Posted: 01.05.21 at 16:52 by Cllr Sue Helliwell
On behalf of Alsager, I would like to join with fellow ratepayers in Congleton and Macclesfield in drawing attention to the size of the impact which will be felt by the combined total of 90,000 plus residents in the three towns, from the knock-on effect of Congleton's Household Waste and Recycling Centre shutting in September.
During the past week, I have learned that our MP Fiona Bruce has raised the issue at a significantly high level in the House of Commons and that is an encouraging sign for the future.
For the present, Cheshire East Council have already made it abundantly clear there will be more than one decision on the tip announced by their cabinet of ten councillors on Tuesday because the Congleton tip is not going to be replaced.
I could go through all the council and political procedures which have brought us to this sorry state of affairs were it not for the fact there is no point right now in anybody indulging in political discourse (polite or otherwise), whatever our beliefs.
All that matters is that the residents of the three towns quickly find ways of working together as one, in working out how we deal with the situation from now on and there is strength in numbers.
I recently contacted Mrs Bruce to relay the massive public concern in Alsager about the impact of the imminent Cheshire East Council Cabinet decision.
There will be even longer queues on Hassall Road and nearby roads than there are now. And believe me, it is bad enough as it is.
We are all asked to be more environmentally friendly, by watching our environmental footprint and looking after our flora and fauna, so we should not be losing any nature to fly-tipping.
How can it be possible to be watching our environmental footprint, by asking residents from Congleton to travel by car around eight miles to a HWRC in Alsager and eight miles back?
I have received a response from the MP to say that she has written to the secretary of state for the department for communities and local government, the Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP and to the chief executive of Cheshire East Council.
She also revealed that she has spent some time at the Congleton's tip and saw how busy it was.
In 2023, there will be a market engagement and procurement of a new contract for HWRCs in Cheshire East.
Two years from now it may be necessary to consider further the distribution of sites to deliver the service at an acceptable cost.
As things stand, everybody in the three towns (Congleton, Alsager and Macclesfield) is going to suffer.
Any decisions will be made under a new committee system coming into place at Cheshire East Council.
In fact, this fateful Cabinet meeting is the last one before that happens.
The task of the three towns now is to explore all the democratic ways and means available to us of dealing with what is an unhealthy situation concerning our tips, in every sense of the word.
Sue Helliwell is a member of Alsager Town Council.