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The Right Homes In The Right Places

Six days of debate were promised on the Government programme set out in the Queens Speech and, out of a sense of duty, I read through the discussions of housing and social care on 22 June. I hope I saved you the trouble, because little of it was very edifying. Despite a background of near-zero socia...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 23 June 2017

The Times Have Become Interesting

Just when you thought that politics had become predictable, even a first-past-the-post electoral system manages to throw up a result to surprise everyone. Interesting times indeed. And even though the new Government looks superficially like the old, despite the addition of Democratic Unionist Party ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 12 June 2017

Corridor Vision

One of the oddities of the garden city movement is its obsession with the northern Home Counties and the south-east Midlands. Perhaps this is because the area was the location of its only two garden cities and the first of the new towns they spawned, at Stevenage. Or perhaps it-apos-s because the mo...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 24 May 2017

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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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