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Paper 15  - 26 November 1999 Meeting

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

26 November 1999

WORK OF THE SOUTHERN REGIONAL ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION ADVISORY COMMITTEE (REPAC)

Report by Councillor Mrs Brenda Smith, New Forest District Council

1. As one of the local authority representatives on the REPAC, I am invited to attend quarterly meetings and also further Sub-Committee meetings on specialist subjects, AGMs, LEAP launches, and so on, as and when required.

2. The REPAC is sadly lacking in female representatives, and most of the members seem to have a specialist knowledge of one of the areas of the Agency's activities (air quality, waste management, water quality, etc). 1 feel very much like the person on the Clapham omnibus, but nevertheless that probably has its own value in the overall scheme of things.

3. I can report specifically on the following matters which were discussed at the last two meetings in April and July.

Water Price Review

4. We are asked to comment to OFWAT on the water companies' proposals for pricing within their business plans. The Environment Agency is obviously concerned to see the clean up of coastal and river water as a key element in the management of water resources, and provided for fairly within the pricing mechanism.

Water Resources

5. Abstraction of water is a continuing item, especially in times of low rainfall, and granting or renewal of licences in general has been considered in the light of modern irrigation techniques.

Radioactive substances

6. A topic often discussed, raised in response to a European Directive. Referred to a Sub-Committee for detailed discussion, when more information would be supplied.

Waste Management

7. A draft national waste strategy has been published, and we are asked for comment. There is concern that the Landfill Tax is not working as we might have hoped and quantities of waste continue to rise. In the southern region, 200 metal recycling sites operate outside any Agency control and are to be brought under regulation by October 1999. Agency staff will be co-operating closely with local authorities to curb fly tipping, and many good working relationships already exist.

8. The Chairman submitted a first draft of an annual report, for members' attention.

9. The Committee heard an update on regionalisation in the UK, in particular SEEDA covers the Agency's Southern Region, and part of the Thames Region. Two members of this REPAC are serving on SEEDA's Sustainability Committee.

10. The Chairman submits to each meeting his list of meetings and communications for the previous quarter, for discussion or questions if needed.

11. As part of the training programme meetings are often preceded or followed by informal sessions on topics of interest, with expert speakers as necessary.

COUNCILLOR BRENDA SMITH 
New Forest District Council

Last update: 13/10/2000
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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