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IFPC have received a response from Cllr Malcolm Buckley to our letter of complaint regarding the planned introduction of the recycling centre booking system:

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Parish Council once again for providing me with the opportunity to address you directly about the trial booking system.  Whilst I am of course disappointed I have been unable to allay the concerns of the Parish Council I remain committed to operating this trial in an open and transparent manner and welcome your comments.

“I will respond to each of the issues raised in your letter in turn

  1. Consultation Approach: Essex County Council (ECC) is committed to consulting with the public and stakeholders before any decision is taken on whether to adopt a booking system on a permanent basis.  I am sorry if you feel we have looked to exclude the Parish Council and can only assure you that this was never our intention.  We will of course take your points on board and will consider how we can communicate service changes of this nature better in the future to ensure parish and town councils in Essex are kept informed before public announcements.

“With regard to your request for ECC to keep the Parish Council ‘fully informed of all developments during the trial’ please could you provide some detail on what the expectation is from the Parish Council so I can confirm whether this is achievable.  Whilst I will of course keep partner authorities updated on progress, I am sure you appreciate that we do not have the capacity to provide detailed bespoke analysis to all 180 parish and town councils in Essex on actions at each site.  As confirmed during out meeting the public consultation is programmed to take place during the trial period so users and residents can provide feedback on the trial.   We anticipate the consultation will be hosted on the ECC website with an opportunity for offline responses to also be made.  We will of course share these details with you so the Parish Council can communicate this within the local community.

  1. Fly-tipping:  I fully understand the fly tipping concerns of the Parish Council, however I believe the point I raised at your meeting may have been misunderstood.  The amount of fly-tipping recorded in the Brentwood area has fluctuated, even when waste services provided by ECC, and Brentwood Borough Council (BBC) have remained broadly unchanged.  This indicates that other factors other than ECC and BBC waste services are likely to be predominately impacting fly-tipping levels.  The rising cost of waste disposal is likely to be the key factor, leading to an increase in industrial and commercial waste fly-tipping and the emergence of illegitimate waste collection services being offered to unsuspecting households.

“The number and type of fly-tipping incidents are recorded by all local councils enabling local and national fly tipping trends to be studied, and appropriate actions to be put in place and resource allocated to tackle the root cause and identify the perpetrators.  For your information, the level of fly-tipping recorded in Brentwood over the last 10 years as reported to DEFRA is detailed below (a fuller breakdown is available on the DEFRA website):

2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22
Recorded Fly tips 446 474 727 665 558 692 689 462 585 586

“My statement that ECC believes fly-tipping levels will not be impacted by a booking system is based on the experience we have from the limited booking trial we have been operating since last year, and information from similar county wide schemes operated by other County Councils.  As I confirmed fly-tipping levels, locations and types will be looked at as part of the overall evaluation of the trial to test this expectation.

“The DEFRA funded study I referred to  into possible links between fly-tipping and booking systems can be found at

  1. Evaluation of Trial: The key parameters that will be considered as part of the trial evaluation are detailed in the decision paper and can be found at and searching by the reference number 594/12/22.  However, in brief the evaluation criteria will be a combination of qualitative and quantitate assessment at a site and network level of fly-tipping data/information, feedback from users and stakeholders, operational impacts, tonnage changes and observed congestion levels.

“As there are a range of factors that will be considered, some of which are qualitatively assessed it is not possible to provide specific percentage ranges.  However, as explained the purpose of the trail is tackle congestion and use of the service by those not permitted to use the sites in a manner which as no significant adverse impacts for the user or the environment.  As I am sure you will recognise there will be a balance that needs to be struck between these issues, however it will be in this context that future decision will be made.

“Regarding your request to include an analysis of those that book on-line and those that book via the ECC contact centre I will endeavour to include this within our analysis.

“Once again, I thank you for your interest and engagement in this trial activity.


Cllr Malcolm Buckley

Portfolio Holder for Waste Reduction and Recycling