I do wonder how Livingstone finds the time to attempt to rebut just about anything The Standard, London Councils (individually and collectively) etc say about London, in between hob-nobbing with dictators, insulting ethnic minority Londoners and generally behaving in an odd way, but he does.
London Councils has put out a release noting that "when London boroughs’ recycling rates for 2005/6 are compared with similar large urban authorities in England , nine of the top ten performing authorities are London boroughs. London also sends less waste per head of population to landfill than the national average". In part this is due to there being less gardening related waste in London than elsewhere, unsurprisingly.
Anyway, the Livingstone media machine was electrified into action by this, and in a release dripping with bile (London Councils and research are both put in inverted commas) Livingstone or one of his homunculi, 'argues' "The London Councils 'research' has trawled through the available research on recycling and all they have managed to show is that half of London councils are recycling less than Barnsley. We cannot go on like this - we are the major global city in Western Europe and we should be at the cutting edge of recycling". There then follows a very selective laundry list of cities that recycle a higher percentage, although if this is a valid like for like comparison it is not explained. London (pop. 7.5m) is compared with Melbourne (pop 3.7m) and Seattle (pop 600,000), inter alia although not with Gay Paree, which with a population of 9.6m (city limits) or 11.1m (metro area) has at least as good a claim to be 'the major global city in Western Europe' .
Rather than greenery, what I consider Leninspart is really interested in is a land grab: "The only way to deal with the vast amount of waste we produce in this city is to have a London-wide body responsible". And I wonder who that would be answerable to? Answers on a postcard please. Perhaps the great lover of democracy might like to consider that once statutory obligations have been discharged, how councils choose to direct their time, energy and spending is an issue for the councils and their electorates, and wrapping oneself in a green shroud does not give him, or anyone else, such a unique moral authority that it trumps localism.
And there's more - London Councils have now responded to KL, "Environment minister Ben Bradshaw MP has written to all London council leaders to reject the Mayor of London’s calls for the creation of a single waste authority in the capital. He also warns that setting up a single waste authority would mean Londoners having to pay more through their council tax to deal with their waste – KPMG have estimated that the costs would total an extra £5.5 million per annum".
Quite the turf war.
(BTC is, in fact, Croydonian)