Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

All 10 Written Questions max 10 shown

Date Title Questioner
28 Jan 2020, 3:44 p.m. National Federation of SubPostmasters: Expenditure Mr Kevan Jones

Question to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much has been spent from the public purse on supporting the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters in the last 10 years.

Answer (Kelly Tolhurst)

Postmasters are the backbone of the Post Office network and it is clearly vital they have a body that represents their interests.

Since 2015 National Federation of Sub-Postmasters have been funded by a grant provided by Post Office. This equates to £1.5 million per annum for its annual operations and £1 million per annum for specific projects established to support postmasters. The annual grant is paid on a quarterly basis. Individual project grants will be paid in line with the requirements of the specific projects. Any grant funding to the NFSP is paid from POL's own commercial revenues.

Prior to the Grant Agreement in 2015, NFSP received an annual payment of £175k from the Post Office along with occasional payments for specific projects. The rest of NSFP’s funding came from members’ subscription payments.

28 Jan 2020, 3:44 p.m. Post Office: Public Appointments Mr Kevan Jones

Question to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, who the non-Executive Member on the board of Post Office Limited from her Department is.

Answer (Kelly Tolhurst)

The Secretary of State delegates the role of Shareholder Representative on the Post Office Board to UK Government Investments (UKGI). Tom Cooper (Director, UKGI) is the current Shareholder Non-Executive Director on the Post Office Board.

UKGI, as the Shareholder Representative, oversees corporate governance, strategy, and the stewardship of the Post Office’s financial and other resources on behalf of BEIS. As well as the seat on the Post Office Board, UKGI Shareholder NED also sits on the Audit and Risk Committee.

The shareholder team monitors financial and operational performance of the business against the long-term strategy, holding the business to account in delivering against its commercial and policy objectives. UKGI are also responsible for ensuring the business is provided with sufficient investment and subsidy funding to achieve its target of being commercially sustainable in the longer term, whilst meeting its social obligations, particularly around minimum network coverages requirements.

Finally, UKGI advises ministers on both commercial and policy issues, supporting them in Parliament and with the wider set of stakeholders who have an interest in Post Office matters.

There are no plans to review these duties.

23 Jan 2020, 11:35 a.m. Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: Climate Change Darren Jones

Question to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment she has made of the effect of climate change on the work of her Department; and what steps she is taking in response to that effect.

Answer (Kwasi Kwarteng)

Leading the world in tackling climate change to deliver a stronger, greener United Kingdom is my key priority for the Department. We are committed to delivering our world-leading target to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions and end the UK’s contribution to global warming by 2050, while maximising the economic opportunities of this transition – creating new business opportunities and up to 2 million green jobs by 2030.

Between 1990 and 2017, the UK has reduced emissions by more than 40% while growing our economy by over two thirds – decarbonising our economy faster than any other G20 country. Meeting our net zero target will require us to build on this progress by transforming our economy, including our homes, transport, industries, how we generate and use energy, and how we use our land.

Throughout 2020 we will set out further plans to ensure the UK is on track to meet our ambitious targets, building on the strong framework we have established in the Clean Growth Strategy, including an Energy White Paper and a policy roadmap for heat in buildings. We are also preparing to host the crucial 2020 UN climate negotiations, COP26, in Glasgow in November. We will use COP26 to push for ambitious action from all countries to deliver the 2015 Paris Agreement, and showcase the UK’s climate leadership.

HM Government is making good progress towards the Greening Government Commitment to reduce emissions from the central government estate by 43% between 2009/10 and 2019/20, having exceeded the original target of 32% three years early. Since 2009/10, the Department reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 57%. This equates to a 36,448 tCO2e reduction.

21 Jan 2020, 2:54 p.m. Business: Stoke On Trent Jack Brereton

Question to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

What recent steps she has taken to support businesses in Stoke-on-Trent.

Answer (Nadhim Zahawi)

The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Growth Hub has received more than £1m over five years and in the previous financial year supported over 5000 local businesses, including ceramics companies.

Furthermore, £98m of Local Growth Funding is supporting projects across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire such as the Heat Academy at Stoke-on-Trent College to help businesses access the skills they need to compete and grow.

21 Jan 2020, 2:54 p.m. Non-domestic Rates Aaron Bell

Question to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

What discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on reducing business rates for firms.

Answer (Kelly Tolhurst)

This Government will conduct a fundamental review of business rates.

My Retail Sector Council industry co-chair and I have already met the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to discuss the Council’s review of the costs retailers face, including business rates.

I will continue to engage with Treasury colleagues as we deliver this important manifesto commitment.

21 Jan 2020, 2:54 p.m. Retail Trade: Non-domestic Rates Sarah Olney

Question to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

What recent discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on the effect of business rates on high street businesses.

Answer (Kelly Tolhurst)

This Government will conduct a fundamental review of business rates.

My Retail Sector Council industry co-chair and I have already met the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to discuss the Council’s review of the costs retailers face, including business rates.

I will continue to engage with Treasury colleagues as we deliver this important manifesto commitment.

21 Jan 2020, 2:53 p.m. Business: Leicestershire Dr Luke Evans

Question to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

What steps the Government is taking to support local businesses in Hinckley and Bosworth.

Answer (Kelly Tolhurst)

Government provides businesses in Hinckley and Bosworth with support through Leicester and Leicestershire’s LEP Growth Hub.

We have made specific investments in Horiba MIRA to support the future automotive industry.

This has included £9.5m to establish the MIRA Technology Institute to develop state of the art training facilities to nurture automotive engineers of the future.

21 Jan 2020, 2:53 p.m. Non-domestic Rates Martin Vickers

Question to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

What discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on reducing business rates for firms.

Answer (Kelly Tolhurst)

My Retail Sector Council industry co-chair and I have already met the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to discuss the Council’s review of the costs retailers face, including business rates.

I will continue to engage with Treasury colleagues as we deliver this important manifesto commitment.

21 Jan 2020, 2:53 p.m. Alcoholic Drinks: Exports Mr Toby Perkins

Question to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

What discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for International Trade on support for UK alcoholic beverage manufacturers to export their products.

Answer (Nadhim Zahawi)

The Government provides a wide range of support to alcohol manufacturers – through trade shows, hosting bespoke ‘meet the buyer’ events in the UK and abroad, raising the sector’s profile at global events and tackling market access barriers.

My Rt hon Friend the Secretary of State would be happy to raise this issue with my Rt hon Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade when they meet later today.

7 Jan 2020, 5:35 p.m. Ayrton Fund The Earl of Sandwich

Question to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many least developed countries are benefiting, or will benefit, from the Ayrton Fund, announced at the UN General Assembly in September; and what forms of climate change in those countries will be addressed.

Answer (Lord Duncan of Springbank)

The Ayrton Fund is a commitment that the UK Government has made to spend £1bn on Official Development Assistance (ODA)-funded research, development and demonstration (RD&D) in clean energy technology and business models for developing countries over five years from April 2021. The commitment will address development challenges in low-carbon energy (supply), low-carbon societies (demand), and smart and flexible energy delivery and storage to meet a range of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as Goals 7 and 13. Tangible examples of areas that the Ayrton commitment will seek to impact include:

  • providing affordable access to electricity for some of the 1 billion people in ODA-eligible countries who are still off the grid, including through innovative solar technology for their homes
  • enhancing large-scale energy technology to replace polluting diesel generators and ensure clean energy can be stored and not lost
  • designing clean stoves like electric pressure cookers for some of the 2.7 billion people who still rely on firewood – with the smoke damaging their health as well as the environment
  • working with energy-intensive industries and governments to achieve industrial decarbonisation
  • supporting the development of technologies and business models for sustainable cooling – residential air conditioning alone is expected to raise global temperatures by 0.5°C in the years ahead
  • designing low-emission and electric vehicles to cut pollution and make transport systems cleaner and greener.

The Ayrton Fund will be delivered through a series of expanded and new programmes and platforms, which will be available to all ODA-eligible countries, depending on the specific programme. Since some of these programmes and platforms are still to be developed, and since many will use open competitions to allocate the support, it is not possible to state at this stage exactly how many least developed countries will benefit (although they will all be potentially eligible).