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LETTERS - RECYCLING & ENVIRONMENTAL

J E Hodson's response to letter below moved to Local Politics.
Editor. 6th April 2011


Rufford tip closure and beyond

Dear Sir,

This issue of the closure of the waste disposal centre in Rufford is fast becoming a Parish Council election issue in Tarleton. The residents of Tarleton certainly have a lot of people to choose from at the election in May for their Parish Council.

No less than 20 candidates for just 10 seats (the 2 in Mere Brow are uncontested). 9 of them describe themselves as Conservatives including our County Councillor and 2 of our Borough Councillors who also seek your vote as Parish Councillors. At least they nail their beliefs to their cross which is more than can be said for the Hodson clan. Three of them are standing as Labour Party candidates in 3 Borough Council wards in Skelmersdale and Ormskirk.

John Hodson makes a lot of criticism of local Conservative Councillors but never actually states on this website which Political Party he is a member of.

Yours faithfully.
W Pactor. 5th April 2011


RUFFORD TIP CLOSURE

John,
The loss of the facility at Rufford is a blow to many of us who use this facility quite regularly. Don't think there will be a mass shift of votes to the Labour party, though, just because of this one decision, which incidentally was tabled by the previous Labour administration, who left the country skint after 13 years in charge.

Richard Hodson. 5th April 2011


Rufford Tip Closure Specifics

In order for those involved to speak without getting embroiled in a general debate perhaps we could have the facts on the two very specific questions at the heart of this matter:

1) Did Cllr Malcolm Barron vote for or against the closure of Rufford Tip

2) What are the projected net savings to be made by closing Rufford Tip

Sincerely,
J. Ball. 5th April 2011


Rufford Tip Closure

Dear Editor,

I would like to thank W.Pactor for his comments and also to fully endorse them. I do also apologise for sometimes entering into 'robust dialogue' with our local Conservatives (or at least I would like to do given their high-handed dismissal of anyone not thinking their way and their failure to respond)

When elected, one of the first things you have to do when signing your 'Acceptance of Office' is to solemnly declare that you will represent all the electorate, regardless of political persuasion. One of the 'non Tory' candidates who stood for Tarleton Parish Council elections and narowly missed being elected in 2007 was approached in a local supermarket post election by a prominent Local Conservative Councillor and warned that" We never forget you know, when you stand against us".

So there you have it - vote our way or you are a marked person! Back to the main point in the previous letter - why no response? why do these people think they can treat their constituents with so much disdain? Is it because they know that they will always get voted in because of the area we live in? If that is so then what sheer arrogance.

The one weapon we do have left as members of a democratic society is that we can send a signal to counter this arrogance - so yes, even if your instinct is to vote the local Party line (conservative) it is now time to send a clear message to them, via the ballot box.

Come May the 5th vote anything other than Conservative!

Regards,

Cllr.J.E.Hodson. 5th April 2011


Rufford Tip Closure

Dear Sir,

I wrote to this website in June last year regarding the closure of the household waste centre in Rufford:- "The Conservatives now have total power at County Hall; in South Ribble, at West Lancs Borough Council and in Westminster. Our County Councillor lives in Tarleton as do the 3 Borough Councillors (all Conservative) as well as our Conservative MP for South Ribble. Have they lost their tongues or is it one story when in opposition and another one when in power? I for one eagerly await to hear just what they have to say on this issue now they have control."

Nothing further has been said publicly by them about this issue since that time.

Now that the closure of the waste centre has taken place I wonder if those Borough Councillors' in this area, up for election next month, will be offering an explanation in their glossy leaflets which will inevitably come through our letter boxes.

When in opposition they all had a lot to say about the way matters were conducted by the Labour administration but now they are in power (and we put them there) their silence is deafening!.

I agree with the previous correspondence - although I wouldn't put it so crudely - don't vote them in again but, would add, if you are not in favour of voting for their opponents either don't be afraid of spoiling your ballot paper with "None of the above". You will at least have voted.

Yours faithfully,
W. Pactor 4th April 2011


Rufford Tip Closure

As all the employees are being redeployed at other waste centres in the area, which I know they are, can anyone please explain to me how any savings are being made ? Not going to build houses on the site, surely ?

Richard Hodson, 3rd April 2011


OPEN CHALLENGE

Dear Editor,

Further to your News Item re: Rufford Tip Closure [News 1st April] I wish to pose an open challenge to our elected representatives in the Northen Parishes;

1. To Conservative MP Lorraine Fulbrook, you promised much and have thus far delivered little, operating way below radar - You claim to be 'The Tory from Tarleton' yet here is a valued facility on your alleged doorstep which you have not lifted a finger to save - Why?

2. To Conservative County Councillor Malcolm Barron, in numerous leaflets you cited that if elected you would 'work hard' to represent the residents of West Lancashire North Division of the County - as accurately reported in the News Section of this website you even went on record to say how the loss of the Rufford Tip would affect residents, quote: "Residents in (t)his area were horrified at the proposal. If the centre is closed they would have to travel to Burscough which is heavily congested and the exit from Abbey Lane very dangerous." He also felt that would increase fly tipping possibly on the Rufford site."

Note this was said when LCC was under Labour control and with a Labour MP, Where is your sense of outrage and where are your news quotes now Cllr. Barron?

3. To Conservative Borough Councillors, in the Northern Parishes we are 'represented' by no less than 8 of you since the last elections costing the Council Tax payers of our villages a minimum of £40,000 per annum in allowances - Where is your collective voice? Where are your paid for half-page Adverts in the Local Papers, like at election time?

We have got used to you not even bothering to turn up to Planning Meetings (Greenways/Tarleton Mill developments etc.) but to let this happen is nothing short of being a dereliction of duty.

What has happened since LCC came under Tory control and with a Tory MP and a Borough Council also under Tory control? answer: FAIL!

Tip closure, a failure to fulfil flippant promises easily made in glossy leaflets. You have no excuses left because your Party is in control at all levels.

4. Open Challenge to residents of the Northern Parishes; 'Kick them in the Councillors' ( where it hurts!)

In the forthcoming elections 5th May 2011 send them a message.

Yours Sincerely,
Cllr. J.E.Hodson 3rd April 2011


TIP CLOSURE

Dear Editor,

As well as agreeing with all of the comments in the previous letters, we would like to add the following comments; Instead of removing yet another service (Services First?!) because of alleged low use, why does the Conservative adminisration not employ a policy of encouraging customers instead of repelling them?

Hampshire County Council have introduced a Recycle/Re-use Service where people have the opportunity to purchase any reusable goods at knock down prices. Remaining useful items are donated to local chairities. This seems an eminently sensible thing to do given that more and more people are now recycling.

Just how an extra 10 miles journey for all of the Northern Parishes is expected to encourage recycling can only be fathomed by the arrogant Tories. How's about improving a service instead of reverting to Tory default mode of simply cutting?

It is downright disgraceful that our Borough Councillor's, County Councillor and MP Lorraine Fulbrook cannot be bothered to respond to genuine concerns of residents. It seems that the only method of communication they are prepared to use is the carefullly scripted glossy leaflets which are spat out running up to elections. This is the true effect of Ashcroft's millions.

Shameful.

Your Labour representatives in the Northern Parishes,
Gail, Lucy & John Hodson. 21st June 2010


Closure of Rufford Tip

Dear Editor,

The one councillor that was nominated to speak [See NEWS 9th June 2010] on this topic has chosen his words carefully:

He claims it will only be 5 miles further for us to travel - true if you never want to return home but the round trip is an additional 10 miles for everyone else.

He claims the average person visits just 3 times a year. Again true but that works out at the average household visiting 9 times a year.

Many will recall how our local councillors came out fighting when Labour suggested closing the Rufford recycling centre so they must be devasted. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evilA solution might be for our councillors (at least those who actually live in the village) drop off our rubbish at Burscough as they travel through to Ormskirk? After all we are paying for their petrol. Perhaps a central collection point down Doctors Lane could be organised?

As the whole of the Northern Parishes are impacted it is scandalous that not one of our councillors have had the courage to pass comment (for or against) this decision. Is this what life will be like now we are governed top to bottom by a single party?

Yours faithfully,
J. Ball, 16th June 2010


Closure of Rufford Tip

Dear Editor,

So Rufford Tip is to close. [See NEWS 9th June 2010]

I seem to remember when this was put forward by the previous administration (Labour) at County Hall that our then opposition County Councillor Malcolm Barron (Conservative) and Prospective Parliamentarian Lorraine Fullbrook (Conservative) were almost willing to lay down their lives to save it. The local (Conservative) Borough Councillors were equally opposed to its closure.

The Conservatives now have total power at County Hall; in South Ribble, at West Lancs Borough Council and in Westminster. Our County Councillor lives in Tarleton as do 3 of our Borough Councillors (all Conservative) as well as our Conservative MP for South Ribble.

Have they lost their tongues or is it one story when in opposition and another one when in power? I for one eagerly await to hear just what they have to say on this issue now they have control.

Yours faithfully,
W Pactor, 10th June 2010


PLACTIC BAGS - DO WE REALLY NEED THEM?

I noticed a town in Devon has successfully eliminated Plastic Bags. Has anyone in Tarleton or Hesketh Bank any thoughts on trying to do the same in this area? It could be a first for the North West and think how we could be helping the environment.
J Johnston, 1st November 2007


Dear Editor,
District Councillor Kay's report [News 11/01/07] of the recent Lancashire County Council's Sustainable Development Overview and Scrutiny Committee is a splendidly misleading one. It is the responsibility of the Cabinet members to ensure that the services under their charge provide not only quality services, but also value for money, and in a very tight financial situation, to suggest areas in which savings can be made.

This is particularly true in the case of waste disposal, where the County must spend every penny wisely, as landfill costs escalate, and we introduce schemes to maximise our level of recycling. They are hugely expensive.

Under the County's constitutional system, the appropriate means for councillors to express their views on Cabinet proposals is the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. The meeting is not whipped, and Councillors are free to express their views.

I am a Labour councillor. Councillor Kay is quite right that I did highlight access problems to and from the Abbey Lane site, but, I also, along with Councillors Cropper and Barron, drew attention to greatly increased journeys faced by residents of the Northern Parishes to reach the Burscough Waste Reception Centre in the event of its Rufford counterpart closing. The Labour Chair of the Committee, Councillor Penny Martin, suggested that, in view of the committee's concern, there should be a task group of county councillors charged with reviewing the Waste Reception Centres. Members suggested this should consider a range of issues, including suitability of the sites in terms of size, access, facilities provided and location.

The most constructive contribution made by the Conservatives was from their most experienced member in matters of waste disposal, Cllr Bernard Whittle.

He welcomed a review of the facilities. He said that we should remember that the sites were originally just for waste disposal, not recycling, and he was not satisfied that all now met the necessary standards, or were in the right place. He thought that as a result of the review there would probably fewer sites, but it was the quality that mattered.

I am wholly in agreement with Councillor Whittle. We have to have waste reception facilities that are up to date, and cater for as wide a range of materials to be recycled as possible. We also have to move to a system of split-level sites, where residents do not have to climb up steps to access skips. The task group must look at the effectiveness of the network of reception centres as a whole, then come to its conclusions, whatever they may be.

It is constructive comments like Councillor Whittle's that residents of the County should take note of, not pointless party political point-scoring by his Conservative West Lancashire district colleagues.
Francis Williams, County Councillor for Ormskirk West. 15th January 2007


Sir,
With reference to Mr Rydings letter of the 8th, I do not need to "levy the same criticism" at anyone else as I already did! I did not draw any distinction between the tiers of local government or the political affiliations of the elected members in any of my letters; as is his want, Mr Rydings has assumed it was pointed at the local Tories alone.

Perhaps we should get back 'on topic' and, if only for the sake of Mr Rydings, ask questions that are fully within the remit of WLDC and, in order to avoid further "confusion" be very specific:

Why was the (rescheduled) 5th January Hesketh Bank green bin collection abandoned?

What communication have WLDC or our elected councillors made to residents?

How much will WLDC be refunding? WIll any answers be just as specific?

Sincerely, J.B., 10th January 2007


So the Conservative Councillors are up in arms about the possible closure of the Rufford Recycling Area and have the state of our roads on their Agenda. At least there is another Tip within a few miles of Rufford which we would be able to access. Perhaps one of the Councillors might report on the progress to improve the state of our roads.

May I ask when we will have a village police officer in force to cover Tarleton and Hesketh Bank? There have been no Minutes on the Pact Web Site for several months? Is there a valid reason for this please?
J Johnston, 8th January 2007


Dear Sir,
Thank you JB for pointing out that I assumed you were male. I should not have done so and I apologise.

I still do not follow your logic though. In fact your last letter further compounds the problem for me. What I do understand from you is that you consider our elected councillors do not communicate sufficiently with us. I will pass your comments on at the next branch meeting. You should of course levy the same criticism to the Labour controlled County Council.

We local Conservatives strive to convey as much as information as possible via our website www.northernparishesconservatives.co.uk on which we list the e-mail address of all the local councillors. If you have any questions I would suggest you ask them directly.

Lastly, do you honestly believe that anyone should vote tactically? This leads to hung councils - Sefton being a classic example - and difficulties arise in getting things done. Petty party political games are not played (as you put it) at the electorates' expense by those elected to represent us - I would ask you this JB - how else is the democratic process conducted?

Yours faithfully,
Dave Rydings

PS still not willing to reveal who you are - hiding behind a non de plume eh?
Dave Rydings, 8th January 2006


Sir,
Perhaps Mr Rydings should have read my letter just one more time before reaching for his keyboard. For clarification:

1) Rather than condemning him, I was actually commending Mr Rydings for bringing this matter to the attention of the general public. However, in light of him explaining the political motivation for doing so, my commendations are hereby withdrawn but I still do thank him for letting us know about this important issue.

2) The crux of my letter was that all our elected representatives are remiss with their communications on this and all other topics of local importance and I think it somewhat mischievous of Mr Rydings to quite deliberately engineer a different conclusion to my letter. How possibly could anyone conclude that they are not doing enough when no one has any idea of what they are doing?

3) I will judge the performance of my elected representatives by what actually happens in our environment rather than what they choose to discuss within the council chambers. Mr Rydings and his colleagues really do need to try hard to understand that conveying "the state of our local roads is also high on the Conservative Councillors agenda" is actually of no consequence at all to the vast majority of people. Us being told when the necessary remedial work will begin, however, will be of great interest to many.

4) I suspect it would be a topic worthy of its own thread to discuss why Mr Rydings immediately assumes JB is male. Returning to the issue of closing our Recycling Centre, the news item on this website [5th January 2007] provides little more detail than Mr Rydings originally conveyed except that the selection of Rufford for closure has probably nothing to do with performance and possibly everything to do with political bickering.

Perhaps we the electorate should ponder that a tactical vote to align the political persuasions of WLDC with whichever party controls Lancashire County Council would possibly thereafter prevent us being on the receiving end of the petty party political games being played out at our expense.

Sincerely,
J.B., 8th January 2007


Dear Sir,
I have read and re-read JB's letter and the only conclusion I can reach is that he considers that the local councillors are not doing enough to prevent the close of the tip.

What do you consider JB, that they should be doing more than they already are? It has been vigorously opposed by the Conservative controlled West Lancs District Council and steps have been taken to persuade the Labour controlled Lancashire County Council to change its mind. Remember JB they are the one who made the decision. The MP for this area is also Labour.

How therefore can you state that our local councillors have thrown in the towel? Just because they consider that it is better to use verbal persuasion with reasoned argument - and this within the council chambers - doesn't mean they are not active in working in the best interests of us, the residents of the Northern Parishes.

I can further assure you JB that the state of our local roads is also high on the Conservative Councillors agenda. The reason why I reported this story was because as the local Conservatives website manager I was asked to put it on www.northernparishesconservatives.co.uk website by the Northern Parishes Conservative councillors. I am not their spokesman but merely a resident who concerns himself about what happens in the area I live in and an active Conservative.

To give this story as wide an audience as possible I also, with permission, contacted this website. TV and Radio coverage would be nice but the best I can offer you is local newspapers reporting this in the coming week - it might generate further media interest who knows?

At least JB you know who I am - can you let us know who you are?

Yours faithfully,
Dave Rydings, 7th January 2007


Sir,
As I drove on my 11 mile round trip to Rufford with a car full of our Christmas cardboard today I witnessed our lengthsman conducting his thankless bi-weekly task of recovering the drifts of milk cartons laid to rest in the hedge bottoms resulting from the ridiculous blue boxes blowing about in the wind.

Tonight I read on this website that there is a proposal to shut the Rufford Centre.

Despite the fine words from the grandly titled Councillors that we were treated to when these schemes were introduced "for the benefit of the environment and our children" it is becoming very difficult to accept that we have a cohesive and considered recycling policy in place.

When the "grey" waste collection was halved by WLDC with no change in the frequency of collection of (or type of) recyclable materials accepted on the doorstep the Rufford recycling centre responded admirably; efficiently coping with the 1000s of additional car journeys made necessary to deposit recyclable household waste that the council would no longer collect but we still had to get rid of. Council waste recycling targets may well have been met but the net impact of all those additional car journeys on our already congested village roads together with the unprecedented surge in fly tipping is nothing short of a disaster.

Whilst the proposal to close the Rufford recycling centre is of grave concern, it is even more worrying to hear that our local councillors have all but thrown in the towel and have already taken to blaming each other for the potential demise of this essential local facility. I suppose that we in the so called "Northern Parishes" of Tarleton, Rufford, North Meols and Hesketh Bank have long since accepted that we live in a forgotten corner of Lancashire (exhibit a: the apparently acceptable state of disrepair of our roads) but it is a sad day indeed when our own elected Councillors forget about us also. When did you last hear any of them on the local radio, on the telly, in the papers (other than the usual stage managed press release / photo opportunity) defending the few services we have left in our villages?

Why is it always left to Mr Rydings to raise these issues in the public domain? Why is there never any input from our MP? Why are any of our councillors abstaining on a vote about key local services - have they really no opinion on the matter? No amount of finger pointing will shift the blame from ALL of our elected representatives when any local service is cut, especially if we are left guessing as to what, if anything, they did or tried to do about it.

From our MP down to each Parish Councillor and all the wannabe's in between I really do want to hear what you are doing about this and all other local matters also!

Speak up now or stand down!

J.B. 4th January, 2007


The waste re-cycling facility at Rufford has been targeted for closure by the Labour controlled Lancashire County Council as a cost cutting exercise.

The Conservative group on West Lancashire District Council is against this and is strongly of the opinion that this would cause great inconvenience to residents of the Northern Parishes and adjoining areas of South Ribble and Chorley. The Conservative Group feels that the closure of this facility will increase fly-tipping in the area and undermine the recycling habits of the local population who will have no alternative facility within 10 miles.

The actions of Lancashire County Council are very ill advised and will increase the incidence of fly- tipping in the Northern Parishes and the bill for the removal of this problem will fall on West Lancashire District Council and the rate payers of the District. Conservative District Councillors have been vociferous at Lancashire Locals meetings speaking against and voting against this proposed closure whilst the Labour Councillors’ of the District have abstained and not voiced an opinion either way about this closure it would appear they are happy with the proposals or they are not willing to go against the will of their political masters (County Council).

The County Council receives the majority of the rates paid by the residents of West Lancashire and a facility such as the one at Rufford is one of the few services they provide to residents that is useful and much needed by everyone. It will be a sorry day if this facility is closed and we feel they should think again and not be so glib as to closedown a necessary much used service.

Maybe some of the wasteful services provided i.e. The ‘Vision’ newspaper should be closed down and save some money. I will bet that 99% of the local residents do not even open the paper never mind read it. The only use it has is to boost the re-cycled newspaper in the District.

It must be remembered by all that the controlling Conservative Group at West Lancashire is totally against this closure, The County Council must think again over this one and find some way to keep the facility open they are wasting money on so many other projects that have no impact on the residents and seem to be done totally for the benefit of officers not the public (maybe we have an opportunity here to look at staffing levels throughout L.C.C) I don’t remember many officers leaving when the council became smaller as a result of Blackpool and Blackburn leaving the control of L.C.C.

Dave Rydings, 4th January, 2007


I am a resident in Burscough, I am also a Parish councillor there, I feel i have a big issue with District council and their recycling scheme which is run so badly.

I buy yellow see through tie bags to put my plastics etc in to stop it blowing all over the place as I live near open Fields and it can be very windy.

Last recycling day (Tuesday) one of my bags of plastics, tins, bottle etc where left, I thought this due to the bin men not seeing the bag which I put under a small weeping willow type tree, this was trimmed. two weeks went bye , i put one bag in the blue box and the 3 others including the one left 2 weeks prior in front of the box to my horror the must of leaned over the 3 bags to take the one in the box i was fuming, so i phoned the council and explained, the women there asked if the rubbish had been put in black bags, i replied no yellow see through ones that i had bought especially for the recycled refuge.

She said, she would put in a report and it would take about 3 days before i would get the bags removed, she also said she couldn't see any reason why they hadn't taken them. they are still there, no one has come to take them yet. I felt angry so decided i couldn't put any more bags out, as my grey bin is full and I have a little old black bin which i put the excess rubbish in, as cats and rats are now ripping them open, I have to have my bins, bags, boxes and paper bags at the front of my house ( which is, I think an eye sore and unhygienic) as my hands swell and pain if i carry things, but I still have to go to the tip, I took 3 bags of recyclable and none recycled able rubbish to the tip in my car today, I also explained to her that I had asked for an extra grey bin as there are 4 adults in my household, but I haven't heard anything at all. I Have an illness (Lupus) which effects my immune system and causes pain and swelling to my joints, so I am at risk of infection when I put bags of old stinking rubbish in my car, which is left outside for creators to crawl all over and we all know that rats can caused really bad deceases, I had to retire from my job (looking after sick children) as my joints would wear away and the risk of infection, I was told i need to take it easy and not get stressed as this brings it all on, but i find i have don't everything i shouldn't of, due to district council, when i got to the tip the workers there took my bag and opened it and told me there was a glass bottle and plastic bottle which i could be fine £ 1000 pounds for, I explained that It has taken me months to get my kids to recycle only to have it all left on the front of my drive and i have to use my car to take my own rubbish to the tip, so what is happening to the the rates i pay? they might as well supply us all with a Bin waggon because we are doing all the rest of the work are selves anyway and how much are they getting from the recycling scam, i am all for recycling but this council are making it impossible for some of us.

One of my friends said thy her bin men refused to walk 3 step up her bath to get the bin, she recalls the bin men years ago had to walk up and down entry with full metal bins on their back then take them back to the back doors. anyway I am putting this issue on burscough parish councils agenda for our next meeting which is the first Monday of the month at 7.30pm at the older peoples c club in Lord st Burscough so maybe all of the local parishes and residents could get together and do something to make the district council see we wont put up with this I am also going to make another call to district then a letter and so on. if you want to come to our meeting your welcome or if you just want to drop me a line about this issue or if you would like to come to our parish meeting first monday in November, please let me, that's if its alright with the editor anyway thanks for letting me get this off my chest.

Jean Graham, 21st October 2006


Dear Sir,
The news headlines are full of warnings about climate change. We know that there will soon be grim consequences if we don't take these warnings seriously. And we know that it's no use expecting someone else to fix it; we have to change our own habits here and now.

So it's all the more shocking that West Lancs District Council has no policy on energy efficiency!

There is worse to come. The Council has no policy on the settings of thermostats in their offices. If you've ever been into the W.L.D.C.'s building in Derby Street in Ormskirk, you will know that it feels seriously overheated. People who work there go around in shirt sleeves and thin clothing. The Council should take immediate steps to reduce the temperature. Most people feel comfortable at around 68 or 70 degrees fahrenheit. If council workers have to wear pullovers, that's no terrible hardship.

Readers might be horrified to know how much the Council spends on gas and electricity for the Derby Street offices. Last year's bill was £33,125! This is outrageously high. With just a little effort and a determined attempt to advise workers to economise on energy consumption, this sum could be reduced by many thousands of pounds. You can be sure that energy and money are being wasted on the same scale in every council building in the district.

The Council tells us that it has appointed consultants to check energy efficiency in their buildings. But we have no idea when they will complete their report or whether the Council will act on their advice. This year ? Next year ? Some time ? .....

In the meantime the threat of climate change is ticking away and in West Lancs District Council there is little sign of urgency.

Yours faithfully,
Maurice George. Co-ordinator West Lancs Green Party. 5th March, 2006


I am absolutely fed up with any colour bin. Last week (Grey) bin out on the kerb, on top I had put 2 white bags with household rubbish in, the collectors who are not allowed to pick bags up from the pavement and put them in the bin, removed these bags from my bin and left them on the pavement.

This week (Green?Blue) week, on top of the blue box I left a black bin bag with tins and bottles in, as I was led to believe if you left extra bags out for blue collection it was fine, no the black bag was left on the pavement still full. I telephoned WLDC you are only allowed to leave extra bottles, cans etc out in white supermarket bags but not black bags.

This is really a fiasco.

Norma Goodier, 28th February 2006


Dear Sir
I am experiencing problems getting both sets of refuse collected. Every week our house is missed as the wagons sail past the end of our side road. We weren't even included in the new scheme (nor were we informed that we would be kept on the old one) until I contacted the council offices in October 2005 to ask them what was happening to our refuse collection, only to discover that we hadn't been considered in any way. We had ceased to exist on their records. This was an oversight which should not have occurred since we are on the electoral register and I note that WLDC always manage to contact us about payment of the council tax. They never miss us out with that one. Someone then arrived, unannounced, with two wheelie bins and a blue box (no blue bag or info pack - I had to request them later). I was also promised a visit by someone from the council to discuss our provision but that never materialised.

It is now January 2006 and we are 3 months down the line. Whilst I was prepared for a few "teething troubles", nothing could have prepared me for the catalogue of errors and incompetence on the part of the refuse collection department, which I have encountered personally or witnessed evidence of in the trail of debris which lays uncollected for weeks on our streets. Only once has our refuse been taken at the right time. Am I being cynical when I say that it was the Christmas collection when that they managed to cheerily take my rubbish on time? This scheme is a blatant cost-cutting devise masquerading as an environmental initiative, and all at a time when our council tax is rising at more than five times the rate of inflation.

I welcomed the recycling scheme when it was first introduced but am very disappointed in the way it has been handled. The waste disposal service in Tarleton is the worst I have ever encountered in over 40 years living here. The bin bags and swirling litter on our paths evoke images of a deprived area from the past.

Come on West Lancs! You can do better than this!!

Liz Cheetham, 7th January 2006


I have now received a reply from the WLDC portfolio holder responsible for waste collections in this area. He assures me that an application for a second bin is dealt with by the waste management officer team. I am asked to point out that if any resident has not had a visit following a request to them for consideration for a larger or second bin to let him know.

He also asked me to point out though that the criteria laid down is that each case is investigated on its merits. It does not mean that just because a resident produces more waste than they can fit into one bin they have an automatic a right to a second one. You can contact him on Cllr.Baldock@westlancsdc.gov.uk

Dave Rydings, 9th December, 2005


Sir,
Since others are giving their experiences, I thought I would add mine too.

Before the district council started their earlier recycling scheme (blue box, blue bag and garden waste once a fortnight) I used to recycle nearly everything to the County Council tip at Rufford. I took cardboard, garden waste, metal, plastic, glass for myself and a couple of neighbours and, as a result, threw out only one small black bin bag-full a week.

Then the Ormskirk lot decided to get involved. I couldn't put all my cans, jars, plastic, tins and bottles into the small blue box, so I would separate the different types and tie them into used supermarket plastic bags .... and then carry them all to the end of my drive. The collectors, despite being asked on several occasions and their managers being on the receiving end of my complaints, refused to take away the ripped plastic bags and instead used to just drop them into the blue box .... and leave the lid lying a few feet away. On windy days I could spend quite some time collecting blown-about plastic bags from my own and neighbours' gardens.

Unfortunately the complaints were ignored so I bought some green bags especially for recycling. Although bin-bag sized, they were very light because I put only the plastic milk containers and lemonade bottles in. They refused to take these because 'we are not allowed to take stuff in bin-bags' and left them on the pavement. I think they expected me to repack them into small bags, but instead I just dropped them in the ordinary bin. What a waste!

So now I just put everything - cans, bottles, cardboard, - into the grey bin. And that is how it will stay until the District Council start charging by weight for the rubbish in the grey bins.

Luckily there are only two in my house, so we have enough space to put everything in, but I feel very sorry for those who just can't manage as things are. Tarleton is beginning to look like a tip itself these days. Bin bags abandoned and ripped apart (have a look at the shops near the water tower), blue boxes and lids taking up permanent residence on front paths, bins left on pavements by the collectors who can't be bothered to put them back where they found them.

I completely support the policy of recycling - we cannot go on with the method of just dumping in land-fill - it's just a pity that the District Council in Ormskirk have made such an atrocious job of implementation. I hope that the District Councillors have their answers (and excuses) ready.

Glenys Simpson, 7th December 2005


I am now sufficiently concerned that there are problems in the waste collection system. So much so that I have taken this up issue with 3 local Councillors and I expect, like you, some action. Like many of you I have seen black bin bags left outside some of my neighbours houses but they had not bothered to contact WLDC. If you have not received a reply to your requests for an additional bin then now is the time to complain.

Like Arnie said 'I will return'

Dave Rydings, 7th December 2005


I agree with you Mark, filling in the form and requesting another bin is a waste (excuse the pun) of time.

I think everyone is on catch up, when our grey bin is emptied we then deposit the bags that have not been collected that week for the next collection. People don't want to hear party politics, that this is a Government initiative and contact John Prescott's office, nor comments like 'you are generating too much waste or take it to the tip'.

Like Tony I am a tax paying member of the community and voted for Councillors to represent me on the District Council, could the Councillors please look again at the size of the bins - we need bigger bins, then by all means empty them every 2 weeks. Wigan and Liverpool do have larger 'vessels' for their rate payers.

Norma Goodier, 6th December 2005


Just to keep everyone informed, I did fill in the form from the council requesting additional bin space, after a few weeks of no response, I filled in the online request, after a suitable period without contact, I rang the council customer services twice before anyone got in touch with me from the relevant department.

He eventually turned up one day and asked how many residents were in the property. When he was told four adults, his response was that unless there were six adults in the property, we could not have an additional bin, and we should be able to get 'SIX' black bin bags of rubbish in one grey bin. In other words, not many properties will qualify for additional space.

Since the introduction of the grey bins, I have been forced to take at least two black bags to Rufford, along with a large amount of cardboard each fortnight. Are the council prepared to pay for my vehicle to be valetted every two weeks?

Chris Stringfellow, 6th December 2005


Tony will no doubt respond in due course but, in the interim I can assure Mr Rydings that I did fill in the form requesting extra bin space and returned it the same day – no response or acknowledgement has yet been received.

I also specifically went to the roadshow at Marks Square to ask about extra bin space and was told that they would get someone to call me with an update – no response as yet.

I rang the council on the week the grey bins were introduced and was told that no-one in the northern parishes had yet had the visit to sort out any extra bins – but they were “monitoring the response”.

In light of the above I would return the question to Dave - are YOU being fair?

But, whilst we are on the topic, did anyone else observe the not so cost effective "advanced party" from the council clearing away any additional bin bags such that the "real" waste contractors were not compromised during the honeymoon period of the initial collections? I must admit to being surprised that a council is allowed to spend our money so blatantly to avoid a political backlash over what must be one of the most poorly communicated initiatives in living memory.

However, it certainly does appear that the honeymoon is now over with uncollected bin bags littering the streets of our villages and, no doubt, some fines are already in the post both for those who "couldn't be bothered to apply for more bin space" and also those who did but were ignored.

Not withstanding the above, it would be really interesting if Cllr Baldock would provide an update on the key objectives of this scheme:

  • How much have we reduced the amount [of waste] that goes to landfill?
  • How big was the increase the amount of waste that is recycled?
  • In what way is it now much easier for people to recycle?
  • Have we safeguarded the environment for our children and future generations?

And if I may add another:

  • By how much has fly tipping increased since the bin collections were halved?

Mark O'Hanlon, 5th December 2005


I would like to respond to Tony Chana's letter of the 3rd on the subject of recycling.

May I refer you Tony to the leaflet put out by the District Council prior to issuing the Grey Bins. I will quote the last paragraph - If you need help to present your bins on collection day, think you need more bin space .............................. fill out the form below and send it to......................................

Did you fill out the form Tony requesting more bin space? No? Then why should you expect the bin men to take your excess rubbish just because you couldn't be bothered to apply for more bin space?

Are you being fair?

Dave Rydings, 5th December 2005


Dear editor,
I am a tax paying member of the community and can I say the issue of the Grey bins is a good idea if the bins are emptied per week and not the current two week cycle. I have five adults in my home and the grey bin is insufficient for the amount of waste that is generated.

Last week I placed my grey bin outside my house full to capacity and I placed two bin bags full of rubbish on top expecting the waste to be taken away. The 'jobs worth' bin people empitied the grey bin and left the black bin bags behind. Driving around the area of tarleton i notice several un-emptied bin bags still at the entrances of several houses.

It's nice to see the council bin system working !

Thanks,
Tony Chana, 3rd December 2005


Dear Sir,
Further to my comments on the grey bins, and the potential problems. I have just had to rush out to ensure my bin was emptied, a bin which was overflowing after one week of using it!

WLDC delivered envelopes by hand to every house in the district, giving a calendar of collections, and mine was scheduled for Tuesday, 18th October. So when the collection vehicle collected some from a few doors either side and drove off, I decided to stop them on their return.

Following them was a supervisor in a separate vehicle, who explained that the council, in their infinite wisdom (more likely the rush to get this con going) had inadvertently delivered incorrect calendars to some households, and correct ones to others.

Makes you wonder how they ever manage to get out of bed in a morning, never mind set up a con like this.

Chris Stringfellow, 17th October, 2005


Dear Sir,
I received my 'Bin there, done that.. ' pack in this morning's post. It advises me to 'wash it, squash it, sort it!

The smaller leaflet gives comprehensive information about how our household waste will be handled from the 17th October onwards. What is known as FAQ's are dealt with on the reverse of the letter. My main concern was what about Bank Holidays? It appears that our rubbish will be collected on every weekday of the year except Christmas and New Years Days' and that special arrangements will be made to overcome that problem.

I assume the Grey Bins will be supplied to us next week as collections are scheduled to start the week after. Will it work? That is the question. No one can answer that question at present.

Does Cllr Hodson JP have any other ideas? Does he know something we mere mortals don't? Can he please state his reasons why it won't work. If Councillors have been quiet about the scheme perhaps it's because they wished to wait until the information pack was sent out.

If any resident is concerned they can look elsewhere on this website or visit the library to obtain any Councillor's phone number to take it up with them in person. Also the information pack gives phone numbers to contact if you have any concerns.

Personally, I am prepared to give it a try. If it doesn't work then a rethink will be needed. If nothing is done then, that then is the time to gripe about it! Something has to be done regarding rubbish disposal. It's not just a West Lancs problem. We cannot continue with the status quo.

Methinks Cllr Hodson JP, you are up to your usual mischief making and have your sights set on next year's District Council elections.

Please tell me I'm wrong.

Dave Rydings, 6th October, 2005


Dear Editor,
I too, like many people have grave reservations over the arrangements of the proposed scheme which is about to be introduced. While residents, Parish Councillors and business owners have worked hard to help Tarleton win this years title of 'Best kept Large Village' of the Year award, it seems ironic that it could be through the actions of the District Council itself that we see an increase in litter and rubbish in our Village especially as it was the litter free condition of Tarleton that scored so highly with the BKV Judges!

All we have heard from our elected representatives so far is that "be assured - it will all work perfectly well" which hardly inspires confidence in the outcome. The debacle of the plastic bins has never been addressed by our Local representatives on the District Council- they seem to have adopted the strategy of saying nothing about anything that goes wrong. This is just not good enough, we tax payers of Tarleton and Hesketh Bank are paying something in the region of £30,000 per year to be represented by them. Where are they? are we getting value for money?

The concerns of residents should be addressed now not when the sticky stuff hits the fan.

Cllr. J.E.Hodson JP, 1st October 2005


Dear Sir,
Further to the recent correspondence regarding the grey wheelie bins, people may find the following facts from the WLDC website of interest.

If you want more than one bin, the council will need to visit your home and assess the need before providing any extra ones.
Each wheelie bin will be microchipped to your property - so its either a dog or big brother is rearing its ugly head.
According to WLDC you will have sufficient space in one bin for two weeks rubbish, no bin bags will be collected. You will be responsible for putting your own bins at the front of your property - the bin men will no longer collect from the rear.
Only bins with the lid closed will be collected. The council will only replace bins they damage, if yours is damaged or stolen, you will have to pay for a new one. If you are old or disabled, the council will need to visit you to assess your ability to put your own bin out, before arranging someone to collect it for you.
The council still insist that fortnightly collections are going to increase the amount of recycling, personally I think it will dramatically increase the incidence of fly tipping.

The following list details what MUST go in which collection receptacle

Green bin - garden waste like grass cuttings, hedge trimmings, dead plants.
Blue box - for glass, plastic and cans
Blue bag - for waste newspapers and magazines
Grey bin - household waste that can't be recycled like nappies, food scraps etc.

Any deviation will provide the binmen with an excuse not to collect.

And the final quote from WLDC:

Advantages of alternate collections
Alternate weekly refuse collections are the best way to:
· reduce the amount that goes to landfill
· increase the amount of waste that is recycled
· make it easy for people to recycle
· help safeguard our environment for our children and future generations

What a load of co**lers.

Personally, I think we should all demand a rebate on our council tax. WLDC claim there is no reduction in services, however if you do the maths, they currently collect rubbish every week = 52 collections per annum. They collect garden waste every two weeks = 26 per annum plus recyclable materials every alternate fortnight = 26 per annum. They are going to do one collection of some form per week = 52 per annum, a reduction of 50%. Do they think we are all totally stupid!

What comments have our local Parish and District councilors got about this matter? It would be interesting to hear their views.

Chris Stringfellow, 4th September 2005


Bin Spin

I would be very much in support of any initiative that would make it even easier to recycle household waste and so have been eagerly awaiting details from WLDC about the proposed changes for waste collection.

Today I received my copy of the explanatory letter from the Council but can find nothing at all in it that even attempts to explain how their worthy objective of "making it easy for you to recycle your waste" will be achieved.

I note there will be no change whatsoever to the frequency of collection of recyclable waste, there is no change to the materials collected for recyling (still no cardboard?) and the size of the blue box will not change - limiting the amount any household can recycle via doorstep collection.

The only changes being made are to the collection of non recyclable waste.

It is the Council who has chosen to justify these changes under the recycling banner (rather than cost saving) and so it does not seem unreasonable that they at least make some attempt to explain the rational behind it.

Perhaps our Councillors would care to share with us their thinking on this matter.

Mark O'Hanlon, 25th August 2005


Dear Sir,
Just to make everyone in the area aware, there are a couple of con tricks about at the moment.

Arriving home from work this evening, the post was picked up and contained in it was a card, which looked and sounded very much like one left by a delivery driver, and was actually from a company called Glide Delivery. It says that an FM Radio is awaiting delivery to my address, and if I ring the number on the card, quoting the reference number, they will arrange delivery. As with everything unusual, I read the small print, which I quote "I can advise that calls are charged at £1.50 per minute" and a little further on "Should last on average 3 minutes 48 seconds" In other words a radio you could pick up at the pound shop will cost you £6.00. Don't be taken in, and warn your neighbours about it.

The party responsible for the second con trick are none other than our own West Lancs District Council, who this evening posted a letter through my, and other residents letter boxes, detailing their wonderful new recycling initiative. In the next few weeks, we will all receive a grey wheelie bin for our non recyclable waste. "Good", I hear some of you say, and yes it probably is, but, there has to be a but. Reading further, they will collect the garden waste bins one week and the other non recyclable bins the following week on the same day. In other words, your rubbish is now only going to be collected once per fortnight, and if your collection day falls on a Bank Holiday, that will become four weeks. The reason behind this is to increase the amount of waste recycled, make it easier for us to recycle and to protect the environment for our children. What a load of rubbish, pun intended, what they really mean is they are going to provide a reduced waste collection service, whilst still charging the same level of council tax.

Which of these do you think is the bigger con artist, personally I would go for WLDC, they are doing it with the full backing of the law.

Chris Stringfellow, 25th August 2005


INTRODUCTION OF "BLUE BOX"

Like many of my neighbours on Hesketh Lane I received my blue box this week. This is one of the soundest government initiatives to have been implemented for a long time. However I have a concern about how this will work in practice.

Unlike the Wheely Bins - which by definition have wheels and the black plastic bags for general waste which grow in size and weight the more you put in them - the blue box will be big and heavy when full. Stockport MBC has run a similar scheme for a couple of years and they found that many pensioners found difficulty in lifting the boxes to the kerbside.

Are there mechanisms in place whereby the collectors know of people who might have difficulties and hence go up the garden path and collect the boxes. If so are those who might need such assistance aware of it?

Bob Robinson, 24th November, 2004


GREEN WASTE RECYCLING

I just wanted to spread the word about people living in Lancashire being able to get a free garden 330 litre compost bin and a free kitchen 10 litre compost bin - both delivered free!

The web link is www.compost-it.org.uk

The page provides a phone number where you simply give your name and address, and hey presto the bins arrive! Needless to say that I am now one proud owner of these two bins.

Yours,
S Mawdsley, 19th November, 2004

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