Environment

Fracking

I am in favour of fracking in principle and believe we should explore its potential as part of the UKs diverse energy supply. The government is consulting on the principle of whether non-hydraulic fracturing shale gas exploration development should be granted planning permission through a permitted development right, and in particular the circumstances in which it would be appropriate. 

As noted in the consultation document:

Most permitted development rights are subject to conditions that seek to minimise their impact and to protect local amenity, others are subject to geographic exclusions to ensure environmental protections are maintained. All however, are subject to clearly defined restrictions to cover the specific nature and scope of the operation or quantum of development that would benefit from a permitted development right.

This is essential and I would  oppose any inappropriate applications.

You can read about the consultation here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/permitted-development-for-s…

In response to the recent campaign "Please keep earthquake regulations rock solidthe government has stated: 

The Traffic Light System for monitoring induced seismicity was introduced after consideration of advice from three scientists, following operations at Cuadrilla’s Preese Hall site in 2011. The level of magnitude 0.5 at which operators must pause operations, was set in consultation with industry as an appropriate precautionary measure. There are no plans to review the traffic light system.

 

Children's Health and Air Pollution

The government’s Air Quality Grant Programme provides funding to local authorities; funding projects in local communities to tackle air pollution and reduce emissions affecting schools, businesses and residents. Local authorities have a duty to monitor and assess air quality and to take action to reduce pollution where these breach statutory limits, and are best placed to determine local priorities.

Defra awarded a total of £2.4 million to local authorities in England from the 2017/18 air quality grant fund; £3.7 million was awarded in 2016/17, and £0.5 million in 2015/6. £3 million has been allocated for 2018/19.

While all measures which reduce air pollution will reduce exposure of children to these harmful pollutants, some projects have elements that are specifically targeted at children.

Details of further funding from the Air Quality Grant Programme, including funding specifically directed at children can be found on the Air Quality Grant Programme webpage: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/air-quality-grant-programme.

The Government has also put in place a £3.5 billion plan to improve air quality and reduce harmful emissions, which includes £495 million for councils to improve air quality. Councils with serious air quality problems may bid for a share of these funds. The Government has consulted on our new world leading Clean Air Strategy, which includes new and ambitious goals, legislation, investment and policies which will help us to clean up our air faster and more effectively.

Pollinators

The National Pollinator Strategy already includes commitments to improve, extend and connect pollinator habitats. For example, in 2015 we introduced a Pollinator and Wildlife Package to the Countryside Stewardship Scheme to provide a suite of habitats on farmland. Since 2011, management has been established on approximately 130,000 hectares of land to create new wildlife-rich habitat, principally through agri-environment schemes.

The 25 Year Environment Plan reaffirms the Government’s commitment to expanding and connecting wildlife habitats through a Nature Recovery Network, which will drive how we deliver action for bees and other wildlife in the future.

Mapping and high quality spatial information on the location and quality of existing habitats will be key to this. On 25 October, the Secretary of State announced new funding to develop and test pollinator habitat mapping and to help voluntary bodies and land managers to create pollinator-friendly landscapes.