what he was offering. It is understood that the Parish Council again delayed making a decision on letting the land. Discussion of the issue took place being closed doors.

Danny George has since contacted Audlem Online saying: "The way this has been handled by the Parish Council stinks and I will be taking further legal advice."

Audlem Online asked the council to comment and they replied: “We are unable to comment at the moment as the issue is still being discussed by the Parish Council."

TAVA

In the Public Forum, Anne Burrows of TAVA, Touring Arts Visiting Audlem, reported on the organisation's success in bringing top quality professional entertainment for children and adults to the village and was congratulated on TAVA’s achievements. Anne said ‘Morgan and West’ would be the next entertainment in their programme.

Parish Council

Councillors discussed the Annual Village Meeting, normally held in March, and the format that might attract most interest and will develop ideas over the next month.

Recent major events, the 11/11/11 Wartime Exhibition by ASET and the 'Big Switch On' by ADAS were praised and the organisers formally congratulated.

A new group has been formed and has been updating the Village Design Statement which will be re-presented to Cheshire East with a request it is now formally adopted.

It was confirmed that the Interim Executive Board, IEB, which has been governing Audlem St James’ school since September, will attend the council’s January meeting to report on progress.

Concern was expressed at how the devolution of services by Cheshire East to parish councils was creating, in effect, double taxation with residents still being charged for services by Cheshire East which, once devolved, will be run by parish councils at their expense. The council is to raise this issue with Rachel Bailey, the local borough councillor.

The formal opening of the public toilets on 16th November had been successful and voluntary payments have proved successful since the Honesty Boxes had been installed.

The liveliest debate of the night was over winter preparations with a good-humoured yet detailed debate about whether to purchase a wheel-barrow and, if so, where to put it. Fortunately, in this instance, it appears that sealed bids for the business from the likes of B&Q and Homebase will not be required!