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A Five Billion Pound National Disgrace

Having watched the progressive degradation of Government policy on planning and transport in England over the past 15 years, I thought I was beyond being shocked. But a quick analysis of the Government announcement on its five billion quid Housing Infrastructure Fund left me speechless. Well, almost...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 04 February 2018

Transformational Dreams

Thanks to a quirky coincidence, I was in a small town in the north of England when Transport for the North launched its Strategic Transport Plan, setting out its aspirations for what it grandly called transformational growth over the next third of a century. Well, quite a lot of the north is in need...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 21 January 2018

An Egregious Future

Few elephants live in this country and most of those that do live in zoos. So conservation of them is unlikely to figure in any 25-year environment strategy, which is a pity, as the Plan published by the Government yesterday must have had two very large pachyderms roaming silently around the launch ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 12 January 2018

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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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