Cheshire East bin collections 'buck the national trend'


Nationally, councils in England are 'getting it wrong too often' when it comes to waste collection complaints, says the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.

Its new report shows the Ombudsman upheld 81 per cent of its complaint investigations into council waste and recycling services last year. This has shot up from 59 per cent the year before, with outsourcing blamed, in part, for this sharp rise.

However, in Cheshire East zero complaints were referred to the Ombudsmen about its waste collection service, which has a 90 per cent approval rating with local residents.

Councillor Don Stockton, cabinet member for waste and environmental services, said he is proud to 'lift the lid' on this real success story for Cheshire East.

Cllr Stockton said: "Cheshire East is proving its commitment to delivering excellent services that are both responsive to people's needs and provide value for money for residents. This is also about strong leadership, accountability and putting things right quickly if they go wrong – which is what we strive to do.

"When things go wrong, it's how councils put them right that really matters. We know how vital this is – and that's why we listen to residents and greatly value their feedback."

Chairman of Ansa, Councillor John Hammond, said: "With many councils outsourcing waste services, one of the common issues the Ombudsman has identified is insufficient council oversight.

"That is not the case here at Cheshire East, where our residents benefit from a highly-rated service run by the council's own innovative arms-length company Ansa – which is wholly-owned by the authority and overseen by elected members.

"This enables the authority to get the benefit of both worlds: retaining the expertise of experienced and highly-dedicated staff – but also the freedom to operate in a more innovative and commercially-minded way to deliver high-quality services and real value for money for local people."

Cheshire East Council, Waste Collection


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Nick Jones
Tuesday 29th August 2017 at 8:32 pm
CEC also Buck The National Trend in their planning Dept ... Local Government Ombudsman rated them as the second-worst in the country !
Mark Goldsmith
Tuesday 29th August 2017 at 10:16 pm
Credit where it is due - the bin collection is very reliable and efficient.
Manuel Golding
Wednesday 30th August 2017 at 10:11 am
Must agree with Cllr Goldsmith, find the bin collection service to be most reliable.
Unfortunately cannot say the same for the disaster that is the planning cohort.
Laurie Atterbury
Wednesday 30th August 2017 at 6:18 pm
I agree waste collection us spot on for us. Although I do object to having to pay extra for an extra green wheelie to be emptied when some some neighbours have none so I just cram my one green wheelie.
Rod Menlove
Thursday 31st August 2017 at 11:06 am
This is a positive article about the recognised excellent service of waste collection provided by Ansa/Cheshire East.
Those of a negative mind clearly find that a problem hence switching to a different service and have chosen Planning and complaints to the ombudsman.
To be specific there were 45 complaints to the ombudsman on Planning. What needs to be added is that 44 were not upheld.
Pete Taylor
Thursday 31st August 2017 at 11:32 am
Are CEC still paying to use a privately-owned waste-transfer station, after the Lyme Green affair? I looked for an answer on their website but could not find anything.
Manuel Golding
Thursday 31st August 2017 at 2:17 pm
One has to be fair and give compliments where they are due, hence my full acknowledgement of the excellent bin collection service.
But where the opposite of good service is offered elsewhere by the council then that department (s) must be seriously questioned for their poor service, in this case planning. Ut is not a matter of the number of complaints raised with the Ombudsman but the total disregard of residents concerns by the dismissive responses to the public's raised concerns by the planners. This is exampled by a CE councillor's concern over some 300 plus responses against a particular planning application - the chief planning officer,Adrian Fisher, was asked why he was not taking these responses into consideration? His reply was straight forward, they are "irrelevant" he said.
This is a problem that persists across various CEC departments; I would suggest it is for our majority party's elected members to start looking into the poor service & ethos that some promote as "outstanding".
But to finish on a high note, well done to our refuse service. A great shame some other departments find it "irrelevant" to attain a similar service.
Nick Jones
Thursday 31st August 2017 at 5:02 pm
@ Mark, Manuel, I quite agree, The refuse service is undoubtedly commendable. Its somewhat now ironic however The Lyme Green Cllr with an abysmal record in planning chooses a small issue that ‘Bucks the National trend’, in now justifying the statistical data where LGO rating as 2nd worst planning dept in the country along with two consecutive Private Eye's Rotten Boroughs features "CHESHIRE CHEATS" "CEC, a Tory council notorious for telling lies and fiddling figures has been caught at it again" now being some perverse ‘badge of honour’ ... Previous invitations to explain conduct have been ignored a response is now eagerly awaited in relation to the more important issues of; The costly flawed local plan debacle ( £3.7M ?), The Continued decimation of Wilmslow green belt, The documented repeat failure of “The Wilmslow 4” Barton Brooks Stockton and our Lyme Green Cllr in their continual failure to explain their actions in voting to eradicate green belt against meaningful development , Choosing to ignore the electorate in favour of the party whip with a ‘Build at all costs’ mentality. Lyme Green and the meaningless doctored report demonstrated Cllrs conduct in breaking planning rules.. “This, I am sure everyone will agree, has been a wholly regrettable incident and one that has caused the reputation of the council to be called into question.. I cannot though, in all conscience, ignore the fact this situation arose on my watch ..” Just how much has this all cost and Why ??… Volunteer a full and frank disclosure, put the record straight there is no impediment to doing so. I Don’t know of any resident irrespective of political colours who objects to meaningful development , but not one that I have encountered supported the decimation of green belt on the L/P proposed scale. Toni Fox, Barry Buckhill , Dennis Mahon + 1 other, 13 Labour and 3 Conservatives voted against CEC Cllrs own (not the electorates) flawed local plan demonstrating it to be a non-party common sense issue that ‘The Wilmslow 4’.chose to ignore … Why ?? ... Also why chose public disengagement over planning issues in favour of party colours with a total absence of meaningful explanation ??… or Asking for Public Consultation after the decision to develop has already been made ?/ Why the non-compliance to Govt planning policy Ignoring ‘exceptional circumstance’ criteria re green belt ?? Ignoring Brownfield development , Ignoring Govt commitment to protect green belt ... Why ?? And then the ‘Deliberate and systematic’ failures re Pollution data whilst at the same time funding a non independent expensive report (£28 k ?) to try and justify conduct Why ?? Who was it at WTC election that declared ; "I have worked closely with the town council over the years to counter threats to the local Green Belt – something I will continue to do…. I am on record as supporting building on brownfield sites before green areas and on allowing offices to be converted to housing… I have publicly opposed any housing on the Royal London site…” and now a further U turn at RL over these very issues Why ?? and just how is it intended to address this significant deliberate and systematic failure that has deceived the electorate.?? ‘Those of a negative mind’ continually fail to explain THEIR actions they can now explain fully, a response is eagerly awaited , hopefully it will be compelling or otherwise judgement will be at the ballot box in 2019 !.
Pete Taylor
Thursday 31st August 2017 at 6:55 pm
From a personal point of view I think the refuse collection service works very well; they collect our bins regularly, even on Bank Holidays (our collection day being Mondays) however, in answer (ansa?!) to my own question above; it seems that CEC have indeed been obliged to pay for the use of a third-party waste-transfer station since the Lyme Green debacle. I've been unable to get a handle on how much that has cost... so far.

The ANSA facility at Middlewhich was, so I read elsewhere, due to be operational around March/April 2017 but is still not finished. I also read that on 27th July CEC voted to give ANSA an additional £2.4 Million (of our money) to get the building work finished; this being outside the original budget.

I'm hoping that I've got some of this wrong, after all one can't believe everything one reads on the internet or in the newspapers; if so, perhaps a Councillor with an interest in this subject could possibly put me right?
Barbara Scott
Thursday 31st August 2017 at 7:02 pm
Bins are emptied but never put back where they were found. Left sprawling all over the pavement. Complained a few times, but might as well talk to a blank wall.
Rod Menlove
Friday 1st September 2017 at 2:09 pm
Keeping to the topic of the waste collection/disposal service, I am led to believe that the move to the Cledford Middlewich site will be early this month. The answers to other points raised on waste will be in past Cabinet papers unless they are of a commercially confidential nature.
Nick Jones
Friday 1st September 2017 at 4:59 pm
A wholly inadequate response.
Manuel Golding
Monday 4th September 2017 at 2:20 pm
I take it that the Cledford Middlewich waste site is run by Ansa who received £2.4 million from our awash with money council. Well sometimes it is awash as evidenced by its vastly overpaying senior officers of questionable abilities, Lyme Green and many more examples of poor to non existent management at both leadership & management levels.
Now was this largess of £2.4 million of our hard earned brass a loan or a gift by CEC to Ansa?
Cllr Rachel Bailey, CEC leader, said: “As responsible shareholders, we have made it clear that we do not expect a commercial return on our investment...." Oh dear!
What does that mean Rachel? Is it a gift or a loan? You need to so some explaining to your
John Jennings
Wednesday 6th September 2017 at 5:09 pm
I think it's a bit pedantic expecting the bins to be returned exactly to where they were.These workers do an excellent job in all weathers.Hats off to CEC