A Letter from Nantwich

January 2008 (2)                                                             Election Update

It depends how you look at it . . .






South Cheshire "under attack" (left), and the full Cheshire map showing the county fire authority's PDGs (above).

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 idea. 

   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 point now.

   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.                 

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