Government Scrap Contaminated Land Funding
Local authorities have been informed that the Contaminated Land Capital Grants scheme, which has been in place since 2006, is set to be scrapped as part of government cuts. In a letter from Parliamentary Under Secretary Lord de Mauley, local authority chiefs were informed that ?Despite continuing economic pressures, from 1 April 2014 for a three-year period, it is anticipated that up to half a million pounds could still be made accessible annually (subject to capital funding being available within Defra) for absolute emergency cases and to meet the requirements of ongoing remediation projects where these are considered to be the highest priority. Funding will cease from 1 April 2017.?
The move has been condemned by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) whose policy officer Howard Price said, ?The Government?s move, at a stroke, effectively negates the statutory duty given to councils by Parliament.? The budget for 2013/14 was set at ?2 million, and received 81 bids totalling over ?6 million. After assessment and prioritization, 36 projects are set to receive funding, 33 of which are the enforcement responsibility of local authorities. The cut is in sharp contrast to the position when the coalition came into power, with grants totalling ?17.5 million towards the cost of site investigations being awarded.
Funding for local authorities to fulfill their statutory obligations under Part 2A Environmental Protection Act will continue to be provided through the Revenue Support Grant administered by the Department of Communities and Local Government. ??
A copy of the letter can be viewed at: http://www.ep-scotland.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/DEFRA-Contaminated-Land-Grants-LA-Letter-Dec-2013.pdf