Relevant Authorities to Define Requirements of Environmental Protection

Part of New clause 1 – in the House of Commons at 4:45 pm on 27th June 1995.

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Photo of Mr Robert Atkins Mr Robert Atkins , South Ribble 4:45 pm, 27th June 1995

The hon. Lady will recall that, when we discussed the matter in Committee, I made it clear that although we were pushing as hard as we could within the Government estate to be aware of all that should and can be done by various Departments, we did not always meet every objective. Being a reasonable person, she will understand that there are always pressures and difficulties that prevent our achieving some objectives. Some areas are better than others, and some are worse.

A lot of work remains to be done, and my Department, the Secretary of State and I are doing it. The documents to which the hon. Lady refers have been given publicity. They might not have aroused the amount of interest in the tabloids that we might have wished for but, in practice, they have been circulated, there is a lot of interest in them and they have had a lot of effect. It is, therefore, unfair to suggest that they have not done what we anticipated.