Saturday, 17 September 2011

So where exactly is Frodsham?

Those of us who live in Frodsham know where it is.  If you want the co-ordinates we are at 53 degrees 17 minutes and 33.82 seconds North by 2 degrees, 43 minutes 14.93 seconds West.  We are located by the Mersey Estuary, the Ship Canal and the River Weaver and we are off Junction 12 on the M56.  We shelter beneath Frodsham, or if you prefer Overton Hill and to the south of us there is rural mid-Cheshire with many smaller communities and villages.   More than 9,000 people call Frodsham home.

If we need health services we look primarily to our own GPs and then to main hospitals like the Countess of Chester.  We shop in Frodsham, Helsby, Chester and Cheshire Oaks and on occasion we may go further afield like Liverpool, Warrington or Manchester.  We have our own police and fire stations.  We have largely amicable relations with our near neighbours in Helsby and virtually all our older children are educated at Helsby High School.

Our main links lie along an East-West corridor.

You'd have thought everyone would realise this - especially the powers that be?  Well in my last blog I talked about the Boundary Commission's suggestion that Frodsham should end up in a Parliamentary seat with Ditton, Hale, Bromborough, Eastham and Ellesmere Port.  A thoroughly bizarre suggestion.

This week I've been fighting off those who would use Northwich's needs as justifying decisions for Frodsham.  In CWaC Frodsham lies in the 'Northwich and Rural North Area Programme Board' - a rather curious false geographic construct that has no meaning on the ground - certainly not in Frodsham.

So what do we share with Northwich other than lying within Cheshire and CWaC?
Well our children go to different schools.  If you are ill you go to different GPs and different hospitals.  At the moment we are in different PCT areas - and will be in different GP commissioning areas once those reforms go through.   We are within the Western Division for Cheshire Police together - but then so is Chester and Ellesmere Port - but our community police are based here in Frodsham.  We don't shop in each other's shops.  We worry about different planning projects and there are no direct roads connecting us.  We don't even share the same local newspapers.

Those of us living in and around Frodsham are different and distinct from Northwich. 

So ... a word of advice to those who would make decisions about or for Frodsham - treat us with respect.  Understand we are not a suburb of Northwich.  If you want to change things here based on evidence of need - use evidence of need from Frodsham and its hinterland not from Northwich.  You'll find, if you haven't already noticed, that Frodsham is very independent in spirit and getting increasingly fed up by being ignored and taken for granted.