Agenda item


In accordance the Council Procedure Rules, opportunity is provided for Members of the Council to ask the Mayor or the Chair of a Committee any question about a matter which the Council, or the Committee has powers, duties or responsibilities.


At Council meeting, there will be a maximum question time period of 30 minutes. A period of two minutes will be allowed for each Councillor wishing to ask a question.  The Mayor will have the discretion to vary this requirement where they consider it appropriate.


Councillor J Clowes stated that a number of residents in Wybunbury had submitted claims to Cheshire East Council relating to damage to their vehicles from the road surface. She was aware that claims were being passed to a third-party claims company which was extending time for a resolution for residents and asked how much did it cost the Council to commission and retain the services of a claims handling company? She asked how many claims for damage to vehicles had the Council and/or the claims handling company received from 1 April 2023 to date and how many of those claims had been successful or rejected? She further asked since 1 April 2023 what had been the cost to Cheshire East Council for successful claims for damage to vehicles caused by potholes and carriageway defects?


Councillor C Browne, Chair of Highways and Transport Committee, undertook to provide a written response.


Councillor C O’Leary had submitted a written question in advance of the meeting which askedwhen the residents of Crooked Yard, Macclesfield Forest, would expect to see patch works or resurfacing works to their road.


In response Councillor C Browne, Chair of Highways and Transport Committee, stated that the Council faced an incredibly challenging position of not being able to afford the significant and sustained investment that was needed to rehabilitate its highway infrastructure. Consequently, it was inevitable that potholes on the roads would occur, particularly after the excessively wet weather punctuated by cold snaps that had been seen recently.  The Council was aware of the condition of the section of the road identified. Following an inspection in November 2023 repairs were undertaken to 20 defects in January 2024 in line with the Safety Inspections Code of Practice and added signage to warn of the uneven road surface. A further 24 defects were repaired during February 2024.  It was proposed that some low-cost patching works would be carried out in April following confirmation of the 2024/25 budgets. These works would ensure that the road remained safe and available for use in line with the Council’s policy and statutory duties.


Councillor L Smetham stated thatfollowing the loss of life at Wood Treatments in Bosley in 2015 Cheshire East Highways had erected and installed fencing which to date had cost the Council £147,159.55 and was increasing every year. The fencing did not provide safety, was broken or bent and did not fulfil its purpose.   She stated that there was a screeching planer upsetting people in Bosley and North Staffordshire.  She referred to a retrospective planning application in place for an office and welfare facilities with future proposals for housing and also to a shed containing wood dust, which often had its doors left open and contained flammable material.   Councillor Smetham asked that the Council and any other bodies help resolve these issues.


In response Councillor C Browne stated that he and Cllr Smetham had attended a meeting of Bosley Parish Council and the Council, as a Highways Authority, was required to act under the guidance of the Health and Safety Executive.


In response to the planning matter, Councillor M Warren, Chair of Environment and Communities Committee, agreed to provide a written response.

Councillor M Simon stated that following a request for two garden waste permits for her local bowling club, ANSA had responded to say that the bowling club would need an exception if they were to continue to have their garden waste collected. As there had been no further response despite the request being followed up, Cllr Simon asked how the issue could be resolved.


Councillor M Warren, Chair of Environment and Communities Committee, shared Councillor Simon’s concerns on the matter and resolved to look into it and provide a written response.


Councillor A Gage stated that, despite repeated efforts over the past five years, there had been no progress made in relation to Section 106 infrastructure in Willaston. Councillor Gage asked the Administration to commit to ensuring that the developer money was spent on the things that were agreed and that the relevant officers from Planning and Highways meet with him and a representative from the community to discuss the outstanding issues.


In response, Cllr M Warren, Chair of Environment and Communities Committee, asked for the details to be sent to him and the Chair of Highways and Transport Committee for a meeting to be arranged.


Councillor A Burton stated that there were issues with buses in Nantwich including the removal of the 78 service and parking at Leighton Hospital. Councillor Burton stated she had been campaigning for an improved bus service in the area, including a direct bus service to Leighton Hospital and that an affordable, regular, and reliable service was required to help residents, and would be well used.


In response Cllr C Browne, Chair of the Highways and Transport Committee, stated that following a recent Enhanced Partnership Board there had been discussions in respect of how additional funding could be prioritised. Contract renewal prices were likely to increase at the end of the financial year when they were due to be renewed, but it was hoped that there would be some funding to be able to look at slight deviations to routes. Councillor Browne encouraged Councillor Burton to continue to feed any concerns to the Chair and Vice Chair of the Enhanced Partnership Board. Councillor Browne stated that, although welcome, much of the £180 million announced by Government to Cheshire East Council would be assigned to the existing backlog of works.


Councillor S Gardiner asked how many children living within Cheshire East received their education from the independent private sector, and whether the Council had made any contingency plans if there were changes to the finances and tax arrangements for those schools providing that education within the next twelve months. He asked if that was the case, how many children were there, did the Council have the capacity to take those children back in to state education, and whether there was money in the budget to cover the additional school places.

In response Councillor Mannion, Chair of Finance Sub Committee, stated that if Cheshire East Council had to accommodate more children within the school estate than currently budgeted for, this would have to be found and would result in having less money to spend elsewhere.


Councillor C Bulman as Chair of Children and Families Committee,responded to an earlier question from Councillor Saunders in respect of the budget and whether Crewe Youth Zone and Children’s Placement Sufficiency were under threat. Cllr Bulman stated that the Crewe Youth Zone and Children’s Placement Sufficiency were not under threat but were required to be reviewed as part of the due process of finance.

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