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Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Council explains costs of Lyme Green scheme

 

Figures compiled by Cheshire East Council reveal that the net cost of the cancelled Lyme Green Waste Transfer Station project in Macclesfield is £262,000 when all potential and actual savings and costs are factored in.

A full review has been carried out in response to questions from members of Council and criticism of the financial impact of the scheme in the press.

The figures show a comparison between the actual costs of aborting the project and the estimated costs had the scheme progressed as initially planned.

The information is drawn from the Council’s financial records and accounts and is supplemented by the Council’s assessment of the costs of making good the Lyme Green site for any future development.

Taking into account the residual value of buildings, operational savings of £412,000 per year since 2013 and a saving of £390,000 in landfill gate fees and other associated costs, the actual net cost to the Council between November 2011 and March 2015 is £262,000.

This also includes the costs of the independent (DIP) review and compensation payments to staff whose employment with the council was terminated.

Site clearance and preparation costs of £292,000 would have been paid out in any event as would the £18,000 spent on professional fees in relation to any future sale.

Since the introduction of the silver bin collection scheme, the council has increased the volume of recycled tonnage to 54 per cent, which is the fourth-highest performance rate across the whole of the North West.

Council Leader Michael Jones said: “I am pleased that the residents of Cheshire East now have the true picture of the costs arising from this event.

“It is important that we are fully apprised of the facts and I am satisfied that this presents a much more accurate account of how money was spent, how it was saved and how other factors came into play to mitigate the full financial impact of this episode.

Cheshire East Council publicly apologised in 2011 for proceeding with preparation work for a waste transfer station at Lyme Green but the scheme had to be cancelled.

The decision not to proceed, led to the Council reviewing its waste strategy. The decision to move to a council-owned company avoided outsourcing procurement costs that could be as much as £800,000.

The Lyme Green site continues to operate as the main salt highways depot for the north of the Borough.

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