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Government fund of £60m to be managed by London Waste and Recycling Board

A single £60 million fund to improve Londons waste management will be controlled by the future London Waste and Recycling Board (LWRB), the Government announced. The cash is an amalgamation of all the London Boroughs allocations under the Waste Infrastructure Capital Grant, which has been added to the citys share of the Waste Performance and Efficiency Grant. The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will distribute the money over three years, providing equal amounts of £22.8 million in 2008/09 and 2009/10, and then supplying the remaining £14.4 million in 2010/11. The GLA Bill to pass a LWRB goes to Parliament in summer 2008 and if approved the Board will have four Borough and three non-Borough representatives. London Councils which lobbied for the Board has been invited to appoint the chair. Environment Minister Joan Ruddock said: Londons performance on waste is improving. Recycling has risen from only 9% in 2000/01 to 23% in 2006/07. However this is still well behind the national average. London is in a unique position as the only metropolitan region in the country, and this needs to be recognised in the way it deals with its waste. I believe that a single fund for London is the right solution, enabling London to invest in the infrastructure it needs as a city. This is unlikely to happen if the fund is divided up. A Board of four Borough representatives and three non-Borough representatives is small enough to take effective decisions and large enough to allow a range of interests to be represented. I recognise that getting the mix right will be a challenge, but its important that the Board serves the interests of London as a whole, not those of individual Boroughs. A short consultation is planned for early in 2008 to finalise details of the order needed to bring the powers into effect. After this the order will go to the House of Commons to ensure the Board can become operational early in the financial year 2008/09.

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