As we await policy clarity from Government over consistent collections (amongst other things!), planning for service changes continues unabated. It has to really, because otherwise the hurdle to deliver multiple service changes, with associated procurement blockages - all at the same time, will be unviable.
We, at FRM, have seen the re-emergence of long term municipal waste management strategies (we have supported / are supporting, four of these over the last year) and here Councils are planning for what we expect from Government, often caveated by the need to ‘see the money’. In some cases, the choices are whittled down to two or three different potential collection system approaches. This provides an opportunity to engage with the public either around a draft Strategy or a set of possible alternatives for a collection system or change to Household Waste Recycling Centres.
Public consultation on these aspects can deliver assurance to decision makers to instigate an alternative service configuration. Where, for example, food waste collections are intended to be introduced, then consultation also offers the potential for understanding perceived and actual barriers to service uptake. If a long term Resources & Waste Strategy is being developed, then a consultation is an opportunity to receive comment on the direction and service implications of the proposed strategy.
A detailed options appraisal usually underpins the public consultation, providing evidence behind any anticipated performance improvement, whether for cost, carbon, recycling rate, social value or all of the above!
With large changes afoot it requires a solid base of evidence and engagement to bring about changes that deliver anticipated benefits, comply with Government policy and have the buy in from the public.
Frith Resource Management provide technical advice to Councils on waste strategy, options appraisals, public consultation, service governance and service procurement. See www.frithrm.com or call 01746 552423 or email firstname.lastname@example.org