Barlow's Beef: Devolution for dummies


I am sooooo disappointed. No... make that gutted to hear Cheshire East's ambitious devolution proposal has been put on hold.

Along with Cheshire West and Chester they have plans to double the size of our economy to £50 billion a year and create 127,000 new jobs by 2040.

Why the delay? Why allow such a fantastic opportunity to drift? These are the guys who set up CoSocius a brilliant new IT enterprise that made a trading profit of £2.6m in the first 18 months.

Sorry, I meant a trading LOSS of £2.6m... same thing really except taxpayers stump up the difference.

So here we have a dynamic and dedicated council team experienced at making money on commercial ventures... oops sorry done it again... LOSING money on commercial ventures... who want to up their game.

But this time they want to do it on a much larger scale so they can save/ lose (whatever) even more money. With such a brilliant opportunity within our grasp we need to act quickly.

When it comes to business these guys are automatic ... they're systematic... they're hydromatic. They're Greased Lightening.

C'mon £2.6m blown in 18 months is some achievement. If they can do that on a piddly little IT company what could they do on a big devolution budget?

This is the moment, man. CEC are rocking, they are in the zone and ready to rumble.

Yes, I know they appointed a cabinet member whose company collapsed owing creditors $400K but he was good people. No point nitpicking when you have talent you just have to roll with it.

This Team have already shown us what they are capable of and now they want to go BIG. Yes, yes alright it's with our money and not theirs but they have a great plan.

Just one small point... you know these 127,000 new jobs... are they only for single people because the plan calls for 139,000 additional homes? My maths may not be the best but err...wouldn't that be a bit over the top? They won't all need a brand new house will they?

My guess, for what it's worth, is those 127,000 new jobs would probably increase Cheshire's population by 400,000 which is an additional 40 per cent.

Now that is ambitious by anyone's standards. All we need do now is determine where these extra 139,000 homes are to be built along with the schools, hospitals, roads etc and we're in business. Who wants open spaces and green fields when you can become a totally urban society?

Remember these are the guys who developed the Local Plan ... no forget I said that.

Let's just devolve.

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of

Barlow's Beef