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Government announces proposals for Exeter to take charge of its own waste "destiny"

Exeter City Council will be in charge of its own destiny in relation to waste management if it becomes a unitary authority, according to its head of cleansing services Mike Trim.

Trims views come after Local Government Minister Rosie Winterton recently announced that Exeter along with Norwich had been selected for unitary status.

Speaking to MRW, Trim said in practice, waste management should not create any major problems if Exeter becomes a unitary authority.
He added: If we become a unitary authority, we will be responsible for disposal of waste.
Currently, we are only responsible for the collection of waste and Devon County Council is responsible for the disposal. If we become a unitary authority we will also take over the management of civic amenity sites within Exeter.

Trim said that Exeter had a close working relationship with Devon and explained that the transition from a two-tier local government to a unitary one will be easy.
There is also a proposal from Devon County Council to build a £35 million energy-from-waste plant which will take waste from three authorities including Exmouth, Teignmouth and Exeter.

Trim said that negotiations would have to be made with Devon County Council and waste management firm Viridor that are overseeing the project about management of that facility if Exeter becomes a unitary authority.

The Government decided that a unitary structure for Exeter and Norwich would deliver better joined up services that promote greater value for money.

Winterton said: Strong decisive local government will play an essential role in promoting economic growth, reducing unemployment and rebuilding the local economy as we move towards recovery. Exeter and Norwich are at the centre of regional economic activity in their areas and their economic performance is crucial for their residents and the wider area.

The proposals for unitary authorities for Norwich and Exeter will be voted on by Parliament before they become law. If Parliament approves the proposals and there are no legal challenges, the councils can start putting in place transitional arrangements ready for elections to the new councils in 2011.

Key facts:
* Exeter is made up of eight districts that are responsible for waste collections but not disposal.

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