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Tuesday, 27 November, 2001, 05:11 GMT
Brown pressed to give green Budget
Part of Dartmoor National Park
The CPRE wants quiet lanes protected
The billions of pounds in the Treasury coffers should be used to promote better quality of life rather than to damage the environment, says a countryside conservation group.

The Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) made the appeal to Chancellor Gordon Brown as he made the last preparations for his pre-Budget statement.

More must be done to weed out damaging farming techniques and unnecessary road projects, as well as stamping out litter and graffiti, says the CPRE.

The organisation, which is running a London conference on Tuesday, wants action across Whitehall to match attempts by the Treasury to promote greener policies.

Grinding concerns

The council's Paul Hamblin, said Mr Brown's pre-Budget statement should react to the kind of environmental concerns that were grinding people down.

"Billions of pounds of public funds will be allocated in the spending review," he said.

"Making sure it enhances rather than damages the countryside will be key to improving people's quality of life."

Traffic jams on the M5
Green campaigners want traffic to be tackled
The government has already spoken about turning from subsidising production to rewarding wildlife management but the CPRE wants an immediate switch.

The organisation also wants the government's 10-year transport plan to take a new direction so it tackles traffic, which it says is predicted will rise by 17% between 2000 and 2010.

Most of the 60bn earmarked for roads should instead be spent on public transport, says the CPRE.

Funds of quiet lanes

There should be more funds too for quiet lanes, town and village plans and measures to stamp out litter and graffiti.

Quarrying is another concern raised earlier this month by the CPRE.

The council fears the chancellor might introduce tax rebates for quarrying operators.

David Young, the CPRE's natural resources campaigner, said: "If the government really wants to protect the countryside and communities from quarrying it should leave well alone."

See also:

22 Nov 01 | Business
The chancellor's choices
20 Nov 01 | Business
What is the pre-Budget report?
23 Nov 01 | UK Politics
Brown takes centre stage
16 Oct 01 | Business
Brown and the downturn
26 Nov 01 | Business
Cautious thumbs-up for UK economy
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