New chief executive of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) has said that crime, health & safety, fire prevention and the debate over Brexit will dominate the organisation’s agenda during 2017.
Colin Church’s priorities, including a wide-ranging review of the organisation’s constitution currently being undertaken, are set out in a broad interview in the latest issue of MRW and on the website.
Church says his biggest goal is to help solve issues faced by CIWM members in their professional lives.
“An absolute priority for me is to continue to do the best job we can for those who are already members, and to continue to show to people who aren’t yet members why being one would be a good idea,” he told MRW.
We want to ensure that CIWM is a modern, forward-looking institution that is both effective and inclusive
The constitutional review is intended to bring the organisation in line with current requirements for charities, to streamline and improve operations and decision-making, and to ensure that members are more involved and better represented.
Proposals include a smaller trustee body, a senior management board to take on day-to-day leadership, changes to the election process and criteria for trustees and a membership council. A review of the professional membership grades is also underway.
“No organisation should stand still, and waste and resource management is a dynamic and fast changing sector,” Church said. ”We want to ensure that the CIWM is a modern, forward-looking institution that is both effective and inclusive.”
Externally, the institution plays an important role in the debate on key sector issues.
“We expect Defra’s second waste crime consultation to come out sometime in the first half of the year. It will be something we are looking at very carefully to see where we think we can add some value into the process of addressing waste crime and persistent poor performance in the sector,” Church said.
2017 is going to see a lot more conversations in a more concrete sense about the future of our sector
Health & safety remains a difficult issue while the CIWM is planning a training course on preventing fire at waste sites.
As the Brexit debate gathers pace, Church believes the CIWM can help Defra to work through the transfer of EU regulations to the UK via the Great Repeal Bill when it arrives.
“Then the question is what happens afterwards? There is this wonderfully complicated timing jig around the circular economy (CE) package negotiations.”
For Church, it means the organisation having “advisory influence”, and he is intrigued at how this will affect decisions on waste made by the devolved administrations in Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh.
“There is already divergence as we know between the four UK countries. Northern Ireland is always going to be looking south because it shares a land border with the Irish Republic, and it is going to be interested in what’s happening in Europe because it is going to be affected very directly by Brexit.
“Scotland has always wanted to be different from England on anything it possibly can, that’s a truism. Wales has become a thought leader in our sector globally, not just within the UK.”
He adds: “2017 is going to see a lot more conversations in a more concrete sense about the future of our sector, and we’ve got a number of things happening that can be quite influential.”