Councils are taking a battering but shock waves will be felt wider
It was unlikely that the Chancellor’s Spending Review this week was going to herald good news for local authorities and surprise, surprise we now see another round of tough cuts in the pipeline.
The public sector is really taking a battering but the shock waves no doubt will be felt across the wider waste and recycling sector.
Sure, there will always be room for improvement, but it is difficult to see how a cut of 10% in funding and an extension of the council tax cap will not impact on the ability of local authorities to maintain current collection and recycling services without something giving elsewhere. There are also fears that there could be a reversal in the improvement of collection rates.
The Chartered Institution of Wastes Management has voiced its concern at the Chancellor’s new round of cuts. In its latest press release, deputy chief executive Chris Murphy has warned that the recycling performance across councils could be stalling.
Talk to local authorities and they will say that the materials that are easy to recycle have already been picked. If recycling rates are to increase, more money and a huge amount of effort will need to be ploughed into front lines services to help influence consumer behaviour. But this is doubtful in the current climate.
An increasing number of councils are joining up services in regional partnerships to increase their efficiencies and savings but how much can they really deliver? It’s a debate that could go on and on but LAWR would be interested to hear local authority views.Nick Warburton