I WAS very surprised to read Cllr Menlove’s comments regarding the Independent Group’s petition for a referendum to change to the committee system.

In June of this year Cllr Bernice Walmsley and I tabled a motion to the Constitution Committee to create a cross-party working group to investigate an alternative form of governance.

That would have involved officers compiling an unbiased report examining the pros and cons, precisely what Cllr Menlove says we need.

All the Conservatives voted to reject the working group, one of whom was, yes you guessed it, Cllr Menlove.

If Cllr Menlove had supported our motion in June, instead of toeing the party line, we might not be in the position of potentially facing a costly referendum now.

Last Thursday’s motion asked for an officer report be compiled to be presented to councillors before next March.

It is generally accepted, by the many councils that have already changed back to the committee system, that it is a far more open, transparent and democratic form of governance.

I think to call all this a ‘red herring’ is an affront to the many thousands who have already supported our petition.

Independent Cllr James Nicholas Cheshire East Council Bollington Ward