Newly appointed resource minister Dan Rogerson has written to members of the waste and recycling sector to inform them of a ‘reduction of activities’ in the area for 2014/15.
In the letter Mr Rogerson wrote that waste is ‘one of his priorities’ but added that from next year, the Department will focus on ‘essential’ areas of work and will look to act on issues that ‘only government can and must do’.
In addition, financial support for local authorities also looks set to be slashed. Mr Rogerson added: “Given the strong financial case for Local Authorities to realise efficiencies from their waste contracts, we will be reducing the amount of generic support we provide to them in this and related areas.”
He also noted that Defra will be stepping back in areas where businesses are ‘better placed’ to act, and said that the Department will not be looking to develop any new policies on commercial and industrial waste or energy from waste.
Mr Rogerson wrote: “These are challenging times, and the government has had to prioritise its work to make the best of public funding. It is because of this that I am writing to you today. I regret that the first contact I will have with many of you is to inform you of reductions to our activities. However, I wish to reassure you that this area is one of my priorities.
“We have been reassessing Defra’s activities on waste management for 2014/15 to focus on the essentials that only government can and must do. This recognises that government’s role should reduce as businesses increasingly realise the economic and commercial opportunities that arise from resource efficiencies and tackling environmental challenges. It also reflects that public funding is under extreme pressure and Government must ensure that this limited funding is focused on the key priorities.”