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Request for meetings to be made public

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3 FEB

Request for meetings to be made public

By timesecholife on in All News, Latest News

A town council has agreed to request that meetings surrounding the future of their town are made public. The Cheadle Town Centre Projects Stakeholder Panel met for the first time last Monday (January 25) to discuss the way forward regarding consulting about the future development of the Moorlands town.

A town council has agreed to request that meetings surrounding the future of their town are made public.

The Cheadle Town Centre Projects Stakeholder Panel met for the first time last Monday (January 25) to discuss the way forward regarding consulting about the future development of the Moorlands town.

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) has formed the Stakeholder Panel to help support a Delivery Board which will be overseeing the development and delivery of a Cheadle Town Centre Project.

The members of Cheadle Town Council who are sitting on the panel are those who also sit on the district council: cllrs Ian Plant, Kate Martin, Gary Bentley, Phil Routlegde, and Richard Alcock, as well as two fellow town councillors Hugh Black and Paulette Upton – who were voted to also sit on the panel by fellow town councillors.

Before hearing an update on the first Stakeholder Panel meeting at the Cheadle Town Council meeting on Monday, councillor Ray Wood suggested that the town council ask for the Stakeholder Panel meetings to be made available online to the public.

He said: “I really cant see why it isn’t being shown online. It is really important to the town.

I know the minutes are going to be published but all people in Cheadle want to see what’s happening.

I think we should get our clerk to ask SMDC to have it as a webinar so people can log on and watch the meeting.

People will appreciate that, rather than tittle tattle between different people and on Facebook etc.

I am going to move that we ask for this to be done as an urgent matter.”

Councillor Sue Walley seconded the motion while councillor Hugh Black also backed it and added: “Everyone has agreed that there has been a level of bad communication. This is an obvious thing to do to illuminate any questions. Open door is easy to do and there is no reason why this should not have been done.”

Councillor Greg Powell asked if the councillors who had been present at the Stakeholder Panel meeting had been given any reason why it had not been a public meeting, to which he was told no reason was given.

Councillors at the town council meeting then voted to agree to requesting to SMDC that future Cheadle Town Centre Projects Stakeholder Panel meetings are made public.

Regarding the update about the Stakeholder Panel meeting, councillor Kate Martin admitted that with it being the first meeting she did not “have a clue what was going to happen.”

She added: “But we did make sure that we wanted things to go out to the public, that it would be a priority that things are fed back. Transparency is what it should all be about”

She added: “It was chaired well, and was one of the best meetings I have been to at district.”

Councillor Ian Plant said: “It was an interesting and a good meeting.”

He went on to explain that sub groups are to be formed with regards to different areas of development for the town such as: leisure, well-being and youth.

Cllr Plant also stated that a report on parking strategies was given and that there are separate meetings focusing on this which he and councillor Gary Bentley are attending.

He added: “The main thing we did agree on is that consultation will start. We also agreed to the minutes being published and to a media release being sent out straight away. We are moving forward with it.”

Cllr Black further explained that the Stakeholder Panel is planning the consultation process regarding using consultants to carry out the consultation.

Cllr Plant added that the panel will help with the questions of the consultation and cllr Black added: “We will have sight of the questions before they do it (the consultation).”

Cllr Powell asked if the question of removing the leisure centre and hospital demolition as options had been queried, to which cllr Plant said: “No we did not ask them as none of the options were put on the table.”

Cllr Upton added: “During the meeting it was made quite clear to us that the options on the table are just options – and other ideas are welcomed and will be listened to. We will be able to bring ideas for consideration.”

It was then suggested that the consultation questions may be posted out to every household in Cheadle due to the pandemic so that everyone would have the opportunity to take part in the consultation.

The Times & Echo contacted SMDC straight after Cheadle Town Council’s meeting on Monday to ask why the first Stakeholder Panel meeting had not been made public, and also ask if they would accept the town council’s request to make future meetings public. At the time of going to press yesterday evening (Tuesday), we had not yet received a response from SMDC.

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