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Pickles quizzes Minister about bin charging pilot

In an attempt to pin down details about the local authority (LA) bin incentive pilot schemes, conservative MP Eric Pickles has asked numerous questions in the House of Commons. The pilots, which were read in the House of Lords last Wednesday (February 1, 5 2008, mrw.co.uk), have attracted debate about the way they have been organised.

Pickles questioned the charges appeals process and asked for information about when rebates would be paid. He also asked if there would be an opportunity for the public to comment on the organisation of the pilots and if Parliament would have a say in designating the pilot areas and how they would be administered.

In response Environment Minister Joan Ruddock said that LAs running pilots will be required to have a suitable appeals process. She added that a formal consultation on this was planned and that LAs would be involved. Ruddock said that the timing for payments of rebates or charges was: a matter for a LA piloting waste incentive schemes. They will take that decision based on what is right for their area.

She added: Procedural details relating to the evaluation of these pilots is not a matter for legislation. However, we welcome the publics views on the operation of the pilots.
She also added that the designation of pilot areas and administrative guidance for such schemes does not require parliamentary approval by affirmative resolution.

A source at the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management told MRW that it was unlikely that the issues surrounding pilot schemes would be resolved until the pilots have actually happened.

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