Local environment

Ensuring a new transit traveller site is built in Dudley, which will give police increased powers to evict unauthorised travellers from our parks and green areas immediately.

Mike Wood: The problem might be even more complex. Much of the green belt that adjoins my constituency is over the border in South Staffordshire, and my constituents will have next to no say about decisions on the release of the green belt, given that it is the responsibility of South Staffordshire District Council and its local plan. Does my hon. Friend think that that issue needs to be addressed to protect our green belt?

 

Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch

I shall speak extremely briefly in support of this sensible Bill. There can be few Members of this House who represent constituencies that have not been impacted by flooding in recent years. In some cases, such as the flooding in Somerset, it has been on a devastating and life-threatening scale, and has featured in headline news around the country and sometimes around the world. In other cases, the flooding will have been much more localised, but still with an enormous impact on those whom we represent.

Mike Wood: I welcome my hon. Friend’s proactive work on air quality, including in Dudley, and I urge her to work closely with local authorities to ensure that our air is clean and safe.

 

Therese Coffey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

In my constituency, we have both private and local authority-owned Traveller sites, but those are not the subject of this debate; this debate is about the kind of unauthorised encampments that many of us will have had a series of, summer after summer. In my constituency many of these encampments cause significant disruption, misery and loss of amenity for local residents.

It is a pleasure to follow so many distinguished speakers this afternoon. In particular, I would like to add my agreement to the arguments put forward by my hon. Friend
the Member for Filton and Bradley Stoke (Jack Lopresti) and my hon. and gallant Friend

Mike Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what assessment she has made of the potential contribution to energy efficiency and low carbon energy from buildings markets to (a) improving infrastructure and (b) implementing the Government's (i) long-term economic plan, (ii) obligations under the Climate Change Act 2008 and (c) commitments to relieve fuel poverty.

 

Andrea Leadsom ​(The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change): 

Mike Wood: I thank my hon. Friend for giving way and join others in wishing you a happy birthday, Ms Vaz. Is my hon. Friend familiar with the study by the European Academies Science Advisory Council that shows that, even at sub-lethal doses, the impact of neonicotinoids on pollinators can be such that the reduced crop yields actually offset any benefits from using them as a pesticide in the first place?

 

Ben Howlett (Bath)

Mike Wood: The Black Country’s canal network is an important part of our industrial heritage, supports a variety of wildlife and hosts many leisure facilities. Will the Minister update the House on what is being done to clean up our inland waterways?

 

Rory Stewart The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs