PICKMERE Parish Council has submitted a formal complaint to Cheshire East Council over what it says is CEC’s ‘failure’ to respond to calls and emails about problems caused by a flood of visitors to Pickmere Lake.

The parish council says since the easing of lockdown restrictions thousands of visitors from Cheshire, Manchester and Liverpool have flocked to Pickmere Lake during the good weather.

This has resulted in severe problems for villagers, says the council, roads and pavements have been obstructed by visitors’ parked cars and huge amounts of litter have had to be collected by volunteers.

The council said other problems include public health issues due to the lack of public toilets at the lake, public order issues due to large groups of young people gathering, drinking and using various substances; aggression to residents and other anti-social behaviour. The council added that Cheshire Police had been out in large numbers on many occasions.

The parish council has submitted a complaint to Cheshire East over what it says is the ‘abject failure of CEC to communicate or respond to numerous emails and phone calls and its failure to supply any or all of the information requested by Pickmere Parish Council’.

Andrew Shore, chairman of Pickmere Parish Council, said: “We have been appalled and frustrated in equal measure at Cheshire East Council’s unwillingness to engage with our parish.

Northwich Guardian:

“As a parish council we can’t implement any short and longer-term solutions to the visitor problems because Cheshire East Council is the only body able to deal with highways, ASB and public health issues.

“Cheshire East is well aware of the problems because we have told them repeatedly. We have even written personally to the leader and deputy leader. To date, they have failed to respond to us or even supply the names of senior officers so we can discuss any actions that can be taken or enforced.

“We consider it is completely unacceptable that CEC do not wish to talk to representatives of Pickmere Parish Council.

“Their inertia is in stark contrast to Cheshire West and Chester Council, who have participated in online meetings with Wincham Parish Council involving officers from highways, youth services and environment, the police and Esther McVey MP."

In the meantime, the parish council has been stepping up its communications to keep residents informed as residents’ concerns increase, including the launching of its Facebook page and printing and distributing a four-page newsletter to every household.

Cllr Sarah Flannery said: “Residents understandably feel the village is under siege on sunny days. There are genuine fears the situation will only worsen as the summer progresses and more lockdown restrictions are lifted unless Cheshire East shows a willingness to help prevent or mitigate our problems.

“It is shocking that at a time when public safety is paramount the parish council has had to resort to the drastic action of making a formal complaint to Cheshire East Council.

“The residents of Pickmere are entitled to expect appropriate safeguards and support from the council to which they pay their council tax.

“We have been at our wit’s end trying to engage with Cheshire East but hopefully our complaint will yield a positive outcome for Pickmere residents.”

Cheshire East Council is to be invited to comment.