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Clause 41 - Biodiversity lists and action (England)

Part of Natural Environment and Rural Communities Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:45 am on 28th June 2005.

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Photo of Madeleine Moon Madeleine Moon Labour, Bridgend 11:45 am, 28th June 2005

I am aware of that. However, as always, it is a voice and what matters is how often that voice is listened to. The hon. Gentleman will agree that that voice is often crying in the wilderness.

We are looking for a chance to ensure that the list is proactive and not passive. We have such lists in Wales. The issue is the status of the list. The hon. Member for the traffic jam of South-East Cambridgeshire expressed concern at putting definitive responsibility on local authorities. Here, we must push the responsibility because we are discussing a list of species of principal importance. I want to ensure that the necessary steps are taken, not merely promoted. The hon. Member for Brecon and Radnorshire (Mr. Williams) referred to a voice in the Welsh Development Agency. I am sure that that voice promotes the taking of such steps by the WDA and I am sure that that happens on equivalent bodies in England. If species of principal importance are to be protected, the responsibility must be to ensure that the necessary steps are taken.

I welcome the Minister’s announcement of an additional £850,000 for local biodiversity partnerships. I hope that that will enable us to add to the species list, so that we ensure that it increases and does not decrease.

I am sure that the planning inspectors would note the responsibility for species on the list if they were required to ensure their protection.