Don’t Throw The Tip Away!

20 Jan 2024

As part of their Budget Consultation for 2024/25, Cheshire East Council have proposed several cost cutting measures, including closing the Middlewich Recycling Centre in my constituency of Mid Cheshire. Due to the significant environmental impact of such measures, I have written to the Council to express my concerns regarding this and several other proposals regarding the Environment, Highways Maintenance and Children’s and Families Services:

Research and Consultation

Cheshire East Council


Middlewich Road


CW11 1HZ

Delivered via e-mail

Saturday, 20th January 2024

Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: Budget Consultation for 2024-2025

I am not a resident of Cheshire East Council, however, I am writing in my capacity as the Liberal Democrats Parliamentary Candidate for the Mid Cheshire General Election constituency, which includes Middlewich within its boundaries.

I am writing to raise my concerns regarding the following proposals:

Proposal EC3: Reduce costs of waste disposal and number of Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC)

I understand that this proposal would result in the closure of the Middlewich Recycling Centre. This would not only be of great inconvenience to my constituents, but I fear that the consequences of this decision would impact on the £750,000 you plan to save as part of your budget. 

Firstly, my constituents may be less motivated to sort their waste into recyclables and non recyclables due to the inconvenience of having to travel further distances to dispose of excess waste.

Secondly, reducing your overall number of recycling centres across the country will likely see an increase in fly tipping. Obviously, I do not support such egregious offending due to the negative impact it has on local communities, but more instances of fly tipping will also have an adverse impact on your annual budget.

Proposal EC7: Increase garden waste charges to recover costs

I have opposed similar measures in my resident council of Cheshire West & Chester, where my constituents will have a 20% hike on the cost of their Green Bin collections imposed on them this year. Families that are struggling financially are having to make difficult choices to balance their own budgets and I anticipate that green bin collections may not be high on their list of priorities. Again, my concerns are the same with regards to constituents being motivated to do their bit and recycle waste which can be repurposed into green energy solutions.

I have also noticed that as part of this consultation, you are asking residents if they would support moving to 3 weekly bin collections. I would like to think that most residents would oppose such measures and if that is the case, I would urge the council to respect their wishes. Such a move would again have a negative environmental impact and lead to a potential increase in fly tipping.

Proposal HT1: Highway maintenance savings

I have acknowledged that the council plans to achieve a saving of £750,000 by reducing service levels. I and many of my constituents have had to endure long delays between potholes being reported and roads being resurfaced across all of Cheshire. It is a common bug bear for us all and one which carries not only an increased risk of road traffic accidents and breakdowns, but also a potential increase in compensation payments to impacted drivers. I fear that this medium term reduction in operational costs could prove to be more costly in the long term.

Children’s & Families Services Proposals

Finally, I also wish to express my concerns with regards to CF1 and CF4, which concern provisions made available to children with disabilities and young adults with special educational needs. As they are discretionary in nature, I fear that young people who once benefited from these provisions, would see a substantial detriment to their social mobility if said benefits are withdrawn.

However, in principle, I do agree with proposals CF3, CF5 and CF7 with regards to Children’s and Families services. I am aware of the huge impact that statutory spending increases have on local councils. Any measures that avoid unnecessary repetition or duplication, properly functioning and integrated shared services and less dependence on the private sector would receive my support, provided that there is no negligible impact on the provisions of Children’s & Families Services.

Thank You for taking the time to read my concerns and I hope that you will reconsider some of your cost saving measures during this difficult financial climate.

Yours Sincerely,

Jack Price-Harbach

Parliamentary Prospective Candidate for Mid Cheshire

Cheshire West & Chester Liberal Democrats

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