We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.Donate to our crowdfunder
I really think that I need to make some progress.
Let me now say something about the independence of the proposed Office for Environmental Protection. As my hon. Friend Mary Creagh has said, the only reason the Government have made any movement on waste, landfill and air quality is the threat of EU fines, so it is disappointing that the OEP will have no powers to issue such fines. Will the Secretary of State agree to consider enabling it to do so, in order to give it real teeth? I welcome the change enabling it to conduct investigations on its own initiative, but we should like it to be empowered to conduct broader inquiries into systemic issues, to make recommendations, and to issue guidance.
Greener UK has said:
“The bill includes several measures which could seriously undermine the water environment”.
Another hon. Member who has now left the Chamber mentioned abstraction. The proposed new powers for the Environment Agency to revoke abstraction licences would not come into play until
I am pleased to see that the Bill includes a commitment to nature recovery networks, but it passes more powers and duties to local councils without attaching adequate funding.