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Written Question
Environment Agency: Legal Opinion
Monday 26th February 2024

Asked by: Tim Farron (Liberal Democrat - Westmorland and Lonsdale)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many staff were in the Environment Agency's legal services team in each year since 2015.

Answered by Robbie Moore - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

The data in relation to Environment Agency Legal Services full-time equivalent numbers is detailed below:

Legal Services

Mar-15

137.1

Mar-16

144.6

Mar-17

136.8

Mar-18

137.8

Mar-19

141.5

Mar-20

146.4

Mar-21

142.7

Mar-22

137.2

Mar-23

145.4

Jan-24

148.4


Written Question
Hill Farming
Monday 26th February 2024

Asked by: Tim Farron (Liberal Democrat - Westmorland and Lonsdale)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the upland farming Pathways to Success modelling analysis prepared between 1 March 2022 and 1 August 2022.

Answered by Mark Spencer - Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

The work referenced was not completed. However, we have provided information on the potential impact of our farming reforms. For example, the evidence compendium was most recently updated in September 2022 and the Agriculture in the UK Dashboard was published in November 2023. These set out the contribution of Direct Payments on farm incomes, including analysis by sector, location in England and type of land tenure.


Written Question
Swimming: Water
Wednesday 14th February 2024

Asked by: Tim Farron (Liberal Democrat - Westmorland and Lonsdale)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which bathing waters have been de-designated in each region since 2015.

Answered by Robbie Moore - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

Since 2015, the following bathing waters have been de-designated in the Environment Agency areas listed below:

Area

De-Designated bathing waters since 2015

Cumbria and Lancashire

2

Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

3

East Anglia

1

Solent and South Downs

1

Wessex

2

Yorkshire

2

The names of these sites are:

  • Staithes
  • Newhaven
  • Lyme Regis Church Cliff Beach
  • Rock
  • Silloth
  • Instow
  • Allonby South
  • Clacton (Groyne 41)
  • Burnham Jetty North
  • Ilfracombe Wildersmouth
  • Tunstall

Written Question
Swimming: Water
Wednesday 14th February 2024

Asked by: Tim Farron (Liberal Democrat - Westmorland and Lonsdale)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many applications for bathing water status have been (a) made, (b) granted, (c) and (d) pending decision since 1 January 2023.

Answered by Robbie Moore - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

Defra has received 30 bathing water applications since 1 January 2023. All applications are currently being assessed by Defra officials against the eligibility criteria and evidence requirements set out in the bathing waters application guidance, which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/bathing-waters-apply-to-designate-or-de-designate.

In addition, Defra designated four sites as bathing waters in 2023, although the applications for these sites were received in 2022. These four sites were:

  • Sykes Lane Bathing Beach, Rutland Water
  • Whitwell Creek, Rutland Water
  • Firestone Bay, Plymouth
  • an area of the River Deben Estuary at Waldringfield, Suffolk


Written Question
Environment Agency: Staff
Monday 12th February 2024

Asked by: Tim Farron (Liberal Democrat - Westmorland and Lonsdale)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many staff have been employed by the Environment Agency for each year since 2015.

Answered by Robbie Moore - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)


Environment Agency Workforce numbers (as at 31 March each year)

Year

Total

2014/15

10235

2015/16

10340

2016/17

10896

2017/18

10006

2018/19

10429

2019/20

10790

2020/21

10586

2021/22

10924

2022/23

12368

Dec-23

13282


Written Question
Flood Control: Local Government and Private Sector
Friday 9th February 2024

Asked by: Tim Farron (Liberal Democrat - Westmorland and Lonsdale)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish a list of areas which lack (a) local authority resources and (b) private sector contributions to manage flood risk.

Answered by Robbie Moore - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

The Government is investing a record £5.2 billion between 2021 and 2027 in flood and coastal erosion schemes to better protect communities across England. Local authorities, which deliver some of these schemes, benefit from this investment.

Local authorities are also resourced to fulfil their statutory duties and have access to a range of revenue streams including the Local Government Finance Settlement. The local government finance settlement for 2024-25 will make available over £64.7 billion next year, an increase in Core Spending Power of up to £4.5 billion or 7.5% in cash terms on 2023-24. The Government announced an additional £3 million in grant funding for 2024/25 to support local authorities severely impacted by the increase in levies from internal drainage boards. The majority of local government funding is un-ringfenced, recognising that local authorities are best placed to decide how to meet the major service pressures in their local areas.

The Government is conducting an assessment of local flood and coastal risk compared to local authority spend. This work is ongoing and is expected to conclude by March 2024.

The Government’s £5.2 billion investment is distributed across the country where the risk is highest and the benefits are greatest. Around 60% of flood and coastal erosion projects are fully funded by this investment. Where the full costs of the project are not covered, contributions are needed from partners, the local community and other organisations. This provides a fair and consistent approach for allocating GiA and securing wider benefits where others stand to benefit from a defence scheme.

As of June 2023, the current capital programme had already secured £128 million in private sector contributions – more than double the £55 million secured across the whole of the previous six-year programme (2015 to 2021).

Government has also provided additional funding to schemes which meet specific objectives, to ensure that they can progress. For example, 23 projects have benefitted from additional government investment, on top of the £5.2 billion programme, through the £170 million Economic Recovery Funding announced in 2020.


Written Question
Sewage: Waste Disposal
Friday 9th February 2024

Asked by: Tim Farron (Liberal Democrat - Westmorland and Lonsdale)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many times each water company breached their storm overflow permits in 2023.

Answered by Robbie Moore - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

The Environment Agency will publish the 2023 Event Duration Monitoring data for storm overflows in March 2024.

The data for previous years is available here: Event Duration Monitoring - Storm Overflows - Annual Returns - data.gov.uk.


Written Question
Bank Services: Business
Thursday 8th February 2024

Asked by: Tim Farron (Liberal Democrat - Westmorland and Lonsdale)

Question to the HM Treasury:

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he is taking steps to prevent banks from providing (a) financial and (b) investment support to business which derive income from industrial livestock companies with low animal welfare practices.

Answered by Bim Afolami - Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)

The UK has a world-leading record on animal welfare, and the government has introduced a range of measures to ensure animals receive the care, respect, and protection they deserve. This includes providing grants to farmers towards capital equipment that improves animal welfare and banning the export of live animals for fattening and slaughter. The government has recently announced its intention to consult on proposals to strengthen animal welfare labelling in the food sector.

We are also protecting animals abroad by banning the import of hunting trophies from endangered animals and the advertisement of unacceptable low-welfare animal practices abroad.

The decisions about what products are offered and to whom remain commercial decisions for banks and building societies.


Written Question
Mental Health Services: Children and Young People
Tuesday 6th February 2024

Asked by: Tim Farron (Liberal Democrat - Westmorland and Lonsdale)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of trends in the number of crisis referrals to child and adolescent mental health services on the standard of therapeutic provision for under-18s in south Cumbria.

Answered by Maria Caulfield - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)

There are no plans to make such an assessment at national level. We would expect National Health Service providers and commissioners to provide services in line with guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. The standard of therapeutic provision for children under 18 years old in South Cumbria is a matter for the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board.


Written Question
Mental Health Services: Waiting Lists
Tuesday 6th February 2024

Asked by: Tim Farron (Liberal Democrat - Westmorland and Lonsdale)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of young people in South Cumbria identified as highly complex or at high risk to self or others are on the waiting list for (a) cognitive behavioural therapy, (b) psychology and (c) family therapy as of 29 January 2024.

Answered by Maria Caulfield - Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)

This information is not held in the format requested.