Local government has called for increased financial support, if it is to deliver on the aims of a new Environment Bill due to be voted on by Assembly Members today.
While welcoming the proposed bill as an important piece of legislation to tackle climate change and ensure Wales's natural resources are managed more sustainably, councils believe greater financial support should be provided for any new statutory duties.
Commenting on the proposed bill, Cllr Andrew Morgan (RCT), WLGA spokesperson for Environment, Sustainable Development and Waste said:
“The proposed Environment (Wales) Bill does offer a landmark piece of legislation designed to protect Wales’ natural resources, and local government welcomes many of its key proposals.
“In delivering services ranging from planning and sustainable waste management, to economic development and environmental regulation, local councils make a huge contribution to environmental protection in Wales. We believe that any future growth in local government’s statutory duties has to be supported by the provision of much needed financial resources.
“As outlined in our ‘Localism 2016-21’ manifesto, the WLGA believes greater consideration should be given within the proposed bill to how the funds raised by Wales’ 5p plastic bag levy are allocated and spent. As local councils are already working closely with other bodies who are in receipt of funding through the levy, the inclusion of local councils as potential recipients would go a long way in supporting local environment departments that have been subject to significant budget reductions over recent years. The levy offers a clear way of supporting the local services that delivery of the proposed bill will rely upon.”