Agenda and minutes

Thursday, 19th April, 2012 6.00 pm

Venue: Crewe Alexandra Football Club, Gresty Road, Crewe, CW2 6EB

Contact: Julie North  Senior Democratic Services Officer

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence. 


Minutes of the Meeting Held on 23 February 2012 pdf icon PDF 156 KB

To approve the minutes as a correct record.




That the minutes be approved as a correct record.


Public Speaking Time/Open Session

In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 35 and Appendix 7 to the rules, a total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to speak at Council meetings. 


Individual members of the public may speak for up to 5 minutes, but the Chairman will decide how the period of time allocated for public speaking will be apportioned, where there are a number of speakers.


Members of the public wishing to ask a question at the meeting should provide at least three clear working days’ notice in writing and should include the question with that notice. This will enable an informed answer to be given. It is not a requirement to give notice of the intention to make use of public speaking provision. However, as a matter of courtesy, a period of 24 hours notice is encouraged.


Mrs Mabel Taylor used public speaking time to make a statement regarding the cessation of services at Bexton Court. She thanked the Councillors who had submitted the request regarding the call-in of the decision and stated that,  what she considered to be the catastrophic loss of services seen in Knutsford, could happen in other areas of Cheshire East as the Council tried to balance its budget. She stated that those present at the call in meeting had been told that full consultation had taken place with the people of Knutsford and that the Chairman of the Committee had proposed a motion not to send advice to Cabinet and this motion had been adopted. She stated that whilst the Council may have consulted with former users of Bexton Court, at no time had the opinion of potential users been sought.


She referred to a recent e-mail which she had sent to the Council requesting details of how, where and when the people of Knutsford had been consulted. She stated that, to date, she had not received a reply and requested that her questions be formally addressed and answers given.


She questioned what was planned for the Bexton Court building and in light of past unwelcome sales of publically owned buildings in Knutsford, made a formal request that the Council advise the people of Knutsford as to the plans for the abandoned building.


Mrs Charlotte Peters Rock used public speaking time to make a statement relating to her deep concerns regarding a number of statements made during a meeting of Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee, which she felt were misleading. She felt that Cheshire East Council had not been honest with the electorate in respect of its closure of essential Social Care facilities for the elderly and disabled and that the Council seemed unconcerned about overseeing that its Scrutiny Committees acted according to its Constitution.


On behalf of Knutsford Area for Knutsford Action, she requested a meeting with the Council Leader and the Chief Executive of Cheshire East Council, so that these matters of great concern to her could be discussed.




Mayor's Announcements

To receive such announcements as may be made by the Mayor.


The Mayor announced :-

  1. That the A-Team Apprentices had been out and about over Easter talking to people in Macclesfield, Nantwich, Crewe, Wilmslow and Congleton about what it’s like to be a Cheshire East A-Team Apprentice. He was proud to be a member of the A-Team and had lent support to the apprentices by going along to the events and getting them an audience with local newspaper reporters. Local community radio stations had also been involved. The Council had around 90 apprentices and application forms were arriving from local young people all the time.
  1. That Cheshire East had recruited more than 300 volunteers to help with the Olympic torch relay, which would pass through Crewe, Congleton, Macclesfield and Knutsford, on May 31. The response had been fantastic, so far, but there was still time for people to put their names forward to help out on the day.
  1. That the Deputy Mayor had attended Crewe’s Cumberland Sports Ground and the Athletics Track, at Macclesfield Leisure Centre, for the Sport Relief Mile run, on March 25, where money was raised for good causes. Both events had been a big success, with friends, families and work mates coming together to take part.
  1. That the outstanding talents of Cheshire’s young musicians were to be showcased alongside world-renowned pianist, Peter Donohoe, in a magical concert on June 24th, to celebrate the enduring success of the Cheshire Youth Orchestra and the Cheshire Youth Training Orchestra. This would be a wonderful occasion and anybody interested in attending should get in touch with the Liverpool Philharmonic.
  1. That he had been alerted to the need for an urgent  item, which would form part of Part 2 of the agenda. He was satisfied as to the legal justification for its inclusion and this item would be dealt with after item relating to the Waste Treatment PFI.


Declarations of Interest

To provide an opportunity for Members to declare any personal and/or prejudicial interests in any item on the agenda.


Councillor Walton declared a personal and prejudicial interest in Item 9 of the agenda, relating to the Election of the Mayor and Deputy Mayor for the 2012/13 Civic Year, by virtue of the fact that it was recommended in the report that he be designated as Mayor Elect. In accordance with the Member Code of Conduct, Councillor Walton left the meeting during consideration of this matter.


Councillor Flude declared a personal interest in item 6 – Notice of Motion 3, by virtue of being a member of several organisations connected with heritage, including English Heritage.


Cllr Gardiner declared a personal interest in item 8 – Report back from Strategic Planning Board on Notice of Motion regarding Sydney Road Bridge, by virtue of being a Professional Town Planner.


Notices of Motion pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To consider any Notices of Motion that have been received in accordance with Procedure Rule 12.



Consideration was given to the following Notices of Motion :-


1. Submitted by Councillor D Brickhill


M6/A500 Junction


The Chief Executive of this Council be instructed to write immediately to the Highways Minister, and to local MPs, expressing this Council’s  concern in the strongest possible terms at any further delay in addressing the need for remedial works to ease the serious congestion at Junction 16 of the M6 and seeking an assurance that  works can commence to the M6/A 500  junction before the end of 2012.




That the motion stands referred to Cabinet for consideration.


2. Submitted by Councillors L Jeuda and J Jackson


Adult Social Care


Recent research carried out nationally by Which? into the domiciliary care people received at home found that many received a poor service.  The results from the survey revealed shocking examples of neglect and a lack of respect by the care providers towards the people they were meant to be caring for. This follows a disturbing report published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission in November 2011, which found that the Human Rights of older people were being denied by a poor level of care and a lack of respect.


In the Which?report an improved service was received only after complaints had been made.  Only four in ten people knew how to complain if they were not satisfied with the service provided.




1.      This Council will ensure  that policies are in place to prevent this happening to people in receipt of domiciliary care living in Cheshire East and that all Customers are provided with a copy of the relevant Complaints Procedure. 


2.      That Council ask Cabinet to request that the Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee consider the findings from both the reports and re-examine the quality of services provided, including the Complaints Procedure, and how Cheshire East Commissioning Strategy deals with the issues raised.




That the motion stands referred to Cabinet for consideration.

3. Submitted by Councillors K Edwards and D Flude


Culture Policy


As Unitary Councils can and should be a powerful support to the sense of community in the area for which they have responsibility, Cheshire East Council will develop a cultural policy, that will support the rich ancient and industrial heritage of the borough, encourage the enjoyment of and the participation in the creative and performing arts and ensure a full range of facilities to enable residents to experience and enjoy a rich cultural life.




That the motion stands referred to Cabinet for consideration.


4. Submitted by Councillors D Bebbington and M Jones


 Parkers Road, Crewe Proposed Gypsy and Traveller Site


Cheshire East Council’s Conservative Group acknowledges the new Planning Policy for Gypsy and Traveller sites and the new National Planning Policy Framework announced by Government last week.


As a consequence of the new guidelines, Council is asked to resolve that the Parkers Road planning application should be withdrawn and that a further assessment of need should be undertaken and considered as part  ...  view the full minutes text for item 106.


Recommendation from Constitution Committee - Crewe Community Governance Review pdf icon PDF 61 KB

To consider the recommendations of the Constitution Committee.

Additional documents:


The recommendations of the Constitution Committee in respect of the Crewe Community Governance Review were submitted.

The Chairman of the Constitution Committee reported that he would be proposing that consideration of this matter be briefly deferred until the next full Council meeting and explained the reasons for this as follows :-

Council was to be asked to agree a second round of consultation, based upon the creation of a Parish Council for Crewe, this having 16 Parish Councillors, representing wards which would mirror the existing borough ward boundaries.

Elections would take place as soon as practicably possible, after conclusion of the second stage of public consultation, forming part of the Community Governance Review and it was hoped that it might be possible to combine them with the Police Commissioners Elections, in November 2012. However, these recommendations were based on advice and information from a number of sources and Counsel’s advice had been sought, in an attempt to bring clarity to a range of issues, including whether it was practicable for any elections to be combined with the Police Commissioners elections.  This was felt to be particularly important, not just in respect of the Crewe Community Governance Review, but also in terms of the various options which would apply to the forthcoming Macclesfield Community Governance Review.

Counsel’s advice had been received during the preceding two working days and it was considered important for this to be properly absorbed and fully understood, before Council was asked to make a decision on the matters in question.  The advice received was complex and further clarity was likely to be needed from Counsel on a number of issues.


1.      That Consideration of the recommendations of the Constitution Committee be deferred.

2.      That the meeting of the Community Governance Review Sub Committee, scheduled to take place on 27th April 2012, give urgent consideration to Counsel’s advice.

3.      That a special meeting of the Constitution Committee be convened to make recommendations to the 16th May meeting of Council on this matter.





Report back to Council from Strategic Planning Board re Notice of Motion Sydney Road Bridge, Crewe pdf icon PDF 51 KB

To note the decision of the Strategic Planning Board, attached.

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the decision of the Strategic Planning Board in respect of the notice of Motion submitted to Council, by Cllr Hogben, on 23 February 2012, regarding Sydney Road Bridge, Crewe.


The Strategic Planning Board had resolved that :-


(1)  the Board notes that a decision was made on planning application 11/1643 for Coppenhall East on 19th October 2011;


(2)  the Board further notes that the Council has a duty to consider and determine any fresh planning application in the Coppenhall area strictly on its planning merits; and


(3)   the Officers be asked to pursue the inclusion of a scheme for the improvement of the Sydney Road Bridge in the Local Transport Plan to enable the scheme to receive suitable prioritisation, and the improvement of the Bridge be identified as an issue within the Local Plan Infrastructure Plan at the appropriate time.





That the decision of the Strategic Planning Board be noted.










Election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor for the 2012/13 Civic Year pdf icon PDF 67 KB

To designate Councillor G Walton as the Mayor Elect and a second Member as Deputy Mayor Elect, with a view to their formal election as Mayor and Deputy Mayor for Cheshire East for 2012/2013, at the Mayor Making ceremony to be held on 16 May 2012.


Consideration was given to the nominations for the office of Mayor and Deputy Mayor for 2012/13.


Council was requested to resolve that Councillor G Walton be designated as Mayor Elect and that a second Member be designated as Deputy Mayor Elect, with a view to their formal election as Mayor and appointment as Deputy Mayor for Cheshire East for 2012/2013.


It was proposed and seconded that Councillor D Flude be designated as Deputy Mayor Elect.




That Councillor G Walton be designated as Mayor Elect and that Councillor D Flude be designated as Deputy Mayor Elect, with a view to their formal election as Mayor and appointment as Deputy Mayor for Cheshire East for 2012/2013, at the Mayor Making ceremony to be held on 16 May 2012.


(Councillor G Walton, having declared a personal and prejudicial interest at the beginning of the meeting, left the meeting during consideration of thismatter.

Councillor D Flude, upon being nominated for designation as Deputy Mayor Elect, declared a personal and prejudicial interest and left the meeting during consideration of this matter).





In accordance with Procedure Rules 11, opportunity is provided for Members of the Council to ask the Chairman, the appropriate Cabinet Member or the Chairman of a Committee any question about a matter which the Council, the Cabinet or the Committee has powers, duties or responsibilities.


Questions must be sent in writing to the Monitoring Officer at least 3 clear working days before the meeting.


The following questions had been submitted in accordance with Procedure Rule 11:


Question 1 -  From Councillor Jackson, to the Prosperity Portfolio Holder :-


Fire Procedure


In the light of a recent incident at Macclesfield Town Hall what action will the Portfolio Holder take to ensure that the Fire Alarms can be clearly heard in all offices and meeting rooms throughout all Cheshire East buildings.


What action is being taken to ensure that there are fully trained staff always available to assist disabled visitors from Cheshire East buildings, particularly with reference to the use of Evac Chairs.




In the absence of the Prosperity Portfolio Holder, Councillor Macrae, Cllr Wilkinson responded on his behalf, as follows :-


Weekly fire alarm tests are carried out in all buildings to ensure that the systems in place are working correctly and are audible.   Any issues are immediately reported and remedial works are, and will continue to be, put in place to rectify any identified issues.


Fire evacuations procedures are currently being renewed in all meeting rooms.  Meeting organisers are responsible for advising Building Support staff when they have disabled visitors to the building in order that a suitable personal evacuation plan put in place.  This plan will be handed to the meeting organiser on arrival at the building.  The electronic room booking system will also be amended to ensure that all meeting organisers are aware of this requirement.


Supplementary Question


Councillor Jackson asked why people were allowed to return to the building and Councillor Wilkinson undertook to investigate and provide a written response to this question.


Question 2 - From Councillor Fletcher to the Environmental Services Portfolio Holder :-


Swallow Drive Play Area, Alsager


Will the Cabinet Member, as a matter of urgency, advise me what action is being taken to make Swallow Drive play area in Alsager safe and usable.


Members of the public have been sending e-mails to officers for many years. A sample is included below. The Chief Executive and Director J Nicholson visited this site in 2011.


The complaint & concerns have already been forwarded to… and I received a further update that they are now reviewing w/c 30th June .
The content of my note to you is the same content as that in correspondence with.
The purpose for writing to yourself is that, in my opinion, changes in Council structures & people has meant that the decision making process is far too long.
I have no idea what decision, if any, is to be made wc 30th June.
My neighbour originally contacted the Council in January 08 (yes, 2008) to highlight the lack of maintenance and ownership.

In the meantime, I feel the Health & Safety Risks at the Park are growing.

I hope this clarifies the position


Sent: 16 June 2009 13:31
FLETCHER, Roderick (Councillor)
Swallow Drive - Public Open Space/Play area

Dear Mr Fletcher

My name is… and I am a resident of Swallow Drive, Alsager, ST7.

As a neighbourhood, we are becoming increasingly  ...  view the full minutes text for item 110.


Exclusion of the Press and Public

The report relating to the remaining item on the agenda has been withheld from public circulation and deposit pursuant to Section 100(B)(2) of the Local Government Act 1972, on the grounds that the matter may be determined with the press and public excluded.


Council may decide that the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item pursuant to Section 100(A)4 of the Local Government Act 1972, on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information, as defined in Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 and public interest would not be served in publishing the information.






That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items pursuant to Section 100(A)4 of the Local Government Act 1972 on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Paragraphs 1, 2, 3 or 4 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 and public interest would not be served in publishing the information.





Recommendation from Cabinet - Waste Treatment PFI

To consider the recommendation of Cabinet.


Consideration was given to the recommendation from Cabinet regarding future options for the Waste Treatment PFI Project. 


It was noted that the same recommendations had been considered and approved at the meeting of Cheshire West and Chester Council, on 23 February 2012.




That Cheshire East Council approve the recommendations, made by the Joint Waste Board on 8 December 2011,that : -


  1. The Waste Treatment PFI procurement project be formally abandoned.


  1. That the write off of capitalised project expenditure be noted.






Urgent Item of Business


The Mayor stated that, as indicated in his announcements earlier in the meeting, the following urgent item of business needed to be dealt with at the meeting. In view of the special circumstances of this matter, he was satisfied as to its urgency and that this item would not wait until the next Council meeting. 


Appointment of Interim Chief Executive


Consideration was given to a report relating to the appointment of an interim Chief Executive for the period of the Chief Executive’s absence from work due to ill health.





1       That the Leader of the Council and the Chairman of the Staffing Committee be authorised, in consultation with the three Opposition Group Leaders and the Head of HR and Organisational Development, to agree all arrangements in connection with the funding for and appointment of an Interim Chief Executive.


2       That the Interim Chief Executive be empowered, for the duration of his/her term of office with the Council, with all Constitutional and such other powers as are currently given by Council to the Chief Executive as Head of Paid Service and otherwise.


3       That a Supplementary Revenue Estimate, up to a maximum of £80,000, for an initial period of 3 months, be approved.


Thanks from the Mayor


As this would be the last meeting that the Mayor would chair, before the Annual meeting of the Council, he thanked Members for their support during his term of office.