Posted by: westlancashirerecord | December 14, 2018

Free Trade Means Getting Rid Of Tariffs

Pub operator JD Wetherspoon launched a poster campaign in its pubs calling on the Prime Minister to get rid of tariffs post-Brexit. The poster is headlined “What don’t you like about free trade, Mrs May?”  and states that free trade means getting rid of tariffs.

It is being displayed in 880 Wetherspoon pubs across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Wetherspoon founder and chairman Tim Martin said “There will be a huge gain for business and consumers if the UK copies the free trade approach of countries like Singapore, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and Israel, by slashing protectionist EU import taxes (‘tariffs’) on leaving the EU in March next year.

“It is not often that the government can enrich the electorate without losing tax income, however, this is a rare example. These invisible tariffs are charged on over 12,000 non-EU products, including rice, oranges, coffee, wine and children’s clothes. The proceeds are collected by the UK taxman and sent to Brussels.

“Ending tariffs will reduce shop and pub prices, improve living standards and will help non-EU suppliers, currently discouraged by tariffs, quotas and the extensive paraphernalia of EU protectionism. If parliament votes to end tariffs and rejects the ‘Chequers Deal’, consumers and business will benefit additionally by avoiding a cost of £39 billion, or £60 million per UK constituency, in respect of the EU ‘divorce payment’ for which there is no legal obligation.

“Parliament can also regain control of UK fishing waters, where 60 per cent of the catch is currently taken by EU boats. Unfortunately, some individuals, businesses and business organisations have mistakenly, or misleadingly, repeated the myth that food prices will rise without a ‘deal’ with the EU. In fact, the only way prices can rise post Brexit is if parliament votes to impose tariffs. The EU will have no say in the matter, provided that the government does not sign away the UK’s rights in a ‘deal’ in the meantime”.

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | December 14, 2018

Caerphilly Council Cock-up Costs £4million!

The Public Sector Executive  is reporting about a council spending £4m investigating senior officers who gave themselves 20% wage rises during pay a freeze.

Labour run Caerphilly council has agreed to allocate nearly an extra £250,000 to an investigation looking into alleged pay rises given to senior officers. Labour, Plaid Cymru, and Independent members at Caerphilly Council agreed to go ahead with the extra funding of £242,000 over a long-running investigation into the council and its former chief executive Anthony O’Sullivan.

The probe, which began in 2013 and will cost a staggering £4.1m by next year, was dubbed as a “debacle” during a Full Council meeting held on Thursday. The local authority now faces a petition calling for the end of the investigation, reaching almost 900 signatures.

The investigation was opened after O’Sullivan, deputy chief executive Nigel Barnett, and the head of legal services Daniel Perkins, allegedly gave themselves a 20% pay uplift whilst the majority of the remaining council staff faced pay freezes. The Wales Audit Offices declared their pay rises to be unlawful at the time.

All criminal charges against the three were dropped in 2015, and Perkins and Barnett left their post last year, receiving a payout of £300,000. O’Sullivan is yet to reach an agreement and is to remain on special leave, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

According to the LDRS, at the Full Council meeting yesterday deputy leader Barbara Jones said “I, like everyone else, am frustrated by situation we find ourselves in as I fully expected would be concluded long before now”.

David Poole , council leader, said he will “never apologise” for making sure the council complies with legislation.

The extra £242,000 will include £134,000 towards legal costs, while £108,000 goes towards O’Sullivan’s salary. The investigation will run up until March 2019.

It’s only public money!

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | December 13, 2018

Trouble In Tarleton?

A “new resident” of Tarleton is disappointed by unruly behaviour around the village Christmas tree. Writing to the Champion  the resident complains of items thrown, youths racing around the square on unlit cycles, and then coming within a second of hitting a moving car. Are there any police or neighbourhood watch patrols in the village?

Neighbourhood Watch patrols? Where did “New resident Tarleton” come from? Neighbourhood Watch is a voluntary service that receives no support from police or councils in West Lancashire. And police have been known to respond to matters more serious, such as the armed response to a call from the borough Tory Leader when the Halsall anti-frackers held a publicity event near the polling station. That’s the degree of alleged offence that can bring police to the scene. Real crime? Forget it!

I was unable to attend the Aughton Parish Council  meeting on Monday. But news reached me that no WLBC/LCC Aughton Cllrs attended. Five WLBC Cllrs, two LCC Cllrs, all, apparently, engaged at other meetings.

It’s reported there was an altercation from a Long Lane resident lady who imposed her views on Long Lane traffic so forcibly the APC Chairman Jones suspended the meeting for 10 minutes. The lady who prompted our “Wacky Races”  articles addressed the APC and supplied them each with a copy of her leaflet concerning the traffic on Long Lane.

She was very ‘vocal’ in her address and paced up and down in front of the Chairman. She informed the APC that during the 12 months she had lived on Long Lane she had nearly been killed in one traffic incident and there had been numerous other incidents and near misses related to her by other residents. Because of her forceful delivery and choice not to sit down when invited to do so, Chairman Jones adjourned the meeting for 10 minutes. Once the meeting recommenced he offered advice to her as to who she should address her concerns (Ward and LCC Councillors). There was also discussion regarding the SPIDS for which she quoted figures/statistics indicating that they were not effective in reducing traffic speeds etc.

The APC Cllrs discussed their Local Plan representation before it being submitted to WLBC and Cllr Jones then read out its contents to the public in attendance. It consisted of a couple of pages covering salient opposition points and was in much more detail than their previous efforts!

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | December 13, 2018

We Don’t Need Your Land

It is suggested that various comments from neighbouring authorities, when taken together are full of warnings to WLBC that the New Local Plan won’t survive an Inspector’s Inquiry. So it is not just the NIMBYS objecting but other more objective professional opinions as noted below.

KNOWSLEY COUNCIL 

“Thank you for consulting Knowsley Council on the Issues and Options for the West Lancashire Local Plan Review. We recognise that there are a number of Issues and Options Papers have been published as part of the consultation. Our focus has been the review of the Strategic Development Options Paper, which we consider has most relevance to sub-regional and cross boundary issues of interest to Knowsley Council.

“We appreciate the need for West Lancashire to plan to meet its objectively assessed needs for new residential and employment development, in accordance with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). We are generally supportive of the principle of West Lancashire growing in accordance with its identified needs and ambitions. As you will be aware, Knowsley Council adopted its Local Plan Core Strategy in January 2016.

“This Plan secures Knowsley’s ability to meet its own needs and demands for new housing and employment development up to 2028, without the need for assistance from neighbouring authorities. Therefore, given our current policy position, we do not require West Lancashire to meet any of Knowsley’s development needs.

“Notwithstanding this, we are looking forward to working with our Liverpool City Region partners, including West Lancashire, on finalising the Strategic Housing and Employment Land Market Assessment (SHELMA), and any subsequent work on disaggregating development needs identified in this assessment.

“We would strongly support the commentary at paragraph 3.2.11 of the Strategic Development Options Paper, which describes the intention to work with neighbouring authorities to finding the best solution to meeting any unmet needs and demands for the Liverpool City Region. We consider that that the SHELMA, and any subsequent work on disaggregation of unmet needs and demands, will need to be completed prior to us being able to express a preference for any of the Strategic Development Options proposed by West Lancashire.

“With respect to the options for Local Plan periods proposed at section 3.3.1 of the Strategic Development Options Paper, we note that the second option being considered is a plan period which runs to 2050. This is considered to be an extremely lengthy period, well beyond usual Local Plan timescales. Indeed, as this is beyond the period covered by the SHELMA (which covers the period to 2037), West Lancashire Council – may find it difficult to forecast in spatial planning terms need for housing and employment – development up to 2050.

“We appreciate that the NPPF requires local planning authorities to release sufficient land to meet longer-term development needs, when altering Green Belt boundaries, and that a longer plan period would provide more long term certainty.

“However, our recent – experience with the preparation of the Knowsley Local Plan, which included a plan period up to 2028, was that only one housing site was required to be safeguarded beyond the plan period, supplying three years’ worth of additional housing land. This approach was – found by an Inspector to be an “appropriate” and “reasonable” response to the NPPF’s – objectives.

“Given this, we consider that the option of a plan period up to 2050 has a high – risk of being considered unacceptable. This is due to the lack of certainty regarding needs and demands for new housing and employment development so far into the future, and the subsequent difficulty in meeting the NPPF’s “exceptional circumstances” test to release land from the Green Belt.

“We look forward to continued involvement in the preparation of the West Lancashire Local Plan Review and its evidence base. We confirm that our central areas of interest remain strategic housing and employment issues, including planning for Gypsies and Travellers. This is in view of our priority to ensure any impacts on Knowsley’s – communities, or on our shared housing and employment market areas, are addressed”.

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | December 13, 2018

Brexit Public Majority Screwed By Remain Parliament

A year or so ago Labour MP Barry Sheerman, a former chair of the Commons education select committee, said “The truth is that when you look at who voted to remain, most of them were the better educated people in our country. Absolutely, I think it’s true. You can actually see the pattern, nearly all the university towns voted to remain”. And he added “Most people with a good education know that Brexit will damage the lives of our country”. For the benefit of Sheerman, whose logic appears to be that all voters in a university town actually attended that university, West Lancashire and Ormskirk have a university and West Lancashire defied his assumption and voted to leave! As did 17,410,742 nationally who might not have had a good education!

Austin Mitchell  now writes “I can’t prove it because all the big beasts who flocked to Brussels to do their country down have kept their dealings secret but all the circumstantial evidence points to a cunning plot to frustrate Brexit, humiliate Britain and negate the wishes of the British people.

“Here’s how: First, discredit the referendum as the result of ignorance [see above re Sheerman], racism and lies. Second, unleash a campaign of fear about the consequences of leaving. Third, undermine Theresa May’s negotiating position and lock her into a trap by precluding any customs border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. That will keep us in the Customs Union durante beneplacito “. [During the pleasure of]

“Then collude with Brussels to ensure that the EU is intransigent and refuses all concessions so that Britain’s internal divisions so inhibit its negotiations that there’s no need to make any accommodations. Then the people will become so weary about a never-ending row that apathy, alienation and the Grim Reaper will ensure that they give up their naughtiness. The EU can’t allow democracy to stand in its way.

“The plot worked brilliantly. Perhaps too well. Theresa hasn’t even been able to get her pathetic proposals through Parliament, so she’s now forced to return to Brussels and beg for help. Her pleas will be treated with the same contempt as David Cameron’s. Because of the collusion, Brussels has no need even to squeeze out a little more of its usual fudge, to help a failing government.

“A strong government would play for time and delay as the only way politicians can deal with an impossible situation. If we did, the EU could extend the two-year notice. But why should it when it feels it’s winning anyway and knows that the British Government dare not leave without a deal?

“An effective negotiator needs the power to walk away in reserve. Leaving on WTO terms would allow Britain to form new trade relationships, end the drain of French agricultural protection and the gaping deficit with Germany as well as the huge euro-geld payments to belong to the protective bloc doing the damage. It would hurt them and provide a new source of revenue in tariffs. A devaluation would allow us to overleap any counter-tariffs, and they’d hardly dare to try to damage or punish us.

“Yet Theresa has never dared to threaten it, so the final stage of the plot is to create such a fear of no deal rechristened “crashing out” to make it sound more horrible – that neither Government nor Parliament dares even to mention it.

“So, with the enthusiastic support of the Bank of England and the Treasury, Remainers denounce it with every fibre of their vocal chords to ensure that the soft-hearted will flock to a second referendum as the only safe way out of the mess.

“A second referendum could allow some of the people to negate the verdict of all the people, though sadly going back to a loving and caring EU won’t be all joy and hosannas. We’d be sat on its naughty step. The drain would continue and could even be increased.

“After all, a nation which can’t negotiate its way out of a paper bag, whose parties are disintegrating and whose Parliament can’t decide anything, deserves humiliation. The EU is ever ready to provide it”.

We also read “The balance of economic terror over Brexit has shifted over the last year. The eurozone is more vulnerable to the shock of no-deal rupture on punitive Macronesque terms than it was at the point of peak hubris in December 2017, when EU negotiators set the trap of the Irish backstop. Europe’s QE boomlet has since deflated. The underlying pathologies of monetary union are again in evidence. The bloc is stuck with a North-South chasm in competitiveness that has left a string of countries in near permanent malaise, starved of public investment and left with no way out other than internal devaluations. This has led to the Gilets Jaunes in France, and Lega-Five Star revolt in Italy”.

It is also interesting to note a proposed new backstop suggestion that “The European Union and the United Kingdom shall exercise their right as independent and separate Members of the World Trade Organisation and assume their respective obligations in their separate capacities as Members from the date the UK leaves the EU on March 29th 2019. The United Kingdom will negotiate the modification of its own schedules by itself, without any need for approval from the European Union on the basis that it is an exiting Member State and a member of the WTO but may coordinate its actions with the European Union between now and March 29th 2019.

Bring it on!

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | December 13, 2018

BBC News Of The BBC

News of the soft soap stooges. The BBC has overspent at a time when it intends to screw over 75s who don’t pay for a BBC licence after a lifetime of paying it, and is accused of “outrageous overspend” after splurging £87million of Taxpayer cash to build a new soap EastEnders set just a few hundred yards from the old one.

The soap set is £27million over the original budget and the project is expected to be nearly five years late. Work to rebuild and extend Albert Square was due to be completed in August at a cost of £59.7million.

The National Audit Office report finds BBC’s poor planning and lack of expertise means it will cost 45 per cent more and will not be completed until May 2023. The Corporation “Will not be able to deliver value for money” with the project, named E20 after the soap opera’s fictional Walford postcode, which is being funded entirely from the £150.50-a-year TV licence fee.

The Corporation tried to blame £9.2million of the cost increase on inflation and demand for construction services, but was ‘unable to provide evidence’ to support the figure, the NAO says. EastEnders once regularly attracted 20million viewers per episode but now struggles to attract 7million.

A Labour MP Chris Evans, who sits on the Public Accounts Committee, added “They’re investing in a programme that is not as popular as it once was, and they really need to start thinking about investing in the long term and in projects that can be useful for other things other than just one programme. The BBC ought to realise that the licence fee is still unpopular. Many people are asking about value for money. At the end of the day, this isn’t their money this is licence fee payers’ money”.

Hardly a matter of life and death is it, just make believe! Flog the BBC, just like the government is flogging off the NHS. No more broadcasting tax!

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | December 13, 2018

Ridiculous Local Plan Arguments?

Readers of Champion Letters today  have been treated to a re-run of the “West Lancashire New Local Plan Explained by Labour”.  But this time it’s a lecture on “ridiculous arguments in relation to the preferred options for the New Local Plan”. Coming from Labour Councillor Gail Hodson  that’s hardly surprising?

“Let’s just get a few things straight”, she writes, as though we who read the original paper didn’t get rather more than a few things straight.

Remarkably, or perhaps not, the same old mantra is trotted out that “only 1.7% of our Green Belt will be released for development needs which would have had to be released anyway as we have the highest percentage of Green Belt of any borough in the country”… and “After 2050 we will still have retained 88.7% of our Green Belt”. But by the same time period we will have lost another 1.7% of some of the finest food producing agricultural land in the country, an issue not addressed by Cllr Hodson.

Cllr Hodson is trying to convince us about garden villages sensitively designed to incorporate the countryside. I for one can’t wait to see if this concept differs greatly from existing villages like mine, Aughton, with its existing housing, its existing farm land, its existing biodiversity and wildlife. Enabling development of neighbourhoods and communities that support healthier living and lifestyles? Creating environments in which older and vulnerable people can remain independent for longer?

Being in both categories I can assure Cllr Hodson vulnerability is not something anybody at borough level will ever solve. Try looking at county and country funded services, and all the issues of vulnerability stare us all in the face. Cllr Hodson mentions how a 30 year plan sends a message to central government. Well, just look back 30 years, and see what we all see. Services are not just declining they are disappearing or have already disappeared. Bad policies by bad governments of all persuasions have created what we have today.

Cllr Hodson ends by writing “What would the opposition do? I’ll tell you, no alternative plan, so more piecemeal developments not fit for purpose, just more of the same old same old”. She may be right, but to return to her opening paragraph about ridiculous arguments, they’ve been going on through the mists of time. We who sat in the WLBC Council Chamber in 2013 and heard the ridiculous Tory plans opposed by Labour are simply watching a re-run. Five years on, we’ve had more homes built. We’ve not only not had any improved infrastructure we’ve watched what we had deteriorate. That’s the same old same old truth.

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | December 12, 2018

The Scandal Of Land-Banking Exposed By CPRE

By Paul Miner, Planning Campaign Manager, CPRE. 

You’ve heard about “Land-banking”. A phrase that a few years ago would have been met with a quizzical, confused look is now on the lips of many housing commentators and policy-makers. It’s also shaping up to be the next big battle in the effort to tackle Britain’s housing crisis and prevent the unnecessary loss of countryside.

The government is waking up to the idea that the country’s biggest housebuilders are hoarding land. Secretary of State Sajid Javid wants Westminster to play a ‘more active, muscular role’ in tackling land-banking, and Tory grandee Sir Oliver Letwin MP is leading a review into the topic, to which I submitted evidence on behalf of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

So far, it has been Britain’s volume housing developers that have proved the most ‘muscular’. As reported in the FT last month, we’ve compiled evidence that shows the UK’s ten biggest housebuilders have increased the number of plots with planning permission they hold by a fifth in the past ten years, by two-fifths since 1998. Meanwhile, the number of homes completed each year has fallen by 13%. Alongside this, industry profits have skyrocketed, and the loss of our countryside accelerated. This represents the tip of the iceberg; these figures only show plots with planning permission – we know that the developers hold wider, ‘strategic’ banks of land that do not yet have planning permission, the size of which is difficult to establish .

Developers maintain that they need a pipeline of land to maintain their profitability and ride out market volatility. This is true to some extent, but they restrict this pipeline at will, drip-feeding homes into the market at a pace that best serves their profits. Their swelling holdings are exacerbating the crisis of supply and affordability that has seen millennials pushed increasingly far away from owning their own home.

The hoarding of land also has a pernicious effect on our countryside. The dominance of the biggest developers means the market is increasingly geared towards the types of development they want, not what communities need. They are free to cherry-pick land that will make them the most proft – large tracts of undeveloped land carved out of the beautiful patchwork of English countryside we know and love.

This land is cheapest for them to develop, and allows them to focus on building sprawling estates of large houses at the expense of smaller, more affordable homes: 26% of all new houses and flats were three-bed in 2007; 19% were four-bed or more. By 2015 they were 34% and 29% respectively.

Local authorities, housing associations and other smaller builders are often prepared to build more quickly, are better placed to provide affordable housing, or redevelop existing brownfield sites rather than our green spaces, and they need to play a greater role. But, they are being squeezed out as the biggest builders consolidate their grip on the market; the volume builders now have 59% market share, up from 31% in 2007.

This is taking place in the context of the government’s drive to relax planning rules and release more of our countryside for development, and constant calls from developers to relax the rules further. However, despite this relaxation, the supply of housing has not kept pace with the number of planning permissions granted, demonstrating that the planning system is not a barrier to tackling the housing crisis – the biggest housebuilders are.

We really shouldn’t be surprised – the largest developers are FTSE250 companies that exist to maximise returns for their shareholders. But there are two key reasons we cannot rely on the biggest housebuilders to tackle the housing crisis or safeguard our great green outdoors:

1. These developers are unlikely, under current planning policies and regulations, to boost housing supply to the level that ministers want and the public needs. This is unless action is taken to make them more responsive to social need, and level the playing field to allow local authorities and smaller players to regain the ground they have lost.

2. Without reforms to the planning system to increase build out rates and reduce the pressure to release more land for development, the threat to our treasured landscapes will only increase.

We need action. We need stronger powers for local authorities to compel builders to build out sites with planning permission. We need strong ‘use it or lose it’ measures for large housebuilding schemes, with exemptions that incentivise a role for councils and small or medium-sized builders, and for building affordable housing first.

The Government should also explore reforms that make it easier to channel the rising values of land given permission for housing, towards funding infrastructure to serve that development – schools, healthcare and public transport. These reforms will help to combat the increasingly distorting effects of land hoarding on the housing market – and our countryside.

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | December 11, 2018

Smug Cuadrilla Causes 1.5 Magnitude Quake

The Lancashire Post  reports that while the British Geological Survey (BGS) was recording a series of tremors this morning at the controversial fracking site at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, smug Cuadrilla compared it to the dropping of a melon.

Nine tremors were detected at the site within 90 minutes this morning, with the latest tremor measuring a magnitude of 1.5ML. Regulations state that fracking must be halted if tremors exceed 0.5ML. According to the BGS database, the 1.5 magnitude tremor is the largest detected at the site since monitoring began. It has been claimed the tremor was felt in the Blackpool area. The nine tremors recorded today are also the most recorded at the site in a single day. The earlier eight tremors measured magnitudes between – 0.4 and 0.0, between 9.35am and 10.18am this morning. But the latest 1.5ML tremor, which occurred at 11.21am, exceeds the maximum magnitude allowed for fracking. Caudrilla has now been forced to take immediate action and halt fracking at the site for 18 hours.

A quake measuring a magnitude of – 0.3 was also recorded at the site yesterday.They are the latest in a series of minor tremors since Cuadrilla began fracking at the site in October, after spending two years exploring the site.Cuadrilla issued a statement in response to the 1.5ML (local magnitude) micro seismic event detected within their Lancashire operational area this morning. A spokesman for Cuadrilla said “A series of micro seismic events in Blackpool have been recorded on the British Geological Survey website this morning following hydraulic fracturing at our shale gas exploration site in Preston New Road, Lancashire.

“The largest recorded was 1.5ML (local magnitude) at about 11.20am. This occurred after hydraulic fracturing had finished for the day. According to recent research by the University of Liverpool the impact would be like dropping a melon. A series of smaller micro seismic events occurred during hydraulic fracturing, beginning at about 9.40am. Cuadrilla will pause and continue to monitor micro seismicity for at least the next 18 hours, in line with the traffic light system regulations. Well integrity has been checked and verified.”

Tony Bosworth, a Friends of the Earth  campaigner, reacted to news of the largest earthquake to take place in Lancashire since fracking started. He said “Within a day of Cuadrilla re-starting fracking in Lancashire, there has already been another earthquake which means they’ve had to down tools. It appears that they cannot frack without triggering tremors. And instead of acknowledging that fracking needs to end, Cuadrilla are instead urging for regulations around earthquakes to be relaxed. We’ve always said that fracking poses risks for our climate and environment. After today’s quake, and with the effects of climate breakdown already happening around us, isn’t it time to put a stop to fracking once and for all?”

Cuadrilla is obliged to stop fracking for 18 hours if a quake of more than magnitude 0.5 is detected, which has happened several times since October.

Posted by: westlancashirerecord | December 11, 2018

French Fishing Fleet Invasion

Who is in charge of UK fishing waters, apart from M Macron that is? Not the UK, that’s for sure.

A fishing expert claims a French fishing fleet has invaded British waters around Cornwall this morning. Ian Lott, who runs Maritime Media Services and advanced fleet monitoring services from Plymouth, said“I can see this turning into a conflict, the French fishing fleet has invaded our shorelines and British waters.

“The AIS satellite monitoring system has picked up more French boats than I’ve ever seen in Cornish waters . I woke up this morning, turned on my computer and couldn’t believe what I was seeing, all these French vessels have taken advantage of the bad weather overnight. They’ve been able to see that our fleet in Fowey, Falmouth, Mevagissey, and Plymouth are moored up because of high winds.”

Mr Lott, who said this was the worst ‘invasion’ he’d ever seen by what he thinks are bass fishermen, added “They knew there wouldn’t be any of our boats out there and so there wouldn’t be any confrontation. One or two tend to ‘run the line, slip in and out of our waters, but this is a nightmare situation.”

He had spoken to fishermen around Cornwall who “are not happy at all”. “We’re worried about our jobs now and the uncertainties around fishing in Brexit don’t help”. Mr Lott who tweeted a map showing eight French trawlers in Cornish waters, with a similar number approaching, added that he was “livid” at the flagrant disregard for the law.

“There will be a conflict,” he said. “This is now becoming a joke. Rubbing our noses in it.”Cornwall Live attempted to contact harbourmasters in Fowey where one French boat is offshore as well as in Falmouth and Penzance to no avail. Falmouth Coastguards said they hadn’t received reports of trouble or incidents. In September French trawlers were accused of fuelling a sudden rise in hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage to Cornish fishing gear.

The Government will table an amendment to the Fisheries Bill which will enshrine its commitment to secure a fairer share of fishing opportunities for UK fishermen. The amendment would place a legal obligation on the Secretary of State, when negotiating a fisheries agreement with the EU, to pursue a fairer share of fishing opportunities than the UK currently receives under the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) .

This would overhaul the current system where UK fishermen have received a poor deal that is based on fishing patterns from the 1970s. On average between 2012 and 2016 other EU Member States’ vessels landed in the region of 760,000 tonnes of fish (£540 million revenue) annually caught in UK waters; whereas UK vessels  landed approximately 90,000 tonnes of fish (£110 million revenue) caught in other Member States’ waters per year in the same time period.

As well as strengthening the law, the Environment Secretary announced £37.2 million of extra funding to boost the UK fishing industry during the Implementation Period.

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