MEMBERS of Middlewich Town Council have signed a charter promising residents they will be open, transparent and accountable.

Ahead of Monday night’s meeting, each councillor signed the new Middlewich Charter, which is set to be hung in the council office.

Cllr Gareth Williams, Labour, put forward the idea for the charter following May’s election – which saw all 11 Labour candidates win seats alongside independent Cllr Dave Latham.

“This charter should not be misconstrued as a gimmick,” Cllr Williams said.

“It is a statement of intent and represents a new bond between the public and their representatives.

“This council aims to involve the residents of Middlewich at every opportunity. We will engage with them, consult them and make sure every aspect of local government is accessible to them.”

The charter says that Middlewich Town Council ‘believes in openness, transparency and accountability in local government and is committed to actions and policies which:

  • Encourage public participation in the running of the town and all town matters
  • Support resident-led initiatives to improve the town
  • Reflect accurately the concerns of residents
  • Involve residents in the decision-making process
  • Communicate all outcomes and decisions to residents
  • Promote the accountability of the town council and its actions to residents’.

As part of the move to be more transparent, Middlewich Town Council has proposed a new budget-setting process – including a public open forum on how taxpayers’ cash should be spent on Monday, October 7.

The new town council has also moved meeting times from 6.30pm to 7.15pm, which Cllr Williams says has led to a ‘significant increase’ in average attendance.

He added: “After the last administration collectively turned its back on residents by shutting them out, holding too many meetings in private, or at times when few working residents could attend, we aim to completely open everything up.

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“This signed charter will hang in the council office for all to see and will feed into every decision we make and every action we take.

“The council as a whole should be open and transparent.”