So, where do we go now with Cheshire East? I ask that question in all serious and a heavy heart.

The catalogue of disasters, PR blunders and criminal accusations has now reached epic proportions.

This week, we found out Cheshire East is to face its seventh (yes seventh) criminal probe.

The latest investigation centres on an historic land transaction in Crewe involving Cheshire East Council.

Kath O’Dwyer, the acting chief executive at CEC, announced last week that the council had handed the matter over to Cheshire Police on Tuesday last week.

The council has made no further comment, but police have now confirmed that the fresh issue is in relation to a land transaction in Crewe.

A spokesman at Cheshire Police said: “We can confirm that a further referral has been received from Cheshire East Council in respect of concerns over a historical land transaction in Crewe.

“The matter will be reviewed in due course.”

My thanks to Local Democracy Reporter Stephen Topping who wrote: Cheshire Police had already been looking into six matters that were referred to it by CEC.

They relate to a variety of allegations – including the awarding of contracts, manipulation of air quality data, a land purchase agreement in Middlewich, and grant funding to improve car parking arrangements at a primary school in Wistaston.

Two matters were passed onto police by CEC in March – including one concerning the land transfer on the Ansa environmental hub, in Middlewich – and these are still being reviewed by police.

Cheshire Police added: “The investigation is being led by the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, Titan, reporting to Cheshire Constabulary.

“The investigation has so far proved to be extremely lengthy and complex, and it is anticipated it will be many more months before a conclusion is reached.”

And police have already handed over a file to the Crown Prosecution Service in June following an investigation into the awarding of CEC contracts to Core Fit, a company run by former council leader Michael Jones’s physiotherapist Amanda Morris.

I suppose in an organisation the size and complexity of Cheshire East, the odd criminal investigation shouldn't come as a surprise – these things can happen – but seven police investigations into one council has really stepped over the boundaries of what is acceptable.

Surely it's time for the government to step in and take over the running of Cheshire East. How much longer do council tax payers of have to put up with these allegations?

Or I have another suggestion. What about merging Cheshire East with Cheshire West and Chester Council?

CWAC seems to be able to conduct its business without the need to keep on calling in the police and merging the two councils would provide economies of scale that could help to bring down costs.

While we're on the subject of Cheshire East, it looks like the way it governs itself is under attack.

Independent members of CEC – including Middlewich First councillors Bernice Walmsley, Mike Parsons and Simon McGrory – have launched the ‘Change Cheshire East’ campaign which they say will give councillors of all political persuasions a bigger voice.

It calls for the current 'cabinet system' of governance to be scrapped in favour of an old-style committee system – and if five per cent of Cheshire East’s voters sign the petition, a referendum on the matter could take place.

Cllr Bernice Walmsley, CEC member for Middlewich, said: “There are currently eight cabinet members – all from the ruling party.

“They are eight senior councillors but they are not infallible – and they do not represent all the views of the full council.”

In a committee system – which had been used by Cheshire’s former borough councils until 2001 – decisions would be made by committees with proportional representation from all CEC’s political groups.

The rebels say residents should demand change takes place following CEC’s high-profile scandals – including the suspension of three top officers last year – and insist the petition is a ‘one-off opportunity’ to ensure all decisions on how taxpayers’ money is spent would be ‘debated at open committee’.

Seems like a good idea to me. Given CEC's somewhat gaffe-strewn recent history, anything that shares out the responsibility should be welcomed.

But given the council's ruling Tory majority's track record, I'm not holding my breath.