Third of com­plaints to coun­cil about £22,000 row over gar­den bins


ONE in three com­plaints made to Cheshire East Coun­cil last year were about the con­tro­ver­sial gar­den waste shut­down.

A stag­ger­ing 749 of all 2,231 crit­i­cisms from coun­cil-tax pay­ers be­tween April 2013 and March 2014 tar­geted the decision to sus­pend the col­lec­tion of gar­den waste for the win­ter.

The move, which bosses claimed could save the au­thor­ity £1m over the next four years, also prompted almost 1,500 res­i­dents who paid for an ad­di­tional green bin to claim a £15 re­fund, which costs the coun­cil £22,000.

The fig­ures were in­cluded in the an­nual sum­mary of cus­tomer feed­back put be­fore the Au­dit and Gov­er­nance Com­mit­tee last Thurs­day.

The re­port re­vealed the coun­cil’s waste ser­vices got three times more com­plaints than in the pre­vi­ous year, ris­ing from 339 to 1,026.

How­ever, if com­plaints specif­i­cally re­lat­ing to the green bin row were dis­counted, the to­tal num­ber of com­plaints re­lated to waste has fallen by 62 from last year.

Other ar­eas of grievance in­cluded the high­ways depart­ment which saw com­plaints rise from 212 in 2012/13 2013/14.

Spe­cific gripes were for blocked gul­lies, pot­holes and lack of sig­nage for a road di­ver­sion.

Gar­den waste com­plaints aside, over­all the to­tal num­ber of com­plaints rose by five per cent to 2,231, while the num­ber of com­pli­ments made by res­i­dents re­mained the same at 1,140.

A coun­cil spokesman

to 291

in said: “Res­i­dents rightly ex­pressed their views about the ex­tended pe­riod for non-col­lec­tion of green waste, hence the sig­nif­i­cant rise in recorded com­plaints.

“As a lis­ten­ing au­thor­ity we re­sponded to those con­cerns by re­duc­ing the sus­pen­sion pe­riod from 17 weeks to 12 weeks for this com­ing win­ter 201415 and the rec­om­pensed those who paid for an ex­tra green bin.”

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