Parish Council selects two new members


Alderley Edge Parish Council has selected two new members following the resignation of Ilana Higham and Ruth Norbury.

Both Ilana and Ruth, who joined the Parish Council following the election in May 2015 along with the other 7 members of AlderleyEdgeFirst, officially resigned on November 8th.

Their official resignation falls within six months of the forthcoming elections in May 2019, which meant that the Parish Council were able to co-opt new members of their own choice rather than offer residents the opportunity to request an election to select two replacement councillors.

The new councillors Beverley Chapman, Treasurer of Alderley Edge In Bloom, and Sarah Greenwood, of the Alderley Edge Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group, will be formally co-opted at the Parish Council meeting on Monday, 14th January.

Whilst was not made aware of the vacancies, Councillor Rachael Grantham, Chair of Alderley Edge Parish Council, said "The vacancies were advertised in the usual way during November and December; whilst four people asked for more information, only Bev and Sarah submitted a formal expression of interest."

Local elections are scheduled to be held on Thursday 2nd May 2019, contesting seats on both Cheshire East Council and Alderley Edge Parish Council.

Photo: Alderley Edge Parish Councillors(L-R) Michael Taylorson, Christine Munro, Geoff Hall,Craig Browne, Ruth Norbury, Rachael Grantham, Mike Dudley-Jones, Ilana Higham and Myles Garbett.

Alderley Edge Parish Council, AlderleyEdgeFIRST


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Helen Gaughan
Thursday 10th January 2019 at 12:25 am
Congratulations to Bev and Sarah !!! I met Sarah on Monday evening and I'm sure she will be a welcome addition to our team of hard-working Parish Councillors . I've known Bev for a number of years and she too will also serve us well . She has already proven that through her dedication and hard work as an Alderley Edge in Bloom volunteer and can be seen on a daily basis tending to the planters in the village , as well as being a regular litter picker !!! Well done , ladies
Alan Brough
Thursday 10th January 2019 at 9:55 am
I would echo Helens warm welcome to the new Councillors, both of whom have been hugely instrumental in the on-going improvement evident around the village.

Thanks also to Ruth and Illana who have done tremendous work in their two years in office whilst, at the same time heading-up their own businesses.
Marc Asquith
Thursday 10th January 2019 at 3:11 pm
Some people say that all politicians are the same and some people hold out a Utopian hope for ordinary people sitting on Parish Councils, not becoming involved in the Machiavellian machinations of the political system. When the Alderley First team were first founded and elected in 2015, many electors thought we might have a glimpse of that Utopia. Well here we are and you can look from man to pig and pig to man and they look just the same. 2 co-ordinated resignations just 6 days into a period where there is no obligation to call an election and the PC get to co-opt. Allowing only 6 days less than 6 months for the new Councillors to take advantage of the profile that serving on the PC gives, and thus benefiting from a flying start when it comes to the Local Elections in May 2019. The vacancies were advertised in the "usual way" i.e. on an unlit Parish Council Notice Board hidden somewhere in a corner of the village. It is of note that even was kept in the dark until the time for candidates to offer their services had passed. They came in as ordinary people looking to make things better, but steadily, they are changing into the very thing they despised, just as did the pigs in Animal Farm..... Welcome to the world of politics.
David Hadfield
Thursday 10th January 2019 at 11:40 pm
Wow, Marc Asquith …… a great summary. Well Done and Gud Luk.
Claire MacLeod
Friday 11th January 2019 at 4:23 pm
I suppose one could make the case that as the local news site, it would be up to the journalists who write for it to find out about something like the local Parish Council advertising for two new members, rather than expecting the Council to make the website aware of what they are doing? I think that's how it usually works in local journalism.

I'm not sure I agree with your rather cynical summary of what has happened, Marc Asquith.

To suggest that the Parish Council are guilty of 'Machiavellian machinations of the political system' seems a tad melodramatic. From what I can understand, with only 6 months to go before the next PC election, the Council are entitled to select the new members, rather than have them elected. It appears they have selected two local residents who have already more than proven their commitment to the community from the (not insignificant) work they have already undertaken, voluntarily. Personally, I can't imagine anyone better suited (based on the profile of the two new councillors as described above). I admit I know neither individual personally. But the local PC have done such a brilliant job, delivering exactly what they promised when they were elected (openness, transparency and accountability), and much more besides. I for one am pleased the new Councillors appear to be 'independent' too, rather than affiliated with a particular political party. From where I sit, it seems that there have been far fewer personal and political agendas getting in the way of getting things done in the last nearly 4 years. I commend the PC for attracting two more worthy residents who are willing to sacrifice their own time and energy simply to serve their community. Good luck to them all!
David Hadfield
Saturday 12th January 2019 at 9:23 am
Claire MacLeod,
What on earth are you talking about ?
The parking crisis is even worse now than it was 4 years ago when this Parish Council took over and promised to improve parking in and around the village.
They were elected on that promise and look what's happened.
So, tell me where there are major improvements with parking in this village ?
The odd extra parking space here and there isn't going to change the fundamental parking problems in Alderley Edge and this Parish Council have not made any difference whatsoever.
I clearly remember the owner of "Mr Simms" shop closing a couple of years ago because of parking issues and I wonder how many other businesses have failed mainly because of this problem ?
Claire MacLeod
Saturday 12th January 2019 at 5:42 pm
Hi David Hadfield

Hope you're keeping well? I'm not sure if we're talking about the same Parish Council. The one I'm referring to was voted in last election (nearly 4 years ago). It's a group of Independent Councillors, with no political agenda, and with the mandate that I mentioned in my previous email (openness, transparency and accountability, for ease of reference). They stood against the old Parish Council, whose mandate was 'sorting out the parking', and who claimed that only they could deliver the new Health centre.

Not only have the Independent Parish Council kept their word regarding the above values, they have also contributed in no insignificant way to a number of really valuable initiatives within our community. For example: completing the construction of our health centre , in spite of some extremely difficult inherited financial shortfalls; keeping our library open; replacing the Christmas lights; improving the appearance of our village with planters and the efforts of the AE In Bloom volunteers; improving the park; engaging with our local youth and working with them on initiatives; saving the seniors' luncheon club (sorry, I can't remember their proper name); putting on our annual community events; and working to make the new festival hall a financially viable community venue. Not to mention Craig Brown's tireless work as our Ward Councillor. I'm sure I've missed a whole load of other stuff off, and am happy see this extensive list elaborated on by other contributors. But I don't think anyone can genuinely claim the PC haven't done much since they took over, can they?

It was a shame that Mr Simms had to close. But a speciality shop which sells only sweets was going to have to shift a lot of product to be able to afford the shop rental rates, here in Alderley Edge. On the plus side, isn't it great that so many of the bars and restaurants (Bubble Room and Bar and Grill, for example) have been able to remain as thriving businesses in the village for so many years? And, if you're looking for retail examples, what about Weinholts (which doesn't even open six days a week), or the Cheese Wedge?

In terms of parking, this subject has been covered many times on this site, since the current PC were elected. I believe the subject has also been addressed in the informative news letters the Council distributes regualarly to all residents. I'm sure you must have received them?

It's clear from the numerous updates over the last nearly 4 years that parking issues do not rest within the power of the Parish Council, but within the power of the local authority (Cheshire East). One only has to drive into Wilmslow on Alderley Road towards Sainsbury's, to see how responsive CEC are to the need and demand for urgent action on parking. Their response? To propose increasing the parking charges! I think our PC have done as much as they possibly could, including making plans to turn South St into a one way street to increase the number of spaces as much as they can, within their limited remit.

But, if we can, parking 'issue' aside, surely you agree that the two candidates chosen by the current PC are worthy representatives, given their credentials?
David Hadfield
Sunday 13th January 2019 at 8:00 am
Hi Claire MacLeod,
A very belated Happy New Year to you as well.
Claire, you'd make a great MP …….. going into great depth about all other things, but not answering the basic question / subject of parking …..
or should I say lack of parking spaces in Alderley Edge!!
I didn't mention parking in Wilmslow or any other subject.
I was commenting on the lack of progress over parking in Alderley Edge, where the Parish Councillors who got in about 4 years ago were so certain of improving the parking here that they made it their number one subject and were elected on it.
I don't want to put "parking issues aside" as you suggest …… I want to let you and all others know how dismally the Parish Councillors have done about parking in Alderley Edge after having 4 years …… and doing almost nothing about it !!!!

By the way, I do admire Councillor Craig Brown, who does a tremendous job.
Alan Brough
Sunday 13th January 2019 at 11:02 pm
@ David Hadfield,

Isn’t the passage of time a beggar? It causes such forgetfulness and confusion.

As I recall, the old Conservative PC were hard-wired into a plan to concrete over the allotments on Heyes Lane, despite the fact that the land had been bequeathed, for the benefit of Alderley Edge village folk, In perpetuity by a kind and wealthy benefactor.

There was much gnashing and gnawing about this by local folk, some of whom felt strongly enough to put their money where their mouths were and stand in hopeless opposition to the entrenched Tory machine.

As I recall, they never, ever said anything about solving the parking problem - only that they would look at all available options.

On closer scrutiny, the plans put forward
by the previous PC were seen to be
fanciful ( at best) and it was (and it remains) unclear what viable alternatives exist.

Anyway, when the whole issue was tested in the Parish Council elections of 2016, the good people of Alderley Edge unanimously and emphatically chose a different way of dealing with local matters and placed their trust in a group of independent, non party political, candidates who offered nothing other than to put Alderley Edge first.

My own assessment (for what it’s worth) is that they’re doing a damn fine job.
Susan Parker
Monday 14th January 2019 at 12:46 pm
It would be good to see a plan to spruce up London Road. It is increasingly shabby. The pavements and general street furniture are appalling. Alderley Edge enjoys an enviable reputation but this is being taken for granted.

And, on the subject of this article, the (near) secretive co-opting of two councillors does seem equally shabby. And perceptions matter.
Duncan Herald
Tuesday 15th January 2019 at 10:12 am
Just two brief things:
1. If there is doubt about when the two retiring councillors retired, ask the Chair of the Parish Council for the date when the two first mentioned retirement? Was there a delay or not?
Also while we are at it, are there other P.C. Councillor/s intending to retire?
2. Alan: above you write that the Conservative P.C. were 'hard wired' into comcreting the allotments; have you forgotten that the new P.C. also looked into the possibility of concreting either/all of the Chorley Hall playing field and the allotments? If you wish to chastise one then ought you not to chastise both?
Kelvin Briggs
Tuesday 15th January 2019 at 7:33 pm
Interesting to see the minutes of the Alderley Edge Parish Council November meeting were finally published online today.

They contained the information about retiring Parish Councillors and the info on how they may be replaced .

‘11. To formally accept the resignation of Cllr Higham.
The resignation was accepted.
12. To formally accept the resignation of Cllr Norbury.
The resignation was accepted. Cllr Grantham thanked both councillors for their time on the council, wished them well and confirmed that as these vacancies have arisen within 6 months of a scheduled election the PC may fill the vacancies by co-option. Notice of vacancies will be advertised until 29th November. This will be followed by a further call for nominations. During this time any interested residents are invited to put their name forward for consideration and should email the Clerk who will provide the guidelines on how to apply.

Any names put forward will be invited to meet with Cllrs Grantham and Hall prior to a meeting in December where the council will discuss and vote on the nominations received.’

Whilst it’s good news we have two solid newly co-opted recruits in place, perhaps the Parish Council could have circulated minutes in a more timely fashion and advertised the vacancies on their website?
Nether Alderley Parish Council highlighted their recent vacancies on their website displaying great openness and transparency delivering great trust
Alan Brough
Tuesday 15th January 2019 at 9:07 pm
Good Evening Duncan,

As I said above, back then the Alderley First candidates made it clear that they would look at all available options. These included Heyes Lane / Chorley Hall Lane / Ryleys Lane / AESG land at Lydiat Lane / expansion of on-street parking etc etc.

This differed with the plans of the incumbent PC who had become focused (some would say "obsessed") with the seizure of Heyes Lane Allotments - a plan which we subsequently found out was poorly costed, largely impractical to execute and very probably illegal.

But I don't need to remind of you all that do I?
Duncan Herald
Wednesday 16th January 2019 at 10:05 am
Good Morning Alan,
you write that the last Council were '...obsessed with the seizure of Heyes Lane allotments' whereas the A.F. condidates merely 'would look at Heyes Lane'; 'obsessed and seizure' versus 'look at'; just the slightest hint of bias?

Impractical and probably illegal? Good job you can provide so much evidence? Oh not!

In the meantime, the parking situation continues to worsen? (Is Mrs. May or Mr. Corbin in charge of A.E. parking?).
Alan Brough
Wednesday 16th January 2019 at 12:16 pm
Hi Duncan,

You may wish to re-read the attached which will clearly demonstrate the "impractical." It also points at the fact that there was a statutory obligation on the part of CE to provide alternative allotment space for Heyes Lane allotment holders. No such alternative was identified before the previous PC served notice on the allotment holders. Is that not illegal?
Duncan Herald
Wednesday 16th January 2019 at 9:43 pm
Hi Alan,
may I keep it as simple as possible?
The previous P.C. tried to solve the perceived parking problem and didn't manage to do so.
This seems to have brought oit in you some condemnation.
The present P.C. tries to solve the perceived parking problem and has not managed to do so.
This does not seem to have generated any condemnation from you.
Perhaps rather than going on like this, you may care to put forward some constructive ideas to solve the parking problem?
Alan Brough
Thursday 17th January 2019 at 11:41 am
Hi Duncan,

My opinion is that there isn’t a car parking problem.

There is a problem either in that too few people are prepared to walk or cycle into the village or that public transport options are few and diminishing.

Facilitating the casual use of cars is not the responsible way forward.
Tony Haluradivth
Thursday 17th January 2019 at 5:51 pm
Alan Brough you inhabit a dream world. Cycle lanes are not maintained by CEC highways, Bus services have been cut, trains are on strike and overpriced. Are you a retiree? People HAVE to work and parking needs to be sorted....there are of course always going to be a selfish, entitled minority but are you really suggesting that all parkers in the village live in walking distance??? Parking needs to be addressed and if houses continue being built at the rate they are in this area there will inevitably be extra traffic with contractors etc monopolising parking in the area. We need proper parking provision so perhaps you may need to remove the rose tinted specs.
David Hadfield
Thursday 17th January 2019 at 10:06 pm
Well said Tony Haluradivth !!
Alan Brough
Friday 18th January 2019 at 11:19 am
@Tony Haluradivth,

You are relatively late into this debate and so can be forgiven for some of your misconceptions.

Basically my argument is that the people of Alderley Edge shouldn't have to pay (more) to provide parking for ill-conceived residential or business development.

Do you honestly believe that we should give up a park, playing field or other public amenity so that builders and developers can park their white vans / Bentleys whilst they tear-up another piece of green belt?

CE have a duty, through their Planning mechanism, to ensure that adequate parking is provided to support new development. They have, over many years, failed to do this and the matter reached a head four or five years ago when it was suggested that a piece of land on Heyes Lane that had been gifted to the people of the village should be ripped-up and turned into a car park. This prompted a lengthy debate on which piece of land people could or would sacrifice to feed the insatiable appetite for more parking spaces.

Consider (if you will) the futility of blindly building car parks over the next coming years, when we know that transport is about to undergo a revolution the like of which hasn't been seen since boys ran in front of cars with red flags.

Within five years or less, most of us will be driving electric cars - will your new car parks factor-in the cost of the necessary fast charging points?

Within ten years we will see driverless technology completely change the way in which people travel and thankfully this will pre-empt a major return to (and investment in) the use of public transport.

I'm not (as you suggest) a "retiree." I'm gainfully employed in the road transport / logistics industry and have some insight into what is round the corner. However, when I do eventually retire, I hope that my little retirement flat looks out over a piece of green land and not a car park.
Vin Sumner
Tuesday 22nd January 2019 at 12:14 pm
Well said Alan , we need to look forward and plan or we are just locked into today. Still think my idea of a park and cable car ride from the Edge car park has merit .. :-)