Whatever our opponents say, the legislation making its way through Parliament offers significant economic opportunities for Cornwall, Scilly and the UK whilst delivering the highest commitments to protect and enhance our natural environment (in my mind a desire to create economic opportunity and enhance environment protection do not need to be competing priorities). I refer to the Environment Bill, the Agriculture Bill and the UK Fisheries Bill. On fisheries you can take part in the consultation - the Government is seeking views on new measures to boost our fishing industry, including how to fairly distribute the new opportunities from leaving the Common Fisheries Policy, and increase the economic benefits from fishing activity for our coastal communities.
The three consultations seek views on: a strengthened ‘economic link’ for English licenced fishing vessels to help ensure genuine economic benefits for our coastal communities – including plans for an increased landing requirement of 70%, proposals on how to allocate the new opportunities the UK secures in negotiations with other partners will be split between Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and England, in a way that is fairer and more profitable for fishing communities across the four nations and further proposals on how England’s share of those new opportunities would be distributed across the English fleet to benefit our coastal communities’ hard working fishermen and women. Take part and go to: https://consult.defra.gov.uk/fisheries/quota-allocation-and-management-in-2021-and-beyond/
I have great sympathy for our school staff and over this half-term I’ve managed to hold virtual meetings with all but one of the secondary head teachers. Leading a school at the best of times is a challenge. The strain of navigating through Covid-19 precautions has added to this challenge and I hope that all school staff take a break next week! As I’ve discussed the challenges with heads it is clear to me that, despite the need to manage far-ranging and understandable concerns and priorities of pupils and parents during this pandemic, the desire to create a happy and safe learning environment is still at the heart of why they go to work each day and I pay credit to the way headteachers and their staff are keeping schools open.
We have told pubs they need to close at 10 o’clock ‘to keep people safe’ but we have done absolutely nothing to curtail the sale of cheap alcohol in supermarkets. Once again, we are seeing the supermarkets doing everything they can to maximise their take on the back of the coronavirus - which is contributing to street drinking after curfew.
We know the damage partly caused by cheap alcohol - 80 deaths each day, 33 people diagnosed with an alcohol-related cancer each day, pressure on A&E - what the Government could do right now to reassure pubs is to curtail cheap alcohol sales in supermarkets. I have no desire to restrict moderate drinking but sadly the evidence shows a direct link between cheap alcohol and alcohol-harm.
A report I played a small part in taking evidence for provides a solid case for action to manage alcohol harm: https://ahauk.org/commission-on-alcohol-harm-report/