Little Bollington Parish Meeting
The Bus4Us campaign continues to work hard to bring back a bus service for Agden and Little Bollington. Our Councillor Kate Parkinson is doing her utmost to help. In July she invited us to a meeting with the Deputy Leader and the Senior Officer of Cheshire East Council. Our MP Esther McVey also attended. The Council officer explained that existing bus services are struggling at present with passenger numbers very low due to the coronavirus outbreak. Nevertheless we were able to present our proposal, which involves diverting existing services to serve local areas. The main option is to re-route the 47 Warrington to Knutsford service and direct it to Altrincham. This is the preferred destination for most local people. The proposal to divert an existing route, rather create an additional service, offers a low cost solution. Cheshire East agreed to look at these options.
We also raised the problem that the Flexibus service does not serve local people. People can pre-book this bus to take them to their destination. But the operators have not been taking passengers to Altrincham, as they would not travel out of the Cheshire East area. The Cheshire East officer promised us that from August this service will take people out of area for medical appointments such as a visit to the doctor or to hospital.
Passengers have to register to use the Flexibus service. We encourage residents to register by calling 0300 123 5110. We are doing our best to help. Please do make use of this service and let the Clerk know how you get on.
M56 Smart Motorway project
Local people have been asking about the M56 project and the site compound near the Bowdon roundabout. The recent roadworks on the M56, which involved a lane closure and a 50mph speed restriction, were completed in August. This involved essential repairs to fix a number of drainage issues that were identified during surveys for the smart motorway project. Galliford Try will start the main construction work to upgrade the motorway in November 2020, and are due to complete the scheme in Spring 2022. They have started a regular programme of meetings with local communities to keep people informed and address any concerns. The first meeting was about to take place as this magazine went to press.
Kirsten Warren, General Manager of the National Trust at Dunham Massey, has informed the Parish Meeting about the difficult situation faced by the Trust. It has suffered multi million pound losses during the coronavirus outbreak. National Trust properties were closed for several months during the lockdown. And even after the total lockdown was lifted, visitor numbers are well down on normal figures. In order to survive the Trust has to find ways to reduce costs. This will inevitably impact on staff employed, with options under consideration for reducing staff numbers and offering some work to contractors. This applies to Dunham Massey as well as other NT properties. The Trust is currently engaged in a thorough internal consultation before any firm decisions are made.
Nevertheless the National Trust continues to operate and they have responded to an enquiry from the Parish Clerk regarding the land alongside Ye Olde No. 3 on Lymm Road. The National Trust had offered to create allotments on this land for use by the community. The Trust proposed to invest in new fencing, machinery to turn over the land, and support and expert advice from their Rangers to get the project underway. Despite the challenges facing the National Trust, this scheme may still proceed - but only if there is sufficient interest from local residents. If you would like to consider taking on an allotment - or if you are willing to help reinstate the site to create the allotments - please contact the Clerk.
Pub – closed for redevelopment
The planning application by Novo Property Group for the redevelopment of the Stamford Arms site is still under consideration by Cheshire East Council. They have sought further details of the affordable housing on the site, and information about maintenance of the trees on site after completion. They have been looking in detail at the proposed changes to the external ground floor level of the main building. And they have held discussions about off-site improvements offered by Novo, including footpath improvements and installation of a pedestrian crossing on Lymm Road.
Novo have also offered to make other improvements to local amenities for the community. But instead, Cheshire East Council has required Novo to make a payment to cover items such as improvements to amenity green spaces, allotments, and outdoor sports. We await information from the Council on what these proposals will consist of and where they will be made. The payment requires a legal agreement which takes some time to complete.
Novo have again offered their sincere thanks for the support from Little Bollington Parish Meeting and local residents. They will keep the community informed on the planning decision and next steps in returning the site to its former glory.
In July there was a break-in to the main pub building with extensive damage, including the breaking of the beautiful leaded windows. Novo brought forward some site work, in the hope that a constant site presence will prevent further break-ins. This includes a ground investigation and stripping out fixtures and fittings of the buildings.
Pubs – open with a warm welcome
Our two local pubs provide a welcome break. Both are taking strong precautions to keep staff and customers safe while creating a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. .
The Swan with Two Nicks had a hog roast in August which was a huge success. There will be another in November, date to be advised, and another on Boxing Day. From mid October the Swan With Two Nicks will be opening earlier in the day for breakfast and for coffee & cake.
Ye Olde No. 3 is offering a meal deal at £5.95 and you can add a starter and/ or dessert for £2 each. They also offer a pint and home-made pie for £7.95.
Excellent value! Please do get along to these great local venues.
Contact: Parish Clerk: Mike Reed, 25 High Field 07766 083765 (m)