Labour County Councillors call for Household Recycling Centres in Staffordshire to be reopened urgently
With a surge in flytipping, advice from Staffordshire fire service against lighting bonfires and complaints from residents troubled by smoke from waste burning which aggravates their breathing difficulties, it is now time to urgently reopen Staffordshire’s household waste recycling centres.
Labour’s Leader of the Opposition, County Councillor Charlotte Atkins and Deputy Leader County Councillor Kyle Robinson have raised their concerns with County Council leaders. Their response has been that coordination is required to ensure all waste tips open at the same time and that Government guidelines mean that drivers taking waste to tips might be fined as these trips would be classed as non essential.
County Councillor Charlotte Atkins who represents Leek South said:
‘It is perfectly possible for tips to be opened and for social distancing to be observed. People queue to get into supermarkets so why not in their cars at recycling centres?
‘Some councils have already reopened their tips as disposing of excess waste has now become vital for many families who are generating far more while stuck at home trying to keep their children occupied and safe. I am sure our ingenious Staffordshire County staff could find a way to reopen the sites safely for limited periods with access controlled. Otherwise we are going to be
overwhelmed by more flytipping.’
County Councillor Kyle Robinson who represents the communities of Butt Lane,Talke and Red Street said:
‘I have received numerous complaints from local residents about the nuisance of an increase in people burning household waste in their gardens. This is having a detrimental impact on the health and well – being of people and putting an added burden on our local fire service.
‘I understand the desperation of families trying to dispose of excess waste by burning it. But in densely populated communities like Butt Lane, Talke, Red Street and Kidsgrove any fire impacts badly on neighbours and can be incredibly harmful to those with existing breathing difficulties. We need to have the tips reopened urgently to avoid community frustration with the lack of action turning into anger.’
The future of Talke Library is looking more positive as a community organisation sets up base there.
Local voluntary and community sector support and development organisation, Support Staffordshire, now has a base locally at Talke Library. As local manager, Jill Norman, explains: “We have been looking for a base in Newcastle and Kidsgrove for a while and have decided to try using Talke Library which gives us a great place to access all parts of Newcastle Borough and also allows us to support the community library and its volunteers. We are keen to take the opportunity to encourage more community use of the library and its resources. It’s a great facility and has a lovely meeting room as well as flexible space in the main library.”
Talke County Councillor Kyle Robinson said: “Since I was elected to Staffordshire County Council I have held meetings with senior officers, pressured the Leader of the County Council and fought hard to ensure Talke Library has a future. I have also raised my concerns about cuts to Library opening times, but hopefully this situation will improve as the ‘Support Staffordshire’ team begin to work more closely with the community. I am hoping that a firmer arrangement can be sealed in the New Year and I will continue to be part of any negotiations to secure a positive future for this vital community facility. I shall look forward to working with Jill and her team.”
Support Staffordshire has already held one of its quarterly voluntary sector forum meetings and also a training session at Talke Library. Lots of different activities already take place at the library, including monthly Monday evening talks organised by The Friends of Talke Library and a craft group which meets every Monday afternoon. However, there are opportunities for other activities and Support Staffordshire is keen to attract people who would like to run new activities, or to volunteer to support existing activities, at Talke Library.
The base at Talke Library gives Support Staffordshire a chance to offer face-to-face advice and support to individuals who may be interested in volunteering through its Volunteer Centre services, and to those running a voluntary or community group who may need help on governance, funding, finding volunteers, or any other aspect of running an effective group. Staff will be available during the normal library opening hours of 1pm to 5pm on Mondays and 2pm to 5pm on Wednesdays (Talke Library is also open on Fridays 2pm to 5pm, run by Staffordshire County Council staff and volunteers).
You can just drop in to see us, although it is best to ring in advance to book at appointment to be sure. To book please ring 01538 381356 or, for volunteering advice email firstname.lastname@example.org and for organisation advice email Natalie.email@example.com
The Illegal Money Lending Team (IMLT) are working with Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council to educate residents on safe borrowing and the dangers of using loan sharks.
Together with Staffordshire North & Stoke-on-Trent Citizens Advice, officers from the IMLT will be present on Miners’ Estate in Kidsgrove this week to deliver illegal money lending training to local tenants and debt advocates.
On Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 November, a representative from the IMLT will be speaking to local organisations and residents about the impact of loan sharks and how to spot the signs of illegal money lending.
Residents will be offered free benefit checks at the sessions to ensure they are receiving the money they are entitled to.
The training events form part of a wider financial inclusion project that Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council are delivering over the course of the coming months. The IMLT are commissioning the project using £1,500 of proceeds of crime money; cash that’s been confiscated from convicted loan sharks through the Proceeds of Crime Act (2002).
The aim of the project is to find financial inclusion champions in the community who will help spread the message about loan sharks and support struggling residents to access debt advice and safe credit.
The Illegal Money Lending training sessions will take place at the following locations:
Tuesday 7 November
Galley Centre, Whitehall Avenue, Kidsgrove
10am – 11.30am – Illegal money lending training for residents and agencies
11.45am – 1.45pm – Financial capability training for residents and agencies
Wednesday 8 November
Tesco Superstore, Liverpool Road, Kidsgrove, ST7 1DX
3pm – 5pm – Loan shark information stand and speaking to Tesco shoppers
5pm – 6.30pm – Illegal money lending training session for residents and agencies
Councillor Kyle Robinson, Butt Lane Councillor and Cabinet Member for Planning and Housing, said:
“I am so pleased that Newcastle Borough Council has been able to secure external funding for these awareness raising and training sessions in the Kidsgrove community. Loan sharks and illegal money lending practices exist in most communities and so the local council is working hard to make sure we do all we can to stamp it out. I welcome positive partnership working with the Illegal Money Lending Team England and other local organisations to ensure our local residents are protected from criminals preying on vulnerable people.
Tony Quigley, Head of the England Illegal Money Lending Team, said:
“Loan sharks are unscrupulous criminals who prey on the most vulnerable in our society. We are pleased to be working with our partners to raise awareness of illegal money lending and the help and support that’s available to victims of this crime.
“If you or someone you know has borrowed from a loan shark, we urge you to get in touch on 0300 555 2222. We will take information anonymously and in confidence. For more information on how our team can help you, visit www.stoploansharks.uk.”
Nationally, Illegal Money Lending Teams have secured more than 380 prosecutions for illegal money lending and related activity, leading to nearly 328 years’ worth of custodial sentences. They have written off £72.5 million worth of illegal debt and helped over 27,000 people.
To report a loan shark:
Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
Text a report to 078600 22116
Visit the website www.stoploansharks.co.uk
Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject