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Levelling-up Or Just Levelling

The news that Transport for the North is to have its budget allocation slashed is another blow to the Government levelling-up agenda which remains suspect so long as it continues to pursue southern-based initiatives like the Oxford-Cambridge Arc. It now looks as if the DfT is going to award less tha...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 16 January 2021

Twenty Twenty-one Vision

However you look at it, 2020 was a dog of a year. Inevitably, coronavirus dominated the headlines. Many people lost loved ones, fell sick themselves or suffered long-term issues. Many more lost their jobs or saw their businesses damaged or destroyed. All of us have been denied many of the simple ple...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 31 December 2020

A Home Of Your Own

Communities secretary Robert Jenrick has always been clear that a central motive for his passionate desire to build more greenfield housing is to enable more young people to own their a home of their own. -apos-We will keep building and build back better, delivering the homes people need, and ensuri...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 28 December 2020

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Government snubs call for contaminated land funding

Added on 17 September 2016

The Government has rejected a Commons Environmental Audit Committee recommendation to go on paying for local authority land contamination work in England.

The report published by the Committee in June complained at the ending of funding for council investigation and remediation of contaminated sites under Part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

It recommended DEFRA undertake detailed assessment of its run-down of the grants, following evidence given by Smart Growth UK.

But DEFRA brushed aside the concerns of the MPs and said it had simplified the Part 2A regime and commissioned research and said its research on health effects had not reached any conclusions.

It said it had never promised year-on-year funding and the grants had been for legacy issues, but it claimed the Government is not in any way complacent about contaminated land.

DEFRA also rejected a call for annual reporting on contaminated land.

The Department also recommended a string of other recommendations by the MPs on soil health, including soil carbon, actions which damage peatlands, cross-compliance, banning subsidies for maize for anaerobic digestion and monitoring soil trends.

DEFRA said the environment is a precious natural asset and soils play a vital role.

It said leaving the EU provides an opportunity to consider a long-term vision for the environment.

DEFRA response

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