2 years on ...
Melanie Leech "I would not say that policy has gone backwards, but it hasnt moved forwards" (Food Manufacturer)
Sub-Committee on Food abolished. This is retrograde. It was the first
cross-Govt body since abolition of Ministry of Food that focussed on
food policy per se.
Sub-Committee on European Affairs (pdf) Despite CAP accounting for
c40% of EU budget , this important Cabinet committee does not include
Caroline Spelman, Sec of State for EFRA (as of July 27 2010).
Development Agencies axed.
• See CLG written Ministerial Statement. England now to have no regional bodies. This will affect many rural development schemes that build links between farm services and food outlets.
length bodies cut
Cuts in arm’s length bodies. See Ministerial
Statement of July 22:
o Withdrawing Defra funding from the Sustainable Development Commission. SDC Chair comments
o Abolishing the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution TUC Comment
o Abolishing the Agricultural Wages Board, the 15 Agricultural Wages Committees, the 16 Agricultural Dwelling House Advisory Committees and the Committee on Agricultural Valuation; More on the abolition of AWB
Abolishing the Inland Waterways Advisory Council; and
Abolishing the Commons Commissioners.
Its nutrition role is to go into DH, and Country of Origin Labelling +
other bits into Defra. Turning FSA into narrower microbiological safety
• No formal announcement yet but there are media reports of 800 jobs to go this year and cumulatively to cut 2,500
NHS: General thinking is given in Equity
and Excellence: liberating the NHS
• Arm’s length bodies: July 26 Secretary of State Andrew Lansley announced that the number of his quangos will be reduced to between eight and 10 from the current 18. Ones that will go include the Health Protection Agency, Alcohol Education & Research Council. A new quango will be created - HealthWatch England - under the control of the Care Quality Commission, which inspects trusts. See: Liberating the NHS: Report of the arms-length bodies review published July 26. DoH Statement
2. POLICY /
• Defra Structural Reform Plan (pdf): 3 foci - mainly driven by volunteers
and develop British farming and encourage sustainable food production
o Help to
enhance the environment and biodiversity to improve quality of f
o Support a
strong and sustainable green economy, resilient to climate change
Renaissance thinking: C Spelman at HRH Countryside Fund conference
July 23 2010 /
labelling: C Spelman at Smith Institute conference July 13 2010 /
• New process for a2011 Environment White Paper announced July 26
of waste policy set up:
Public Sector Catering
food mark axed. July 26 2010 Dept Health Ministerial Statement by Anne
Milton (still not on DoH website)
- NICE Report public health guidance Government response is that NICE over reached its remit and that it is up to parents..leading to Sir Jamie putdown. Mr Oliver's campaign has increased the uptake of healthy lunches, with one study suggesting that children are likely to have less time off, and work better as a result.
NHS/Health Care Services
This is to be an extensive re-organisation and seems to centre on the
NHS SHA & PCTs being cut with power reverting to GPs buying
services, plus hospitals becoming independent Trusts, ie more free
standing. The impact on food includes:
Uncertainty for allied healthcare professionals – health visitors,
Other changes signalled (not announced) are:
- A New
public health service to be created
- A new
public health White Paper to be published on October 20
academies and free schools will be free from local authority control,
Nutritional standards for school food will not be legal requirements,
although the new academies will still be required to provide free
Freeing up curriculum means that practical cooking lessons will not be
compulsory in secondary schools.
Partnerships with industry increase the opportunity for food companies
to use schools to promote and market their products.
in parliament 12 July 2010 Academies: Food
Mr Gibb: "The
freedom and autonomy enjoyed by Academies is crucial to enabling them
to drive up standards. We believe that Academies should have the
freedom to respond to parental demand and provide a high standard of
food and an appropriate curriculum that best meets the needs of their
pupils. We will require Academies to provide free school meals for
pupils who are entitled to them in the same way as for maintained
A step too far: PM Cameron overturns - live on air, suggestion from Min of Health Anne Milton to remove free milk for under 5s. She suggested that £60 m could be saved on that free milk for all under-fives by raising the value of Healthy Start vouchers for the less well-off. Cameron knows the iconic status of milk - evidenced by 'Milk Snatcher' Thatcher years before.
Less has been made of Michael Gove's plan, blessed by Mr Cameron, to cancel the free school meals that should have become available to half a million more poorer children from September.
Why, if school milk is sacrosanct, are the other guarantors of children's health being thrown to the wolves?
After the first 100 days..
Review of Land Research says that a
"Conservative Government will take steps to:
Health Secretary Andrew Lansley says he wants to launch a voluntary Calorie Tally scheme "The Government wants fast-food chains and restaurants to advise customers of the calorie count in their food. The Department of Health is discussing a voluntary system with the food industry that would see information displayed on menus, tables and counters. The discussions are said to be part of a “public health responsibility deal” between government and industry to introduce people to lead healthier lives. " Sept '10. McDonalds first to count calories throughout their stores and range Sept 2011
Caroline Spelman @ EFRA Select Committee, asked about the abolition of the SDC, AWB and RCEP ('a recipe for disaster'), said that the following tests were applied: "does it perform a technical function? Secondly, does it need to be politically impartial? Thirdly, does it act independently to establish the facts? ... We applied them in a fair way, and the result is that approximately half of our arm’s length bodies are to be abolished. We have approached this in a very transparent way." CS speech at Conservative Confrence described by Telegraph as 'deathly dull' - in full. C.Spelman. House of Commons Dec 2010 The UK now (2009) imports GBP 15 billion of 'indigenous' food - food that could be grown in season in the UK. this is about half the total food imports. Spelman at Farming Conference Jan 11 complinas that export bans like that in Russia is hindering free trade
Farm Animal Welfare Council on list of 177 bodies to be scrapped. Jim Paice says animal welfare still a priority
Mainstreaming Sustainable Development Feb 2011 The government's vision of what this means.
Obesity Strategy The Department of Health disbanded its Expert Advisory Group on Obesity replacing it with a new National Ambition Review Group represents a new approach to public health . NOC
And since the summer 2012 Reshuffle..
David Heath New Agriculutral Minister signed an EDM in 2000 opposing abolition of the AWB. But now is intent on its abolition
Owen Patterson (belongs to a faction for 'family, faith & flag) is promoting abolition of AWB, but what else?
|© 2012 Charlie Clutterbuck|