Latest Public Sector News

02.11.12

Government crisis meeting over tree disease

The Government’s ‘Cobra’ crisis committee is meeting today to discuss measures to prevent the wipe-out of the UK’s ash tree population from a deadly fungus that has ravaged parts of continental Europe. 

The fungal disease, recently found in East Anglia, causes leaf loss and crown dieback and can lead to ash tree death. It has wiped out up to 90% of ash trees in Denmark. 

Imports of ash trees have been banned since Monday, but it is widely feared to be too late. 

Environmental campaigner and journalist George Monbiot says the past two environment secretaries, Hilary Benn for Labour and Caroline Spelman for the Conservatives, should be held accountable. 

In an open letter to the MPs, he said: “…It now emerges that there were repeated warnings from experts about the spread and gravity of the disease, and that European ecologists – as well as British foresters and conservationists – were begging the UK Government to take all necessary measures to prevent the fungus from arriving here, so that there would at least be one uninfected redoubt. 

“If ash die-back is now spreading across Britain as a result of your combined inaction, you carry responsibility for causing one of the greatest environmental crises ever to have struck this country: a profound loss that will be felt by everyone who loves the natural world.” 

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com 

(Ash tree image copyright Amanda Slater used here under a Creative Commons licence, some rights reserved). 

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >

interviews

Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

The evolution of digital transformation for local government

05/06/2020The evolution of digital transformation for local government

Content provided by TechnologyOne, editorially reviewed by Public Sector Executive. A CEO’s perspective  Andrew Grant, former CEO of Aylesbury V... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >