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ALSF needs to focus more on local communities

THE Mineral Products Association (MPA) is calling for future use of the Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF) in England to be more strongly focused on local communities. In addition, the MAP says there should be a strategic review to align the fund more closely with current sustainability principles, together with a more coherent delivery plan.

While setting out the Association’s continuing opposition to the aggregates levy, Nigel Jackson, chief executive of the MPA, said there had been many positive outcomes stemming from the use of the ALSF to date, and he emphasized that the fund should be maintained as long as the aggregates levy continued to operate.

Mr Jackson also stressed that the MPA is seeking to ensure genuine and lasting value from the ALSF, but he raised particular concerns about the diversion of the fund from its original purposes and said allocation and spending had been significantly lower than originally planned.

The MPA has set out five key positions on the future of the aggregates levy and the ALSF:

  1. The existing freeze on the levy’s indexation should be extended indefinitely, and at the very least until there is a proven and sustained recovery.
  2. The undoubted improvements the industry has made in its operational and environmental performance should be properly evaluated and recognized by seeking to reduce the quantum of the levy itself.
  3. The ALSF should continue for as long as the levy is in place, but its strategic management and delivery should be reviewed to align more with the principles of sustainable development and significantly more funding should be directed to benefit local communities impacted by aggregate extraction.
  4. The creeping migration and diversion of funds away from the original and core purposes of the fund into general exchequer should be arrested and reversed.
  5. There sould be increased attribution; the industry wants plaques and launch ceremonies, as these help raise the profile of the industry and assist in making the link between the use of the fund and the industry.

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