Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Provision of environmental information and for public participation all too often late, inadequate, ineffective

For someone who often professes firm belief in public participation the response of Lib Dem Cllr Jon Rogers to my recent question to the Bristol City Council Cabinet is utterly dismissive eg zero response is given to my question on what actions he proposes and when, even though there is acknowledgement that full compliance with the convention/directives is not currently being achieved...

QUESTION A 6 - Questions from Glenn Vowles

Public participation and environmental information

During 1998 the UN Economic Commission for Europe prepared a Convention on Access
to Information, Public Participation in Decision Making and Access to Justice in
Environmental Matters (The Aarhus Convention). In 2003 the European Commission
developed two Directives to implement the provisions of the Aarhus Convention. Article 6.2
of the convention states, ‘The public shall be informed, either by public notice or
individually as appropriate, early in an environmental decision-making procedure, and in
an adequate, timely and effective manner, inter alia, of…the fact that the activity is subject
to…environmental impact procedure.’ (UNECE, 1998).

Q. Is the member completely satisfied that all significant developments in Bristol, such
as the South Bristol Link or the many proposals for dealing with waste or for energy
generation in Avonmouth, like the biofuel power station, or Bus Rapid Transit plans
or developments on green belt land such as the BCFC stadium…involve provision
of environmental information and for public participation that is in full accord with the
Aarhus Convention and associated EU Directives ie that it is early, adequate,
timely and effective? If not satisfied, what actions does he propose and when?

A. I am satisfied that the council is endeavouring to meet these obligations fully
when progressing its major schemes.

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