Following further criticism about the proposed waste management strategy, Cheshire West and Chester Council have issued another response.

Reader Mark Sutton had said Councillor Karen Shore's earlier response 'would do little to appease residents'.

A council spokesman said: "We would like to address the issues raised in order. 

"Earlier this year the council ran a major consultation exercise which outlined the options for the new waste management strategy and also asked residents about their attitudes and behaviour around how they deal with the waste they produce. More than 15,000 people responded to the survey.

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"We have used the answers and information to inform specific aspects of our strategy.

"We have provided a full analysis of the consultation exercise for everyone to read. It explains the approach, methodology and responses.

"It can be found online together lots more information about the new strategy here.

"We have also released the raw anonymised data as part of a recent Freedom of Information request.

"Providing additional space to recycle is the right thing to do and the wheeled bins will address concerns that residents frequently raise about the current recycling boxes (including lost and broken lids, spilt waste etc.)

"Your correspondent asks for clarification about why the strategy does not include information on the disposal of commercial waste.

"We are happy to provide this. The council is not responsible for the collection of commercial waste and this is not a service that we provide. Businesses use private providers to manage their waste collection services. The council has no future plans to collect commercial waste.

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"In relation to questions about the financial settlement with Kier, what we can say is that this was money paid to the authority to cover any increased costs incurred through the decision by the provider to exit the waste market and cease to deliver the service in line with our contract.

"The financial modelling relating to this decision can be found in Section 7 of the Cabinet Report of Wednesday, July 9. This can be found online here.

"With regards to the proposal to introduce a charge for the green waste collection service and its relation to the council tax set by the authority.

"The council has an obligation to deliver a wide range of statutory services and to ensure a balanced budget in the context of consistent and considerable cuts to its funding from central government.

"We appreciate that this is not a popular proposal however, due to the significant budget challenges being faced, we must make some very difficult decisions. 

"The collection of garden waste is not a statutory duty and due to our overall budget position, we regret that we are no longer in a position to be able to continue to offer this in its current form.

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"Other councils have had to make the difficult decision to charge for this service as they are in a similar budget position to ourselves.

"The alternative is to not offer this service at all. Offering a chargeable service gives people a choice around whether they wish to pay and receive this service or make alternative arrangements.

"This is not a question of merely following what other local authorities have done. It is a decision that has been taken after weighing up all the evidence and it has been taken in the best interests of the long term sustainability of all services in our borough. 

"With regards to fly-tipping, the council completed extensive research while producing the strategy new strategy. Part of this included consulting with other local authorities across the country who have adopted a similar approach

"The feedback we have received is that fly-tipping of green waste has not become more of an issue since a charge was introduced. 

"Residents of our borough have already shown their commitment to recycling and waste reduction. It is clear that people who live in west Cheshire are proud of our borough.

"We do not think that the introduction of a charge for garden waste, which equates to £2 per collection, will be the catalyst for these same people to resort to degrading their own communities and breaking the law by fly-tipping.

"The council aims to reduce budget pressures by limiting the garden waste collections to the growing season. It is correct to say that it is illegal to prune or cut down trees when animals are nesting.

"However, if animals are not present, people can prune whenever they need to. A suspension in late autumn also allows residents to deal with late fall of leaves and any hedge maintenance before the winter season.

"By stopping collections outside of the growing season (December, January and February), we avoid sending collection crews out to collect bins that are not full. This helps to cut carbon emissions and costs to the taxpayer. 

In conclusion, our waste management strategy is a response to the times we are living in. We are facing an unprecedented threat to our way of life through climate change.

"We are also facing unparalleled pressures on our budgets which has led us to take some tough decisions. If we do nothing, then we won’t accomplish anything. 

"We are committed to making the right decisions for the future of our borough.

"We accept that they may not always be the popular ones but they will always be based on fairness and providing the best outcomes for the people we serve."