Friday 18, October 2013
Welcome to this, my 142nd news bulletin.
Last week, at my invitation, the Planning Minister addressed a meeting of concerned local planning activists at the Crewe Arms Hotel.
The meeting was both constructive and informative, and Nick Boles MP, the minister, was pleased to be put through his paces by a very well-informer but challenging crowd.
Town planning is the legal responsibility of the local authority.
However, as your Member of Parliament, whilst I have no influence on the planning process, over the last few years I have been called upon regularly to represent my constituents and support their – quite legitimate – concerns at being held hostage by developers with unplanned, unsustainable and unwanted planning applications.
I have sought to support both Crewe and Nantwich residents and the local authority in combating this challenge. This is why, when I saw Nick recently in Westminster to discuss the planning issues we are facing locally, he assured me that the examination of the Council’s local plan would begin as soon as it was received by the Planning Inspectorate.
During the meeting, the minister made it clear that the local plan was the only way to ensure that planned and appropriate development would be allowed in future, and he urged Cheshire East Council to submit a robust draft plan to the inspectors as soon as practicable.
Also when questioned on the timescales, he assured the meeting he would do everything he could to expedite the course through the inspection process.
Further to this assurance, he has provided us with some clear advice. He said: “It is difficult to anticipate the length of a forthcoming Local Plan examination. It will depend very much on the quality and content of the Plan. Cheshire East should do all they can to submit as sound plan with clearly presented evidence to support its policies. This will be the best safeguard against a protracted examination period.
“Based on recent experience, examinations can be completed in 7 to 8 months, but this is very much dependent on the issues raised and many examinations do take longer. It would be useful if Cheshire East could keep the Planning Inspectorate updated regularly on the likely publication and submission dates for the Plan, and the likely level of objection. This helps the Planning Inspectorate plan for the examination and prevents delay while the Planning Inspectorate appoint an inspector.”
I wanted to be as open about this as possible, as this is an issue that affects so many of my Crewe and Nantwich constituents.
The advice for the Council is there for all to see. It is now up to them to deliver.
Member of Parliament for Crewe & Nantwich
Please remember, you can always contact me directly if you have any questions for me, or if there is anything I can do to assist you.
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Locally I have...
- Chaired a successful meeting between local action group campaigners and Planning Minister Nick Boles, at the Crewe Arms Hotel. Local representatives put their views directly to the Minister, who in turn promised to support the Council whose responsibility it is to deliver a Local Plan for our area.
- Held one of my regular constituency advice surgeries at Nantwich Health Centre, on Beam Street, Nantwich.
- Met with Andrew, manager of the Lakeside Superbowl in Crewe, to congratulate him on successfully opposing plans to close the bowling alley. A number of constituents contacted me to object to the proposed closure, and I was pleased to lend my support to the staff and customers.
- Spoken at the WI 'Great Food Debate' at St Matthew’s Church Hall in Haslington. This fantastic local event is part of a nationwide debate to raise awareness of food security, and I was delighted to learn afterwards that the WI's harvest celebration, including the debate, has won a prize in the Daily Telegraph's 'Bring Home the Harvest' competition.
- Met with groups of Crewe and Nantwich constituents from South Cheshire College and YMCA Crewe, on their visits to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster.
- Lent my support to St Luke's Hospice as they launch their new 'Regular Giving' scheme. The Hospice is currently marking its 25th anniversary, and by encouraging sponsors to donate just a small amount every month, St Luke's will be able to secure the long-term sustainability of its patient care and support in the community.
- Chaired the important public meeting called by local Post Office staff, to discuss the future of Crewe's main Post Office. The clear view of the members of the public present in Crewe Library was that Post Office services must be protected, and extended if possible.
- Attended the Nantwich Civic Service last Sunday, at the kind invitation of the Mayor of Nantwich, Councillor John Lewis.
Read my most recent Crewe & Nantwich Talk
The latest edition of my Westminster Report has been delivered across Crewe and Nantwich. Click here or on the image to read a copy.
At Crewe Morrisons recently, I met with local people, including Andrew Clough and Gemma Moulton, who are taking part in the 'Feeding Britain's Future' scheme.
(Photo credit: Professional images)
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'we must get the Local Plan right' - New six-week consultation over long-awaited scheme
Chronicle Extra: Cheshire East’s long awaited Local Plan has been delayed as the council considers feedback from the strategic planning meeting.
Elements of the emerging core strategy of the plan, particularly in relation to the development of land around Crewe Green and plans for White Moss Quarry, were slated by local residents who spoke at last month’s meeting.
There were also claims from one councillor that additional sites had been ‘sneaked in’ in the north of the borough as well as calls from Weston and Basford Parish Council for a ‘compromise’ over the proposed new village around Crewe Hall. And a former Cheshire East mayor, Cllr Roger West, went as far as saying he believed the prospect of a judicial review ‘is real’.
In response the council has now announced a further six week public consultation, which will begin on November 5 and end on December 16. The single document to be consulted upon will include strategic sites, the plans’ evidence base and proposed new infrastructure, including new roads.
Deputy council leader David Brown, who oversees the Local Plan process, said: “We had a tremendous response when we presented our proposals to the council’s strategic planning board two weeks ago with around 30 people and groups coming along to speak at the meeting.
“There were some excellent and constructive points made and it’s only right that we respect the effort people put in by now making extra time to reflect on them properly.”
At the end of this final round of consultation, the council will publish the draft core strategy, inviting formal representations. It will then submit those comments along with the document to the planning inspectorate.
Cllr Brown added: “So far, we have received 28,000 representations by members of the public about our draft proposals. This is an unprecedented amount of interest in a council consultation process and I hope this further period of consultation will allow everyone to feel they have had time and opportunity to have their say.
“The Local Plan is the keystone for all future growth across the borough. It is absolutely vital for the future economic wellbeing of everyone living and working in Cheshire East that we get this process right”, he said. "As I see it, this is the people’s plan and it’s vital that we take the time to get it right.”
Do you have community news to share? Are you involved in any projects that could be of help or interest to local people in Crewe and Nantwich? Email me and your news could be here too!
MP backs eye health campaign
Crewe Chronicle: MP Edward Timpson is helping to raise awareness of the importance of eye health and the need for people to have a check-up every two years.
The Crewe and Nantwich MP attended the launch of the National Eye Health campaign in Westminster. Francesca Marchetti, chairman of the National Eye Health campaign group, said: "Sight is the sense people fear losing the most, yet many of us don't know the best way to look after our eyes.
"This is why it is so important you get your eye health tested every two years, even if you think your vision is fine, as some eye conditions may not show symptoms."
for more details, visit www.visionmatters.org.uk
Edward Timpson praises ‘job creating’ company
Crewe Chronicle: MP Edward Timpson dropped into see a business that has created new local jobs in Crewe since attending his jobs fair in May.
The Children’s Minister paid a visit to Kindertons Accident Management based on Marshfield Bank, Crewe. Mr Timpson said: “I’m absolutely delighted that 10 job seekers who attended my jobs fair in June have as a direct result found full time work at local employer Kindertons.
“With their family-run business continuing to grow, it’s another example of how our local economy is gaining confidence.”
A spokesman for Kindertons said: “We have recently recruited over 30 new employees, 10 from the Jobs Fair, 14 from a company in Northwich who made all of their employees redundant and a further six from the Job Centre.”