John Knight's June 2018 Talking Politics column for Macclesfield Express.

19 June 2018

Our Residents’ Survey tells us that near the top of Macclesfield folk’s concerns - just behind the future of our health services - is litter.  We agree - a healthy, happy population needs a clean, healthy environment to thrive in.  Cheshire East actually runs a very good kerbside waste collection service, with regular emptying of bins and just the one “silver” bin for all recyclables.  However, they are maybe not so hot when it comes to dealing with litter dropped on the pavement or in the park. 

But it’s not just about cleaning up the rubbish that has already been dropped.  We need to look for ways to reduce the amount of packaging that so much of our everyday goods come wrapped in. 

For example, in the UK as a whole, 35 million plastic bottles are bought every day – that’s 200 per person every year – and 44% of these are not recycled. This means 16 million plastic bottles every day end up in our environment, whether sent to landfill, incinerated or simply dumped in the countryside, parks, streets or beaches.

We need to move towards a culture of recycling, reusing and refilling.   Cheshire East or the Town Council could introduce a bottle deposit scheme, free public water dispensers and a community refill scheme.  Nationally and globally, we must work to phase out unnecessary single-use plastics.  Perhaps, like other areas, Macclesfield could have a “Clean Team” of volunteers who come together to help keep their local areas clean. 

It was tragic to learn of the death of most of the carp in Ryle’s Pool in South Park the other week.  We have a responsibility for the wellbeing of creatures we keep in captivity - let’s hope the aerators that have now been installed help the remaining fish to live out full healthy lives.

Regional News

National News


Greens challenge Energy Secretary after shock revelation from frackers Cuadrilla

Green Party of England and Wales co-leader Jonathan Bartley has today (21 June) sent a letter (below) to Greg Clarke MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to highlight the Party’s far-reaching concerns for the safety of the local community in the vicinity of Cuadrilla’s exploratory fracking site at Preston New Road in Lancashire.

The letter follows a meeting between Bartley and two directors from Cuadrilla, where he put questions from the community to them. Bartley is concerned both by the lack of information about emergency plans provided to the residents and by significant questions over whether or not there is even an evacuation plan in the event of a well blow out or other accident.

Bartley said:

“We’re calling on the Secretary not to make a decision over whether to grant a licence to frack until the matter has been investigated thoroughly and safety concerns are addressed. The fact that local residents don’t even know if there’s even a proper plan in place for emergencies - let alone evacuation - is deeply concerning.

“It would be completely unacceptable and be playing fast and loose with people’s safety to ignore these issues. The Secretary of State clearly shouldn’t make a decision on whether Cuadrilla should be allowed to frack until these serious questions are answered and the concerns of local people are addressed.”

Find out more

Sign up for updates