Baroness Boycott Portrait

Baroness Boycott

Crossbench - Life peer

Became Member: 9th July 2018


Environment and Climate Change Committee
14th Apr 2021 - 31st Jan 2024
Food, Poverty, Health and Environment Committee
13th Jun 2019 - 23rd Jun 2020


Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 29th February 2024
10:00
Food, Diet and Obesity Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Food, Diet and Obesity
29 Feb 2024, 10 a.m. View calendar
Scheduled Event
Wednesday 13th March 2024
15:00
Oral questions - Main Chamber
13 Mar 2024, 3 p.m.
Evidence that power generation from biomass is good value, sustainable, and compatible with reaching net zero emissions by 2050.
View calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 16th January 2024
Trade (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership) Bill [HL]
voted Aye
One of 25 Crossbench Aye votes vs 9 Crossbench No votes
Tally: Ayes - 102 Noes - 212
Speeches
Tuesday 6th February 2024
Premature Deaths: Heart and Circulatory Conditions
My Lords, following on from the Times Health Commission today, the Food Foundation has also produced a report on childhood …
Written Answers
Thursday 6th July 2023
North Sea Oil
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the expected grade of the oil reserves in licensed but undeveloped fields in …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Thursday 30th November 2023
Ecocide Bill [HL] 2023-24
A Bill to introduce the crime of ecocide; and for connected purposes.
MP Financial Interests
None available

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Baroness Boycott has voted in 251 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Baroness Boycott Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
Lord Callanan (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
(61 debate interactions)
Lord Benyon (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
(34 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Legislation Debates
Environment Act 2021
(15,903 words contributed)
Agriculture Act 2020
(9,125 words contributed)
Trade Bill 2019-21
(5,950 words contributed)
Energy Act 2023
(3,763 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Baroness Boycott's debates

Lords initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Baroness Boycott, and are more likely to reflect personal policy preferences.


2 Bills introduced by Baroness Boycott


A Bill to introduce the crime of ecocide; and for connected purposes.

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Thursday 30th November 2023

A bill to provide for the provision of free period products

Lords - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 4th February 2020
(Read Debate)

Baroness Boycott has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


45 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
22nd Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what percentage of oil and gas extracted from UK territorial waters was exported in (1) 2019, (2) 2020, (3) 2021, and (4) 2022.

Due to the interconnected nature of gas pipeline infrastructure and the consequent mixing of UK continental shelf (UKCS) production and imports it is not possible to determine what proportion of indigenously produced gas is exported.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what is the expected grade of the oil reserves in licensed but undeveloped fields in the North Sea basin; and what estimate they have made of the likelihood of the oil from these fields being used domestically in the UK as opposed to being exported.

The grade of oil in most undeveloped discoveries in the UK sector of the North Sea and elsewhere on the UK Continental Shelf would vary from field to field. The decisions around the sale of both crude and finished petroleum products are commercial decisions given the international nature of oil markets.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what percentage of existing oil and gas fields within the UK’s territorial waters is owned by companies headquartered in the UK.

The Government does not specifically track the headquarters of oil and gas licensees operating on the UK Continental Shelf. However, it is a requirement that all licence holders must be UK registered, either as a company or as a branch of an overseas company.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what percentage of oil and gas extracted from UK territorial waters was extracted by companies headquartered in the UK in (1) 2019, (2) 2020, (3) 2021, and (4) 2022.

The Government does not specifically track the headquarters of oil and gas licensees operating on the UK Continental Shelf. However, it is a requirement that all licence holders must be UK registered, either as a company or as a branch of an overseas company.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
30th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Net zero policy tracker: March 2023 update by Green Alliance, published on 17 March; and in particular, what assessment they have made of the finding that only 28 per cent of emissions reductions needed to reach net zero by 2050 are covered by confirmed policies.

The Net Zero Growth Plan sets out the package that will meet carbon budgets. The Government has met every Carbon Budget to date and through the Carbon Budget Delivery Plan has set out quantified proposals and policies to exceed Carbon Budgets 4 and 5 and 97% of Carbon Budget 6.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Callanan on 13 December (HL Deb, col 2), what are the "strict sustainability criteria" by which biomass operators abide; and whether these criteria allow operators to source wood pellets from virgin forests.

The UK has strict sustainability criteria in place for biomass use. For biomass power generation supported under the Renewables Obligation scheme, the sustainability criteria are outlined in Schedules 1, 2, and 3 of the Renewables Obligation Order, which are publicly available on the legislation.gov.uk website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
14th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the response by Lord Callanan on 13 December (HL Deb, col 3) that the "evidence is independently audited", who undertakes such assessments; what percentage of imports are assessed; and how many independent audits have found that biomass products used have not met the sustainability criteria.

The assessments are performed by independent auditors who are qualified to perform assurance engagements in accordance with the International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3000 (Revised) and the relevant legislation (Article 84(3) of the Renewables Obligation Order 2015).

Annual sustainability audit reports are performed in line with the ISAE 3000 (Revised) standards. The auditor will select a limited assurance sample, taken from all biomass products, based on a risk assessment.

Ofgem publish independently verified information on how generators have reported against the sustainability criteria in their annual biomass datasets and RO annual reports, which can be found on Ofgem’s website. The information for Drax in these datasets shows that no instances have been found where fuels at Drax have been reported as unsustainable.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
29th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that sponsors and other organisations involved with COP26 are demonstrably committed to tackling climate change; and what criteria they intend to use to assess that commitment.

The Government has set strict sponsorship criteria for COP26 and will only partner with companies who have committed to or set net-zero commitments by 2050 or earlier, and have a credible and aligned short-term action plan to achieve this. We conduct due diligence on all potential sponsors, and ensure compliance with our standards. The Government is encouraging companies with strong climate credentials to apply for sponsorship through the COP26 website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
29th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what the vetting process will be for organisations applying to host COP26 fringe meetings and events; and what plans they have to publish that process.

We are looking to work and partner with organisations committed to taking positive action to tackle climate change. We will be launching a registration process for organisations wanting to be involved in UK Government managed events around COP26 in the new year. The process is currently under development and further detail will be released in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what will be the hospitality arrangements for COP26; and what plans they have to publish the procurement process for those arrangements in full.

Plans for hospitality for the Event are still under consideration and we will be working closely with all venues to deliver the facilities and requirements needed. The plans will be published in line with Public Sector Procurement guidelines

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government with how many governments they have started pre-negotiations in advance of COP26.

The UK is committed to agreeing a negotiated outcome at COP26 that accelerates climate action and leaves no issue behind. Our approach is aligned with the UNFCCC process: formal negotiations have been postponed to 2021 but we are engaging broadly and facilitating exchanges of views so that progress can be made.

As part of the UK’s transparent and inclusive approach to the COP26 presidency, Ministers and senior officials across government have directly engaged with over 100 governments; and all countries have been engaged through our FCO network and UN Missions. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has been at the heart of that, playing a leading role in a number of multilateral climate change fora and engaging bilaterally with over 40 countries to discuss matters relating to COP26. As an example of the regular engagement with countries, in September, the UK, alongside current Presidency Chile and the Chairs of the UNFCCC Subsidiary Bodies, conducted consultations with all negotiating groups on the way forward to COP26.

We look forward to the UNFCCC Climate Change Dialogues 23 November - 4 December as an opportunity for further exchanges of views and to make progress on key issues ahead of the Ambition Summit that we’re hosting on 12 December and on the pathway to COP26 next year.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
28th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government when they will publish their parliamentary engagement strategy for COP26.

The COP President Designate is planning to hold a COP26 briefing session for parliamentarians to update them on our plans and will provide further details in due course.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
26th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan (1) to publish the historic and current emissions of any COP26 sponsors, or (2) to place a requirement on potential sponsors to publish their historic and current emissions.

Sponsorship is an important part of our funding arrangements for COP26, supporting the successful delivery of an event with the level of ambition required to tackle the urgent challenge of climate change; and enhancing value for money for taxpayers. The names of any confirmed sponsor will be published on the COP26 website. The Government will conduct due diligence on all potential sponsors and ensure compliance with rigorous standards. Environmental transparency and disclosure is vital to track progress towards a net zero economy, and this is one of the criteria that the Government is using to assess potential sponsors. The Government has set strict sponsorship criteria for COP26 and will only partner with companies who have set net-zero commitments by 2050 or earlier, and who have published a credible and aligned short-term action plan to achieve this. The Government is encouraging companies with strong climate credentials to apply for sponsorship through the COP26 website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
26th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what scrutiny mechanisms they plan to propose to Parliament for the scrutiny of COP26 sponsorship agreements.

Sponsorship is an important part of our funding arrangements for COP26, supporting the successful delivery of an event with the level of ambition required to tackle the urgent challenge of climate change; and enhancing value for money for taxpayers. The names of any confirmed sponsor will be published on the COP26 website. The Government will conduct due diligence on all potential sponsors and ensure compliance with rigorous standards. Environmental transparency and disclosure is vital to track progress towards a net zero economy, and this is one of the criteria that the Government is using to assess potential sponsors. The Government has set strict sponsorship criteria for COP26 and will only partner with companies who have set net-zero commitments by 2050 or earlier, and who have published a credible and aligned short-term action plan to achieve this. The Government is encouraging companies with strong climate credentials to apply for sponsorship through the COP26 website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
26th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to limit sponsorship for COP26 (1) to companies which have a plan to half their emissions by 2030, and (2) to companies that have disclosed plans that are aligned with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Sponsorship is an important part of our funding arrangements for COP26, supporting the successful delivery of an event with the level of ambition required to tackle the urgent challenge of climate change; and enhancing value for money for taxpayers. The names of any confirmed sponsor will be published on the COP26 website. The Government will conduct due diligence on all potential sponsors and ensure compliance with rigorous standards. Environmental transparency and disclosure is vital to track progress towards a net zero economy, and this is one of the criteria that the Government is using to assess potential sponsors. The Government has set strict sponsorship criteria for COP26 and will only partner with companies who have set net-zero commitments by 2050 or earlier, and who have published a credible and aligned short-term action plan to achieve this. The Government is encouraging companies with strong climate credentials to apply for sponsorship through the COP26 website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
26th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much funding they expect to raise from sponsorship for COP26; and whether they will provide a breakdown of that funding.

Sponsorship is an important part of our funding arrangements for COP26, supporting the successful delivery of an event with the level of ambition required to tackle the urgent challenge of climate change; and enhancing value for money for taxpayers. The names of any confirmed sponsor will be published on the COP26 website. The Government will conduct due diligence on all potential sponsors and ensure compliance with rigorous standards. Environmental transparency and disclosure is vital to track progress towards a net zero economy, and this is one of the criteria that the Government is using to assess potential sponsors. The Government has set strict sponsorship criteria for COP26 and will only partner with companies who have set net-zero commitments by 2050 or earlier, and who have published a credible and aligned short-term action plan to achieve this. The Government is encouraging companies with strong climate credentials to apply for sponsorship through the COP26 website.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
26th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have for a public engagement strategy for COP26, following the report by Bright Blue, Going Greener? Public Attitudes to Net Zero, published 12 October, which stated that 58 per cent of people asked did not think that the UK would reach net zero by 2050.

In preparation for COP26, the Cabinet Office has set up a dedicated engagement team that will facilitate engagement with businesses, wider civil society and youth, and cities and regions on COP26. This will ensure that the UK brings along all of society in the global transition to a net-zero economy and in the delivery of an ambitious and inclusive COP26 summit. We will continue to engage the public as we develop our plans for reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
26th Oct 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what budget has been set for the UK to host COP26.

Discussions on costs for COP26 are currently ongoing, and final budgets are yet to be confirmed.

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact on (1) the economy, and (2) carbon emissions, of retrofitting all publicly funded and owned buildings to achieve net zero emissions.

The Government carries out full impact assessments when setting the carbon budgets on a path to reaching our 2050 target.

The Government publishes national emissions statistics annually[1]. In 2018, the latest year for which data is available, the public sector accounted for 2% of total UK emissions.

Decarbonising the public sector will reduce carbon emissions and will contribute to economic growth and the creation of green jobs.

The impacts of unmitigated climate change are estimated at 5-20% of global GDP[2] whilst the costs of action to deliver net zero were estimated by the CCC last year[3] as 1-2% of global GDP in 2050 – and that could be partly or fully offset by benefits. The projected cost of reaching net zero has now reduced dramatically because of advances in clean energy and green technology, which we anticipate will continue to fall.

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/final-uk-greenhouse-gas-emissions-national-statistics-1990-to-2018

[2] The Economics of Climate Change, The Stern Review, 2014

[3] https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/net-zero-the-uks-contribution-to-stopping-global-warming/

Lord Callanan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the education system adequately reflects the challenges presented by climate change in terms of (1) the curriculum, (2) teacher training, and (3) the energy efficiency of educational facilities.

It is vital that young people are taught about climate change. For this reason, related topics are included throughout both the science and geography curricula and GCSEs. In primary science and geography, pupils are given a firm foundation for the further study of the environment in secondary school. For example, in primary science pupils are taught about how environments can change as a result of human actions. They will learn about animals’ habitats, including that changes to the environment may pose dangers to living things.

In secondary science, pupils are taught about the production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the effect this has on the climate. This is expanded on in GCSE science where pupils will consider the evidence for additional anthropogenic causes of climate change. As part of GCSE geography pupils will look at the causes, consequences of and responses to extreme weather conditions and natural weather hazards. In 2017, we also introduced a new environmental science A level. This will enable students to study topics that will support their understanding of climate change and how it can be tackled.

School and teachers can go beyond the topics set out in the national curriculum, or do more in-depth teaching of these topic areas, if they so wish.

We are supporting recruitment and retention of teachers in these subjects to ensure that schools have the expertise to teach topics relating to climate change effectively. In science, trainee teachers are offered bursaries of £26,000 and scholarships of £28,000 to attract top science graduates into teaching. New physics and chemistry teachers will soon be offered early-career payments of up to £9,000 during their first four years of teaching. We also fund Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE) courses for geography and the sciences. These are courses designed to help applicants gain the depth of subject knowledge needed to train to teach their chosen subject.

The new Initial Teacher Training (ITT) Core Content Framework, published 1 November 2019, sets out a core minimum entitlement for all trainees of what should be covered during their teacher training, irrespective of subject or phase. The government does not prescribe the curriculum of ITT or SKE courses and it remains for individual providers to design curricula appropriate for the subject, phase and age range that the trainees will be teaching. Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) will continue to be awarded at the end of ITT against the Teachers’ Standards, which includes secure knowledge of relevant subjects and curriculum areas.

We also support energy efficiency in educational facilities through our capital funding and programmes, both to reduce the carbon footprint and save schools money on energy. We have allocated almost £9 billion in condition funding since 2015 to maintain and improve school buildings. Condition funding can be invested in projects which improve energy efficiency. In addition, interest free loans for energy efficiency projects have been made available through the government backed Salix finance scheme.

15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential for all new state-funded educational buildings to be net-zero from 2022 and all existing state-funded educational buildings to be retrofitted to net-zero by 2030.

The department supports sustainability through its capital funding programmes, both to reduce carbon and save schools and the wider education estate money on energy.

We have allocated almost £9 billion in condition funding since 2015 to maintain and improve school buildings. In addition, the Priority School Building Programme is rebuilding or refurbishing school buildings in the worst condition across the country, covering over 500 schools.

Condition funding can be invested in projects which improve energy efficiency. In addition, interest free loans for energy efficiency projects are available through the government backed Salix finance scheme.

More broadly, we are working with colleagues across government on carbon reduction and energy efficiency, and we are developing thinking on how future school capital programmes can contribute further.

Like all departments, we are doing a great deal of preparatory work to understand what resources the education sector needs over the coming years, including as part of the wider response to COVID-19.

15th Jun 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the proposals set out in Teach the Future’s Green Recovery for Education initiative; and whether retrofitting educational buildings will be included as a priority in (1) the national infrastructure strategy, and (2) the COVID-19 recovery strategy.

The department supports sustainability through its capital funding programmes, both to reduce carbon and save schools and the wider education estate money on energy.

We have allocated almost £9 billion in condition funding since 2015 to maintain and improve school buildings. In addition, the Priority School Building Programme is rebuilding or refurbishing school buildings in the worst condition across the country, covering over 500 schools.

Condition funding can be invested in projects which improve energy efficiency. In addition, interest free loans for energy efficiency projects are available through the government backed Salix finance scheme.

More broadly, we are working with colleagues across government on carbon reduction and energy efficiency, and we are developing thinking on how future school capital programmes can contribute further.

Like all departments, we are doing a great deal of preparatory work to understand what resources the education sector needs over the coming years, including as part of the wider response to COVID-19.

12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what guidance they have issued to support families to feed children nutritious food that meets school food standards whist schools are closed.

As both my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19.

Our latest guidance for schools is set out below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

During this period, we are asking schools to support pupils eligible for benefits-related free school meals by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. However, we recognise that providing meals and food parcels is not a practicable option for all schools. That is why on 31 March we launched a national voucher scheme as an alternative option, with costs covered by the Department for Education.

Voucher codes are being processed and many thousands of families are redeeming them. Edenred has reported that over £101.5 million worth of voucher codes have been redeemed into supermarket eGift cards by schools and families through the scheme as of Friday 22 May. Edenred has reported that 17,000 schools had placed orders for the scheme as of Tuesday 12 May.

Families are free to select the most appropriate food and drink for their child. When selecting products, we encourage families to consider health and nutrition. The School Food Standards may act as a useful guide for families and is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/standards-for-school-food-in-england.

The vouchers should not be redeemed for any age-restricted items, such as alcohol, cigarettes or lottery tickets.

There are a number of online resources available to support families in preparing healthy and nutritious food, including on the NHS Eat Well website: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/?tabname=recipes-and-tips.

Provision for free school meals is ordinarily term time only. However, during the Easter holidays the department met the costs of offering free school meals to eligible pupils not attending school during term time weeks. This was in recognition of the unprecedented levels of disruption and uncertainty for schools during this time.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to extend the national voucher scheme to cover the half-term holiday in May and the six-week summer holiday.

As both my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19.

Our latest guidance for schools is set out below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

During this period, we are asking schools to support pupils eligible for benefits-related free school meals by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. However, we recognise that providing meals and food parcels is not a practicable option for all schools. That is why on 31 March we launched a national voucher scheme as an alternative option, with costs covered by the Department for Education.

Voucher codes are being processed and many thousands of families are redeeming them. Edenred has reported that over £101.5 million worth of voucher codes have been redeemed into supermarket eGift cards by schools and families through the scheme as of Friday 22 May. Edenred has reported that 17,000 schools had placed orders for the scheme as of Tuesday 12 May.

Families are free to select the most appropriate food and drink for their child. When selecting products, we encourage families to consider health and nutrition. The School Food Standards may act as a useful guide for families and is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/standards-for-school-food-in-england.

The vouchers should not be redeemed for any age-restricted items, such as alcohol, cigarettes or lottery tickets.

There are a number of online resources available to support families in preparing healthy and nutritious food, including on the NHS Eat Well website: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/?tabname=recipes-and-tips.

Provision for free school meals is ordinarily term time only. However, during the Easter holidays the department met the costs of offering free school meals to eligible pupils not attending school during term time weeks. This was in recognition of the unprecedented levels of disruption and uncertainty for schools during this time.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the current take up rate of the national voucher scheme; and how many vouchers provided through that scheme have been spent in supermarkets.

As my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have both made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by Covid-19.

Our latest guidance for schools is set out below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

During this period, we are asking schools to support children who are eligible for and claiming benefits-related free school meals by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. We know that many schools are successfully delivering food parcels or arranging food collections for eligible children and we encourage this approach where it is possible.

Where this is not possible, we have introduced a national voucher scheme to provide headteachers with additional flexibility to decide what is best for families at their schools. More information about the national voucher scheme is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools.

As of Friday 22 May, Edenred reported that over £101.5 million has been redeemed into supermarket vouchers by families and schools. As of Tuesday 12 May, Edenred reported that 17,000 schools had placed an order. Schools will continue to receive their core funding allocations as normal.

These are rapidly developing circumstances. We will continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the length of time it has taken for the national voucher scheme to issue and deliver vouchers to schools and families; and what plans they have to (1) speed up the process for families, and (2) reduce the administration required from schools.

As my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have both made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by Covid-19.

During this period, we are asking schools to support children who are eligible for and claiming benefits-related free school meals by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. We know that many schools are successfully delivering food parcels or arranging food collections for eligible children and we encourage this approach where it is possible.

Where this is not possible, we have introduced a national voucher scheme to provide headteachers with additional flexibility to decide what is best for families at their schools. More information about the national voucher scheme is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools.

We are working very closely with our supplier, Edenred, to improve the performance of the national voucher scheme. We are very grateful to families and schools for their understanding and patience whilst we upgrade this service to meet increased demand. Edenred have written to schools using the system to encourage them to order vouchers in bulk as this is more efficient for both the system and the school, enabling orders to be processed more quickly.

Edenred has reported that over £101.5 million worth of voucher codes have been redeemed into supermarket eGift cards by schools and families through the scheme as of 22 May and that 17,000 schools had placed orders for the scheme as of 12 May. Schools will continue to receive their core funding allocations as normal. However, if schools are unable to use the national voucher scheme and choose an alternative approach, they can be reimbursed through the exceptional costs fund, where the costs cannot be met from their existing resources. Further details are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-schools.

These are rapidly developing circumstances. We will continue to keep the situation under review and to keep Parliament updated accordingly.

12th May 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how they intend to measure the success of the national voucher scheme; and whether they have access to supermarket data on (1) the amount of vouchers spent, and (2) what foods such vouchers were spent on, in order to assess whether the scheme was successful in supporting healthy eating.

As both my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19.

Our latest guidance for schools is set out below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

During this period, we are asking schools to support pupils eligible for benefits-related free school meals by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. However, we recognise that providing meals and food parcels is not a practicable option for all schools. That is why on 31 March we launched a national voucher scheme as an alternative option, with costs covered by the Department for Education.

Voucher codes are being processed and many thousands of families are redeeming them. Edenred has reported that over £101.5 million worth of voucher codes have been redeemed into supermarket eGift cards by schools and families through the scheme as of Friday 22 May. Edenred has reported that 17,000 schools had placed orders for the scheme as of Tuesday 12 May.

Families are free to select the most appropriate food and drink for their child. When selecting products, we encourage families to consider health and nutrition. The School Food Standards may act as a useful guide for families and is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/standards-for-school-food-in-england.

The vouchers should not be redeemed for any age-restricted items, such as alcohol, cigarettes or lottery tickets.

There are a number of online resources available to support families in preparing healthy and nutritious food, including on the NHS Eat Well website: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/?tabname=recipes-and-tips.

Provision for free school meals is ordinarily term time only. However, during the Easter holidays the department met the costs of offering free school meals to eligible pupils not attending school during term time weeks. This was in recognition of the unprecedented levels of disruption and uncertainty for schools during this time.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

30th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the cost to public bodies of the oil spill in Poole.

The Environment Agency (EA), Natural England (NE), Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) amongst others have been involved in responding to the oil spill in Poole Harbour. Public agencies will be monitoring their excess costs throughout the response and recovery operations following the oil spill. As these operations are on-going, final estimates are not available; however, when possible, costs will be recovered from the polluter.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the 'polluter pays' principle will apply to the oil spill in Poole; and if it does not, what plans they have to extend the principle to include such incidents of accidental environmental damage.

The polluter pays principle does apply to the oil spill in Poole. Claims by those suffering financially from this oil spill can be made to Perenco’s insurers. Perenco have opened an email address which potential claimants can use.

When the law allows public bodies may be able to reclaim costs resulting from the response and recovery operations. Those agencies likely to reclaim costs include the Environment Agency (EA), Natural England and the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science. The EA has statutory powers to recover costs from an environmental incident, in line with the polluter pays principle, and always seeks to recharge where possible.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Mar 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government what progress they have made in adapting England to climate change; and what assessment they have made of the recommendations of the Climate Change Committee’s report Investment for a well-adapted UK, published on 1 February.

The Government welcomes the Climate Change Committee’s recent adaptation progress report for England. We will consider the report’s findings as we develop a third National Adaptation Programme which addresses all 61 risks and opportunities identified in the Government’s third Climate Change Risk Assessment. Climate adaptation is mainstreamed across Government, which means that all Government policies and programmes need to consider the risks that climate change poses to their successful delivery and outcomes.

We also welcome the Climate Change Committee’s latest report “investment for a well-adapted UK”, and the Government assessed the recommendations. The recently published Green Finance Strategy sets out plans to build a launchpad for private and public collaboration over the next 5 years to overcome barriers to investment and assist in the functioning of news markets. We will announce our approach alongside our climate adaptation finance deliverables and action plan by end of 2024.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what plans they have to replace the single farm payment.

We intend to phase out untargeted Direct Payments in England by the end of 2027.

We are making a range of offers available to suit all farm types. Everything we are offering contributes to our 3 goals: supporting viable businesses; maintaining food production at its current level; and achieving animal health, welfare and climate outcomes.

We are offering a range of environmental land management schemes. In addition, we are offering other schemes and grants to help achieve our 3 goals. We launched funding for equipment, technology, and infrastructure that improves farm productivity and benefits the environment through the Farming Investment Fund.

Through the Farming Innovation Programme, we intend to unlock further innovation within the farming sector and contribute towards growth by supporting the development and adoption of new innovation by farmers and growers to ensure it can make a real difference.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government whether the international trade experience of the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs was deemed relevant to his new role when he was appointed to it.

The appointment of Ministers is a matter for the Prime Minister as the Sovereign's principal adviser.

Lord Benyon
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Dec 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the remarks by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee of the House of Commons on 23 November (Q324), when they will issue a response on the source of pellets used by Drax; and whether they will publish the evidence used in their analysis.

I refer the noble Lady to my response to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee of the House of Commons, which was published on 15 December and is available at: https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/41426/default/. A copy is also attached to this answer.

13th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government by what date the Department for Work and Pensions will resume the sharing of Healthy Start take-up data with the Department for Health and Social Care.

DWP are working with DHSC to make data available by the end of 2022.

29th Apr 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many households with children are currently receiving Universal Credit as well as legacy benefits; and what proportion of those cannot fully benefit from the recent £1,000 increase in Universal Credit as that increase pushed them over the limit of the total amount of benefit they are allowed to receive.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide a reply would require us to produce new analysis to link together several complex datasets, including Child Benefit data which is administered by HMRC, to identify if a household would have a benefit income above the cap levels due to increases in their UC award alone (independent of increases to Local Housing Allowance and CPI uprating of working age benefits). We would also need to identify if the household would otherwise be exempt from the benefit cap. This includes assessing whether or not a household has earnings over the earnings threshold, currently £604 per assessment period, is in receipt of an exempting benefit e.g. Personal Independence Payments, Carer’s Allowance etc. or is eligible for a grace period due to previous earnings. It is estimated that the time this would take to produce and quality assure the results would be in excess of 4 working days and therefore would incur disproportionate costs.

27th Jun 2023
To ask His Majesty's Government whether they will provide a full list of documents that pregnant women applying for Healthy Start can submit as proof of pregnancy.

The NHS Business Services Authority deliver the Healthy Start scheme on behalf of the Department. Pregnant applicants need to self-declare their pregnancy in the application form, no further documents are required as proof of pregnancy.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to enabling local authorities to have a role, on an initial pilot basis, in allocating funding from the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme in their area.

No specific assessment has been made. The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme is operated by a private contractor on behalf of the Department. Seasonal produce is used as part of the scheme and organic produce may be used.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to a reformed School Fruit and Vegetable scheme to (1) strengthen local procurement strategies, and (2) enhance the supply of (a) seasonal, or (b) organic, produce to schools.

No specific assessment has been made. The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme is operated by a private contractor on behalf of the Department. Seasonal produce is used as part of the scheme and organic produce may be used.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Oct 2022
To ask His Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the potential merits of enabling local or regional authorities to influence or control the allocation of School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme budgets for their area.

No specific assessment has been made. The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme is operated by a private contractor on behalf of the Department. Seasonal produce is used as part of the scheme and organic produce may be used.

Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Mar 2022
To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to enable recipients of Healthy Start coupons to use their prepaid cards online to purchase items that are covered by the scheme.

All beneficiaries with a prepaid card can use it in all retailers which accept Mastercard payments and sell the permitted Healthy Start food items. There are no current plans to extend this online.