Welsh council to take WAG to court over landfill allowances

A Welsh council is taking the Assembly Government to court next month after claiming that changes to landfill allowances has ‘penalised’ its success in reducing waste production.

Newport City Council is challenging the decision by ministers to base the next round of landfill allowances on 2007-08 council waste production, rather than the previous baseline year of 2001-02.

Newport, with 4.7% of the Welsh population, was allowed to landfill only 4.4% of Welsh waste prior to the review of the Landfill Allowance Scheme. The proportion has now been cut to 4.1%. ‘In effect, residents in the city are allows to landfill less waste than most other parts of Wales and if they fail, extensive fines will result,’ a council spokesman said.

In a statement, the Welsh Assembly Government said: ‘The allocations that were made to local authorities were calculated using 'baseline' data contained in the Municipal Waste Management Data Survey Report for 2001 -02.

‘The decision of the Minister which is now being challenged was to rebase the allocation of landfill allowances for the years between 2010/11 and 2019/20 using the proportions of municipal waste arising from each local authority in 2007/08.’

Newport said it had been successful in reducing the amount of municipal waste produced in the city so was ‘dismayed to see that this success was penalised in the recent review of landfill allowances’.

The council has projected that it could face potential fines of £320,000 in 2013 owing to a reduction of a further 1,600t of waste to landfill.

The judicial review will be heard on November 18 and is expected to last for two days.

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