Barlow's Beef: Cheshire East should tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth


Cheshire East councillors must feel an abused group. They undoubtedly enter local politics because they want to serve the community. New members are usually full of optimism and enthusiasm that time erodes.

Sometimes it's disillusionment with their own party or the mass of bureaucracy taking over their lives but more often they blame the local media. Once-upon-a-time that simply meant the local press but now they have online publishers and social media to contend with making it impossible to stem the tide of negativity.

Town halls like Westminster are self-contained communities where members influence each other and share common opinions. It's a lot more comfortable than embracing public opinion, which they come to regard as malicious criticism.

Sometimes it is, but councillors rarely discern branding all criticism unfair and mischievous. (unless it's made against the opposition.)

Hence the credibility gap where the public are viewed as mischievous and the Council are seen as ineptly arrogant.

Sadly, Cheshire East do not help themselves by making statements sufficiently absurd to deny credibility.

Initially they claimed their plan to turn off street lighting had 'proved' it to be 'safer' in those locations. How any intelligent individual would think that reintroducing a blackout was an act of safety defies explanation.

They have since abandoned that piece of idiocy in favour of 'reducing carbon emissions' a pretence even our dog wouldn't buy.

The commercial extraction of peat from Lindow Moss apparently creates no problems to the local environment at all while keeping runners, cyclists, pedestrians and road users safe at night is too big a threat to the planet. (Obviously it's just a coincidence that one creates revenue while the other is a direct council cost.)

Isn't it just this kind of juvenile spin that destroys council credibility. Instead of treating residents like idiots would it not be better to credit them with a modicum of intelligence and state the truth?

Selling huge redundancy packages as 'savings' and describing a senior councillor disbarred from being a company director in glowing terms just adds fuel to the fire of incredulity.

I'm not even going into the insanity that leads Cheshire East to believe they can run successful commercial ventures on taxpayers' money after the colossal losses sustained to date.

Contrary to town hall opinion the public are not stupid and addressing them as though they are is at the centre of the resentment felt towards the Council.

If Cheshire East want the respect they feel is due they should treat residents with equal respect and not spin ridiculous asinine stories in an attempt to disguise the truth.

It's not big and it's not clever.

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.

Alan Leach
Tuesday 29th November 2016 at 3:08 pm
Yes, I find it very frustrating with CEC.
We are currently having issues with a planning decision which has been approved without sending notification to adjoining neighbours. Instead of accepting the error, which we all make from time to time, CEC are making all sorts of "Cock & Bull" excuses. As you say us residents do have a modicum of intelligent, so if you read this Mr CEC , please treat us with some respect....after all we are the one's paying the Council Tax.
Alan Leach