Cutting red tape for small farms

Much of the damage to wildlife results from big farms with big fields all doing the same thing at the same time. Small farms (less then 100 acres) have smaller fields, and have an economic need to do things differently from their neighbours.

Small farms do not get the commercial discounts that their larger neighbours get. They also suffer from having to pay minimum charges for many services required under European Waste Directive etc. Sometimes the minimum charge is larger then the entire profit on small enterprises. Householders get the same ammount of rubbish disposed of free.

Livestock disposal cost is much higher for small farms then for large farms. On one occasion I calculated that we paid more per kilogram to dispose of 2 still born lambs then a large commercial farm paid in fines and disposal costs after illegally disposing of nearly 200tons of carcasses.

Electronic Identification of sheep (EID) costs much more for a small flock then for a large one. Officially the cost is about 60p, but after the cost of the application tool is taken into account it costs about £2.00 a sheep for our flock. (We couldn't possibly buy the machine which reads the tags)

Transport licences: We have a rare breed flock and need to buy in one ram every 3 years to avoid in-breeding. The nearest flock of the same breed is over 100 miles away. (We provide a unique insurance against foot and mouth etc for this breed that only has about 500 sheep in the world) Without a licence we can only transport our sheep 40km. Getting the licence for transporting our own sheep would cost £150 and involve 2 days away from our small business. Paying anyone else to transport them would cost more. 

Farmers get their ORDERS from DEFRA, and sometimes (in our case) from the Welsh Assembly (WA). The division of responsibilities bewteen these two organisations is not clear. Sometimes the WA website just links straight through to DEFRA, sometimes neither seems to have relavant information.

We have to apply for Rural Payements Agency forms to the local WA Dept of Ag office. We have a very reliable local postal service, but vital Rural Payements Agency forms often go missing. After 10 years, and having completely lost the opportunity to get Single Farm Payments because of undelivered forms, I have only just discovered that the forms are posted to Wales from somewhere in England. What is worse, WA Dept Ag staff do not even know where the forms actually come from! THis makes affective chasing of lost forms almost impossible.

When we were turned down for Single Farm Payment we were told that there was a two stage appeal. We tried the first stage, but couldn't go onto the second stage because the charge was more then we had in the bank, and was about 25% of the payment we would have gained if the appeal was succesful.

Surprisingly, having failed to get SFP we were told we could still get Tyr Cynnal (Entry level environment scheme) We would have to stick to a management scheme. I wrote out a scheme that had succesfully supported summer Grasshopper Warblers and winter Snipe but as soon as I presented it it was screwed up and thrown on the floor. We were told to obey a plan from Brussels. The field cannot be grazed or topped at the time Brussels allows as it is usually waterlogged at that time of year. The field is now swamped with rushes, we have lost the Grasshopper Warblers and Snipe and are losing the very rare Whorled Carraway which used to blossom there. I have seen no new species. Although we run the farm as a nature reserve with 1/2 acres fields the extra boundary regulations took 16% of our land out of production.

Also there are no grants available to help very small farms to diversify into non farming enterprises. All that are available require match funding that exceeds that available from cash flow. Banks are, apparently, not interested in small rural enterprises. 

I am sure that many farmers have similar stories and can give many other examples of damaging red tape.

  

Why is this idea important?

Much of the damage to wildlife results from big farms with big fields all doing the same thing at the same time. Small farms (less then 100 acres) have smaller fields, and have an economic need to do things differently from their neighbours.

Small farms do not get the commercial discounts that their larger neighbours get. They also suffer from having to pay minimum charges for many services required under European Waste Directive etc. Sometimes the minimum charge is larger then the entire profit on small enterprises. Householders get the same ammount of rubbish disposed of free.

Livestock disposal cost is much higher for small farms then for large farms. On one occasion I calculated that we paid more per kilogram to dispose of 2 still born lambs then a large commercial farm paid in fines and disposal costs after illegally disposing of nearly 200tons of carcasses.

Electronic Identification of sheep (EID) costs much more for a small flock then for a large one. Officially the cost is about 60p, but after the cost of the application tool is taken into account it costs about £2.00 a sheep for our flock. (We couldn't possibly buy the machine which reads the tags)

Transport licences: We have a rare breed flock and need to buy in one ram every 3 years to avoid in-breeding. The nearest flock of the same breed is over 100 miles away. (We provide a unique insurance against foot and mouth etc for this breed that only has about 500 sheep in the world) Without a licence we can only transport our sheep 40km. Getting the licence for transporting our own sheep would cost £150 and involve 2 days away from our small business. Paying anyone else to transport them would cost more. 

Farmers get their ORDERS from DEFRA, and sometimes (in our case) from the Welsh Assembly (WA). The division of responsibilities bewteen these two organisations is not clear. Sometimes the WA website just links straight through to DEFRA, sometimes neither seems to have relavant information.

We have to apply for Rural Payements Agency forms to the local WA Dept of Ag office. We have a very reliable local postal service, but vital Rural Payements Agency forms often go missing. After 10 years, and having completely lost the opportunity to get Single Farm Payments because of undelivered forms, I have only just discovered that the forms are posted to Wales from somewhere in England. What is worse, WA Dept Ag staff do not even know where the forms actually come from! THis makes affective chasing of lost forms almost impossible.

When we were turned down for Single Farm Payment we were told that there was a two stage appeal. We tried the first stage, but couldn't go onto the second stage because the charge was more then we had in the bank, and was about 25% of the payment we would have gained if the appeal was succesful.

Surprisingly, having failed to get SFP we were told we could still get Tyr Cynnal (Entry level environment scheme) We would have to stick to a management scheme. I wrote out a scheme that had succesfully supported summer Grasshopper Warblers and winter Snipe but as soon as I presented it it was screwed up and thrown on the floor. We were told to obey a plan from Brussels. The field cannot be grazed or topped at the time Brussels allows as it is usually waterlogged at that time of year. The field is now swamped with rushes, we have lost the Grasshopper Warblers and Snipe and are losing the very rare Whorled Carraway which used to blossom there. I have seen no new species. Although we run the farm as a nature reserve with 1/2 acres fields the extra boundary regulations took 16% of our land out of production.

Also there are no grants available to help very small farms to diversify into non farming enterprises. All that are available require match funding that exceeds that available from cash flow. Banks are, apparently, not interested in small rural enterprises. 

I am sure that many farmers have similar stories and can give many other examples of damaging red tape.

  

Make drinks manufacturers and fast food chains pay for litter

I only have to walk a few yards before I find cans and cartons in the road and on the pavement. It is impossible to enforce litter laws when object are thrown from cars etc. My suggestion would be to charge a fee for any items found directly by council workers back to the manufacturer/originator. If the manufaturer is being hit for the actionsof their customers, then they will pass on the cost by increasing the price of the item.Hopefully, they would also spend a bit more time encouraging their customers to dispose of the rubbish in a responsible manner.

Why is this idea important?

I only have to walk a few yards before I find cans and cartons in the road and on the pavement. It is impossible to enforce litter laws when object are thrown from cars etc. My suggestion would be to charge a fee for any items found directly by council workers back to the manufacturer/originator. If the manufaturer is being hit for the actionsof their customers, then they will pass on the cost by increasing the price of the item.Hopefully, they would also spend a bit more time encouraging their customers to dispose of the rubbish in a responsible manner.

Save business time and the environment – get rid of uneccessary one-way or bus only

The idea is simple, withdraw much of the so-called road improvements which means traffic has to travel much further than it did in the past. Road planners should not be full time in the one city, as they tinker around with changes roads to keep themselves occupied. There should be a central core of road planners, shared between towns and cities, so only urgent and worthwhile improvements are made.  Worwhile means, does it make it shorter to get from A to B. This will reduce local government costs, reduce tax spent, increase journy times, and considerably reduce the fuel spent going the long way to get to ones destination.

Why is this idea important?

The idea is simple, withdraw much of the so-called road improvements which means traffic has to travel much further than it did in the past. Road planners should not be full time in the one city, as they tinker around with changes roads to keep themselves occupied. There should be a central core of road planners, shared between towns and cities, so only urgent and worthwhile improvements are made.  Worwhile means, does it make it shorter to get from A to B. This will reduce local government costs, reduce tax spent, increase journy times, and considerably reduce the fuel spent going the long way to get to ones destination.

Natural Environment & Rural Communities Act 2006

Section 67 of the Natural Environment & Rural Communities Act 2006

THE HISTORY BEHIND THE ACT

 

County Highway authorities had a legal duty from 1949 and1968 to record highways (including old tracks and trails) to clarify who had a legal right to use it. It would be either a Footpath: for pedestrians, Bridleway: for pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists or, less well advertised BYWAY: for pedestrians, horse riders, cyclists and motor vehicles (often 4 wheel drives and motorcycles)

 

Many county councils did not do that task so the complicated situation continued. There was a legacy of confusion about rights of way within local authorities, user groups, the police, land owners and others.

 

Government saw the need to sort out the confusion and gave users the chance to claim use of the lanes as BYWAY by proving the history of use. In the meantime all green lanes or Roads Used As Public Pathways (RUPPS) were classed as Restricted Byways. That immediately made it illegal to use a motor vehicle on them. Some may be reclassified as Byway after an enquiry but others may be Bridleway and, therefore lost forever to motor vehicles.

 

At about the same time the Ramblers Association managed to acquire The Right To Roam which extended their freedom to explore the countryside. Conversely a minority group of motorcyclists lost their freedom to explore the green lanes they had used.

 

UNDESIRABLE EFFECTS

 

Having ridden motorcycles on green lanes or Roads Used As Public Pathways (RUPPS) for decades these were effectively, in one foul swoop made illegal. The effect was to ban the use of these lanes by vehicles and wipe out a hobby, pastime completely in some areas; for example Exmoor in Somerset.

 

The remaining lanes that can be ridden legally have now to cope with increased use as the previously dispersed users are forced to concentrate their activities in a smaller number of tracks.

 

Some Byways are now cul-de-sac as there is no link between sections.

Why is this idea important?

Section 67 of the Natural Environment & Rural Communities Act 2006

THE HISTORY BEHIND THE ACT

 

County Highway authorities had a legal duty from 1949 and1968 to record highways (including old tracks and trails) to clarify who had a legal right to use it. It would be either a Footpath: for pedestrians, Bridleway: for pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists or, less well advertised BYWAY: for pedestrians, horse riders, cyclists and motor vehicles (often 4 wheel drives and motorcycles)

 

Many county councils did not do that task so the complicated situation continued. There was a legacy of confusion about rights of way within local authorities, user groups, the police, land owners and others.

 

Government saw the need to sort out the confusion and gave users the chance to claim use of the lanes as BYWAY by proving the history of use. In the meantime all green lanes or Roads Used As Public Pathways (RUPPS) were classed as Restricted Byways. That immediately made it illegal to use a motor vehicle on them. Some may be reclassified as Byway after an enquiry but others may be Bridleway and, therefore lost forever to motor vehicles.

 

At about the same time the Ramblers Association managed to acquire The Right To Roam which extended their freedom to explore the countryside. Conversely a minority group of motorcyclists lost their freedom to explore the green lanes they had used.

 

UNDESIRABLE EFFECTS

 

Having ridden motorcycles on green lanes or Roads Used As Public Pathways (RUPPS) for decades these were effectively, in one foul swoop made illegal. The effect was to ban the use of these lanes by vehicles and wipe out a hobby, pastime completely in some areas; for example Exmoor in Somerset.

 

The remaining lanes that can be ridden legally have now to cope with increased use as the previously dispersed users are forced to concentrate their activities in a smaller number of tracks.

 

Some Byways are now cul-de-sac as there is no link between sections.

Tree Preservation Order

Under the Tree Preservation Order system, private landlowners are unable to lop or remove trees without permission of their local council.

Where such trees are causing damage to a building and the council refuse you have to lodge an appeal. This is costly and often includes submission of tree surgeon and surveyor opinions.

The grounds and scope under which the appeals are granted are very narrow and if your appeal is not granted the only remedy is to appleal to the High Court or to seek injunctive relief. This is unaffordable for most people.

The result is that the Council maintain a lot of power, the system is skewed in their favour. The system needs to be drastically remedied to bring about a fairer more equitable system.

Why is this idea important?

Under the Tree Preservation Order system, private landlowners are unable to lop or remove trees without permission of their local council.

Where such trees are causing damage to a building and the council refuse you have to lodge an appeal. This is costly and often includes submission of tree surgeon and surveyor opinions.

The grounds and scope under which the appeals are granted are very narrow and if your appeal is not granted the only remedy is to appleal to the High Court or to seek injunctive relief. This is unaffordable for most people.

The result is that the Council maintain a lot of power, the system is skewed in their favour. The system needs to be drastically remedied to bring about a fairer more equitable system.

Free Water Butts for every home

Water companies should supply every home with a water butt to catch water draining off rooftops.   This would help in the consumption of water and help keep the resevoirs full.

Why is this idea important?

Water companies should supply every home with a water butt to catch water draining off rooftops.   This would help in the consumption of water and help keep the resevoirs full.

Freedom of Choice, at what cost ?

Freedoms of all sorts usually have a down side,   such as freedom to smoke , the down side is pollution of the air for others , so preventing them having the freedom of clean air.
So can we decide that freedoms are expensive always for someone else who has to suffer the consequences of other "Freedoms".
Freedoms should cost , in some way so as to help put measures in place to provide some protection from some of the "Freedoms" we all enjoy, such as cars, travel, smoking, noise, smells etc .
We are as society already doing a lot  in regulations and laws, but is it not time to really make the user or consumer pay for the polluting choices they make in the services and goods they purchase.
Remove all taxes and replace with a  natural resource tax  taxed at as near source as possible  at a level determined by the environmental impact it has on  planet life and man at a rate determined by the welfare and public needs of the time.

 

Why is this idea important?

Freedoms of all sorts usually have a down side,   such as freedom to smoke , the down side is pollution of the air for others , so preventing them having the freedom of clean air.
So can we decide that freedoms are expensive always for someone else who has to suffer the consequences of other "Freedoms".
Freedoms should cost , in some way so as to help put measures in place to provide some protection from some of the "Freedoms" we all enjoy, such as cars, travel, smoking, noise, smells etc .
We are as society already doing a lot  in regulations and laws, but is it not time to really make the user or consumer pay for the polluting choices they make in the services and goods they purchase.
Remove all taxes and replace with a  natural resource tax  taxed at as near source as possible  at a level determined by the environmental impact it has on  planet life and man at a rate determined by the welfare and public needs of the time.

 

Amend the Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005/9

The Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005 (as amended 2009) require all producers of substances deemed hazardous waste (which covers a huge number of substances from used engine oil to fluorescent lights) to register with the Environment Agency and pay an annual fee, in return for which they receive a registration number and nothing else.  Companies which collect and dispose of hazardous waste are not permitted to collect waste from a producer who does not have a valid registration number.

So if you aren't registered, you cannot dispose of your waste through legal channels.  If you are a fly-tipper you aren't going to register anyway, and it is pretty unlikely that the government will come looking for you.  What we have is a scheme where law-abiding businesses pay millions of pounds a year so that the Government can employ staff to sit in an office and process hazardous waste producer registrations which are of no use to anyone.  Not to the businesses, not to the waste disposal companies, not to the Environment Agency.  It's a makework scheme funded by yet another tax on business, and a prime example of 'gold-plating' EU regulations to impose a burden on businesses that the EU itself never intended. Scrap it.

Why is this idea important?

The Hazardous Waste Regulations 2005 (as amended 2009) require all producers of substances deemed hazardous waste (which covers a huge number of substances from used engine oil to fluorescent lights) to register with the Environment Agency and pay an annual fee, in return for which they receive a registration number and nothing else.  Companies which collect and dispose of hazardous waste are not permitted to collect waste from a producer who does not have a valid registration number.

So if you aren't registered, you cannot dispose of your waste through legal channels.  If you are a fly-tipper you aren't going to register anyway, and it is pretty unlikely that the government will come looking for you.  What we have is a scheme where law-abiding businesses pay millions of pounds a year so that the Government can employ staff to sit in an office and process hazardous waste producer registrations which are of no use to anyone.  Not to the businesses, not to the waste disposal companies, not to the Environment Agency.  It's a makework scheme funded by yet another tax on business, and a prime example of 'gold-plating' EU regulations to impose a burden on businesses that the EU itself never intended. Scrap it.

Change the organic farming system

Currently we have an artificial division between organic and non-organic farmers. Organic farmers pay to be certified that they do not use chemical fertilisers and pesticides. The have to deal with a lot of paperwork and undergo inspections. Instead we should require farms using chemical fertilisers and pesticides to be registered, keep records of how such things are used/disposed of, pay for training in their correct use and disposal.

Why is this idea important?

Currently we have an artificial division between organic and non-organic farmers. Organic farmers pay to be certified that they do not use chemical fertilisers and pesticides. The have to deal with a lot of paperwork and undergo inspections. Instead we should require farms using chemical fertilisers and pesticides to be registered, keep records of how such things are used/disposed of, pay for training in their correct use and disposal.

Legalise Cycling on Pavements

Cycling on pavements should be legalised nationwide. Although cycling on the road should be encouraged, some roads are simply too dangerous. The understanding might be the pedestrian has the right of way over the cyclist (as pedestrians do with motorists). (I recently saw someone cycling along the A3 dual carriageway near Guildford – suicidal!)

As I understand, a pedestrian group that would resist this change is the blind. We need to balance the concerns of both groups. Some footpaths are currently marked as off limits to cyclists. This could be extended as required for the needs of specific groups of pedestrians. The fact is it is usual for a pedestrian to be killed by a cyclist, but it is too common for a cyclist to be killed by a car.

I think that cyclists are already liable if they injure other pavement users by reckless cycling(?)

Why is this idea important?

Cycling on pavements should be legalised nationwide. Although cycling on the road should be encouraged, some roads are simply too dangerous. The understanding might be the pedestrian has the right of way over the cyclist (as pedestrians do with motorists). (I recently saw someone cycling along the A3 dual carriageway near Guildford – suicidal!)

As I understand, a pedestrian group that would resist this change is the blind. We need to balance the concerns of both groups. Some footpaths are currently marked as off limits to cyclists. This could be extended as required for the needs of specific groups of pedestrians. The fact is it is usual for a pedestrian to be killed by a cyclist, but it is too common for a cyclist to be killed by a car.

I think that cyclists are already liable if they injure other pavement users by reckless cycling(?)

Help British Waterways become a 3rd sector organisation

Rich in heritage, abundant in wildlife and alive with culture, inland waterways are as popular today as they've ever been. Half the population lives within five miles of one of our canals and rivers and an incredible 13 million people use them every year as part of their everyday life – as a short-cut to work, walking the dog or simply taking time-out and watching the boats.

Independent surveys show that nine out of ten people agree that they are an important part of the nation's heritage, and it's British Waterways' job to ensure they remain so, whilst serving a modern purpose for the local communities through which they pass.

As part of its plans to establish a ‘national trust’ for the nation’s canals and rivers, British Waterways (BW) together with the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust (KACT) are piloting an innovative approach to managing the 200-year old Kennet & Avon Canal. The launch of the initiative will give the people that use and enjoy the waterway and the communities that live alongside it a much greater say in how the canal is managed.

Following discussions, which also included representatives from the Inland Waterways Association (IWA), the KACT and BW will work together in setting up a Waterways Partnership Board for the canal. Members will be drawn from the highest level from the five local authorities and other key stakeholders who came together and led on the canal’s restoration.

The pilot includes reviewing the current plans of both organisations including development, operations, funding requirements etc. and by September agree and produce a combined Waterway Area Plan for the canal corridor which can be implemented by all partners.

It is hoped that the pilot will provide BW with valuable information and experience on how to put waterways on a 'more sustainable footing' and ensure the lessons are incorporated into the consultation on the setting up of a new third sector body.

Why is this idea important?

Rich in heritage, abundant in wildlife and alive with culture, inland waterways are as popular today as they've ever been. Half the population lives within five miles of one of our canals and rivers and an incredible 13 million people use them every year as part of their everyday life – as a short-cut to work, walking the dog or simply taking time-out and watching the boats.

Independent surveys show that nine out of ten people agree that they are an important part of the nation's heritage, and it's British Waterways' job to ensure they remain so, whilst serving a modern purpose for the local communities through which they pass.

As part of its plans to establish a ‘national trust’ for the nation’s canals and rivers, British Waterways (BW) together with the Kennet & Avon Canal Trust (KACT) are piloting an innovative approach to managing the 200-year old Kennet & Avon Canal. The launch of the initiative will give the people that use and enjoy the waterway and the communities that live alongside it a much greater say in how the canal is managed.

Following discussions, which also included representatives from the Inland Waterways Association (IWA), the KACT and BW will work together in setting up a Waterways Partnership Board for the canal. Members will be drawn from the highest level from the five local authorities and other key stakeholders who came together and led on the canal’s restoration.

The pilot includes reviewing the current plans of both organisations including development, operations, funding requirements etc. and by September agree and produce a combined Waterway Area Plan for the canal corridor which can be implemented by all partners.

It is hoped that the pilot will provide BW with valuable information and experience on how to put waterways on a 'more sustainable footing' and ensure the lessons are incorporated into the consultation on the setting up of a new third sector body.

Fines for not Recycling Properly

I HATE the fines one can get for not recycling properly. It is we consumers that  buy the food, we should not be forced to recycle and then threatened with a fine if we make a mistake. That is absolutely ludicrous. And its a hassle.

 

In fact, we should be getting paid for doing this type of labour. We already pay council taxes for our rubbish to be done away with and now the councils want to cheat us out of MORE money. Recycling should definitely be encouraged, but the government should look to encourage people to do this, like, offering coupons or something to make people want to do it.

Why is this idea important?

I HATE the fines one can get for not recycling properly. It is we consumers that  buy the food, we should not be forced to recycle and then threatened with a fine if we make a mistake. That is absolutely ludicrous. And its a hassle.

 

In fact, we should be getting paid for doing this type of labour. We already pay council taxes for our rubbish to be done away with and now the councils want to cheat us out of MORE money. Recycling should definitely be encouraged, but the government should look to encourage people to do this, like, offering coupons or something to make people want to do it.

Fines & community service for litter bugs

Please can we raise funds by prosecuting litter louts with fines and making them do community service picking up litter. I am wholly sick of wading ankle deep through the stuff in our local park and on our beaches. There can never be any real sense of community if people do not look after what they have? What is the point of having littering laws and never enforcing them? Either bin the law or use it to good effect. The money raised from prosecuting these people could be used to pay for more "bobbies on the beat."

I want to be able to walk my dog without worrying about whether he'll come home with cut feet (again) from broken bottles.

Why is this idea important?

Please can we raise funds by prosecuting litter louts with fines and making them do community service picking up litter. I am wholly sick of wading ankle deep through the stuff in our local park and on our beaches. There can never be any real sense of community if people do not look after what they have? What is the point of having littering laws and never enforcing them? Either bin the law or use it to good effect. The money raised from prosecuting these people could be used to pay for more "bobbies on the beat."

I want to be able to walk my dog without worrying about whether he'll come home with cut feet (again) from broken bottles.

legalization and industrialization of cannabis/hemp

to end percicution against cannabis hemp users :medical users,social/recreational users.

allowing people to grow there own plants (for personal use)

to have the government grow there own plant production

also to have the government put forward jobs via cannabis hemp production to eliminate unemployment and end recession and pay defficate

cannabis/hemp can be used for:

fuel

fiber

fabrics

medicine

livestock feed

human food

plastics

there are over 1000 applications for the use of cannabis hemp all of them possitive

legalize and lets begin to live

Why is this idea important?

to end percicution against cannabis hemp users :medical users,social/recreational users.

allowing people to grow there own plants (for personal use)

to have the government grow there own plant production

also to have the government put forward jobs via cannabis hemp production to eliminate unemployment and end recession and pay defficate

cannabis/hemp can be used for:

fuel

fiber

fabrics

medicine

livestock feed

human food

plastics

there are over 1000 applications for the use of cannabis hemp all of them possitive

legalize and lets begin to live

Impose a 100% ‘environmental’ tax on all fireworks sold

A two-fold proposal to regulate / restrict and tax the sale of fireworks to the public.

Firstly, limit even further the periods that they are available for sale – two days only around the New Year, and ONE week only prior to November 5th. There is absolutely no justification whatsoever for fireworks to be on sale around the Christmas holiday. The festive season should be traditionally a time of peace and goodwill, not shattered by the sound of irresponsible householders having firework parties! You'd think they couldn't wait for just another 7 days before they can indulge all they like.

Secondly, what with the government ever eager to slap taxes on essentials such as fuel/petrol, clothing, alcohol, cigarettes and the rest, and with the imminent rise in VAT on the horizon, why not consider levying a big **environmental** tax on fireworks to atone for the amount of noise and air pollution that is caused each time millions of them are set off over the Guy Fawkes and New Year festivities? Surely this is common sense? The government and local authorities seem so keen to clamp down on excessive noise pollution and anti-social behaviour in neighbourhoods, and yet they contradict themselves by allowing the relentless noise/air pollution brought on by masses of fireworks to continue unabated.

This is NOT a killjoy legislation – merely a common sense one implemented to give the majority of responsible firework users some peace of mind.

Therefore, the only way to control the problem of firework nuisance is through

Why is this idea important?

A two-fold proposal to regulate / restrict and tax the sale of fireworks to the public.

Firstly, limit even further the periods that they are available for sale – two days only around the New Year, and ONE week only prior to November 5th. There is absolutely no justification whatsoever for fireworks to be on sale around the Christmas holiday. The festive season should be traditionally a time of peace and goodwill, not shattered by the sound of irresponsible householders having firework parties! You'd think they couldn't wait for just another 7 days before they can indulge all they like.

Secondly, what with the government ever eager to slap taxes on essentials such as fuel/petrol, clothing, alcohol, cigarettes and the rest, and with the imminent rise in VAT on the horizon, why not consider levying a big **environmental** tax on fireworks to atone for the amount of noise and air pollution that is caused each time millions of them are set off over the Guy Fawkes and New Year festivities? Surely this is common sense? The government and local authorities seem so keen to clamp down on excessive noise pollution and anti-social behaviour in neighbourhoods, and yet they contradict themselves by allowing the relentless noise/air pollution brought on by masses of fireworks to continue unabated.

This is NOT a killjoy legislation – merely a common sense one implemented to give the majority of responsible firework users some peace of mind.

Therefore, the only way to control the problem of firework nuisance is through

Foxhunting

The Labour Government spent a lot of time introducing the foxhunting ban amid much opposition. The Conservative Government is planning to repeal the ban which will also have much opposition.

Instead of this why not kill the issue once and for all by giving us a referendum. I'm quite sure we all individually know how we feel about this and could deliver a decisive result we would all have to respect. It would also take the party politics out of the issue.

The referendum could be held at the same time as the proposed referendum on voting reform and I think would lead to a big turnout.

Why is this idea important?

The Labour Government spent a lot of time introducing the foxhunting ban amid much opposition. The Conservative Government is planning to repeal the ban which will also have much opposition.

Instead of this why not kill the issue once and for all by giving us a referendum. I'm quite sure we all individually know how we feel about this and could deliver a decisive result we would all have to respect. It would also take the party politics out of the issue.

The referendum could be held at the same time as the proposed referendum on voting reform and I think would lead to a big turnout.

Blood sports

Under NO circumstances should the law on blood sports, particularly foxhunting, should be repealed.  This law should be enforced as is.  There is no place for Blood Sports for pleasure in today's society.

Why is this idea important?

Under NO circumstances should the law on blood sports, particularly foxhunting, should be repealed.  This law should be enforced as is.  There is no place for Blood Sports for pleasure in today's society.

Give the police powers to stop loud music from noisy neighbours

i believe the police should be given the powers to stop noisy neighbours playing they loud amplified music that is disturbing their neighbours who cant even watch their own t.v in peace,  sleep in the evening and talk or study inside their own house!!!

whenever i call the police they say its not illegal and u must contact the enviromental officers,,which when u do they ask u whats your name adress ,,u must fill out forms etc..this is a very long process and makes our living a nightmare

why should we go through the hassle while the noisy neighbours and being distructive

i believe the powers should go to the police who i believe will turn up (when asked for help) on the spot to catch them red handed and can deal with the people on the spot and if it keeps on reacurring they can remove the speakers etc and arrest them or even give them asbos…

we need police help not paperwork hassle…

Why is this idea important?

i believe the police should be given the powers to stop noisy neighbours playing they loud amplified music that is disturbing their neighbours who cant even watch their own t.v in peace,  sleep in the evening and talk or study inside their own house!!!

whenever i call the police they say its not illegal and u must contact the enviromental officers,,which when u do they ask u whats your name adress ,,u must fill out forms etc..this is a very long process and makes our living a nightmare

why should we go through the hassle while the noisy neighbours and being distructive

i believe the powers should go to the police who i believe will turn up (when asked for help) on the spot to catch them red handed and can deal with the people on the spot and if it keeps on reacurring they can remove the speakers etc and arrest them or even give them asbos…

we need police help not paperwork hassle…