I was delighted to read in last week’s edition of the Express that the Silk Mill Museum at Paradise Mill will be unaffected by the collapse of the plan, mooted by the former Leader of Cheshire East, for the Council to acquire the building. The guided tours of the loom floor help make the history of our town come to life, both for visitors and for local residents of all ages. Given the call by MP David Rutley in his latest Express column for the Council to give more emphasis to developing our cultural and heritage assets as a contribution to the regeneration of the Town Centre, the failure to proceed with the purchase, and thereby give our Silk Heritage a further boost, is especially disappointing.
Being part of a Unitary Authority sometimes seems to make sense. For example, waste disposal is a more complicated process these days and developing a central facility in Middlewich is logical. However, I believe that the key decisions about the future of our town should be more concentrated in the hands of local people and local elected representatives. I mean no disrespect to Macclesfield Town Council, but it is constituted as a Parish Council even though our town has a population that could fill 10 parishes and serves as a hub for numerous other parishes in the vicinity.
Members of the public, via letters to this paper or postings on its Facebook site, often make sensible suggestions related to matters that are decided by Cheshire East including, recently comments on car parking, the Local plan and the on-going King’s School planning controversy. While no doubt the Town Council does a great job of looking after allotments, it is ridiculous that vital assets like car parks are not under their ownership and control. Similarly, those of us who, as members of the public, have spoken at Local Plan meetings, have found Councillors from the far flung corners of Cheshire East unfailingly courteous and attentive. However, they don’t know our Green Belt like the locals do and they don’t sit in our traffic jams. Those elected representatives who do should have more say on the key decisions that will change own town for better or worse.