Cheshire East has ‘no plans’ to bring back weekly bin collections
By Chris Young Households in east Cheshire will not go back to weekly bin collections, despite Government claims that they are a “basic right”.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles last week said that the Government would encourage councils to collect waste once a week, and planned to udget £250m to reward those that did.
But the Cheshire East councillor in charge of bin collections said the authority had “no plans” to switch to weekly collections. Coun Rod Menlove also said the new silver bin (for all recyclable waste) scheme was estimated to save £1m next year and weekly collections could scupper that.
Mr Pickles said councils that guaranteed weekly bin collections for five years would be eligible for the money.
Coun Menlove, Cabinet member for environmental services, said: “Since Cheshire East
Council was formed in 2009, we have been operating alternate weekly collections for recycling and household waste. This system has helped us to become the highest recycling local authority in the North West with 49.4% of all waste being recycled. The average for the North West is 35.7%.
“We are currently in the middle of rolling out our new silver bin recycling system. The scheme is now well established in the south of Cheshire East and will be rolled out in the north of the borough next week.
“We have had an excellent response in the south, and responses to a customer satisfaction survey showed over 97% said they recycle and 88% said the new ‘sorted in one scheme’ persuaded them either to start recycling or recycle more.
“It has taken two years to plan and implement this new scheme which has seen an increase in recycling rates and a continual decrease in the amount of waste going to landfill. We have no plans to switch to weekly waste collections.
“In addition to the environmental benefits the new scheme is expected to result in over £1m of savings for the council taxpayer in one year.”
Silver wheelie bins are used for all recyclable waste and are collected fortnightly, alternating with regular waste collections. The scheme started in the south, including Alsager, Sandbach and much of Congleton, in May, and this week launched in the north, including Gawsworth, Eaton and parts of Congleton.
The council said recycling had reduced the amount of waste sent to landfill, and so subject to landfill tax. A report predicted that the borough’s landfills would be full by 2018.
Caring made all the difference for Pepe’s welfare
The Chronicle, Thursday, 6th October, 2011. www.chronicleseries.co.uk 5
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£180k is being spent to improve walking trails
Some of east Cheshire’s most opular walking routes and picnic areas are to share in a package of improvements worth more than £180,000.
Cheshire East Council will spend the Forestry Commission grant of £180,397 on Brereton Heath Local Nature Reserve and Wheelock Rail Trail, both near Sandbach.
Timbersbrook picnic area and Biddulph Valley Way, near Congleton, and the Salt Line, which runs from Hassall Green to Alsager, will also benefit from the money.
It is part of a five-year programme in which improvements will be made to footpaths and steps while new stiles and kissing gates are to be installed. Brand new picnic benches and information boards will be erected as well as additional signage.
The grant money will also help the council to continue to develop the potential for flourishing wildlife, while funding is available to carry out woodland management, tree planting, hedgerow management on all the sites and the installation of 100 bird boxes on the Salt Line.
Coun Rod Menlove, Cabinet member with responsibility for environmental services, said: “This is great news for Cheshire East Council and it recognises the hard work shown by our Greenspaces and countryside service team in obtaining grants such as this.
“We were successful in gaining grants of around £135,000 to spend in the north of the borough last year and this money will help us to continue to provide first class countryside facilities.”
Coun Jamie Macrae, Cabinet member with responsibility for prosperity, added: “Cheshire East has a wealth of stunning countryside areas, of which we are very proud.
“I am confident that these improvement works will help to boost the visitor economy in the region and help us to continue to provide beautiful environment for our residents and visitors to enjoy.”
Shopping centre boosts charities
This year, the Potteries Shopping Centre at Hanley has donated £5,000 to help local charities in Staffordshire and south Cheshire.
The charities were: Burslem Ethical Trust, Hanley Stroke Group, Savana, Speight of the Art, 238 (Hartshill) Squadron Air Training Corps, YSS and Disability Solutions.
The money will help to fund rojects such as the purchase of a digital camera and printer dock to help record activities to show the rogress that stroke sufferers are making; securing a box trailer for a minibus to transport 48 Cadets to carry out their D of E projects as well as recruitment and training for volunteering mentors to support young people, adults and families who are at risk of social exclusion.
The shopping centre’s general manager, Paul Francis said: “It is important for us to be able to work with and support local charities that are located in the community in which we operate and this year we are delighted to be able to support a wide range of organisations.”
I try not to get emotional when dealing with troubled dogs.
I know from experience you cannot rehabilitate a distressed dog with affection but the young Portuguese pointer I named Pepe was a different story.
I spotted him sloping around the marina in Vilamoura totally isolated.
His poor condition and lack of self-esteem was obvious. The confident pack of stray dogs trotting around the harbour kept him at bay, putting Pepe in a very vulnerable position.
They were well-fed and secure while he was emaciated and frightened. I knew with time I could help him but with only a few days to spare it would be impossible.
I slept very uneasily knowing Pepe would not survive a long winter isolated from both human and canine contact. I confess I wept tears of frustration. Fortunately, I have an understanding wife and left our hotel early the next morning determined to try.
I called on all the local restaurants to ask if they knew of Pepe and found a waitress who had seen him on his lonely search for food.
I explained his forced isolation from the other dogs and asked her to help him.
We agreed the best places to leave food and water and exchanged email addresses so she could send updates.
As luck would have it, I got talking to a trainee vet in one of the local bars just as Pepe walked by. She offered to give him the medical care he so obviously needed and I left my contact details.
I don’t know what the future holds for Pepe. I do know he now has a much better chance of survival thanks to those kind ladies looking out for his welfare.
If we care enough, we can all make a difference.
You will find help on my website vicbarlow.com