It is entirely speculative, of course, but how do you think the RWM with CIWM show might change if Scotland settles on independence? There is a large Irish contingent, of course, so I’m sure that delegates from north of Hadrian’s Wall would be made as welcome as ever.
But trade, markets and policy could be very different in future years. The momentous vote takes place on the final day of the show next week, and will surely dominate non-business discussions on the stands and in the cafés and bars.
Until now, Scotland’s politicians have been highly proactive in the waste area, and are often held up by the industry as treading a policy path other nations should follow. Call me cynical, but if you were Alex Salmond and determined to win independence, wouldn’t you work very hard on those areas you were able to influence to prove you should run the rest of them?
By the time the 2015 RWM event rolls around, we will have a new UK Government and, regardless of the poll result, Dan Rogerson may no longer be our resource minister. After complaints this year within the waste sector about a lack of direction from Defra and a need for better PR, it was heartening to read Rogerson’s letter setting out how the Environment Agency - and other agencies such as HMRC - will bear down harder on waste crime, capitalising on the £5m transferred from the Landfill Communities Fund in the Budget.
Coincidentally, this week the Treasury announced a review of the fund, saying that charitable bodies had failed to cut ‘unspent’ kitties by the required 25%. As with all headline figures, this was only an average and some groups had exceeded the cut by a margin, while others had not. Don’t be surprised if, at the next Budget, the review means more cash being diverted to the EA’s anti-crime coffers or elsewhere.
Back to the present: don’t forget to come and meet your MRW team on stand 4M02 at RWM.