WASTE MANAGEMENT is set to be one of the key issues for ICE Yorkshire when it publishes its State of Yorkshire report in the summer.
It will be one of six regional reports drawn up by the ICE this year to complement its national State of the Nation report.
The move into the regions follows the unprecedented success of last year's national report (see box), when a successful pilot in the Midlands was carried out.
Director general Tom Foulkes and Yorkshire region chairman Richard Ashley outlined ICE Yorkshire's plans to a specially convened lunch of regional lobbyists, decision makers and influencers in Leeds last week.
Ashley highlighted waste as one of a handful of issues likely to feature strongly in the report.
Yorkshire is officially ranked as the worst performing region on waste, and Ashley is adamant that the issue is not understood by politicians: 'Everybody knows recycling targets are a joke. There is a complete mismatch between the EU and what is happening on the ground.'
Transport, water and flooding, regeneration and energy are also set to feature in the report.
Yorkshire forward chairman Terry Hodgkinson urged the ICE to promote the report vigorously.
'What you do with the report is as important as the report itself, ' he said.
'You must try and spread it as widely as possible, as reports like this with real standing can start to change the way the region performs.'
Last year's report was formally launched at the ICE's parliamentary reception in July and received unprecedented levels of media coverage.
Singling out one issue as of special concern - security of energy supply - the ICE was called on to give eight interviews on national television, with front page coverage of the report in The Guardian.
The report was picked up by 14 regional papers as well as five international titles. It resulted in two questions being tabled to prime minister Tony Blair, eight questions in the House of Lords and 30 written questions in the House of Commons.
Since then, the ICE has been asked to give written evidence to nine select committee investigations and oral evidence to the select committee investigation into the security of energy supply.
'That's a pretty astonishing return for one report in July, ' said director general Tom Foulkes, outlining the report to the audience in Yorkshire last week.
'It is a very major part of the ICE's programme to engage with decision makers. We are an authoritative voice on infrastructure and there is convincing evidence of the weight ministers and civil servants attach to the views of the ICE.'