Meetings and parliamentary engagements 

Over the last month, we contacted parliamentarians and civil servants with a range of communications:

Our meeting with Scott Mann MP, the chair of the Dairy APPG, had to be postponed due to parliamentary business and has now been re-arranged for December. We intend to discuss issues including the need for a replacement for the EU school milk scheme and the Dairy APPG’s future work on the Eatwell Guide.

Baroness Benjamin asked the Government a question in the House of Lords on what action they are taking to address the problem of child tooth decay. We approached peers ahead of this question, and Lord Lexden asked a supplementary question about whether milk was part of the answer to this problem, and highlighted that research evidence shows that milk helps to protect the teeth of young children, as well as combating obesity. Lord O'Shaughnessy, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health in the Lords, agreed that milk was beneficial and highlighted the role of vitamin D and calcium in bone health.

Labour MP Lucy Powell tabled a written question to Defra asking about the Department’s plans for school milk subsidies after Brexit. Defra Minister, George Eustice, responded saying there would be a consultation on any changes they make to school milk subsidies.

Ms Powell also tabled a written question to the DfE asking where the revenues generated from the Soft Drinks Levy had been allocated. Education Minister, Robert Goodwill, explained that the money generated would be used to double the funding for physical education in schools, increasing spending on a new healthy pupils capital fund, and £26m would go to promoting disadvantaged schools to setting up breakfast clubs over the next three years.
Drop-in event
On 28th November we hosted a drop-in event in Parliament to give parliamentarians the opportunity to show their support for a replacement for the EU school milk scheme after Brexit. We invited MPs and followed up these invites, with a particular focus on MPs in deprived constituencies or constituencies with high levels of dairy farming. 

Nine parliamentarians attended: Mary Glindon (who sponsored the event), Rosie Cooper, Alex Cunningham, Tan Dhesi, Sandy Martin, Conor McGinn, Mark Menzies and Martin Vickers, and Lord Watson of Lord Watson of Invergowrie. They had their photo taken with Dr Hilary and a sign demonstrating their support for a replacement school milk subsidy scheme after Brexit. We also complied statistics on child tooth decay and obesity broken down by local authority or health board area, so that we were able to inform MPs how their constituency performed. Following the event, we sent our thanks to Mary Glindon MP, who kindly sponsored the event, and thank you notes to those who attended with press releases for their website.

Parliamentary activity
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