THE people of Nantwich have a town council
of some quality - and that's official. The
local authority has been awarded Quality Town Council status in a scheme
set up by the Government in 2003.
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.
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
fact, they had won the award the previous November, but the council was
making a night of its annual meeting (invitation only) by having a
celebration with guests from local organisations.
There was a genuine fear that some of our
cherished town projects would be lost when new authority
councillors from outside the local area got to vote for or against the
town's wishes. However, they seemed to have secured the scheme to bring
in alterations at the town's open-air swimming pool before losing
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 would be in East Cheshire. That name still sounds odd to me because we are a
Cheshire market town.
civic celebrations evening was also to include the presentation of awards
to the people who produced the "most attractive Christmas Lights
display" the previous year and the presentation of grant cheques to local groups
and societies - said to be a new venture even though the council had
made such grants for years.