The Middlewich Labour candidates have been delivering their manifesto to the community with an emphasis on transparency, public engagement and support for residents’ initiatives.

At the public manifesto launch events, which took place at the Turnpike on Tuesday, April 16 and the Boar’s Head on Wednesday, April 17, each candidate spoke about sections of the manifesto which most appealed to them and explained the reasons why.

Mike Hunter, borough and Cledford Ward candidate, said: “We need a strong Neighbourhood Plan in order to offer mitigation to Cheshire East’s Local Plan, but we need one that residents can get behind.

“The obvious way of achieving this is to set up a Neighbourhood Forum, which is resident-led from the get-go.

“We have already had some volunteers step forward, residents who were not involved with the previous process. We will welcome more volunteers, of course, and will be advertising for volunteers as a priority.

“The town council’s position should be neutral, offering guidance and assistance where necessary. Our suggestion would be that the first act of the new forum should be to decide which bits of the previous plan they liked and which bits they didn’t, and to speak to as many fellow residents as possible. We can and will help them.”

The Labour candidates are committed to changing the role of the mayor in the town.

Gareth Williams, Kinderton Ward candidate, said: “We also plan to make the town mayor a non-political role.

“We believe it should not be a ‘badge’ that is shared around a small clique of councillors, but instead should be awarded to a statesperson of the town, with no political affiliations.

“That person wouldn’t need to chair council meetings, just concentrate on being an asset to Middlewich and promoting worthy charities. This is a key pledge from Labour.”