British Government invites partnership approach to waste

Local authorities interested in forming partnerships to deliver joined-up and cost-effective waste services for their communities have been invited by Environment Minister Joan Ruddock to submit an expression of interest. The power to create Joint Waste Authorities (JWAs) came into effect in 2007 in response to requests from local authorities. Joan Ruddock has written to all local authority Chief Executives with an invitation to submit a no-commitment expression of interest in applying to become a JWA. It is hoped that formal developed proposals can be submitted from Autumn 2008. Joan Ruddock said:

“Waste is an issue which affects everyone, but local circumstances vary considerably. We want to give local authorities flexibility and choice over the solutions available to them, so they can manage waste in the way that serves their communities best. Local authorities have asked for JWAs, and they offer another voluntary option for strong partnership working with the potential to deliver joined-up, more cost-effective and efficient waste services.

“For local communities, how waste is managed is quite rightly high on the list of concerns. Any JWA will be set up on a voluntary basis, will need unanimous support from the authorities involved, and will be made up of elected members from those authorities, who are fully accountable to their communities. Authorities will also need to consult locally on any proposals for a JWA. Where they are the right local solution I hope to see communities benefit from the efficiencies this kind of joint working can bring.”

It is up to the relevant local authorities to decide whether to make a proposal for a JWA, and which types of waste function (collection, disposal and/or street cleansing) they wish to discharge through a joint waste authority.

It is anticipated that the deadline for first applications will be Spring 2009.

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