Environment secretary Caroline Spelman has faced strong criticism from MPs of all parties in a debate in Parliament over the controversial review of waste policy.
Shadow environment minister Jamie Reed dismissed environment secretary Caroline Spelman’s announcement that the review is good for business and the environment as “barely credible”.
Reed said: “It is no wonder that Defra is rapidly being seen as the equivalent of the mad woman in the attic. As usual, today’s announcement was spun to the media before it was laid before Parliament. Among the spin was yet another broken promise, this time on weekly bin collections.”
He added: “Today’s announcement fails to establish a framework for the green growth that the country needs and through which thousands of green jobs could be created. The waste review is a huge missed opportunity that looks set to do little for our environment or our economy. The Secretary of State should explain why it took so long and looks set to deliver so little.”
Conservative chair of the environment, food and rural affairs committee Anne McIntosh MP cautioned against the decision to scrap the landfill allowance trading scheme (LATS), she said: “May I share with the secretary of state the fact that the district council serving my part of north Yorkshire will be well on its way to meeting the target that she has set. There will obviously be some perverse implications from abolishing LATS because rural communities have done very well out of that.”
Former Labour environment minister Ben Bradshaw criticised the Government’s decision to “pay lip service to localism” while “trying to force local authorities” to reintroduce weekly waste collections as “nonsense”. He said: “Will she confirm that most of the local authorities that have alternate weekly collections are Conservative-controlled, and that there is a strong correlation between high recycling rates and alternate weekly collections?”
Conservative MP for Wokingham John Redwood used the debate to demand a restatement of the Government’s rumoured promises for weekly waste collections, he said: “Does the secretary of state agree that it is unacceptable to have rotting food waste hanging around for up to two weeks in bins, and will she tell councils that she hopes that they will have at least weekly collections so that we do not have the danger and risk of that situation?”
In response, Caroline Spelman said: “We believe that it is important to support local authorities that want to provide a weekly collection of the smelly part of the waste, and Defra will make available £10 million to assist them in that.”