Office for Environmental Protection - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:11 pm on 23 January 2024.

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Photo of Lord Benyon Lord Benyon The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) 3:11, 23 January 2024

I thank the noble Duke for his question. The report the OEP produced was for the year up to the end of March last year. In April we published our plan for water, which addresses many of the points the OEP raised. Of course, since then we have had the announcement of the large investment in water quality that we are requiring water companies to make. His point is interesting, and I have considered over many years whether we could have a better landscape of regulation of our water industry. What I want to urge is that there is an urgency about trying to tackle the problems. We have set ourselves very important targets, and if government were to indulge in navel-gazing over many months in trying to create a new body, we would miss our really important 2030 target, which Ministers are concentrating on.