A council is urging residents in a Moorlands town to have their say about the possible regeneration of their town by taking part in a survey. However, a number of residents in Cheadle have raised concern that they have not yet received a copy of the survey and accompanying newsletter about the initiative, even though Staffordshire Moorlands District Council has stated that all households in the town should have received one through their doors earlier this month.
A council is urging residents in a Moorlands town to have their say about the possible regeneration of their town by taking part in a survey.
However, a number of residents in Cheadle have raised concern that they have not yet received a copy of the survey and accompanying newsletter about the initiative, even though Staffordshire Moorlands District Council has stated that all households in the town should have received one through their doors earlier this month.
The survey is part of SMDC’s plans to regenerate Cheadle – an initiative which has already caused controversy over possible proposals such as moving the leisure centre into the town centre’s car park.
In a press release sent out by SMDC yesterday (Tuesday, August 24), a spokesman for the district council stated that: “Hundreds of people have already shared their views on the five key themes the district council believes should underpin plans to regenerate Cheadle – and there’s still two weeks to share your views before the first phase of consultation closes.”
The spokesman added: “SMDC is committed to restoring vibrancy to the town’s high street and providing new homes and community health, leisure and wellbeing facilities that meet the needs of current and future residents, businesses and visitors.
“The first phase of a two-stage consultation process is now underway via a survey asking local people to comment on five emerging priorities for the town centre.
“Over 250 responses have already been received and the council wants to hear from as many people as possible – and particularly younger people – before the survey closes on Friday, September 3.”
Councillor Sybil Ralphs, leader of SMDC, said: “We need to be sure that when the time comes to explore the options for the regeneration and transformation of Cheadle, we have an agreed vision of what we want to achieve.
“That’s why it is so important that we hear from people of all ages and from across all areas of the Cheadle community. The response so far has been great but we’re particularly keen to know what younger people – especially those aged 35 and younger – think before this first phase of consultation closes.
“The services and amenities we provide need to meet the needs of current and future generations so I would encourage you to please take a look at the suggested priorities and let us know if you think we’re focused in the right areas.”
The proposed priorities for Cheadle – as set out by SMDC – are: “We must welcome more people to live in Cheadle; We must make it easy to shop, spend time and money in Cheadle; Providing flexible parking options is a priority; Cheadle needs to retain a similar leisure offer with improved quality of facilities; Integrated services will benefit community health and wellbeing.”
Chairman of the Stakeholder Panel appointed to oversee the development and delivery of town centre projects, councillor Ian Plant, said: “Thanks to everyone who has got involved by completing the survey so far – it really is important and we will take your views into full account before making any decisions.
“Interest in this project is high so please don’t miss this opportunity to help shape the future of your town.”
People can complete the survey online, by email or by dropping it off at the library in Cheadle’s High Street or at the SMDC offices in Leek.
The SMDC spokesman added: “The second stage of the consultation will take place in the autumn when people will be invited to share their views on the options for regeneration of specific sites.”
A number of Cheadle residents have been taking to social media airing concerns that they have not yet received their leaflet/questionnaire through their door.
One said: “Still waiting to receive mine and family members haven’t received them either. It states the deadline is September 3 which is a week on Friday. I only know about the survey because I’m on this group, what about the 10,000 plus residents who aren’t on here. They will then be accused of not caring enough about what happens in the town.”
Another said: “Not sure on the delay of this at all. Hoping for some feedback this week. Agree though, why say they’re being delivered then not come through?”
And another resident said: “There is an online version but not ideal as not everyone is on Facebook and you have to click on the PDF for full details of the emerging themes in the newsletter otherwise a bit misleading and not really in context.”
The Times & Echo contacted SMDC about these residents’ concerns, as the authority had stated in their press release that the survey had been delivered to “all households earlier this month,” to which a spokesman then said: “Over 5,000 newsletters were delivered door-to-door to all households in Cheadle earlier this month.
“Inside the community newsletter, there was a pull-out survey that can be returned by post to the council or left in a feedback box in the library.
“Anyone who missed the community newsletter in the distribution, can get in touch with the team to receive a copy in the post – email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange for a copy to be sent to you.
“Alternatively, the newsletter is available for everyone to download on the council’s website and the survey can be completed online at: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MB77YSQ.
“People can also collect a copy of the newsletter / survey from the library as well as dropping off completed surveys.”
The SMDC survey focusing on Cheadle is separate to the questionnaire which the Times & Echo reported about last week, which had been carried out, solely online, by a volunteer group including members of a sub group of the Cheadle Stakeholder Panel and members of the community group Team Cheadle.
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