As Cop 26 draws ever closer, our new, landmark Environment Bill will place environmental ambition and accountability at the heart of Government, ensuring we can deliver on the commitment to leave the natural world in a better condition than we found it. Last week saw MPs vote on proposed amendments by the Lords, which has caused some concerns.
We are determinedly changing the law to reduce sewerage entering our rivers and seas from storm overflows. The new Bill puts an important range of direct new legal responsibilities on water companies to tackle water pollution. It’s very important we support detailed, practical work to deliver this. So, to be clear, there is a new duty on water companies to share public data and real time information, as well as the need to continuously monitor water quality both upstream and downstream of any urgent disposal. Plus, significant strategic demands, via OFWAT, alongside a new Storm Overflows Taskforce are already underway. Full details of this are on my website and social media. The complexity of certain debates and votes is rarely clear via social media and I will always try to explain to constituents why some appealing ideas can’t be taken forward - hearing the debate and relevant Minister’s statement are key to helping understand the process and reasoning for Parliamentary decisions, as well as what is actually being delivered or possible to do.
Positively, a new agreement with New Zealand is now paving the way for a historic trade deal, making it easier for UK professionals to live and work there. UK-New Zealand trade was worth £2.3 billion last year and is set to grow. Tariffs as high as 10% will go on a huge range of UK goods, from clothing and footwear to buses, ships, bulldozers and excavators, giving British exporters new advantages in New Zealand import market - expecting market growth by around 30% by 2030.
A new Repair Café is opening in Lindfield at the United Reform Church on Saturday at 10am. Their mission is to reduce landfill waste through education, encouragement and motivation, and there will be a dedicated children’s area, where they can take things apart themselves and put them back together again. So, if you have anything that needs fixing, do come along!
Sport and Recreation Alliance’s Annual Sport and Recreation Awards are open, with the chance to win a £1000 a prize. It’s free to enter and the Alliance are keen to hear about projects and initiatives which work with people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds. The deadline for entry is midnight on Monday, 15 November. For more details on the process, the criteria and how to enter, visit the Community Sport and Recreation Awards webpage.