13 January 2022
Dunne calls on Government to adopt recommendations in EAC's report on water quality in rivers

Philip Dunne calls on the Government to incorporate the recommendations in the Environmental Audit Committee’s report on water quality in rivers when it publishes its strategic policy statement to Ofwat and make a statement to the House of Commons.

Philip Dunne (Ludlow) (Con)

May I commend to my right hon. Friend today’s publication by the Environmental Audit Committee of its report on water quality in rivers? I take this opportunity to thank the Chair of the Backbench Business Committee, the hon. Member for Gateshead (Ian Mearns), who is in his place, for the opportunity that he has provided us to make a statement on the report in Westminster Hall this afternoon. In our report, we have made recommendations about the strategic policy statement that the Government will shortly be issuing to Ofwat. When that happens, will my right hon. Friend encourage the Environment Minister to make a statement to the House on that policy statement?

Mr Rees-Mogg (The Leader of the House of Commons)

I am delighted that the Environmental Audit Committee has come forward with that report. I believe it has an absolutely brilliant Chairman who ensures that its reports are always well worth reading, and I am glad that he has a debate about this one in Westminster Hall later. The Osmotherly rules set out how responses will be made to Select Committee reports, and those will of course be borne in mind for the response coming from the Department and the Minister, but I will pass on my right hon. Friend’s request for a statement.

The issue with statements, as my right hon. Friend knows only too well, is the pressure on parliamentary business and the other matters that we have to decide. We have had a demand to receive information and for more time for House of Lords amendments, and we have pressures on Back-Bench business, but I hear his request, and a request from him is always taken seriously.