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CIEH lays out healthy vision for next government

Stuart Spear15/06/2017 - 11:47

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CIEH to keep public health up the Westminster agenda
CIEH to keep public health up the Westminster agenda

CIEH has vowed to prevent public and environmental health policies slipping down the political agenda as the country faces the political uncertainty surrounding Brexit negotiations, a hung parliament and a DUP alliance.

To help keep pressure on relevant ministers CIEH has published eight key priorities to ensure that the next legislative programme includes policies that protect the health and improve the wellbeing of people businesses and communities.

CIEH aims to target ministers covering the environmental health portfolio as they are appointed.      

The eight priorities cover the full range of policy areas while attempting to ensure that EU controls impacting environmental health are not diluted in a post-Brexit UK.

CIEH is calling on Theresa May’s government to ensure that when legislation is repatriated into UK law post Brexit, environmental health-related regulations are smoothly adopted and where necessary strengthened and not watered down. ‘We are arguing that for 30 years the EU has driven health and safety, environmental protection and food safety regulations and in a post Brexit world these achievements must be protected and not dismissed as a burden to business. We argue that strong regulation is essential for a sound economy particularly when it comes to exports,’ said Tony Lewis CIEH head of policy.

With pressure building on the government to tackle poor air quality CIEH is calling for a new Clean Air Act that will deliver a comprehensive framework for delivering improvements in air quality. On housing CIEH wants to see the government explore the introduction of a national landlord licensing scheme in England, taking into account schemes already operating in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

From April 2018, private rented properties will require a minimum energy performance rating of E despite the ending of the Green Deal in England and Wales making these regulations not fit for purpose.

CIEH argues that these energy efficiency regulations need to be amended and improved to ensure they reduce the number of people living in fuel poverty.

On food, the government needs to introduce mandatory food hygiene ratings in England to bring it in line with Northern Ireland and Wales. Environment health should also be resourced ‘appropriately’ while there is a need for greater recognition of the role the profession plays in preventing harm and improving health.

CIEH is calling on government to encourage businesses to adopt health and safety initiatives that ensure good mental and physiological wellbeing and that complement existing policies dedicated to protecting workers’ physical safety.

‘In today’s world most employers understand they have a duty to care for their workers,’ points out Mr Lewis. ‘While the argument about being physically safe in the workplace has to some extent been won we must now look at the impact the workplace has on employees’ mental and physiological wellbeing.’

Finally, the government should adopt health impact assessments in all aspects of its decision making.

CIEH’s eight manifesto priorities:

  • A new Clean Air Act
  • Protect EU regulations following Brexit
  • Bring up housing standards in privately rented properties
  • Minimum Energy Efficiency standards for all rented homes
  • Mandatory food hygiene ratings in England
  • Recognise environmental health protects and improves health and wellbeing
  • Healthy workplaces contribute to healthy minds
  • Government to consider health in their decision making










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