Scrutiny advise liquid waste debate is postponed

Thursday 13 July 10:24

Environment Scrutiny Panel concluded that the debate on the proposed liquid waste charges should be delayed until such time that its recommendations have been thoroughly considered and addressed by the Minister for Infrastructure and his Department.

The Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel has published a report on its review of the proposed liquid waste charges for non-households. The Panel’s review has examined the Minister for Infrastructure’s proposals, assessed the charging mechanisms and determined how they would be applied. The Panel found that the rationale for introducing user pays charges is, on the whole, well supported and consistent with experience in other jurisdictions. However, it also found various issues in regards to the development of the charges and their planned implementation. As a result, the Panel concluded that the debate on the proposed liquid waste charges should be delayed until such time that its recommendations have been thoroughly considered and addressed by the Minister for Infrastructure and his Department. The Panel’s recommendations are as follows:

1. The Minister for Infrastructure must ensure that the term “non-household” is defined in primary legislation before Article 4 of the Drainage (Jersey) Law 2005 is able to come into effect.

2. The Minister for Infrastructure must ensure that exemptions to the term “non-household” are included in primary legislation, and the basis for their selection are made publically available, before Article 4 of the Drainage (Jersey) Law 2005 is able to come into effect.

3. The Minister for Infrastructure must undertake necessary steps to ensure that an accurate database of non-household customers is in place before the proposed charges are levied.

4. The Minister for Infrastructure must develop alternative methods for identifying the allocation of charges for businesses operating from residential properties.

5. The Minister for Infrastructure must revisit the calculation of non-household costs to ensure that they are calculated in a transparent manner that is in alignment with best practice.

6. The Minister for Infrastructure must commission the Economics Unit to undertake a more detailed analysis of the impact of the liquid waste charges on non-householders which shows the potential range of charges in each sector and how the charges vary by size and type of non-household.

7. The Minister for Infrastructure must consider a wider range of charging schemes that can deliver similar outcomes to the proposed liquid waste charges. This should include more innovative approaches to managing liquid wastes on the Island that deliver improved environmental outcomes.

8. The Minister for Infrastructure must delay the introduction of the proposed charges to enable an open consultation to take place. The consultation should include discussion of the charging principles and genuine options as to how the charge might be deployed. The consultation should also be supported by suitable outreach events.

9. The Minister for Infrastructure must work closely with the Minister for the Environment to explore the possible options available for incentivising improved environmental behaviour. The Minister for Infrastructure must report back to the States Assembly before the end of March 2018.

10. The Minister for Infrastructure must delay the introduction of the proposed liquid waste charges until such time as the recommendations within the Panel’s report have been thoroughly considered and addressed.

11. The debate on the proposed liquid waste charges should not progress until the States Assembly has considered, and approved, the appeals process for non-householders.

12. The Minister for Infrastructure must establish a comprehensive communication programme to ensure that non-householders are fully up to speed about the proposed charges and are supported to improve their waste management. The Panel will be undertaking a review of the proposed solid waste charges before the debate in September 2017.

The Minister for Infrastructure will respond formally to the Panel’s recommendations in due course.

Read the full Scrutiny Report here

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