John Knight's March 2020 Talking Politics column for Macclesfield Express

9 March 2020

This winter saw Cheshire East introduce kerbside collection of food waste, alongside other recyclables.  While a step forward, many thousands of households in towns like Macclesfield, Congleton and Crewe are excluded from the scheme.  Residents with little or no garden and no space for a green bin are told to continue putting food waste in the black bin - to go straight to landfill - while many flat-dwellers have no recycling facilities at all, as Macclesfield Greens brought to light in 2018.   According to the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, food waste accounts for as much as a tenth of all greenhouse gas emissions.  Cheshire East Council needs to urgently address this problem and come up with ways to allow all residents to recycle. 

Road traffic is responsible for 17% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union, including the UK, yet Cheshire East’s new Labour-led administration seems keen to continue the Conservatives’ policy of promoting car-use.  Labour candidates in last year’s council elections advocated building a new road through Poynton and Adlington greenbelt, encouraging more car-journeys between Macclesfield and the Airport and the new council confirmed funding in September.  With some of the money coming from property developers, this will inevitably lead to housing and commercial building along the route.  Work continues on the so-called Congleton Link Road, which will not only boost car-travel, but is intended to enable major construction on and around the Dane Valley flood plain - ask the residents of Shropshire and Herefordshire what a good idea that is. 

Plans for the “South Macclesfield Development Area” continue to threaten a large section of Danes Moss, destroying a rare wooded wetland carbon-sink, for the sake of another major road and speculative building. 

Climate change is a serious matter - it’s time Cheshire East Council took it seriously.