Robert Halfon MP votes for new Environment Act described as “example for rest of the world to follow”
General / Thu 18th Nov 2021 at 09:27am
HARLOW MP Robert Halfon has voted for landmark new Environment Act described as “an example for the rest of the world to follow”
The new Environment Act which “will deliver the most ambitious environmental programme of any country on earth” was supported last week by Harlow’s MP, Robert Halfon, who has said “these practical measures will cherish and conserve Harlow’s beautiful environment”.
The new, legally binding measures include:
Halting the decline in species like the hedgehog, red squirrel and water vole by 2030
Ensuring all new building developments improve or create habitats for nature
Tackling deforestation both in the UK and overseas
Incentivising more recycling and encourage businesses to create sustainable packaging
Stopping the exporting of polluting plastic waste to developing countries
Creating a new independent Office for Environmental Protection to hold government and public bodies to account on their environmental obligations
Ending the discharge of sewage into rivers, waterways and coastlines
Introducing a deposit Return Scheme for single use drinks containers and new charges for single use plastics
Cleaning up our air quality with new powers for local authorities
Strengthening woodland protection enforcement measures
Commenting on his support for the new landmark law, Mr Halfon said: “I care deeply about cherishing and conserving our environment in a way that does not force up the cost of living for hard working Harlow residents. Last week, I voted for practical measures that will do just that and are now backed up in law.
“This new law will protect many of our much-loved species like hedgehogs, conserve our wonderful forests and landscapes, clean up our rivers and waterways and reduce plastic pollution. All of these measures will make Harlow an even greener place to live by cherishing our wonderful environment for future generations.”
The Environment Act has been strongly welcomed by a number of industry leaders such as Natural England Chair,
Tony Juniper, who said: “This landmark Act will give us more of the tools and the momentum we need to really put nature on the road to recovery during this decade, enabling us to have more, better, bigger and connected areas of natural habitats, bringing a range of practical benefits and permitting more people to enjoy the wonders of the natural world, while improving wider environmental quality at the same time.”
Dame Glenys Stacey, Chair of the Office for Environmental Protection added: “The Environment Act is a cornerstone of the government’s ambitions to tackle ever more pressing environmental issues.
“I am delighted that the Act creates the independent Office for Environmental Protection, and gives us the tools for our job – to protect and improve the environment by holding government and public authorities to account.”
The Proof of the pudding will be in the eating, can it Save Our Stort River Valley? Can it stop the water pollution from flash flooding and unthreated sewage into the river and Harlow homes. Can it stop the damage to livestock, crops that farmers down the Valley have been watching grow exponentially over the last 20 years? They, hggt, have already started cutting down mature trees and bulldozing the landscape of this vital precious natural nature reserve in preparation for a Raised Road (the proposed Eastern Crossing) that'll devastate the tranquil environment and are planning to destroy vital flood plain at 5th Avenue Central Crossing when there's options that would avoid this damage and pollution at a lower cost to the wildlife and the public purse. Pollution from industry in Harlow such as detergents, oil, and industrial dyes continues to pour into the environment eg Canons Brook , into the waterways. The Rivers Authority already advises people not to swim (or canoe) in the River because of sewage pollution The planning meetings at Harlow and East Herts to decide these matters may have been delayed this week but the threats to Harlow and the quality of life and the environment are as great as ever. Developers, and our local Councils who are complicit in these plans, as Robert Halfon has said, do need to go back to the drawing board. East Herts Planning Officers have no regard for Harlow or they would not be pushing Cllrs to approve the planning applications for the crossings. It's down to Cllrs to protect the environment in the spirit of The Environment Bill, especially our Harlow Cllrs who have previously failed to see that not only is this scheme a threat to the natural environment and wildlife, bats, voles, otters, deer but also to the quality of life, the water we drink and the air we breathe in Harlow. Harlow would get all of the disadvantages, no Council or affordable or social housing but all of the noise, pollution and congestion whilst East Herts gets all of benefit.
The Central Stort Crossing, made necessary by the Harlow & Gilston Garden Town, will entail the loss of 1.33 hectares (3.29 acres) of flood plain. According to the Reports Pack to councillors, the plan is to have this crossing built by the time the 650th house is built. This means plenty of congestion until it is finished and how will this improve flood management?