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Rural Related Politics – An RSN weekly review

3 September 2018

Below is an RSN review of last week’s rural related politics as well as a look forward to the week ahead:

Last week in politics (27 August – 2 September)

Parliament remained in recess last week.

Defra announced plans to implement a ban on electronic training collars for dogs and cats. The consultation received over 7,000 responses with 50 per cent highlighting that they did not want containment fences banned, which the Government has agreed to on the proviso it is kept under review.

Separately, the Government promised to launch a consultation later this year to explore the idea of raising the current 5p plastic bag tax to 10p, as well as to extend the charge to all retailers across the country. Currently only businesses with over 250 employees are required to charge.  

DCMS issued a call for local authorities to submit bids for funding to support the rollout of full fibre connectivity across the UK as part of the Local Full Fibre Networks Challenge Fund. Proposals will be judged by several criteria with particular emphasis on rural areas.  The Department said it will prioritise ‘projects demonstrating the effectiveness of Local Full Fibre Networks delivery in rural locations and hard-to-reach areas’.

Full articles:

→ GOV.UK – Cruel electric shock collars for pets to be banned
→ GOV.UK – Plastic bag charge set to be rolled out to all retailers
→ GOV.UK – £95 million “Full Fibre” Broadband Boost for Local Authorities

This week in politics
(3 – 9 September)

Parliament returns from summer recess this week.

On Tuesday, the House of Lords Select Committee on the Rural Economy will quiz representatives from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MCHLG) on how they are working to tackle challenges in rural areas such as, skills shortages, lack of access to training and poor productivity. They will then ask whether MCHLG is devoting enough attention to rural areas, with questions likely to include whether the Industrial Strategy adequately considers rural businesses, and how local authorities are engaged when rural proofing policies.  The sessions begin at 2.45pm and can be watched here. Stakeholders have until 10th September to respond to the inquiry’s call for evidence.

The APPG for Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire will hold a session on Tuesday on whether those areas get a fair deal from the Treasury, led by Robert Jenrick MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, while the APPG on Rural Health and Social Care will hold a meeting looking at Rural Integration of Health (physical and mental) and Social Care. Speakers will include Sir Richard Ibbotson, Chairman of South Devon NHS Foundation Trust; Lily Makurah, National Lead, Public Mental Health at Public Health England; and Jim Hume, National Rural Mental Health Forum.

On Wednesday the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee will hold a session on Fisheries with Defra Minister George Eustice MP, while the Transport Committee will meet to discuss rail timetable changes


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