I have been pleased to be back in Westminster this week. Things are really starting to pick up again with Parliament becoming increasingly busy with the Government’s legislative programme.
We are now allowed double the amount of people in the Chamber so many familiar faces are starting to trickle back in and some of the old atmosphere is reasserting itself!
I managed to get in for questions to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on Monday. I asked the Secretary of State about green technology in aviation and the future of air travel. As so many constituents across Meon Valley work in the aviation sector and at Southampton Airport, this is an important topic. We need to cut emissions with a future powered by greener fuels. The Minister agreed that this was important and assured me sustainable fuel and aviation is a priority.
There is a wide range of legislation going through the House, with the Environment Bill as the centrepiece.
I spoke in the Commons on the bill and discussed some key issues that Meon Valley faces. I know many of you wrote in asking me to speak and I was pleased to be able to.
Meon Valley boasts picturesque countryside across the South Downs with land that needs to be protected both for recreation and agriculture. The two main topics I spoke about were soil and pastureland. While we are encouraging farmers to plant more trees and hedges, it is important that we support the health of pasture through soil improvement and restoration. Across Meon Valley we have many farmers who care greatly for their land and I keep in close touch with them. I also touched upon chalk streams and mentioned the importance of protecting these valuable assets in our constituency from pollution.
I emphasised that through working alongside farmers and ensuring pastureland and soil health is valued alongside woodland and peatland, we can improve the overall health of our rivers and the environment. I will continue to work hard on behalf of the people of Meon Valley to protect our beautiful environment.
I know there has been a lot of press this week on Dominic Cummings. I did not watch the joint committee hearing because I was dealing with correspondence and preparing my Environment Bill speech.
I know the joint committee will be holding other hearings before it produces its report and I will wait for the full picture to become clear. There will also be a full independent inquiry into the response to Covid starting early next year. That lessons need to be learnt is very clear. However, that will be achieved through a thorough examination of the facts, not by the opinions of one man.
Next week the house rises for Recess. I hope after a rainy couple of weeks the sun stays, and children are able to make the most of half term. There will be no newsletter next Friday, so until the next one I hope you have a good Bank Holiday weekend and keep safe and well.