I've just sent Vince Cable an email and I am asking you to do the same, please.
In a quite breath-taking move, the coalition government has put all environmental regulation up for grabs in the 'Red Tape Challenge'. Potentially this is 'Bye, bye' Wildlife and Countryside Act and 'Bye, bye' Climate Change Act. Surely some mistake, here?
Even to refer to legislation like the Wildlife and Countryside Act as 'red tape' is to belittle the efforts of past nature conservationists and parliamentarians who carefully constructed this legislation which was widely welcomed at the time and whose aims and general thrust have rarely been questioned since.
Now it can't be the case that all existing regulation is perfect, that is very unlikely to be the case, and I can tell you now that it isn't (gasps of amazement). However, to put absolutely everything on the table risks throwing out an awful lot of babies with a few drops of bath water. And the Cabinet Office must know this - that Oliver Letwin is no fool.
Please do act on this - Step up for Nature with the RSPB and make politicians see sense.
Regulation forms an important tool in the conservation kitbox and yet it is generally out of favour with all political parties at the moment. Rather than saying 'No. this is wrong, don't do it' politicians reach for incentives, voluntary initiatives and other weak measures to try to make the world a better place. It's a good job that sensible people passed laws to prevent kids being pushed up chimneys to clean them otherwise would we now face the 'Chimney cleaning operators' voluntary initiative to reduce by a few weeks the average age of young sweeps'?
If you feel as angry and worried about this move as I do then please act - and I see that 38 Degrees is giving you another opportunity to express your views here.
If the Govt intention is to codify legislation and make it easier to understand I might be in favour but the stated intention is clearly not that. The stated intention is to review this legislation and throw out 'red tape' that is burdensome to businesses with the presumption that it will go unless a good argument is made.
Regulations are intended to regulate and that means the person being regulated WILL find it burdensome. The review is aimed at getting answers from businesses who are among the people being regulated. This review seems to forget the aim of regulations is to protect something.
My main concern is that had the media not raised this none of the public would have known it was going on. The government haven't announced it to my knowledge and if you search for it you can't really find it.
There is so much to take in on this that the general member of the public can't understand it all; you can't expect them to look up every piece of legislation to see what they think.
Take the example of Schedule 4 which is part of the quoted legislation. Peregrines removed from the schedule's protection a couple of years ago. This year they have had to be made a wildlife crime priority by PAW.
You would also have thought the Government would have learned something from the Forest scenario.
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