Jan Nicholson and Mike Houghton

Jan Nicholson steps down from Town Council

Deputy Town Mayor Cllr Jan Nicholson has stepped down from Knutsford Town Council after twenty years of service to the town.

Jan, who was first elected in 2003, was re-elected as a councillor four times and latterly represented the residents of Norbury Booths.

Jan was elected by her fellow councillors as Town Mayor in 2007 and again in 2016; she was elected as Deputy Town Mayor in 2022 and had planned to be put forward to serve as Town Mayor a third time from May 2023.

Town Mayor, Cllr Mike Houghton said, “It is with great sadness that I have accepted the resignation of the Deputy Mayor, Cllr Jan Nicholson.”

“I know Jan was hoping to take on a third term as Town Mayor this year and during her time as a councillor, Jan demonstrated an unparalleled degree of public service to the town of Knutsford. She will be widely missed. I wish Jan well for the future in her recovery and look forward to continuing our friendship that has developed since I first joined the council in 2011.”

Due to the forthcoming elections in May 2023, there will be no opportunity to trigger a by-election. All seats on the Town Council are up for re-election in May and the Town Council is hosting two sessions for potential councillors to find out more about what is involved – these take place on Thursday 16th and Monday 20th February at 7pm in the Council Offices.

Town councillors 2022

Chance to find out about being a town councillor

In May 2023, residents will head to the polls to elect their 15 town councillors – but only if people put themselves forward for election.

Elections are held for the 15 seats on the council every four years and the last full elections in May 2019 saw 14 councillors elected unopposed with one co-opted by the council a month later. With up to eight of the current councillors potentially not standing for re-election this year, the Town Council is keen to promote the opportunity of serving as a councillor and see contested elections across all five wards.

The Town Council is hosting two information evenings to help potential candidates decide if being a councillor is right for them.

The sessions will include an overview of what the council can and cannot do, the role of a town councillor and the process for standing for election.  They will also include a Q&A with serving town councillors so residents can here just what the life of a town councillor actually is.

“Perhaps you aren’t sure what the role of a councillor involves, you want to know how it could work with your other commitments or you’re daunted by the election process – maybe you actually want to be standing for Cheshire East Council. These sessions aim to help you decide whether to stand this May” said Town Clerk, Adam Keppel-Green.

The sessions take place at 7pm on Thursday 16th February and Monday 20th February in the Council Offices. The second session will also be livestreamed to Facebook.

Questions for the Q&A, about the role of being a councillor, can be submitted to townclerk@knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk or asked on the evening.

Town Councillors at Mayor Making 2019

Cllr Katherine Fletcher Steps Down

Nether ward councillor Katherine Fletcher has stepped down from the Town Council after being elected as MP for South Ribble in the December 2019 general election. Katherine, who was elected unopposed in the May 2019 council election, resigned with “heavy heart” to the Town Mayor on 15th April.  

In her resignation letter Katherine said “I had hoped to serve Knutsford through this COVID crisis as well as perform my duties as a newly elected MP. It has now become apparent that the sheer volume of work within Parliament and constituency, leaves no room to also do my duties as a Councillor, and it’s with a heavy heart that I find I must resign.”

Katherine served on the council’s Environment, Assets and Finance Committees and was the council’s representative on the Mid Cheshire Community Rail Partnership.

Mayor of Knutsford Cllr Andrew Malloy said “Katherine’s enthusiasm and knowledge on areas in particular relating to the environment have been a real bonus to the council, especially as we have been considering the impacts of everyday life on the environment, flora and fauna. I would like to thank Katherine for her time on the council and wish her all the best in her career as a MP.”

The process of electing a new councillor for the ward is affected by coronavirus with regulations made by the government postponing any by-election to May 2021. Guidance is currently awaited from Cheshire East Council as to whether the preliminary process, giving the residents of Nether Ward the right to demand an election before allowing the council to co-opt a new councillor, can still go ahead.

An announcement will be made in due course formally declaring the casual vacancy and giving electors the right to demand an election for the seat.

Any by-election will only be for the single Nether Ward seat, not the whole council and the elected or co-opted councillor will serve the remainder of Katherine’s term, retiring with the rest of the council in May 2023.