Living in a temporary dwelling on your own land

In most of Europe, it is currently perfectly legal to live in a caravan or camper or log cabin, any temporary dwelling in fact, without planning or other permissions on land which you own.

In this country it is not allowed.  What I would like to see is the abilty for those who wished to, to live full time on their own land, in a temporary dwelling.

Why is this idea important?

In most of Europe, it is currently perfectly legal to live in a caravan or camper or log cabin, any temporary dwelling in fact, without planning or other permissions on land which you own.

In this country it is not allowed.  What I would like to see is the abilty for those who wished to, to live full time on their own land, in a temporary dwelling.

Flexible use of agricultural land

Helps solve the housing crisis and boosts the economy at no cost to the government
The current restrictions on farm land are based on old concepts of land useage and do not take into account modern low carbon eco businesses that will boost the future economy

Why is this idea important?

Helps solve the housing crisis and boosts the economy at no cost to the government
The current restrictions on farm land are based on old concepts of land useage and do not take into account modern low carbon eco businesses that will boost the future economy

Energy Performance Certificates

We own a single property which is available for holiday lets throughout the year. Can you explain why I need an energy performance certificate? Do you think my guests are really interested? Do they not just want to enjoy their holiday? This is just an additional expense and regulation placed upon property owners for no additional benefit to anyone other than the contractor carrying out an inspection and is completely needless, unlike fire assessments and landlord’s gas certificates. I can see that many owners, such as ourselves will decide to discontinue providing holiday accommodation if the burden from regulations becomes, as it seems, ridiculous.

Why is this idea important?

We own a single property which is available for holiday lets throughout the year. Can you explain why I need an energy performance certificate? Do you think my guests are really interested? Do they not just want to enjoy their holiday? This is just an additional expense and regulation placed upon property owners for no additional benefit to anyone other than the contractor carrying out an inspection and is completely needless, unlike fire assessments and landlord’s gas certificates. I can see that many owners, such as ourselves will decide to discontinue providing holiday accommodation if the burden from regulations becomes, as it seems, ridiculous.

Four square rule

It not neccessary to provide street  lighting for Helicopters,  low flying aircraft  or Airships (yet), but it seems to me that much of the energy used for lighting goes up rather that down. There have been a few ideas put forward, all basically the same (to be optimal they would have to be ) so I will quickly go over the main points:

1. by reducing the height of the lamp by a half the energy on the ground  is increased by 4.

2. an awful number of  lights are more that 3 or 4 times taller than  any thing that passes beneath  them.

3. So, cut the lamps in half or as appropriate and  reduce energy to a quarter or as required locall.

4. This might be acheived  in a surprisingl short time – tho I  do not have figures to prove that statement – and the safety aspect will be improved considerably, lower access.

5. People living along bus roots will be less likely to find themselves in situattions of great embaressment when they have forgotten to close the bedroom blinds.

Why is this idea important?

It not neccessary to provide street  lighting for Helicopters,  low flying aircraft  or Airships (yet), but it seems to me that much of the energy used for lighting goes up rather that down. There have been a few ideas put forward, all basically the same (to be optimal they would have to be ) so I will quickly go over the main points:

1. by reducing the height of the lamp by a half the energy on the ground  is increased by 4.

2. an awful number of  lights are more that 3 or 4 times taller than  any thing that passes beneath  them.

3. So, cut the lamps in half or as appropriate and  reduce energy to a quarter or as required locall.

4. This might be acheived  in a surprisingl short time – tho I  do not have figures to prove that statement – and the safety aspect will be improved considerably, lower access.

5. People living along bus roots will be less likely to find themselves in situattions of great embaressment when they have forgotten to close the bedroom blinds.

Scrap plans to build any more wind farms

Wind farms are inefficient, only working at their design capacity for a fraction of the time and  are unsightly, despoiling HUGE tracts of previously unspoilt, wild, desolate, beautiful wilderness .    That feeling of "getting away from it all" , so important for the mental well being of millions of ordinary people, would be lost.

They are also extremely noisy for people living close to them.

Where they are built invariably tends to be in isolated rural areas. Which are deathly QUIET at night. So regardless of the low , by industrial standards, decibel rating, nobody can get to sleep!

Again, detrimental to health, increased cost to the NHS and  a probable productivity loss to the nation.

Because they cannot ever provide enough power for the future needs of the UK, especially in winter, when we need more power than at any other time, (Winter wind is of much lower strength than at other times of the year), they need to be "backed up" with conventional power stations.

These (coal, gas and nuclear), need to be kept running at all times. They cannot just be switched on or off at will.

So their ( the wind farms )  existence is an uneccessary duplication of power generating capacity.

Why is this idea important?

Wind farms are inefficient, only working at their design capacity for a fraction of the time and  are unsightly, despoiling HUGE tracts of previously unspoilt, wild, desolate, beautiful wilderness .    That feeling of "getting away from it all" , so important for the mental well being of millions of ordinary people, would be lost.

They are also extremely noisy for people living close to them.

Where they are built invariably tends to be in isolated rural areas. Which are deathly QUIET at night. So regardless of the low , by industrial standards, decibel rating, nobody can get to sleep!

Again, detrimental to health, increased cost to the NHS and  a probable productivity loss to the nation.

Because they cannot ever provide enough power for the future needs of the UK, especially in winter, when we need more power than at any other time, (Winter wind is of much lower strength than at other times of the year), they need to be "backed up" with conventional power stations.

These (coal, gas and nuclear), need to be kept running at all times. They cannot just be switched on or off at will.

So their ( the wind farms )  existence is an uneccessary duplication of power generating capacity.

The environment – packaging

Reduce significantly the amount of non recyclable plastic packaging, used in the food industry particularly, by several means:

*   ensure that all "one-time" shopping bags are recyclable – i.e. paper or recyclable plastic

*   phase out all one-time plastic bags; whilst the usage reduction from 60 to 40 billion a year over the last two is significant it still means we will put 40 billion bags into the ground still this year

*   phase in the use of paper bags

*   require that both plastic bottles AND their tops are of the same recyclable material. The lids on the plastic milk bottles are recyclable whilst those on the soda bottles are not! If they were, one could flatten the plastic bottle, put on the cap and than discard thus reducing the volume by about 70%

*   invest in power plants which use packaging and other rubbish as their fuel

Why is this idea important?

Reduce significantly the amount of non recyclable plastic packaging, used in the food industry particularly, by several means:

*   ensure that all "one-time" shopping bags are recyclable – i.e. paper or recyclable plastic

*   phase out all one-time plastic bags; whilst the usage reduction from 60 to 40 billion a year over the last two is significant it still means we will put 40 billion bags into the ground still this year

*   phase in the use of paper bags

*   require that both plastic bottles AND their tops are of the same recyclable material. The lids on the plastic milk bottles are recyclable whilst those on the soda bottles are not! If they were, one could flatten the plastic bottle, put on the cap and than discard thus reducing the volume by about 70%

*   invest in power plants which use packaging and other rubbish as their fuel

Automate the Dartford Tolls to the Congestion Charge Standard

No amount of government pledges on climate change are credible until the biggest man-made traffic jam in Europe is abolished.  Every day, thousands of cars are trapped in an impossed jam, pumping thousands of tons of Co2 into the atmosphere and losing industry and commerce millions.  I am not suggesting scrapping the charge but simply implementing the London congestion charge system.  After all, I am sure every number plate is read when a car uses the booths now.

There is no excuse for not changing this.  If the goverment is serious about the environment and wants the population to do its bit, then the goverment should lead by example and implement a system to remove this MAN MADE traffic jam that is a huge embarrassment on the largest artery from Europe to the UK.  No where else in Europe can be seen such a poor example of road management. Its time government stepped up to the plate and tackled this blot on the landscape.

 

 

Why is this idea important?

No amount of government pledges on climate change are credible until the biggest man-made traffic jam in Europe is abolished.  Every day, thousands of cars are trapped in an impossed jam, pumping thousands of tons of Co2 into the atmosphere and losing industry and commerce millions.  I am not suggesting scrapping the charge but simply implementing the London congestion charge system.  After all, I am sure every number plate is read when a car uses the booths now.

There is no excuse for not changing this.  If the goverment is serious about the environment and wants the population to do its bit, then the goverment should lead by example and implement a system to remove this MAN MADE traffic jam that is a huge embarrassment on the largest artery from Europe to the UK.  No where else in Europe can be seen such a poor example of road management. Its time government stepped up to the plate and tackled this blot on the landscape.

 

 

local power

As the Transition Town movement has shown, there is a huge energy field waiting to be tapped in local communities if only the people are given suitable means to help themselves and organise their local environment responsibly. As peak oil and climate start to bite, the sustainability of local units will be key. Farmers' Markets are a perfect example of the way communities should be organised towards self-sufficiency. The question of advance signing is clearly crucial and the law preventing this should be changed asap. Local is advantageous in every respect: on the economy, on the ecology, on human health. The government should do all it can to encourage this trend, which is also, by the way, stimulating people out of their sense of powerlessness and the ensuing apathy that afflicts a large section of British life today. 

Why is this idea important?

As the Transition Town movement has shown, there is a huge energy field waiting to be tapped in local communities if only the people are given suitable means to help themselves and organise their local environment responsibly. As peak oil and climate start to bite, the sustainability of local units will be key. Farmers' Markets are a perfect example of the way communities should be organised towards self-sufficiency. The question of advance signing is clearly crucial and the law preventing this should be changed asap. Local is advantageous in every respect: on the economy, on the ecology, on human health. The government should do all it can to encourage this trend, which is also, by the way, stimulating people out of their sense of powerlessness and the ensuing apathy that afflicts a large section of British life today. 

100 watt Light Bulbs

Give the public the right to buy 100 watt incandescent electric light bulbs. These have been banned by the EU in favour of fluourscents, but give a poor quality light. This causes eye strain, may lead to permanent eye damage, and some people compensate by turning on multiple lights or using secondary tungsten spot lights – this can increase electricity consumption.

The young need good lights for homework.

The elderly and middle aged often have some occular degradation, and require a sharp bright light to read small print on cooking instructions, medicines, etc.

By all means discourage use of high wattage bulbs – add a £1 environment tax – but don't outlaw them.

Why is this idea important?

Give the public the right to buy 100 watt incandescent electric light bulbs. These have been banned by the EU in favour of fluourscents, but give a poor quality light. This causes eye strain, may lead to permanent eye damage, and some people compensate by turning on multiple lights or using secondary tungsten spot lights – this can increase electricity consumption.

The young need good lights for homework.

The elderly and middle aged often have some occular degradation, and require a sharp bright light to read small print on cooking instructions, medicines, etc.

By all means discourage use of high wattage bulbs – add a £1 environment tax – but don't outlaw them.

Simplify the Packaging and Waste Regulations

The suite of regulations known collectively as the Packaging and Waste Regulations are without doubt the biggest environmental pain ever to be imposed on industry. I am an Environmental Legal Specialist working with a prominant certification body and visit about 120 to 150 companies a year. The time and effort required to calculate the "Producer Responsibility" is out of all proportion to either the money involved or even the environmental benefit. Ideally the whole concept needs a complete rethink. Short of that my idea is to simplify the system.

Allow manufacturing industry to make a declaration that the packaging used is proportional to production and that there has been no significant change since the last return. Then allow them to calculate the responsibility based on annual production figures – a 10 minute job.

To emphasise this a few anedotes:-

a) one company I visited spend 4 man months from December to the end of January to calculate a responsibility that almost always results in a payment of between £5200 and £5800;

b) another company was severely criticised by its compliance scheme for not calculating the weight of ink used in the cardboard box bar code marking system;

c) another was also in trouble because they forgot to take acount of the change in the type (and therefore the weight) of staples used.

As a suite of regulations they have lost the plot.

Why is this idea important?

The suite of regulations known collectively as the Packaging and Waste Regulations are without doubt the biggest environmental pain ever to be imposed on industry. I am an Environmental Legal Specialist working with a prominant certification body and visit about 120 to 150 companies a year. The time and effort required to calculate the "Producer Responsibility" is out of all proportion to either the money involved or even the environmental benefit. Ideally the whole concept needs a complete rethink. Short of that my idea is to simplify the system.

Allow manufacturing industry to make a declaration that the packaging used is proportional to production and that there has been no significant change since the last return. Then allow them to calculate the responsibility based on annual production figures – a 10 minute job.

To emphasise this a few anedotes:-

a) one company I visited spend 4 man months from December to the end of January to calculate a responsibility that almost always results in a payment of between £5200 and £5800;

b) another company was severely criticised by its compliance scheme for not calculating the weight of ink used in the cardboard box bar code marking system;

c) another was also in trouble because they forgot to take acount of the change in the type (and therefore the weight) of staples used.

As a suite of regulations they have lost the plot.

Increase the biofuel content of diesel to 25% during the summer months

Currently diesel contains 5% biodiesel. The limiting factor is the viscosity of biodiesel at low temperatures.

At 25 deg C 25% biodiesel/diesel would have the same viscosity as as 5% biodiesel/diesel at -10 deg C.

Therefore the proportion of biodiesel could be 5% in Winter, 15% spring/autumn and 25% during the summer.

It is normal for ordinary diesel to be sold without winter additive during the summer months so it should be no problem to change the biodiesel/diesel blend.

Why is this idea important?

Currently diesel contains 5% biodiesel. The limiting factor is the viscosity of biodiesel at low temperatures.

At 25 deg C 25% biodiesel/diesel would have the same viscosity as as 5% biodiesel/diesel at -10 deg C.

Therefore the proportion of biodiesel could be 5% in Winter, 15% spring/autumn and 25% during the summer.

It is normal for ordinary diesel to be sold without winter additive during the summer months so it should be no problem to change the biodiesel/diesel blend.

Move income tax, to a tax on dirty energy

 

If we want to encourage clean energy development and lower electricity use, we should raise taxes on emissions created by power plants, so that dirty energy costs more to produce than clean energy. 

If a tax based on the amount of pollutants a power station produced was raised significantly it would make renewable energy economically advantages.  Making clean energy cheaper than that produced by fossil fuels would lead to a surge in renewable energy projects.  This would lower pollution, create a secure energy supply and help the economy through investment.

Obviously this would lead to higher energy prices.  The government should offset this by lowering income tax.  Maybe the Liberal Democrats could get their 10,000 income tax threshold.  Those on fixed incomes would also need an increase, paid for by the emissions tax.  This would be a fairer system of taxation.  

Why is this idea important?

 

If we want to encourage clean energy development and lower electricity use, we should raise taxes on emissions created by power plants, so that dirty energy costs more to produce than clean energy. 

If a tax based on the amount of pollutants a power station produced was raised significantly it would make renewable energy economically advantages.  Making clean energy cheaper than that produced by fossil fuels would lead to a surge in renewable energy projects.  This would lower pollution, create a secure energy supply and help the economy through investment.

Obviously this would lead to higher energy prices.  The government should offset this by lowering income tax.  Maybe the Liberal Democrats could get their 10,000 income tax threshold.  Those on fixed incomes would also need an increase, paid for by the emissions tax.  This would be a fairer system of taxation.  

Reduce restrictions for dog walkers

It is increasingly hard for responsible dog owners to give their dogs the exercise they need. The previous government made it easier for local government to bring in new restrictions. This doesn't work. Local government often does not follow proper consultation, failing to consider the needs of dog owners. Dogs are simply banned from large areas with no thought for the impact. In effect, responsible dog owners are being punished because of an irresponsible minority. There would be outrage if cars were banned from any road on which more than say ten people broke the speed limit in a month !

This sort of approach just does not work. In 1980 or 1990 not all dog owners cleared up poo. Now virtually all do, yet there are more restrictions than ever before. The impact on more eldely dog owners (or those with older dogs), those without a car, or anyone who has rescued an ill-treated dog can be huge, yet there is no benefit to society. Otherwise unnecessary car journeys are hardly a good thing, either. 

The power of local government to ban dogs outright has been misused, and should be severely curtailed. Existing dog bans should be converted to 'dogs on leads' restictions – still a compromise – unless exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated.

If Britain really is to become a fair and open society, the attitude of a small minority should not be allowed to make a simply, everyday activity so hard for so many decent, responsible dog owners.

Why is this idea important?

It is increasingly hard for responsible dog owners to give their dogs the exercise they need. The previous government made it easier for local government to bring in new restrictions. This doesn't work. Local government often does not follow proper consultation, failing to consider the needs of dog owners. Dogs are simply banned from large areas with no thought for the impact. In effect, responsible dog owners are being punished because of an irresponsible minority. There would be outrage if cars were banned from any road on which more than say ten people broke the speed limit in a month !

This sort of approach just does not work. In 1980 or 1990 not all dog owners cleared up poo. Now virtually all do, yet there are more restrictions than ever before. The impact on more eldely dog owners (or those with older dogs), those without a car, or anyone who has rescued an ill-treated dog can be huge, yet there is no benefit to society. Otherwise unnecessary car journeys are hardly a good thing, either. 

The power of local government to ban dogs outright has been misused, and should be severely curtailed. Existing dog bans should be converted to 'dogs on leads' restictions – still a compromise – unless exceptional circumstances can be demonstrated.

If Britain really is to become a fair and open society, the attitude of a small minority should not be allowed to make a simply, everyday activity so hard for so many decent, responsible dog owners.

Green Microgeneration

Gordon Brown gave a boost to microgeneration (such as having a small wind turbine or solar panels on your own roof) by waiving tax on income earned from selling the electricity generated back to the grid.

I propose that this should still be true even if the wind turbine (as an example) that you have bought is not on your own roof.

This would allow people with a little spare cash who live in less windy parts of the country to buy a turbine and install it on a house in, for example, Cornwall, North Wales, and parts of Scotland.

It would also allow a homeowner who lives in a windy area, but who, doesn't have the cash to buy a turbine, to rent out his / her rooftop (also tax free) to someone who does.

The electricity company would simply install an outgoing meter alongside the incoming one, and credit the wind turbine owner with the value of the electricity generated, while also crediting the homeowner, on his / her electricity bill, with a "rooftop rent", which would be deducted from the wind turbine owner's bill.

Why is this idea important?

Gordon Brown gave a boost to microgeneration (such as having a small wind turbine or solar panels on your own roof) by waiving tax on income earned from selling the electricity generated back to the grid.

I propose that this should still be true even if the wind turbine (as an example) that you have bought is not on your own roof.

This would allow people with a little spare cash who live in less windy parts of the country to buy a turbine and install it on a house in, for example, Cornwall, North Wales, and parts of Scotland.

It would also allow a homeowner who lives in a windy area, but who, doesn't have the cash to buy a turbine, to rent out his / her rooftop (also tax free) to someone who does.

The electricity company would simply install an outgoing meter alongside the incoming one, and credit the wind turbine owner with the value of the electricity generated, while also crediting the homeowner, on his / her electricity bill, with a "rooftop rent", which would be deducted from the wind turbine owner's bill.

Give Communities the Power to Deal with their Own Food Waste

Allow communities to deal with their own food waste by removing the unnecessarily strict interpretation of the Animal By Products Regulations (ABPR) and increasing the limits of food waste which can be composted under a T23 anaerobic composting exemption.

Any community group which wishes to compost their own food waste must comply with the very strict time, temperature and particle size requirements set out in the Animal By Product Regulations. These regulations came into force in aftermath of Foot and Mouth and other crises to regulate collection, transport, storage, handling, processing and use of animal by products in EU Member States but their application in the UK has been far too restrictive.

Under the ABPR all catering waste must be composted in line with the ABPR. Catering Waste is defined  as ‘all waste food including used cooking oil originating in restaurants, catering facilities and kitchens, including central kitchens and household kitchens’ this includes waste from vegetarian kitchens, and no distinction is made for purely vegetable waste (DEFRA website). In practice this means that even a tea bag which may have theoretically touched some milk cannot be composted by community groups unless they can meet the strict guidelines set out in the ABPR.  This means that community groups wishing to compost their carrot peelings must be able to afford expensive in-vessel composting systems and the associated testing and recording.

 Those community groups which do manage to meet the requirements of the ABPR are then only allowed 10 tonnes of food waste on site at anyone time under a free exemption. As the quantities most community groups are processing are less than is financially sustainable for PAS100 accreditation the whole of the material – finished compost of excellent quality included is classed legally as food waste and thus limited to 10 tonnes on site at anyone time. Thus the free exemption treats normal kitchen waste in the same way as animal tissue waste (including blood and carcasses!). 

If groups cannot meet  these limits they must apply for a Standard Permit or Bespoke Permit. These permits were developed with large scale commercial composters in mind and cost thousands of pounds. As most community groups operate on tiny budgets, relying on the good will of volunteers these costs simply cannot be meet. 

Why is this idea important?

Allow communities to deal with their own food waste by removing the unnecessarily strict interpretation of the Animal By Products Regulations (ABPR) and increasing the limits of food waste which can be composted under a T23 anaerobic composting exemption.

Any community group which wishes to compost their own food waste must comply with the very strict time, temperature and particle size requirements set out in the Animal By Product Regulations. These regulations came into force in aftermath of Foot and Mouth and other crises to regulate collection, transport, storage, handling, processing and use of animal by products in EU Member States but their application in the UK has been far too restrictive.

Under the ABPR all catering waste must be composted in line with the ABPR. Catering Waste is defined  as ‘all waste food including used cooking oil originating in restaurants, catering facilities and kitchens, including central kitchens and household kitchens’ this includes waste from vegetarian kitchens, and no distinction is made for purely vegetable waste (DEFRA website). In practice this means that even a tea bag which may have theoretically touched some milk cannot be composted by community groups unless they can meet the strict guidelines set out in the ABPR.  This means that community groups wishing to compost their carrot peelings must be able to afford expensive in-vessel composting systems and the associated testing and recording.

 Those community groups which do manage to meet the requirements of the ABPR are then only allowed 10 tonnes of food waste on site at anyone time under a free exemption. As the quantities most community groups are processing are less than is financially sustainable for PAS100 accreditation the whole of the material – finished compost of excellent quality included is classed legally as food waste and thus limited to 10 tonnes on site at anyone time. Thus the free exemption treats normal kitchen waste in the same way as animal tissue waste (including blood and carcasses!). 

If groups cannot meet  these limits they must apply for a Standard Permit or Bespoke Permit. These permits were developed with large scale commercial composters in mind and cost thousands of pounds. As most community groups operate on tiny budgets, relying on the good will of volunteers these costs simply cannot be meet. 

EU Common Fishery Policy quotas

Bring an end to the lunacy of the current EU Common Fishery Policy quotas that do the very opposite of what they originally set out to achieve.

This will not happen until such time as the Commission, its advisers and those policing its policies get it into their tiny minds that there can be no conservation whilst we continue to return large quantities of perfectly healthy but unwanted or immature fish to the sea – dead.

A quota regime that totally ignores in its calculations that portion of the catch that is discarded has no place in a conservation policy. It is high time that any controls were based on the entire catch and not just on the landed portion.

Other than EU politicians, who will defend their beloved quota until the seas dry up, this failing is universally recognised especially by fishermen themselves.

What is surely needed is a quota based on catches not landings, a requirement to land the entire catch, a system that will allow governments to make local decisions to ban fishing in areas from which large volumes of immature fish are being taken and an increase in net mesh size if appropriate.

(I don't know how this diktat is integrated into British law – presumably it's there somewhere!)

Why is this idea important?

Bring an end to the lunacy of the current EU Common Fishery Policy quotas that do the very opposite of what they originally set out to achieve.

This will not happen until such time as the Commission, its advisers and those policing its policies get it into their tiny minds that there can be no conservation whilst we continue to return large quantities of perfectly healthy but unwanted or immature fish to the sea – dead.

A quota regime that totally ignores in its calculations that portion of the catch that is discarded has no place in a conservation policy. It is high time that any controls were based on the entire catch and not just on the landed portion.

Other than EU politicians, who will defend their beloved quota until the seas dry up, this failing is universally recognised especially by fishermen themselves.

What is surely needed is a quota based on catches not landings, a requirement to land the entire catch, a system that will allow governments to make local decisions to ban fishing in areas from which large volumes of immature fish are being taken and an increase in net mesh size if appropriate.

(I don't know how this diktat is integrated into British law – presumably it's there somewhere!)

Supermarkets to contribute

Instead of householders paying more in council tax to enable the councils to recycle more why not ask the Supermarkets to contribute?

We, as the consumer, buy most of our food in packaging which we end up having to recycle. This is not a bad thing in asking us to put out the right bits in the right boxes thus reducing more that goes into landfill BUT why aren't the Supermarkets being asked to contribute to the recycling schemes. For example, they could pay for all the new recycling and wheelie bins that have recently been distrubted in our area as well as part funding the contractors costs for collecting.

 

Why is this idea important?

Instead of householders paying more in council tax to enable the councils to recycle more why not ask the Supermarkets to contribute?

We, as the consumer, buy most of our food in packaging which we end up having to recycle. This is not a bad thing in asking us to put out the right bits in the right boxes thus reducing more that goes into landfill BUT why aren't the Supermarkets being asked to contribute to the recycling schemes. For example, they could pay for all the new recycling and wheelie bins that have recently been distrubted in our area as well as part funding the contractors costs for collecting.

 

moderation for environmental regulators

As a business that requires regular licences for dredging, piling, reclamation, marine works and building consents in coastal areas we have a difficult time.  Currently there is no way to appeal against the judgement of environmental officers working for Environment agency, English nature or Countryside council for wales. The officers are overzealous in applying rules emanating from the Habitats directive and other similar acts, they work on the precautionary principle whereby the applicant is obliged to prove "they are not having  a negative effect". This often becomes a game of find the invisible man, after spending years and often hundreds of thousands of pounds proving the painfully obvious to the ill informed few there is no method of redress against these individuals that have often been most unreasonable. i would like to see a measure of moderation and accountability for these agencies.The burden of proof needs to shift from the applicant to the regulator at some point and the consequence of not granting the licence need to be assessed in terms of the local communities affected by these insular and often poor decisions.

Why is this idea important?

As a business that requires regular licences for dredging, piling, reclamation, marine works and building consents in coastal areas we have a difficult time.  Currently there is no way to appeal against the judgement of environmental officers working for Environment agency, English nature or Countryside council for wales. The officers are overzealous in applying rules emanating from the Habitats directive and other similar acts, they work on the precautionary principle whereby the applicant is obliged to prove "they are not having  a negative effect". This often becomes a game of find the invisible man, after spending years and often hundreds of thousands of pounds proving the painfully obvious to the ill informed few there is no method of redress against these individuals that have often been most unreasonable. i would like to see a measure of moderation and accountability for these agencies.The burden of proof needs to shift from the applicant to the regulator at some point and the consequence of not granting the licence need to be assessed in terms of the local communities affected by these insular and often poor decisions.

Update definition of forestry to include community and educational use

The current definition of forestry is limited and is inconsistent with DEFRA'S latest strategy for Trees, Woods and Forests which states that community and educational use of woodlands is core to it's aims.

Under current planning law, woodlands are only available for 'non forestry' use for 28 days a year. This means that community forest schools (which offer children opportunities to learn and connect with their environment), woodland playschemes and conservation groups using young people as volunteers may be required to apply for change of use. Current definitions of land use are also inflexible so that there are no sub groups; educational use is presumed to be a 'school' and a conservation project can find themselves being asked to supply car parking to the same specifications as a new build school in order to get change of use.

I would like the definition of forestry and agrigulture to be more flexible- to allow for sustainable community growing and conservation projects.

Why is this idea important?

The current definition of forestry is limited and is inconsistent with DEFRA'S latest strategy for Trees, Woods and Forests which states that community and educational use of woodlands is core to it's aims.

Under current planning law, woodlands are only available for 'non forestry' use for 28 days a year. This means that community forest schools (which offer children opportunities to learn and connect with their environment), woodland playschemes and conservation groups using young people as volunteers may be required to apply for change of use. Current definitions of land use are also inflexible so that there are no sub groups; educational use is presumed to be a 'school' and a conservation project can find themselves being asked to supply car parking to the same specifications as a new build school in order to get change of use.

I would like the definition of forestry and agrigulture to be more flexible- to allow for sustainable community growing and conservation projects.

Allocate resources to rebuild canal network

Britain is very lucky to have an outstanding network of canals which today are used mainly for leisure boating.  The British Waterways Board has had on ongoing program of construction and improvement but it has not enough resources.

Compared to the billions spent on useless projects, the return on investment on the British canals would be very good indeed, for the countryside, and balance of payments.

http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/home

Why is this idea important?

Britain is very lucky to have an outstanding network of canals which today are used mainly for leisure boating.  The British Waterways Board has had on ongoing program of construction and improvement but it has not enough resources.

Compared to the billions spent on useless projects, the return on investment on the British canals would be very good indeed, for the countryside, and balance of payments.

http://www.britishwaterways.co.uk/home

Unfettered outdoor advertisement

PROPOSAL

Repeal the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisement) Regulations, the roadside advertisement provisions of the Highways Act and teh Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act.

REASON

This is the most universal form of civil disobedience and criminal negligence carried out across Britain today.  It is ignored by the tens of thousands of perpetrators and beneficiaries,

It is also actively and negligently disregarded and tacitly accepted by all the Government Agencies from the Planning Officers, Environmental Health Officers, Highways Inspectors and others charged with control and enforcement. 

 

Why is this idea important?

PROPOSAL

Repeal the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisement) Regulations, the roadside advertisement provisions of the Highways Act and teh Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act.

REASON

This is the most universal form of civil disobedience and criminal negligence carried out across Britain today.  It is ignored by the tens of thousands of perpetrators and beneficiaries,

It is also actively and negligently disregarded and tacitly accepted by all the Government Agencies from the Planning Officers, Environmental Health Officers, Highways Inspectors and others charged with control and enforcement. 

 

Move environmental taxes from point of disposal to point of sale

Abolish Point of Disposal environmental taxes like the land fill tax.

Instead, allow land fill and recycling centres to accept commercial waste free of charge.

To pay for this, increase the rate of VAT on building materials, tyres, etc. (i.e. whatever the difficult to dispose of items are).  VAT is cheaper to collect, impossible to avoid. Ultimately, the same person will pay for the disposal, but much sooner, without the ability to avoid the tax by dumping the waste.

To encourage recycling, make 2nd hand items VAT exempt and reduce the VAT on recycled goods, if practical.

Why is this idea important?

Abolish Point of Disposal environmental taxes like the land fill tax.

Instead, allow land fill and recycling centres to accept commercial waste free of charge.

To pay for this, increase the rate of VAT on building materials, tyres, etc. (i.e. whatever the difficult to dispose of items are).  VAT is cheaper to collect, impossible to avoid. Ultimately, the same person will pay for the disposal, but much sooner, without the ability to avoid the tax by dumping the waste.

To encourage recycling, make 2nd hand items VAT exempt and reduce the VAT on recycled goods, if practical.

Help Britain to see the light

Could we please be allowed to choose for ourselves whether we use incandescent bulbs that cost pennies to make and pennies to buy and provide superb lighting, or low energy bulbs that cost pounds to make and pounds to buy and pounds to recycle and force us to grope around in semi darkness. To ban the sale of 'real' bulbs on a staggered basis has forced many of us to stockpile 'bulb mountains'; a luxury that only those with the cash to buy them and the space to store them can take advantage of. For the rest of the population, buying light bulbs at up to £5 each which are particularly unattractive, often too large for the lamp that they are fitted to, and which provide little more than a dim glow is an unecessary imposition.

Please reverse this restriction. Please also impose a target on light bulb manufacturers to develop a low cost, low energy light bulb in the near future that is more acceptable to the public. When such a bulb is developed, the transition will still take place, but it will be our choice.   

Why is this idea important?

Could we please be allowed to choose for ourselves whether we use incandescent bulbs that cost pennies to make and pennies to buy and provide superb lighting, or low energy bulbs that cost pounds to make and pounds to buy and pounds to recycle and force us to grope around in semi darkness. To ban the sale of 'real' bulbs on a staggered basis has forced many of us to stockpile 'bulb mountains'; a luxury that only those with the cash to buy them and the space to store them can take advantage of. For the rest of the population, buying light bulbs at up to £5 each which are particularly unattractive, often too large for the lamp that they are fitted to, and which provide little more than a dim glow is an unecessary imposition.

Please reverse this restriction. Please also impose a target on light bulb manufacturers to develop a low cost, low energy light bulb in the near future that is more acceptable to the public. When such a bulb is developed, the transition will still take place, but it will be our choice.   

Replace the many environmental policies with a large carbon tax

The government has created a tangle of laws, quangos and initiatives to encourage the reduction of carbon emissions. 

Most of these policies are at best pointless and at worst harmful to the environment

Perversly there are also many susidies for groups of people to use cheap energy.

Often it is impossible to tell whether a particular initiative is increasing carbon use or decreasing it, e.g. flying is always suggested as a very fuel expensive way to travel when compared with trains but when these statistics are calculated the vast carbon cost of building and maintaining the railways infrastructure is ignored. Rail could be cheaper but we don't know. Trying to calculate the best way to reduce carbon has proved to be almost impossible.

I suggest that there should be a very large VAT charge on carbon producing activites balanced by an equally large reduction in direct taxes, e.g. NI and the sweeping away of all the laws, initiative, quangos etc aimed at reducing carbon emissions and of the carbon subsidies. 

We should try to avoid exceptions for things like agriculture, airlines, homes or old people but I accept that this may not be possible  and we must protect the vulnerable. A tonne of carbon dioxide is a tonne of carbon dioxide whoever creates it.

In my vision the  economy would be rebalanced towards carbon neutral activites and the pricing signals would quickly identify and discourage carbon use. 

 

 

Why is this idea important?

The government has created a tangle of laws, quangos and initiatives to encourage the reduction of carbon emissions. 

Most of these policies are at best pointless and at worst harmful to the environment

Perversly there are also many susidies for groups of people to use cheap energy.

Often it is impossible to tell whether a particular initiative is increasing carbon use or decreasing it, e.g. flying is always suggested as a very fuel expensive way to travel when compared with trains but when these statistics are calculated the vast carbon cost of building and maintaining the railways infrastructure is ignored. Rail could be cheaper but we don't know. Trying to calculate the best way to reduce carbon has proved to be almost impossible.

I suggest that there should be a very large VAT charge on carbon producing activites balanced by an equally large reduction in direct taxes, e.g. NI and the sweeping away of all the laws, initiative, quangos etc aimed at reducing carbon emissions and of the carbon subsidies. 

We should try to avoid exceptions for things like agriculture, airlines, homes or old people but I accept that this may not be possible  and we must protect the vulnerable. A tonne of carbon dioxide is a tonne of carbon dioxide whoever creates it.

In my vision the  economy would be rebalanced towards carbon neutral activites and the pricing signals would quickly identify and discourage carbon use. 

 

 

Repeal all laws that are incompatible with the environmental needs of Britain

There are a great number of laws which are environmmentally unacceptable. A review of all laws should be undertaken and an environmental impact study conducted for each law to determine its environmental impact . Some laws may only need minor revision to the wording with guidelines added, other will need to repealed totally. Most of the laws of Britain were written in unlighted times when the environment  was not considered to be of any importance.

Why is this idea important?

There are a great number of laws which are environmmentally unacceptable. A review of all laws should be undertaken and an environmental impact study conducted for each law to determine its environmental impact . Some laws may only need minor revision to the wording with guidelines added, other will need to repealed totally. Most of the laws of Britain were written in unlighted times when the environment  was not considered to be of any importance.