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Tories plan move away from waste regulations

A Conservative Party Government will move away from seeing regulation as the principal option for dealing with waste and introduce a voluntary agreement among producers to cut back on waste called a responsibility deal, according to the partys 2010 manifesto.

The partys proposal ties in with Shadow Environment Secretary Nick Herberts waste vision that he launched last year.  He said that voluntary agreements had many advantages over legislation which include faster implementation and increased flexibility to changes.

The manifesto states that the responsibility deal, similar to the Courtauld Commitment, will allow producers to cut back on the production of waste and improve its disposal, as we move towards a zero waste society.

Other announcements in the document include a proposal to encourage councils to pay people to recycle, while scrapping Labours plans for new bin taxes on families.
The Conservative Party has strongly endorsed the recycling incentive scheme RecycleBank over the last year.

The manifesto also outlines that to help incentivise people to recycle the Tories will put a floor under the standard rate of landfill tax until 2020 to encourage alternative forms of waste disposal.

Elsewhere in the manifesto the Conservatives pledge to promote small and large-scale low carbon energy production and biogas. A Conservative Party spokesman confirmed that anaerobic digestion technology will feature as part of this promotion.
The manifesto states that it will give local authorities the power to establish new district heating networks which use biogas and other lower carbon fuels.

The Conservatives hope to abolish the unelected Infrastructure Planning Commission and replace it with an efficient and democratically accountable system that provides a fast-track process for major infrastructure projects. The manifesto states that the Tories will provide transitional arrangements for projects already before the IPC to ensure that these projects are not disrupted or delayed.

The Tories also plan to abolish the entire bureaucratic and undemocratic tier of regional planning, which could mean organisations such as the South East England Development Agency get scrapped.

Other planning proposals include:
* Local communities specifying  what kind of development they want to see in their area;
* Developers paying a tariff to the local authority to compensate the community for loss of amenity and costs of additional infrastructure;
* Giving local planning authorities and other public authorities a duty to cooperate with one another; and
* Abolishing the power of planning inspectors to rewrite local plans.

Elsewhere, the manifesto states that any quangos that do not perform a technical function or a function that requires political impartiality, or act independently to establish facts, will be abolished. It is not clear whether agencies such as the Waste & Resources Action Programme or Environment Agency will be scrapped.

Other announcements:
* A creation of a new Green Investment Bank

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