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BUDGET: ESA victory over landfill charity funding

The Environmental Services Association (ESA) has scored a notable success in its campaign over proposed changes to the Landfill Communities Fund (LCF).

The ESA had cried foul after an unheralded change in the chancellor’s spending review in November 2015.

George Osborne’s response, not covered in an earlier consultation, included the removal of the arrangement whereby third parties contribute the 10% shortfall in landfill tax payments to community projects.

From 1 April, operators would have had to pay the difference themselves and the ESA said some might withdraw at the extra cost.

Instead, Budget documents indicate that Entrust, the regulator for the LCF, will publish guidance for landfill operators to increase their contributions to the fund. The ESA says this is a preferable and more flexible alternative.

Executive director Jacob Hayler said: “The ESA is pleased that HM Treasury has listened to the industry and chosen to retain the option of using contributing third parties under the LCF scheme.

“Removal of this option would have stung landfill operators with a sudden and unforeseen £4m burden, which would have left them with no option but to cease contributing to the fund.

“This would have been a crying shame for local community and biodiversity projects which rely on this source of funding in an otherwise challenging climate for fund raising, and also for the environmental bodies administering the scheme which would have been forced to wind down and lay off jobs.”

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