Well, the Chancellor delivered his Autumn Statement today. Amongst the fairly gloomy economic outlook there was mixed news from our perspective.
Of course, Mr Osborne took the opportunity to mention planning reforms – but it was good to see there was no real rhetoric around it . We’re concerned, however that there may be more devil in the detail of new ways of working which we ‘d like to understand better. There was also some good news on charitable giving.
On the flip side he announced a review of habitats and wild birds directives. Early indications are this is not in fact a full scale review but worrying nonetheless and we’ll need to be on the case with this.
He also published the National Infrastructure Plan which is a list of 500 projects from by passes to power stations. We’ll be looking carefully at these details too.
On balance, the Government can hardly claim this as a ‘green’ statement. There is a glaring need for a new way of thinking that puts environmental and social concerns into the mainstream of economic policy.
We need a smart growth agenda.
For more reactions from other environmental groups see these related links:
Ian Wilson, National Trust Head of Government Affairs