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Options workshop took place behind closed doors

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18 MAR

Options workshop took place behind closed doors

By timesecholife on in All News, Latest News

A stakeholder panel, which is consulting on the future of Cheadle, has taken part in a workshop to look at alternative options for the Moorlands town. The workshop, which took place behind closed doors yesterday (Wednesday, March 17), was facilitated by The Consultation Institute.

A stakeholder panel, which is consulting on the future of Cheadle, has taken part in a workshop to look at alternative options for the Moorlands town.

The workshop, which took place behind closed doors yesterday (Wednesday, March 17), was facilitated by The Consultation Institute.

The workshop is part of Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) aims at “transforming Cheadle by restoring vibrancy to the high street and providing new homes and community health, leisure and wellbeing facilities that meet the needs of current and future residents and visitors.”

It follows controversy over the production of a Cushman & Wakefield report for the town, which had within it options to demolish the leisure centre and hospital, to replace with housing on the two sites instead. It also set out an option to have a community hub built in the Tape Street Car Park in the town centre.

SMDC have set up a Delivery Board, and a supporting Stakeholder Panel, to consult over and deliver the Cheadle Town Centre Project.

There has been much call for the meetings of these groups to be made public, but SMDC have declined the requests.

According to a press release sent out by SMDC, prior to the Stakeholder Panel workshop, it stated that it was set to “look at alternative options for the town centre and not just those identified in the Cushman and Wakefield report.”

Membership of the panel includes elected councillors from the county, district and town councils and representatives from Team Cheadle, Moorlands Home Link, the Chamber of Commerce, NHS Stoke-on-Trent Clinical Commissioning Group, St Giles/Cheadle Guild Hall and a voluntary sector organisation supporting young people and/or sports and activities.

Councillor Ian Plant, chair of the Stakeholder Panel, said before the workshop took place: “I’m looking forward to hearing the views of panel members on their thoughts about the sites in public ownership which were outlined in the Cushman and Wakefield report.

This workshop is just one of the ways we’ll be seeking ideas and comments and it’s important to reiterate that no decisions have been made about the projects to be taken forward.”

Last week, we reported that SMDC had also gone out to tender for consultants to carry out public consultation on plans to regenerate Cheadle town centre.

Cllr Plant added: “The council has been clear that it wants to hear from local people as part of that process and I’m pleased that we’ve moved quickly to get the ball rolling on seeking the consultants who will undertake the public consultation so we can widen the conversation to include all those interested in the future development of the town.”

Leader of SMDC, councillor Sybil Ralphs, added: “We know our commitment to investing in Cheadle and creating a town centre fit for the future is an aim that is shared by very many individuals and organisations so we want to make sure that the projects we take forward are the right ones.

That’s why we’ve said all along that we would be involving the local community in those discussions via full public consultation and a public survey and I’m pleased that the process to appoint independent experts to do this work is now underway.

We will, of course, be sharing full details of how people can take part in this consultation in due course – the first step is to bring in the people who will carry it out – so watch this space.”

Find out more about the project at www.staffsmoorlands.gov.uk/article/6500/Transforming-Cheadle-Town-Centre.

The closing date for bids, for consultants to carry out public consultation on plans to regenerate Cheadle town centre, is noon on Wednesday, March 24 and interested companies can find out more about this opportunity at:www.staffsmoorlands.gov.uk/article/1080/Current-tender-opportunities.

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