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Livingstone to appeal High Court decision

The mayor of London is set to appeal against the High Court decision to allow West London Waste Authority (WLWA) to tender for a contract to incinerate waste.

Ken Livingstone has already issued two directions to the body to ensure it properly considers his municipal waste management strategy and to make sure that when it tenders for a new waste contract, it takes the most energy efficient option.

But WLWA sought a judicial review of the directions and was successful in getting them quashed at the High Court. However, the mayor has now applied for an order to suspend the decision until an appeal can be heard.

He said: We have a strong regional policy supporting recycling and this decision means that the amount of Londons rubbish sent to incineration will go up from around 20% to 36%. In addition the judgement effectively says that quick fix solutions will be made at the expense of longer term needs of the environment.

This implies that WLWA has every right to burn its waste and contribute to climate change, regardless of the long term costs to London. If it stands, it sends exactly the wrong negative signal to other waste authorities in the capital.

He argues that this case demonstrates the need for his waste powers to be strengthened and that the decision will have a direct impact on the Secretary of States influence on Londons waste.

This decision yet again reinforces the need for a single waste disposal authority (SWDA) in London. This would ensure waste is strategically co-ordinated and disposed of.

With a SWDA we would put more emphasis on recycling and new technologies that would capture heat and produce biofuels and hydrogen from Londons rubbish in order to tackle climate change. We should be working together to manage Londons waste and would avoid these lengthy and costly legal proceedings, he added.

While the Government believes his waste powers are sufficient, the mayor is to call on members of the House of Lords to back an amendment to the Greater London Authority bill which would support a SWDA.

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