Rural and Environment
Update on Environmental Standards Scotland
Chair and members put forward for appointment.
The Scottish Government has today announced its intention to recommend the former Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, Jim Martin, as Chair of Scotland’s new environmental body, Environmental Standards Scotland (ESS).
It is proposed that the Chair will be supported by four other members with experience of the environment sector and its regulatory frameworks.
Legislation to establish ESS is currently passing through the Scottish Parliament. If approved, it will be established on 1 January 2021 on a non-statutory basis to prevent an environmental governance gap arising from the UK leaving the European Union.
When fully established as a statutory body, its proposed remit is to monitor and investigate public authorities’ compliance with environmental law, the ‘effectiveness’ of environmental law and how it is implemented and applied. It will also enforce environmental law by taking the steps it considers appropriate to secure public authorities’ compliance.
Welcoming the nominations, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham, said: “Behind the scenes, we have been working tirelessly to put in place the necessary arrangements for environmental governance in Scotland following Brexit.
“Scotland voted against Brexit and clearly this situation is not of our choosing, but I have been very clear that there must be no ‘gap’ once we lose the oversight of the EU’s institutions later this month. It is vital that Scotland’s environmental standards are maintained or enhanced, despite the threat from Brexit. My intention is that Environmental Standards Scotland will be a strong, independent and effective governance body – and these nominations for appointment are the first step towards achieving this.
“Between them, Jim Martin and the other members being put forward have significant experience of leading independent, scrutiny organisations and across the environment sector and its regulatory frameworks, including particular experience in Europe.
“I look forward to working closely with the Scottish Parliament to finalise these appointments and the wider arrangements for environmental governance as we move forward in the new year.”
The other four members being put forward to the Scottish Parliament for agreement are Paul McAleavey, Richard Dixon, Marie Fallon and Annalisa Savaresi.