A fairly sensible response from Defra is now beginning to find its way back to MPs and their constituents. Here, below is one sent me by a reader of this blog and I had a very similar letter at the weekend too.
Those of you who have written to your MPs and not taken their inadequate stock replies as being satisfactory have caused Defra to raise their game a little. Just a little, but these things matter.
There are a few interesting things about this letter.
- when a minister has to tell you that they are responsible for an area of policy it often means that they are a bit defensive because their boss is rather more active than they are – could that be a chip on Dr Coffey’s shoulder perhaps?
- so we get confirmation that Michael Gove will be seeing Chris Packham when their very busy diaries allow – that is good. I hope that Chris will be seeing the shadow SoS, Sue Hayman, as well and I know that that is being scheduled too.
- my letter has an extra paragraph which says ‘ In many areas we share the ambition set out in the Manifesto, even if we might not support all of its recommendations’ which is very vague but is a tiny bit of commitment. We’ll be looking for those shared ambitions in the next Conservative election manifesto.
- much of the government claim to be doing something is through the ongoing funding of agricultural or forestry grants – we don’t see government or its nature conservation agency being very active themselves, do we?
- how many of you are going to get the ‘plating’ typo in the last paragraph I wonder? I didn’t get that paragraph at all – but I did get one on children’s engagement with nature
Here are the different paragraphs from my response.
I wonder what other versions are in circualtion – only you can tell me.
If you support the People’s Manifesto for Wildlife and you haven’t yet written to your MP then please do so – ask them what they are going to do to support its ideas and ask them to write to Defra for a formal response.
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