Agenda and minutes

Community Governance Review Sub-Committee - Wednesday, 16th October, 2013 10.30 am

Venue: Macclesfield Leisure Centre Meeting Room, Priory Lane, Macclesfield SK10 4AF. View directions

Contact: Cherry Foreman  Democratic Services Officer

No. Item


Apologies for Absence


Apologies for absence were received from Councillors J Jackson and P. Groves.


Declarations of Interest

To provide an opportunity for Members and Officers to declare any disclosable pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests in any item on the agenda.


There were no declarations of interest.


Announcement by the Chairman


The Chairman announced that he wished to allay any concerns that the option of creating a Parish/Town Council would no longer be pursued.  Requests had been made, however, for more detailed information on the other options available prior to deciding upon how best to proceed.


Public Speaking Time/Open Session

In accordance with Procedure Rules Nos.11 and 35 a period of 10 minutes is allocated for members of the public to address the meeting on any matter relating to the work of the body in question.  Individual members of the public may speak for up to 5 minutes but the Chairman or person presiding 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 are not required to give notice to use this facility. However, as a matter of courtesy, a period of 24 hours’ notice is encouraged.


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.




Keith Smith, Chairman of Macclesfield Civic Society, spoke in support of the establishment of a Town Council for Macclesfield; he considered it to be the only democratic option open to residents for the delivery of their services and he considered it to be the best of the options available.


Richard Watson thanked the Chairman for the clarification given in his announcement at the beginning of the meeting.  He stated that he would have like more information regarding the earlier consultation process and an assessment of why it had not been as successful as had been hoped.  He expressed concern that the information on the Councils website was not easily accessible; that details on the size of existing Parish/Town Councils already in existence in Cheshire East implied that Macclesfield was too large an area and this was not the case by comparison with Lemington Spa and Weston Super Mere for example; that no clear definition existed of what could be done by a Local Service Delivery Committee, and that the lack of progress was worrying in view of the total period of 12 months in which this work needed to be completed 


David Whalley made three key observations.  Whilst he sympathised with the position of Members and Officers he did not consider that the July consultation had been carried out well as the methods of publicity used had not reached those for whom it was intended; this needed to be remedied for future stages.  The advantages of having a democratically accountable local/town based body would be found to be a huge benefit in the support of local cultural initiatives, and his own experiences in setting up a number of cultural and community projects showed that the role of the internet and social media was critical for the next stages of the process, especially in engaging the under 30’s. 


Liz Braithwaite stated that the purpose of any consultation was to engage positively with the peopleat whom it was aimed.  She did not feel, however, that this had been the case in this process and that instead it had been left to the electorate to find out for themselves.  She wanted the relevant information to be made clearly available in order to make an informed decision.


In response to the points raised with regard to advertising and making information available a resume was given of all that had been done to get the information into the public arena for which a number of different methods of communication had been used.   


Minutes of Previous meeting pdf icon PDF 51 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 15 August 2013. 




That the minutes be approved as a correct record subject to the wording of recommendation 1 of minute 15 being amended to read ‘Parishing for Macclesfield’ instead of ‘Town Council for Macclesfield’.


Options for the Next Stage of the Review pdf icon PDF 58 KB

To consider the briefing note of the Registration Services and Business Support Manager on the options for the next stage of the Macclesfield Community Governance Review.

Additional documents:


At the suggestion of the Chairman the meeting moved into a work shop session, in which both the public and visiting Councillors were invited to participate, in order to better explore the meaning of an Enhanced Local Service Delivery Committee (ELSDC) and exactly what it could or could not do. 


It was stated that the creation of an ELSDC did not exclude moving to a Town/Parish Council in the future.  This view was not, however, agreed with by all as it was considered that the opportunity to create a Town/Parish should be grasped and that the time of the General and Local Elections in 2015 would be an ideal as it would be a time of political interest and activity.


It was noted that the existing Charter Trustees in Macclesfield involved the same 12 Councillors as would be involved in a LSDC i.e. they represented the unparished areas of the town. 


The main powers of a LSDC were listed as being:

1.    Monitoring Services.

2.    To provide advice and recommendations to Cabinet on the issues and needs of Macclesfield.

3.    To be the Cheshire East’s principal consultee for matters and decisions relating to the Parish of Macclesfield.

4.    To liaise and co operate with local organisations to pursue the wellbeing of the unparished area.

5.    To nominate representatives from its membership to serve on local bodies.

6.    To advise and liaise with Cheshire East Council on preparatory measures for the devolution and transfer of assets.

7.    To consider the cost implications of the development and transfer of services to the unparished area.

8.    To make recommendations to Cabinet on the level of service provision.

9.    To consider and recommend to Cabinet the amount of any special expenses levy to be raised from residents in the unparished area.


It was pointed out that the main weakness of the above list was point no. 3 as in accordance with the Localism Act 2011 any self selecting group could set themselves up as a ‘local economic forum’ which then meant that the planning authority had to give special consideration to any views it expressed, as had been the case with the Macclesfield Town Centre Redevelopment proposals and the ‘Make it Macclesfield’ group; only a democratically elected body could override such a group and therefore the core of the debate should centre on whether or not Macclesfield wanted to have a self elected or a democratically elected body. 


It was stated that a LSDC could only act as a consultative or advisory body whereas a Town/Parish Council could decide upon the level of services it wished to provide.  The example of Congleton Town Council, formed in 1982, was given as a good example of how a Town Council had grown and gone from strength to strength and with the greater powers now available it was employing staff to carry out a greater range of duties the aim of which was to provide a service of a higher standard than that which could be provided  ...  view the full minutes text for item 24.


Date of Next Meeting


That arrangements be made for the next meeting when appropriate.