Oral Questions

Members of the House of Lords (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 :

————————— previous session

All peers are entitled to contribute to all debates (sometimes this requires getting on the speaker’s list in advance) but the House would quickly tire of someone who insisted on speaking on every topic or every day. There is no chairperson, the House can veto speakers or call for a particular person to take the next turn. The custom is for the political groupings to take turns: Conservative, Crossbench, Labour, Lib Dem , Green

The Scottish National Party choose not to accept peerages and are therefore not represented.

 

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”

Community energy still in the dark over its future

In a dark and stormy year, one sunny news story has been the continued growth of solar power around the world. It’s now coming in cheaper than coal and gas in the sunniest parts of the world, and prices are still dropping in the UK too. Continue reading “Community energy still in the dark over its future”

Human Rights Day Reception

On 10th December Jenny attended a reception in Speaker’s House hosted by Amnesty International to mark International Human Rights Day. The event was a great success with Amnesty activists, school groups and parliamentarians all taking part in the Write for Rights campaign, writing letters and other messages to individuals at risk around the world. As a result of the event, Ann Clwyd MP has secured an adjournment debate on Tuesday 13th December where she will be referring to some of the specific cases from the Write for Rights campaign as well as the wider human rights contexts in some of those countries.

humanrightsday Continue reading “Human Rights Day Reception”

Heathrow is now the litmus test for action on climate change

The government’s advisory body on Climate Change has pointed out the obvious; you can’t expand Heathrow if you are serious about meeting the climate change targets that all mainstream political parties are signed up to. The Davis Commission relied upon the Committee on Climate Change and a huge hike in fares as its way of justifying the Heathrow option. That fig leaf has now disappeared. We should be clear that MPs who vote for Heathrow expansion can’t ever claim to be taking climate change seriously.

heathrow-plane-above-houses

Continue reading “Heathrow is now the litmus test for action on climate change”

Budget fuel duty freeze is bad for climate change and air pollution

“The Chancellor’s decision to freeze fuel duty for the seventh year running is bad news for climate change, air pollution and public health. Our country has returned to the bad old days of rising traffic growth and the main political parties are competing over who will build more roads. It’s like the anti-roads campaigns of the early 1990s never happened and our pollution crisis doesn’t exist. Continue reading “Budget fuel duty freeze is bad for climate change and air pollution”