A joint letter concerning public funding to tackle waste crime has been sent to Parliamentary Under Secretary of State Lord de Mauley by CIWM, the Environmental Services Association, the Renewable Energy Association and the Resource Association.
Emphasising the environmental and economic impact of waste crime, the four signatories have called on the Minister to ensure that the budget for this important area of enforcement is not cut in this week’s Spending Review. The letter says:
“As you are well aware, our sector is at the heart of the government’s green growth agenda, turning waste into economic resources and growing at 3% – 4% a year. We recognise that public spending must fall, and that all the ‘non-protected’ areas of spending, including those that affect environmental issues, are likely to be affected (though we note in passing that Defra did receive some of the sharpest departmental budget cuts in the last Spending Review).
“…we are convinced that one area which must not suffer spending reductions are the resources allocated to Defra, the Environment Agency and local government to tackle the problem of waste crime”
“However, we are convinced that one area which must not suffer spending reductions are the resources allocated to Defra, the Environment Agency and local government to tackle the problem of waste crime.”
The letter goes on to express the organisation’ concerns regarding the damage that waste crime causes – from fly-tipping to the organised crime “which subverts environmental regulations for illegal profit through activities such as exporting hazardous waste abroad”.
It adds that while the organisations are working with the likes of the Environment Agency, Defra and local government to tackle waste crime, the challenge remains “enormous”. Te letter concludes: “In such a situation, it would be a great mistake to cut spending in this area and we would urge you to ensure that overall decisions taken by Defra do not have this effect.”
We will, of course, report in full on the Spending Review later this week
What do you think will be revealed in the Spending Review… and how significant will the cuts be? Leave your comments below