HC Deb 10 January 2000 vol 342 c4W
Mrs. Brinton

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many of the Bills published since the Queen's Speech were accompanied by a statement of their implications for the environment. [104271]

Ms Beverley Hughes

It is the Government's policy that environmental aspects should be considered fully alongside the economic and social considerations during the development or review of a policy. My Department stands ready to advise on appraisal and monitoring systems. But it is for individual Departments to set up their own systems to ensure that their policies take account of the environment and that, where necessary, environmental appraisals are carried out. The overall policy and its operation is monitored by the Green Ministers' Committee, which reports annually in July.

Since the Queen's Speech, the DETR has published two Bills, the Transport Bill and the Local Government Bill. The Transport Bill and a Regulatory, Environmental and Equal Treatment Appraisal were published on 1 December 1999.

The Local Government Bill provides a new discretionary power for local authorities to take steps which, in their view, promote the economic, social and environmental well-being of those who live, work in or visit their local area, in order to improve the quality of life locally. The remainder of the Bill addresses the way in which local authorities are organised and elected and carry out their business. In this case, no specific environmental impact statement has been published.