Waste Management

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 5th March 2007.

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Photo of Caroline Spelman Caroline Spelman Shadow Secretary of State (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

(1) whether local authorities which have entered a joint waste authority (JWA) will be able to leave the JWA without the consent of its other members;

(2) whether a (a) county council and (b) regional assembly will be able (i) to mandate and (ii) to force a district council to enter a joint waste authority;

(3) whether local authorities which enter joint waste authorities will have their statutory targets pooled;

(4) what the (a) governance, (b) internal voting, (c) remuneration and (d) administration arrangements are of joint waste authorities.

Photo of Ben Bradshaw Ben Bradshaw Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare)

The Government tabled their proposals for the creation of joint waste authorities (JWAs) through amendments to the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill on 1 March this year.

Under the proposals, the decision to create a JWA will be a voluntary one to be taken by two or more local waste authorities. The Secretary of State will only be able to dissolve a JWA in two situations: (i) if he/she receives a request to do so from all the appropriate local authorities; (ii) if he/she considers it necessary. Other models of partnership working are available for those authorities that do not wish their partnership to be placed on a statutory footing.

Where a JWA takes on the waste collection or waste disposal functions of its constituent authorities, it will also be responsible for any targets associated with those functions. It is up to groups of authorities to decide which functions a JWA should take on. If a JWA is responsible for waste collection, the recycling targets of the constituent authorities will in effect be "pooled". However, if the JWA is responsible only for waste disposal, the local authorities will remain responsible for recycling targets.

It will be for the relevant local authorities to consider and propose arrangements concerned with governance, internal voting, remuneration and administration. The Government are proposing that the Secretary of State will have powers to make regulations on the content of proposals and the information that should accompany them. A requirement for local authorities to consult on their draft proposals is also being proposed.

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