Is authorities incompetent or just appearing in dangerous religion? – Mark Avery


Pricey Mr Pursglove, since that is my first communication with you for fairly some time, could I want you a belated Blissful New Yr!?

It’s more likely to be an fascinating 12 months politically, not least with the byelection in adjoining Wellingborough coming subsequent month.  It appears a bit odd to me that the Conservative candidate is alleged to be the outgoing MP’s, Peter Bone’s, girlfriend and we’ll need to see how that goes down with the citizens however it’s not for me to intrude into Conservative Celebration grief.

Earlier than I come to my requests to your assist, could I simply contact on the truth that it’s simply potential that this is likely to be my final correspondence with you.  I do know that the present Prime Minister says that there received’t be a Might common election however on previous efficiency that may be a robust sign that there is likely to be. And I discover that your maintain on the very marginal seat of Corby is a bit tenuous if the polls are to be believed. However I’ve to say that you’ve got been (and nonetheless are) a hardworking and environment friendly constituency MP although your political views don’t accord with my very own. It’s a energy of our political system that an MP represents all of their constituents and never simply those that voted for that MP, and lengthy could that stay.

And so, please might you ask Defra, and in a single case DLUHC, concerning the following issues? These are all points about which I really feel strongly, and by which I’ve been involved and concerned as a director of Wild Justice, a not-for-profit firm primarily based right here, in your individual constituency.


  • Hedgerow rules – the protections which have been linked to cross-compliance and the Frequent Agricultural Coverage have lapsed as of 1 January. Defra consulted on easy methods to substitute these rules in September 2023 – I used to be one in all many who responded to the session. The session was particularly about what new measures can be launched – no new measures have been launched. That is extremely unsatisfactory in a disaster of wildlife decline by which farmland is the land use which has seen arguably the very best losses. You, I appear to recall Mr Pursglove, have been one in all many Tory Brexiteers who informed the general public that leaving the EU would enable us to herald even stronger home measures for environmental safety. In the mean time, on this situation, the safety has been eliminated and never changed with something. Hedgerows are necessary to most of the people and are very simply observable options of the countryside. Whether or not the overall election occurs in Might or the autumn I wouldn’t have thought that the present authorities would need one other situation that the general public can spot and have the ability to blame instantly on indolence the Conservative Celebration in energy. Please ask Defra, on my behalf, what are their plans to herald new rules – what and when?
  • Lead ammunition session – lead is a poison and we shouldn’t be capturing it into meals we eat or the atmosphere by which we and different creatures reside. I used to be concerned, as an RSPB member of employees, in securing a partial ban on lead ammunition use within the time when Michael Meacher was an atmosphere minister – the present ban (in simplified phrases) applies to wetlands and capturing geese and so forth. The Well being and Security Government has consulted on the matter of extending a ban on lead ammunition to all shot used for killing animals within the wild (eg Pheasants, Woodpigeon, Purple Grouse, Rabbits and so forth) and doubtlessly to bullets used to kill wild animals reminiscent of deer, Purple Foxes and so forth. I might help each these extensions of the present restrictions. The session came about a month in the past. I want to know when data on the size of responses might be printed and an evaluation of these views and when the HSE will replace its restriction file please. As I perceive it, the HSE is a non-departmental public physique which sits beneath the DWP however on this case it has been requested to hold out the session and suggest measures by Defra.
  • Peat gross sales to gardeners – in December 2021 the federal government introduced that peat gross sales to gardeners can be banned ‘by 2024’ – they weren’t and so they aren’t. Please ask Defra whether or not it has plans to maintain its phrase.
  • Westminster parliamentary petition on the capturing season of Woodcock – this Westminster parliamentary petition calling for a discount within the size of the capturing season for the attractive wading chook known as a Woodcock reached 100,000 signatures in January 2023 and was debated in Westminster Corridor in February 2023. Defra, in a response to the petition in October 2022, dedicated to reviewing the related Schedule (Schedule 2) of the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act with a view to creating modifications however this adopted an earlier letter to Wild Justice from the outgoing Secretary of State, George Eustice, making an identical dedication. An identical assertion was made by Trudy Harrison, a Defra minister, within the Westminster Corridor debate. Over 16 months on from Mr Eustice’s letter, 15 months from the Defra response to the petition and 11 months for the reason that debate, there’s nothing to point out for these guarantees. This can be a quite simple, no-cost, simple measure which is broadly supported (even by many within the capturing business). Please ask Defra when it plans to implement new dates for the Woodcock capturing season and (and this ‘and’ is necessary to me) why making progress is so gradual.
  • Westminster parliamentary petition on making Swift bricks  obligatory in new housing – this Westminster parliamentary petition calling for a quite simple inclusion of a nest brick to be included in new-build housing was debated in Westminster Corridor in July 2023 and obtained robust cross-party help. It asks for a really small change to constructing practices which is able to assist a spread of threatened or declining chook species such because the Swift. This matter falls throughout the ambit of the Division of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities – please ask them what progress they’ve made and once they anticipate to make an announcement on this matter.

I’d be thankful for your assist, please. There’s a thread, perhaps a number of, that runs by these issues. One is competence – we’ve got authorities departments that fail to do the quite simple and straightforward issues effectively, shortly and even in any respect. Public administration beneath your celebration seems to be a shambles – I’ve by no means identified it to be so poor. If Michael Gove’s division can’t resolve shortly on Swift bricks and inform us, both means, what is occurring then I actually marvel how the troublesome issues are going to be executed. The identical applies to a minor, largely non-contentious, change to the capturing season of a chook primarily based on significantly better scientific data. What’s the downside right here? In my thoughts, the one various to incompetence as an evidence for lack of motion (and these actually, actually, actually are merely examples, not the complete listing) is dangerous religion. Would possibly or not it’s that this authorities says one factor and does one thing fully totally different? I’m not asking you to decide on between the 2 various explanations – incompetence or dangerous religion – however I might be very grateful should you might use your finest endeavours to supply some solutions on these issues,

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