In response to the CPF discussion on the Environment and Animal Welfare, we received submissions from 94 CPF groups, representing 105 constituencies plus one Conservatives Abroad group and at least 808 members. Since the start of the year, about 1,800 members from 194 constituencies have participated in CPF discussions. This includes 21 groups that have newly launched and 28 that have relaunched.
Of those who participated in this consultation, 8% were not Party members. About one-in-eighteen (5.5%) represent swing seats (constituencies that we won or lost in the 2019 general election), almost one-in-five (18.7%) opposition-held seats and three-quarters (75.8%) Conservative-held seats. About one-in-six (17%) live in the devolved nations and two-in-five (38%) in the North or the Midlands, while just over three-in-seven (43%) live in the South or East. Thank you to everybody who has been involved: your ideas are continuing to help shape our country's future.
What follows is an overview of the key points raised by CPF groups plus a few representative quotations.
“Develop the theme: ‘Think globally, act locally.’”
“We are rightly proud of the high standard to which UK farmers produce food, often exceeding the requirements set by the EU.”
“It should be left to the people to choose what produce they want to buy and how much they are willing to pay.”
“Nationwide improvement of broadband of at least 10Mb/s will do more to energise the UK economy than any other infrastructural improvement and must form an essential part of the Government’s levelling up programme.”
CPF groups overwhelmingly support securing improvements in environmental and animal welfare standards from foreign suppliers through lower tariffs.
Three-in-four CPF groups (72%) think more should be done to promote seasonal food.
At least half of all CPF groups (51%) said that food labels should clearly display more information about how and where the food was produced and processed. Almost half of all CPF groups (48%) called for a ban on the export of live animals. Over two-in-five (43%) called for a review of the rules governing abattoirs.
More than one-in-three (36%) highlighted the need to protect our fisheries and to ensure they work more effectively.
More than one-in-three (34%) called for improvement in flood defences.
About one-in-three (30%) called for greater investment in hydrogen energy and about one-in-four (24%) in small nuclear.
One-in-four (27%) stated they were unopposed to the use of chlorination, “providing that there is clear information so consumers can make an educated choice.”
One-in-four (24%) mentioned the need to address global population growth. About one-in-five (18%) proposed using our overseas aid budget as a lever to encourage improved environment and animal welfare policies.
Over one-in-six (18%) said to stage a ‘Festival of Britain’-type “Green Britain” exhibition, showcasing our world-leading green tech and environmental knowhow.
One-in-six (17%) said we should invest in the genetic modification of crops.
One-in-seven (14%) expressed concern over the use of palm oil, but also recognised that an outright ban risks an increase in land used for producing alternative oils and diminished efforts to produce palm oil sustainably.
One-in-seven (14%) called for a “Buy British” campaign in food production.
One-in-nine (11%) called for greater provision for allotments.
Other top suggestions included:
A UN body should be formed to inspect facilities in any country regarding biosecurity, with the power to enforce certain standards (similar to the nuclear inspectorate).
Turn the Environment Agency into a strategic service delivery arm of DEFRA and devolve many of their local functions to local authorities.
Launch a COVID Bond to which members of society would be encouraged to subscribe; purchase of the Bond would be voluntary and free of interest, so preferable to a tax.
Legislate for all new-build properties to have solar panels, air- or ground-source heating, rainwater harvesting, grey-water recycling and charging points for electric vehicles.