A council has confirmed that there are no further updates as yet regarding the transfer of a railway asset in the Moorlands. Earlier this year, we reported that Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) had begun the process of an Asset Transfer of the Cheadle to Cresswell Disused Railway line from the Department for Transport to the ownership of SMDC.
A council has confirmed that there are no further updates as yet regarding the transfer of a railway asset in the Moorlands.
Earlier this year, we reported that Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) had begun the process of an Asset Transfer of the Cheadle to Cresswell Disused Railway line from the Department for Transport to the ownership of SMDC.
This is part of the district council’s plans to deliver one of the Moorlands first ‘Green Travel Corridors’ along the disused rail line.
Cheadle town and district councillor Gary Bentley had put forward the idea for the railway line to be made into a public footpath ten years ago.
At SMDC’s Service Delivery Overview and Scrutiny Panel meeting last Wednesday (November 3), cllr Bentley asked: “Can we have an update on the Cheadle to Cresswell Railway Track project?”
Speaking on behalf of SMDC deputy leader cllr Mark Deaville, council leader cllr Sybil Ralphs replied: “Cllr Deaville has taken the great effort to include him and the other Cheadle district representatives in this particular project.
“Cllr Bentley knows as much about the outcomes of this project that we’ve achieved so far, he knows as much as I do.
“So I can’t quite understand why he is asking the question now.
“Cllr Deaville will be back with us in a few days’ time. I’ve sent a message to him about this and he says the same as I do: “Cllr Bentley has been kept up to date on this and there is no additional information that I can give him tonight.”
Cllr Bentley replied: “I’m getting asked where we are with the railway track.
“It’s been in all the media about the Leek opening from Leek to Stafford or Stoke, so it’s probably prompted people to ask where we are in Cheadle.
“I was just asking for an update and something that I can give to the public of Cheadle.
“I was wondering whether we could have a written reply of where we are at so I can pass it on.”
Cllr Ralphs replied: “You could write that down now because you have been kept fully up to date by cllr Mark Deaville on this project.
“You can explain to them where we are at this moment, and things will progress, but I can’t add anything more to it than you already know.”
Cllr Bentley then re-iterated his desire to receive something from SMDC in writing on behalf of the people of Cheadle.
He added: “A few months ago I met two officers and we walked the railway track and the officers were tasked with giving a report back to the portfolio holders.
“I asked if I could go to that meeting and was told I couldn’t go to the meeting it had to go to the portfolio holders or the cabinet first – so I don’t know as much as you think I know.
“I know what Mark has told me but I’d like it, not just for councillor Bentley, but for the town council and the people of Cheadle.
“It’s just a lot easier if it’s written down to see where we are at.”
To this, cllr Ralphs responded: “I do know for a fact that he (cllr Deaville) updated you very recently on this, and at this moment in time there is no more additional information that I can give to you because you have been updated on the state of play so far.
“I don’t know what the meeting was that you are alluding to but I’m not aware of any meeting that has taken place.
“You’ve got the project so far, you’ve got the findings that are up to date and that’s all you can tell people.”
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