Planning and investment key priorities for new Government – waste industry

Improvements to the planning system, getting the finance in place, recognising the potential for energy generation and providing a clear policy framework for the future are going to be critical for the new Government if it wants waste management to work in the UK.

This was the core message of two major trade associations, CIWM and ESA, as they laid out the priorities for the new Government this week.

Both bodies published lists of priorities and, as might be expected, both had identified similar issues.

A clear steer on policy going forward was seen as vital to provide business with the confidence it needs to invest in the sector, as were revisions to the planning system to make delivering critical infrastructure a more realistic proposition.

They also said that Government needed to recognize the value of waste as an energy source.

Both associations also flagged up finance as of key importance, though their tack differed.

The ESA called for ‘a floor under landfill tax rates to act as a long term driver to encourage investment’ and a streamlined procurement process to cut costs for contractors and councils.

CIWM took a more direct approach, saying there was a need for ‘meaningful investment support for new and greener technologies’.

The ESA flagged up three other priority areas – clear incentives for recycling and recovery; improvements in health & safety regulation and ensuring that European directives affecting the industry are transcribed onto the UK’s law books in a timely fashion.

CIWM said it wanted to see ‘clear, strategic objectives that marry together energy, material resources, low carbon and climate change imperatives’ and a greater commitment to enforcement and combating environmental crime.

Sam Bond

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