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Leader - 22 June 2013

Lord de Mauley is a relative newcomer to the world of politics so he probably hasn’t had many opportunities to talk in detail to a trade journal such as MRW on key issues.

Christine Ottery’s extended interview with the resource minister at his Defra office covered a wide canvas.

It is interesting and completely understandable that de Mauley’s military background (nearly 30 years as a Territorial Army officer) informs his manner and approach to the job. He talks of logical processes, assessing options and planning.  This approach will appeal to those who make the oft-repeated assertion that without coherent long-term strategies from the centre, waste companies cannot secure adequate investment for growth.

De Mauley comes across as an introspective, even shy, man but it doesn’t mean he is a pushover. Earlier this month, MRW reported de Mauley’s public rebuke to the Local Government Association over its waste review, telling members he was “surprised and disappointed” by calls for more action from Whitehall when what he wanted to know was what councils were going to do to operate more efficiently.

The immediate future will be a testing one for all ministers as they get to grips with the consequences of the Chancellor’s spending review due next week. We will be reporting George Osborne’s announcement and the impact on those departments which serve the waste sector in these pages and on the website.

In advance, Defra has been assessing the future of bodies such as the Environment Agency and WRAP. We hope the growing awareness in Whitehall about the value of waste and resources will protect budget lines that support growth. If not, there will be less ammunition to hand for Lord de Mauley’s future plan of campaign.

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