The following letter was published in The Times (paywall) on Tuesday 20th August:
Our organisations represent diverse interests and priorities, but we are united in our concern about the growing pressure on local and national enforcement bodies, designed to keep us safe.
Never has it been more important to invest in our collective safeguards, yet analysis from the Unchecked.uk campaign shows the extent of the decline in the budgets and staff of enforcement agencies overseeing vital areas of public policy. The country is asking local authorities and key regulators, including the Food Standards Agency, the Environment Agency, the Health and Safety Executive and others, to do their work with on average 50 per cent less funding than ten years ago.
The steep reduction in inspections and monitoring of regulated business in recent years risks undermining the achievement of public policy objectives, and the shift towards industry self-reporting leaves the regulatory system vulnerable to abuse.
If enforcement teams are to continue their invaluable work to protect UK citizens, they must be properly equipped.
Emma Rose, Unchecked.uk
Undersigned by the following organisations:
Suzi Shingler, Coordinator, Alliance to Save our Antibiotics
Paul Bray, Coordinator, Birders Against Wildlife Crime
Anne Godfrey, Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Environmental Health
Peter Stevenson, Chief Policy Advisor, Compassion in World Farming
Kierra Box, Brexit Lead, Friends of the Earth
Shaun Spiers, Executive Director, Green Alliance
Hilda Palmer, Coordinator, Hazards UK
Martin Baxter, Chief Policy Advisor, Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment
Jemima Hartshorn, Founder, Mums for Lungs
Arnold Pindar, Chairman, National Consumer Federation
David Powell, Head of Environment & Green Transition, New Economics Foundation
Miles King, Chief Executive, People Need Nature
Errol Taylor, Chief Executive, Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents
Sarah Whitebread, Head of External Affairs, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
Ashton Collins, Director, Save Face
Kath Dalmeny, Chief Executive, Sustain: The alliance for better food and farming
Stuart Singleton-White, Head of Campaigns, The Angling Trust
David Lawrence, Senior Political Advisor, Trade Justice Movement
Ashley Smith, Director, Windrush Against Sewage Pollution
Kate Metcalf, Co-director, Women’s Environmental Network