Considering it was August when in theory it is quiet as the schools are on all breaks the past month has felt quite busy. Meetings with WRAP and DEFRA have proved very useful and then there was the small matter of judging the LARAC Awards, ahead of the LARAC 2019 Conference - which is now only a month away.
The meetings with WRAP and DEFRA form a key part of our wider policy work and are very useful in exploring the latest policy developments and for them to raise ideas and thoughts and get informal local authority views on them. We cannot always share what is discussed directly with our members, the price for having the meetings in the first place, which can make it harder for us to let you know we are working on your behalf. But these sorts of meetings will prove valuable as we gear up for the next steps in the progress on the Resource and Waste Strategy and possible next set of consultations in 2020.
The progress of the Environment Bill will play a larger part in how things progress, and this is obviously all tied into the EU Exit work and what parliamentary time there might be to get the Bill through. The less time, the less detail it is likely to have, which could cause delays down the line. But that is one where we have to wait and see what happens. In the meantime, we continue to engage DEFRA and others and assume the work will be going forward soon.
Work continues apace for the LARAC Conference and with just a month to go it is putting together all the final details and nitty gritty of the event. It’s a big task and with a new venue this year there are some differences to take into account and deal with. The programme is finalised and looks a good one, bookings are good and the entries for the awards of a high quality. It is always good to read the awards submissions as it shows just how much great work is still going on out there and how innovative and dedicated local authority officers are. If this sort of work can be done after ten years of funding cuts who knows what you will all achieve with EPR and other funding coming into the system? The next five years could be a very exciting and transformational time and I look forward to pondering the issues in Birmingham at the LARAC Conference next month.I hope to see many of you there.