The Mayor is trying to make another grab for control of waste, an area that has traditionally been under the control of local authorities and which he sees as being a way to get more power for himself. His press release issued today says:
We need one city-wide body to manage Londonâ€™s waste sustainably, so we donâ€™t dump it outside the city or burn it. David Miliband, the Secretary of State for the Environment, could resolve these problems by unequivocally backing the creation of a single waste authority under the office of the Mayor of London, which would give us a city-wide body similar to the way we deal with transport.
So the Mayor wants to centralise London’s handling of waste and make it as inefficient and wasteful as Transport for London.
I don’t recommend that you read the 404 page Municipal Waste Management Strategy and certainly don’t ask how much it cost in all its full colour, commissioned artwork glory. I did load the PDF and search for terms such as “savings”, “cheaper” and efficiency savings”. You will not find any references to saving you money in this document. How can you centralise a service on a pan-London basis and not make one of your key objectives slashing costs? You will find talk about sustainability and vision which all equals much greater costs to ordinary Londoners.
The Mayor’s strategy talks of a fifth functional body. Imagine Waste for London in addition to Transport for London. Maybe WfL will have a Â£78 million comms budget too. Maybe WfL will employ 821 people who earn more than Â£50K per year. You can assume that WfL would really hurt your pocket.