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Asian hornet identified in Cornwall and UK water companies publish their business plans

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Asian hornet identified in Cornwall

An image of an Asian Hornet. The middle section of the Hornet measures 1cm.

The National Bee Unit has confirmed a sighting of the Asian hornet in the Fowey area of south Cornwall.

This Asian hornet is smaller than our native hornet and poses no greater risk to human health than a bee. However, they do pose a risk to honey bees and work is already underway to identify any nests, which includes deploying bee inspectors to visit local beekeepers and setting up monitoring traps.

Previous outbreaks of the Asian hornet have been successfully contained by APHA bee inspectors who promptly tracked down and destroyed the nests. The intention is to do the same in this instance.

Nicola Spence, Defra Deputy Director for Plant and Bee Health, said:

While the Asian Hornet poses no greater risk to human health than a bee, we recognise the damage they can cause to honey bee colonies. That’s why we are taking swift and robust action to locate and investigate any nests in the south Cornwall areas following this confirmed sighting.

Following the successful containment of the Asian hornet incursion in North Devon last year and Tetbury previously, we have a well-established protocol in place to eradicate them and control any potential spread.

We remain vigilant across the country, working closely with the National Bee Unit and their nationwide network of bee inspectors.

Read the full press release on GOV.UK:

Water company business plans

An image of water running from a tap
Water running from a tap

Today’s Guardian reports on the submission of water companies business plans to Ofwat.

The plans set out how the companies intend to invest and how much they will charge customers between 2020 to 2025

The Guardian article mentions that earlier in the year Environment Secretary Michael Gove had warned water companies over their “concerning ” behaviour, urging them to do much more to tackle leakage.

He has also repeatedly called on water companies to set out ambitious plans for the future in an effort to tackle major challenges including climate change, address their failure to meet leakage targets and enhance the environment.

Following the publication of the plans Environment Secretary Michael Gove said:

As Environment Secretary I have called on water companies to up their game, do more to enhance the environment and provide customers with the reliable and resilient service they expect.

I hope and expect water companies have taken this challenge seriously in drawing up these plans.

Ofwat will now scrutinise these plans through the price review process and I’m confident they will press water companies hard to ensure they deliver the best possible deal for customers.

There was widespread further coverage including in in The Times, Daily Mail, The Independent, The Financial Times and The Daily Express.

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