Westminster Committees Pushed Back

We are disappointed in the news today that the re-forming of the Westminster Select Committees, whose role it is to hold Government accountable, is likely to be pushed back.

The delay seems due to the Government intending to restructure government departments, with which Select Committees are more or less aligned.

We had expected the chairs of Select Committees to be elected in mid-January and then the members of the committees in the weeks following that, but it now appears that this may be pushed back as far as March next year.

CIEEM has worked with the Environmental Audit and the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs Committees (EAC and EFRA) in the past and it is these two that are of most concern regarding the natural environment.

Whatever the reasons for the delay, it is clear that it gives the Government a period of time to introduce legislation and policy with substantially reduced scrutiny.

The Environment Bill is likely to be reintroduced to Parliament in the very near future and it may be the case that there is for a time no parliamentary mechanism to deeply scrutinise this hugely important legislation.