THE people of Nantwich have a town council
of some quality - and that's official.
local authority has been awarded Quality Town Council status in a scheme
set up by the Government five years ago.
It is, says the council's
quarterly newsletter, Talk of the Town, "a
sort of kite mark for town and parish councils". In fact, the production
of the newsletter was one of the things that convinced the
powers-that-be that Nantwich Town Council
was worthy of the award.
The council headquarters are in
the rather grandly named Brookfield Hall (pictured left and below). The
single-storey, partially wood-clad building stands near to Brookfield
House (a much
grander building) the one-time home of the
former Nantwich Urban District Council (see below).
Quoted in Talk of the Town, the
Chairman of the council, Cllr Bill McGinnis said: "To obtain quality
status, the council had to show it communicates regularly with
residents, has elected locally-involved councillors and is properly run
so far as meetings, records and accounts are concerned."
Only 500 out of the 8,000 local
councils in England gained the award. "A real feather in our cap", said
In fact, they won the award in
November, but the council is making a night of its annual meeting
(invitation only) by having a celebration with guests from local
The chairman of
the council's Quality Status Working Group, Cllr Steve Hope, three times
chairman of the authority, quite rightly says (in Talk of the Town
again): "Having Quality Status may well be important following local
government reorganisation." Referring to the setting up of the East
Cheshire authority in the next 18 months, Cllr Hope added: "There is a
possibility of some services or facilities being managed by the Town
Council and having quality status will show that we could take those on
Nantwich has been swallowed up
in one of only two authorities (East and West) which will be running Cheshire in the
near future. There is a genuine fear that some of our cherished town
projects will be lost when new authority councillors from outside the
local area get to vote for or against the town's wishes. However, we
seem to have secured the scheme to bring in alterations at the town's
open-air swimming pool before losing control.
It was bad enough back in 1974
when Nantwich Urban District Council (as the town authority was called
then) became part of a new authority, Crewe and Nantwich Borough
Council, along with the Nantwich Rural District Council. There were far
fewer pet schemes competing for available cash in that council than
there will be in East Cheshire. That sounds odd because we are a
South Cheshire market town.
civic celebrations evening will also include the presentation of awards
to the people who produced the "most attractive Christmas Lights
display" last year and the presentation of grant cheques to local groups
and societies (said to be a new venture, although the council has been
making grants to worthy causes for years).