Chris Ruane – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Chris Ruane on 2014-06-04.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what use his Department has made of the National Wellbeing Index introduced by the Office for National Statistics in formulating policy since the introduction of that Index in 2011; and what policies his Department has introduced to improve national wellbeing as defined in that Index since 2010.

Dan Rogerson

There is no National Wellbeing Index, but the Office for National Statistics has developed a dashboard of measures to monitor wellbeing, both subjective and objective, and in a number of domains.

The most Defra relevant measures are:

Where we live domain

5.3 Accessed natural environment at least once a week in the last 12 months.

Environment Domain

10.2 Protected areas in the UK.

10.4 Household waste that is recycled.

It is too early to be able to show a large number of policies which have been influenced by the data, particularly when the statistics are experimental, but there is still a lot of ongoing work. In terms of my department’s policy work on wellbeing and the general approach, Defra officials provided written evidence for the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) Inquiry on Wellbeing initiated last year. This evidence was co-ordinated by the Cabinet Office and submitted on behalf of Government. The evidence document can be found here: