Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Examination of Witnesses

Part of Environment Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:47 pm on 12th March 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

John Bynorth:

Obviously, there are different laws in Scotland, particularly regarding regulation. They should definitely work more closely together, liaising between the Office for Environmental Protection and the body that has just been announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Environment in Scotland, Roseanna Cunningham, which will be set up as a similar sort of regulatory and enforcement body. It will be good to have the two talking to each other, so they can learn from each other’s experiences. We should not have two distinct bodies that do not pick up the phone and talk to each other between Edinburgh and Bristol, or wherever the OEP will be based. We can see closer co-operation between the two, just to ensure that the whole of the UK is covered.

Things such as air pollution do not respect boundaries—it is a bit like the coronavirus, except it does not even respect inequality: it affects the poorest and those with underlying health conditions more than anyone else. Anything that is learned or being put into place by the UK Government should be taken up by the Scottish Government and vice versa, because they are doing a lot of work to improve air quality through air quality management areas. There are 38 in Scotland; they are introducing four low emission zones for the main cities in Scotland, to reduce the amount of transport pollution.

I see a lot of opportunities there. Politics should not come into it; whether there is an SNP Government, or a Conservative Government here, should be disregarded, because air pollution and the environment affect people’s health. We are talking about it more from an air quality perspective. There are other views as well.