Environmental protection weakened

Date: Monday 26th November 2018

Sir, Today’s press informs us that James Cross, the public’s independent chief executive for Natural England, has resigned, thus reducing that body’s ability to protect our interests.

Andrew Sells, the chairman, describes this as “not ideal”. This agency is responsible for protecting our environment. However, with staff and budget cuts and serious interference from MPs with strong agricultural interests our chance of correcting past mistakes and improving current faults is now greatly reduced. We will all suffer.

A parliamentary committee has been warned that agricultural pollutants stored in our underground aquifiers will continue to grow for the next 60 years. Overuse of fertilisers and run-off from animal waste is leading to a “time bomb”, with the costs of removal falling on the public via water companies’ price increases.

With the reduction of the public good of recreational fishing due to pollution and siltation, the neutering of the one agency capable of correcting these problems has increased the risks.

So much for the environment being “better after Brexit” promise. The costs of all this ultimately fall on the cost we pay for our food. Yours etc,

JOHN DUMONT

Penrith.