Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes waste scheme axed

A waste scheme between councils in Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire is to be scrapped following cuts in government funding.

Milton Keynes Council and Northamptonshire County Council had feared project Reduce could be lost as a result of the Spending Review.

It said £138m in funding, which provided a "considerable contribution" to the cost, has been removed.

Each council's cabinet is expected to agree to end the scheme.

Northamptonshire County Council said the local authorities had worked together since 2008 to treat and dispose of "black bag" waste and prevent it going to landfill.

Foundation for future

A month-long review had been carried out following the government's announcement on spending cuts, and a recommendation made that the project be closed down.

"The work carried out to date will be the foundation for the councils' decisions about how to proceed with waste disposal over the coming years," the council added.

"More detailed announcements will be made as soon as they are available."

Heather Smith, cabinet member for highways, minerals and waste in Northamptonshire, said: "Our partnership has always been strong and the decision to halt the project is not one that has been taken lightly.

"In these economically challenging times it is necessary to scrutinise everything we do, and the removal of the government funding has forced us to reassess our strategy.

"We are currently considering the best way to continue in order to find a suitable value for money solution for our residents."

Councillor Mike Galloway, cabinet member for environment, planning and growth for Milton Keynes Council, added: "This is understandably very disappointing for everyone involved from both authorities.

"The project has been a very positive one, but we have to make difficult decisions in light of the current state of the economy."

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