Elected members of Cheshire East Council will have more cash to spend on highways projects in their local wards next year.
Ward member budgets, introduced in 2021, will increase by 50 per cent from £4,200 to £6,500. The change will empower elected members to prioritise local highway investment and call upon their own budgets to help finance them.
The change will come into effect from April 2023 and will operate for a fixed period of four years. The scheme is designed to encourage town and parish councils to work with their local ward members by, for example, allowing to match-fund projects for which there is widespread community support.
Examples of where ward member budgets could be spent include street lighting, footway and highways patching, road signage, vegetation clearance, drainage works and road markings.
Councillor Craig Browne, council deputy leader and chair of the council's highways and transport committee, said: "I am confident that this improved scheme, with an increased budget, will help to give elected ward members a greater say in the delivery of local highways and transport priorities.
"The enhanced ward member budget scheme will help deliver locally important highways schemes and I am certain that residents will see a significant benefit over the next four years."
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"The scheme is designed to encourage town and parish councils to work with their local ward members by, for example, allowing to match-fund projects for which there is widespread community support."
I guess this means our local councillors spending this money on things about which the local residents, they ‘represent’, feel strongly and want sorted.
Well, how often does anyone actually meet face to face with their local councillor and discuss with them what they think?
This shouldn’t be a problem because ‘local’ councillors should be just that - LOCAL - which to me infers living in the locality and so regularly mixing with the people they represent on an almost daily basis.
I am not sure this is the case and would suggest that ALL councillors at least get together and in the case of Wilmslow have a stall on the regular local Artisan Market and wearing a name badge to clearly identify them to the residents who can ‘bend their ear’ on the various issues that interest them.
It’s no use saying our councillors can be contacted by email or phone; they need to be SEEN amongst those they represent. Rather like having a face-to-face appointment with your GP instead of a telephone appointment. Equally I am completely against politics of any kind moving onto social media. This all started with Donald Trump and his Twitter nonsense/propaganda. How any publicly represented person can ever think of expressing their views via such channels is beyond me. All that is required is a website where they can calmly and concisely outline their stance on various issues and regularly inform their ‘flock/voters’ on what they have been up to and what they are doing about various local issues - a kind of diary of ‘what I have been up to lately on your behalf’.
Not everyone has social media and ever wants it so to blatantly go down that path is a disastrous mistake.
It’s a sad fact that the next UK general election will be fought on the likes of Twitter and all the nonsense that is mixed up therein.
We even now have out POLICE justifying their actions and stance on certain events on the likes of Twitter. I mean what has the future of our society now become?
Some councillors are better than others. In particular Mark Goldsmith, Craig Browne and David Jefferay who often put finger to keyboard and contribute to our two local media ‘rags’ - Alderley & Wilmslow.co.uk.
My own councillor - Don Stockton - I have never heard a peep from until recently when he contributed to the issue of the Wilmslow Multi Storey Car Park. I’ve only met him twice in the 40 years I have been a resident in town and the first one was when he appeared at my door with our then MP, Neil Hamilton [of brown envelope fame], who was doing the rounds for re-election and perhaps thought he would ‘lend him a hand’ to further his own election hopes as a local councillor.
I wholeheartedly agree with your comments. Thank you.