Natural England appeal Information Commissioners decision …. & The Ecologists warning ….

We have just learnt that the Badger Trust (BT) will be in Court again on 14th (that’s tomorrow!) and 15th May 2015, where they are joint defendants with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

This case has been ongoing following their request to Natural England (NE) in May 2014 for information about the culls, which they refused to disclose.

The Badger Trust appealed to the ICO who found in favour of the BT, but …. NE appealed that decision. It has been very difficult to obtain a mutually acceptable date for the hearing but the BT have pursued it vigorously in the belief that it is what their supporters would expect of them. They will advise the outcome of the case when judgement has been given.

Natural England are a public body, the Information Commissioner has found in favour of open and transparent conduct yet they resist making their ‘science’ available for public scrutiny, why?

DEFRA vs ICO & Badger Trust  Case No.: GI/79/2014

 

Badger & mayweed

‘The Government believes that we need to throw open the doors of public bodies, to enable the public to hold politicians and public bodies to account’

The Badger Trust report contra to the spin of the Coalition Agreement of 2010.

That was then, and since then there has been a wind of change, so what of now?  What will the court decide given the new Government’s desire to reduce environmental protection as well as transparency in Public Bodies?

We must remember that Natural England are fighting for their future, as an entity and the future of the individual staff members in post.

The Badger Trust have acted swiftly and are to be congratulated for that.  Their members have had to raise the funds, but Natural England is a Public Body and will be funded by the tax paying public, many of who do not want the badger culls.   The ICO and the Badger Trust have managed to secure a date ahead of any gagging legislation being introduced to further prevent charities from lobbying or challenging policy.  Whatever happened to evidence based policy?  That would at least offer a semblance of credibility?  Accountability of Public Bodies is extrememly difficult to achieve at the best of times, it will be ‘interesting’ to observe the change of practice and procedure which may well follow review subsequent to the General Election?

In the Upper Tribunal Administrative Appeal Chamber DEFRA vs ICO & Badger Trust  Case No.: GI/79/2014

The Ecologist provided comment in February 2014 which is still material today?  Paterson departed, how will his replacement Ms Truss deal with the ongoing issue  and one which, like the ‘Hen Harrier’ persection looks likely to continue to escalate?

Another very good editorial by Oliver Tickell of the Ecologist “Green crap is coming – so let’s be prepared” warns conservationists of the catalogue that is likely to befall the countryside in the aftermath of the General Election.  It alerts readers to the implications of EVEL, and some undesirable aspects of it?  One might therefore ask again, is it not time for serious review and real reform?  That is to say not tinkiering and tweaking to suit political agendas of the puppeteers?

 

Greenblobpride

 

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