Reader's Letter: The deterioration of the paths and drains


I have lived in Alderley Edge for over 66 years. I remember clearly the past Parish Council members, ie Miss Heywood, Reg Berisford and Gordon Heath et al, frequently walking around Alderley Edge not just the village but ALL around.

Over the past few years councils, both the Parish Council and Macclesfield now Cheshire East, seem disinterested in what I and many can see happening.

The footpath from Ravenswood on Heyes Lane to Davey Lane is so overgrown with holly hedges which have not been cut back that in places the path is barely 18 inches wide. At one time the Parish Council would have known who was responsible and sorted it, now I doubt if any of the parish councillors have ever seen it.

The drains, one on Elm Grove opposite Annis Road is totally blocked and has been for years, there are two others along Davey Lane toward the bridge.

Members of the Parish Council may frequent the village to partake of beverages or to be seen socialising, but never look at where they are walking as the footpath drains are blocked and infact several growing weeds.

It appears that once one is elected then all else does not matter.

There are several places along Elm Grove/Davey Lane with intruding hedges and over hanging trees.

Maybe one day we will get a Parish Council that actually cares for the whole of Alderley Edge (yes I know and pigs will fly).

Graham McLelland.

Reader's Letter


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

Craig Browne
Friday 24th June 2016 at 3:16 pm
Dear Graham,
Thank you for raising this issue, which as you've quite rightly said, has existed for a number of years.
As I reported at the recent Annual Parish Meeting, over the last twelve months, I've reported no fewer than 83 separate highways issues to Cheshire East (these include everything from potholes and overgrown hedges, to streetlights and blocked drains). Often, these issues are resolved quickly, but on other occasions they do take longer and it is easy to then draw the conclusion that nothing is being done.
Earlier in the year, helped by a group of other volunteers, the Parish Council carried out both a blocked-drain survey and a streetlight survey. The results of both were passed on to Cheshire East and as a result, many of the streetlights were repaired. CEC's policy is to implement a three-year rolling programme of drain and gutter clearing; the next scheduled clearance in Alderley Edge is the last week in October/first week in November.
Together with the other Parish Councillors, I share your frustration at what sometimes appears to be a slow pace of change; however, please be assured that everything that can be done, is being done.
Best wishes,
Jon Williams
Friday 24th June 2016 at 7:42 pm
Craig, people of the village and Wilmslow have been told by CE that roadside grids will NOT be cleaned out, no matter how many times you report them !
Alan Brough
Friday 24th June 2016 at 9:57 pm
Hi Craig,

I'm sorry but I don't accept your response.

Earlier this year I volunteered to help the (new) PC conduct a thorough survey of drains and gulley's

I was happy to while away an afternoon wandering around the area that Graham has concerns over, and I logged,photographed and reported a large number of drains that had obviously been blocked for years.

This was all done well in advance of a project of work that CE intended to carry out in September 2015.

Clearly they never carried out that work despite the fact that we pay Council Tax for them so to do, and therefore I would ask you as our representative to hold them (firmly) to account and find out why.

I may be old fashioned but I reckon if you pay for a service you are entitled to get it....wouldn't you say?
Graham McLelland
Saturday 25th June 2016 at 6:49 am
Hi Craig. Yes I read your reply but I have heard the same for years. However Iam prepared to wait and see.
Regarding the over grown hedges /over hanging branches Davey Lane /Heyes Lane I do know that legally the owner of the house behind the hedge was ALWAYS responsible for cutting it back if it encroached onto the public highway.Now that being the case it is perfectly in the remit of the PC to write to and maybe enforce the cutting back,in the interests of pedestrian safety.
Pete Taylor
Saturday 25th June 2016 at 8:57 am
Cheshire East Highways was out-sourced to a private company in October 2011 see details here: the contract was for five years with an option to continue for a further two years. That means in four months time this company may be awarded the contract for another two years. Reading the local press from right across Cheshire East it seems that there are issues with lack of highway maintenance everywhere.

Over on Lisa's other website I have been having a discussion with the CEC Cabinet Member responsible for Environmental Services and his latest position is that he stands by those words he wrote in 2011 (see link above) and he lays the blame for the blocked grids at the door of Cheshire County Council (disbanded 2009!). You might wish to contact him at if you think there is a problem to be addressed.
Craig Browne
Saturday 25th June 2016 at 1:02 pm
Here is a link to the roads and gullies section of the Cheshire East Council website:

From this, it is possible to follow the gully cleansing programme for 2016/17 across the Borough.
Graham McLelland
Saturday 25th June 2016 at 4:04 pm
And the hedges??Craig
Jon Williams
Saturday 25th June 2016 at 4:27 pm
And the roads ?? Craig
Kelvin Briggs
Saturday 25th June 2016 at 6:34 pm
The footpaths adjacent to Chelford Road from the village to Merrimans Lane display shocking neglect Craig, with a dismal response from Cheshire East when raised as a problem via my local Parish Council and direct contact , what do we do?
With overgrown footpaths I had to walk in the busy road during daily walks to the village post a replacement hip. Dangerous and frustrating .
As residents on Chelford Road, can we clear the footpaths as volunteers with no repurcussions?
Duncan Herald
Monday 27th June 2016 at 6:05 am
if the over-hanging greenery to which you refer is that bursting out of 'Village Lawns' (is that the correct name?) onto the pavement, then the cure may be fairly easy.
Back in the dear, dead days I was approached by a gentleman with this very problem. The grounds there, I found out, are looked after by 'Emerson'. I telephoned 'Emerson' and after a while got to speak with the young lady who is involved in that. She quickly sent gardeners to chop back the offending green stuff.
I was given to understand that it was not the responsibility of Cheshire East.
Perhaps 'Emerson' is still is the route to follow?
Graham McLelland
Monday 27th June 2016 at 8:13 am
Hi Duncan , That is a small area Duncan mostly over grown trees I am talking about Heyes Lane from Oakfield Rd to Davey Lane and along Davey lane from the bride down to Elmfield Rd
It was always the responsibilty of the house holders to maintain their hedges,and if they encroach onto the footpaths and someone old or young male or female is hurt in anyway by either walking int a hedge and getting hurt, in the dark or having to brush up against the hedges to avoid stepping into the road then we know who will be responsible the house holder/s and maybe also the PC because they fail to tell the householders to cut back and keep footpaths clear
Duncan Herald
Monday 27th June 2016 at 9:23 am
Hi Graham,
we slightly misunderstood each other.
I think that you have got it right in that there may well be a responsibility upon the householder/s.
I suspect that a plain citizen turning up on a doorstep to complain might be counter-productive. But if someone with a tad of authority turned up on the said doorstep and asked nicely that the offending green stuff be cut, there might be a positive effect.
I doubt that the Parish Council have any actual duty here, but a councilor could of course undertake to do the 'asking nicely', to see if that works. Can't hurt to try can it?
Craig Browne
Monday 27th June 2016 at 11:13 am
Dear Kelvin,
I'm sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing. Unfortunately, this area lies just outside Alderley Edge and Councillor etiquette does not allow me to get involved in another member's Ward. I can only suggest that you get in touch with your Ward Councillor (George Walton) or speak directly to the relevant Highways Officer (Andy Simpson - ). I'm sorry that I can't be of more help.
Best wishes,
Graham McLelland
Monday 27th June 2016 at 11:13 am
No it cannot Duncan but will the PC do it? I doubt it so therefore nothing will be done.The final responsibilty lies with the PC not Cheshire East ,as it is the Pc who represent us
1 quote "Trees and hedges are the responsibility of the owner of the land they are situated on. The owner has a legal obligation to keep them from encroaching on the highway."
We wait and see .
Kelvin Briggs
Monday 27th June 2016 at 4:09 pm
Thanks Craig,
Appreciate Chelford Road is beyond your Ward but you may find it useful to see how things work with Cheshire East Highways. Despite raising this in February 2016, nothing has been done to clear the footpath in three poor areas. Communication since Simpsons response to the Nether Alderley Parish Council has been zero.

The Feb response was " We have added these footways to our Footway Siding Out schedule which will then be considered for inclusion in the next programme in the New Financial Year. Unfortunately, at this stage I cannot give you any timescales for the commencement of this programme but as soon as a confirmed date is available you will be advised."

The solution looks as clear as mud ? Sadly the footpaths are in places full of mud, weed and walking on the highway is quite dangerous !
Good luck with the village drains!
Graham McLelland
Tuesday 28th June 2016 at 7:10 am
This is the form I have sent to Cheshire East having heard nothing from the pc
Thank you for your comments to Cheshire East Council.

Do you want to make: an enquiry or request?

Which service area?: Highways and roads

Your comments: From the junction of Oakfield rd to wards the village up to the junction of Davey Lane there are many places where the hedges (belonging to private houses ) have almost overgrown the footpath making it dangerous for pedestrians. from the end of Elmfield Rd to Davey lane as far as the bridge again the same problem.Now I have asked for comments from the PC (via the Alderley
Donald Henderson
Tuesday 28th June 2016 at 8:31 am
Suggestion! How about each local councillor taking responsibility for an area of the village? Perhaps, once a month he/she could walk around their area noting work needed to be done and residents would have a name to contact if something untoward was seen.
Graham McLelland
Tuesday 28th June 2016 at 8:43 am
I apologies to readers that I did not copy and paste correctly.This is a copy of what I sent to Cheshire East
Your comments: From the junction of Oakfield rd to wards the village up to the junction of Davey Lane there are many places where the hedges (belonging to private houses ) have almost overgrown the footpath making it dangerous for pedestrians. from the end of Elmfield Rd to Davey lane as far as the bridge again the same problem.Now I have asked for comments from the PC (via the Alderley edge web)but nothing.Is there anything the Cheshire East Council can do before there is an accident ?
Graham McLelland
Tuesday 28th June 2016 at 8:45 am
Brilliant Donald except for 1 thing ,I do not think the pc actually know Alderley Edge and therefore may get lost
Rod Menlove
Wednesday 29th June 2016 at 12:48 pm
An update is needed to the post from Pete Taylor.
I have not been the Cabinet Member for Highways for well over 3 years and had no part in the renewal of the contract. The Cllr with current responsibility for this area is David Brown
Wednesday 29th June 2016 at 1:36 pm
I think Pete is refering to this
Pete Taylor
Wednesday 29th June 2016 at 3:13 pm
I am obliged Jackie, indeed that is what I referred to and the words that Cllr Menlove was standing by.

I apologise for not keeping up with the movers and shakers at Sandbach (or wherever it is the CEC bunker is located). Presumably Cllr Menlove gave up that post when he resigned over his Lyme Green involvement (or lack of)?

Such a shame that the contract has been given an extension, given the complaints reported in the local press right across the borough.
Mike Norbury
Thursday 30th June 2016 at 12:02 pm
look forward to seeing you up for the parish council in the next elections mr mclelland.
Graham McLelland
Thursday 30th June 2016 at 2:12 pm
Why Mike ? seems the pcs could see the dangers IF they looked.Sorry sitting in council chambers not my scene.