Stratford District Council is failing it’s DUTY set out in the Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act
The Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act came into force on 1st Oct 2006. Section 40 of the Act requires all public bodies to have regard to biodiversity conservation when carrying out their functions. This is commonly referred to as the ‘Biodiversity duty’. This duty extends to all public bodies the biodiversity duty of section 74 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 (CROW), which placed a duty on Government and Ministers.
The aim of the biodiversity duty is to raise the profile of biodiversity in England and Wales, so that the conservation of biodiversity becomes properly embedded in all relevant policies and decisions made by public authorities.
Who does it apply to? The duty applies to over 900 public authorities, including local authorities, fire, police, health bodies, museums and transport authorities.
The Duty applies to a wide range of organisations including:
•Local authorities – unitary, county, district, metropolitan, and community, parish and town councils
•Central Government departments
•Departmental executive agencies
•Non-Ministerial government departments
•Non-departmental public bodies
•Greater London Authority
•Utilities – including United Utilities and other energy suppliers in the region
•All other bodies carrying out functions of a public character under a statutory power. This includes: Police authorities; Fire Service; Prison Service; museums; schools and higher educational institutions.
In recognition of the key role local authorities play with regard to conserving and enhancing biodiversity, Defra has produced two sets of guidance:
Specific guidance aimed at the needs and requirements of local authorities: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140605090108/http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Images /dutyguidancelocal_tcm6-9234.pdf
Generic guidance aimed at all public authorities affected: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140605090108/http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Images /dutyguidancepublic_tcm6-9233.pdf