Government plans to reduce sewage spills in English waters fail to include hundreds of storm overflows into estuaries and the sea, according to new analysis.
In the government’s draft storm overflow discharge reduction plan the only coastal overflows that must cut spills are those near designated bathing sites, but it’s not clear what distance is classified as “near” one, according to the Marine Conservation Society.
Its analysis found that around 600 coastal sites therefore won’t have to reduce the number of times they spill sewage into the sea, some of which could be near Marine Protected Areas.
Meanwhile, for inland waters and designated bathing waters water companies must not discharge sewage more than an average of 10 rainfall events per year by 2050, according to the draft targets. A rainfall event is up to 12 hours of rain.
By 2050? Looks like UK government shits are quite content with UK swimming in shit. I suppose it’s only poor, insignificant people after all. Rich people can swim at European beaches of course …
Britain’s “despicable” dumping of raw sewage into the sea threatens human health, fishing grounds and marine life in the English Channel and the North Sea, says a French MEP leading a campaign to sue the British government.
Stéphanie Yon-Courtin told i that she was shocked by the surge in cases of Britain’s sewage overflows seeping directly into the sea, which “reflects the image of the government.”
“reflects the image of the government.” = full of shits
Raw sewage dumped into England’s rivers 375,000 times last year – BBC News
The Tory leadership frontrunner, Liz Truss, was responsible for cutting millions of pounds of funding earmarked for tackling water pollution during her time as environment secretary, the Guardian can reveal.
Truss, who was in charge at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) between 2014 and 2016, oversaw “efficiency” plans set out in the 2015 spending review to reduce Environment Agency funding by £235m.
This included a £24m cut from a government grant for environmental protection, including surveillance of water companies to prevent the dumping of raw sewage, between 2014-15 and 2016-17, according to the National Audit Office.
Just over a month ago Boris Johnson promised to deliver the most radical reforms to England’s planning system “since the second world war”. This week we found out what that means in practice, and it’s clear the prime minister wasn’t joking.
In a new white paper the government has set out sweeping plans to “cut red tape, overhaul the planning process and build better, greener homes faster”. But even by the standards of the modern Conservative party, this is no ordinary regulatory bonfire. In one fell swoop, the entire system that has governed land use in England for more than 70 years has been set ablaze.
[W]hy is Boris Johnson’s government really dismantling the planning system? As ever, it helps to follow the money.
As openDemocracy has revealed, the Conservative party has received £11m in donations from individuals and companies linked to the property sector since Johnson became prime minister. These donors are no doubt expecting a return on their investment. Robert Jenrick’s cosy relationship with Richard Desmond may may not be the last scandal to catch the limelight.
From the opening sentence to the final full stop, the government’s white paper emits a strong stench of corporate lobbying, and represents a slap in the face to evidence-based policymaking. At best the reforms represent an ideological crusade to undermine local authorities and hand over more power to private developers. At worst, they are part of a coordinated attempt to undermine English democracy. Either way, they must be resisted every step of the way.
The biggest shake-up of planning for decades has caused fury that moves to fast-track the construction of “beautiful” homes across England will “dilute” democratic oversight, choke off affordable housing and lead to the creation of “slum” dwellings.
The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) described the proposals as “shameful” and said they would do “almost nothing to guarantee the delivery of affordable, well-designed and sustainable homes”. “While they might help to ‘get Britain building’ – paired with the extension of permitted development rights last week – there’s every chance they could also lead to the development of the next generation of slum housing,” said RIBA president Alan Jones.
The Conservative government has a known mistrust of experts, but rarely do ministers fly in the face of their own commissioned research as starkly as the housing secretary did this week. On the very same day that Robert Jenrick triumphantly extended permitted development rights (PDR), allowing a range of building types to be converted into housing without planning permission, his own ministry published a report condemning the same rules for leading to “worse quality” homes.
After studying hundreds of new homes carved out from converted offices, shops, warehouses and industrial buildings, created between 2015 and 2018 through permitted development, a team of academics from University College London and the University of Liverpool found predictably grim results. The planning loophole had unleashed a new breed of tiny, dingy apartments, many barely fit for human habitation, with rooms accessed from long corridors, windows looking across internal atriums into other people’s rooms, and some bedrooms with no windows at all.
Julia Park, head of housing research at architects Levitt Bernstein, says developers are taking advantage of the lack of controls to build flats in basements for which they would not have received permission in the past. “Daylight and space are the two most obvious victims of permitted development rights,” she says. “I can’t imagine that any planning authority would allow either a conversion or a new home to go ahead without a window to each habitable room or at least a roof light.”
Lack of natural light can have serious implications for those living below ground. The government’s housing health rating system, which determines the standards demanded by housing officers, warns inadequate natural light poses a threat to physical and mental health. Sunlight is also known to boost vitamin D, which helps prevent bone loss and reduces the likelihood of various diseases.
For experienced planners, windowless flats are anathema. Hugh Ellis, head of policy at the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), says the window-free flats in Reliance House should never have been built: “Dwellings of any kind without natural light should not be allowed under any circumstances.”
Brexit is all about deregulation so that vast swathes of laws and regulations can be torn up and burned. It’s for the rich and powerful to become more rich and powerful at the expense of everyone else. Dirty money and psyops stole the Brexit referendum. Economists are almost unanimously agreed that it is and will be disasterous for the UK economy for many decades. Forgive me, I thought that governments were about – or at least should be about – ensuring stability and continuity. I can see it being disasterous for the UK Conservative party for generations.
EU Food Regulations are high quality. US Food Regulations by contrast are abysmally poor. In negotiating trade deals with the US, the US are promoting/insisting on their standards.
US food standards allow a quantity of faeces in food for human consumption.
Insect-filled chocolates, rat hair-infested noodles, and orange juice containing maggots are just some of the “horrors” UK consumers could be forced to accept if post-Brexit Britain signs a wide-ranging trade deal with the USA.
In the US, producers adhere to a “Defects Levels Handbook,” which sets out the maximum number of foreign bodies like maggots, insect fragments and mould that can be in food products before they are put on the market.
For example, US producers are allowed to include up to 30 insect fragments in a 100g jar of peanut butter; as well as 11 rodent hairs in a 25g container of paprika; or 3mg of mammalian excreta (typically rat or mouse excrement) per each pound of ginger.