Macclesfield Governance Review

Stage 2 Consultation - 2 June - 28 July 2014

Electors were consulted on the following options:

1) Parishing:

  • a Single Parish / Town Council for the whole of Macclesfield; or
  • 7 smaller Parish Councils (based on existing Borough Ward Boundaries); or

2) An Enhanced Macclesfield Local Service Delivery Committee (run by the 12 Cheshire East Councillors elected to serve Macclesfield’s town wards).

The Macclesfield Governance review consultation voting result

Total number of Electors eligible to vote was 39,925.

The Total votes cast was: 6,448.

‘Turnout’ in the voting was: 16.15 per cent

Results:

  • Town Council: 3,429 (8.59 per cent)
  • Seven smaller parish councils: 1,478 (3.70 per cent)
  • Enhanced Local Service Delivery Committee: 1,449 votes (3.63 per cent)

The number of invalid ballots (spoiled papers) was: 92 (0.23 per cent)

Stage 1 Consultation

Was held from 24 June to 23 July 2013 and consulted on the following options which were refined for the next stage of the review as outlined above

1. No change

Continue with current arrangements which includes working with all the existing organisations – Macclesfield Local Area Partnership, Macclesfield Charter Trustees and Macclesfield Local Service Delivery Committee.

Local Area Partnership (LAP)

The Macclesfield LAP is one of seven across Cheshire East. It brings together the 17 neighbouring Parish Councils and associated Cheshire East Councillors (including those from the unparished area of Macclesfield) as well as a wide range of people from the voluntary, community and private sectors to focus on improving services, to influence decision making and to engage and empower communities.

The LAP management group is consulted by Cheshire East Council; it influences service delivery, such as decisions on minor highway works including traffic regulations, but does not have the power to deliver local services itself. It is envisaged that the Macclesfield LAP will continue alongside any future governance arrangement for Macclesfield.

Cost: will continue to be covered by Cheshire East Council.

Macclesfield Charter Trustees

Charter Trustees preserve the historic identity of the town by carrying out ceremonial functions, usually by the Mayor. The Trustees are Cheshire East (Macclesfield wards) councillors. In the capacity of Trustee they do not represent the interests of the local people to Cheshire East Council on issues such as planning or highways and they do not have the power to deliver local services. They can raise money to cover the costs of their ceremonial functions (eg Remembrance Day).

Cost: You currently pay £1.55 (Council Tax band D) to Charter Trustees.

If Parish/Town Council(s) were created in Macclesfield, which covered the whole of the Charter Trustee area, then the Charter Trustees would be replaced by that/those Council(s) who would then carry out its functions and recover the costs by setting a council tax .

Macclesfield Local Service Delivery Committee

This was set up by Cheshire East Council (CEC) as Macclesfield currently has no Parish/Town Council(s). It is run by 12 Cheshire East Councillors who were elected to serve Macclesfield’s town wards. The Committee doesn’t represent the interests of the local community on things such as planning applications and highways matters. It has been set up to consider and advise the Council on the quality, quantity and cost of service provision in Macclesfield. Its function is to ensure fairness of taxation for local services (such as community halls and allotments) that elsewhere in the Borough are provided by Parish / Town Councils.

Cost: In the future, the cost of some services provided principally for the benefit of Macclesfield Town residents may be met from part of the Council Tax set for Macclesfield residents, (called a Special Expense) rather than through the Cheshire East Council Tax.

2. Parish/Town Council(s)

You may see these words used separately but they mean the same thing.

Parish/Town councils (PTCs) are the most local form of government and can represent areas ranging from around 100 people (e.g., Barthomley which is a small local Parish Council of 180 people) to up to approx 36,500 people (which is the size of the newly formed Crewe Parish Council).

The general rule is that PTCs are based on an area which reflects community identity and interests. The community interests of the residents of the parish are represented by elected local councillors. Parish/Town councils(s) represent your local community’s interests to Cheshire East Council on things like planning applications and highways; they can choose to deliver services that can improve the local area for example

  • public toilets
  • allotments
  • Christmas lighting
  • floral arrangements
  • bus shelters
  • burial grounds
  • litter bins
  • tourism
  • traffic calming and
  • public transport schemes

They can develop a Community Plan and can comment on all planning applications in their area as a Statutory consultee. Costs would be met by setting a council tax.

A single Parish/ Town Council could be established to cover the whole of the unparished area of Macclesfield or two or more Parish Councils, of smaller geographical area, could be formed.

If Parish/ Town council(s) were formed, Cheshire East Council would remain responsible for major services such as social care, highways, education admissions, children’s services, environmental protection, planning decisions etc. Cheshire East Councillors would continue to represent individuals and groups in their wards and influence officers’ actions with the support and advice of the Town/ Parish councillors.

If Town / Parish Council(s) were created which covered the whole of the unparished area of Macclesfield, then the Charter Trustees (explained above) would be dissolved. The Local Service Delivery Committee would also cease to exist. The Macclesfield Local Area Partnership (as explained above) would continue.

Cost: Costs vary depending on the size of PTCs and services they deliver. The costs to residents for PTCs in Cheshire East range from as low as £5.53 for Aston by Budworth Parish to as high as £95.24 for Nantwich Town Council. The newly created Crewe Parish (Town) Council, for example, will meet its costs by setting a council tax of £28.96; but there will no longer be a Charter Trustee charge nor a Special Expense charge introduced.

3. Community Forums

Can be set up by Cheshire East Council , or created by local residents as a way of giving communities a say on Cheshire East Council matters or local issues. They increase participation and consultation, aim to influence decision making and determine key priorities for the locality.

They can vary in size, purpose and impact, but membership usually consists of people working or living in a specific area. A Forum could include local Cheshire East Ward Councillors alongside representatives from the community, business, education, charities, youth and church.

These are run by local volunteers and/or council officers and would represent Macclesfield’s interests to Cheshire East Council on areas such as are economic development, town centre regeneration and development, planning and highway matters. They can influence local service by working with local partners but do not have the power to deliver services. Community Forums can be established to sit along side existing arrangements or in addition to Town / Parish Council(s).

The Make it Macclesfield Forum is one example of a Community Forum which is already in existence in Macclesfield. Its purpose is to regenerate the local economy of Macclesfield, and to make Macclesfield a vibrant town.

Cost: They cannot raise money by setting a council tax, but can obtain funds through grants for specific projects.

4. Community Development Trusts

These engage in a wide range of economic, social and environmental regeneration; ranging from the development and restoration of property to advice and training. They promote and support economic activity; they improve the local environment and can improve local services and amenities.

A Development Trust is an independent, not-for-profit, community led organisation and is usually a company limited by guarantee with charitable status. They bring together private, public and voluntary sectors to take action to renew an area physically and socially.

They can deliver some local services. Profits cannot be distributed to members but must be used for the further benefit of the local community. Membership of a Trust would be drawn from the Macclesfield Area. They typically consist of a Board of Company Members (or Directors), governed by a Constitution.

Community Development Trusts can be established to sit alongside existing arrangements or operate in addition to Town / Parish Council(s).

Cost: A Trust would expect to obtain revenue to cover its costs from a mix of grants and trading income. They can not raise money by setting a council tax.

The following options usually work over a smaller area than Macclesfield and if they were selected for the town more than one would need to be set up to represent the whole town area. They can sit along side existing arrangements or operate in addition to Town/ Parish Council(s).

5. Neighbourhood Management

Neighbourhood management programmes create the opportunity for residents to work with local agencies to improve services at the neighbourhood level. They aim to improve ‘quality of life’ through better management of the local environment, increasing community safety, improving housing stock, and encouraging employment opportunities. They are supported by Local Area Partnerships, and tend to cover smaller populations than area committees or Parish/Town Councils.

These are run by volunteers and are not set up to represent the interests of the local community to Cheshire East Council on planning and highways matters, but they can influence local services. However they cannot deliver or raise money to deliver local services.

Cost: As they are run by volunteers costs would be limited, being dependent on the scope of activity which would need to be covered by grant funding etc . They cannot raise money by setting a council tax.

6. Residents’ and Tenants’ Associations

Residents’ and tenants’ associations enable local people to participate in local issues affecting their specific neighbourhood or housing estate, e.g., the local environment, crime, anti-social behaviour matters, or housing management.

They can be set up by any group of people living in the same area and can choose who its members will be; how they will be represented and what they want to achieve. In the case of tenants’ and residents’ associations on estates, they may be established with direct support from the principal council, as a mechanism for communicating with the tenants and residents on its estates.

To engage effectively with other organisations, residents’ and tenants’ associations must be able to show that they are accountable and represent the views of the whole community, rather than narrow self interests of just a few local people.

These are run by volunteers and are not set up to represent the interests of the local community to Cheshire East Council on planning and highways matters but they can influence local services.

Cost: As run by volunteers there is no direct cost; but there could be some running costs depending on scope of activity, which would need to be covered by grant funding etc They cannot raise money by setting a council tax.

7. Community Associations

Community associations offer a model for local residents and local community-based organisations in a defined neighbourhood to work together for the benefit of that neighbourhood. They can use a model constitution registered with the Charity Commission. The principal council might be represented on the association’s committee. They usually manage a community centre as a base for their activities. Membership is open to everyone resident in the area.

These are run by volunteers and are not set up to represent the interests of the local community to Cheshire East Council on matters such as planning or highways. They can run some local services but they can’t raise money to deliver local services.

Cost: As they are run by volunteers cost would be limited, being dependent on its scope of activity which would need to be covered by grant funding etc. They cannot raise money by setting a council tax.

Note: Whatever is decided, Cheshire East Council will remain responsible for major services such as social care, highways, education admissions, children's services, environmental protection, planning decisions etc. Cheshire East Councillors will continue to represent individuals and groups in their wards.