A Letter from Nantwich

Written in January 2008 and updated in May 2020 (still pertinent)                                                  

It depends on how you look at things . . .

THE publication of a map in the 2008 annual report of the County Fire Brigade, showing its various PDGs (or performance delivery groups), reminded me of a proposal many years earlier in which there was an idea that the Chester district (coloured deep yellow in the maps here) should merge with, and take over the running of, the South Cheshire district (the red area).

   I forget the minute details, but I do remember my reaction at the time that a map of the districts looked like a witch (Chester) with a plume in her hat and a wart on her nose, eating up my home district. I didn't mention that viewpoint to anyone else, and I never heard anyone else express a similar idea. 

   Do you remember the previous version of Cheshire, before places like Warrington, then in Lancashire, was taken into our boundary? That looked a little like a teapot! The changes (here) left Cheshire looking like . . . well, nothing.

   My way of seeing the imagery is a little like the drawing you sometimes see which can either be two silhouetted faces getting up close and personal against a white background or an ornate white candlestick against a black background. There are a number of such drawings which can appear to be different things according to how you look at them.

    I wonder if anyone else sees a map of the United Kingdom as a man in a top hat, riding on the back of a pig and chasing a bear cub? And how about - zoom in a little - a sea monster's head in the Irish Sea, with the Isle of Man as its eye?

    No? Just me then. Oh, all right!

 

 

South Cheshire "under attack" (above), and the full Cheshire map showing all the county fire authority's PDGs (right).  

Macclesfield.  In the event it was in the South Cheshire town of Sandbach.    But that would still mean that we would have decisions about Nantwich made by councillors from Knutsford, Wilmslow, Poynton, Macclesfield, Congleton, Middlewich, Sandbach and Crewe - and not just Nantwich.

   All those towns made up the revised authority. It was feared that some of the projects in the pipeline for Nantwich and Crewe would be lost.

   East Cheshire still sounds like an alien territory to me (and many other locals, no doubt) when we all know that Nantwich is a South Cheshire town!

   Mind you, many older Dabbers such as myself have memories of the 1974 Local Government Reorganisation which made Nantwich Urban and Rural districts part of new Crewe and Nantwich borough.

   Crewe people will know how we felt . . . no, still feel. It was still our impression that Crewe got the better deal when decisions are made. But it was with some pride that we saw that Crewe's big events (such as the Mayor's borough-wide "Oscars" ceremony) were held in Nantwich's Civic Hall. There was no equivalent venue in the railway town.   

   Nantwich Town Council own and run the Civic Hall and other assets that Cheshire East sold to us.

 

l WHEN you started reading this, you probably thought I was going to make a serious point about the plans for a reform of the administration of Cheshire, merging the current six administrative areas into one area - or, as an alternative, two areas. So let me make that serious point now.

   We soon knew that the UK Government had decided that Cheshire would be governed by two unitary bodies in a county split from north to south. Nantwich would be part of East Cheshire with a headquarters probably in

 

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