Lord Beecham Portrait

Lord Beecham

Labour - Life peer

Became Member: 20th July 2010

Left House: 1st September 2021 (Retired)


Lord Beecham is not a member of any APPGs
2 Former APPG memberships
Legal Aid, Penal Affairs
Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government)
8th Jan 2018 - 15th Apr 2020
Shadow Spokesperson (Housing)
8th Jan 2018 - 15th Apr 2020
Shadow Spokesperson (Justice)
6th Sep 2012 - 15th Apr 2020
Shadow Spokesperson (Housing)
18th Sep 2015 - 8th Jan 2018
Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government)
8th Oct 2010 - 8th Jan 2018
Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Bill [HL]
28th Oct 2013 - 16th Dec 2013
Shadow Spokesperson (Health)
8th Oct 2010 - 6th Sep 2012
Trusts (Capital and Income) Bill [HL] Special Public Bill Committee
19th Jun 2012 - 24th Jul 2012


Division Voting information

Lord Beecham has voted in 707 divisions, and 4 times against the majority of their Party.

15 Jun 2020 - Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No. 2) Regulations 2020 - View Vote Context
Lord Beecham voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Labour Aye votes vs 122 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 112 Noes - 388
29 Oct 2013 - Care Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Beecham voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 46 Labour No votes vs 52 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 96 Noes - 271
12 Dec 2012 - Crime and Courts Bill [HL] - View Vote Context
Lord Beecham voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 17 Labour No votes vs 23 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 150 Noes - 54
26 Mar 2012 - Scotland Bill - View Vote Context
Lord Beecham voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 25 Labour No votes vs 27 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 72 Noes - 151
View All Lord Beecham Division Votes

All Debates

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 McNally (Liberal Democrat)
(198 debate interactions)
Lord Faulks (Non-affiliated)
(175 debate interactions)
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Department Debates
Ministry of Justice
(658 debate contributions)
Wales Office
(191 debate contributions)
Department for Transport
(158 debate contributions)
Scotland Office
(155 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017
(13,125 words contributed)
Civil Liability Act 2018
(8,889 words contributed)
Policing and Crime Act 2017
(2,475 words contributed)
Policing and Crime Act 2017
(2,475 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Lord Beecham's debates

Lords initiatives

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


Lord Beecham has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Lord Beecham has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


Latest 50 Written Questions

(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
6 Other Department Questions
14th Jan 2019
To ask the Senior Deputy Speaker how long the lights in Millbank House will be permanently switched on without any means to switch them off.

The Senior Deputy Speaker has asked me as Chairman of the Services Committee, to respond on his behalf. Problems have been experienced with the lighting system installed in 1 Millbank. It appears that the controlling software has been corrupted, resulting in some users being unable to turn on or turn off particular lighting units. A solution is being urgently sought.

5th Oct 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to divert part or all of the £160m JEREMIE (Joint European Resources for Micro to medium Enterprises) 2 fund, succeeding the Finance for Business North East fund, to other Northern areas described as part of the Northern Powerhouse; and if so, what proportion of funding will be diverted, and why they are taking such action.

The Government has no intention of imposing any arrangements for the next round of ERDF ‘JEREMIE’ style Access to Finance funds that do not carry local support.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
7th Sep 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the impact on the number of applications to employment tribunals of the increase in the qualifying period of employment from one year to two since it was introduced.

Changes in the number of claims for unfair dismissal cannot easily be attributed to the increase in the qualifying period because of other changes to the employment tribunal system.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
2nd Mar 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what is (1) the amount, and (2) the proportion, of debt incurred under the current student loan scheme which they estimate will not be repaid and will have to be written off.

I refer the noble Lord to the replies given by my Rt Hon Friend the Member for Havant (David Willetts) on 31 March 2014 to Questions 193225 and 193350.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
20th Jan 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how much funding they provided to One North East in each of the five financial years between April 2005 and April 2010; and how much has been provided via the Regional Growth Fund for the North-East region since May 2010.

The revenue of the One North East Regional Development Agency are published in the Agency’s annual report and accounts.

Since 2010 in the North East, the Regional Growth Fund has made 94 awards worth £320 million. This is expected to leverage £2.1 billion of private investment.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
16th Mar 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what action, if any, they have taken in response to the failure of the Crown Prosecution Service to share the findings of its internal review into unprosecuted rape cases with the HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate Rape Inspection 2019.

The scope and data set for the HMCPSI inspection was much broader than CPS’ internal report. It therefore would not have been appropriate to share the report itself while the inspection was ongoing. The report subsequently was shared with both the inspectorate and the Attorney General’s Office in January.

I am pleased that the CPS has already accepted all recommendations made in HMCPSI’s Rape Inspection 2019 report and remains a partner in the ongoing cross-Government rape review. This will provide valuable insight into this complex area across the whole criminal justice system, and the CPS is committed to addressing any issues the review highlights openly and honestly.

30th Jan 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of cases in which the Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS's) decisions not to initiate prosecutions in cases of domestic violence have been successfully challenged, whether they will commission an inquiry into the policy and practice of the CPS in relation to that issue.

Victims of domestic abuse can challenge a CPS decision not to prosecute their case, under the Victims’ Right to Review (VRR) scheme. In 2015-16, the CPS made 41,503 decisions in domestic abuse cases. 520 of these cases were appealed through the VRR scheme; 49 of which were upheld. Of the total number of domestic abuse decisions, the upheld rate was 0.12%. Of the number of domestic abuse VRR appeals, the upheld rate was 9.4%. An inquiry is not required because these volumes and proportions are small and the CPS is, in the majority of domestic abuse cases, accurate in its decision making.

7th May 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to establish a judge-led inquiry into allegations of UK involvement in torture overseas.

Further to the Prime Minister’s Written Statement of 22 November 2018 (HCWS1100), the Government continues to give serious consideration to the examination of detainee issues and whether any more lessons can be learned and, if so, how. This includes the question of whether or not there should be a further judge-led inquiry.

11th Feb 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the current (1) number, and (2) value of contracts between Interserve and (a) government departments, (b) local authorities, and (c) other public agencies.

Details of central government contracts above the value of £10,000 and wider public sector contracts above the value of £25,000 are published on Contracts Finder.

11th Feb 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of (1) the performance, and (2) the future of Interserve in the delivery of services commissioned by them or public bodies.

The various contracting authorities, such as individual departments, manage their contracts with Interserve including monitoring of performance against each contract.

The Cabinet Office monitors the financial health of all of our strategic suppliers, including Interserve, and have regular discussions with the company’s management. Interserve announced on 06 February 2019 that it had agreed the key commercial terms of its deleveraging plan with its lenders, bonding providers and Pension Trustee. We welcome this announcement and recognise that it is a key milestone for the company in delivering the long term plan that it set out in 2018.

10th Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many (1) EU students, and (2) students of other nationalities, remain in the UK after completing their university courses in the UK; and in each case for how long on average.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply. What happens in terms of the migration system that will be established as we leave the EU is a matter that will be very closely scrutinised and looked at in great detail by the government and within the government.

9th Jun 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the fact that four million people have been added to the electoral register in recent months, whether they will publish details of the comparison between the final register for the EU referendum and that as at December 2015, and if so when.

The Electoral Commission will publish the total electorate for the EU referendum in due course.

25th Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Bridges of Headley on 25 February (HL6124), what is their definition of "political campaigning and lobbying", and how they expect charities to establish that any expenditure on such campaigning and lobbying is funded exclusively from their own resources.

The Cabinet Office's interim guidance on applying the new clause in government grant agreements can be found online at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/interim-guidance-on-applying-a-new-clause-in-government-grant-agreements

Grant agreements are routinely subject to conditions, as well as a monitoring/audit process. The new grant clause builds on those existing processes


The new clause has successfully been trialled by the Department for Communities and Local Government over the last 12 months.

10th Feb 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government to what extent their proposed new restrictions on lobbying by charities extend the existing restrictions imposed by charity legislation.

The announcement on 6 February was on a new clause for all government grant agreements. This new clause makes clear that grant recipients must not use the grant funding for political campaigning and lobbying unless it is expressly authorised in the grant agreement.

Charities remain free to lobby the government, subject to charity law restrictions. They simply cannot use government grant funding to do so.

25th Jan 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what response they have made to the report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life on ethical standards for providers of public services submitted to the Cabinet Office in June 2014.

The Government welcomed the Committee's consideration of ethical procurement issues in its report "Ethical standards for public services".

In our response of June 2015 we accepted a large number of the Committee's recommendations, including championing high ethical standards in our relationships with strategic suppliers and implementing ethical awareness.

26th Nov 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government how many special advisers were employed on 1 November 2009, and at what total annual cost, and what were the figures on 1 November for each year thereafter.

Information on the number and cost of special advisers for 2009 and subsequent years is available in the Libraries of the House. Information for 2015 will be published shortly.

4th Jun 2015
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the number of people currently not on the electoral register and the reported risk that this will increase with the implementation of individual registration, how much they plan to spend in the current financial year to support local authorities to ensure that the register is as complete as possible.

Over £14million has been invested over the last two financial years to support activities aimed at increasing the completeness and accuracy of the register, including in the run up to the General Election. In addition, Electoral Registration Officers have been provided with grant funding in the current financial year of £20million. The Electoral Commission is due to publish its latest analysis of the electoral register later this month, including the impact of activity to promote registration before the election, and it is important to consider any further steps in light of this report.

25th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Wallace of Saltaire on 20 November (HL2705), whether they have taken, or will take, any action in relation to any contracts for services by them or bodies funded by them entered into with auditors, accountants or financial advisers named in <i>The Guardian</i> on 6 November.

The Government is clear that aggressive tax avoidance is totally unacceptable. That is why we are closing loopholes, bringing in a General Anti-Abuse Rule, and investing additional funding to help HMRC promote tax compliance.

The Government’s policy to promote tax compliance through public procurement is another tool that means government departments can exercise their power to exclude firms bidding for government contracts solely on the basis that they have been non-compliant in meeting their legal tax obligations.

This issue will remain under constant review by HM Government.

Lord Wallace of Saltaire
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)
6th Nov 2014
To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they intend to take steps to discourage public bodies from employing as auditors, accountants or financial advisers firms which have facilitated tax avoidance by the use of such devices as those employed in Luxembourg as described in <i>The Guardian</i> on 6 November.

As stated in the Government publication ‘Managing Public Money’, which is available in the libraries of the House, during the evaluation stage of sourcing, it is important for public sector procuring organisations to establish the propriety of candidate suppliers.

Her Majesty’s Government has taken robust action to tackle tax avoidance during this parliament, including through investing in HMRC compliance activities, identifying and closing loopholes, and making strategic reforms to the UK tax system, such as the UK’s first General Anti-abuse Rule.

Lord Wallace of Saltaire
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)
30th Jun 2014
To ask Her Majesty's Government what central oversight takes place to ensure the maximum efficiency in the procuring of information technology contracts for staffing, procurement and payroll services by separate government departments.

Since 2010 we have imposed tough central expenditure controls on ICT, as well as on consulting, recruitment, marketing and property, to reduce wasteful expenditure and help reduce the fiscal deficit:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cabinet-office-controls

To further reduce wasteful expenditure, we have implemented a review process for all forthcoming departmental investments on IT with requested spend above £5m.

5th Jun 2014
To ask Her Majesty's Government how much has been spent in each financial year since 2011 by each government department on external legal advice.

Expenditure on external legal advice is a matter for individual departments. As part of the Government's transparency programme, contracts above the value of £10,000 are available on Contracts Finder at: (https://www.gov.uk/contracts-finder). Departmental spending over £25,000 is published in departmental Annual Reports on (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications).

Lord Wallace of Saltaire
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)
24th Feb 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to improve the record of the increase of new jobs in the North East.

The Government is committed to levelling up investment and opportunity across the country. We are working with partners across the North East, including both elected Mayors, where we have committed additional investment of over £1 billion in jobs and infrastructure.

We have also invested £505 million in Growth Deals with the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to improve economic performance, employment, and productivity across the region. This includes working with the North East LEP to create 100,000 additional jobs in the region by 2024. The North East LEP’s most recent report highlighted that the number of jobs in the North East has increased by 74,000 since 2014.

29th Jan 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking and over what period to assist over 60’s living in fuel-poor properties, and to improve the energy efficiency of existing homes.

Improving energy efficiency is the best long-term solution to tackle fuel poverty.

More than one quarter of fuel poor households in England include a resident over the age of 60. Government is taking steps to ensure low income, vulnerable households, including older people, are protected from living in a cold home.

The Energy Company Obligation Scheme provides support for low income and vulnerable households. Since ECO launched in January 2013, it has delivered energy efficiency measures to more than 2 million households. ECO, or a successor scheme, will continue to drive at least £640 million investment per year in home energy efficiency until 2028.

The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards now require landlords spend up to £3500 improving their properties to energy efficiency Band E before renting them out. We intend to consult later this year on a long-term trajectory for improving Private Rented Sector homes to Band C.

In addition to receiving energy efficiency support, pensioners receive financial support to ensure they can keep their homes warm. Winter Fuel Payments provide pensioners with between £100 and £300 to keep their homes warm during the winter. Those on Pension Credit also receive a £140 Warm Home Discount rebate.

Our 2020 Fuel Poverty Strategy will detail our future plans to tackle fuel poverty.

4th Sep 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they propose to take following the call of the Director of Labour Market Enforcement on 18 August for further measures to tackle violations of employment legislation.

The Government is carefully considering all 37 recommendations contained within the Director’s Labour Market Enforcement Strategy 2018-19 and we will respond in due course.

26th Apr 2018
To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Keen of Elie on 26 April in relation to the backlog in Employment Tribunal cases, what action they are taking in relation to the staffing of Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service offices in the light of the difficulties experienced in Newcastle.

Acas has recruited additional conciliators and has plans to further increase its conciliation workforce in the coming months.

2nd Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their estimate of the number of rented properties which they anticipate will benefit from the requirement for landlords to upgrade properties rated in energy bands F and G to at least band E; and what is their estimate of the number of such properties which will be exempted from the requirement on the grounds that the work would be at net cost to the landlord.

Under the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property)(England and Wales) Regulations 2015, all landlords of domestic and non-domestic privately rented property in England and Wales will need to ensure that, from 1 April 2018, their properties reach at least an energy performance rating of E before granting a tenancy to new or existing tenants, unless a prescribed exemption applies.

Based on the most recent English Housing Survey data, BEIS has estimated that, as of 2017, there were approximately 278,000 domestic, and around 200,000 non-domestic privately rented properties in England and Wales with an energy performance rating below E. We have made no formal estimate of the number of landlords in the domestic sector who may seek an exemption from these requirements on grounds of cost.

Government announced recently in the Clean Growth Strategy that it will consult shortly on steps to make the domestic energy efficiency regulations more effective. We will also look at a longer term trajectory to improve the energy performance standards of privately rented homes, with the aim of upgrading as many private rented homes as possible to Energy Performance Certificate Band C by 2030 where practical, cost effective and affordable.

9th Jan 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Neville-Rolfe on 3 January (HL4167), whether all of the penalties and sums required to remedy underpayments have been paid; whether, and if so how many of, the employers subject to penalties or a requirement to remedy underpayments failed to do so; and what criteria are applied in determining whether or not to prosecute defaulting employers.

HM Revenue and Customs maintains data on arrears recovered in all cases – and actively pursues recovery through the civil courts where this is not paid. Due to the way this data is maintained, the requested figures could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

The criteria for prosecuting National Minimum Wage offences are outlined in the Government’s minimum wage enforcement policy document, which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/539577/bis-16-373-enforcement-policy-document-national-minimum-wage.pdf.

9th Jan 2017
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Neville-Rolfe on 4 January (HL4265), what costs have been incurred in relation to the issue of warning notices; how many recipients of warning notices complied with them; what was the total amount of compensation paid  by compliant employers; what costs have been incurred in relation to the issue of penalty notices; how many recipients of penalty notices complied with them; how much was recovered under the penalty notice process; and what steps are taken to advise and support claimants in relation to the failure of employers to comply with employment tribunal orders to pay compensation.

Costs incurred in the issuing of warning letters and penalty notices are minimal because they are part of the administrative process delivered by the Employment Tribunal penalties team in the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Of the 168 warning letters issued, 29 recipients have responded by making payments bringing the total previously unpaid awards recovered by the Department to just under £99,500.

60 penalty notices have been issued and one recipient has complied by paying the outstanding amount of £750 and a penalty of £187.50 which, under the arrangements of the regime, goes to the Government.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service issue booklet T426 to claimants, which accompanies every employment tribunal judgment, about the enforcement routes available to them to pursue unpaid compensation awards. The information can be found on page 6 of the attached booklet.

The option for claimants is to inform the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Employment Tribunal penalties team of non-payment of their award, 42 days after the employment tribunal award was made to allow for appeal. For Acas conciliated settlements, the claimant can submit a complaint if payment has not been received by the date agreed as part of the settlement. The team will advise claimants on next steps to take to recover the unpaid awards.

20th Dec 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Neville-Rolfe on 24 October (HL2341), how many penalties have been issued in respect of the failure of employers to pay employment tribunal awards since the new penalty system was introduced in 2016; and with what results.

Since April 2016, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has issued 60 penalty notices as a result of 164 warning notices to employers for failure to comply with orders of employment tribunals to pay compensation to applicants.

As a result of the Employment Tribunal Penalty regime the department has secured over £83,000 in previously unpaid awards for applicants.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
15th Dec 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Neville-Rolfe on 24 October (HL2092), whether they will now answer the question concerning the number of criminal prosecutions that have been initiated in relation to the 700 employers "named and shamed" for failing to pay the minimum wage since October 2013; how many civil proceedings have been initiated; and what financial penalties were issued as a result of those proceedings.

The Government has named 687 employers for failing to pay at least the appropriate minimum wage rate to their workers, since the inception of our naming scheme in October 2013. Civil proceedings were initiated against all 687 of these employers, resulting in almost £1.4 million of penalties being levied. In addition, over £3.5 million of underpayments were identified, which the employers are required to repay to workers. Public naming represents the final element of the civil enforcement process. No criminal prosecutions were initiated against these employers.

The Government’s priority is to ensure low paid workers receive the money they are owed, as quickly as possible. Civil proceedings are generally the most effective means of achieving this. However, where there is evidence that an offence has been committed the case will be considered for criminal investigation, which may lead to prosecution.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
15th Dec 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Neville-Rolfe on 24 October (HL2341), how many penalty notices have been issued since April 2016 in respect of employers' failure to pay compensation ordered by employment tribunals; and how much has been recovered.

Since April 2016, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has issued 60 penalty notices to employers for failure to comply with orders of employment tribunals to pay compensation to applicants.

As a result of the Employment Tribunal Penalty regime the department has secured £83,245.52 in previously unpaid awards for applicants.

Should the penalty notices not be paid, the department will take further enforcement action as necessary to pursue payment.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
1st Dec 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of their commitment that any assistance to Nissan would be provided in compliance with state aid and World Trade Organisation rules and kept within current spending limits, whether they will offer similar support to other businesses; and if so, what criteria they will apply in deciding what compensating reductions will be made to ensure that expenditure limits are not breached.

I refer the noble Lord to the statement I made to the House on this matter on 31 October 2016, Official Report, Volume 776.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
24th Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Neville-Rolfe on 24 October (HL 2341), how many penalty notices have been issued to employers for failure to comply with orders of employment tribunals to pay compensation to applicants since the power to do so was introduced in April 2016; and how many have been enforced.

Since April 2016, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has issued 37 penalty notices to employers for failure to comply with orders of employment tribunals to pay compensation to applicants.

Should the penalty notices not be paid, the department will take further enforcement action as necessary and to the full extent of the law to pursue payment.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
17th Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, in the light of the research commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in 2013 <i>Payment of Tribunal Awards</i> showing that one-third of employment tribunal awards remained unpaid and only 49 per cent of successful applicants received their full awarded compensation, what steps they are taking to ensure that employment tribunal awards are paid in full.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has introduced robust Employment Tribunal enforcement processes, which can ultimately lead to a referral to a debt collection agency. A new process implemented in April 2016 allows for a penalty to be issued. The penalty is calculated as 50% of the value of the tribunal award up to a maximum of £5,000.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
10th Oct 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, of the 700 employers "named and shamed" by them since October 2013 for failing to pay the minimum wage, how many were prosecuted; of those, how many prosecutions were successful; and what steps they plan to take to increase the number of prosecutions.

The National Minimum Wage naming and shaming scheme represents the end point of civil sanctions against employers who fail to pay at least the appropriate rate of minimum wage to their workers. Where there is evidence that an offence has been committed the case will always be considered for criminal investigation which may in turn result in prosecutions. But criminal investigations are reserved for the most serious cases of non-compliance.

Our number one priority is getting workers the money they are owed and the civil route is more successful in achieving this. Criminal investigations by HM Revenue & Customs and prosecutions by the Crown Prosecution Service will not necessarily result in arrears of wages being paid back to the workers. This would require further civil prosecutions following the Courts’ ruling.

Under the civil route, employers are not only faced with reputational consequences, but also face a financial penalty for breaking the law.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
28th Jan 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government why they have labelled the national minimum wage of £7.20 an hour as "the national living wage" when it falls below the UK Living Wage and London Living Wage set by the Living Wage Foundation.

The National Living Wage will come into force on 1 April 2016. We estimate that a full-time National Minimum Wage worker will earn over £4,400 more by 2020 from the National Living Wage in cash terms.

This Government is committed to improving living standards, particularly for the low paid. Guided by a proportion of median earnings which leading experts recommend, the National Living Wage recognizes the balance needed of an affordable rate for businesses with achieving a significant increase in minimum pay.

The Low Pay Commission will continue to make recommendations on the appropriate rate for the National Living Wage going forward, to make sure that wages rise to reward workers while considering the impact on the economy.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
11th Jun 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that households with people over the age of 75 entitled to, but not in receipt of, pension credit exercise their entitlement to that benefit and continue to receive free TV licences.

The Government agreed with the BBC at the 2015 funding settlement that responsibility for the over 75s licence fee concession transfers to the BBC from June 2020. The BBC has decided to restrict the concession to those over 75 in receipt of Pension Credit, and has outlined a number of measures to keep those affected informed and encourage take up of Pension Credit. These measures include running outreach events and a public information campaign, and working with older people’s groups, charities and voluntary organisations. The Secretary of State told the House on 11 June that he will discuss with the BBC further measures the BBC can implement to help older pensioners, including promoting take up of Pension Credit.

23rd Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they intend to make it unlawful for gaming operators to permit people under 18 to gamble online or in gambling premises.

The minimum legal age for most forms of gambling in Great Britain is 18. This applies to adult gaming centres, betting shops, bingo halls, casinos, race tracks and online gambling.

All gambling operators offering gambling services to people in Great Britain must have a licence from the Gambling Commission, and must have effective policies and procedures designed to prevent underage gambling.

All online gambling operators must have robust age verification controls.

The Gambling Commission has a range of powers to act where there is a failure to prevent underage gambling. These include powers to suspend or revoke a licence, impose financial penalties or launch criminal action.

2nd Oct 2017
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will make representations to Ofcom about the practice of telephone service providers terminating and transferring users’ numbers without their consent.

The cancellation of services without consumer consent is prohibited and is a matter for Ofcom. Ofcom requires companies to get customer permission and consent to cancel and specifies the type of information that needs to be made available to the customer before this can take place. Ofcom also places a requirement on companies to keep records of the customer’s consent to cancel their service for 12 months.

In addition to these strict requirements, Ofcom has imposed several important safeguards within the current cancellation process to minimise the opportunity for error to occur, including a requirement that the company must write to the customer letting them know of the imminent cancellation of their phone line before the cancellation can happen. The customer then has a 10-day period in which to stop the cancellation going ahead if they change their mind, or if there has been a mistake.

15th Dec 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ashton of Hyde on 15 December (HL3953) concerning the criteria used to appoint new members of the Channel 4 Corporation Board, why those criteria make no reference to gender; and to what extent this practice extends to other public appointments.

Non-executive members of the Channel 4 Corporation board are appointed by Ofcom with the approval of the Secretary of State. Ofcom advertised for four vacancies for candidates with specific sector skills and experience. The Secretary of State approved the four candidates on the basis that they met the skills and experience set out the advertised job descriptions.

The government is committed to ensuring diversity within public appointments. The Cabinet Office aspiration is for 50% of new appointments made by each Government Department to go to female candidates, and 10% to candidates from a BAME background. This target is also contained within the DCMS Departmental Plan, and, in the first two quarters of 2016/17, 50% of new DCMS appointments went to women and 18% to BAME candidates.

8th Dec 2016
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what criteria they used to appoint new board members for Channel 4.

Non-executive members of the Channel 4 Corporation board are appointed by Ofcom with the approval of the Secretary of State. Ofcom advertised for four vacancies for candidates with specific sector skills and experience. The Secretary of State approved the four candidates on the basis that they met the skills and experience set out in the four advertised job descriptions.

18th Aug 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps, if any, they plan to take following reports that some private care providers are charging local authorities up to £10,000 a week to look after one child in care.

Local authorities are responsible for ensuring there are sufficient places to meet the needs of looked after children in their area, including commissioning places from private or voluntary sector providers as required. They are responsible for agreeing prices with providers accordingly.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched a market study that will examine the lack of availability and increasing costs in children’s social care provision. The CMA is examining concerns around high prices paid by local authorities, specifically prices charged by providers and variation between prices paid for similar types of placements.

The government has also committed to undertaking a widescale review of children’s social care, taking a fundamental look at the needs, experiences and outcomes of the children it supports, and what is needed to make a real difference. The review will be bold, broad, and independently led, taking a fundamental look across children’s social care, with the aim of better supporting, protecting, and improving the outcomes of vulnerable children and young people. The review will be evidenced based and bring together a broad range of expertise.

The government will study the findings and recommendations of both reviews carefully when they report next year.

24th Nov 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of children in England being educated at home; whether they are taking steps they to reduce that number; if not, why not; and what additional support they intend to provide to local authority children services to assist with the costs of home education.

The information you requested is not held centrally by this department. The department does not currently collect data on numbers of home educated children.

Parents are not required to register if they are home educating their children and, therefore, there is not a robust basis on which the department can reliably collect statistics on home education.

In relation to the COVID-19 outbreak, the department is working closely with local authorities to encourage a return to full attendance in school and is monitoring the situation. Initial conversations with local authorities indicate that the majority have noticed an increase in enquiries from parents about home education. Where parents are anxious about the safety of their children returning to school, local authorities and school leaders are reinforcing that it is in the best interests of pupils to return to school.

Over March and April 2020, the government provided £3.2 billion of emergency grant funding and over £5 billion of cashflow support to assist local authorities through the COVID-19 outbreak.

On 22 October 2020, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, announced allocations of a further £919 million of un-ringfenced funding to respond to spending pressures. This is part of a package of further support for councils, worth over £1 billion.

27th Jul 2020
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the availability of childcare provision; and what steps they propose to take to mitigate that impact on service providers and those dependent on such provision.

In order to control the spread of COVID-19, early years settings were asked to only open for children of critical workers and vulnerable children from 20 March. An Ipsos MORI survey showed that three-quarters of critical workers with young children could access childcare during the coronavirus lockdown. The survey is available at:
https://www.ipsos.com/ipsos-mori/en-uk/parents-0-4-year-olds-and-childcare-1st-june-2020.

To ensure provision was available for all who needed it, local authorities have been able to redistribute free early years entitlement funding in exceptional cases to ensure childcare places are available for vulnerable and critical worker children.

Early years providers have been able to open to all children from 1 June. The latest attendance data shows that on 30 July, an estimated 285,000 children were attending an early years setting. The latest data, published on 4 August, is available at:
https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/2020-week-31.

Since 20 July, early years settings have been able to return to their normal group sizes, paving the way for more children to transition back to their early education and supporting parents to return to work.

On 20 July, we announced our commitment to continue paying local authorities for the childcare places they usually fund throughout the autumn term. This means that even if providers are open but caring for fewer children, they can continue to be funded as if the COVID-19 outbreak were not happening.

Local authorities should also continue to fund providers which have been advised to close, or left with no option but to close, for public health reasons. That gives another term of secure income to nurseries and childminders who are open for the children who need them. Until the start of the 2020 autumn term, it remains the case that free early years entitlement funding can be used differently and redistributed in exceptional cases to ensure childcare places are available for vulnerable and critical worker children.

The childcare sector has also been able to access a wider package of government support in the form of a business rates holiday, business interruption loans and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Full details of the support available is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures#funding.

For school-aged children, holiday clubs and other out-of-school settings have been able to open since 4 July, helping parents to meet their childcare needs during the school summer holidays.

5th Sep 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the rents levied by developers of student accommodation.

Higher education providers are autonomous bodies, independent from the government. The department plays no direct role in the provision of student residential accommodation.

The department assesses student accommodation rent levels through the Student Income and Expenditure Surveys that have been undertaken at regular intervals since the mid-1980s. Information on student rents is also reported in the Accommodation Costs Surveys published jointly by the National Union of Students and the student housing charity, Unipol.

The report published by the independent panel supporting the Post-18 Review of Education and Funding recommends that the Office for Students:

examines the costs of student accommodation; and

works with students and providers to improve data about costs, rents, profits and quality.

The department has not yet taken decisions on these recommendations but will consider the panel’s proposals in due course.

3rd Sep 2019
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of any estimated overspend of council funding special needs education; and what steps they are taking to provide financial support to protect the service.

We have asked local authorities with a cumulative deficit on their Dedicated Schools Grant of more than 1% to submit recovery plans to the department. We are now reviewing those plans and will be discussing these with local authorities in due course.

For 2020-21, we have announced more than £700 million of additional high needs funding, which funds children with more complex special educational needs. This represents an increase of 11% compared to 2019-20, leading to a total of over £7 billion. Every local authority will receive a minimum increase of 8% per head of population aged 2-18. We will provide local authorities with provisional allocations in October. This will help local authorities to manage the pressures that they will face next year.