The London Waste and Recycling Board said it has radically improved its image and performance in the months following a critical report.
The report, ‘Perceptions Audit on the London Waste and Recycling Board (LWaRB) and its future priorities – Final Report’, was commissioned by London Councils and published last year. This is the first time LWaRB has publicly commented on the report.
LWaRB said that since the report, compiled by consultancy Cello MRUK Research, it has produced two business plans to resolve the points raised. London Councils said LWaRB had now “addressed many of these concerns”. They included:
- The report found that the “vast majority” of the councils surveyed – or 22 out of 25 respondents – thought LWaRB would not support or fund waste collection infrastructure. Since then LWaRB has spent £5m alone on its programme to encourage residents living in flats to recycle.
- In the report, 15 people (60%) said they were concerned about the LWaRB’s support for the private sector. LWaRB pointed out that it has since spent £18m supporting local authority and third sector projects.
- Only two respondents were satisfied that LWaRB was making progress on delivering medium to large infrastructure projects. LWaRB said that it had supported a wide range of projects including a gasification plant, two AD plants, a plastics processing plant, and a mechanical heat treatment plant. It added that it had invested £18m on the ‘Foresight Environmental Fund’ that supports schemes to cut London’s carbon emissions.
The report also found that LWaRB had to improve understanding of its brokerage work. LWaRB said its latest £16m infrastructure fund concentrated on building partnerships. It also offers a ‘passive brokerage’ service helping project partners find one another, which can be accessed via the LWaRB’s redeveloped website.
Several London Councils’ members sit on LWaRB and the report was commissioned to help them engage with the organisation. London Councils lobbies for resources on behalf of the capital’s 33 boroughs and to protect their powers.
A London Councils’ spokesman said: “The survey and associated report raised issues of concern for many boroughs who had reservations about aspects of the board’s investment strategy and the implications for local authority-led projects. The outcome was a review of the board’s business plan which addressed many of these concerns. Ongoing engagement between LWaRB and London’s waste authorities has led to a much better balance of LWaRB activity across all sectors including London’s waste authorities.”
LWaRB chief operating officer Wayne Hubbard said: “This report has been very valuable in helping LWaRB to design and deliver programmes, such as the £5m Flats Recycling Programme and the £4.6m Efficiencies Programme, that offer targeted assistance to London’s local authorities.”