August 5th, 2016

Parking restrictions? Undervaluing green space in the UK

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by Ayesha Bapasola

 

It’s rare that a parish council decision causes an outcry that permeates the upper echelons of Westminster. However, Stoke Gifford Parish council in South Gloucestershire hit the headlines when it voted to charge Parkrun for the use of Little Stoke Park early this spring. The council has stuck to its guns, though, and continues to do so, even after securing £750,000 to upgrade facilities at the park and ‘increase sports participation for the local community’.

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August 28th, 2015

Waste hierarchy compliance: a tick box exercise?

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by Sam Taylor and Peter Jones

 

The waste hierarchy is one of the fundamental elements of the European waste management policy. Enshrined in the Waste Framework Directive, and transposed into UK law in the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 (‘the 2011 Regulations’), applying the waste hierarchy is a legal duty on all producers of waste. But with little threat of enforcement of this obligation, many businesses in the UK seem unmotivated to act and compliance appears to be literally no more than a tick box exercise.

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May 29th, 2015

Pickles’ parting shot

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by Joe Papineschi and Gwen Frost

 

I suspect that the departure of Eric Pickles from the role of Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will not be widely mourned amongst council officials. His replacement, Greg Clark, had a previous stint as minister of state in the department between 2010 and 2012, and subsequently held the cities brief. While it may be too early to pronounce with confidence that a major change of approach is in the air, Clark is a strong advocate of decentralisation of power, and might reinvigorate the localism agenda that fell by the wayside as Pickles increasingly sought to bend councils to his will.

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May 5th, 2015

Giving Greens the blues? The Conservative manifesto

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by Martine Kurth

 

You can tell a lot about what matters to a party from what its manifesto addresses first and in most depth. The Conservative manifesto for the 2015 General Election focuses on giving a fairer deal to much-mentioned ‘hard working families’. The NHS, childcare, home-ownership, tax, welfare, and pensions feature strongly. The environment gets two pages, with a further two on energy and climate change, starting from p54 of the 80 page document.

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April 17th, 2015

Twisting in the wind

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by Laurence Elliott

 

As the May election draws nearer, the UK wind industry waits to see what effect the new government will have on the development of onshore wind. Back in December 2014, David Cameron told the Commons Liaison Committee of senior MPs that the Conservatives would not subsidise any new onshore turbines if they were to win the general election, claiming that the public are “frankly fed up with so many wind farms being built that won’t be necessary”.

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February 20th, 2015

Pickles, politics and power

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by Peter Jones

 

“If you want to get anywhere in politics, you’ve got to be good at pushing on open doors. If you can’t resist pushing on closed ones, then you ought to have chosen another job.” That rather bleak assessment of the extent of ministerial power comes from C.P. Snow’s novel Corridors of Power, in which the lead characters try (and fail) to tip the balance against 1950s Britain seeking an independent nuclear deterrent.

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October 21st, 2014

Risk and reward: is it worth bidding for DCLG’s Recycling Reward Scheme?

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by Clare Pitts-Tucker

 

Eric Pickles is making something of a habit of conjuring up pots of money to promote his pet policy proposals. Undeterred by the experience of the £250m Weekly Collection Support Scheme (WCSS), which proved quite an expensive way to persuade one authority to revert to weekly collections, he has now established a £5m Recycling Reward Scheme (RRS) fund that gives councils the chance to bid for resources to set up local recycling incentive schemes.

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