Barlow's Beef: Will Cheshire East please stop 'saving' us money?


In 2011 Cheshire East endeavoured to save taxpayers money by building their own waste transfer station in Lyme Green instead of paying contractors to deal with our waste. It was a brilliant idea except for one minor was completely illegal.

By some amazing oversight CEC 'forgot' to apply for planning consent from their own planning department. Still suffering from memory loss they denied the fact until residents submitted photographs of the work in progress.

Far from saving money that little blunder cost taxpayers £2M plus £450K paid to an outside consultant to determine how they did it. Cleary amnesia was rampant in 2011.

A couple of years later CEC thought of another way to save money by launching their own business selling their 'expertise' to third parties. First off was CoSocius a company created to supply HR, training and financial management to the public sector.

For some inexplicable reason, customers did not clamour for their 'expertise' and CoSocius folded with a trading loss of £800K and a £8M pension deficit. (Not much 'saving' there.)

Having totally restructured in 2009 CEC decided to give it another go in 2013 appointing a new streamlined team of 13 top executives. Out with the old and in with the new came Heather Grimbaldeston, Director of Public Health.

Now, here we are in 2016 and guess what Cheshire East plan to do again. Yes, you have it in one... restructure. I have no idea what is happening to the other members of the Class of 2013 but our friend Heather is on her way out with a £283K redundancy package (slightly less than £1 from every man woman and child in the borough.)

I have no idea what Ms. Grimbaldeston intends to do with that enormous sum of money but I know it won't now be spent on care for families in need or improving the desperate plight of the mentally ill or supporting the disabled.

I know it won't ease the burden on social services or provide more respite accommodation for carers or help cancer patients in need of expensive drugs.

Should Ms Grimbaldeston suddenly find herself back in employment, as so many before her have done, I doubt she's going to return the cash so how is that going to 'save' taxpayers money?

Can I make a suggestion? Why don't Cheshire East concentrate on emptying bins, filling in potholes, making sure that street lights are on in winter and off in summer and forget about 'saving' us money.

Stop commercial experiments and restructuring every three years. Abandon these ludicrous ventures and even more ludicrous pay-offs and do the damn job.

Every £ thrown away is money that cannot be spent helping those in need.

We didn't vote for inept commercial ventures or financing monstrous payouts. We voted for the efficient delivery of services.

Can we start now...PLEASE?

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

Barlow's Beef, Vic Barlow


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

David Hadfield
Wednesday 17th August 2016 at 7:44 pm
Well said once again Vic Barlow.
If only some of the muppets at Cheshire East read your comments and acted accordingly ?

Yes, it should be so simple ..... emptying bins, filling in potholes, street lights on in winter,
off in summer,
One thing though, Vic, filling in potholes doesn't work very well .........
To make sure the road surfaces last for many years, they need to be completely re-laid and no more "filling in on the cheap" - It doesn't work.