6 Mims Davies debates involving the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Tue 6th Sep 2022
Thu 14th Jun 2018
Ivory Bill (Third sitting)
Public Bill Committees

Committee Debate: 3rd sitting: House of Commons
Wed 29th Jun 2016

Sewage Pollution

Mims Davies Excerpts
Tuesday 6th September 2022

(1 year, 7 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Urgent Questions are proposed each morning by backbench MPs, and up to two may be selected each day by the Speaker. Chosen Urgent Questions are announced 30 minutes before Parliament sits each day.

Each Urgent Question requires a Government Minister to give a response on the debate topic.

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George Eustice Portrait George Eustice
- Parliament Live - Hansard - - - Excerpts

The hon. Lady is wrong. The environment targets that we are currently consulting on will set ambitious targets to improve bathing water quality, addressing issues such as E. coli counts. She is also wrong to say that the issue of breaches of permits from water treatment works is not being addressed; it is being investigated right now at 2,200 facilities and, where appropriate, prosecutions will be brought.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Mid Sussex) (Con)
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My constituents in Mid Sussex have rightly been very concerned by social media’s inferring that the Government are not taking significant action. As confirmed today, that is both irresponsible and alarmist. We all enjoy the seaside in Sussex and across the country. People are acting today as if they do not bear any blame themselves, but we are all contributing to this problem. We should be allaying fears. DEFRA should be working to give my constituents and those across the land a clearer insight into the positive changes, and to ensure that we keep our resorts busy and our bathing water safe. Will the Department provide more clarity so that people understand that the situation is improving significantly?

George Eustice Portrait George Eustice
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I have been grateful for today’s opportunity and I hope to do precisely that. We all know that one should not believe everything one sees on social media. I tend not to participate on Twitter and social media for precisely that reason; in my view, it is best not to have a Twitter account. The important thing is that we parliamentarians focus on the substantive issue. That is what I have done as Secretary of State and it is what the report that we published yesterday does.

Ivory Bill (Third sitting)

Mims Davies Excerpts
Committee Debate: 3rd sitting: House of Commons
Thursday 14th June 2018

(5 years, 10 months ago)

Public Bill Committees
Read Full debate Ivory Act 2018 View all Ivory Act 2018 Debates Read Hansard Text Read Debate Ministerial Extracts Amendment Paper: Public Bill Committee Amendments as at 14 June 2018 - (14 Jun 2018)
Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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Sorry. I have no idea how it has managed to do that. I am sorry.

David Rutley Portrait David Rutley
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It is fine; we all have these technological moments.

The hon. Member for Workington raised some points made by my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Derbyshire and others, and we will certainly consider how we can address some of those concerns. The challenge is that it would be unlikely that we could publish more detail on the specific items exempted, for data protection reasons. However, we will consider whether we could break down the headline figure further, for instance to cover broad categories of items such as statues, reliefs or furniture. I give an undertaking to consider that further.

Oral Answers to Questions

Mims Davies Excerpts
Thursday 20th July 2017

(6 years, 9 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Michael Gove Portrait Michael Gove
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The hon. Gentleman makes a good case and I look forward to enjoying a pint of Blaenau Gwent-brewed beer before too long. Outside the EU, we will have the capacity, should we choose to exercise it, more effectively to brand British food as British. As I said earlier, Members of all parties recognise that provenance matters for food and drink, and British is always best.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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Last summer, I was pleased to meet key representatives from the charity Surfers Against Sewage. I congratulate them on their battle against plastics in our seas and marine environment, including the Solent and the River Itchen in my constituency. The summer holidays are due to begin. Will Ministers outline the work that we are doing around our coastlines, particularly the Solent and the Itchen, to ensure that they are safe for water sports and our local wildlife?

Thérèse Coffey Portrait Dr Coffey
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I, too, congratulate Surfers Against Sewage on not only its direct activity, but its ongoing campaigns. I was therefore pleased to meet Hugo Tagholm in the past year. Our beaches are of better quality than at any time since the industrial revolution. Last year, we introduced tougher bathing water standards, and even under those tough standards, 93.2% of England’s beaches were rated excellent or good. I visited the Itchen last month. I am aware of some of the challenges, including the pressures of abstraction, but we will do what we can to improve the ecological as well as the leisure quality of rivers and beaches.

Oral Answers to Questions

Mims Davies Excerpts
Thursday 14th July 2016

(7 years, 9 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Andrea Leadsom Portrait Andrea Leadsom
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I agree with the hon. Gentleman that fuel poverty in this country has to be tackled, and that is an absolute priority for my Department. He may be aware that we have launched our consultation on the energy company obligation to ensure that we refocus it on the fuel-poor and do everything we can to ensure warmer homes.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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10. What assessment she has made of recent trends in the rate of switching in the retail energy market.

Andrea Leadsom Portrait The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Andrea Leadsom)
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I am happy to tell my hon. Friend that switching was at a four-year high in 2015, with 6.1 million electricity and gas switches across the UK. That is an increase of about 15% since 2014. Some 2 million further gas and electricity switches have already taken place between January and March of this year, with 52% of those customers moving to newer suppliers.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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Will the Minister confirm that the Government are specifically ensuring that those who are in most need or who are financially challenged, including those in my constituency and across the UK who are in need of lower energy bills, are benefiting from an efficient and easier switching regime?

Andrea Leadsom Portrait Andrea Leadsom
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Yes, I can assure my hon. Friend that the Government are acting to do just that. In fact, customers on expensive standard tariffs could save £325 by switching to the cheapest fixed deal, which is why we continue to encourage customers to switch through our big energy saving network initiative.

--- Later in debate ---
Andrea Leadsom Portrait Andrea Leadsom
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I can reassure my hon. Friend that the planning process will take into account all issues related to sensitive areas. I can also tell her that fracking will not be permitted from wells drilled at the surface of areas such as national parks, the broads, areas of outstanding natural beauty, world heritage sites, sites of special scientific interest, Ramsar sites and Natura 2000 sites.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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T1. If she will make a statement on her departmental responsibilities.

Andrea Leadsom Portrait The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Andrea Leadsom)
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As things stand, I am delighted that the hon. Member for Brent North (Barry Gardiner) and I are able to take forward the enormous job of the Department of Energy and Climate Change. I am quite sure that there will be further announcements later that we all look forward to hearing.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies
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Worryingly, my constituency is very polluted in parts of Botley and central Eastleigh. What progress is being made to ensure that all cars imported to this country meet our rigorous emissions standards?

Andrea Leadsom Portrait Andrea Leadsom
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I absolutely assure my hon. Friend that the Department for Transport is looking closely at transport and vehicle emissions. Further measures will be brought forward this autumn on meeting the increasingly stringent emissions requirements.

Dog Fighting

Mims Davies Excerpts
Wednesday 29th June 2016

(7 years, 9 months ago)

Westminster Hall
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Lisa Cameron Portrait Dr Cameron
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I cannot emphasise that point enough: it is a gateway crime carried out by organised people who are involved in crime. They are callous towards animals, which research indicates leads them to a propensity to be callous towards humans. That must be tackled as a serious issue.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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I think we are all astounded that we hear these points being made in 2016. This underground behaviour is being allowed and sustained through a combination of organised work and dog breeding, and people are making money off pets that should be looked after. That is abhorrent behaviour.

I pay tribute to Blue Cross, which rehomes animals in West End in my constituency, and I thank the hon. Lady for bringing this issue to the table. I have constituents who have been able to give dogs from the area a better life. We must not let dogs have the awful life that those dogs used to have.

Lisa Cameron Portrait Dr Cameron
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I, too, pay tribute to Blue Cross. It is extremely important that we rehabilitate as many such dogs as possible, although, given their traumatic early lives, that is often not possible and they meet a sad end.

Dog fighting has been an offence since the 1800s. The current provision can be found in the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006. There are penalties of up to 51 weeks’ imprisonment and a fine in England and Wales, and up to 12 months’ imprisonment and a fine of up to £20,000 in Scotland. The Control of Dogs (Scotland) Act 2010 was designed to highlight the responsibilities of dog owners by putting in place a regime to identify out-of-control dogs at an early juncture, and by providing measures to change the behaviour of dogs—and their owners—before they become dangerous. We need specific legislation on the issue, because we must focus on everything we can do across the UK and consider whether we are doing enough.

Neonicotinoids on Crops

Mims Davies Excerpts
Monday 7th December 2015

(8 years, 4 months ago)

Westminster Hall
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Westminster Hall is an alternative Chamber for MPs to hold debates, named after the adjoining Westminster Hall.

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This information is provided by Parallel Parliament and does not comprise part of the offical record

Ben Howlett Portrait Ben Howlett
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I thank my hon. Friend for her excellent intervention. I agree that removing neonics from the chain of production has not caused some sort of massive collapse in the system. In many ways it has had a very limited effect. I agree that all producers have a responsibility.

Mims Davies Portrait Mims Davies (Eastleigh) (Con)
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I thank my hon. Friend for giving way before he moves on. He is showing expertise minute by minute and so should not worry; we will get there. I have a farming background. My hon. Friend touched on how long neonics can remain and the studies of the chemicals’ long-term effects. There are conflicting conclusions. Many of those present, and many of the constituents who write to us, are confused by the science, the conclusions that are drawn and the warnings we are given, but we have just heard from my hon. Friend the Member for Romsey and Southampton North (Caroline Nokes) that there can be alternatives. I do not believe that all the options are being explored.

Ben Howlett Portrait Ben Howlett
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Yes, there is a mix of evidence out there. We do not yet have a definitive answer, but hopefully we will hear one from the Minister. I empathise greatly with the view that much more evidence should be put out there, because it sometimes feels as if one is going through the process but the information is just not readily available.

Moving on quickly, there are still types of neonics whose usage is not controlled. The three banned types can still be used as a seed dressing on crops such as sugar beet and winter cereals. Earlier this year, the European Commission asked the European Food Safety Authority to collect information on the risks posed to bees by the three banned neonics. The authority is currently reviewing the data it collected and will soon provide conclusions as to the risks. It collected information from more than 370 contributors, which will increase our understanding of the effects of neonics, so I hope that the Government listen to the findings.