Merton opposes waste disposal powers for London’s Mayor
Following Wednesday’s decision at the House of Lords to reject the Mayor’s amendment to transfer waste disposal powers, Councillor Tariq Ahmad, Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment and Traffic Management, said:
‘I am pleased that the House of Lords rejected the Mayor’s amendment to transfer waste disposal powers away from boroughs and bring them under his control. We strongly oppose the proposal for a single waste authority. It would put an end to the carefully thought out local initiatives we are developing and implementing that make us very optimistic about meeting our recycling targets for next year.
‘This is the reason why we are working with neighbouring Boroughs in developing the South London Waste Partnership, which provides the basis for the future development of our strategy. Of course, everyone would agree that we still need to do more, both here in Merton and across London, to drive up recycling rates. However, taking powers away from the boroughs and creating a centralised system is not the way to go. All it will do is create more administrative layers that ultimately means collecting more money from taxpayers.
‘Local targets should be locally managed. Figures for 2006-07 due to be released later this year are expected to show that nearly 25 per cent of London’s waste is now being recycled – an increase of 15% on last year. The capital is also the second best region in the country for diverting waste from landfill. It is individual boroughs’ understanding of local capacity and need along with our ability to respond flexibly to our communities that has been integral in driving these improvements.’