Communities and minerals
Being sustainable also means seeking to minimise impacts on neighbours in local communities. Over recent years, the MPA has a host of case studies that demonstrate the efforts made by individual operators, not just to exist in harmony but to make meaningful contributions to the social as well and the built fabric of their areas.
Sometimes it’s the simple (but essential) courtesy of asking people what they think about a new development proposal. Recognising the need to communicate on a regular basis, many minerals companies have initiated local liaison committees.
Links with schools have become particularly beneficial as teachers have recognised the variety of ways in which minerals can contribute not just to earth science studies but to subjects right across the curriculum, and the great resource that can be on offer via a local quarry. The MPA’s Virtual Quarry is a free online resource that has made friends amongst both teachers and pupils in classrooms right across the country.
The Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (ALSF) in England was an important way in which the industry gave back to local communities affected by quarrying. It directed millions of pounds of tax paid by the industry to a wide variety of causes designed to redress the impact of quarries in their immediate areas. However in April 2011 the fund was scrapped despite MPA representations, for more details click here. The only part of the UK where the ALSF remains in operation is Wales.
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