Parliamentary engagement
The Alliance met with Farming Minister Nick Smith, as well as Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Baroness Walmsley and Environment Spokesperson Baroness Parminter. The Alliance discussed the EU School Milk Scheme and received assurances that the parliamentarians would be able to take forward actions such as tabling parliamentary questions and drafting letters.
The Alliance has meetings agreed in principle with nine MPs, including Shadow Health Minister Andrew Gwynne and Shadow Lords Education Spokesperson Lord Watson of Invergowie – these meetings will take place in early 2016.
The Alliance has been liaising with Lord Trees, who was told by Environment Minister Lord Gardiner during a debate in September that he had “interesting” details about the EU School Milk Scheme. Lord Trees subsequently contacted Lord Gardiner, and updated the Alliance that the Government has a “strong interest” in the EU School Milk Scheme, and that the Department of Health is considering options to modernise the Nursery Milk Scheme. Currently we are not aware of any specific plans for reform.
The Alliance submitted written evidence to a short inquiry by the Health Select Committee on the impact of the Health and Social Care Act 2012’s reforms to public health since 2013. These reforms saw a greater transfer of public health responsibilities from national to local government. The Alliance response argued that the reforms have not lead to improvements in key outcome areas such as tooth decay and excess weight, and that better messaging is required for milk as a healthy product.
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