Independent councillors are campaigning to change from the current cabinet system to what they describe as a "more open, transparent and democratic committee system.
Having had previous attempts turned down by Cheshire East Council, members of the Independent group are now asking residents to help them demand change at Cheshire East.
Cllr James Nicholas (Independent, Bollington) explained: "We are launching a petition calling for change to a more open, transparent and democratic, committee-led system. This would mean that ALL councillors are involved in the important decisions, not just a select few members of cabinet.
"We are appealing to residents to support this petition to make the leadership of the Council sit up and listen."
If more than 5% of voters in Cheshire East (c. 15,000 people) sign the petition, then a referendum can be demanded. The referendum would likely be a choice between the existing cabinet-style system and a new committee-led system.
Cllr Arthur Moran (Leader of the Independent Group) added "One of the many problems with the existing cabinet system is that it puts too much power in the hands of too few people. Cabinet consists of just eight councillors, all of whom are selected by the Leader and are from the same political group. They regularly hold meetings in private."
The Change Cheshire East campaign will run for a period of six weeks, from today (October 1st) until November 11th. Any Cheshire East resident can sign the petition provided they are aged 18 years or over.
Cllr Craig Browne said "As independents, we are uniquely placed to be the conscience of the council and so our campaign is apolitical. It is not about which group controls the council, but about making sure that the system of governance is more open, transparent, democratic and works in residents' interests. The existing cabinet system has created the conditions under which many of the well-reported issues at Cheshire East Council have been allowed to thrive."
The petition reads....... "We call for a referendum to change the way Cheshire East Council is run".
Photo: The Independent Group, Cheshire East Council, pictured outside Westfields. (L To R) Councillors:Toni Fox, Simon McGrory, Mike Parsons, Amanda Stott, Craig Browne, Bernice Walmsley, Barry Burkhill, James Nicholas, Mick Warren and Arthur Moran.