SO we are now "under new management" as
far as local government is concerned. As from April 1 -who chose
that date for a major change? - everything that was previously
carried out by Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council is the
responsibility of the new Cheshire East Council.
The new white flag, with
its green and orange logo (above, left), now flies over local
Well, it is not entirely
true about the devolved powers as Nantwich Town Council, for one, is
hoping that some of the work can fall on its shoulders and is going
all out to prove that it is more than capable.
It all follows a move by
the New Labour Government to remove one tier of local government by
creating Cheshire West and Chester on the one hand and Cheshire East
on the other. This killed off Cheshire County Council as well as
Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council among others.
Old Dabbers such as myself
see something nicely ironic in that as we have never liked being
"taken over" by the old Crewe Council. To repeat earlier Letters
from Nantwich, the three local authorities of Crewe and the urban
and rural councils of Nantwich were merged into a single borough
council in 1974 in a previous local government reform. Indeed, the
logo was a figure three lying on its side so that it looked like a
linked C and an N.
Nantwich Town Council
(formerly Nantwich Urban
District Council) has decided to have a
Mayor. Formerly the leading councillor was a Chairman.
This change will come about
next month - the normal time for changes in local government -
when Cllr Mrs Edith Williams will be elected as Mayor, with council
stalwart Cllr Mrs Joyce Stockton as her deputy, at Brookfield
Hall, the council's headquarters (above).
Mrs Williams' son, Alan, is
to be her consort.
The last person to hold the
post of Chairman was Cllr Keith Cafferty.
There is no equivalent of
the old Nantwich Rural District Council in the new-look local
government. Instead the
pressing matters in Cheshire's fine,
flat, countryside will be run by the various parish councils.
Strictly speaking, Nantwich
Town Council has only parish council status, but how satisfying it
is that Crewe Town Council will be the same . . .
Mind you, Crewe hasn't done
too badly out of the change. Former Borough Councillor Margaret
Simon is the new authority's first Mayor. Even the Cheshire East
website seems to recognise the importance of the railway town as it
carries a picture of a Crewe terrace of houses in its heading (see
the top of this page).
A little bit further away -
but still in South Cheshire - the old Congleton Borough Council
headquarters in Westfields, Sandbach, will be the new Cheshire East
"head office". This is despite a Macclesfield address being on the
authority's website for the past year of change-over preparations.
It might not be too bad being part of East Cheshire, after all. A
rumour going around locally that the garden waste recycling brown
bin service will be free because, unlike Crewe and Nantwich Borough
Council, other local authorities did not make a charge, was
borne out by a note on the website at this time.
The other half of the borough council,
Crewe, was only a parish council when the changes came about, but
after campaigning to be a Town Council with a Town Mayor it got its
way in April 2013.