How we plan to help members respond to 'the consultations'

When not talking rubbish, I am probably on a hockey pitch somewhere, mainly as a coach. On the pitch success can be measured in many different ways, one team's defeat can be the other team’s victory and small developments by an individual player can feel like the biggest step forward ever.

As you know, we wrote to DEFRA last month about our concerns over the timescales of the consultation periods for EPR, DRS and Consistency (the three RCVs of the apocalypse?) being eight weeks instead of 12. Up until the end of play on Friday we still hadn’t had a formal response, all the signs were looking like a defeat. Then over the weekend confirmation that we had got the 12 weeks we asked for and the consultations would be out on Monday. So very clear success, but now the hard work begins.

We are planning our response to the consultations, how we help you respond and how we get your views in to inform our response. There will be online surveys, like we have done in the past, and we plan to do five workshops nationally to get in a room with you to really cover some of the bigger topics in detail. We have already provided you with initial information on what the consultations contain and the burning questions and further down the line we will provide a draft response you could use as a base for your own authority’s response.

Even with a 12-week period it is very challenging, but we will work as hard as we can on your behalf. These sort of policy changes only come around once every twenty years or so, therefore its critical we get your views and responses so the information we give is as well informed and as complete as possible.  We will do our best to support you in any way we can to ensure you give the best response possible. 

You may have seen that we have been part of a group that has built an excel tool that you will be able to download free  to see how DRS could impact on your authority. DEFRA will look at evidence over comment so it will add a lot of weight to your response whatever the outputs of the tool show for your council.

I wasn’t there but it sounds like the Strategy Unwrapped Conference last week was lively and informative. It was good one of our Vice Chairs was on a panel and also pleasing to hear that points we made in our funding policy paper released last year were being highlighted by others in the industry. It shows that our lobbying and our place in the policy discussion is having influence, even if it is not always clear or immediately evident. Like I say, success is often measured in several different ways.