A REGENERATION plan for Cheadle which was set to include elderly care facilities, a strategy for Cheadle Hospital and improvements to the town centre appears to have dwindled to nothing. Cheadle Town Council entered into partnership with Staffordshire County Council (SCC) and Staffordshire Moorlands District Council (SMDC) four years ago in a bid to provide a comprehensive plan for the town. The 'Cheadle Town Deal' was set to link in with the Cheadle Masterplan and bring together input from all three councils serving the area.
Councillors slammed a lack of action since March, adding they had ‘held back’ from campaigning for Cheadle Hospital as proposals for the site were included in the deal.
At a meeting of the town council’s committees this week, councillors lambasted the failure of both other councils in helping move the strategy forward.
Cllr Ron Locker requested the item be added to the agenda of Monday night’s meeting to allow councillors to debate the issue.
He said: “In June 2014, at Thornbury Hall, all the good people came from all the organisations to support a plan that was going to be good for the town, we hoped.
“The truth of the matter is, nothing has happened.
“We’ve had this year, two or three meetings cancelled.
“This town has never needed help as much as it needs it now.
“They call it a partnership and Cheadle Town Deal was to be specifically addressing issues in Cheadle, but it’s now nearly five years later.
“This was exciting because it incorporated the hospital and everything else. It was a big big plan.”
“At least we could be making plans – there’s a tightness of money, but not a tightness of ideas. Are we wasting our time or is something happening?”
Cllr Ray Wood told the meeting: “A big part of this deal was Cheadle Hospital and it stopped some of us campaigning because we thought it was in hand.
“We’ve all held back from Cheadle Hospital because it was in the town deal.”
Cllr Julie Bull added: “Where this has failed, or is flagging now, is lack of money at Staffordshire County Council.
“All these exciting projects which we were all tentatively promised may never happen.
“We’ve all wasted our time on that committee and we could do with finding out what’s happening with it now.
“Are there any funds? Can we get any funding externally?
“We just need to see if we can salvage something from the ruins of it.”
An initiative launched by SCC member for Cheadle, Mark Deaville, the Cheadle Town Deal was expected to help provide necessary infrastructure as housing in the town increases.
Mark Deaville, cabinet member for Commercial at Staffordshire County Council said: “Ensuring Staffordshire people can access more good jobs and feel the benefits of economic growth remains one of the county council’s top priorities.
“We continue to work closely with Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and our partners on these incredibly important growth plans for Cheadle and the surrounding area.
“The plans for the town are moving towards an exciting phase and will not only help to support the town’s growth and the creation of jobs but will also support our wider economy.
“Cheadle is one of the three priority areas in our growth plans and We will be presenting the proposals to our Cabinet and at Staffordshire Moorlands District Council’s Cabinet in December.”
Cllr Deaville also said that the plans will be communicated fully to Cheadle Town Council and residents when agreed.
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