Parliamentary activity
The House of Commons and House of Lords entered recess on 20th and 21st December, respectively. Both will return to business on 9th January.

Meetings and engagements 

We currently have two meetings arranged for 17th January with:
  • Mary Glindon MP, Shadow Farming Minister
  • Lucy Powell MP, former Shadow Education Secretary and chair of the Nursery APPG
Additionally, we have one meeting arranged for 30th January with:
  • Diana Johnson MP, Vice Chair of the School Food APPG and Vice Chair of the Fit and Healthy Childhood Group
We are continuing to engage with further parliamentarians from our key stakeholder list, and the MPs in the top ten areas of our obesity and dental health league table that we have not yet met.

House of Commons written questions
We have secured the tabling of eight written questions in the House of Commons. Three have so far received answered. Sharon Hodgson asked the Health Secretary when PHE was planning to release its report on the revisions to the Eatwell Guide and when he planned to publish details of the linear programming model that informed the refreshing of the Eatwell Guide. Responding, Public Health Minister Nicola Blackwood said that the report had been published (note: the question was tabled prior to its publication) and that details of the linear model would be published shortly (note: they were published a few days later).

Additionally, SNP MP Martyn Day asked the Health Secretary what steps he plans to take to ensure that the dairy sector is consulted ahead of future revisions of the Eatwell Guide. Responding, Public Health Minister, Nicola Blackwood said that the Government had no plans to review the guide in the immediate future. However, she added that any future revisions would, as with the most recent set, be informed by experts and subject to stakeholder consultation.
Five questions remain outstanding:
  • Shadow Public Health Minister Sharon Hodgson enquired if PHE had identified any disadvantages to using a linear programming model to generate the food group segment sizes in the revised Eatwell Guide; and asked for the Health Secretary’s assessment of the process of reducing the dairy allowance that the recently released Eatwell Guide revision report outlined
  • Labour MP Nic Dakin asked the Environment Secretary what assessment she had made of the impact of the revisions to the Eatwell Guide on the dairy sector; what discussions she has had with the Health Secretary on the effect of the linear programming model used to develop the Eatwell Guide on the dairy and milk industry; and what representations she has received on the Eatwell Guide since March 2016.

We expect the remaining questions to be answered following parliament’s return from recess.

House of Lords oral questions
Lord Lexden has confirmed that he will table an oral question drafted by us asking what plans the Government has to promote the increased consumption of school milk in early 2017. The question will trigger a short debate, and once the date is set we will brief supportive peers including Baroness Masham and Lord Watson.
Westminster Hall debate  

We are making arrangements for a debate on school and nursery milk to take place in Westminster Hall in early 2017, and have approached one of our leading parliamentary supporters to apply for and chair the debate. Our aim will be to further raise the profile of school and nursery milk amongst parliamentarians and receive an extended response to the issues raised by a relevant Government minister.
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