LABOUR ASKS: "WHY NOT BACK RESIDENTS OVER BYPASS?"
A Labour town councillor has asked Middlewich First councillors why they were not prepared to publically back a request to Cheshire East that they include in the local plan that, until a bypass is completed, no new developments which would cause an increase in traffic through Middlewich should be allowed.
Cllr David Williams tabled the motion at a full Town Council meeting on Monday 18th April, but it was defeated in a named vote, when Mayor of Middlewich, Cllr Ken Kingston used his casting vote.
Earlier in the same meeting, the Middlewich First-controlled council affirmed its consent for over two thousand extra houses in Middlewich, more than the Middlewich allocation under the local plan.
Cllr David Williams
“I’m disappointed that the Mayor used his privilege of voting twice to deny a voice to the many residents of Middlewich who need a bypass now. The wording of my motion was clear, and virtually identical to the Bypass petition that many, many residents have signed, and continue to sign: People do not want any more developments in this town which will cause even more delay.
“This was an opportunity for the town to have a united front in the face of aggressive Cheshire East planning policies; however, those who voted against this motion actually voted for continued development that will cause further congestion in the town without completion of the bypass. They also voted to support the rerouting of the bypass, which will further severely delay its construction.”
“The extra housing which was also voted through would mean something in the region of 7000 extra car journeys taking place in Middlewich every day. For over a decade the people of Middlewich have been promised ‘jam tomorrow’ but all we get is traffic jams today.”
Cllr Mike Hunter
“I cannot understand why anyone would vote against this motion. I speak to residents all the time, and it is the number one issue for everyone. Gridlock is bad for business, bad for health and bad for Middlewich.
“Only a week or so ago, in a Middlewich Matters public meeting, a councillor from Cheshire East advised us to keep up the pressure on CEC; we should write, email, sign the petition. And here we see elected councillors refusing to help.
“We constantly hear how we need to link the bypass to developments, but this is no longer a sustainable way to fund our bypass. We simply need to have traffic moving first, otherwise no one will buy the houses in the plan.”
The named vote result was as follows:
For: D Williams (LAB), M Hunter (LAB), C Bulman (LAB), D Latham (IND)
Against: S McGrory (MF), B Walmsley (MF), W Walmsley (MF), K Kingston (MF)
Abstained: P Farrell (MF), J Eaton (MF)
You can sign the petition calling for no new developments until the bypass is complete by visiting www.middlewichmatters.co.uk