Questions for short debate

Questions for short debate are extra to the Oral Question allowance but can take 6 months to be tabled and only one can be entered at a time. The debate is longer than an Oral Question debate but not always in the main chamber

March 18 – Facial recognition technology

Oct 16 – Detention of pregnant women

June 15 – Paving of front gardens

Feb 14 – Water cannons

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Environmental Protections: Gove and the Lords vs the Treasury

The Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, has gone to war with the mighty Treasury over their blocking progress on our environmental protections. There is a happy coincidence between this Cabinet bust up, the EU’s taking the government to court over its failure to act on air pollution and the Lords rejecting the government plans for a post Brexit environmental enforcement agency. It highlights why the government should scrap their current flabbyconsultation on the creation of an environmental protection agency and restart it based upon the Lords’ amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

Continue reading “Environmental Protections: Gove and the Lords vs the Treasury”

Oral Questions

Peers are allowed to table up to 7 Oral Questions – for short debate in the main chamber – per parliamentary session. In this session Jenny has tabled the following Oral Questions :

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Private members bills

Clean Air (Human Rights) BillA Bill to establish the right to breathe clean air; to require the Secretary of State to achieve and maintain clean air in England and Wales; to involve Public Health England in setting and reviewing pollutants and their limits; to enhance the powers, duties and functions of the Environment Agency, the Committee on Climate Change, local authorities (including port authorities), the Civil Aviation Authority, Highways England, Historic England and Natural England in relation to air pollution; to establish a Citizens’ Commission for Clean Air with powers to institute or intervene in legal proceedings; to require the Secretary of State and the relevant national authorities to apply environmental principles in carrying out their duties under this Act and the clean air enactments; and for connected purposes.

House of Lords Reform – which would create a second chamber where only peers elected via Proportional Representation would be entitled to vote. This had its second reading on February 3rd 2017 and did not progress further but is a useful contribution to the topic and could be presented again

Natural Environment Bill – A Bill to make provision for the setting of biodiversity and other targets; to establish a Natural Capital Committee; to require local authorities to maintain local ecological network strategies; to identify species threatened with extinction; for access to quality natural green space; and to include education about the natural environment in the curriculum for maintained schools. This bill did not progress beyond first reading but exists as a useful body of work and could be presented again

Land Value Tax Bill – A Bill to require the Secretary of State to commission a programme of research into the merits of replacing the council tax and non-domestic rates in England with an annual levy on the unimproved value of all land, including transitional arrangements; to report to Parliament within 12 months of completion of the research; and for connected purposes. This bill did not progress beyond first reading but exists as a useful body of work and could be presented again

Solutions for the farm of the future

As a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Vegetarianism and Veganism I’ve been asked to look at the findings in a report produced by the New Economics Foundation in collaboration with the Vegan Society as part of their Grow Green campaign.  You can read the full report here but it is essentially identifying the barriers to increased plant protein crop production in the UK and how we can overcome them. Continue reading “Solutions for the farm of the future”

The Government must act to protect UK citizens from exposure to toxic crop sprays

People are often surprised to learn that highly poisonous chemicals – that were originally designed as weapons of war1 – have been allowed for many decades, under successive Government policies, to be sprayed on crop fields all over the UK. The chemical warfare in the countryside – known as ‘conventional farming’ – has resulted in thousands of residents suffering devastating, even fatal, consequences to their health and lives.Sprayer Continue reading “The Government must act to protect UK citizens from exposure to toxic crop sprays”