Without warning or consultation the SNP government has dumped the Lothian Waste Plan,. It was so secret an announcement that despite Edinburgh Council successfully fighting to get into a private presentation earlier this week by the Government no hint of the scrapping of the plans was given.
These projects have been worked on for 3 plus years. Their demise has raised several questions. Firstly, as Edinburgh will now not meet our targets for waste reduction by 2013 will the Government pay our fines (which will be in the order of hundreds of thousands of pounds) as it was they who removed the plan and have nothing to replace it with? Secondly, and not unconnected, what is plan B, which, whatever it is, will take a minimum of a year to develop before any procurement can even begin? Thirdly, who will pay for the cost of the project so far which will run to tens of thousands of pounds for nothing?
The claim that they want to remove as much incineration is one I would support. I certainly was no fan of the Virador plan (which was a speculative private sector offering, not the work of the Councils involved), and which included a waste transfer depot in my ward, but the questions remain how will they achieve this, what technology will they offer in its place, how much thought has been given to alternatives and how will it be funded?
The SNP claim that they are being aspirational for high targets, but there is no substance to their words and unheralded announcements is no way o take folk with you. Its seems ironic that in announcing their plans they are not giving the Councils affected the chance to re-use or recycle the plans they already had. Once again this is populism without forethought.
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