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.’
Measures to tackle above average Nitrogen Dioxide levels on Liverpool Road, Kidsgrove have been approved and supported by councillors at a meeting of Newcastle Borough Council’s Public Protection Committee. Currently Nitrogen Dioxide levels breach statutory limits on Liverpoool Road in Kidsgrove and Newcastle Borough Council is required to monitor high levels of pollution.
Nitrogen Dioxide levels are heavily influenced by road traffic emissions and an action plan is required to try and bring down this type of pollution.
The council report states: “The Air Quality Management Area is centred on the Liverpool Road in Kidsgrove, with relevant receptors located at two junctions, one with Heathcote Street, and another with Gloucester Road. The Location of the AQMA is shown in figure 7. The AQMA was declared due to exceedances of the Nitrogen Dioxide Annual Mean Objective level of 40ug/m3 at a number of relevant locations principally along Liverpool Road (A50).
County Councillor for Butt Lane, Talke and Red Street, Kyle Robinson said: “A big part of Liverpool Road falls within my County Council Division and I am pleased the council is finally agreeing measures to reduce Nitrogen Dioxide Levels in the areas affected. I have called for measures to tackle this problem for several years and I hope we will finally see the local authority deliver on their promises. I will be making sure completion dates are adhered to by the Highways authority.”
Some of the measures to tackle pollution include the new transport hub at Kidsgrove Railway Station which will help to create a bus and rail interchange, hopefully taking more vehicles off the road. Staffordshire County Council is also looking at traffic light optimisation and a new congestion tackling action plan to help traffic to flow much easier. There will also be a review of bus stops to facilitate traffic flow along Liverpool Road.
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