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“We should not be complacent and future challenges still lie ahead”

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22 APR

“We should not be complacent and future challenges still lie ahead”

By timesecholife on in All News, Latest News

A town mayor has given a run down of what has been an unprecedented year for all. Councillor Ian Plant is currently serving his third consecutive year as Cheadle Town Mayor. Cheadle Town Council held its Annual Assembly on Monday (April 19) via the online meeting portal Ring Central.

A town mayor has given a run down of what has been an unprecedented year for all.

Councillor Ian Plant is currently serving his third consecutive year as Cheadle Town Mayor.

Cheadle Town Council held its Annual Assembly on Monday (April 19) via the online meeting portal Ring Central.

Cllr Plant read out his report from the past 12 months which covered many aspects of how the council has been functioning; how events have been cancelled, and much more.

After the annual report was read out, members of the public were given the opportunity to raise questions about any issues they had within their community.

The issues raised were mainly surrounding the current ongoing Cheadle Town Centre Projects (CTCP), with concerns raised about how the project is being carried out, in particular with regards to the lack of public involvement, to which councillor Ian Plant, who is the chairman of the CTCP Stakeholder Panel, reassured the meeting that there will be public consultation before any decisions are made.

Concern was also raised about the town council meetings set not to be made available online any longer due to Government restrictions, to which the council stated it is looking at possible methods to still make the meetings available online for members of the public to view.

Here is the annual report which was read out by the Cheadle Town Mayor councillor Ian Plant:

I was honoured to be retained as Cheadle Town Mayor last year, and feel privileged that I have had the opportunity to serve the town for three consecutive years. Covid-19 has bought about a difficult period for many people, businesses and organisations across the country, and I have endeavoured to fulfil my role as an ambassador for Cheadle throughout this time. My main focus has been, and always will be, the interests of the people of the town.

I would just like to say thank you to my deputy, councillor Gary Bentley, for his support throughout the year, and to all Cheadle Town councillors for reinforcing the values of working together through demanding times.

2020/2021 has been a year in which Cheadle Town Council has seen many changes to its operational and functional practices. Not only have we seen the retirement of two hard working and selfless councillors in Peter Elkin and Alex Jackson, we also faced the sad and untimely passing of our friend and colleague, Ian Whitehouse.

Ian will be rightly remembered and there is talk of some kind of a memorial on his beloved Churchill Road Recreation Ground in due course.

The Covid-19 restrictions have bought about the use of virtual council meetings, and making every effort to maintain the functional aspect of the council and its services. The regrettable, temporary closure of many of our facilities, provided some difficult reflection for the town council, and the balance between liberty and safety was often an uneasy task.

Despite this, decisions were taken in the best interests of keeping our community safe. The loss of the Party in the Park and Cheadle Carnival, as well as the annual visit of ‘The Wakes’ will be felt by many, and we acknowledge the sacrifices the community has made throughout this pandemic.

Even the Christmas period was hugely affected by the national restrictions this year, and all of these events are ordinarily integral to the togetherness and fellowship of our annual celebrations. On behalf of Cheadle Town Council, I thank you all for your patience and tolerance.

Despite this difficult period, the council has achieved success in a number of areas, and continues to provide representation and support to outside bodies such as the Citizens Advice Bureau and Homelink, which remain a vital lifeline to many people within the town.

We have provided grants to a number of local organisations who have been unable to function as they would like, and we are currently helping the St Johns Ambulance Trust in retaining their much-loved facility in Ashbourne Road.

The proposed regeneration of Cheadle and its facilities has grabbed the attention of many within the town, and we have thankfully secured a healthy representation of councillors who will engage in this process. We are here to represent the views of every resident in the town and it’s surrounding villages, and you can be assured that your views will be heard, so please have your say.

I am extremely proud that we have been able to pursue many of our ongoing projects throughout the restrictive period.

Open Space projects, to improve and add to the facilities on our recreation parks, have been progressed, and we will look to provide some new and exciting attractions in the near future. This has required many hours of thought and consideration on the part of councillors, and we are undoubtedly on the verge of securing parks that we can be rightly proud of. Additionally, we are engaged with the ongoing Green Space projects within the district, looking at ways in which the improvement of climate change and biodiversity can be introduced and sustained in the town.

Even though many functions did not take place last year, on behalf of the town I would like to thank local businesses who support these events including ARB Tree Care for their kind donation of the Town’s large Christmas tree and also AA Silencers for their sponsorship of the Tape Street roundabout and their kind donation of the town’s small Christmas Trees together with the upkeep and floral displays on the roundabout and for Cheadle in Bloom for keeping the town looking bright with an array of flowers.

The town council remains a statutory consultee for planning applications, and continues to support public acceptance and objection to proposed development in the town. The Cheadle Town Centre Projects are very much in the public spotlight at present, however it is vitally important that the town council represents residents in terms of housing developments and highway issues also.

I would also like to pay tribute to our members of the Cheadle Police who support the town council, provide invaluable information and services to the town as they are doing with the anti-social behaviour on our recreation facilities and around town.

I would like to express thanks for the work of the Finance and Resources Committee. Council income has been utilised to progress developments within the town and, as a council, we have been able to ensure a slight reduction in Council Tax for 2021/22, something we as a town council should be proud of in these difficult times. The precept has been maintained, and reserves protected for future plans, movement on the new cemetery is progressing on the piece of land that the council recently purchased.

Miscellaneous grants have been provided to numerous local charities to support their valuable work within the community.

I would like to thank our towns lengthsman, Gary Bentley for the work he has undertaken which has left the sites in his care looking cared for. Mowing has been completed, weeds have been removed and significant assistance has been provided to many other projects. As I have touched on the council are working towards more investment at both Tean Road and Churchill Road Recreation Grounds, with assistance from 106 monies secured with negotiation with Staffordshire Moorlands District Council.

I would like to commend the work, commitment and support of the clerks, the workforce and all casual employees, without whom the town council would be unable to function. Over the last year we have engaged two new clerks for the council and these are dedicated to the their positions and I, on behalf of the Council wish them well in the years to come and working together.

I will conclude by saying that no one could have envisaged what we all have gone through over the past year, hopefully we can move forward and not have to go into lockdown again and the shops and all businesses can move on and get back to some kind of normality with the help of the public.

By forming good relationships and working together more effective action can be achieved. However, we should not be complacent and future challenges still lie ahead but by working together these would be easier to resolve.

Lastly, I would like to pay tribute to all my fellow councillors, who should be justly proud of their achievements over recent years and for their commitment giving hours of their time – unpaid – towards the improvement of the town.

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