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Defra: what do you think of Joint Waste Authorities?

Local authorities will be able to apply to the Government to transfer waste collection, disposal and/or street cleansing functions to a joint waste authority (JWA), according to Government proposals.

In a consultation paper published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), it proposes that neighbouring local authorities could work together to provide better integrated and therefore more cost-effective waste services.

Environment minister Joan Ruddock said: Joint working on waste is becoming increasingly important, to help local authorities to invest in new, sustainable waste facilities more cost-effectively. Authorities are already developing innovative ways of working with their neighbours to improve their waste services.

Joint waste authorities can provide local authorities with an additional option for working together one that will allow them to put their partnership on a statutory footing.

These measures were included in the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007. It was made clear in the Act that the JWAs would be governed by elected members in the constituent authorities and that they would only be created if all authorities voluntarily agreed to join.

Elected members will be required to decided on whether they wish to propose a JWA and then consult with local people on the proposals.

Over £500,000 is available from Defra to help local authorities develop proposals for a JWA.

Click here to view the consultation paper

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