Members of Parliament have formed a new All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Mining and Quarrying, supported by the Mineral Products Association (MPA).
This new cross-party group will help to keep Members of the Commons and Lords up to date with issues affecting the industry which represents the biggest flow of materials in the economy. It will also allow the MPA to keep its members abreast of industry issues of interest to Parliamentarians.
At the first virtual meeting of the newly-formed APPG, members elected Steve Double MP (St Austell and Newquay) as its chair, with other Members from different parties and from around the country elected as vice-chairs including Jane Hunt MP (Loughborough), Robert Largan MP (High Peak), Kenny MacAskill MP (East Lothian), Jessica Morden MP (Newport) and Mark Pawsey MP (Rugby).
After the election of officers, the group discussed the reforms proposed in the Government’s Planning White Paper ‘Planning for the Future’ and its potential impact on the mineral planning system. MPs were told that the White Paper completely overlooked mineral planning, despite the fact that the Government’s ambitions for housing, green energy and infrastructure relied heavily on a steady and adequate supply of minerals and mineral products.
Steve Double MP, chair of the APPG said: “The mining and quarrying sector is vital to our economy and it is important that we ensure a smooth flowing supply chain for the Government’s ambitious housing and infrastructure. I am pleased to have been elected chair of the APPG, which will ensure that parliamentary colleagues are informed about the challenges facing the sector and that it has a voice in Parliament.”
Mark Russell, the MPA’s Executive Director for Planning & Mineral Resources, said: “It was good to see the All-Party Parliamentary Group coming together to reflect on the mineral products industry’s essential contribution to society and the economy, and explore some of the challenges faced by our sector. The MPs in the group represent constituencies with quarries and other sites producing a wide variety of essential mineral products and being part of this APPG will enable them to gain a good understanding of issues such as mineral planning, biodiversity net gain and the industry’s drive towards net zero carbon.
“As the Planning White Paper is taken forward as a bill through Parliament we will be looking very closely to see if our concerns are addressed. To achieve its ambitions in housing, green energy and infrastructure the Government needs to make the link to essential, domestically-produced mineral products to ensure the supplies required are made available.”