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Angry Sandra demands answers from the leader
AN ANGRY resident got so fed up with the state of Northwich that she wrote a firey all-encompassing letter of complaint to the leader of the council.
Cheshire’s split into east and west, changes to recycling and bin collection, the gyratory system, empty shops and plans for two new supermarkets all contributed to tip a frustrated Sandra Crocker over the edge.
When she reached the end of her tether, the 64-year-old lifelong Northwich resident wrote her complaints, in a 20-point missive, to Clr Mike Jones, leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWAC).
And, unexpectedly, he replied with a letter addressing each of her points.
Sandra, of Marple Road, said: “I think it was a combination of things that prompted me to write – I’m sick and tired of someone over in Chester making decisions for me here.
“They sit in Chester, they don’t live here and haven’t a clue what goes on here.
“It was a relief to get it all out of my system. ”
In her letter she asks why Cheshire was divided into Cheshire West and Chester and Cheshire East before asking why the recycling scheme was changed, why new black bins were given out and old brown bins taken for recycling, whether recyclable items will be sorted correctly and what happens if May Gurney do not do a good job.
She then moves on to the gyratory system, asking who decided on it, if they have ever been to Northwich, whether the council consulted the emergency services and what the logic is in making people drive further to get through the town centre.
Sandra then asks whether the council has any power over the landlords of empty shops, whether it can reduce rates and what the point is of redeveloping new areas rather than focussing on the town centre itself.
She finishes her letter by saying: “As you may have gathered I feel very strongly about Northwich and how you are slowly killing it.
“I was born here and lived here for 64 years and am sick of everything being changed just for change sake.”
Sandra said she was ‘gobsmacked’ to receive a reply from Clr Mike Jones himself to her lengthy letter.
“I wasn’t even sure I would get a reply from him,” she said.
“I was gobsmacked.
“I thought ‘well at least that’s stirred him up’.”
In his reply, Clr Jones said the new recycling system was saving the council money and explained that it is in May Gurney’s interest to sort the recyclable materials correctly as the company receives an income from it.
He said the decision to trial the gyratory was at the request of residents who were frustrated about town centre congestion.
He added that the emergency services were fully consulted.
On the subject of empty shops Clr Jones said the council had no power over private landlords but that its planned developments for Baron’s Quay, the marina and the lifestyle centre would attract people into the town centre and to the existing shops.
He finishes his letter by saying: “In summary I think we are all looking for the same objective, to reverse some 30 – 40 years of decline, create a vibrant Northwich where people feel proud of their town and where people have jobs, where we look after the young and the elderly and where people outside the town want to visit and spend money in the shops, restaurants, cafes and leisure facilities.
“To achieve this, change is absolutely essential and we are working with the town council and other organisations to ensure the best solutions are achieved.”
Sandra said she wasn’t entirely satisfied with the response.
“There were certain questions where he only answered half of it,” she said.