Bim Afolami Portrait

Bim Afolami

Conservative - Hitchin and Harpenden

Consolidation, &c., Bills (Joint Committee)
5th Mar 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Consolidation Bills (Joint Committee)
5th Mar 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Regulatory Reform
6th Nov 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Public Accounts Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 22nd Oct 2018


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Monday 17th January 2022
Elections Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 315 Conservative No votes vs 2 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 234 Noes - 327
Speeches
Wednesday 5th January 2022
UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement
I know that the Secretary of State cares a lot about services trade and the positive impact that that can …
Written Answers
Monday 20th December 2021
Sewage: Water Treatment
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Burge End Lane Pumping Station in …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 5th February 2020
British Library Board (Power to Borrow) Act 2021
A Bill to provide the British Library Board with a power to borrow money.
MP Financial Interests
Monday 29th November 2021
2. (b) Any other support not included in Category 2(a)
Name of donor: Hitchin and Harpenden Portcullis Club
Address of donor: PO Box 1241, Harpenden AL1 9JF
Amount of donation …
EDM signed
Thursday 22nd February 2018
FLY TIPPING AND COMMUNITY PAYBACK
That this House calls on the Secretary of State for Justice to simplify the court process for the prosecution of …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Bim Afolami has voted in 413 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Bim Afolami 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
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(11 debate interactions)
Fleur Anderson (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)
(6 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(6 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
HM Treasury
(38 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(23 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Bim Afolami's debates

Hitchin and Harpenden Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petitions with highest Hitchin and Harpenden signature proportion
Bim Afolami has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Bim Afolami

5th February 2018
Bim Afolami signed this EDM on Thursday 22nd February 2018

FLY TIPPING AND COMMUNITY PAYBACK

Tabled by: Mike Penning (Conservative - Hemel Hempstead)
That this House calls on the Secretary of State for Justice to simplify the court process for the prosecution of fly-tippers; and to introduce community payback sentencing for fly-tippers to help address the increase in illegal fly tipping.
45 signatures
(Most recent: 21 May 2018)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 25
Conservative: 13
Democratic Unionist Party: 4
Independent: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
Crossbench: 1
25th October 2017
Bim Afolami signed this EDM on Thursday 23rd November 2017

DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT

Tabled by: Daniel Zeichner (Labour - Cambridge)
That this House notes the findings published by Leonard Cheshire Disability, as part of its Untapped Talent campaign on disability employment, that 60 per cent of young disabled people said they did not receive the right support in order to move towards employment; encourages the Government to do more to …
59 signatures
(Most recent: 24 Jan 2018)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 29
Scottish National Party: 17
Independent: 4
Conservative: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Liberal Democrat: 2
Crossbench: 1
The Independent Group for Change: 1
Green Party: 1
View All Bim Afolami's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

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

MPs who are act as Ministers or Shadow Ministers are generally restricted from performing Commons initiatives other than Urgent Questions.


Bim Afolami has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Bim Afolami

Monday 21st June 2021

3 Bills introduced by Bim Afolami


A Bill to provide the British Library Board with a power to borrow money.

This Bill received Royal Assent on Thursday 29th April 2021 and was enacted into law.


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make provision about substance testing in prisons and similar institutions.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 17th April 2018
(Read Debate)

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make provision for a single compensation scheme for passengers across train operators; to require train operators to pay automatic compensation to season ticket holders and certain other passengers where certain standards of service are not met; to allow train operators to recover compensation paid to passengers from Network Rail in certain circumstances; to establish a body to administer rail compensation; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 4th July 2018

Bim Afolami has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


40 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
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans his Department has for the future funding of Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Decisions around the future funding of Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) beyond this financial year will be communicated in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support small- and medium-sized enterprises to transition to net zero.

The Department is taking many steps to encourage SMEs to transition to Net Zero and to support SMEs through the barriers which prevent the transition.

Ahead of COP26, BEIS has launched the Together for Our Planet Business Climate Leaders’ campaign, which has encouraged over 1,900 small and micro businesses across the UK to join the Race to Zero by making the SME Climate Commitment.

In order to help SMEs overcome barriers to investing in energy efficiency BEIS launched the Boosting Access for SMEs to Energy Efficiency innovation competition. The competition offered up to £6m to fund the development of new, innovative market solutions that can provide businesses with tailored energy efficiency advice, as well as simplifying the energy efficiency investment processes through the creation of one-stop-shop platforms.

I have recently given the British Business Bank a new mission to drive sustainable growth and prosperity across the UK, and to enable the transition to a net zero economy, by supporting access to finance for smaller businesses. Between 2014 and the third quarter of 2020 a total of £160m has been invested into clean technology businesses by equity funds backed by the British Business Bank.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much financial support the Government has provided to grassroots sport in Hitchin and Harpenden constituency in each of the last three years.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health and all generations and communities should be able to enjoy the health, wellbeing, social and other benefits of being active. Due to this, the government made sure that people could exercise at least once a day even during the height of the first period of enhanced national restrictions and we opened up grassroots sport and leisure facilities as soon as it was safe to do so.

Since April 2018, the Department has invested £218,711 into grassroots sport projects within the Hitchin and Harpenden constituency through Sport England. This sum includes £45,189 from Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund to support local sports clubs and community organisations through the coronavirus pandemic, and £18,144 in Return to Play, which are small grants to support a return to sport and physical activity as coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

The investment breakdown per year: 2018/19: £60,000, 2019/20: £33,428, 2020/21: £69,034 and 2021/22 (to June 2021): £56,249.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Government plans to reform the Electronic Communications Code to make it easier for companies to install infrastructure to support full fibre gigabit broadband in blocks of flats and rural land.

My Department published a consultation in January 2021 asking whether further reforms to the Electronic Communications Code are needed in order to ensure the Code provides the right legislative framework to promote fast, cost effective network provision. The consultation covered a range of issues, including matters relating to negotiations and dispute resolution, rights to upgrade and share apparatus and problems relating to the renewal of expired agreements.

This consultation closed on 24 March 2021. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on the possible outcomes of the consultation at this stage, as responses are being considered. The consultation response will be published in due course and we will bring legislation forward as soon as parliamentary time allows.

The Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Act gained Royal Assent in March 2021. This Act aims to address one stated policy barrier: making it easier for telecoms companies to access multi-dwelling buildings (such as blocks of flats) where a tenant has requested a new connection, but the landlord has not responded to requests for access rights.

The Act inserts a new Part 4A to the Electronic Communication Code which provides a process that telecommunications operators could use to gain code rights to multi-dwelling premises for a defined period. This only applies where:

  • a lessee in occupation in a multi-dwelling building has requested a telecommunications service from an operator

  • to connect the property the telecoms operator requires an access agreement with another person such as the landlord

  • the landlord has not responded to the telecoms operator’s request for access

My Department has also recently launched a consultation which seeks views on the terms which will accompany the interim Code rights provided to operators who have successfully applied for an order made under Part 4A of the Electronic Communications Code. This consultation closes on Wednesday 4 August. Responses will be considered and the consultation response will be published in due course.

2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of increasing the allocation of funding for (a) VE and (b) VJ day to be equal to that allocated to Remembrance Sunday.

As for Remembrance Sunday, VE and VJ Day events are funded and delivered by a wide range of organisations. As well as central Government support for the National commemorations, local communities are delivering projects and events across the nation to commemorate both VE and VJ Day.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the per pupil funding is for schools in Hitchin and Harpenden constituency for the academic year (a) 2021-22, (b) 2022-23 and (c) 2023-24.

Schools in Hitchin and Harpenden are attracting £4,862 per pupil through the schools national funding formula (NFF) in the 2021-22 financial year. This will increase to £5,007 per pupil in the 2022-23 financial year and is based on notional school-level NFF allocations.

The department is investing a further £4.7 billion by the 2024-25 financial year for the core schools budget in England, over and above the Spending Review 2019 settlement for schools in 2022-23.

This includes a further £1.6 billion for schools and high needs in 2022-23, on top of the notional school-level NFF allocations set out above. The department will announce the distribution of this additional funding for 2022-23 shortly. The department will make announcements on the breakdown of the 2023-24 and 2024-25 financial year core school budget in due course.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of locating an Institute of Technology in Hertfordshire for (a) people and (b) businesses in that county.

The department is conducting a competition to deliver our manifesto commitment to establish 8 more high quality Institutes of Technology (IoT). The selected 8 will join the 12 IoTs that have already been established. While it would not be appropriate to comment on the merits of any individual proposal, the department can confirm that we have received an application for the Hertfordshire area. Proposals are being assessed and we plan to announce the outcome of the competition in the autumn.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
10th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Burge End Lane Pumping Station in Pirton is being considered as part of Ofwat and the Environment Agency’s investigation into sewage treatment works.

The investigation launched by the Environment Agency on 18 November aims to determine the extent of any non-compliance with environmental permit conditions relating to flows treated and discharged from sewage treatment works within England. The Environment Agency is unable to share any specific details of the investigation at this stage as this may prejudice future legal action. However as the pumping station you refer to at Pirton is not a sewage treatment works it does not form part of this particular investigation. For any concerns about pollution arising from the pumping station, please report these to the Environment Agency on its pollution hotline 0800 80 70 60.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of a pilot scheme to consider the impact of biodiversity net gain in 2022 and 2023 before its full implementation in 2024.

We know that a number of local planning authorities and developers are already seeking biodiversity net gains from development and we are continuing to speak to industry and the planning sector to understand the issues and needs arising from pre-commencement practice.

Some aspects of the biodiversity net gain policy were tested, and evaluated, as part of the biodiversity offsetting pilots which took place from 2012 to 2014. We will shortly be consulting formally on more details of biodiversity net gain’s implementation and will consider which components of the approach might benefit from pre-commencement testing as part of this.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to (a) tackle the increase in fly-tipping in rural communities and (b) prosecute the perpetrators of fly-tipping.

The Government is committed to tackling fly-tipping wherever it takes place, including in rural communities.

Defra chairs the National Fly-Tipping Prevention Group (NFTPG), through which we work with a wide range of interested parties such as the National Farmers Union, Campaign to Protect Rural England, Countryside Alliance and the Country Land and business Association, to promote and disseminate good practice with regards to preventing fly-tipping, including on private land.

In April 2021 we commissioned a research project considering the drivers, deterrents and impacts of fly-tipping tipping, which will include consideration of rural areas. This research project is due to be completed before the end of this year and will support informed policy making. We are exploring additional funding opportunities, including supporting digital solutions.

Fly-tipping investigation and enforcement is the responsibility of local authorities, and the Environment Agency in certain circumstances. We expect enforcing authorities to investigate all incidents of fly-tipping and make use of the enforcement powers available to them where there is sufficient evidence; such as by issuing a fixed penalty notice or prosecuting fly-tippers and recovering investigation, enforcement and clearance costs where possible. We also encourage councils and others to publicise their enforcement activity.

Through the Environment Bill we are seeking powers to introduce an electronic waste tracking system. A comprehensive digital waste tracking system will help regulators detect when waste doesn’t reach the next stage, which may indicate illegal activity. This, along with other measures being introduced as part of the Bill (for example amendments to the section 108 powers of entry) will help to tackle waste crime, including fly-tipping.

We are working with the NFTPG to develop a fly-tipping toolkit which will help local authorities, landowners and others work in partnership to tackle this crime. The toolkit will cover, among other things, how to present robust cases to the courts to support suitable sentences.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much money has been disbursed by each local authority out of the £63 million that the Government allocated in June 2020 to be distributed by local authorities to help those struggling to afford food and other essentials as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Local Authorities (LAs) are best placed to understand the needs of the people they serve and respond in the most appropriate way. My officials worked closely with colleagues in the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and Local Authorities to design the grant scheme in a way that ensured support was delivered quickly to those in need while maintaining appropriate controls and oversight. They did this through issuing guidance on what the money should be used for in general terms (for example, vouchers for food and essential supplies). Reporting requirements were designed to be light touch to make sure the money was spent on supporting people not administration. LAs are reporting expenditure to MHCLG as part of their normal processes and Defra will be collecting further evidence on how the money was spent.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans the Government has to help ensure that the (a) Convention on Biological Diversity framework and (b) COP 26 are coordinated in (i) work on and (ii) approach to tackling biodiversity loss and climate change.

Biodiversity loss and climate change are interlinked crises and cannot be tackled in isolation. This is why nature will be one of the key areas of focus at UNFCCC COP26 in Glasgow and why we will be pushing for the agreement of ambitious global targets for biodiversity at CBD COP15 in China.

To amplify the linkages between the two agendas, at COP26 we will be encouraging countries to use nature based solutions as a way to tackle biodiversity loss and climate change including mobilising more finance for nature, investing in sustainable and resilient agriculture and protecting important ecosystems such as forests. We will work with China to ensure that the outcomes of both COPs are mutually supportive.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support is being provided to local authorities to help with the funding and provision of rural bus services.

The Government recognises the importance of transport for rural areas and is committed to improving access to services that provide vital connectivity.

To support local bus services in England outside London, £200 million of Bus Services Operator’s Grant (BSOG) has been paid by the Department directly to operators so far during the pandemic. £43 million of BSOG is committed directly to local transport authorities (LTAs) so that they can subsidise socially necessary bus services, of which Hertfordshire County Council received £1,211,630 in the 2020-21 funding period.

On top of this, to improve current bus services, or restore lost services where needed, the Government has paid an extra £30 million to LTAs in 2020/21. Hertfordshire County Council met the funding requirements and received an allocation of £401,174.

Additionally, in March 2021 we awarded funding to 17 pilot projects through the £20 million Rural Mobility Fund scheme to trial innovative, demand-responsive solutions to transport challenges that rural and suburban areas often face.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to protect constituents in Hitchin from inappropriate and dangerous HGV movements on residential streets.

The Government takes all necessary steps to protect everyone on our roads through road safety laws. We expect all motorists, including those driving HGVs or travelling for work, to respect and comply with those laws. The Police take all necessary steps to enforce the law, ensuring the safety of all road users and residents in local areas.

Local highway authorities have a range of powers to manage their local networks, including powers to make Traffic Regulation Orders which can impose width and height restrictions and set rules around which types of vehicles can use which roads.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of making aircraft noise a statutory nuisance.

The government is supportive of the need to protect communities from the adverse effects of aircraft noise. However, noise from general transport, including aircraft, is not included as a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 as we believe it is not practical for local authorities to enforce these rules. Aviation noise is better managed through specific government policies tailored to individual noise sources, and we believe there are sufficient mechanisms in place to protect communities from the effects of aircraft noise.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that train companies declassify first class carriages when their trains are operating at high-occupancy levels during the covid-19 outbreak.

The safety of passengers and staff has been a priority for the Department throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Government has published Safer Travel guidance which sets out steps operators can take to identify risks arising from coronavirus. From 19 July most restrictions have been lifted, including the requirement for social distancing on trains. Within the context of that guidance, it is for train operators to decide how best to manage their services and rolling stock.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to paragraph 109 on page 20 of the Clean Air Zone Framework, published in February 2020, what support his Department is providing to local authorities setting up Clean Air Zones to help encourage the upgrade of refrigeration units on cold chain vehicles to the least polluting options.

The Government does not provide any specific advice or support to local authorities with regard to this issue. It is for local authorities to determine their own local measures and exemptions as part of their local plan submitted to the Government.

We are also supporting the development of cleaner alternatives that affected businesses can switch to by doubling the funding provided for the energy innovation programme, accelerating the design and production of clean energy technologies.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reason transport refrigeration units are exempt from the Clean Air Zone Framework in England.

Individual refrigeration units can cause significant levels of pollution; however the standards set out for charging Clean Air Zones (CAZs) set out in the CAZ framework are focussed on vehicle tailpipe emissions, which are the greatest source of roadside pollution by a significant margin.

There are also technical limitations to using CAZs to control such vehicles. CAZs rely on Automated Number Plate Recognition to identify the Euro class of a vehicle but cannot identify whether or not they are a refrigerated vehicle; it would not, at present, be possible to use a CAZ in this way.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to improve young people’s mental health as part of the recovery from the covid-19 outbreak.

We are providing an additional £79 million in 2021/22 for children and young people’s mental health services to allow around 22,500 more children and young people to access community health services, 2,000 more to access eating disorder services, and a faster increase in the coverage of mental health support teams in schools and colleges.

We are also providing £13 million to ensure young people aged 18 to 25 years old are supported with tailored mental health support, helping bridge the gap between children’s and adult services.

These investments are in addition to the commitments of the NHS Long Term Plan, through which mental health services will receive an extra £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24, allowing 345,000 more children and young people access to National Health Service-funded mental health services.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to ensure that all hospitals allow expectant mothers to be accompanied when (a) attending antenatal appointments and (b) they are in labour.

NHS England and NHS Improvement refreshed guidance on visiting restrictions for maternity services on 15 April 2021, asking all National Health Service providers to urgently complete any further action needed to ensure partners can accompany women to antenatal appointments. All maternity units should be allowing partners and support people to attend all scans and appointments.

All maternity units are allowing at least one birth partner who has no symptoms of coronavirus present with them during any type of labour and birth except some urgent emergency births or where a general anaesthetic is used.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government plans to continue Public Health England's abdominal cancer symptoms awareness campaign that included the ovarian cancer symptom of bloating.

Evaluation of the latest national campaign on abdominal cancer symptoms which ran between November 2020 and January 2021 is currently underway.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Mar 2021
What plans he has to ensure that the UK and other donors contribute funding to the Global Partnership for Education replenishment in 2021.

The UK helped found the GPE and we have been its largest donor, having contributed $1.6 billion since 2002. Since its creation, the GPE has contributed to the largest expansion of primary and lower secondary schooling in history.

Global education will be a key focus of the UK’s G7 Presidency and we call on all donors to step up with ambitious pledges to help the GPE secure its target of up to $5 billion. No decision has been taken yet on the UK’s next contribution to GPE, and details will follow in due course.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans the Government has to [demonstrate global leadership] at the (a) UN General Assembly Leader’s Biodiversity Summit, (b) over the next year and (c) during the UK's presidency of COP26.

The UK is committed to tackling climate change, which is why we bid to host COP26 in Glasgow in partnership with Italy. Through diplomatic effort, in both bilateral and multilateral fora, and working with governments, businesses, and civil societies, we are calling for all countries to bring forward long-term climate strategies and are leading the world's response to tackle climate change. As the first country to legislate to end our contribution to global warming, the UK is leading by example as a global force for good. We have also committed to doubling the UK's International Climate Finance funding to at least £11.6 billion between 2021/22 and 2025/26. Humanity faces the twin threats of climate change and biodiversity loss. These are two sides of the same coin; it is impossible to solve one without fixing the other. The conventions on biological diversity (COP15) and climate (COP26) provide excellent opportunities to take effective action on climate change and biodiversity loss and deliver a step change on both of these global crises.

We will support the adoption of ambitious and practical targets on nature at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity Summit (COP15) in China next year, strengthened by coherent implementation mechanisms that will deliver a new global biodiversity framework that is commensurate with the scale of the challenge. Nature is also a top priority for our upcoming Presidency of COP26 next year and we are pushing for tangible and ambitious commitments from partner governments to champion nature and nature-based solutions. Given this, and the multi-faceted benefits of nature-based solutions, we are working with the Chinese Government, who are hosting COP15, to press for mutually reinforcing outcomes at the two Conferences. In addition, we will continue leading global ambition on conserving endangered species, following our hosting of the international Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in 2018.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to tackle cases of lenders potentially penalising mortgage applicants on the basis of them taking furlough or a Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grants.

Decisions concerning the pricing and availability of loans, including application requirements, remain commercial decisions for lenders and the Government does not seek to intervene. For individuals applying for new credit, it remains important that lenders are able to carry out proper checks to ensure that they are not lending in an unaffordable way, especially if, for example, a borrower’s income had not yet returned to the level it was at pre Covid-19. Where an individual has been refused a mortgage with one provider we would also urge them to shop around, recognising lenders do not all take the same approach to assessing affordability.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what Barnett consequentials have arisen as a result of the £63 million that the Government allocated in June 2020 to be distributed by local authorities in England to help people struggling to afford food and other essentials as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

To?give?the?devolved administrations?the?upfront?certainty to plan and deliver their coronavirus response, the UK Government have guaranteed they will receive at least £14bn in additional funding this year on top of their Spring Budget?funding.

The Barnett consequentials associated with the funding the UK Government allocated to English local authorities in June 2020 will contribute towards this guarantee.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on the expected number of returns to the Exchequer of the level of deferred VAT payments under the Deferral Scheme for VAT.

As part of the Government’s support for businesses during COVID-19, businesses were given the option to defer their VAT payments between 20 March and 30 June in order to manage their cash flow through the initial stages of the pandemic. Approximately 500,000 businesses deferred £30 billion in VAT. Approximately £16 billion of VAT was received into the Exchequer covering the deferral period, as some businesses continued to pay VAT as normal.

13th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the likely combined effect on lending to UK businesses of the partial reintroduction of crown preference (secondary preferential creditor status) from 1 December 2020 and the amount of deferred VAT under the Deferral Scheme for VAT.

The recent legislative change gives HMRC second preferential creditor status for certain taxes. This change is designed to ensure that when a business enters insolvency, more of the taxes paid in good faith by its employees and customers, but held temporarily by the business, go to fund public services as intended, rather than be distributed to other creditors.

This change is not expected to have a significant impact on financial institutions, the lending market or wider economy. This measure is forecast to raise up to £220 million a year. To put this into perspective, bank lending to small and medium-sized businesses alone in 2019 was £57 billion.

This reform will have no direct impact on VAT deferral as it only applies to businesses that become insolvent. Like HMRC’s Time to Pay scheme, the VAT deferral supports businesses with their cashflow pressures, making them less likely to be insolvent.

13th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent estimate his Department has made of the expected additional returns to the Exchequer as a result of the introduction of secondary preferential creditor status in conjunction with the Deferral Scheme for VAT.

The recent legislative change gives HMRC second preferential creditor status for certain taxes. This change is designed to ensure that when a business enters insolvency, more of the taxes paid in good faith by its employees and customers, but held temporarily by the business, go to fund public services as intended, rather than be distributed to other creditors.

This change is not expected to have a significant impact on financial institutions, the lending market or wider economy. This measure is forecast to raise up to £220 million a year. To put this into perspective, bank lending to small and medium-sized businesses alone in 2019 was £57 billion.

This reform will have no direct impact on VAT deferral as it only applies to businesses that become insolvent. Like HMRC’s Time to Pay scheme, the VAT deferral supports businesses with their cashflow pressures, making them less likely to be insolvent.

17th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when he will launch the consultation on expanding the R&D tax credit to include data and cloud computing costs.

Delivering on the manifesto commitment and Spring Budget announcement, the Government published a consultation on the scope of R&D tax credit qualifying expenditures on 21 July. This consultation is open until 13 October.

The Government welcomes responses from R&D tax credit claimants and other stakeholders as it considers the case for including data and cloud computing costs as qualifying expenditures for R&D tax relief.

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Financial Conduct Authority's powers to stop the promotion of unregulated investment schemes and scams in online advertising.

The Treasury has given the FCA strong powers to ensure that products are regulated and promoted effectively. In May last year, following the collapse of London Capital and Finance, I launched a review of the regulatory regime for the issuance of non-transferable debt securities – often known as mini-bonds. This review has also encompassed the way that these products are marketed to consumers through the financial promotions regime. The Government will be announcing the results of this review shortly.

The Government takes fraud very seriously and continues to work closely with industry to close down the vulnerabilities that fraudsters exploit and ensure members of the public have the information they need to spot a scam and stand up to fraudsters.

I recognise that issuers of fraudulent online financial promotions have no regard for the regulatory protections we have in place. I have therefore asked my officials to work with the FCA as a priority to consider how best to respond to fraudulent financial services activity online.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to help town centres and high streets recover from the effects of the covid-19 outbreak.

This Government is fully committed to supporting the businesses and communities that make our town centres successful as the nation responds to the impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak. Our package of support for businesses through this period totals over £352 billion including business grants, the coronavirus loan schemes and Job Retention Scheme, as well as deferral of income tax payments. This builds on major investment and action from Government to level up opportunity and prosperity across all areas of the country, including through the £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund, the £220 million UK-wide Community Renewal Fund and the £3.6 billion Towns Fund


Our ambition is to ensure that town centres continue to flourish now and in the future. Therefore, on 15 July, Government published the Build Back Better High Streets Strategy. The Strategy sets out Government's long-term plan to support the evolution and regeneration of all high streets across every part of the UK into thriving places to work, visit and live. The plan sets out how we intend to support places to achieve this vision, focussing on five key priorities: breathing new life into empty buildings; supporting high street businesses; improving the public realm; creating safe and clean spaces; and celebrating pride in local communities


We know the pandemic has significantly impacted the hospitality and retail sectors. We have therefore launched the first-ever hospitality strategy to support the reopening, recovery and resilience of England's pubs, restaurants, cafes and nightclubs. It is a forward-looking strategy for a sector that contributes significantly to the economy and plays a leading role in high streets and city centres across the country. The retail sector remains a key part of the high street. Physical retail will remain an important route to consumers, we continue to work with the sector on its long-term strategic needs to ensure businesses are profitable, resilient, innovative, and support local economies in socially and environmentally responsible ways.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to improve water efficiency in new-build houses in order to protect the long-term viability of rare and important chalk stream habitats, such as the Ver, Lea and Hiz in Hitchin and Harpenden.

Currently, the Building Regulations require that new homes are built to a standard of 125 litres of water used per person per day, or 110 litres per person per day if required by the local authority


In 2019 DEFRA launched a consultation and call for evidence on further measures to reduce personal water use. The consultation sought views on labelling water-using products, building regulations for water efficiency, metering and behaviour change.

In July of this year, Government published its summary of responses to the consultation, and a Written Ministerial Statement, which set out a number of measures that Government is taking to support water efficiency in homes.

The summary of responses to the consultation can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/water-conservation-measures-to-reduce-personal-water-use

The Written Ministerial Statement can be found here: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2021-07-01/hcws140

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what (a) financial and (b) other support has been provided to Luton Borough Council since March 2020.

In this year's Settlement, the Government made available an increase in Core Spending Power in England from £49 billion in 2020-21 to up to £51.3 billion in 2021-22, a 4.6% increase in cash terms. This recognises the resources councils need to meet their pressures and maintain current service levels.

This saw Luton Borough Councils Core Spending Power increase from £154.7 million in 20/21 to £161.78 million in 21/22, a 4.5% increase.

The Government also allocated more than £12 billion directly to councils since the start of the pandemic, with more than £6 billion of this un-ringfenced, recognising that councils are best placed to deal with local issues.

Luton Borough Council received £19.4 million in additional Covid funding in 20/21 and saw this figure increase to £26.3 million in 21/22.

We have recently published figures for emergency funding for local government in 2020-21 and additional support in 2021-22 online and can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-emergency-funding-for-local-government.

To further support Luton Borough Council, the Secretary of State agreed to provide additional financial support, on an exceptional basis. This support takes the form of a flexibility to use capital resources to fund the revenue budget, equating to additional support of up to £35 million in 2020/21.

The Secretary of State is also minded to give permission for the flexibility to be applied to a total not exceeding £14 million in 2021/22, subject to the outcome of an external assurance review.

1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the increase in the period of notice required to be served on a tenant (private, domestic property) from three months to six months applies to notices served and effective before the increased period was announced.

The legislation requiring landlords to provide six months’ notice to their tenants in most circumstances, apart from the most egregious cases, will be in force from 29 August 2020 until 31 March 2021. Notices served on and before 28 August are not affected by these changes.

If a landlord serves a second notice of the same type under these new requirements, both notices will stand, but it is good practice to withdraw an earlier notice if a second notice is issued.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of regulations used by local authorities in relation to changing the classification of assets of community value.

The Government has committed to improving the assets of community value scheme which was introduced through the Localism Act 2011. As part of this, we will assess the overall the effectiveness of the regulations for local authorities, asset owners and voluntary and community groups to ensure that any legislation the Government introduces will meet our objective of supporting communities to protect those assets that are under threat.

27th Apr 2020
What assessment he has made of the level of compliance with social distancing measures by (a) criminal and (b) civil courts during the covid-19 outbreak.

Levels of compliance with social distancing by criminal and civil courts are high. HMCTS are following PHE guidance to ensure that our courts and tribunals support proper social distancing measures for everyone who uses and works in them.

Working with the judiciary, we have agreed how to prioritise the most urgent cases. For example, in crime we are prioritising cases in custody, in family we are dealing with cases to protect vulnerable children such as Emergency Protection Orders, Interim Care Orders and Issue Resolution Hearings in care proceedings.

With the judiciary, we have also moved to hear many more cases remotely by telephone or video wherever possible and appropriate – so that people are able to stay at home.

Jury trials are currently paused for a short time to put appropriate arrangements in place to maintain social distancing for jurors.

I also want to thank the judiciary for their continued work in courts and tribunals to keep the wheels of justice turning and keeping the public safe during these unprecedented times.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the effect of criminal records acquired by minors on their life opportunities.

We believe that that children who offend should have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes and move ahead positively with their lives while ensuring ensure the public are adequately protected.

The criminal records disclosure regime is designed to help employers make informed recruitment decisions through the disclosure of appropriate and relevant information, particularly for roles involving children and vulnerable adults.

We have noted the Supreme Court judgment in P and others and my department is working closely with the Home Office to reform the existing regime.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)