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£1.2m Overspend in 2013/14

When Cheshire East Council introduced the silver wheelie bin recycling service in 2011 it needed a waste transfer station in the north of the borough. The Council tried to rush through plans to build a waste transfer station at Lyme Green. When those plans went catastrophically wrong the Council agreed to pay up to £40,000 a month to private contractors to bulk up the waste.

 

Those payments are still continuing nearly 2 years later and the Council is still looking into where to build a waste transfer station, with the Lyme Green site being one of those under consideration. Earlier this year the Conservative leader announced without prior consultation that the Lyme Green site would be sold to Arighi Bianchi. This leaves the Council with no waste transfer station in the north of the borough and the Council is still paying through the nose to a private contractor for providing a temporary waste transfer station.

 

The first quarter financial report for Cheshire East Council states that

“The project related to a Waste Transfer Station is moving forward but further work is required on the Business Case. Services delivering Waste, Highways and Transport and Development are currently forecasting an overspend of £1.2m in this current financial year.”

 

The sudden announcement of a deal with Arighi Bianchi shows that the council has not learnt the lessons of Lyme Green and is still rushing into projects without proper consultation.

 

Now Cheshire East Council has announced that it is planning to spend over £1m purchasing and developing a new site for a waste transfer station.

 

The problems at Lyme Green were not that the council procedures were too lax nor that the management structure was wrong. The problem was that the procedures were not followed and the culture allowed those in charge to think they could get away with breaking the rules. The culture of fear, mistrust and secrecy is still evident at Cheshire East Council.

 

 

Cllr Sam Corcoran, Labour Councillor for Sandbach, said,

“The Q1 financial report shows that the problems of Lyme Green have not been addressed and that they are still costing the Council money.”

 

Cllr Janet Jackson, Labour Councillor for Macclesfield Central and Cllr Laura Jeuda Labour Councillor for Macclesfield South said

 

“We were astonished to hear the announcement at a press conference in June of a deal for Arighi Bianchi to use the Lyme Green site. There was no consultation with us as Macclesfield councillors on this decision. Until that announcement we thought the site was still under consideration as one possibility for a waste transfer station.”

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