Parish Newsletter January 2016

Cranage Newsletter January 2016 (Word Doc)

NEWSLETTER January 2016

M6 smart motorway scheme

Residents should all be aware by now that the M6 as it passes through Cranage is to be upgraded to a smart motorway from junction 16 to junction 19, with a budget of £192 to £272 million.

This will require the hard shoulder to become a fourth lane in continuous use; there will be overhead gantries that will give lane instructions and speed limits approximately every 2kms a ‘pull in’ point will be constructed if you break down .

The works are commencing now and will continue for two years.

The motorway carries 140,000 vehicles each day on this particular stretch and it will have the potential after the upgrade to carry 180,000 vehicles each day.

A number of residents have voiced concerns that need to be addressed by Highways England, with regard to the noise levels and the pollution that is generated by the motorway. The world health organisation (WHO) have carried out studies, as have the European Union and various university studies. All state daytime levels of 55 decibels and 40 decibels night-time is the safe level for residents’ health, anything above these levels can cause increased blood pressure, along with cardiovascular problems and an increased risk of strokes, even if you are asleep it will still affect you. Residents are recording noise levels in the 68 to 72 decibel range day and night.

Pollution of which there is a mixture of gases and fine particles – the gases are nitrogen oxides known as NOx and come from all exhausts and the worst from diesel engines and the particles known as particulates M10 or M2.5 come from exhausts as unburnt carbon, tyre wear and road surface wear along with brake and clutch plate wear.

Studies also show that life expectancy is reduced by several years both by the noise levels and the pollution, again all widely accepted to be correct.

The Government has been taken to the Supreme Court over its failure to address the targets laid down by the EU, and is about to be taken back to the Supreme Court due to its failure to produce a robust enough plan to tackle the problem.

Despite repeated requests to Highways England to address the problems they have refused to engage with residents.

Several residents along with Mike Hodge (Cranage Parish Council Chairman) and Councillor Les Gilbert Ward Councillor) held a meeting with our MP Fiona Bruce, who whole heartedly backs the residents case, and is indeed engaging with the ministers responsible and request that a serious look is taken at what mitigation can be introduced to reduce the noise and pollution.

At the Parish Council meeting on 1st December Highways England were asked if they were taking action about the noise and twice they said no we are not. As for pollution they stated there is not their problem but it was one for Cheshire East to deal with. But Cheshire East hasn’t got the funds to deal effectively with this problem, and will be facing the prospect of paying the fines levied by the Supreme Court for not complying with the EU directive. Why, because the government is trying to make the local authorities responsible for clean air, and that means paying the fines.

So what can residents do? Please send letters and e-mails to the Chief Executive the Mayor and the new leader of Cheshire East to demand something is done about safeguarding residents’ health.

Send letters and e-mails to Highways England demanding the same

There is overwhelming evidence that proves what we are saying is based on facts, and the general public is waking up fast to the fact that pollution including noise is the one of the biggest killers of our generation. Official figures show that over a thousand people every day are diagnosed with cancer in the UK, some of which can be attributed to pollution.

The cost to the NHS caused by health problems related to noise and pollution is predicted to be billions of pounds each year. Money spent now to reduce the source is well spent.

Further information and regular updates can be found on the Cranage Parish Chronicle website.

Contact details below that you may wish to use
Fiona Bruce,
M Suarez, Chief Executive Cheshire East
Deputy leader Councillor D Brown portfolio holder Highways
Cheshire East Mayor H Gaddum
Kate Bernie Highways England
Lorraine Butler Highways England
CEO of highways England Jim Osullivan
Councillor Les Gilbert
Councillor Andrew Kolker

Article by Mr Peter Wild a local resident of Cranage

Councillor contacts please visit the Parish Council website – or contact the Clerk 01260 641854

Protection of the area of land commonly known as The Paddock at the junction of Middlewich Road and the A50 (Big Stone Crossroads)

As most residents will know, this piece of land has been the subject of some controversy. It has a complicated history as it was bequeathed to the people of Cranage so that the income could provide financial support for the poor. The exact ownership is difficult to unravel but certainly in more recent times, the land was administered by the Parish Council. Some while ago the then members felt that its best use would be to obtain planning permission for 10 “affordable” houses, then sell the land to raise money to pay for Cranage’s contribution to the proposed project (now shelved) to build a bridge over the River Dane linking Cranage and Holmes Chapel. This was strongly opposed by a group of residents which eventually led to a questionnaire being circulated to households which demonstrated that the vast majority of residents were opposed to houses being built on the land and many wanted to preserve the existing use i.e. for grazing sheep.

The Parish Council has explored various ways of protecting The Paddock to prevent it becoming a housing development site but its use for grazing has (perhaps surprisingly) been a legal stumbling block to some proposals. We have now consulted a firm of solicitors who have suggested various solutions and have recommended putting the ownership of The Paddock into a company owned by residents which will be known as “Cranage Residents’ Land Limited” with Peter Wild and Mike Hodge being the named representatives who will be responsible for filing annual accounts with Companies’ House. This is not an onerous task as it can be done on-line and as the income is quite small it would not attract tax (or any consequent complications).

We anticipated this plan to protect land completed in the first quarter of 2016.

Article by Councillor M Hodge (Chairman)


Following the retirement of Mr John Halstead we have a vacancy on the Parish Council. The Parish Council would like to thank John for all his hard work and commitment to Cranage over the past twelve years. We wish him well in completing his charity work and the project he has recently begun.

If you are interested in the vacancy please contact the clerk.


Please remember we have adopted a ‘Grant Funding Policy’ which entitles community ventures and voluntary committees in the parish to request a donation from the Parish Council under certain conditions. More details on the Parish Council website.

Clean for the Queen Campaign

Her Majesty the Queen celebrates her 90th birthday in 2016. To celebrate this event, Keep Britain Tidy want people throughout the UK to join together and present a gift to her, a gift that will benefit us all.

In the run up to The Queen’s birthday on 21st April 2016, they aim to inspire a million people to take action and enjoy a few hours together litter-picking to make the places where we live more beautiful. For her, and for us all, they want to attack the blight of litter and reclaim our beautiful countryside, our fabulous cities, our world class parks, our wonderful beaches and waterways.

Keep Britain Tidy will generate litter blitzes throughout the United Kingdom in January, February and March, and the most monumental of all litter clear-ups from Friday 4th to Sunday 6th March 2016.

The first national anti-litter campaign was carried out in 1953, the year of The Queen’s coronation, and this was swiftly followed by the establishment of Keep Britain Tidy. How appropriate it is then, in the year of The Queen’s 90th birthday, that we should all band together to attempt the biggest clean-up in history.

Keep Britain Tidy hope that these activities will leave a legacy, that they will encourage more people to reduce their litter habit and to help us all to live more sustainably. Join in! Let’s Clean for The Queen.

If any residents would be interested in joining a group to take part in this campaign please contact Councillor Lee Dooley on 01477 549169 or

Article by Councillor L Dooley – new member to our team        

Welcome Lee !

Land behind the Village Hall

The Parish Council is trying to obtain the land behind the Village Hall from Cheshire East leading to the open space on Needham estate. They hope to clear the area by cutting back and pruning the trees and clearing the under growth and brambles to create more open space. We have intentions of creating a picnic area with tables and benches. Any volunteers for ideas for the area or support to help please let us know.