Potential impact on jobs in water, environment and transport of the Government’s 25 year environment plan

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2018 Water, Environment & Transport Conference
27 February 2018

Conference notes the publication in early 2018 of the Government’s 25 year Environment Plan. Environmental stakeholders welcomed its publication, and the long-term vision which it suggested, but were concerned that there were very few concrete policy and legislative measures contained within it. Conference shares these concerns, in particular over the lack of measures that would be implemented over the next 3-5 years, and concrete plans for a programme of spending to improve the environment.

Conference recognises that job levels across the service group depend upon environmental policies and programmes of investment, including in public transport. The environment agencies in England, Wales and Scotland implement and enforce environmental regulations, while water company investment is driven by environmental requirements as well as commercial considerations. Without effective environmental requirements the jobs of members engaged in environmental maintenance and improvement will be lost as companies slash investment to boost profits. Furthermore, many of our members have chosen their career path because of their commitment to protecting and improving the environment, and strongly support stringent, effective regulation that enables environmental improvement over time. Their jobs are satisfying and meaningful because of their social value.

In the light of this, conference expresses its strong concern about the lack of concrete proposals for legislative action in the 25 year plan. It calls upon the Service Group Executive:

1. To use whatever mechanisms are available, in alliance with like-minded organisations, to press the Government for an ambitious Environment Act to put into legislation the necessary measures and regulations which will lead to environmental improvement over the next 25 years, including measures with impact in the near term.

2. To use all mechanisms available to press for further work to be done by Government in areas with a potential to improve the environment and members’ security of employment, including placing the appropriate value on potable water and options for low-carbon public transport, and for funding for public transport improvement.

3. To work with UNISON Labour Link to make the case to the Labour Party for the legislation and work programmes outlined in 1 and 2 above.