Decision details

Household Waste Recycling Centre Contract

Decision Maker: Environment and Communities Committee

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To inform Councillors of the winning bidder for the HWRC contract that is starting in April 2023.  The cost of the procurement could determine if there is appetite for pushing forward with a new Congleton site.



Visiting Cheshire East Councillors Rob Moreton and Suzie Akers Smith attended the Committee and were given the discretion of the Chair to speak ahead of the presented report.

Councillor Moreton made the following points:

  • Councillor Moreton believed that the former Conservative council sold the Congleton HWRC and signed a lease that expired in 2021;
  • That no money was put into the budget for a new HWRC in Congleton, but that £4million was added to the capital addendum; and
  • Councillor Moreton had spoken at the last Cabinet meeting for the council on this issue and was concerned about the impact of political block-voting;

Councillor Moreton asked the committee to recognise the importance of a HWRC for Congleton with an agreement to setup a working group to identify land and funding.

Councillor Akers Smith made the following points:

  • The importance of a HWR and Re-Use Centre for Congleton;
  • The perception that residents believe funding was received by Crewe, Wilmslow and Macclesfield with nothing being received by Congleton;
  • The addition of at least 10,000 residents into Congleton and surrounding parishes over the next 10-years, making it the 3rd largest town in the borough after Crewe and Macclesfield.  Councillor Akers Smith believed the additional revenue received by the Council in Council Tax would be enough to fund a HWR and Re-Use centre in Congleton ;
  • The addition of at least 4250 new dwellings, with no plans for additional doctors, dentists or infrastructure to support those residents;

Councillor Akers Smith made a request to the Committee to create a cross-party working group including her, Councillor Moreton and other borough councillors to look at land availability in and around Congleton and report back to the Committee with potential HWR and Re-Use sites.

Committee Member Councillor June Buckley read a statement on behalf of Cheshire East Councillor Denis Murphy who had moved the original Notice of Motion at Full Council on 15 December 2021.  Most of the points raised by Councillor Murphy had been made by the public speakers, but also included:

  • Councillor Murphy believed people were not travelling to HWRCs out of town but instead choosing to dispose of waste in the domestic grey bins;
  • Concerns about an increase in fly-tipping specifically in rural areas where it could be unnoticed or unreported; and
  • Councillor Murphy forcefully expressed his request that the Committee lobby  for a local HWRC in easy reach for residents of Congleton, one of the largest towns in the borough with a growing population.


Ralph Kemp, Head of Environmental Services presented the report that provided an update to the Committee on the range of services that will be provided in the new HWRC contract from 1 April 2023.  The Committee advised that the provision of the seven HWRCs across the borough plus core services would be affordable within the existing budget. 

The Chair acknowledged that most of the public speakers had spoken exclusively on the Congleton HWRC but reminded the Committee that the report dealt with the procurement of the contract rather than the specifics of the Congleton Household Waste and Recycling Centre.

The item was opened up to the Committee for questions and clarity was given by the Head of Environmental Services who confirmed that any Working Group formed from this Committee could consider the points made by public speakers such as the Kent and Bristol models or CIL funding.

The Committee were given reassurance that the new contract had been designed in a way that sites could be added or removed during its lifetime and would therefore not preclude any changes to current ways of working or be open to penalty clauses.

During the debate the report recommendations were moved and seconded, but an amendment was proposed by Councillor Tony Dean to remove recommendation 3.4 and replace with:

“That the committee establish a Member Advisory Panel (MAP) to oversee the relevant senior officers finding a site for a future HWRC in Congleton and arranging for the necessary funding to be put into the Medium-Term Financial Strategy (MTFS) at the next annual review.”

The amendment was seconded by Councillor June Buckley and the Committee debated the amendment.

Councillor Janet Clowes proposed a friendly amendment to the one being debated:

“That the committee establish a Working Group to look at future household waste and recycling centre provision with particular attention to provision for Congleton and to further look at the scope and remit of what the group should be.”

The changes to the original amendment were accepted by Councillor Tony Dean and Councillor June Buckley.

RESOLVED (Unanimously): That

a)    the successful procurement to maintain the current seven Household Waste Recycling Centre sites through the new contract from 1st April 2023 be received and noted;

b)    that delegated authority be granted to the Head of Environmental Services to take all necessary actions to implement the new Household Waste Recycling Centre Services contract;

c)    that delegated authority be granted to the Head of Environmental Services to introduce the service enhancements under the new contract as and when they can be afforded within the available budget;

a Working Group be established by the Committee to look at future household waste and recycling centre provision with particular attention to provision for Congleton and to further look at the scope and remit of what the group should be.

Report author: Ralph Kemp

Publication date: 06/10/2022

Date of decision: 29/09/2022

Decided at meeting: 29/09/2022 - Environment and Communities Committee

Effective from: 14/10/2022

Accompanying Documents: