Pickmere News


27 NOVEMBER 2022
This document is issued in response to the flyer recently posted to households in the
parish by objectors to the proposed IROS fence.
The Parish Council (PC) is not a Political body and its only mandate is to take what it
believes to be the most appropriate decisions on matters in the parish on behalf of
parish residents. PC members are unpaid volunteers who spend their free time trying
to do their best for the local community. The PC has operated for the last 4 years with
a councillor vacancy, but no-one in the Pickmere community has come forward to fill
this gap and help take responsibility for the decisions the Council has to make.
The objectors’ flyer contains a number of inaccuracies that require correction:
 The timeline of events since 2019, just circulated with Pickmere Press, indicates
how the PC has sought to deal with the problem of excess visitors to the village
over the last 3 summers.
 The IROS is owned by the Parish Council, and as such the Council manages it to
the benefit of all the residents of Pickmere, including those who currently avoid
visiting the lake in summer because of the congestion etc that occurs there.
 For the avoidance of doubt, the IROS does not have the status of “village green”.
 The public right of way will of course be open all year round.
 The flyer has no grounds for doubting the truthfulness of PC’s reporting the
views of the Police as to the proposed fence.
 In former years the PC closed the IROS gates at regular times although this has
generally not happened recently, apart from when suggested by the Police
during Covid lockdowns when visitor numbers became unmanageable. The PC
has always reserved the right to close the gates at any time it considers
appropriate. Dispersal orders have also been used by the Police at certain times
for the same reason, so preventing anyone from using the land.
 The flyer’s commentary on PC procedures displays a lack of knowledge – PC
minutes are a legal record of decisions made and are not intended nor required
to be a verbatim record of discussion as virtually all meetings are held in public.
We do however, when possible, add context to aid any non-attendees reading
the minutes.
 “…individual councillors’ opinions” – that is how parish councils, district councils
and indeed Parliament are intended to operate – parish councillors, district
councillors and MPs are representatives of the community, not delegates, and
have to make decisions on behalf of all of their constituents.
 The PC has listened to the views of both objectors to and supporters of the
fence; only some of these views enter the public arena.
 By seeking to dissuade the hundreds of people from visiting Pickmere on peak
days, the fence will help address the parking issue. However the recent timeline
(circulated with Pickmere Press) shows that the PC has attempted dialogue with
Cheshire East Council and the Police many times about the parking problem.
 Harm to wildlife – in fact by protecting the water’s edge and deterring the huge
numbers of summer visitors, the fence would be more likely to encourage
wildlife than discourage it.
 The adjoining landowner has commented that the erection of his fence has led
to a substantial fall in the numbers of visitors accessing his land.
 The fenced footpath will in no way constitute a “narrow fenced alley”; much
narrower fenced public footpaths are common in the countryside.
 The PC’s reasoning for the closing protocol it has approved has been explained
in other published background documents (available on the PC’s website); the
key aim is to deter large numbers of visitors from choosing to come to the lake
in summer. The closure policy will be reviewed after it has operated for some
 There is no PC intention to “lock up” the IROS overnight in the winter – the
source of this rumour is not understood.
Clearly all parish and district councils are required sometimes to make difficult
decisions and decisions that are not popular with some part of their resident
population; here the PC has wrestled for 3 years with the impossible parking issues
and related problems that have severely affected the village. The only deliverable
measure in the hands of the PC is to try to discourage the huge numbers of persons
trying to access its land at certain times, by restricting access to some part of that land
at those times.