Results 1–20 of 99 for speaker:the Duke of Wellington

Economic Growth (Regulatory Functions) (Amendment) Order 2024 - Motion to Approve (Continued) (15 Apr 2024)

the Duke of Wellington: The Minister has many times referred to the wording in the draft statutory guidance refresh, which I assume can still be amended. Therefore, I ask the Minister to comment on page 26, which I quoted earlier, where it says that “certain enforcement actions … can be particularly damaging to the growth. These include, for example … financial sanctions; and publicity”. Surely the Minister...

Economic Growth (Regulatory Functions) (Amendment) Order 2024 - Motion to Approve: Amendment to the Motion (15 Apr 2024)

the Duke of Wellington: This statutory instrument, despite the very expert way that it has been presented by the Minister, I believe could seriously inhibit the regulation of the water industry. I cannot help but echo a number of remarks made by the noble Baroness, Lady Bakewell; they are worth repeating. Unfortunately, under current parliamentary procedures, it is not possible in either House of Parliament to amend...

Environment Agency - Question ( 7 Mar 2024)

the Duke of Wellington: My Lords, I declare my interests relevant to this matter. In the past, the Environment Agency did not give sufficient priority to the discharge of sewage into our rivers. The Minister just explained how its budget has been increased, but the most important thing is to make the discharge of sewage and cleaning up our rivers a sufficient priority within the management of the Environment Agency....

Pollution in Rivers and Regulation of Private Water Companies - Motion to Take Note (29 Feb 2024)

the Duke of Wellington: My Lords, I declare my agricultural interests, which may be relevant to this debate. I also congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Bakewell, on securing this debate. I am slightly saddened to hear, from various sides, party-political views on this matter. In my opinion, this is not a party political issue. I think that all parties in this House, and those with no party affiliation, share a...

Office for Environmental Protection - Question (23 Jan 2024)

the Duke of Wellington: My Lords, I commend the report from the Office for Environmental Protection. I quote from it: “The current state of the water environment is not satisfactory … the pace of change has now stalled”. Will the Minister and his ministerial colleagues consider setting up a review of the way the water companies are regulated? Regulation is currently divided between Ofwat, as the financial...

King’s Speech - Debate (4th Day) (13 Nov 2023)

the Duke of Wellington: My Lords, in this very wide-ranging debate this afternoon, I wish to speak about the environment, and in particular the aquatic environment. I had hoped that there might have been a reference in the gracious Speech to the regulation of water companies. Almost every day we read in the newspapers of yet more revolting discharges of sewage into our rivers and on to our beaches. The Environment...

Water and Sewage Regulation (Industry and Regulators Committee Report) - Motion to Take Note (16 Oct 2023)

the Duke of Wellington: My Lords, I declare my registered interests that are relevant to this debate. I welcome the Industry and Regulators Committee’s report and congratulate its members, particularly the chairman, the noble Lord, Lord Hollick. When the water companies were privatised in 1989, I cannot imagine that Ministers then thought that so many of them would pass into the hands of private equity groups,...

Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill - Report (7th Day) (Continued): Amendment 247YYAA (to Amendment 247YYA) (13 Sep 2023)

the Duke of Wellington: My Lords, it is clear to me that the purpose of the three cross-party amendments I tabled would be best achieved if we vote against the whole of the government amendment. Therefore, I will not move my amendments. Amendment 247YYAA (to Amendment 247YYA) not moved. Amendments 247YYAB (to Amendment 247YYA) and 247YYAC (to Amendment 247YYA) not moved. Ayes 161, Noes 192.

Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill - Report (7th Day) (Continued): Amendment 247 (13 Sep 2023)

the Duke of Wellington: My Lords, I declare my interests as may be relevant to this debate. I will speak in a minute to my Amendments 247YYAA, 247YYAB, and 247YYAC, but I must start by asking the Minister—I remain surprised by this—why she has, on Report, tabled such a large number of amendments that seek to reverse previous government policy on nutrient neutrality. As the Office for Environmental Protection,...

Water Companies: Customer Bills - Question (23 May 2023)

the Duke of Wellington: My Lords, none of us underestimates the complexity and magnitude of this problem. We have had years of underinvestment in our sewage disposal and treatment systems. Such is the size of the problem today that I think we must all accept that the strain will have to be taken by a combination of higher bills for the consumer, shareholders receiving smaller dividends and—I know that it is...

Water Companies: Licences - Question (24 Apr 2023)

the Duke of Wellington: My Lords, I also commend Ofwat on its recent announcement that it will seek to take some powers over dividends, but what it actually says is that the company boards will be required to take account of their performance towards the environment. What worries me—I wonder whether it worries the Minister—is that it is up to the company to assess its own performance. Is that really a strong...

Direct Payments to Farmers (Reductions) (England) Regulations 2023 - Motion to Approve: Amendment to the Motion (28 Mar 2023)

the Duke of Wellington: My Lords, I declare my farming interest as detailed in the register. Last week, the environment committee of your Lordships’ House—of which I am a member, as are some other Peers present—heard a very interesting presentation from one of our witnesses. She was a lady farming in the Yorkshire Dales, I think. It was a small family farm, and she was farming with her son. She explained that,...

Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill - Committee (2nd Day): Amendment 10 (28 Feb 2023)

the Duke of Wellington: I thank the Minister giving way. Forgive me. I think I heard him say a few moments ago that the existing water framework directive was, in one sense, too demanding, because it divided rivers into sections, and any one section not passing ruled out the whole of the river. However, I then thought I heard him say that, nevertheless, we want to have very high targets. Which is it? Are we...

Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill - Committee (2nd Day): Amendment 10 (28 Feb 2023)

the Duke of Wellington: My Lords, I apologise to the House that I was not able to speak at Second Reading as I could not be sure of arriving in time on that day, and that last week I was in Madrid on a parliamentary delegation and therefore missed the first day in Committee. I now wish to speak to Amendments 11 and 12, which I would happily have signed. I repeat the gratitude we all feel to the Minister, the noble...

Water Companies: Pollution Penalties - Question (22 Feb 2023)

the Duke of Wellington: To ask His Majesty’s Government what plans they have to reconsider their proposal to increase to £250 million the maximum penalty for serious pollution incidents by water companies; and what assessment they have made of the reported remarks by the chair of the Environment Agency describing the proposal as “crazy”.

Environmental Improvement Plan 2023 - Statement ( 6 Feb 2023)

the Duke of Wellington: My Lords, the Minister will be pleased that I am not going to ask a question about sewage. One of the targets in this lengthy document—which strikes me as remarkably unambitious—is for water companies to cut leaks by 50% by 2050. Surely we can do better than that.

Pollution: Rivers and Beaches - Question (30 Jan 2023)

the Duke of Wellington: My Lords, does the Minister agree that it is shameful and indeed embarrassing that a British windsurfer, Sarah Jackson, has had to leave Britain because she cannot train in British waters due to the amount of sewage pollution in so many of our coastal areas? She has had to go to Spain in order to train.

Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill - Committee (3rd Day): Amendment 48 (14 Nov 2022)

the Duke of Wellington: My Lords, I first declare my interest as a former chairman of King’s College London. In that position I was a layman, not an academic—we have had a number of very informed academic contributions—and I am certainly not a lawyer. I regret that I was not able to be present for Second Reading; I hope noble Lords will forgive me for intervening at this stage. I am very surprised that the...

Sewage Discharges - Question (14 Nov 2022)

the Duke of Wellington: My Lords, although I thank the Minister for his answers and I am pleased that Ofwat appears to be becoming more active, does he share my frustration and that of many others in this House that there has been so little progress since the passing of the Environment Act last year in reducing storm overflows and various other sewage discharges into our rivers? This seems to continue despite the...


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