NONE of the councils who supported an application for Arpley landfill to remain open have yet replied to an invitation to visit the tip.

Warrington South MP David Mowat wrote to leaders from seven surrounding authorities who backed the proposal for rubbish to be dumped at the Sankey Bridges site for a further five years.

But after the Warrington Guardian asked spokesmen from Halton, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens, Wirral, Liverpool and Cheshire West and Chester council what their leaders’ reply was going to be, some cowardly councils told us they did not wish to comment.

Mr Mowat said: “I am very disappointed that none of the council leaders who are formally supporting the Arpley extension have been in touch with me yet, but I will keep trying.

“I do think it is important that they should come and see what is being done in their name.

“If Warrington can organise itself to send no waste to landfill then Liverpool and Halton can too.”

In his letter to council leaders, Mr Mowat said there was ‘more than enough capacity in the region as a whole to absorb the waste’.

He added: “Given that none of these other sites is as poorly located as Arpley, I believe there is an overwhelming argument that the site should not be forced to remain open.

“If you wish to continue supporting an extension of Arpley’s licence, you need to understand what that would mean for those whose lives will be blighted as a direct result.”

The response from councils dumping rubbish at Arpley will infuriate residents who have regularly complained about flies in their gardens, smells and lorries speeding past their homes.

The Warrington Guardian reported last week tip owner FCC can make further planning applications if details are varied after 12 and five-year applications have been turned down.

An appeal regarding the 12-year proposal will be heard at Orford Jubilee Neighbourhood Hub on February 18 and campaigners are being urged to protest outside the inquiry from 10am.

Permission to use the site expired in October last year but Warrington Borough Council has said enforcement orders would have led to a ‘lengthy and costly’ legal battle.

Nick Bent, Labour parliamentary candidate, added: "I strongly urge north west colleagues to visit to see and smell the reasons why politicians of all persuasion here unanimously support residents who want Arpley closed for good."

RESPONSES from councils supporting Arpley landfill who were asked if they would visit the site:

A Halton Borough Council spokesman said they did not wish to comment.

A Liverpool City Council spokesman said: “The response to the planning application for a time extension of Arpley Landfill, which was sent on behalf of the Liverpool city region by the Merseyside Environmental Advisory Service, was based on the factual position regarding the capacity for landfill regionally.

“However, we are aware that any residents living near to a landfill site will have a view about the operation of the site and the impact it has locally and it was a matter for the Warrington planning authority to take into account all the views they received before arriving at their decision and we understand that this issue has now been determined.”

Cheshire West and Chester Council supported the application but does not currently dump waste at Arpley.

A spokesman said: “We can confirm that the council leader has received a letter from Mr Mowat and a letter of reply is currently being drafted to answer the issues raised. “It should be noted that the decision to support the application was taken by officers in accordance with council policy.”

St Helens Council leader Barrie Grunewald-no comment

Sefton Council leader Peter Dowd-no comment

Knowsley's Ron Round-no comment

Wirral CCouncil leader Phil Davies-no comment