JOURNALIST and military historian Sir Max Hastings has called on Cheshire residents to stand up for local democracy in the face of increasing central-isation of decision-making.
Speaking at a meeting of Cheshire's Campaign to Protect Rural England, the organ-isation's national president, Sir Hastings, said all it takes for our countryside to disap-pear under steel and concrete is for people to stand by and do nothing.
Sir Max pointed out that CPRE's work to protect the countryside and regenerate urban areas hinges on local democracy, and attacked 'the scandal of the abolition of county powers', and their real-location to central Government and regional assemblies.
Referring to the Green Belt, he said: 'This is not our wildest or most remote landscape, but our charm. It is the countryside next door, a great British invention and the envy of other countries who have suffered appalling sprawl.'
Yet he warned: 'The Green Belt around Chester in particular is being undermined, each successive nibbling justified as 'only a little one', yet the overall impact is devastating.'
For more information, phone 01606 835046, or visit www.cprecheshire.org.uk.