The election has left Newcastle again with no overall control. Labour are now the largest party, but cannot from an administration that commands a majority on the Council.

Negotiations are in hand between the parties to determine the political structure for next year, and then the cabinet and committee places. The situation should be clear by May 18th, when we have the annual general meeting of the council.


The following information has been supplied by our food waste processor.

Estimated electricity generated from NULBC food waste: 1,496,486.30 kWh from 3,867 tonnes of kitchen household and catering food waste

Total equivalent CO2 savings:  7,263.13 tonnes

Estimated equivalent CO2 savings from generation of electricity from NULBC food waste: 21,242.09 tonnes

 Well done to all residents


This site aims to provide information for Halmer End Ward. It contains links to many other sites, including Borough Council Planning Applications, Recycling Information, School Term Dates, Time Tables, Local Councils, Local Organisations and Schools. If you are aware of a local site which this site should link to please let me know.

It will contain regular local news items from Councillors David Becket, Andrew Wemyss and Dylis Cornes. We are always available to discuss issues with you, our electorate.

There may be positive political messages on this site, particularly at election time. However the site will not attack other political parties and our blogging will not degenerate into the angry and illiterate comments seen so often on the web. Any comments of this nature will be removed.

The Reflections Category covers various aspects of life in the ward as seen by your local councillors.

David Becket

Telephone               01270 820474

E Mail             

Post                          25 Ladygates, Betley, Crewe, CW3 9AN


I have said that this site will not attack other parties, and even in an election period I am ignoring the negative literature being put out by the Labour party.

However as portfolio holder for recycling I must warn you of one commitment that is appearing in Labour leaflets.

That is their commitment to change the current recycling scheme, this is a dangerous commitment and one they could not afford.

The present scheme is the most cost effective we could introduce. It is cheaper than any other tender, including tenders for other systems. Because of the kerbside sort there is less contamination of material, and as a result the value is higher, which reduces our costs. The present system cost less than the inefficient one inherited from Labour.

To change this award winning system now would involve considerable expense.

The capital cost would be of the order of £2Million.

Vehicles would need to be replaced, and existing vehicles written off. Contracts would be broken, with penalty clauses incurred. 60,000 wheeled bins would be required, and existing containers written off. Government and WRAP grants would need to be repaid. A new communications programme would be required.

As far as revenue is concerned the value of the material would drop, leading to decreased income. Unless the ground breaking food waste service was withdrawn, with food being collected fortnightly in the grey bin, total annual costs could rise by as much as £500,000.

As portfolio holder for Recycling I cannot understand why they have chosen this moment, when we have just achieved a national award, to turn against a system they initially supported. I can only assume they are trying to make a cheap political point with a promise they can never keep.

David’s Diary April 2011

The election campaign has started, and the number of council meetings will be kept to a minimum. Much of my time will be spent visiting in the ward, dealing with casework and preparing/distributing leaflets.

If any elector wishes me to visit during the campaign please e mail, respond to this post with a comment or ring 01270 820474


Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council is celebrating this afternoon after scooping a national award for its new recycling and waste service.

The borough council has beat off stiff competition from unitary councils and a waste disposal authority to win the “Waste Management Award” at the Government Business Awards.

The category highlights “outstanding” schemes that are cost-effective, provide a high level of service and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.

The council’s service – which has increased recycling rates from 27 per cent to 50 per cent – was up against schemes run by Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority, London Borough of Hillingdon, Peterborough City Council and Hull City Council.

In July 2009, plastic bottles and cardboard were added to the fortnightly recycling collection and a year later, weekly food waste collections were launched along with the extension of the fortnightly garden waste service to all homes with a garden.

Today’s announcement was made at Twickenham Stadium by BBC journalist and news presenter Bill Turnbull.

It comes on the same day as a report published by The TaxPayers’ Alliance which outlines the number of bins each council in the country collects and singles out the borough council for having nine containers.

Cllr. David Becket, Cabinet member for environment and recycling, said: “I’m delighted and very proud that Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council’s service has won this national award, especially as we were the only district council in the category and have today been unfairly criticised by The TaxPayers’ Alliance.

“Our new system – supported by WRAP (the Waste and Resources Action Programme) – is designed to produce the best quality material for recycling and has already produced dramatic results, while delivering £500,000 of savings.

“I would like to dedicate this award to our residents who have clearly embraced recycling and also our members of staff and contractors Acumen Distribution, Lower Reule Bioenergy and Simpro for providing an excellent service.”

The service improvements were designed to meet Government targets for reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill.

Food waste is sent to an anaerobic digestion plant at Lower Reule Farm in Stafford where it is turned into electricity to power local homes and heat to grow strawberries.

And garden waste such as twigs, grass and leaves is turned into high quality compost for use on local farms.

For more information about recycling, visit