CW&C “awash with money they should spend in Frodsham”

CHESHIRE West and Chester Council is “awash with money” as a result of underspending by millions, according to Frodsham councillors Lynn Riley and Andrew Dawson.
They claim there is a desperate need for new leisure facilities in Frodsham and that the Labour-controlled council should spend some of it in the town.
Cllr Riley, leader of the Conservative opposition group said: “We are lobbying the council for a £2m investment to kickstart a new A56 leisure corridor and are determined that the area will not be left behind.
“The council has an opportunity to do what’s right and what has been needed for some time.
“Local facilities are tired and we are tired of waiting patiently whilst other areas get the funding to upgrade their facilities. If the Labour run council care about the health and wellbeing of residents in Frodsham they should do the right thing and come forward with the cash. We will fight this every step of the way to ensure that Frodsham is not left on the side-lines while other areas benefit.”
In 2009, the leisure strategy assessed all facilities in Cheshire West and came up with an action list of tier1 and tier 2 areas.
Significant investment was made by the council in the first phase at the Northwich Memorial Court, Ellesmere Port, Chester Baths and Northgate. Frodsham was supposed to be next in line but the £9m earmarked in 2015 has since been prioritised for Neston, Winsford and Chester.
“With underspends on both the council’s revenue and capital budgets in recent years and the £6m surplus on council tax, it’s time to invest in the north of the borough and put the considerable council tax collected here to good use,” added Cllr Riley
“Frodsham Junior Football Club is working with Cheshire FA to deliver much needed 3G and grass pitch improvements at Helsby High School but needs a sizeable amount of match funding to deliver these and a long wanted club house.
“Cheshire West can fund this gap from the Innovation Fund set aside to reduce costs to the council.
“The real return on this investment is that local volunteers run the facilities once they are built, so reducing costs to the tax payers.”
Cllr Dawson added: “If we can secure this commitment, we can start to make headway on a masterplan for the land around the medical/leisure centre that we have been pushing for since 2015.”
“Other funding is required for upgrades in Frodsham leisure centre and for a redesign of the Saltworks fields. Helsby Sports and Social Club is also soon to start construction of its new facility and sports pitches and with a funding injection from CW&C can deliver the full scheme.”

But Cllr Louise Gittins, CW&C’s lead member for Communities, said: “Despite experiencing shrinking budgets as a result of Government cuts, the Labour administration in Cheshire West is absolutely committed to improving leisure provision across the Borough. I am sure that residents of Neston, Winsford and Chester would be surprised and concerned by the suggestion that the we should not be supporting projects in those areas.
“I’m really pleased to be able to highlight our exciting ideas for the A56 leisure corridor, which will provide new leisure opportunities in Frodsham and Helsby; including a new 3G pitch at Helsby High School for Frodsham Junior Football Club and school and community use, as well as a redesign of Saltworks fields, which provide for a greater and varied leisure offer.
“Over the past few months I have met many volunteers and groups in Frodsham and am aware of their needs and aspirations and I fully support them – hence the development of Labour’s plans under the banner A56 leisure corridor.
“Finally, I would gently point out that the Conservative group led by Cllr Riley had every opportunity to identify any additional funds when they proposed their alternative budget earlier this year, but they failed to do so.”
Mike Garvey, Labour’s candidate for Frodsham in next year’s local elections added: “We’ve had the same Conservative Councillors in Frodsham since this council was established almost a decade ago and they were in charge of it for almost all of that time. As a local resident, I have to question why they didn’t do more for the town when they had the chance.
“Despite facing millions of pounds in Tory cuts, our Labour Council have some really exciting plans for the A56 leisure corridor, including in Frodsham. If we are to see them succeed, we need our local councillors to stop complaining and instead start engaging with residents, partners and council officers to make these aspirations a reality.”

 

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3 Comments

  1. The fact that Frodsham and Helsby & surrounding villages do not have a swimming pool for their combined population should be an embarrassment to all of the local and county councils. It is a glaring gap in the well-being and social provisions for an area which has top end Council tax bandings. Helsby High is an education and sports beacon supporting a wide catchment area and the pupils as well as the local older and pre school residents should have access to a pool without having to takes buses or drive out of the area. The impact in terms of health, well being and social inclusion would be huge. Football pitches are great for the young and bale bodied but the area needs and deserves a sports facility which enables everyone to exercise.

  2. The concept of the A56 leisure corridor was proposed by local Councillors ( Conservative) in 2015 and was one of the first discussions with the then new Chief Executive. Since then we have been actively working with council officers through official channels to try and move on this ambitious vision.

    For the Labour led council to suggest that we have not is a lie.

    When the Conservatives led the council significant investment was made in facilities in what remain Labour wards of the borough. This was because the strategy at the time was to address the larger facilities that served larger populations so the new facilities in Northwich, Ellesmere Port & Chester we’re tier1 priorities

    The £9m budget set when Labour took control was supposed to help other sites like Frodsham and Helsby (tier2). . Cllr Gittens has set different priorities including her own ward. Meaning there is nothing in the capital budget for the leisure corridor.

    There is currently no Council allocation of any funding for the claims made, so again we see Labour using council budgets for political gain around elections in 2019. What’s more it is a lie to claim that funds are committed or else a serious breach of the financial rules of the Council has taken place

    Frodsham needed this allocation in 2015 and as Labour has run the Council since May of that year, they have had ample time to put plans in place alongside the 3 budgets they have set.

    Please watch the web cast of the March budget meeting where you will see local councillors calling out the woeful neglect of Frodsham under a Labour led council

  3. Chester and Northwich are always having money spent on them most are white elephants like barons Quay and a new bus station that hardly any buses from Frodsham and Helsby because the services have been cut to bone, we were promised over 43 years ago we were getting swimming pool the land down saltworks was for houses and a pool the houses were built but the money for the pool was given to someone else as it was said by the council at the time we couldn’t afford to run it Why should we the other pools are run by brio not the town council we have a brio centre but no pool why? Disabled residents could use it for exercise and local schools so they don’t need to travel to Northwich chester Ellesmere Port or Runcorn come on cwac give Frodsham something back out of the millions of pounds we have paid over the last 40 odd years.

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