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A week is a long time in politics after all

And so it came to pass. Rumours about the departure of Lord de Mauley as resource minister, hinted at by MRW last week, were confirmed on Twitter by senior Defra civil servant Colin Church.

The announcement coincided with the inauguration of David Beadle as president of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM). An unscientific straw poll of some of those present produced general relief.

The sentiment was prompted by concern in the industry at Defra’s relatively hands-off role in driving more resource efficiency in England. Beadle, for example, was scathing in his acceptance speech of a “weak” waste prevention strategy, saying the politicians had shown neither leadership nor vision.

Our wish expressed here last week that de Mauley stay on was a desire for continuity. But if there has to be change, then Dan Rogerson - the new minister - offers decent credentials, having been on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee and a co-chair of the Associate Parliamentary Sustainable Resource Group.

It must also help that he is an MP: elected members seem more wired for regular public accountability than those from the Upper House.

Beadle launched a CIWM report on commercial and industrial waste and identified a potential capacity gap in the UK by 2020 of 15 megatonnes. He said also that skills, waste crime and health and safety would be key themes in his presidential year.

There was praise for the work of outgoing president John Skidmore - which MRW echoes with thanks for his unstinting efforts as a member of our judging panel for the National Recycling Awards.

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