A CONTROVERSIAL new bin charge is necessary as Cheshire East Council has overspent on replacement bins by £350,000 so far this year, its leader claims.

At a full council meeting last Thursday, Cllr Rachel Bailey, Conservative leader of CEC, was challenged on her council’s decision to begin implementing a charge for new and replacement wheelie bins from Tuesday.

The proposal was part of the council’s budget for 2018-19 – but it proved unpopular during public consultation, and a CEC scrutiny committee urged the cabinet to make a U-turn.

Cllr Jonathan Parry, Labour member of Middlewich Town Council, described the move as ‘another kick in the teeth for taxpayers’ following recent increases to council tax.

He said: “After being contacted by a large number of angry and disappointed residents in my town council ward, it has become overwhelmingly obvious how unpopular the decision of this council to implement the new bin charging scheme actually is.


“This Tory cabinet put this scheme out to consultation and it was rejected. It went to scrutiny and was rejected, but still the cabinet implemented the scheme using their usual consult and ignore strategy.

“Whatever happened to good old fashioned democracy? It looks well and truly dead and buried in Cheshire East.”

Michael Unett, Labour candidate for Alsager in next year’s elections, added that the move would ‘hit the poorest households in Cheshire East’.

CEC members from his party had requested that the decision was ‘called in’ for further scrutiny last month, but this was rejected by the monitoring officer who was satisfied the decision was not open to challenge.

In response to Cllr Parry, Cllr Bailey reminded the council that the charge applies for new bins at new properties where the developer has not provided one.

Meanwhile, a charge will only be incurred where a bin is lost or stolen if it happens more than once in a three-year period, and bins damaged during collection will be replaced free of charge.

Cllr Bailey added that people’s financial circumstances ‘would be taken into account’ – with a 25 per cent concessions for residents on qualifying benefits set to apply – but insisted the charge was necessary in order to balance the books.


She said: “Where we are currently if you look at the mid-year review, we are around £350,000 overspent because of the unprecedented demand for new bins.

“That isn’t a cost that can be sustained by this council, and indeed many other councils both far and near have long since implemented a charge – some have gone as far as to implement a delivery charge as well.

“And that charging process is not politically aligned, it is across all parties.

“I trust you are not saying to me that this council should absorb the £350,000 cost at the moment, and not ensure that this budget is balanced, and not ensure that front-line services have that support.”