THE publication of a map in the annual
report of the County Fire Brigade, showing its various PDGs (or
performance delivery groups), reminded me of a proposal many
years ago in which there was an idea that the Chester district
(coloured deep yellow in the maps above) should merge with, and take over the
running of, the South Cheshire district (the red area).
I forget the minute
details, but I do remember my reaction at the time that a map of the
districts looked like a witch (Chester) with a plume in
her hat and a wart on her nose eating up my home district. I didn't mention that viewpoint
to anyone else, and I never heard anyone else express a similar
And do you remember the previous
version of Cheshire, before places like Warrington, Lancashire, was
taken into our boundary? That looked a little like a teapot! The
changes left Cheshire looking like . . . well, nothing.
My way of seeing the
imagery is a little like the drawing you sometimes see which can
either be two silhouetted faces getting up close and personal against a white
background or an ornate white candlestick against a black
background. There are a number of such drawings which can appear to
be different things according to how you look at them.
I wonder if anyone
else sees a map of Great Britain as a man in a top hat, riding on
the back of a pig and chasing a bear cub? And how about - zoom in a
little - a sea monster's head in the Irish Sea, with the Isle of Man as its
eye? No? Just me then. O.k.
lWHEN you started
reading this, you probably thought I was going to make a serious point about
the plans for a reform of the administration of Cheshire,
merging the current six administrative areas into one area - or, as
an alternative, two areas. So let me make that serious
We now know that the
Government has decided that Cheshire will be governed by two unitary
bodies, in a county split from north to south. Nantwich will be part
of East Cheshire with a headquarters probably in Macclesfield. We
will now have decisions about Nantwich made by councillors from
Knutsford, Wilmslow, Poynton, Macclesfield, Congleton, Middlewich,
Sandbach, Crewe, and, of course, Nantwich. All those towns make up
the new authority.
It is feared that some of
the projects in the pipeline for Nantwich and Crewe will now be
lost. Projects such as a revamp of Nantwich Swimming Baths seems to
be safe and the new roof should be done before the new authority
comes into power.
East Cheshire sounds like
an alien territory to me (and many other local, no doubt) when we
all know that Nantwich is a South Cheshire town!
Mind you, many older
Dabbers such as myself have memories of the 1974 Local Government
Reorganisation which made Nantwich (urban and rural districts) part
of an enlarged borough. Now Crewe people will know how we felt . . .
no, still feel. It is still our impression that Crewe gets the
better deal when decisions are made. But it is with some pride that
we see that Crewe's big events (such as the Mayor's borough-wide
"Oscars" ceremony) are held in Nantwich's Civic Hall. There is no
equivalent venue in the railway town.