Agenda item

Public Speaking/Open Session

In accordance with paragraph 2.24 of the Council’s Committee Procedure Rules and Appendix on Public Speaking, set out in the Constitution, a total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to put questions to the committee on any matter relating to this agenda. Each member of the public will be allowed up to two minutes each to speak, and the Chair will have discretion to vary this where they consider it appropriate.


Members of the public wishing to speak are required to provide notice of this at least three clear working days’ in advance of the meeting.



There were five individuals registered to speak on Agenda item 6: Household Waste and Recycling Contract:

1)    Congleton Town Councillor Kay Wesley, Chair of the Community and Environment Committee of Congleton Town Council made the following points to the Committee:

·         Congleton was one of the biggest service centres in Cheshire East and was twice as big as five of the seven towns currently provided with household waste and recycling centres in the new contract;

·         The development of 4,000 new homes around Congleton;

·         The perceived lack of consultation by residents of Congleton on the new Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC) contract;

·         Consistent complaints from Congleton residents to the Town Council about the removal of the previous HWRC in Congleton; and

·         The number of elderly residents, low-income families and single parents in Congleton who do not have transport to travel to HWRCs in other towns.

Congleton Town Councillor Wesley asked the Committee to ensure the new contract included resident expectations, namely a HWR and Re-Use Centre in Congleton.

2)    Chair of Brereton Parish Council, Parish Councillor Andy Lindsay asked the Committee if a process to establish a new recycling centre in Congleton could be found and made the following points to the Committee:

  • The Eastern part of Brereton included the community of Brereton Heath which had doubled in size due to house building;
  • The Arclid recycling site closed in 2017, and since then signposted residents to the Congleton site, 8 minutes away, but now the nearest HWRC is 18-20 minutes away; and
  • There had been a 43% increase in fly-tipping in Congleton from the time the HWRC closed in September 2021.


3)    Congleton Town Councillor Robert Douglas made the following points to the Committee:

·         That in March the report on HWRCs to this Committee noted no implications for rural communities which he believed to be wrong advice;

·         The population of ten parishes represented by eight parish councils and Congleton Town Council equated to a population of 35,000 and set to increase significantly in the future;

·         The replacement site figure of £4million quoted by Cheshire East Council he believed was incorrect and more in-line with £2million (the cost of the new Town Council precept over the last two years) with annual finance costs of £125,000; and

·         The redirection of rubbish into the domestic grey bins;


4)    Congleton Town Councillor Suzy Firkin addressed the Committee and made the following points:

·         That Kent and Bristol were noted areas of good practice in the development of HWRCs;

·         The willingness of Congleton Town Council to be part of a network of waste reduction and recycling initiatives with Cheshire East Council, to date the only outcome had been a textile waste charity drop-point in Congleton, with a second point proposed but not yet active;

·         The only two Reuse-Centres being proposed were in Macclesfield and Crewe both areas with existing HWRCs; and

·         The disadvantage to rural residents or those with low car-usage as rural areas would not be considered an appropriate area for a potential pop-up service.

Congleton Town Councillor Firkin asked what reassurances the Committee could give that the needs of Congleton residents would be reconsidered for the future.


5)    Lesley Turner a resident of Congleton made the following points to the Committee:

  • She noted that the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) guidance on the frequency of HWRCs was one to every 150,000 inhabitants, 1 per every 50,000 households or a maximum drive-time of 20 minutes.  The distance travelled should be 3-5 miles or 7-miles in rural areas and the vast majority of Congleton was outside this area;
  • the presentation the Committee considered in February 2022 only considered the drive-time;
  • she believed the additional travel-time had been under-estimated and noted the impacts to climate change plus the cost of fuel and time for the inhabitants of Congleton, and disproportionately affected those without a car such as the elderly and the disadvantaged;
  • she felt a pop-up centre would be an unreasonable substitute; and
  • that funding for a recycling centre could be found via a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) set at £200 per square metre as per the model in Oxford.


There was one individual registered to speak on Agenda item 7: Maintenance of Green Space.

6)    Sandbach Town Councillor Nicola Cook, Councillor for the Elworth Ward made the following points:

  • That the withdrawal of maintenance had affected six parcels of land within the Elworth Ward, causing significant distress to the residents;
  • This land had been identified as amenity land;
  • That Sandbach Town Councillor Cook believed the decision to withdraw maintenance had been taken by Cheshire East Council with no explanation to the residents; and
  • The same residents identified other parcels of land in Sandbach owned by private individuals and investors yet these were still being maintained by Cheshire East Council.  Since then 547 parcels of land have been identified in total.

Sandbach Town Councillor Cook spoke in favour to recommence the maintenance of green spaces in Elworth (as recommended in agenda item seven) and asked the committee to challenge the statement that the three plots of land which had been fenced could not be maintained as these green spaces were amenity land.   Sandbach Town Councillor Cook did not believe these parcels of land should be fenced in as access had to be maintained and therefore maintenance should be restarted.