Caroline Nokes Portrait

Caroline Nokes

Conservative - Romsey and Southampton North

First elected: 6th May 2010


Protection from Sex-based Harassment in Public Bill
8th Feb 2023 - 22nd Feb 2023
Panel of Chairs
21st Oct 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Minister of State (Home Office) (Immigration)
8th Jan 2018 - 24th Jul 2019
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Cabinet Office)
14th Jun 2017 - 8th Jan 2018
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Jul 2016 - 14th Jun 2017
Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art
1st Jul 2015 - 14th Jul 2016
Education Committee
6th Jul 2015 - 22nd Feb 2016
Education Committee
18th Mar 2014 - 30th Mar 2015
Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art
18th Nov 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Environmental Audit Committee
26th Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015


Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 26th March 2024
12:30
Liaison Committee (Commons) - Oral evidence
Subject: Work of the Prime Minister
26 Mar 2024, 12:30 p.m.
At 1:00pm: Oral evidence
Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, Prime Minister
View calendar
Division Votes
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 277 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 44 Noes - 285
Speeches
Monday 19th February 2024
Animal Testing
My hon. Friend makes the really important point that non-animal methods can be much more accurate than using animals in …
Written Answers
Monday 19th February 2024
Breast Cancer: Health Education
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether she plans to deliver a national awareness campaign …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 19th January 2011
Consumer Protection (Postal Marketing) Bill 2010-12
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 30th October 2023
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: Bright Beech Properties
Address of donor: 14a Market Place, Romsey SO51 8NA
Amount of donation or nature …
EDM signed
Monday 19th October 2015
ACCESS TO DUCHENNE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY TREATMENT, TRANSLARNA
That this House notes the draft guidance published by NICE to not approve the Duchenne muscular dystrophy treatment called Translarna …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 31st January 2024
Police (declaration) Bill 2023-24
A Bill to require police officers and certain employees of police forces to declare a membership of or affiliation to …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Caroline Nokes has voted in 700 divisions, and 29 times against the majority of their Party.

22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 29 Conservative Aye votes vs 318 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 300 Noes - 318
22 Mar 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 26 Conservative No votes vs 318 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 297
22 Mar 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 33 Conservative No votes vs 320 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 253
26 Jan 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 6 Conservative Aye votes vs 352 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 217 Noes - 360
26 Jan 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Conservative Aye votes vs 354 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 227 Noes - 354
19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 34 Conservative No votes vs 319 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 308
30 Dec 2020 - Sittings of the House - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 13 Conservative No votes vs 328 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 335 Noes - 212
12 Oct 2020 - Agriculture Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 14 Conservative No votes vs 327 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 332 Noes - 279
1 Jul 2020 - Finance Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative Aye votes vs 317 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 232 Noes - 321
17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
2 Jun 2020 - Proceedings during the Pandemic - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative Aye votes vs 240 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 185 Noes - 242
13 May 2020 - Remote Division result: New Clause 2 - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Conservative Aye votes vs 326 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 277 Noes - 328
27 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 320 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 320 Noes - 256
28 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 32 Conservative No votes vs 321 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 256
20 Oct 2021 - Environment Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Conservative No votes vs 265 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 268 Noes - 204
23 Nov 2021 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 18 Conservative Aye votes vs 276 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 219 Noes - 280
7 Dec 2021 - Nationality and Borders Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Conservative Aye votes vs 306 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 235 Noes - 313
30 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 72 Conservative Aye votes vs 175 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 215 Noes - 188
27 Jun 2023 - Schools (Gender and Parental Rights) - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 10 Conservative No votes vs 25 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 34 Noes - 40
11 Jul 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 13 Conservative No votes vs 286 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 290 Noes - 242
11 Jul 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 1 Conservative No votes vs 297 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 299 Noes - 227
11 Jul 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 15 Conservative No votes vs 279 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 284 Noes - 242
11 Jul 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 16 Conservative No votes vs 281 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 285 Noes - 243
11 Jul 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 13 Conservative No votes vs 273 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 282 Noes - 234
17 Jul 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Conservative No votes vs 292 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 300 Noes - 212
17 Jul 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Conservative No votes vs 281 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 289 Noes - 220
17 Jul 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 13 Conservative No votes vs 279 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 282 Noes - 227
17 Jul 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 12 Conservative No votes vs 280 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 284 Noes - 226
4 Dec 2023 - Victims and Prisoners Bill - View Vote Context
Caroline Nokes voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 22 Conservative Aye votes vs 238 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 246 Noes - 242
View All Caroline Nokes 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
Matt Hancock (Independent)
(25 debate interactions)
Jim Shannon (Democratic Unionist Party)
Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights)
(19 debate interactions)
Kemi Badenoch (Conservative)
President of the Board of Trade
(19 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(69 debate contributions)
Home Office
(63 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(44 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Domestic Abuse Bill 2019-21
(2,009 words contributed)
Nationality and Borders Act 2022
(1,516 words contributed)
Business and Planning Act 2020
(1,226 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Caroline Nokes's debates

Romsey and Southampton North 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 Romsey and Southampton North signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

Swifts have declined by over 50% in the UK. Adult swifts, known for site-fidelity, return to the same nests. We want swift bricks to be required in all new housing, to provide homes for these birds. Surveys show these are used by red-listed swifts, house martins, starlings and house sparrows.

We want suicide spoken about in schools in a safe and age-appropriate way. Speaking about suicide saves lives
The Dept for Education are conducting a review of the RSHE curriculum; this petition calls on the DfE to include suicide prevention within the statutory guidelines of the new curriculum.

The Government should create an emergency fund to deal with the massive waiting lists for autism & ADHD assessments for children AND adults. This would provide resources for local health services deal with current waiting lists and new patients.

The Government should commission a review of how Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) assessments are managed by the NHS, including through Shared Care Agreements, and increase funding to reduce waiting times.

Much like the existing mandatory requirement for employers with 250 or more employees must publish their gender pay gap. We call upon the government to introduce the ethnicity pay gap reporting. To shine a light on race / ethnicity based inequality in the workplace so that they can be addressed.

The SNP government appears solely intent on getting independence at any cost.

We propose to amend the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to make pet theft a specific offence, distinct from that of inanimate objects; and in sentencing, the courts must consider the fear, alarm or distress to the pet and owners and not monetary value.

Pet Theft Reform 2020: Revise the sentencing guidelines in the Theft Act 1968 to reclassify pet theft as a specific crime. Ensure that monetary value is irrelevant for the categorisation of dog and cat theft crime for sentencing purposes. Recognise pet theft as a category 2 offence or above.

EU law recognises animals as sentient beings, aware of their feelings and emotions. Animals are at risk of losing these vital legal protections, post-Brexit. We want a BetterDealForAnimals: a law that creates a duty for all Ministers in the UK to fully regard animal welfare in policy making.


Latest EDMs signed by Caroline Nokes

19th October 2015
Caroline Nokes signed this EDM as a sponsor on Monday 19th October 2015

ACCESS TO DUCHENNE MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY TREATMENT, TRANSLARNA

Tabled by: Mary Glindon (Labour - North Tyneside)
That this House notes the draft guidance published by NICE to not approve the Duchenne muscular dystrophy treatment called Translarna at this stage; acknowledges that NICE has requested further data on cost and information from the latest phase of the clinical trial from PTC Therapeutics, the pharmaceutical company which manufactures …
39 signatures
(Most recent: 1 Dec 2015)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 16
Democratic Unionist Party: 5
Independent: 4
Non-affiliated: 1
Conservative: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
Plaid Cymru: 1
View All Caroline Nokes's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Caroline Nokes, 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.


Caroline Nokes has not been granted any Urgent Questions

4 Adjournment Debates led by Caroline Nokes

Wednesday 22nd November 2023
Tuesday 2nd June 2020

2 Bills introduced by Caroline Nokes


A Bill to make provision about the control of dogs; and for connected purposes.

Lords Completed
Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 19th December 2011

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 relating to the regulation of postal marketing; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 19th January 2011

294 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
15th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the National Disability Strategy published on 28 July 2021, which of his Department’s commitments in that strategy that have not been paused as a result of legal action have (a) been fully, (b) been partially and (c) not been implemented.

In January 2022, the High Court declared the National Disability Strategy (NDS) was unlawful because the UK Disability Survey, which informed it, was held to be a voluntary consultation that failed to comply with the legal requirements on public consultations.

The Cabinet Office had 19 commitments set out in Part 3 of the NDS. These commitments, along with their implementation status, are set out in the table below.

We remain fully committed to supporting disabled people in the UK through creating more opportunities, protecting their rights and ensuring they fully benefit from, and can contribute to, every aspect of our society. To support this, the Cabinet Office will be providing further details of our recent achievements to improve disabled people’s lives in the forthcoming Disability Action Plan consultation due for publication in the summer.

Ahead of this, the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work will write providing a list of these achievements and will place a copy in the House Library.

Cabinet Office commitments as set out in the National Disability Strategy Part 3 (2021)

Status of commitment

Better recognise the exceptional contribution of disabled people to the UK through the honours system.

Partially implemented.

Launch a new website and application system to transform how disabled people can access public appointments, alongside increased outreach with disability networks.

Partially implemented.

Develop a new principle that arm’s length bodies offer disabled non-executive directors on their boards the ability to do their duties remotely, if they so wish.

Fully implemented.

Ensure the exemplar accessibility of government buildings, through the work of the Government Property Agency.

Partially implemented

Introduce legislation to require returning officers to consider the needs of people with a wide range of disabilities.

Please see the reply of Dehenna Davison MP, on behalf of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) on 20 June 2023: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2023-06-15/189778

Progress work to require landlords to make reasonable adjustments to the common parts of leasehold and commonhold homes.

Not implemented.

Run a campaign to help the public sector make mobile applications accessible, and raise awareness of how people can raise complaints about inaccessible websites.

Fully implemented.

Consult on workforce reporting on disability for large employers, exploring voluntary and mandated workplace transparency, and publish a set of next steps.

Paused.

Lead by example, taking further measures to make the Civil Service a brilliant place to work for disabled people, including timely workplace adjustments, support for staff disability networks and continuing to grow our multi-award winning work experience and development programmes.

Fully implemented.

Lead a multi-year programme to improve the availability, quality, relevance and comparability of government disability data.

Not implemented.

Leverage government’s procurement spend to drive better outcomes for disabled people.

Fully implemented.

Review our approach to ensure we are engaging in the best ways and with a sufficiently diverse group of disabled people.

Paused.

Explore the establishment of a world-leading Centre for Assistive and Accessible Technology.

Paused.

Expand the Disability and Access Ambassadors programme.

Fully Implemented.

Assess the assistive and accessible technology needs of disabled people in England.

Fully implemented.

Through the Central Digital and Data Office, deliver a single government account for users’ personal and business needs, benefitting many disabled people.

Partially implemented.

Improve the accessibility of government communications.

Partially implemented.

Work across government to drive further action on crime, accessible products and services and social participation.

Not implemented.

Through Places for Growth, help create a fully inclusive and diverse workforce for the long term, not the short term, and developing talent opportunities across the Regions and Nations of the UK.

Partially implemented.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
15th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, with reference to the National Disability Strategy published on 28 July 2021, which of her Department’s commitments in that strategy that have not been paused as a result of legal action have (a) been fully, (b) been partially and (c) not been implemented.

In January 2022, the High Court declared the National Disability Strategy (NDS) was unlawful because the UK Disability Survey, which informed it, was held as a voluntary consultation that failed to comply with the legal requirements on public consultations.

The National Disability Strategy (NDS) was published in July 2021 before the creation of the Department of Business and Trade in February 2023. The former Department for International Trade had no policies in the NDS while former Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) had several commitments. The following three NDS commitments, were delivered by BEIS before the Judicial Review in January 2022:

  1. An online advice hub providing clear, accessible information on employment rights for disabled people, developed in collaboration with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration service (Acas). This is now live and can be found at the following address: https://www.acas.org.uk/disability-at-work
  2. A consultation on “making flexible working the default unless employers have good reasons not to”. The consultation ran from September to December 2021 and the Government published its response in December 2022. The Government is supporting the Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Private Members Bill through parliament, which will deliver several of the measures committed to in the response.
  3. An outline of next steps on introducing unpaid carer’s leave across Great Britain, following the Government’s consultation response in September 2021. The Government supported the Carer’s Leave Private Members Act through parliament, which has now received Royal Assent.

The remaining former BEIS commitments relevant to the Department for Business and Trade’s remit in the National Disability Strategy were formally paused as a result of the Judicial Review. These were:

  1. Scoping policy proposals to ensure that every disabled person who wants to start a business has the opportunity to do so.
  2. Launching an Extra Costs taskforce, to understand the extra costs faced by disabled people and how this breaks down for different impairments.

We remain fully committed to supporting disabled people in the UK through creating more opportunities, protecting their rights and ensuring they fully benefit from, and can contribute to, every aspect of our society. To support this, the Department for Business and Trade will be providing further details of our recent achievements to improve disabled people’s lives in the forthcoming Disability Action Plan consultation due for publication in the summer.

Ahead of this, the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work will write providing a list of these achievements and will place a copy in the House Library.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
25th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, when she plans to publish the Government’s response to its consultation on ethnicity pay reporting, which closed in January 2019.

Last month we published voluntary guidance for employers on ethnicity pay reporting. The ethnicity pay reporting consultation response will be published shortly.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
15th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, with reference to the National Disability Strategy published on 28 July 2021, which of his Department’s commitments in that strategy that have not been paused as a result of legal action have (a) been fully, (b) been partially and (c) not been implemented.

The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero does not have commitments in the National Disability Strategy but will be providing further details of recent work to improve disabled people’s lives in the forthcoming Disability Action Plan consultation due for publication in the summer.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
17th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what steps her Department is taking to require website providers to remove intimate online images that have been published without consent.

Where non-consensual intimate images are posted online via user-to-user services, then the providers who operate these services should have the technical ability to remove these images.

The Online Safety Act received Royal Assent on 26 October 2023. This legislation will give online service providers new duties to implement systems and processes to tackle illegal content on their services and take this content down, including illegal intimate image abuse content.

The Act also updates the law, to make sure that offences criminalising intimate image abuse are fit for the digital age. The intimate image abuse offences, along with the other offences in Part 10 of the Act, will come into force on 31 January.

Saqib Bhatti
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
17th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what the impediments are to the removal of non-consensual intimate images posted online.

Where non-consensual intimate images are posted online via user-to-user services, then the providers who operate these services should have the technical ability to remove these images.

The Online Safety Act received Royal Assent on 26 October 2023. This legislation will give online service providers new duties to implement systems and processes to tackle illegal content on their services and take this content down, including illegal intimate image abuse content.

The Act also updates the law, to make sure that offences criminalising intimate image abuse are fit for the digital age. The intimate image abuse offences, along with the other offences in Part 10 of the Act, will come into force on 31 January.

Saqib Bhatti
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
7th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether her Department produced a ministerial response under the write round process to the Department for Education's review of the relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) curriculum.

The Secretary of State for Education has been clear she is very concerned about reports of inappropriate materials being used to teach relationships and sex education (RSHE). The Government has brought forward the review of the RSHE statutory guidance as a result, including conducting a public consultation as soon as possible.

The statutory guidance clearly states that the guidance will be reviewed every three years from first teaching (September 2020) and so the decision to review the guidance does not require collective agreement. The Secretary of State for Education will seek collective agreement to the consultation documents through a write-round process, before publishing the consultation in the autumn. This process is not yet underway.

As part of the review, an expert panel has been established to advise the Secretary of State on what topics should and should not be taught in school and the introduction of age limits. This will provide clear guidance for teachers about when certain topics can be addressed.

In tandem to this work, the Oak Academy is producing a suite of materials to support teachers to create age-appropriate lessons plans and ensure that they have access to appropriate materials.

The Government is determined to make sure RSHE teaching leaves children equipped to make informed decisions about their health, wellbeing and relationships, in a sensitive way that reflects their stage of development.

The Government expects new statutory guidance to be released in the coming months. It will then be subject to public consultation to conclude by the end of the year, coming into statutory force as soon as possible after that.

15th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, with reference to the National Disability Strategy published on 28 July 2021, which of her Department's commitments in that strategy that have not been paused as a result of legal action have (a) been fully, (b) been partially and (c) not been implemented.

In January 2022, the High Court declared the National Disability Strategy (NDS) was unlawful because the UK Disability Survey, which informed it, was held to be a voluntary consultation that failed to comply with the legal requirements on public consultations.

The former Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and former Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport had two actions included in the National Disability Strategy that would now fall within the remit of Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT). These included:

● Challenge UKRI and other research stakeholders to use future innovation challenges to accelerate innovation in assistive technologies; and

● Explore how to improve accessibility of private sector websites.

These actions are ongoing and have not yet been fully implemented.

We remain fully committed to supporting disabled people in the UK through creating more opportunities, protecting their rights and ensuring they fully benefit from, and can contribute to, every aspect of our society. To support this, DSIT will be providing further details of our recent achievements to improve disabled people’s lives in the forthcoming Disability Action Plan consultation due for publication in the summer.

Ahead of this, the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work will write providing a list of these achievements and will place a copy in the House Library.

15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to include (a) energy and (b) water saving showers in any successor scheme to the Green Homes Grant Scheme.

The Government recently announced an extra £300 million of funding to be invested to cut greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s homes through energy efficiency and low carbon heating schemes, delivered through the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery (LAD) Scheme and Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF).

Through the LAD scheme, all eligible measures must be included within the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP). Eligible measures are any energy efficiency and heating measures that will help improve homes. These products should be covered by SAP and when bidding for funding Local Authorities should list the measures they would like to install in their regions. Local Authorities are encouraged to focus on installing the most cost-effective measure to improve the overall efficiency of the building such as wall insulation and low carbon heating.

Design guidance for the SHDF scheme is currently being developed. A wide range of possibilities will be examined to ensure successful delivery of the fund.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Prime Minister's statement on covid-19 on 12 October 2020, which beauty services are included within the definition of the personal care sector.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister addressed the nation on Saturday 31 October setting out new national restrictions. These restrictions will apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2 December, and will override the current Local Alert Level restrictions.

Personal care facilities include: hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what evidence base the Government used to determine that beard trimming was safer than facial beauty treatments for the purposes of easing covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

As defined by consultation with the industry and with medical advisors, the highest risk zone is the area in front of the face. SAGE has advised that the highest risk of transmission is through aerosols and droplets when people are in prolonged close, face-to-face contact within 2m.

Services should only be provided where they can be carried out in a fully COVID-secure way, and away from the highest risk zone.

For instance, beard services should only be provided where they can be carried out safely from the side or from behind to avoid the high-risk zone. Any intricate detailing, outlining or shaving of beards should not be carried out as this would be within the highest risk zone.

Many of the treatments currently not allowed, such as facial beauty treatments, would require the practitioner to be very close to the highest risk zone in front of the client’s face for an extended period of time, thus increasing the risks for both client and practitioner. In these circumstances it would be best to avoid these treatments.

The National Hair & Beauty Federation, British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology, and British Beauty Council have been consulted and support this approach, as the safety of their staff and customers is paramount. The Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Public Health England have also signed off this approach.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what guidance the Government issued prior to the reopening of hairdressers and barbers on 4 July 2020 on the prohibition of (a) eyebrow threading or trimming, (b) nose waxing and (c) beard trimming; and whether any subsequent such guidance was issued after 9 July 2020.

The Government published pre-reopening guidance on 23 June for closed Close Contact Services.

New guidance, including further detail of the ‘highest risk zone’ services, which remain unavailable, was published on 9 July.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he made of the relative speed of beard trimming for men compared to eyebrow waxing for women as part of the decision for barbershops to reopen but not beauty salons as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

We have set out clear steps that should be taken by businesses to keep customers safe in our COVID-secure guidelines. This guidance has been developed by BEIS with input from firms, unions and industry bodies, and in consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.

Beauty services should only be provided where they can be carried out in a fully COVID-secure way, and away from the highest risk zone. For instance, beard services should only be provided where they can be carried out safely from the side or from behind to avoid the high-risk zone. Any intricate detailing, outlining or shaving of beards should not be carried out as this would be within the highest risk zone. Many of the treatments not allowed, for example eyebrow waxing, would require the practitioner to be very close to the highest risk zone in front of the client’s face for a extended period of time, thus increasing the risks for both client and practitioner. In these circumstances it would be best to avoid these treatments.

We have worked closely with businesses and trade associations from the industry, as well as with medical experts, to determine both what is the highest risk zone and what services would fall within this zone. The National Hair & Beauty Federation, British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology, and British Beauty Council have been consulted and support this approach, as the safety of their staff and customers is paramount. The Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Public Health England have signed off this approach.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason makeup artists have been allowed to resume work for films but not for weddings.

The application of makeup of performers in productions for the film and TV industry is undertaken by a limited number of professionals working with the limited number of performers in that production for the duration of that production.

Make-up artists and other close contact commercial services work with whoever they have appointments with and the number of people, and hence different contacts, will far exceed the number on a production set.

We have worked closely with businesses and trade associations from the industry, as well as with medical experts, to determine both what is the highest risk zone and what services would fall within this zone. The National Hair & Beauty Federation, British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology, and British Beauty Council have been consulted and support this approach, as the safety of their staff and customers is paramount. The Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Public Health England have also signed off this approach.

15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what risk assessment was carried out to assess the potential transmission of covid-19 during the process of (a) beard trimming with no face covering and (b) eyebrow shaping with a face covering.

We have set out clear steps that should be taken by businesses to keep customers safe in our COVID-secure guidelines. This guidance has been developed by BEIS with input from firms, unions and industry bodies, and in consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive.

Beauty services should only be provided where they can be carried out in a fully COVID-secure way, and away from the highest risk zone. For instance, beard services should only be provided where they can be carried out safely from the side or from behind to avoid the high-risk zone. Any intricate detailing, outlining or shaving of beards should not be carried out as this would be within the highest risk zone. Many of the treatments not allowed, for example eyebrow waxing, would require the practitioner to be very close to the highest risk zone in front of the client’s face for a extended period of time, thus increasing the risks for both client and practitioner. In these circumstances it would be best to avoid these treatments.

We have worked closely with businesses and trade associations from the industry, as well as with medical experts, to determine both what is the highest risk zone and what services would fall within this zone. The National Hair & Beauty Federation, British Association of Beauty Therapy & Cosmetology, and British Beauty Council have been consulted and support this approach, as the safety of their staff and customers is paramount. The Deputy Chief Medical Officer and Public Health England have signed off this approach.

13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many incinerators meet the current 300MW threshold whereby they must demonstrate carbon capture readiness.

The requirement to demonstrate carbon capture readiness applies to applications for power stations with an electrical generating capacity at or over 300 MW and of a type covered by the EU Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD). Energy from waste generating stations are not covered by the LCPD. Therefore energy from waste generating stations of any capacity do not have to demonstrate carbon capture readiness.

13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect on CO2 emissions of lowering the 300MW rating threshold above which combustion based power stations are required to demonstrate that they are carbon capture ready.

The Government consulted on the appropriate threshold for carbon capture readiness in 2008. Following this consultation, the 300MW threshold as required in the Carbon Capture Storage Directive was adopted in legislation.

17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the the level of statutory paternity pay for self-employed (a) mothers and (b) fathers.

There have been a number of meeting between BEIS and DWP Ministers and officials to discuss parental pay for the self-employed.

Whilst the Government is committed to supporting all working parents, including self-employed parents, we have focussed on policies for employed parents as, generally speaking, they have less autonomy and flexibility over when they work and when they take time off work.

The Government is committed to making the UK the best place in the world to work. As announced in the Queen’s Speech, we will be bringing forward legislation to upgrade workers’ rights where it is right for the UK.

7th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department produced a ministerial response under the write round process to the Department for Education's review of the relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) curriculum.

The Secretary of State for Education has been clear she is very concerned about reports of inappropriate materials being used to teach relationships, sex and health education (RSHE). The Government has brought forward the review of the RSHE statutory guidance as a result, including conducting a public consultation as soon as possible.

The statutory guidance clearly states that the guidance will be reviewed every three years from first teaching (September 2020) and so the decision to review the guidance does not require collective agreement. The Secretary of State for Education will seek collective agreement to the consultation documents through a write-round process, before publishing the consultation in the autumn. This process is not yet underway.

As part of the review, an expert panel has been established to advise the Secretary of State on what topics should and should not be taught in school and the introduction of age limits. This will provide clear guidance for teachers about when certain topics can be addressed.

In tandem with this work, the Oak National Academy is producing a suite of materials to support teachers to create age-appropriate lesson plans and ensure that they have access to appropriate materials.

The Government is determined to make sure RSHE teaching leaves children equipped to make informed decisions about their health, wellbeing and relationships, in a sensitive way that reflects their stage of development.

The Government expects new statutory guidance to be released in the coming months. It will then be subject to public consultation to conclude by the end of the year, coming into statutory force as soon as possible after that.

15th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the National Disability Strategy published on 28 July 2021, which of her Department’s commitments in that strategy that have not been paused as a result of legal action have (a) been fully, (b) been partially and (c) not been implemented.

As part of the National Disability Strategy (NDS), DCMS had four specific actions, three of which are progressing as planned and one of which, following the recent machinery of government changes, is now the responsibility of the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.

Firstly, we are continuing to develop the Arts Access Card Scheme, which will make it easier for disabled people to enjoy arts and cultural venues across the UK. The pilot of the scheme is scheduled to launch in spring 2024.

Secondly, we are progressing our ambition for the UK to be the most accessible tourism destination in Europe by engaging with stakeholders, including VisitEngland, VisitBritain and the Tourism Industry Council Working Group, and we are also aiming to host a series of ministerial roundtables to discuss the barriers disabled people face as tourists.

Thirdly, we are continuing to address the inequalities faced by disabled people in sport and physical activity. As such, Sport England has provided £1 million of specialist disability investment as part of its ongoing ‘recover and reinvent’ work, 47 grants through the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Activity Fund to projects benefiting autistic people and £40 million in the 2 financial years to March 2023 through the Tackling Inequalities Fund and Together Fund (reaching 1,900 projects directly supporting disabled people).

The action in the NDS for DCMS to explore how to improve the accessibility of private sector websites now falls under the auspices of the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.

25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, by what date he plans decisions about the extension of School Games Organiser contracts to be announced.

Physical education (PE) and school sport plays an important role in supporting children and young people to be physically active, particularly during the current COVID-19 restrictions. The Department is working with the Department for Education and the Department of Health and Social Care on how to support better PE, sport and physical activity provision for all children and young people. This is part of our continuing work to deliver our joint school sport and activity action plan, published in 2019.

I can confirm that the School Games Organisers are now fully funded for the 2021/22 financial year. Funding beyond that point will be subject to future Government Spending Review decisions.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what risk assessment has been undertaken to permit 10,000 attendees at outdoor events in May 2021 while weddings are capped to attendees of 30 people in the same time period.

On 22 February, the Prime Minister published the Government’s “COVID-19 Response – Spring 2021”. The roadmap is a step-by-step plan to ease restrictions in England cautiously, starting with education. Across the four steps, the roadmap sets out the sequencing and indicative timing for easing restrictions, including those in the wedding sector. In the 'COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021', the Government has set out how it will continue to protect and support citizens across the UK and has provided a roadmap out of the current lockdown in England. This includes a staged return of weddings and civil partnerships.

We understand the unique significance that marriages and civil partnerships hold in people’s lives, but we have to take necessary steps to limit transmission of COVID-19. This includes restrictions on wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, as well as other forms of social contact. By their very nature, weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are highly social events that bring families and friends together, making them particularly vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19.

When large events resume – subject to capacity caps – in Step 3, these events will need to be organised by a business, charity or similar organisation; comply with COVID-Secure guidance, with reasonable steps to limit the risk of transmission; and a full risk assessment must be completed. Event organisers must ensure that those attending do not mix beyond what is permitted by the social contact limits (unless another exemption exists, such as for work purposes, or supervised activities for children).

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to hold discussions with British motorsport organisations on their commitments to women’s rights in advance of the 2021 Saudi Arabian grand prix.

Participation in international sports events is a matter for the relevant international sports federations, and the national representatives to these federations.

Our sport strategy “Sporting Future” sets out our commitment to increasing the participation of women in all aspects of sport and physical activity, whether taking part, working or volunteering. Sport England provides support to organisations, including the National Governing Bodies, on how to increase the participation of women.

The UK has consistently called for women in Saudi Arabia to be able to participate fully in society. We welcome positive developments, including reforms to the guardianship system. The World Bank's "Women, Business, and the Law 2020" report recognises Saudi Arabia's efforts to advance women's economic participation within the Kingdom. However, women's rights still fall short of international standards. We will continue to raise the issue with Saudi Arabia, and work to promote and support further progress.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress his Department has made with the Gambling Commission on regulating the grey market in gambling.

Jurisdictions in which there are not clear rules about the legality of gambling, particularly online gambling, are often referred to as grey markets. There is no grey market in Great Britain, where operators are forbidden by law from providing gambling facilities to British consumers unless they are licensed by the Gambling Commission and abide by strict requirements intended to keep gambling fair and crime free and to protect children and vulnerable people. Any operator offering facilities to gamble without the appropriate licence from the Gambling Commission is committing an offence under the Gambling Act 2005.

Ministers and officials engage regularly with stakeholders and details of ministerial meetings are available at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/905167/DCMS_Ministerial_meetings__1st_January_to_31st_March_2020.csv/preview

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the National Disability Strategy published on 28 July 2021, which of her Department’s commitments in that strategy that have not been paused as a result of legal action have (a) been fully, (b) been partially and (c) not been implemented.

In January 2022, the High Court declared the National Disability Strategy (NDS) was unlawful because the UK Disability Survey, which informed it, was held to be a voluntary consultation that failed to comply with the legal requirements on public consultations.

In the NDS, the department committed to providing an additional £730 million of ongoing revenue funding for children and young people with complex Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), and this has now been fully implemented. In the 2022/23 financial year, there have been further increases to the department’s high needs funding, which has risen by 24% in two years to over £10 billion this financial year. This goes further than our NDS commitment of £8 billion per year and represents an increase of over 50% in the four-year period since the 2019/20 financial year. In the NDS, the department committed to opening 59 new special free schools for children with complex SEND. The department has gone further than this. As of 1 April 2023, there are 93 open special free schools and 51 open Alternative Provision (AP) free schools. There are a further 48 special schools in the pipeline.

The department also committed to increasing capital investment to support the provision of high needs places. On 2 March 2023, as part of the announcement of the SEND and AP Improvement Plan, the department announced 33 new special free schools in phase 1 of the latest special free school wave.

In November 2022, the department announced funding worth £21 million to go towards training 400 more educational psychologists. Being partially implemented, this new funding from 2024 builds on the £9.3 million stated in the NDS.

The department’s Participation Contract supports the continued improvement of co-production at a national, local, and international level. As part of this, we empower children and young people with SEND and their families to influence SEND Policy. This contract is a three-year contract running from April 2022, ending in March 2025. The total cost of the contract is £18 million which includes consortium, grant, and the strategic reform partnership contract. Being partially implemented, this goes further than the department’s commitment in the NDS, where we said we would provide £8.6 million in the 2021/22 financial year to support involvement of families.

As per our commitment in the NDS to improve supported internships in England, this is being partially implemented. The government is committed to supporting pathways to employment for disabled learners, including through strengthening the Supported Internship Programme. The department is investing £18 million until 2025 to build capacity in the Supported Internships Programme and support more young people with Education, Health and Care Plans into employment. Furthermore, in the NDS, the department committed creating an Access to Work Adjustments Passport, which will help to smooth the transition into employment and support people changing jobs, including people with SEND. This is now partially implemented, as the Department for Education works with the Department for Work and Pensions to pilot this scheme.

The department remains fully committed to supporting disabled people in the UK through creating more opportunities, protecting their rights and ensuring they fully benefit from, and can contribute to, every aspect of our society. To support this, the department will be providing further details of our recent achievements to improve disabled people’s lives in the forthcoming Disability Action Plan consultation, due for publication in the summer.

Ahead of this, my hon. Friend, the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, will write providing a list of these achievements and will place a copy in the House Library.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, by what date the PE and sport premiums for schools for 2021-22 academic year are planned to be announced.

The Department is aware of the importance of giving schools as much notice as possible of future funding. We will confirm arrangements for the Primary physical education and sport premium for the 2021/22 academic year as soon as possible.

25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what metrics he has used to determine the effectiveness of school sports premiums.

The Primary PE and Sport Premium survey, published in July 2019, assessed the impact of the doubling of the PE and Sport Premium to £320 million from September 2017.

The findings indicated that a large majority of schools identified that, following the doubling of the premium, there had been increases in the profile of PE and sport in supporting whole school improvement, the confidence, knowledge and/or skills of all staff in teaching PE, the level of competitive sport being offered, and the range of PE and sport being offered.

The detailed findings can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/primary-pe-and-sport-premium-survey.

In addition, local Active Partnerships conduct an annual review of a large sample of schools’ uses of their PE and Sport Premium including impact, and report the results of this review to the Department.

6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to (a) plan and (b) prepare for arrangements for year-11 exams at the end of the 2020-21 academic year.

The Government has been clear on its top priority to keep schools open throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and ensure all pupils get a high quality education. On Monday 12 October, we announced that assessment by examination will be part of a normalised year for these cohorts because we believe examinations are the fairest form of assessment. The examinations will start on 7 June and end on 2 July for almost all AS/A levels and GCSEs. This is three weeks later than the usual start dates from previous years. The delay and the changes to the content of assessments for certain subjects, will give pupils extra time to study, without causing unnecessary disruption to the usual timetable of the academic year.

My right hon. Friend, The Secretary of State for Education has also asked Ofqual to work with the Department to develop and assess a range of contingency measures for potential disruption to 2021 examinations, engaging widely with schools and colleges, exams boards, unions and students as well as the further and higher education sectors. This is to ensure we plan for all foreseeable scenarios to safeguard students’ ability to sit exams and achieve qualifications which allow them to progress to the next stage of their education or employment. We expect to share details of these contingency plans later in the autumn.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what research his Department has undertaken on the effect of social distancing on the emotional well-being of children.

The department is working closely with educational institutions, sector organisations, the Department for Health and Social Care, NHS England and Public Health England to understand the effects of the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on mental health and wellbeing and identify the children and young people that need help and will continue to do so as pupils return to school.

The return to school is a key part of supporting the mental health and wellbeing of pupils, as in addition to providing more opportunities for physical activity, attendance at school allows social interaction with peers, carers and teachers, which benefits wellbeing. To support this, we have encouraged schools to focus on mental wellbeing as pupils return. The department has now published detailed plans for all children and young people to return to full-time education from September. The guidance for schools is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

We have been working closely with partners to provide resources and update guidance to support and promote children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes signposting to resources on supporting and promoting mental wellbeing among the list of resources to help children to learn at home, which are available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources.

We are working with the Department of Health and Social Care to put in place further specific support for school staff to understand the issues that pupils will face with their mental wellbeing. This includes training for teachers, such as a new module developed with clinical experts on how to teach about mental health in health education. More information is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-mental-wellbeing.

Access to mental health support is more important than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak. NHS services remain open, and leading mental health charities are being supported to deliver additional services through the £5 million Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund. During Mental Health Awareness Week the government also announced that a further £4.2 million will be awarded to mental health charities – including the Samaritans, Young Minds, and Bipolar UK.

All NHS mental health trusts have been asked to ensure that there are 24/7 open access telephone lines to support people of all ages. Public Health England and Health Education England have also developed advice and guidance for parents and professionals on supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, which are available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing.

In addition, children and young people can access free confidential support anytime from government-backed voluntary and community sector organisations either by texting SHOUT to 85258, or by calling Childline on 0800 1111 or The Mix on 0808 808 4994. Children and young people can also find online information on COVID-19 and mental health on the Young Minds website, which is available here:
https://youngminds.org.uk/about-us/reports/coronavirus-impact-on-young-people-with-mental-health-needs/.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reasons his Department's Guidance for full opening: schools, published on 2 July 2020, states that social distancing for the youngest children is not mandatory.

The Government has been clear that our intention is for all children to return to school from September. On 2 July we published guidance to help schools prepare for this.

As part of this guidance, we are asking all headteachers to put measures in place to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in their school. This includes implementing a Public Health England endorsed system of controls that includes: ensuring that people who have symptoms do not attend school, robust hand and respiratory hygiene, enhanced cleaning arrangements, active engagement with NHS Test and Trace, and minimising contact and maintaining distance between individuals wherever possible.

Minimising contacts and mixing between people reduces transmission of COVID-19. This is important in all contexts, and schools must consider how to implement this. The overarching principle that schools have been asked to apply is reducing the number of contacts between children and staff. This can be achieved through keeping groups separate (in ‘bubbles’) and through maintaining distance between individuals. These are not alternative options and both measures will help, but the balance between them will change depending on children’s ability to distance, the lay out of the school and the feasibility of keeping distinct groups separate while offering a broad curriculum (especially at secondary).

At primary school, and in the younger years at secondary (key stage 3), schools may be able to implement smaller groups the size of a full class. If that can be achieved, it is recommended, as this will help to reduce the number of people who could be asked to isolate should someone in a group become ill with COVID-19. We recognise that younger children will not be able to maintain social distancing, and it is acceptable for them not to distance within their group but primary schools are expected to keep groups separate.

The Department's guidance on fully opening schools can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#section-1-public-health-advice-to-minimise-coronavirus-covid-19-risks.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the advice that social distancing for the youngest children is not mandatory in his Department's Guidance for full opening: schools, published on 2 July 2020, whether any primary schools require young children to socially distance.

The Government has been clear that our intention is for all children to return to school from September. On 2 July we published guidance to help schools prepare for this.

As part of this guidance, we are asking all headteachers to put measures in place to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in their school. This includes implementing a Public Health England endorsed system of controls that includes: ensuring that people who have symptoms do not attend school, robust hand and respiratory hygiene, enhanced cleaning arrangements, active engagement with NHS Test and Trace, and minimising contact and maintaining distance between individuals wherever possible.

Minimising contacts and mixing between people reduces transmission of COVID-19. This is important in all contexts, and schools must consider how to implement this. The overarching principle that schools have been asked to apply is reducing the number of contacts between children and staff. This can be achieved through keeping groups separate (in ‘bubbles’) and through maintaining distance between individuals. These are not alternative options and both measures will help, but the balance between them will change depending on children’s ability to distance, the lay out of the school and the feasibility of keeping distinct groups separate while offering a broad curriculum (especially at secondary).

At primary school, and in the younger years at secondary (key stage 3), schools may be able to implement smaller groups the size of a full class. If that can be achieved, it is recommended, as this will help to reduce the number of people who could be asked to isolate should someone in a group become ill with COVID-19. We recognise that younger children will not be able to maintain social distancing, and it is acceptable for them not to distance within their group but primary schools are expected to keep groups separate.

The Department's guidance on fully opening schools can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#section-1-public-health-advice-to-minimise-coronavirus-covid-19-risks.

23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the data that his Department holds on eligibility for free school meals by ethnicity.

The department publishes the number of pupils who are eligible for free school meals in the ‘Schools, pupils and their characteristics' publications, which are available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-school-and-pupil-numbers.

The breakdown of eligibility for free school meals by ethnicity is not available in the publication, however this is available on request. There were 346,055 (18.0%) BAME pupils eligible for free school meals in January 2019.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of the £650 million catch-up fund he plans to allocate to special schools.

The government has announced a package of support worth £1 billion to ensure that schools have the support they need to help all children and young people make up for lost teaching time, with extra support in the form of a tutoring programme for those who need it most.

This package includes a universal catch up premium for schools of £650 million to help them make up for lost teaching time. This premium will be paid as a grant to all state-funded primary and secondary schools in England over the 2020-21 academic year.

We will confirm the timetable for publishing institution-level allocations in due course.

15th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the National Disability Strategy published on 28 July 2021, which of her Department’s commitments in that strategy that have not been paused as a result of legal action have (a) been fully, (b) been partially and (c) not been implemented.

In January 2022, the High Court declared the National Disability Strategy (NDS) was unlawful because the UK Disability Survey, which informed it, was held to be a voluntary consultation that failed to comply with the legal requirements on public consultations.

The Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs had the following commitments included in the National Disability Strategy:

  • make the England Coast Path as easy to use as possible for disabled people – all stretches of the England Coast Path will be open or with establishment works underway by the end of 2021, unless there are ongoing planning or legal issues
  • create a new north coast to coast National Trail from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire by 2025
  • improve access, signage and information on existing national paths and trails
  • deliver a £5.77 million investment in green social prescribing, which will benefit disabled people
  • implement the 25 Year Environment Plan, ensuring nature is accessible to everyone

Work on the King Charles III England Coast Path is progressing with over 850 miles now open to the public. At 2,700 miles, when complete it will be the longest waymarked and maintained coastal walking route in the world. We are making the King Charles III England Coast Path as accessible as possible and have recently approved proposals that have included a brand-new wheelchair-friendly ramp to a popular seawall walkway in Essex, a 600m accessible boardwalk on the Wirral and significant improvements to a well-used stretch of the South West Coast Path which will improve the width, surface quality and gradient of the existing trail.

We are continuing work designating Wainwright’s existing coast to coast path across the North of England as a new National Trail by 2025.

Our Access for All programme has committed £14.5m of funding to make targeted access improvements in our protected landscapes, national trails, forests and the wider countryside, to help bring the benefits of spending time in nature to everyone. More than £3.5m has already been spent on making our protected landscapes more accessible, including on: resurfacing paths; replacement of stiles with accessible gates; new benches and resting stops; accessible viewing platforms and the provision of new all-terrain trampers to support disabled people to access the countryside. The Government has extended its Farming in Protected Landscapes programme to improve accessibility in our National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including installing interpretation panels, replacing gates and stiles to improve access for people who use wheelchairs.

The Green Social Prescribing programme which closed in March 2023 achieved over 7,000 referrals to nature-based activities over the course of the programme, and the evidence suggests that the programme has had a very strong service take-up compared with traditional mental health support services. We are committed to supporting the scale-up of green social prescribing across England, as confirmed in our Environmental Improvement Plan.

We remain fully committed to supporting disabled people in the UK through creating more opportunities, protecting their rights and ensuring they fully benefit from, and can contribute to, every aspect of our society. To support this, the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs will be providing further details of our recent achievements to improve disabled people’s lives in the forthcoming Disability Action Plan consultation due for publication in the summer.

Ahead of this, the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work will write providing a list of these achievements and will place a copy in the House Library.

15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the progress made by Natural England in implementing the reforms outlined in its 2021-22 action plan.

Natural England will be publishing its annual report in the autumn which will detail its operational and financial performance, including progress made on the ambitions identified in the 21-11 action plan. In line with governance guidelines, Defra assesses Natural England’s performance at quarterly reviews and an annual Ministerial Performance Review. Recent reviews with Natural England have indicated good performance across its ambitious targets, building its capacity and capability to help tackle the critical challenge of nature recovery, climate change and improving people’s wellbeing.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department plans to take steps to help prevent excessive water abstraction in areas with high water stress.

The Environment Agency regulates the abstraction of water from rivers, lakes and groundwater across England on behalf of the government. Defra and the Environment Agency launched the Abstraction Plan in December 2017 setting out how the Environment Agency will deliver abstraction reform to protect the environment from unsustainable abstraction. The Abstraction plan is now being implemented. In addition, the Environment Agency is updating its local Abstraction Licensing Strategies for all catchments by 2027, to set out how much water is available for abstraction whilst taking account of local environmental needs.

Furthermore, Water Resources Management Plans, produced by water companies, set out how water supply needs are met from sustainable sources over a 25 year period. New Water Resources Management Plans will be consulted on at the end of 2022.

The Environment Agency's Restoring Sustainable Abstraction programme has already returned 49 billion litres of water to the environment, including 37 billion litres of water to chalk streams since it started in 2008. During this time the Environment Agency has removed the risk of approximately 900 billion litres of water being abstracted from unused or underused abstraction licences.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to his Department's proposals for air quality targets published on 16 March 2022, what assessment his Department made of the health impacts of air pollution during pregnancy while devising those proposals.

Defra has undertaken and published an impact assessment as part of the PM2.5 target development process. This took into account current guidance and evidence as well as specifically commissioned health advice from the Committee of the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP) where health experts considered that pregnancy is a vulnerable stage of life with respect to exposure to air pollution. More information can be found at:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1060968/COMEAP_Env_Bill_PM2.5_targets_health_evidence_questions_responses.pdf

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jul 2021
What steps he is taking to improve cooperation between government agencies tackling pollution of rivers and streams.

I recently met local hon. Members, Southern Water and the local agencies cooperating on pollution issues in West Sussex and the Solent.

River Basin Management Plans ensure the coordination of action on pollution and the wider management of the water environment, and all relevant Government agencies provide input to their development.

We supplement these with the Catchment Based Approach which brings together, locally, public bodies, business and third sector organisations. We also support initiatives to deliver a coordinated approach to specific issues such as the Storm Overflows Taskforce and the Chalk Rivers Action Group.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many times his Department has used powers under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1945 in each of the last five years.

The Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 places a duty on local authorities to ensure that their areas are kept, so far as practicable, free from rats and mice. Should Defra become aware that a local authority is failing to discharge its responsibilities, Defra has certain default powers to initiate action.

Additionally Defra may give direction to any business involving the manufacture, storage, transport or sale of food. These directions may include:

- prohibiting or restricting the business or use of any premises, vehicles, or equipment which is or is likely to become infested;

- prohibiting or restricting the acceptance, delivery, retention or removal of any infested food or of any other infested goods which are likely to come into contact with food manufactured, stored, transported or sold;

- carrying out any structural works or treatments necessary for preventing or remedying infestation in any premises, vehicle, equipment, food or other goods;

- In cases where the infestation cannot be remedied the Minister may order the food or container to be destroyed within a specific timeframe.

The Department does not have any record of any case where the Minister has had to exercise his powers under the Act in the last five years.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of residual waste sent to landfill, incineration and transfer stations in 2019 could have been recycled.

We do not hold this information. The main data on waste that goes to landfill, incineration and transfer stations is from the permitted site returns that are submitted to the Environment Agency. The way that the data is reported for particular waste categories means it is not possible to make reliable estimates for the amount of waste received at permitted waste sites that could have been recycled.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to section 2(1) of the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1947, if he will issue guidance to residents on the steps they can take to hold local authorities to account for their duty to take such steps as may be necessary to secure so far as practicable that their district is kept free from rats and mice.

The Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 places a duty on local authorities to ensure that their areas are kept, so far as practicable, free from rats and mice. Should Defra become aware that a local authority is failing to discharge its responsibilities, Defra has certain default powers to initiate action.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what powers local authorities have to tackle vermin outbreaks in private properties.

Managing problems with rats and mice is the responsibility of the owner or occupier of the property where the problem occurs. Insofar as local authorities are owners and occupiers of property, they have the same powers to control rats and mice as any other owner or occupier.

To address public health risk, the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949 makes local authorities responsible for ensuring that their districts are kept, so far as practicable, free from rats and mice. In meeting this obligation, a local authority may serve a notice on the owner or occupier of land requiring them to take such steps as may be specified in the notice to destroy rats and mice on their land. Where necessary, the local authority has the power to take those steps as specified in a notice themselves and recover from the owner or occupier any expenses reasonably incurred in doing so. The 1949 Prevention of Damage by Pests Act also requires occupiers of land, other than agricultural land, to give notice in writing to the local authority of rodent infestations.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to review the 2003 household waste mix model.

Following our consultation in 2019 on measures to improve consistency in recycling from businesses and households, the Environment Bill published in January 2020 sets out how the Government will legislate to require local authorities to collect recyclable household waste separately from other household waste so that the waste can be recycled or composted. The recyclable household waste to be collected will be metal, paper, glass, plastics, food and garden waste. Together with similar measures to increase recycling from businesses and other organisations, these changes will help to achieve ambitions set out in the Resources and Waste Strategy 2018 to increase the quantity and quality of recyclable material collected for recycling.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent estimate he has made of the amount of plastic waste being sent to landfill.

Permitted sites are required to submit their waste data to the Environment Agency (EA) and this represents the main data available on waste that goes to landfill. This data categorises waste according to the European Waste Catalogue (EWC).

Under EWC, only a limited number of categories are clearly identifiable as plastic waste. The EA was notified that 82,358 tonnes of waste identifiable as plastic was sent to landfill facilities in 2018.

However, the vast majority of waste received at landfill sites is reported as mixed waste, for example municipal waste. It will contain a proportion of plastic waste. The EA is not able to estimate plastic content of mixed waste and other EWC categories and cannot reliably provide the total plastic waste disposed to landfill.

In our Resources and Waste Strategy, we committed to landfilling 10% or less of the municipal waste generated by 2035 and to implementing measures that will improve the quality and quantity of plastic waste collected for recycling, and ultimately lead to less plastic waste sent to landfill. The Environment Bill sets out provisions to improve the separate collection of recyclable waste (including plastic packaging waste); for example, from 2023 all collectors of waste will be required to collect a core set of materials, including plastics, for recycling from households, non-domestic, and commercial and industrial premises.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the potential financial effect on the NHS of the imposition of tariffs on medical foods.

The UK Global Tariff (UKGT) was informed by a public consultation where we received over 1,300 responses. To ensure we extracted maximum value from the consultation responses, these have been shared with other relevant government departments, including the Department for Health and Social Care and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, who supported the policy development of the UKGT.

My Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade meets regularly with her colleagues, including my Rt Hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, though they have not discussed tariffs on infant
formula, baby foods or medical foods.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of tariffs on infant formula and baby foods on consumers.

The UK Global Tariff (UKGT) will apply to UK imports from countries the UK does not have trading arrangements in place with. HM Government has assessed all available evidence submitted as a part of the public consultation, and in addition, conducted its own assessment to ensure the UKGT is robust and supportive of the UK’s economy, including UK consumers. HM Government will publish more analysis in the Tax Information and Impact Note (TIIN) alongside the legislation, as is standard practice.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for (a) Health and Social Care and (b) Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the effect of WTO rules on the cost of infant (i) formula, (ii) baby foods and (iii) medical foods.

The UK Global Tariff (UKGT) was informed by a public consultation where we received over 1,300 responses. To ensure we extracted maximum value from the consultation responses, these have been shared with other relevant government departments, including the Department for Health and Social Care and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, who supported the policy development of the UKGT.

My Rt Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade meets regularly with her colleagues, including my Rt Hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, though they have not discussed tariffs on infant
formula, baby foods or medical foods.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
12th May 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether the Commission plans to publish a risk assessment of working on the Parliamentary Estate in advance of the House of Commons returning to normal working practices.

The House Service is currently working in conjunction with Public Health England to ensure we meet the government guidelines to become a ‘COVID-19 secure’ workplace, and to build on our existing measures to ensure all those working on the estate can do so safely. These include carrying out a Covid-19 risk assessment which will be published on the intranet.

30th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the impact of idling stationary vehicles on levels of CO2 emissions.

The impact of idling stationary vehicles is not specifically assessed in transport emissions statistics.

Anthony Browne
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of taking steps to highlight (a) statutory and (b) Highway Code rules relating to idling vehicles.

Enforcement against idling is primarily the responsibility of Local Authorities, who have powers to issue Fixed Penalty Notices to drivers idling unnecessarily. Guidance for Local Authorities on idling enforcement makes clear that they should take steps to publicise the need to avoid idling to improve air quality and the penalties for failing to do so.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department produced a Ministerial response under the write round process to the Department for Education's review of the relationships, sex and health education curriculum.

It is a long-established precedent that information about the discussions that have taken place in Cabinet and its Committees is not normally shared publicly.

15th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the National Disability Strategy published 28 July 2021, which of his Department’s commitments in that strategy that have not been paused as a result of legal action have (a) been fully, (b) been partially and (c) not been implemented.

In January 2022, the High Court declared the National Disability Strategy (NDS) was unlawful because the UK Disability Survey, which informed it, was held to be a voluntary consultation that failed to comply with the legal requirements on public consultations.

The Department for Transport (DfT) had 20 transport accessibility commitments included in the NDS. None of these policies was paused, however to date, eight commitments have been fully implemented. Most recently, this includes the Public Service Vehicles (Accessible Information) Regulations (AIR), which was passed by Parliament in May 2023. This requires the provision of audible and visible information on-board local bus and coach services across Great Britain. Work continues to implement the remaining 12 commitments.

DfT remain fully committed to supporting disabled people in the UK through creating more opportunities, protecting their rights and ensuring they fully benefit from, and can contribute to, every aspect of our society. To support this, DfT will be providing further details of our recent achievements to improve disabled people’s lives in the forthcoming Disability Action Plan consultation due for publication in the summer.

Ahead of this, the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work will write providing a list of these achievements and will place a copy in the House Library.

24th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the average processing time is for the renewal of a medical driving licence by the DVLA.

The average time to make a licensing decision during the current financial year, where the driving licence applicant had declared a medical condition, is 97.7 working days. This figure includes new applications, notifications and renewals.

The length of time taken to deal with an application depends on the medical condition(s) involved and whether further information is required from third parties, such as NHS healthcare professionals, before a decision on whether to issue a licence can be made.

It is important to note that the majority of applicants renewing an existing licence will be able to continue driving while their application is being processed, providing they have not been told not to drive by a doctor or optician.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of people awaiting driving tests; and what steps are being taken to increase driving test capacity.

There are currently over 400,000 people with a test booked.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has put in place a number of measures to increase practical driving tests. These include offering overtime and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to conduct tests, but who do not do so as part of their current day job, to return to conducting tests, and conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays). The DVSA has also started a recruitment campaign to increase the number of examiners. The aim is to increase testing capacity and reduce the backlog as quickly as possible, whilst maintaining a COVID-secure service for customers and examiners.

22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of delays in driving test appointments on the ability of farms to recruit staff with the required skills.

Tractor training and testing resumed in England and Wales on 29 March, and on 26 April in Scotland.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has put in place a number of measures to increase practical driving tests. These include offering overtime and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to conduct tests, but who do not do so as part of their current day job, to return to conducting tests, and conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays). The DVSA has also started a recruitment campaign to increase the number of examiners.

It is not within the DVSA’s remit to assess the ability of farms to recruit staff but it fully appreciates the challenges that suspending driver training and testing has had, including for those in the agricultural sector. The DVSA’s top priority has been to keep everyone safe and only resume its testing services when safe to do so.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many electric vehicle fast charge points have been installed in Romsey and Southampton North constituency in the last 12 months.

Data on electric vehicle charging devices are presented in the table below. Figures include rapid charging devices whose fastest connector is rated at 43kW and above, and charging devices that were available on 1st July 2020 and installed in the 12 months previous (since 1st July 2019).

Area

Total Public Devices1

Rapid Devices

(a) Romsey and Southampton North constituency

8

0

(b) Hampshire county

113

25

(c) UK

4,969

1,030

  1. Total devices represent publicly available charging devices at all speeds.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many electric vehicle fast charge points have been installed in Hampshire in the last 12 months.

Data on electric vehicle charging devices are presented in the table below. Figures include rapid charging devices whose fastest connector is rated at 43kW and above, and charging devices that were available on 1st July 2020 and installed in the 12 months previous (since 1st July 2019).

Area

Total Public Devices1

Rapid Devices

(a) Romsey and Southampton North constituency

8

0

(b) Hampshire county

113

25

(c) UK

4,969

1,030

  1. Total devices represent publicly available charging devices at all speeds.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many electric vehicle fast charge points have been installed in the UK in the last 12 months.

Data on electric vehicle charging devices are presented in the table below. Figures include rapid charging devices whose fastest connector is rated at 43kW and above, and charging devices that were available on 1st July 2020 and installed in the 12 months previous (since 1st July 2019).

Area

Total Public Devices1

Rapid Devices

(a) Romsey and Southampton North constituency

8

0

(b) Hampshire county

113

25

(c) UK

4,969

1,030

  1. Total devices represent publicly available charging devices at all speeds.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the average distance is between electric vehicle fast charge points in the UK; and what the average distance is between petrol stations in the UK.

Complete data covering the whole of the UK is not held. On 1 July 2020 there were 3,187 rapid public charging devices rated at 43kW or above in Great Britain (GB) and, according to Experian, in May 2020 there were 8,362 fuel stations in GB. Total road length in GB is 247,055 miles which means there is a rapid device for every 78 miles of road and one fuel station for every 30 miles of road.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many and what proportion of grants in each of the Transport-technology research innovation grants funding rounds have been awarded to (a) female entrepreneurs and (b) companies led by women.

Since 2014, 13 out of 176 or 7.4% of grants offered under The Transport-Technology Research Innovation Grants (T-TRIG) or similar schemes have been awarded to teams led by women.

We do not hold data on the sex of the leaders of these companies either when grants were offered or now.

Each of these projects were delivered by teams. We do not hold data on the sex of members of delivery teams.

We are planning to expand the collection of equality data as part of T-TRIG 2020 and are working with the Connected Places Catapult and Innovate UK to maximise the diversity of applications to the current call.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many and what proportion of grants in each of the Transport-technology research innovation grants funding rounds have been awarded to disabled entrepreneurs.

We have not collected disability status data on T-TRIG awardees in the past, but are planning to collect this data as part of T-TRIG 2020. We are working with the Connected Places Catapult and Innovate UK to maximise the diversity of applications to the current call.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, if he will publish the scientific evidence underpinning the 14-day quarantine policy.

SAGE advice is not routinely published. Scientific advice can give us estimates of the incidence of coronavirus internationally and domestically, and ministers decide how to respond to the risk of imported cases based on this advice.

The scientific advice shows that when domestic transmission is high, imported cases represent a small amount of the overall total and they make no significant difference to the epidemic. However, this can change when the domestic transmission/rate of infection is low, and people are arriving from countries with a higher rate of infection.

Now that domestic transmission within the UK is coming under control, and other countries begin to lift lockdown measures, it is the right time to prepare new measures at the border, including self-isolation.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on a review of the Airports National Policy Statement.

We do not comment on the details of discussions between Cabinet ministers.

We are still considering the Court of Appeal’s complex judgment. At this stage the Government will not be able to make any further comment beyond what was set out in the Written Statement on 27 February from the Secretary of State for Transport.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 3 March 2020 to Question 20541, for what reasons his Department has not yet published a review of the Airports National Policy Statement.

The Court of Appeal has ruled that the designation of the Airports National Policy Statement has no legal effect unless and until this Government carries out a review.

It is a complex judgment which the Government will need time to consider carefully. At this stage the Government will not be able to make any further comment beyond what was set out in the Written Statement on 27 February from the Secretary of State for Transport.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with airlines on taking on routes previously served by Flybe from Southampton Airport.

Departmental officials and I have been working closely with airports and airlines to encourage them to act quickly to fill routes which are vital for local communities and businesses, including those from Southampton Airport. A number of airlines, including Loganair and Eastern Airways, will now take on routes previously served by Flybe at Southampton Airport.

15th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 25 May 2023 to Question 185576 on Disability, which of his Department’s commitments in the National Disability Strategy that have not been paused as a result of legal action have (a) been fully, (b) been partially and (c) not been implemented.

In January 2022, the High Court declared the National Disability Strategy (NDS) was unlawful because the UK Disability Survey, which informed it, was held to be a voluntary consultation that failed to comply with the legal requirements on public consultations.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) made five commitments in the NDS:

  • Set out proposals to improve the experience of accessing disability benefits;
  • Pilot an Access to Work Passport to help disabled people progress through education and move into employment;
  • Make available a passport for all young disabled students, including those receiving Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA), when they leave university;
  • Encourage employers to hire disabled people and to create inclusive workplaces by reviewing Disability Confident, strengthening the Voluntary Reporting Framework, and disseminating best practice to employers; and
  • Expand trials for supported employment services.

Since the NDS was published, DWP has:

  • Published the Health and Disability White Paper, which sets out the Government’s plans to reform the welfare system and make it better meet the needs of disabled people in Great Britain. This includes removing the Work Capability Assessment (meaning claimants will now only have to do one health assessment rather than two) and supporting claimants to try work without fear of losing their financial support;
  • Delivered a pilot to test the Adjustments Passport in 3 universities. The pilot results were evaluated by the universities, demonstrating the value of the Adjustments Passport, which as a result is expected to be available, across all nations, beginning in September 2023;
  • Implemented a Health Adjustments Passport to support disabled jobseekers and is implementing an Armed Forces Service Leavers Adjustments Passport. The DWP is continuing testing of the Adjustments Passport with various groups, including young people on vocational programmes;
  • Paused work directly related to the Disability Confident review and strengthening the Voluntary Reporting Framework. The DWP continues to promote the Disability Confident Scheme and encourage sign-up through our regular engagement with the Business Leaders Group, employers of all sizes and other stakeholders; and
  • Provided funding, in partnership with DHSC, for Individual Placement and Support in Primary Care (IPSPC) supported employment services in 12 areas across 41 local authorities in England, to support people with health conditions to access paid jobs, and then support both the individual and their employer to ensure that the job is sustained.

The Government also announced a wide-reaching package at the Spring Budget to support disabled people, and people with health conditions, to stay in, and return to work. This new investment builds on our existing extensive support to help disabled people and people with health conditions to start, stay and succeed in work.

We remain fully committed to supporting disabled people in the UK through creating more opportunities, protecting their rights and ensuring they fully benefit from, and can contribute to, every aspect of our society. To support this, the DWP will be providing further details of our recent achievements to improve disabled people’s lives in the forthcoming Disability Action Plan consultation due for publication in the summer.

Ahead of this, I as the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, will write providing a list of these achievements and will place a copy in the House Library.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
17th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the National Disability Strategy published 28 July 2021, if he will list which of those report's recommendations that have not been paused as a result of legal action has been (a) fully, (b) partially and (c) not been implemented by (i) action and (ii) Department responsible.

In January 2022, the High Court declared the National Disability Strategy was unlawful because the UK Disability Survey, which informed it, was held to be a voluntary consultation that failed to comply with the legal requirements on public consultations.

We are disappointed by, and strongly disagree with, the High Court’s finding, and the Secretary of State has been granted permission to appeal the Court's declaration.

As the NDS was found to be unlawful, we are unable to provide you with the information in the format you have requested, as we do not centrally track commitments included in the NDS.

We are fully committed to supporting disabled people in the UK through creating more opportunities, protecting their rights and ensuring they fully benefit from, and can contribute to, every aspect of our society. To support this, we will be providing details of the Government’s recent achievements to improve disabled people’s lives in the forthcoming Disability Action Plan consultation due for publication in the summer.

Ahead of this, I will write providing a list of these achievements and will place a copy in the House Library.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
1st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, by what date the Menopause Workplace Champion will be appointed.

I am pleased to confirm today, Helen Tomlinson, has been appointed by DWP as the Governments Menopause Employment Champion.

We are committed to ensuring we address any stigma in the workplace associated with menopause and its symptoms - which can vary as well as, the age of women when they experience it. Working positively with employers is vital to ensure they can support, recruit and importantly retain women who are in employment and experiencing menopause and stop women perhaps considering giving up their employment due to the impacts which can occur affecting both confidence and wellbeing.

I look forward to working closely with Helen, to achieve our goals of driving workplace change that will help realise the full potential of women, businesses, and the economy by assisting women at any age and career stage to be properly supported and thrive in work.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of making people under the age of 25 living in supported accommodation eligible for the work allowance under universal credit.

There are no current plans to change eligibility for work allowances in Universal Credit. Work allowances are focussed on providing extra support for those with children or limited capability to work. All Universal Credit claimants who are in work and earn above any applicable work allowance will benefit from the single 63% taper rate which reduces their Universal Credit at a consistent and predictable rate and by less than they are earning.

To support young people into employment we are investing £2bn to support the creation of quality jobs via our Kickstart scheme, which is already creating thousands of high-quality jobs for young people.

On top of this, our DWP Youth Offer provides wrap-around support for 18-24 year olds in the intensive work search group, helping young people access provision stood up as part of the Plan for Jobs, alongside local work related provision.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to review the universal credit rate for young people who live alone.

The Universal Credit rate for under 25s reflects the lower wages that younger workers typically receive. Universal Credit also includes separate elements to provide support for housing costs, children and childcare costs and support for disabled people and carers. These additional amounts are provided to claimants at the same level irrespective of age.

There are no plans to review this at present. OBR figures show we have injected over £8bn into the welfare system in 2020/21, and we have extended the £20 a week increase to Universal Credit for a further six months. This increase is supporting millions of people across the UK, including those under 25.

23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the current average waiting time is for an application for limited capacity to work benefit to be considered.

The Department publishes Employment Support Allowance (ESA) Work Capability Assessment (WCA) statistics online and the latest clearance time statistics available to June 2020 can be accessed in Table 8 here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/esa-outcomes-of-work-capability-assessments-including-mandatory-reconsiderations-and-appeals-january-2021

Statistics on Work Capability Assessments for Universal Credit are currently under development for future publication and have not previously been published as official statistics. We will issue them in due course as an official statistics release in accordance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. Whilst the initial statistics will not have median clearance times, these will be developed for publication in due course.

20th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, by what date registered gateway organisations will have received approval for the Kickstart scheme.

Our aim is to process an application within a month, but this can take longer if we require additional information from bidders. As the scheme continues to roll-out we expect that the time taken to process applications will reduce. Turn-around times are already improving.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of vacancies available as part of the Kickstart scheme that are currently unfilled as a result of registered gateway organisations not yet having received approval from her Department.

As of 30/11/2020, there are 292 applications from potential gateway organisations waiting for assessment. These applications represent 28,783 potential job placements. So far, applications from Gateways and employers covering 23’934 vacancies have been approved.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many registered gateway organisations are waiting for approval from her Department before being able to commence the Kickstart scheme.

As of 30/11/2020, there are 292 applications from potential gateway organisations waiting for assessment. These applications represent 28,783 potential job placements. So far, applications from Gateways and employers covering 23’934 vacancies have been approved.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jun 2020
What steps her Department is taking to ensure that single parents are treated equitably within the benefits system during the covid-19 outbreak.

We’ve introduced an unprecedented package of support of over £6.5 billion to help all families to cope with the financial impact of Covid-19.

Single parents can benefit from the Flexible Support Fund and the increases to UC Standard Allowance, and Local Housing Allowance rates. Universal Credit is already more generous than legacy benefits, where people can claim up to 85% of childcare costs.

Our priority continues to be ensuring people get their benefit payments and providing support for those who need it the most.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to make an assessment of the operating efficiency of the Child Maintenance Service.

When measuring the efficiency of the Child Maintenance Service, we collect data on rate of compliance. These figures are published quarterly in table 9 of the Child Maintenance Service experimental statistics data tables, which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/child-maintenance-service-statistics-data-to-september-2019-experimental

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of allocating named caseworkers to complex cases undertaken by the Child Maintenance Service.

Child Maintenance Service caseworkers deliver a broad range of services’ across business lines, covering applications, case maintenance, arrears and enforcement. Child Maintenance Service caseworkers receive the skills to provide a service to customers in their specific line. In addition, the service also provides complex caseworkers, who can provide additional expert knowledge in that line. Flexing this resource, as and when complex matters arise, maximises the value they can add to delivering successful client outcomes.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people with epilepsy have had their application for personal independence payment refused in each year since 2017.

The latest available data on Personal Independence Payment (PIP) clearances split by main disabling condition and by type of clearance (i.e. whether the claim was awarded, disallowed or withdrawn) for both new claims and reassessments from Disability Living Allowance (DLA) made from April 2013 – October 2019 can be found at https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to use Stat-Xplore can be found here: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/index.html.

29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she has to tackle the disparity of treatment between self-employed and employed people in relation to statutory maternity pay.

The differences in the parental benefits available to the self-employed reflect that this group generally have more flexibility over how to plan their workload and time off. This is reflected in the additional flexibility seen in Maternity Allowance (when compared to Statutory Maternity Pay).

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to increase breast cancer screening uptake (a) in general and (b) in (i) areas and (ii) communities where uptake is lowest.

NHS England has developed a national plan to improve uptake within the breast screening programme, part of which involves interventions to address inequalities and screening barriers. This includes working to ensure that breast screening appointments are as convenient to people as possible and focusing its efforts on low uptake areas and groups. NHS England is also working to ensure they have data, including on protected characteristics, to support services to deliver more targeted initiatives.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons the NHS missed its target of 70% of invited women to be screened for breast cancer in 2022-23.

The Department is committed to improving uptake in the NHS Breast Screening Programme. NHS England has commissioned evaluative projects to understand why women are not coming forward for screenings, and ways to improve uptake, these include:

- actively following up with women who have missed an appointment or not engaged with the service;

- looking at the reasons why women do not attend screenings, to address any barriers; and

- assessing the impact on screening uptake using different invitation methodologies with reference to factors such as age, previous screening history including attendance at first invitation and subsequent invites, and deprivation.

These projects are expected to report by April 2024.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether she plans to deliver a national awareness campaign on breast cancer screening to help improve uptake.

The Department is currently exploring opportunities for national campaigns to support positive outcomes on women’s health.

Work is underway to scope the feasibility of running a national campaign to support breast screening uptake, and this will be informed by pilot activity due to run in London in 2024/25.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the uptake of perinatal mental health services among ethnic minority communities.

The National Health Service is committed to addressing unwarranted variation and health inequalities and promoting equality, including for Perinatal Mental Health services. This includes supporting services to ensure appropriate access for Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, to ensure that women from all backgrounds who need specialist Perinatal Mental Health support receive it.

NHS England’s Perinatal Mental Health programme is taking steps to ensure: training and development are available to ensure the workforce is culturally competent, diverse and representative of communities; equalities ambitions are embedded into strategic plans and governance arrangements; coproduction is embedded in service design, development and governance structures; regions and local health systems are supported to develop and achieve equality ambitions for their populations; data is available to understand trends in inequality in access, experience and outcomes to specialist Perinatal Mental Health services; third sector groups and the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors are included to support groups at risk of health inequalities.

In addition, NHS England published its first Advancing Mental Health Equalities Strategy in October 2020, laying out plans for addressing inequalities in access, experience and outcomes in mental health care.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
12th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he is taking steps to ensure that adequate safeguarding checks are made on sports massage therapists.

The Government is committed to a proportionate system of oversight for health and care professions and the types of assurance in place will vary by profession based on the specific risk profile.

Anyone undertaking or seeking employment as a sports massage therapist will be subject to employer checks, which may include a Disclosure and Barring Service check. Self-employed sports massage therapists can also obtain a basic criminal record certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service, which will show any unspent convictions or cautions they have.

Sports massage therapists can also join voluntary registers, including the Complementary and Natural Council register, which is accredited under the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care’s Accredited Registers Programme. The Programme provides assurance to the public when choosing and using health and care services by independently assessing organisations who register practitioners who are not regulated by law.

We urge anyone seeking sports massage therapy to take the time to find a reputable, insured and appropriately qualified practitioner who is on a voluntary register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
12th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether there are restrictions in place preventing sports massage therapists from treating people aged under 18.

There are no legal restrictions in place preventing sports massage therapists from treating people aged under 18.

We urge anyone seeking sports massage therapy to take the time to find a reputable, insured and appropriately qualified practitioner who is on a voluntary register accredited by the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
7th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department produced a ministerial response under the write round process to the Department for Education's review of the relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) curriculum.

The Secretary of State for Education has been clear she is very concerned about reports of inappropriate materials being used to teach relationships and sex education (RSHE). The Government has brought forward the review of the RSHE statutory guidance as a result, including conducting a public consultation as soon as possible.

The statutory guidance clearly states that the guidance will be reviewed every three years from first teaching (September 2020) and so the decision to review the guidance does not require collective agreement. The Secretary of State for Education will seek collective agreement to the consultation documents through a write-round process, before publishing the consultation in the autumn. This process is not yet underway.

5th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which integrated care boards are (a) meeting and (b) not meeting the NHS target of completing 75 per cent of annual health checks for people aged 14 or over with a learning disability by 2023-24; and what level are those not meeting the target of at least 75 per cent reaching.

We are taking action to reduce inequalities for people with a learning disability and autistic people, including annual health checks to help identify undetected health conditions early and ensure the appropriateness of ongoing treatments. The NHS Long Term Plan sets out an ambition to improve the uptake of the existing annual health check in primary care for people with a learning disability aged 14 years old and over, so that at least 75% of those eligible have a health check each year.

The attached report, from data published by NHS England, sets out data on annual health checks delivered in 2022/23 by area. It shows that, at the end of March 2023, 31 Integrated Care Systems / Transforming Care Partnership areas achieved the NHS Long Term Plan target of 75% or more for annual health checks for eligible people with a learning disability and 11 did not. The attached table shows the variation for those not currently meeting the target, this ranges from 66.1%-74.9%.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
21st Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that his Department, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the NHS collaborate to align priorities for women's health.

The Department works closes with its arm length bodies and its other health system partners to deliver on Government priorities including those in the Women’s Health Strategy for England.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
21st Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 20 June 2023 to Question 188920 on Drugs: Licensing, whether the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency plans to prioritise applications for new hormone replacement therapy products, in the context of hormone replacement therapy supply shortages.

There are no formal criteria to prioritise applications for medicines because this is reserved for exceptional circumstances, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. As previously stated the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) collaborates with the Department and National Health Service where a condition that currently does not have any currently licensed medicines, or where there are supply issues with currently licensed medicines.

There are over 70 hormone replacement therapy (HRT) products available in the United Kingdom and the vast majority are in good supply. MHRA regularly engages with the Department to prevent and mitigate supply issues in the short and long term and works with them to ensure decisions are aligned with the wider health sector’s priorities.

21st Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 20 June 2023 to Question 188918 on Drugs: Licensing, what criteria his Department uses to determine what conditions are a public health need.

There are no formal criteria to prioritise applications for medicines because this is reserved for exceptional circumstances, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. As previously stated the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) collaborates with the Department and National Health Service where a condition that currently does not have any currently licensed medicines, or where there are supply issues with currently licensed medicines.

There are over 70 hormone replacement therapy (HRT) products available in the United Kingdom and the vast majority are in good supply. MHRA regularly engages with the Department to prevent and mitigate supply issues in the short and long term and works with them to ensure decisions are aligned with the wider health sector’s priorities.

21st Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 20 June 2023 to Question 188918 on Drugs: Licensing, whether he considers the menopause to be a public health need.

There are no formal criteria to prioritise applications for medicines because this is reserved for exceptional circumstances, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. As previously stated the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) collaborates with the Department and National Health Service where a condition that currently does not have any currently licensed medicines, or where there are supply issues with currently licensed medicines.

There are over 70 hormone replacement therapy (HRT) products available in the United Kingdom and the vast majority are in good supply. MHRA regularly engages with the Department to prevent and mitigate supply issues in the short and long term and works with them to ensure decisions are aligned with the wider health sector’s priorities.

15th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the National Disability Strategy published 28 July 2021, which of his Department’s commitments in that strategy that have not been paused as a result of legal action have (a) been fully, (b) been partially and (c) not been implemented.

In January 2022, the High Court declared the National Disability Strategy (NDS) was unlawful because the UK Disability Survey, which informed it, was held to be a voluntary consultation that failed to comply with the legal requirements on public consultations.

The Department had eight policies included in the National Disability Strategy.

The following commitments have been fully implemented, working with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, invest £71 million in the Care and Supported Housing Fund (CASSH) Fund (2021-22), work with disabled people and disability organisations at every stage of social care reform, NHS England to expand Learning from lives and deaths, people with a learning disability and autistic people (LeDeR) programme to include autistic people by March 2022, the Home Office and the Department will jointly lead a review into the protections and support available to adults abused in their own homes by people providing their care, coordinating inputs from wider Government, disabled people, carers organisations and other interested parties, following an independent review of the Disabled Facilities Grant published in December 2018, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Department of Health and Social Care will jointly publish new government guidance for local authorities in England on effective delivery of the £573 million Disabled Facilities Grant in 2021.

The following commitment has been partially implemented, subject to evaluation, the Department to make training on autism and learning disability available for all 2.7 million health and adult social care staff. The following commitment has not yet been implemented, develop an autism public understanding initiative by autumn 2021. The following commitment has been paused; establish a new disability data working group in 2021 to improve health and social care data.

We remain fully committed to supporting disabled people in the UK through creating more opportunities, protecting their rights and ensuring they fully benefit from, and can contribute to, every aspect of our society. To support this, the Department will be providing further details of our recent achievements to improve disabled people’s lives in the forthcoming Disability Action Plan consultation due for publication in the summer.

Ahead of this, the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work will write providing a list of these achievements and will place a copy in the House Library.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
12th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency plans next to review the list of priority conditions which determine the speed with which applications for licenses for new medicines are considered.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) does not have a specific list of conditions to which it gives priority when reviewing applications for new medicine licenses. However, it does prioritise applications where there is a public health need, for instance a new medicine which offers a treatment which is not yet available or a generic medicine where there might otherwise be a risk to supply. When deciding whether to prioritise a medicine, the MHRA collaborates with the Department and National Health Service to make sure its decisions align with their priorities.

12th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which conditions are considered a priority by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency when assessing applications for new licences for medicines.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) does not have a specific list of conditions to which it gives priority when reviewing applications for new medicine licenses. However, it does prioritise applications where there is a public health need, for instance a new medicine which offers a treatment which is not yet available or a generic medicine where there might otherwise be a risk to supply. When deciding whether to prioritise a medicine, the MHRA collaborates with the Department and National Health Service to make sure its decisions align with their priorities.

12th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how priority conditions are determined when the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency considers applications for licensing of new medicines.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) does not have a specific list of conditions to which it gives priority when reviewing applications for new medicine licenses. However, it does prioritise applications where there is a public health need, for instance a new medicine which offers a treatment which is not yet available or a generic medicine where there might otherwise be a risk to supply. When deciding whether to prioritise a medicine, the MHRA collaborates with the Department and National Health Service to make sure its decisions align with their priorities.

12th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, by what date he expects the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to be able to process all D150 submissions within the 150 day timescale.

The statutory timelines for processing national applications is 210 days. However, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is working towards progressing priority applications and good quality submissions within 150 days. To achieve this, the MHRA is proactively engaging with the relevant Trade Associations on how best to improve the quality of marketing authorisation applications, including workshops to support companies. With the measures put in place, the MHRA anticipates that all priority and good quality dossiers that are compliant with legislative data requirements received from 1 January 2024 will be progressed within 150 days. Applications that do not meet these requirements will be progressed within the statutory 210 days.

12th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many products in the D150 submission category have been waiting for Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency approval for over 150 days; and how many of those products are specifically for women’s health.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) offers a 150-day assessment timeline for all high-quality marketing authorisation applications.

A total of 1,016 medicinal products have been waiting for MHRA marketing authorisation approval for more than 150 days. Of these, 36 are for women’s health.

12th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is taking to reduce backlogs in D150 applications.

Delays to the processing of marketing authorisation applications have resulted from a combination of factors, including implementation of new licensing pathways and the need to divert resource to deal with urgent and unforeseen public health issues like the COVID-19 pandemic. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is changing its assessment processes to speed up the processing of submitted applications. Resource issues are being addressed as a matter of priority with targeted recruitment. The MHRA is also implementing a new IT system to manage licensing applications and improve processing times.

13th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has mechanisms which allow blood bank supplies from non-covid-19-vaccinated donors available to non-covid-19-vaccinated patients who stipulate that preference.

Blood bank supplies are not identified based on the donor’s COVID-19 vaccination status. The Joint United Kingdom Blood Transfusion and Tissue Transplantation Services Professional Advisory Committee (JPAC) provides guidelines for the blood transfusion services in the UK. In July 2021, JPAC published a position statement, which was updated in November 2022, stating that blood services cannot provide information on the COVID-19 vaccine status of donors to recipients and it is not necessary from a safety or efficacy perspective.

This is based on advice from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency that no additional blood and plasma safety measures are recommended in relation to the occurrence of suspected adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines. Individuals vaccinated with COVID-19 vaccines may be accepted as donors, provided they feel well.

21st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans she has to use provisions of the Health and Care Act 2022 to regulate non-surgical cosmetic procedures; and whether that regulation is a policy priority.

We are committed to improving the safety of cosmetic procedures by ensuring that the regulatory framework allows consumers to make informed and safe choices. Officials are considering how a future licensing scheme for non-surgical cosmetic procedures in England may be implemented. Any future licensing requirements would be subject to both stakeholder engagement and public consultation to inform the scope and details of the scheme.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
21st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate she has made of the timeframe for the provision of technology to tallow for annual prescriptions for HRT.

The technology already exists to allow prescribers to issue annual prescriptions for hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The estimated timeframe for the introduction of the HRT prescription prepayment certificate is 1st April 2023.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
21st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will relax the restrictions on dispensing pharmaceuticals in GP surgeries to enable more patients to obtain their medication from the surgery.

There are no plans to do so. These measures are in place to protect the viability of community pharmacies and the provision of services.

14th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many delayed breast reconstructions have taken place since March 2020; and what proportion of those delayed reconstructions have used (a) free flap and (b) autologous breast reconstruction.

The data is not available in the format requested.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
14th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) clinical commissioning groups and (b) integrated care systems that have (i) time limits, (ii) restrictions on balancing surgery, (iii) limits on the number of procedures and (iv) other local restrictions on breast reconstruction in place as of 14 June 2022.

Information on specific funding allocated for breast reconstruction services is not held in the format requested. However, to support the recovery of elective services, including breast reconstruction, we are providing more than £8 billion from 2022/23 to 2024/25, in addition to the £2 billion Elective Recovery Fund and £700 million Targeted Investment Fund made available in 2021/22.

No estimate has been made of the number of clinical commissioning groups and integrated care systems where local restrictions may be in place. The NHS Cancer Programme has reiterated that no local time limits should be applied to reconstructive surgery, particularly where reconstructive surgery has been delayed due to the pandemic. Cancer Alliances have been asked to ensure that wherever possible surgery with immediate breast reconstruction takes place and to seek opportunities to accelerate reconstruction for those women who have not yet undergone the procedure following previous breast surgery during the pandemic.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
15th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his timeline is for the new cervical screening IT system going live, as a minimum viable product; and by what date will the schedule and contents of subsequent releases, including the expected scope of the system on completion, be ready.

The new NHS Cervical Screening Management System (CSMS) will provide multiple benefits to both staff and patients and replace outdated technology. The new system will connect to the NHS Personal Demographics Service to provide a single source of national patient demographic information. National Health Service staff will be able to track a patient’s screening history more easily and patients will be able to manage their screening appointments online.

The launch date for the new CSMS minimum viable product has not yet been confirmed. The Digital Transformation of Screening Programme Board aims to confirm a deployment date during 2022/23. The schedule and contents of subsequent releases has yet to be agreed and will be considered as part of the implementation plan.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to extend the validity of a paper covid-19 pass beyond 30 days.

The NHS COVID Pass in digital and letter form is currently valid for 30 days as a protection measure against fraud. Expiration dates for the NHS COVID Pass will be kept under review.

5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 15 December 2021 to Question 88708 on INFACT, for what reason his Ministers are not planning to meet the INFACT campaign to discuss the topic of sodium valproate.

The Government is now focusing on implementing the accepted recommendations from the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, including those related to sodium valproate. We aim to publish an update on progress in summer 2022.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that domiciliary care providers are able to order covid-19 lateral flow tests in bulk.

Domiciliary care providers can order polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests in bulk for care workers to test on a weekly basis. Providers are currently unable to order lateral flow device (LFD) tests in bulk. The advice on LFD testing is moving to a risk-based approach although we continue to review guidance in line with the latest public health advice. Domiciliary care workers have continuous access to LFD tests via GOV.UK to collect from pharmacies or for home delivery.

7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether Ministers in his Department will meet with hon. Members and INFACT to discuss the impact of Sodium Valproate in pregnancy; and for what reason Ministers were previously advised to disregard meeting requests with this campaign group.

We value engagement with stakeholders, such as INFACT, to inform our response to the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety (IMMDS) Review. The former Minister of State for Patient Safety, Mental Health and Suicide Prevention (Rt hon. Ms Nadine Dorries MP) met with INFACT on 14 July. We have no current plans to meet with INFACT.

The Government published its response to the IMMDS Review on 21 July, which is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1005847/IMMDS_Review_-_Government_response_-_220721.pdf

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent progress has been made on the HPV vaccination catch-up programme.

NHS England and its providers continue to follow the advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation regarding human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations. The National Health Service is prioritising the first dose of HPV vaccine for all those eligible whilst addressing immunisations that have been missed. NHS providers are digitalising consent processes, using closed school estates and a range of alternative community settings to deliver vaccines where appropriate. NHS England has also been working closely with the Department of Education to ensure that schools facilitate the continuation of vaccinations where possible.

21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the (a) membership of the Maternity Inequalities Oversight Forum, (b) dates on which that Forum has met and (c) policy recommendations that Forum has made to Government.

The Maternity Inequalities Oversight Forum met on 13 October 2020 and 21 April 2021. The forum has not made any specific recommendations to the Department to date. We are unable to provide the membership of the Maternity Inequalities Oversight Forum as it relates to the formulation of Government policy.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made on the effect that home use of both pills for early medical abortions has had on women in abusive domestic situations for whom leaving their home for the length of time needed to attend an in-clinic appointment would be unsafe.

The Government’s public consultation on whether to make permanent the temporary measure allowing for home use of both pills for early medical abortion up to 10 weeks’ gestation for all eligible women asked questions on the impact on the provision of abortion services for women and girls accessing these services with particular regard to safety. The consultation has now closed and we are considering all evidence submitted and plan to publish our response later this year.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that deaths from eating disorders are accurately recorded.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for collecting information on deaths, including any where an eating disorder may have played a role. The ONS has advised that official statistics on deaths are based on the data collected as part of civil registration, which are based in turn on the medical certificate of cause of death completed by a doctor or the conclusions of a coroner following an inquest.

Doctors determine the cause of death according to their professional knowledge and belief. They can record the sequence of health problems or events leading to a death and any other health conditions that contributed but were not directly the cause. If the certifier believes, on the basis of the evidence available to them, that an eating disorder was involved, they can record this as a contributing factor in the cause of death.

18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to collect information on deaths recorded from eating disorders.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is responsible for collecting information on deaths, including any where an eating disorder may have played a role. The ONS has advised that official statistics on deaths are based on the data collected as part of civil registration, which are based in turn on the medical certificate of cause of death completed by a doctor or the conclusions of a coroner following an inquest.

Doctors determine the cause of death according to their professional knowledge and belief. They can record the sequence of health problems or events leading to a death and any other health conditions that contributed but were not directly the cause. If the certifier believes, on the basis of the evidence available to them, that an eating disorder was involved, they can record this as a contributing factor in the cause of death.

12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons the response to the recommendations of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review has been withheld for nine months.

The recommendations are still under careful consideration.

The Government is committed to learning from this report and we currently plan to respond further to the report of the Review during 2021.

12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review Patient reference group was set up to discuss the (a) three interventions of Valproate, Mesh and Primodos involved in that review and (b) future of patients and their welfare within the health system.

The Department has not established any groups or sub-groups on sodium valproate or medications in pregnancy.

The Department has established a Patient Reference Group (PRG) in 2020 consisting of patients and patients’ representatives, including those involved in the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety (IMMDS) Review and those with a wider interest in patient safety. The purpose of the PRG is to provide challenge, advice and scrutiny to the work to develop the Government’s response to the recommendations set out in the IMMDS Review. The scope of the PRG does not extend beyond the recommendations in the Review.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has established groups on sodium valproate and medications in pregnancy. The Sodium Valproate Expert Working Group of the Commission on Human Medicines was convened in February 2014 to advise the Commission on Human Medicines on the risks of valproate in pregnancy and on measures to minimise risk. The MHRA convened the Valproate Stakeholder Network in January 2016 to support communications around the valproate toolkit to raise awareness among women of the risks. It is now focused on consistent UK-wide implementation of the valproate Pregnancy Prevention Programme and monitoring compliance.

In July 2019 the Commission on Human Medicines established a new Expert Working Group on Optimising Data on Medicines used in Pregnancy. The Expert Group was to advise on better ways to collect and monitor data on the safety of medicines during pregnancy. The report and recommendations of the Expert Group were published in January 2021.

12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) groups and (b) sub groups have been set up on the matter of (i) sodium valproate, (ii) medications in pregnancy. (iii) Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety (IMMDS) Review and (iv) the recommendations of that Review since the (A) valproate toolkit was published in 2015 and (B) IMMDS Review reported in July 2020.

The Department has not established any groups or sub-groups on sodium valproate or medications in pregnancy.

The Department has established a Patient Reference Group (PRG) in 2020 consisting of patients and patients’ representatives, including those involved in the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety (IMMDS) Review and those with a wider interest in patient safety. The purpose of the PRG is to provide challenge, advice and scrutiny to the work to develop the Government’s response to the recommendations set out in the IMMDS Review. The scope of the PRG does not extend beyond the recommendations in the Review.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has established groups on sodium valproate and medications in pregnancy. The Sodium Valproate Expert Working Group of the Commission on Human Medicines was convened in February 2014 to advise the Commission on Human Medicines on the risks of valproate in pregnancy and on measures to minimise risk. The MHRA convened the Valproate Stakeholder Network in January 2016 to support communications around the valproate toolkit to raise awareness among women of the risks. It is now focused on consistent UK-wide implementation of the valproate Pregnancy Prevention Programme and monitoring compliance.

In July 2019 the Commission on Human Medicines established a new Expert Working Group on Optimising Data on Medicines used in Pregnancy. The Expert Group was to advise on better ways to collect and monitor data on the safety of medicines during pregnancy. The report and recommendations of the Expert Group were published in January 2021.

15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to change the requirement that a disabled applicant must manually sign form FP92A.

We have no plans to do so. When a disabled applicant is unable to complete or sign form FP92A, the correct procedure is for a general practitioner or other healthcare professional to complete the application on the patient’s behalf. This instruction is noted on form FP92A in the patient declaration section.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the catch up programme for the HPV vaccine will take place in schools.

All providers are working with NHS England and NHS Improvement’s commissioners, with clinical advice from Public Health England, to deliver all missed school aged vaccinations as soon as possible and no later than August 2021. All areas were asked to establish vaccination programme recovery plans and many providers were able to offer some immunisation programme catch-up ahead of 2020/21. Where possible, providers have offered vaccinations through alternative school and community settings. In addition, support was sought from the Department for Education to ensure that wherever possible schools facilitated the vaccination continuation.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of pupils who will miss their HPV vaccine in academic year 2020-21.

Data will be published in October 2021 showing coverage of the human papillomavirus vaccine for the academic year 2020-21.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many pupils missed their HPV vaccine in academic year 2019-20.

All educational settings were closed from 23 March 2020 and the delivery of the 2019/20 school immunisation programmes were subsequently paused, which impacted the uptake of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programme. The latest data shows that 64.7% of year nine females completed the two-dose HPV vaccination course in 2019/20 compared with 83.9% in 2018/19. HPV vaccination coverage for the priming dose in 2019/20 was 54.4% in year eight males.

Providers across the country are working with NHS England and NHS Improvement commissioners with clinical advice from Public Health England to catch up on vaccinations, including HPV. All vaccinations missed will be delivered as soon as possible and no later than August 2021.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of teenagers who missed their HPV vaccine in (a) 2020 and (b) 2021.

This data is not available in the format requested. National human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine coverage data for the academic year 2020/21 will be published in winter 2021.

NHS England and NHS Improvement-commissioned school-age providers were asked to implement HPV vaccination restoration and recovery plans. All vaccinations missed will be delivered as soon as possible and no later than August 2021.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has in place for an HPV vaccine catch up programme.

Catch-up vaccination clinics for human papillomavirus vaccinations have begun through community venues and closed school estates and all providers are now working with NHS England commissioners, with clinical advice from Public Health England, to deliver all missed school aged vaccinations as soon as possible and no later than August 2021. This includes digitalising consent processes in order to streamline the service.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many disabled (a) adults and (b) children are waiting over 12 months for access to an electric powered wheelchair.

The information requested is not held centrally therefore no such assessment has been made.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the waiting period for disabled children to access electric powered wheelchairs; and what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the length of that waiting period.

The information requested is not held centrally therefore no such assessment has been made.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many (a) children and (b) adults have suffered from pressure sores over the last 12 months as a result of ill-fitting wheelchairs.

The data requested is not held centrally.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking with the Office for National Statistics to collect data on assisted dying.

The Government does not currently collect data on assisted dying.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review report First Do No Harm, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of providing redress separately to the Patient Reference Group to support people harmed by Valproate.

The Government is currently making a thorough assessment of recommendation 4 of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review (IMMDS Review), which relates to individual redress schemes, for sodium valproate, primodos and vaginal mesh. We will be responding in full later in 2021.

The purpose of the Patient Reference Group, which was part of recommendation 9 of the Review, is to ensure that patient voices are heard as we move towards the full response. It will look at implementation of the IMMDS Review as a whole.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish details on how to apply for the new Global Health Insurance Card.

Details on the new United Kingdom Global Health Insurance Card were announced on 11 January, in recognition of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) with the European Union.

Current European Health Insurance Cards (EHICs) will remain valid until the expiration date on the card and do not need to be replaced immediately. Expired EHICs will be able to be replaced with the new Global Health Insurance Card.

To apply for the new Global Health Insurance Card, as now, UK residents will be able to apply online.

If a UK resident is travelling and they do not have their card, they are still entitled to necessary healthcare should it be required. In these circumstances they should contact the NHS Business Services Authority for a Provisional Replacement Certificate.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of deploying (a) buses and (b) other such vehicles as mobile vaccination centres in order to facilitate the roll out of the covid-19 vaccination programme.

Vaccination for at-risk groups will take place at the most appropriate settings to encourage uptake.

The mobile model, where ‘roving’ vaccination teams bring the vaccine directly to individuals, is being used to support the vaccination of care home residents and workers. This could be extended to more groups in time such as those experiencing homelessness, those escaping abuse in refuges, or communities with lower vaccination rates. Mobile models will also take the vaccine to those in the detained estate. The mobile model will also help more remote rural communities, particularly those at risk of isolation where public transport is limited.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many days on average it is taking NHS professionals to process an application from a retired nurse wishing to volunteer for the covid-19 vaccination programme.

NHS Professionals is recruiting to paid positions to support the COVID-19 national vaccination programme operated by NHS England, with the process for national vaccination volunteers being co-ordinated by St John Ambulance and the Royal Voluntary Service.

For previously registered workers who have not maintained an active registration, including retired nurses, the average time to complete the application process to be vaccinators is 26.8 days.

For registered workers who have maintained an active registration, including retired nurses, the average time to complete the application process to be vaccinators is 16.4 days.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of retired medical professionals over 60 who could assist in the roll out of vaccinations for covid-19.

NHS England and NHS Improvement’s Bring Back Staff programme keep actively engaged with 12,749 retired former healthcare professionals, who have expressed an interest in returning to the National Health Service in some capacity over the winter. Of the 12,749, 2,697 are aged 60 years old or above. NHS England and NHS Improvement’s regional teams are contacting these former professionals to seek their support over the winter with a particular focus on the COVID-19 vaccine programme.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to include nuclear medicine technologists on the Health and Care Professions Council register.

The Government has no plans to extend statutory regulation to nuclear medicine technologists. The statutory regulation of healthcare professionals should only be used where the risks to public and patient protection cannot be addressed in other ways, such as through employer oversight or accredited voluntary registration.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the transmission rates of covid-19 in personal care settings; and if will publish the data supporting that assessment.

The Department recognises the importance of understanding COVID-19 transmission rates within personal care settings. We are working with academics to understand infection rates in care homes. This work is ongoing and is not yet published.

We have developed an adult social care dashboard that helps local, regional and national authorities understand where infection is taking place. Additionally, we have made over £1.1 billion available to local authorities through our Infection Control Fund to support adult social care providers take measures to halt the spread of the virus.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have been diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in each of the last 10 years; and how many of those people were diagnosed (a) less than and (b) more than five years after a diagnosis of primary breast cancer.

Hospital trusts submit data for secondary breast cancer diagnoses through the Cancer Outcomes and Services Dataset (COSD) or Cancer Waiting Times (CWT) data collection mechanisms. Data on the reported number of people diagnosed with secondary breast cancers in 2014-2017 in England are available in the following table. Data for 2018 will be published in November 2020.

Year

Diagnoses recorded in COSD

Diagnoses recorded in CWT

2017

4,754

6,739

2016

4,746

6,824

2015

4,218

6,808

2014

3,395

6,817

Notes:

  1. Source:

http://www.ncin.org.uk/cancer_type_and_topic_specific_work/topic_specific_work/recurrence

  1. Where a recurrence record has been reported by multiple trusts it will be included once per trust. This means the totals will include some double-counting of recurrences.
  2. Counts from COSD and CWT cannot be combined as there will duplication between the datasets.

The number of reported cases is accepted as being significantly below the estimated number of secondary breast cancers. The National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service is working closely with cancer charities to improve data collection and submission by hospital trusts, looking at how they can help improve completion rates and thus gain a better picture of the burden of recurrence and metastatic disease across the health service.

Data for secondary breast cancer diagnoses are not available at constituency level. Data on how many people diagnosed with secondary breast cancer who were diagnosed less than and more than five years after a diagnosis of primary breast cancer are not available.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 12 October to Question 96854, when the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency will establish a registry of all women and girls of childbearing in receipt of prescriptions for sodium valproate.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is working with NHS Digital to develop a registry to monitor the use of valproate and compliance with the current regulatory position, and to monitor any children born to women on valproate. Completion of the first stage of the registry which will provide information on all women currently prescribed valproate in England is planned by the end of the year.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many prescriptions for sodium valproate have been issued since 8 July 2020.

The following table shows the number of items for the chemical substance of sodium valproate which includes generic and equivalent brands for all presentations, dispensed in the community in England and submitted to the NHS Business Services Authority for reimbursement in the month of July 2020. This is the latest period for which data is currently available. We are unable to provide data for the exact time period, since 8 July.

Month

Items for sodium valproate

July 2020

210,310

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps (a) have been and (b) are being taken to implement the recommendations of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review report entitled First Do No Harm, published on 8 July 2020.

All recommendations of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review are being considered carefully. The Government will provide an update in due course.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many women aged 15 to 45 years in the Romsey and Southampton North constituency are being treated with sodium valproate for epilepsy.

This specific data is not held centrally.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps are being taken to identify all women of childbearing age in receipt of prescriptions for sodium valproate.

In April 2018, the valproate Pregnancy Prevention Programme (PPP) was implemented and the four Chief Medical Officers in the United Kingdom asked general practitioners to identify all relevant women and girls on valproate in their practice, check they are on effective contraception as appropriate, and refer them for specialist review annually. Specialist prescribers were asked to review treatment of women and girls on valproate and ensure that an annual risk acknowledgement form is signed by the patient and prescriber. Key stakeholders are working together to drive forward compliance with the PPP, better embed the PPP into routine clinical care and ensure women with epilepsy and bipolar disorder receive the healthcare they require.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is also working on developing a registry, the main aims of which would be to identify girls and women of childbearing potential prescribed valproate, monitor compliance with the current regulatory requirements, and to identify and monitor outcomes in any children born to women on valproate.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the evidential basis is that calorie counts on menus will affect (a) individual food choices and (b) weight loss across the population.

We recognise concerns people with eating disorders may have on measures to reduce obesity and are committed to striking a careful balance between enabling people to make healthier food and drink choices whilst not negatively impacting on those with or recovering from an eating disorder.

Obesity represents a huge cost to the health and wellbeing of the individual, the National Health Service and the wider economy. With over six in 10 adults and more than one in three children aged 10 to 11 years old overweight or obese, it is right we take action.

In response to feedback to our consultation on out-of-home calorie labelling, we will introduce legislation to require large out-of-home sector businesses, that is businesses with 250 or more employees, to calorie label the food they sell.

An equalities assessment and impact assessment were published alongside the consultation response and can be viewed at the following link:

www.gov.uk/government/consultations/calorie-labelling-for-food-and-drink-served-outside-of-the-home

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the current waiting times are for breast prosthetics at each NHS trust.

Information is not held in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the waiting times were for breast prosthetics in (a) 2018 and (b) 2019 by NHS Trust.

Information is not held in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the waiting times are for mastectomy reconstruction, by NHS Trust.

Data on the average waiting time for mastectomy reconstruction in 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 are attached. Data for 2019-20 is provisional.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the waiting times for mastectomy reconstruction were in (a) 2018 and (b) 2019, by NHS Trust.

Data on the average waiting time for mastectomy reconstruction in 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20 are attached. Data for 2019-20 is provisional.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to ensure that patients who are blind and deaf can access a covid-19 test.

All test centres are supported by the 119 call centre, which uses Language Line interpreter service. A person can be connected to the call centre at a test centre where a Language Line interpreter can then facilitate any issues.

The 119 call centre is also supported by BSL Health Access. A British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter relays information over a video telephone call between a BSL user and the hearing person receiving or making the call. The Department, in collaboration with the Royal National Institute of Blind People, is currently undertaking pilots that aim to better understand the testing requirements for people with visual impairments and how we can accommodate their testing needs. The findings from these pilots will be used to improve the end-to-end user experience, from booking through to taking a test and receiving a result.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans the Government has to cancel the tuition fees of NHS staff who graduated early to treat people with covid-19.

There are no plans to cancel tuition fees for National Health Service staff who have graduated early and joined the NHS to support the COVID-19 response.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the adequacy of supplies of the HRT drug, Estradot.

We are aware of ongoing supply issues with some hormone replacement therapy (HRT) preparations for a variety of reasons. Although some HRT products are still affected by supply issues, alternatives remain available, and the overall supply situation has been improving since February 2020 and will continue to improve over the coming months. We are continuing to work closely with all suppliers to resolve the issues as quickly as possible and maintain overall supply to patients across the United Kingdom.

Novartis, the manufacturer of Estradot confirmed that it has not experienced manufacturing issues and that Estradot supplies continue to remain available. However, the company has experienced an increase in demand, due to shortages affecting other HRT products so has been managing and monitoring supplies closely.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to implement the safety recommendations in the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch report entitled Lack of timely monitoring of patients with glaucoma.

The safety recommendations in the report entitled ‘Lack of timely monitoring of patients with glaucoma’ are aimed at NHS England and NHS Improvement, the Royal College of Ophthalmologists, NHS Digital and the International Glaucoma Association. All organisations are required to provide a response to the relevant recommendations within 90 days of receiving the report, which the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) publish on their website.

NHS England and NHS Improvement will provide an oversight of the implementation of HSIB safety recommendations, through the National Patient Safety Committee. The Committee are working closely with HSIB to establish responsibility for recommendations and the criteria for escalation.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many former NHS employees are in receipt of reduced pension entitlement as a result of deciding to end their careers working on a part-time basis.

The following table shows the number of pensioner members of the NHS Pension Scheme who retired whilst working part-time, the number of members who worked part-time throughout their career, and the number of members who moved to part-time hours during the final five years prior to retirement.

-

Pensioner members who worked part-time on their last day of service

Pensioner members who worked part-time hours throughout their career

Pensioner members who were whole-time and only went part-time in final five years prior to last day of service

Number of members

365,851

183,511

42,239

Note: Approximately 40,000 pensioner members had pensions put into payment before the NHS Business Services Authority modernised their administration systems, so their former working pattern is unknown.

All members of the final salary section of the 1995/2008 NHS pension scheme have their pension calculated using their full-time equivalent pay. A decision to work part-time hours means that the length of pensionable service built up is proportionately less compared to a full-time member. However it does not affect their final pensionable pay providing their whole-time equivalent pay figure remains the same. Members of the 2015 NHS Pension Scheme build up pensions using a Career Average Revalued Earnings method. This means that their pension is based on the actual pay earned in each year. A decision to work part-time does not affect the value of the pension accrued in earlier years.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether (a) his Department and (b) the NHS has issued guidance on the use of Dyson bladeless fans in clinical areas of hospitals.

National Health Service staff take every precaution to ensure that the equipment they use are sterile and do not pass on bacteria and viruses. NHS England and NHS Improvement issued an Estates and Facilities Alert in January 2019 in relation to the risk of cross infection relating to all type of portable fans in health and social care facilities. It is for local teams to decide how best to manage this and keep their patients safe.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
17th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the adequacy of supplies of the HRT drug Evorel Conti.

We are aware that supplies of Evorel Conti patches became unavailable at the end of November 2019 due to the divestment of the product to another company. The Evorel hormone replacement therapy (HRT) patch range has been divested to the company Theramex UK Limited.

The Department has been in contact with Theramex, who anticipates that supplies will become available from February 2020. We are working closely with this company to expedite the resupply date of the Evorel patch range including Evorel Conti.

We have been working closely with all suppliers of HRT preparations to maintain overall supply to patients. We have shared relevant information about the supply situation and availability of HRT products with the National Health Service on a regular basis. Patients affected are advised to discuss alternative treatment options with their clinician.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what discussions he has had with international counterparts on the content of education funded through multilateral organisations; and whether that funding includes provisions for teaching maths and science to girls.

The UK is committed to supporting foundational learning (literacy, numeracy, socio-emotional skills) for all. Foundational learning is critical for achieving higher order skills and effective understanding of STEM subjects from an early age. The UK is a leading donor to the Global Partnership for Education and Education Cannot Wait and uses its influence on their governing boards to ensure foundational learning and education for marginalised girls are priorities. It is not possible to directly track the use of UK core funding to multilateral organisations, such as UNICEF and the World Bank.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what discussions he has had with NGOs in Afghanistan on STEM teaching for girls in that country.

Girl's education globally is a priority for the FCDO. The UK has not specifically engaged with NGOs in Afghanistan on STEM teaching for girls. Our support focuses on foundational learning, which includes numeracy, literacy and socio-emotional skills. We are working with the international community to press the Taliban to reverse their restrictive decisions on girls' education, while we continue to support the delivery of education, including through NGOs, UN partners, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Education Cannot Wait, and the Global Partnership for Education. Our bilateral support has enabled 125,000 children, of which 83,700 are girls, to access education between September 2022 and June 2023.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, how much has been spent on helping Afghan girls to study maths and science since 2021; and how much money has been allocated for that purpose for the next five years.

Providing girls with 12 years of quality and equitable education is a global FCDO priority. FCDO does not disaggregate our education spend by subject. The UK Government strongly condemns the restrictions the Taliban have imposed on Afghan women and girls, and we are working with the international community to press the Taliban to reverse their restrictive decisions on girls' education. We continue to support the delivery of education in Afghanistan, including through NGOs, UN partners, the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Education Cannot Wait, and the Global Partnership for Education. Our bilateral support has enabled 125,000 children, of which 83,700 are girls, to access education between September 2022 and June 2023.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the National Disability Strategy published on 28 July 2021, which of his Department’s commitments in that strategy that have not been paused as a result of legal action have (a) been fully, (b) been partially and (c) not been implemented.

In January 2022, the High Court declared the National Disability Strategy (NDS) was unlawful because the UK Disability Survey, which informed it, was held to be a voluntary consultation that failed to comply with the legal requirements on public consultations. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office had three policies included in the National Disability Strategy. These included:

  • Commitment 1: Launch the enhanced FCDO Disability Inclusion Strategy and embedding disability rights in the new International Development Strategy in 2021
  • Commitment 2: Make the UK's Official Development Assistance spend - £10 billion in 2021 to 2022 - disability inclusive
  • Commitment 3: Establish a new FCDO External Disability Board, first meeting to take place by December 2021

We have completed the first and third commitments with the publication of the FCDO Disability Inclusion and Rights Strategy in February 2022, and the establishment of an External Disability Board. The second commitment is ongoing. As detailed in the Disability Inclusion and Rights Strategy, the FCDO takes a twin-track approach, with targeted support through disability-specific interventions in key sectors alongside mainstreaming disability inclusion across FCDO's work. We remain fully committed to supporting disabled people globally through creating more opportunities, protecting their rights and ensuring they fully benefit from, and can contribute to, every aspect of our society. To support this, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office will be providing further details of our recent achievements to improve disabled people's lives in the forthcoming Disability Action Plan consultation due for publication in the summer. Ahead of this, the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work will write providing a list of these achievements and will place a copy in the House Library.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the effect of reductions in UK aid on the climate vulnerability of women and girls in developing countries.

Women and girls are disproportionately impacted by climate change and environmental degradation. Evidence shows that they are more likely to be dependant for their food and income on threatened natural resources, more likely to be responsible for securing increasingly scarce water and fuel, and significantly more likely to die or be displaced during climate-related disasters.

We remain committed to our five-year pledge to spend £11.6 billion on International Climate Finance (ICF) with an extra £1bn in 2025 if the economy grows as forecast. This will support developing countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change and adopt clean growth pathways, reducing or avoiding carbon emissions. The UK will spend more than £10 billion this year to tackle climate change, improve global health and fight poverty - making us one of the biggest aid donors in the G7.

20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether Government advice against travelling on cruises will be removed for destinations that are given green status under the new traffic light system.

The FCDO remains fully committed to working closely with the Department for Transport and key industry leaders following the publication of the second Global Travel Taskforce report. International cruises will restart alongside the wider restart of international travel, in line with the "traffic light" system. This will be subject to continued satisfactory evidence from the domestic restart and cruising in other countries. Travel advice will continue to be informed by the latest public health risk assessments.

For now, national restrictions on international travel remain in place, including only permitting travel abroad for a limited number of reasons set out in law. Holiday travel is not included.

24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of whether whistleblower Jonathan Taylor is no longer subject to an Interpol Notice or diffusion; and whether he has had discussions with the Croatian authorities on that matter.

This is a matter for the Croatian courts, who are considering the legal basis for Mr Taylor's extradition to Monaco. Any concerns Mr Taylor has about the circumstances in which an Interpol red notice was applied are a matter for Interpol's independent monitoring body, the Commission for Control of Files, and for Mr Taylor's lawyer. As set out in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, we cannot interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, or bypass their laws, just as we would not accept similar interference here. As part of our consular assistance to British nationals overseas we can raise concerns about individuals on diplomatic channels. I spoke to the Monegasque Foreign Secretary and the Croatian State Secretary for European Affairs on 13 November 2020 and sought assurances that both authorities would treat Mr Taylor fairly. Monaco provided direct assurances to Croatia in January.

12th May 2020
To ask the hon. Member for Perth and North Perthshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, whether (a) the guidance entitled, Working Safely During Coronavirus, issued for offices and contact centres on 11 May 2020 applies to the Parliamentary Estate and (b) the Commission plans to implement the measures outlined in that guidance.

The House Service is currently working in conjunction with Public Health England to ensure we meet the government guidelines to become a ‘COVID-19 secure’ workplace, and to build on our existing measures to ensure all those working on the estate can do so safely. Given the variety of activities that are undertaken on the estate, a number of the sector specific guidance documents are relevant, all of which are being reviewed and measures taken where required.

30th Jan 2024
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department made an assessment of the potential impact of its proposals to change the (a) income and (b) net asset financial promotion exemption thresholds for defining high-net-worth (i) individuals and (ii) sophisticated investors on trends in the level of regional economic development.

The changes to the financial promotion exemptions that came into force on 31 January 2024 were subject to a public consultation which closed in March 2022. Respondents to the consultation were broadly supportive of the changes being made. Impacts of the proposals were considered, and a de minimis impact assessment was published alongside the final reforms.

However, the Government recognises the significant concerns that have been raised recently about these changes. I met last week with the angel investing sector and listened carefully to the representations made, and the Government is working closely with the sector to address the concerns raised.

Bim Afolami
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what representations his Department received from industry stakeholders on its proposals to change the (a) income and (b) net asset financial promotion exemption thresholds for defining high-net-worth (i) individuals and (ii) sophisticated investors.

The changes to the financial promotion exemptions that came into force on 31 January 2024 were subject to a public consultation which closed in March 2022. Respondents to the consultation were broadly supportive of the changes being made. Impacts of the proposals were considered, and a de minimis impact assessment was published alongside the final reforms.

However, the Government recognises the significant concerns that have been raised recently about these changes. I met last week with the angel investing sector and listened carefully to the representations made, and the Government is working closely with the sector to address the concerns raised.

Bim Afolami
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department completed an equality impact assessment on its proposals to change the (a) income and (b) net asset financial promotion exemption thresholds for defining high-net-worth (i) individuals and (ii) sophisticated investors.

The changes to the financial promotion exemptions that came into force on 31 January 2024 were subject to a public consultation which closed in March 2022. Respondents to the consultation were broadly supportive of the changes being made. Impacts of the proposals were considered, and a de minimis impact assessment was published alongside the final reforms.

However, the Government recognises the significant concerns that have been raised recently about these changes. I met last week with the angel investing sector and listened carefully to the representations made, and the Government is working closely with the sector to address the concerns raised.

Bim Afolami
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an estimate of the number of women that will meet the new (a) income and (b) net asset financial promotion exemption thresholds for defining high-net-worth (i) individuals and (ii) sophisticated investors.

The changes to the financial promotion exemptions that came into force on 31 January 2024 were subject to a public consultation which closed in March 2022. Respondents to the consultation were broadly supportive of the changes being made. Impacts of the proposals were considered, and a de minimis impact assessment was published alongside the final reforms.

However, the Government recognises the significant concerns that have been raised recently about these changes. I met last week with the angel investing sector and listened carefully to the representations made, and the Government is working closely with the sector to address the concerns raised.

Bim Afolami
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Apr 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what redress is available to energy customers who dispute the accuracy of information provided to Experian by energy companies.

Information on a credit report should be purely factual. For example, if a consumer has incurred arrears with an energy company that shares information with Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs), then these arrears will have been recorded on the consumer’s credit report.

If a consumer believes that an item on their credit report is inaccurate, they can raise a dispute with the CRA they received their report from, or with the organisation that supplied the information. If an organisation fails to correct any inaccuracies with the information that they have supplied to a CRA, a consumer can make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO is the UK's independent body set up to uphold information rights, and it enforces the Data Protection Act.

The ICO can tell organisations such as energy companies to help resolve a consumer’s complaint, including requiring an organisation to correct any inaccuracies. The ICO cannot award compensation, even when it gives an opinion that an organisation has broken data protection law. However, consumers have a right to claim compensation from an organisation if they have suffered damage as a result of it breaking data protection law. This includes both material damage, for example where a consumer has lost money, or non-material damage, for example where a consumer has suffered distress. They can do this by contacting the organisation directly or by making a claim in court.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what additional funding he plans to make available to small businesses impacted by the further four weeks of covid-19 restrictions.

Throughout the pandemic, the Government has sought to protect people’s jobs and livelihoods while also supporting businesses and public services across the UK.

The Government put in place an economic package of support totalling £352 billion through the furlough and self-employed income support schemes, support for businesses through grants and loans, business rates and VAT relief.

At Budget the Government deliberately went long and erred on the side of generosity – specifically to accommodate any short delay to the roadmap. Most of the Government’s Covid support schemes do not end until September or after, in order to provide continuity and certainty for businesses and families.

The Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) announced at Budget 2021 ensures lenders continue to have the confidence to lend, ensuring viable businesses, including small businesses, continue to have access to Government-backed finance needed throughout 2021. The scheme launched on 6 April 2021, following the closure of the emergency schemes to new loan applications on 31 March 2021, and will run until 31 December 2021. The scheme operates UK-wide, providing an 80% guarantee to lenders for term loans, overdrafts, and invoice and asset finance.

At Budget, it was also announced that local authorities in England will receive a top-up worth a total of £425m to the Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) fund. This, combined with the £1.6 billion previously allocated, means local authorities will have received over £2bn of discretionary grant funding to support businesses which are not eligible for Restart Grants but which are nonetheless experiencing a severe impact on their business due to public health restrictions. Nearly half of the £2bn is still with local authorities and yet to be allocated.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was introduced to help employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus to retain their employees and protect the UK economy. All businesses across the UK can access the scheme, with employees receiving 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. At Budget the government extended the CJRS until the end of September 2021, to support businesses and employees through the next stage of the pandemic. The economy now is in a stronger position than it was last autumn, when businesses also contributed up to 20 per cent of wage costs.

In line with the extension to the CJRS, the government announced at Budget 2021 that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will continue until September, with a fourth and a final fifth grant. This provides certainty to business as the economy reopens and means the SEISS will continue to be one of the most generous schemes for the self-employed in the world.

As restrictions have been lifted, it is right that we ask employers to contribute more to strike the balance between supporting the economy as it opens up, continuing to provide support and protect incomes, and ensuring incentives are in place to get people back to work.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the effect on the income of small businesses of the decision to extend covid-19 restrictions beyond 21 June 2021.

Throughout the pandemic, the Government has sought to protect people’s jobs and livelihoods while also supporting businesses and public services across the UK.

The Government put in place an economic package of support totalling £352 billion through the furlough and self-employed income support schemes, support for businesses through grants and loans, business rates and VAT relief.

At the Budget, the Chancellor announced a generous extension of economic support to reflect the easing of restrictions and enable the private sector to bounce back as quickly as possible. As the Chancellor put it in his Budget speech: “we’re going long, extending our support well beyond the end of the Roadmap to accommodate even the most cautious view about the time it might take to exit the restrictions”.

Eligible businesses and employees across the United Kingdom are benefitting from the extension of the CJRS until the end of September, with employees receiving 80% of their salary for hours not worked, up to £2500 per month. From July, employers will contribute 10% of costs of unworked hours, followed by 20% in August and 20% in September. Many other countries have already done the same (Denmark, Netherlands, France, Spain), and economy-wide schemes have ended in Australia and New Zealand. Furthermore, the economy now is in a stronger position than it was last autumn, when businesses also contributed up to 20 per cent of wage costs. And lastly, the labour market is in a stronger position, with 5.5 million fewer people on furlough than in April 2020 and hiring intentions and job vacancy levels in June around 29 per cent above February 2020 levels.

Businesses that have legally remained closed or effectively cannot operate also recently benefitted from Restart Grants of up to £18,000 and can continue to benefit from the Governments £2 billion of discretionary grant funding for Local Authorities (LA) in England. Throughout the pandemic these businesses have also benefited from the £25 billion grant support that has been made available.

As restrictions have been lifted, it is right that we ask employers to contribute more to strike the balance between supporting the economy as it opens up, continuing to provide support and protect incomes, and ensuring incentives are in place to get people back to work.

The delay of Step 4 is accommodated by the continuation of the Government’s package of economic support, with CJRS, SEISS, business grants, business rates relief and loan programmes all extending into the autumn or beyond.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what income the exchequer receives from VAT on personal safety alarms.

HMRC does not hold information on the amount of VAT collected from personal safety alarms. Businesses are not required to provide information at this level in their tax returns as this would impose an excessive administrative burden.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the barriers to making personal safety alarms zero-rated for VAT.

Emergency alarm systems are standard-rated with exception to those that are designed to be operated by a disabled person which are Zero-rated enabling disabled persons to call for help in case of illness or injury.

VAT raises significant revenue to be used for public spending, on services such as the health, defence, and education. The extension of the z/r would have to be considered in the context of £50bn of VAT relief requests that Government has received since the EU referendum.

Extending the current VAT relief to all would come at a significant cost to the Exchequer, and there are no current plans to extend the scope of the relief already in place. However, the Government keeps all taxes under review.

8th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of extending business rates exemptions and the temporary VAT reduction for businesses in the wedding industry to relieve the financial pressure on the sector resulting from the covid-19 outbreak.

This year the Government has provided an unprecedented business rates holiday for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties due to the direct adverse effects of COVID-19, worth over £10 billion, and has frozen the business rates multiplier for all businesses for 2021-22.

The temporary VAT reduced rate came into effect on 15 July 2020 and was initially scheduled to end on 12 January 2021. In order to continue supporting the cash flow and viability of over 150,000 businesses and to protect 2.4 million jobs, the Government extended the temporary reduced rate of VAT (five per cent) to goods and services supplied by the tourism and hospitality sectors until 31 March 2021. The Government continues to keep all taxes under review, and any tax decisions will be made at Budget.

The Government has provided various schemes to support firms overall, including Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans, Bounce Back Loans, grants and VAT deferrals.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the potential tax revenues lost to the public purse as a result of a lack of regulation of the grey market in gambling.

The information requested is not available as HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) does not make an estimate of the amount of revenue lost as a result of the lack of regulation of the grey market in gambling.

However, HMRC does provide an illustrative estimate of the tax gap arising from ‘other excise duties’ which includes betting and gaming duties, cider and perry duties, spirit-based ready-to-drink duties and wine duties. The aggregate estimate for ‘other excise duties’ was £520 million for the tax year 2018-19.

Tax gap statistics are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/measuring-tax-gaps

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing additional financial support to businesses still not allowed to trade as a result of covid-19 restrictions.

The Government has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency. Businesses that remain unable to trade as a result of Covid-19 restrictions continue to have access to a range of support measures that the Government has already made available.

This includes, but is not limited to, the four government-backed loan schemes for firms of all sizes, and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). The CJRS will continue to provide support to the end of October. The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible and how to apply - https://www.gov.uk/business-coronavirus-support-finder.

The Government is following its COVID-19 recovery strategy, which was published on 11 May. The strategy sets out our plan for moving to the next phase of our response, alongside a cautious roadmap for easing existing measures in a safe and measured way. This roadmap and our financial support schemes are kept constantly under review. The Government will continue to work closely with businesses that are yet to reopen on plans for a safe, phased reopening, subject to public health guidance, and consider how to best continue supporting these businesses.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to implement the recommendations contained in Sir Amyas Morse's Loan Charge review published in December 2019.

Disguised Renumeration (DR) schemes seek to avoid tax by paying users their earnings in the form of loans, usually via an offshore trust, so that neither Income Tax nor National Insurance Contributions are paid on the income channelled through the scheme.

The Loan Charge was designed to tackle DR tax avoidance schemes. The Independent Loan Charge Review led by Sir Amyas Morse assessed the impact of the policy on affected taxpayers and concluded that it was right for the Loan Charge to remain in force, and for the Government to seek to collect the tax due. However, the Review did also raise a number of concerns.

The Government accepted all but one of the recommendations made by the Review. The Government is currently legislating to implement these changes to the Loan Charge in the Finance Bill.

23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether (a) income tax and (b) national insurance contributions have been deducted from income from loan schemes through third parties that were entered into before 9 December 2019.

Disguised Renumeration (DR) schemes seek to avoid tax by paying users their earnings in the form of loans, usually via an offshore trust, so that neither Income Tax nor National Insurance Contributions are paid on the income channelled through the scheme.

The Loan Charge was designed to tackle DR tax avoidance schemes. The Independent Loan Charge Review led by Sir Amyas Morse assessed the impact of the policy on affected taxpayers and concluded that it was right for the Loan Charge to remain in force, and for the Government to seek to collect the tax due. However, the Review did also raise a number of concerns.

The Government accepted all but one of the recommendations made by the Review. The Government is currently legislating to implement these changes to the Loan Charge in the Finance Bill.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to enable child benefit claims to be split between parents.

At present, the law provides for Child Benefit to be paid to one parent only. The parent who claims Child Benefit can voluntarily choose to pay an agreed proportion to the other parent. Where parents separate and both have care of their child, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) encourages them to agree who should claim Child Benefit. Where they cannot reach an agreement, the law allows HMRC to decide, at their discretion, who should receive the payment.

Currently there are no plans to change the law to split payments of Child Benefit where parents have separated and share care of their children. The government believes that directing payment to the person mainly responsible for the child best ensures that the money goes to the person most likely to bear the weight of everyday care and expenditure.

Steve Barclay
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
17th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reason 15,000 non-consensual images reported as part of Operation Makedom remain online; and what steps he is taking to seek the removal of that content.

The Online Safety Act gained Royal Assent in October 2023 and seeks to make the UK the safest place in the world to be online. It will, for the first time, place clear legal duties on technology companies to take proactive steps to identify, remove and prevent users encountering illegal content, including child sexual abuse material and non-consensually shared intimate images from their platforms. The Act also updates and improves legislation relating to the taking and sharing of intimate images.

The Government has funded the Revenge Porn Helpline to support victims of non-consensual intimate image sharing, colloquially known as ‘revenge porn’. since it was established in 2015. The Home Office is providing £150k to the Helpline in 2023/24.

The Home Office has developed the world-leading Child Abuse Image Database (CAID) which brings together all the images that the Police and NCA encounter. We have provided the Internet Watch Foundation with a connection to CAID, enabling them to share the images’ unique identifiers – called hashes - to allow more child sexual abuse material online to be identified and removed. Home Office investment also supports the National Crime Agency to remove the most horrific child sexual abuse material from the internet, including on the dark web.

Laura Farris
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
16th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people were (a) arrested on suspicion and (b) convicted of people smuggling in UK waters since the start of January 2023.

The data requested cannot be provided as it comes from live operational databases that have not been quality assured.

7th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department is taking steps to help support British citizens fleeing the conflict in Gaza to obtain visas for family members to travel with them to the UK.

The UK Government is monitoring the situation in Israel and Gaza closely to ensure that it is able to respond appropriately. Flights were initially facilitated to help British citizens wanting to leave Israel.

British citizens and their foreign national dependants (spouse, unmarried/civil partner, child under 18), may come to the UK provided they have valid travel documents and existing permission to enter or remain in the UK; or are non-visa nationals.

Individuals who do not meet these criteria should apply for a visa to enable them to enter the UK in the normal way.

UKVI is working closely with the FCDO in supporting family members of British nationals evacuated from Gaza who require a visa, signposting the necessary steps and expediting appointments at the Visa Application Centre.

7th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she is taking steps to help ensure there are effective routes for refugee family reunion in the UK for Palestinian refugees seeking to join family members in the UK.

The Government’s refugee family reunion policy provides a safe and legal route to bring families together. This route allows for family reunion applications from recognised refugees who have protection status in the UK.

The UK has a proud history of supporting refugees. Since 2015, we have offered a safe and legal route to over half a million people seeking safety in the UK. The UK continues to welcome refugees through our existing resettlement schemes which include the global UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS), Community Sponsorship, the Mandate Resettlement Scheme and the family reunion route.

20th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with abortion providers on the implementation of safe access zones.

The timescales for commencing the new Section 9 offence of interference with access to, or provision of, abortion services will be confirmed in due course.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
7th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department produced a ministerial response under the write round process to the Department for Education's review of the relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) curriculum.

The Secretary of State for Education has been clear she is very concerned about reports of inappropriate materials being used to teach relationships and sex education (RSHE). The Government has brought forward the review of the RSHE statutory guidance as a result, including conducting a public consultation as soon as possible.

The statutory guidance clearly states that the guidance will be reviewed every three years from first teaching (September 2020) and so the decision to review the guidance does not require collective agreement. The Secretary of State for Education will seek collective agreement to the consultation documents through a write-round process, before publishing the consultation in the autumn. This process is not yet underway.

As part of the review, an expert panel has been established to advise the Secretary of State on what topics should and should not be taught in school and the introduction of age limits. This will provide clear guidance for teachers about when certain topics can be addressed.

In tandem to this work, the Oak Academy is producing a suite of materials to support teachers to create age-appropriate lessons plans and ensure that they have access to appropriate materials.

The Government is determined to make sure RSHE teaching leaves children equipped to make informed decisions about their health, wellbeing and relationships, in a sensitive way that reflects their stage of development.

The Government expects new statutory guidance to be released in the coming months. It will then be subject to public consultation to conclude by the end of the year, coming into statutory force as soon as possible after that.

15th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the National Disability Strategy published on 28 July 2021, which of her Department’s commitments in that strategy that have not been paused as a result of legal action have (a) been fully, (b) been partially and (c) not been implemented.

In January 2022, the High Court declared the National Disability Strategy (NDS) was unlawful because the UK Disability Survey, which informed it, was held to be a voluntary consultation that failed to comply with the legal requirements on public consultations.

The Home Office had 4 policies included in the National Disability Strategy. These included:

  1. Tackle the accessibility skills gap:
  • A cross-government digital accessibility profession has been defined and fully implemented:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/accessibility-specialist

  • A paper called Accessibility in Procurement has been drafted by a cross-government team of procurement, digital, disability and other experts​ and continues to progress and is therefore partially implemented.

  1. The Home Office and DHSC will jointly lead a review into the protections and support available to adults abused in their own homes by people providing their care, coordinating inputs from wider government, disabled people, carers organisations and other interested parties.
  • This has been fully implemented as the Safe Care at Home Review has now been published. We will continue to work with stakeholders and wider government to improve the support and protections available to people with care and support needs who are at risk of, or are being abused in their own home by the people providing their care.
  1. All 3 security agencies – MI5, MI6 and GCHQ – will ensure that our workforce will be fully representative of wider society we serve by 2030.
  • This commitment is ongoing.

  1. In 2021, the Home Office will publish a new cross-government strategy to tackle the crime and disorder that undermines the quality of life for everyone. This will include tackling hate crime, of which tackling disability hate crime will be an integral part. The Home Office commits to work with disabled people and other disability stakeholders to develop the new strategy for publication in the autumn.

  • This commitment has not been implemented
  • We will not publish a new Hate Crime Strategy because the Government is focussing on improving the police response to all crime. This approach represents the best use of public money. We remain committed to continuing to protect all communities from crime.
  • Our absolute priority is to get more police into our streets, cut crime, protect the public and bring more criminals to justice. We are supporting police by providing them with the resources they need. This has included the recruitment of 20,000 extra police officers.

We remain fully committed to supporting disabled people in the UK through creating more opportunities, protecting their rights and ensuring they fully benefit from, and can contribute to, every aspect of our society. To support this, The Home Office will be providing further details of our recent achievements to improve disabled people’s lives in the forthcoming Disability Action Plan consultation due for publication in the summer.

Ahead of this, the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work will write providing a list of these achievements and will place a copy in the House Library.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
20th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential impact of the Illegal Migration Bill on the remit of the Independent Family Returns Panel.

We are not abolishing the Independent Family Returns Panel (IFRP). We are removing the duty to consult them in order to swiftly remove those families who fall for removal under the Illegal Migration Bill. However, we remain in open dialogue with the IFRP about the role they will have in the removal of those families with children who fall within the remit of the Bill. The IFRP will continue to play an important role in the removal of families with children who do not fall within the remit of the Illegal Migration Bill.

20th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to abolish the Independent Family Returns Panel.

We are not abolishing the Independent Family Returns Panel (IFRP). We are removing the duty to consult them in order to swiftly remove those families who fall for removal under the Illegal Migration Bill. However, we remain in open dialogue with the IFRP about the role they will have in the removal of those families with children who fall within the remit of the Bill. The IFRP will continue to play an important role in the removal of families with children who do not fall within the remit of the Illegal Migration Bill.

20th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Independent Family Returns Panel will have a role in oversight of the removal of children seeking asylum to Rwanda.

We are not abolishing the Independent Family Returns Panel (IFRP). We are removing the duty to consult them in order to swiftly remove those families who fall for removal under the Illegal Migration Bill. However, we remain in open dialogue with the IFRP about the role they will have in the removal of those families with children who fall within the remit of the Bill. The IFRP will continue to play an important role in the removal of families with children who do not fall within the remit of the Illegal Migration Bill.

31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what advice her Department provides to police forces to help tackle pony and trap racing on public highways.

How the police carry out enforcement, exercise their powers and deploy their available resources on public highways are operational matters for Chief Officers.

They will decide what the most effective response is to deal with pony and trap racing in the local area, and also to deter offenders and take preventative action.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many incidents of illegal pony and trap racing were recorded by police forces in England in the last 12 months.

This information is not held centrally by the Home Office.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many complaints her Department has received in each of the last five years on (a) prejudiced and (b) discriminatory attitudes of contracted language interpreters towards asylum claimants during asylum interviews; and of those complaints how many have resulted in (i) written warnings, (ii) suspensions of and (iii) the removal of interpreters from her Department’s approved list.

The Home Office is unable to provide the data requested because this information is not held in a reportable format, not routinely published and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

21st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Afghan refugees have been accommodated in permanent homes through the Afghanistan housing portal as of 21 November 2022.

We have been working as fast as possible to support Afghan families into homes of their own, so that they can settle into their local communities and rebuild their lives in the UK.

At 4 November 2022, 9,242 individuals are in bridging accommodation and 7,572 individuals have moved in to settled accommodation, with a further 729 individuals matched to a property and waiting to move in.

21st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Afghan refugees were temporarily accommodated in hotels in the latest period for which data are available; and how many of those refugees were (a) men, (b) women and (c) children.

We have been working as fast as possible to support Afghan families into homes of their own, so that they can settle into their local communities and rebuild their lives in the UK.

At 4 November 2022, 9,242 individuals are in bridging accommodation and 7,572 individuals have moved in to settled accommodation, with a further 729 individuals matched to a property and waiting to move in.

21st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many women have been issued with notices of the Government’s intention to remove them to Rwanda through the Rwanda Migration and Economic Development Partnership; and how many of these women have disclosed histories of (a) sexual or gender-based violence, (b) human trafficking and (c) modern slavery.

A breakdown of individuals considered for relocation under the Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda is not currently available.

The latest published Immigration Statistics detail the number of individuals being managed under inadmissibility rules and can be found online at How many people do we grant asylum or protection to? - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much has been spent on transportation to move those in the asylum application process to dispersed accommodation in (a) 2021 and (b) 2022 to date.

Total expenditure on asylum is published in the Home Office Annual Report and Accounts, available at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/ho-annual-reports-and-accounts. This was last updated on 14 July 2022.

The information requested could only be provided at a disproportionate cost.

14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much her Department has spent on transport services to relocate asylum seekers to hotel accommodation in (a) 2021 and (b) 2022.

Total expenditure on asylum is published in the Home Office Annual Report and Accounts, available at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/ho-annual-reports-and-accounts. This was last updated on 14 July 2022.

The information requested could only be provided at a disproportionate cost.

21st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Tier 2 work visa holders were waiting for their biometric residence permit to be processed as of 21 October 2022; and what the average wait was for a biometric residence permit for a Tier 2 work visa holder in the latest period for which data is available.

The waiting times for biometric residence permits (BRP) are dictated by the BRP production and delivery processes.

We aim to deliver a BRP within 7 working days of the immigration decision. BRPs are produced at the secure delivery facility (Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA)) within 48 hours of the production request being made and are collected by our secure delivery partner the same day. Our secure delivery partner (FedEx) aims to attempt to deliver the BRPs within 48 hours of receipt of the BRPs. This equates to a minimum of 5 working days from date of production request being made to delivery of the BRP. We have added an additional 2 working days to the timeline advised to applicants to allow us to resolve any production issues.

In September, DVLA produced all BRPs within 48 hours of the production request, with 91.1% being produced within 24 hours. In September FedEx attempted to deliver 99.88% of BRPs within 48 hours.

21st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Tier 4 student visa holders were waiting for their biometric residence permit to be processed as of 21 October 2022; and what the average wait was for a biometric residence permit for a Tier 4 student visa holder in the latest period for which data is available.

The waiting times for biometric residence permits (BRP) are dictated by the BRP production and delivery processes.

We aim to deliver a BRP within 7 working days of the immigration decision. BRPs are produced at the secure delivery facility (Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA)) within 48 hours of the production request being made and are collected by our secure delivery partner the same day. Our secure delivery partner (FedEx) aims to attempt to deliver the BRPs within 48 hours of receipt of the BRPs. This equates to a minimum of 5 working days from date of production request being made to delivery of the BRP. We have added an additional 2 working days to the timeline advised to applicants to allow us to resolve any production issues.

In September, DVLA produced all BRPs within 48 hours of the production request, with 91.1% being produced within 24 hours. In September FedEx attempted to deliver 99.88% of BRPs within 48 hours.

21st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will reinstate the security checking DBS service for Ukrainian refugees seeking employment in childcare settings.

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) is able to provide criminal record certificates for those who have lived overseas and DBS checks therefore can be undertaken for Ukrainians who wish to work in those sectors where DBS checks are mandatory or where employers require them including childcare settings. However, as the DBS cannot access overseas criminal records, DBS checks will only contain information on criminal records in the UK. The Home Office provides guidance to employers who wish to request overseas criminal records checks for time spent abroad.

Specifically, Ukrainian citizens can apply for their criminal record checks via the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine.

10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many and what proportion of people with lawful right of abode are (a) currently waiting for a biometric residence permit card and (b) have been waiting for that card for more than 6 weeks.

The information is not held in the requested format.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average length of time is for her Department to issue a biometric residence permit after an application has been approved.

The waiting times for biometric residence permits (BRP) are dictated by the BRP production and delivery processes.

We aim to deliver a BRP within 7 working days of the immigration decision. BRPs are produced at the secure delivery facility (Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA)) within 48 hours of the production request being made and are collected by our secure delivery partner the same day. Our secure delivery partner (FedEx) aims to attempt to deliver the BRPs within 48 hours of receipt of the BRPs. This equates to a minimum of 5 working days from the date of production request being made, to delivery of the BRP. We have added an additional 2 working days to the timeline advised to applicants to allow us to resolve any production issues.

In September, DVLA produced all BRPs within 48 hours of the production request, with 91.1% being produced within 24 hours. In September, FedEx attempted to deliver 99.88% of BRPs within 48 hours.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
19th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the Istanbul Convention will be ratified by 31 July 2022.

On 21st July the UK ratified the Istanbul Convention, sending a strong message to women and girls across the UK, and around the world, that the Government is committed to tackling VAWG.

The Istanbul Convention is the gold standard for combating violence against women and girls (VAWG). The UK signed the Convention in 2012 and the Government has always remained committed to ratifying it as soon as possible. This commitment was reiterated in our Tackling VAWG Strategy, published last July.

Since signing the Convention in 2012, we have significantly strengthened the legislative framework and introduced a range of new measures, including new offences on domestic abuse, forced marriage and stalking; tools such as Domestic Violence, Stalking and FGM Protection Orders; and a range of guidance and support for professionals.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of asylum seekers that will be removed to Rwanda as part of the UK and Rwanda Migration and Economic Development Partnership each year.

The number of individuals relocated to Rwanda as part of the Migration and Economic Development Partnership is expected to be in the thousands over the lifetime of the partnership, which is expected to last at least five years. However, there is no limit under the agreement so there is scope to increase this.

Regarding costs, the UK is investing an initial £120 million into the economic development and growth of Rwanda. Funding will also be provided to support the delivery of asylum operations, accommodation and integration. Every person’s needs are different, but we anticipate the amount would be comparable to processing costs incurred in the UK. Funding will only be provided while a person remains in Rwanda.

5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the annual cost of the UK and Rwanda Migration and Economic Development Partnership.

The number of individuals relocated to Rwanda as part of the Migration and Economic Development Partnership is expected to be in the thousands over the lifetime of the partnership, which is expected to last at least five years. However, there is no limit under the agreement so there is scope to increase this.

Regarding costs, the UK is investing an initial £120 million into the economic development and growth of Rwanda. Funding will also be provided to support the delivery of asylum operations, accommodation and integration. Every person’s needs are different, but we anticipate the amount would be comparable to processing costs incurred in the UK. Funding will only be provided while a person remains in Rwanda.

5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the selection criteria by which asylum seekers' suitability for the UK and Rwanda Migration and Economic Development Partnership is assessed.

As set out in the Home Office’s updated Inadmissibility guidance, published on 9 May, an asylum claimant may be eligible for removal to Rwanda if their claim is inadmissible under this policy and (a) that claimant’s journey to the UK can be described as having been dangerous and (b) was made on or after 1 January 2022. A dangerous journey is one able or likely to cause harm or injury. For example, this would include those that travel via small boat, or clandestinely in lorries. A case-by-case assessment will take place for every individual considered for relocation. No one will be relocated if it is unsafe or inappropriate for them

5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she will take to measure the effectiveness of the UK and Rwanda Migration and Economic Development Partnership.

The Migration and Economic Development Partnership will address the shared international challenge of illegal migration and is part of a suite of measures in the New Plan for Immigration to break the business model of people smugglers while maintaining a fair and robust immigration and borders system.

Recognising that the policy is still at an early stage, we are currently working on a monitoring and evaluation plan which will measure the effectiveness of this innovative arrangement . We will be able to set out more details on this in due course.

The European Court of Human Rights granted last-minute interim measures which prohibited the removal of three individuals set to be relocated to Rwanda on 14 June 2022. The European Court of Human Rights did not rule that the policy or removals were unlawful.. Therefore, no individual has yet been relocated to Rwanda under this partnership however as with all policies its impact will be kept under review.

We strongly believe that this project meets our obligations under both national and international law. We cannot comment on ongoing legal proceedings, however we have been clear from the start that we expect people to make legal challenges or barriers to removal. However, we will do what it takes to deliver this new partnership.

14th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps she has taken to reduce the backlog in processing applications for biometric residence permits.

We are not aware of any delays in processing biometric residence permits once a decision has been made on a customer’s immigration application.

1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the date on which the Afghan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme will commence.

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme is not yet open and remains under development. Officials are working urgently to stand up the remaining elements of the scheme. The first to be resettled through this scheme will be some of those who arrived in the UK under the evacuation programme, which included individuals who were considered to be at particular risk.

Further information on the eligibility, prioritisation and referral of people for the ACRS is set out in the policy statement published on gov.uk on 13 September, available at www.gov.uk/government/publications/afghanistan-resettlement-and-immigration-policy-statement.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether police forces collect data in the event that a victim of a violent crime against the person perceives that the motivation for that crime was their gender.

The Home Office have asked police forces, on an experimental basis, to record and identify any crimes of violence against the person, including stalking and harassment, and sexual offences where the victim perceives it to have been motivated by a hostility based on their sex (not gender).

Each new data requirement incurs an administrative burden on the police and needs close engagement with forces to ensure data recording is accurate and consistent.

We are in consultation with the National Police Chiefs’ Council and forces on how to take this forward.

25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which databases held by the Department for Work and Pensions her Department has accessed in order to determine whether people may need to apply for EU settled status.

The Government is using every possible channel to encourage everyone who may be eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) to apply.

The Home Office is currently working with HMRC and DWP to send letters to EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who receive benefits, but it appears are yet to apply to the EUSS.

The information shared with the Home Office by DWP was sourced from the DWP Data Analytics Data Warehouse (DADW) which holds data from Legacy systems, the Universal Credit (UC) database and the Migrants Workers Database (MWDB).

In trying to reach as many people as possible, there may be a small number of instances where these letters are sent to recipients who are naturalised as a British citizen. The letter may also be received by a small number of individuals who have already applied to the EUSS, for example because they applied after the initial exercise with DWP or HMRC was completed, but before the letter was sent out. The letter makes clear anyone who is a British citizen or already has EUSS status does not need to take any action.

As of 30 April 2021, 4.9m grants of EUSS status have been made. The Home Office urges anyone eligible for the EUSS to apply before the 30 June deadline to ensure their rights are protected following the end of the grace period.

25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which Government departments she has shared data with to identify people who may be eligible for the EU settled status scheme but who have not yet registered for that scheme.

The Government is using every possible channel to encourage everyone who may be eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) to apply.

The Home Office is currently working with HMRC and DWP to send letters to EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who receive benefits, but it appears are yet to apply to the EUSS.

The information shared with the Home Office by DWP was sourced from the DWP Data Analytics Data Warehouse (DADW) which holds data from Legacy systems, the Universal Credit (UC) database and the Migrants Workers Database (MWDB).

In trying to reach as many people as possible, there may be a small number of instances where these letters are sent to recipients who are naturalised as a British citizen. The letter may also be received by a small number of individuals who have already applied to the EUSS, for example because they applied after the initial exercise with DWP or HMRC was completed, but before the letter was sent out. The letter makes clear anyone who is a British citizen or already has EUSS status does not need to take any action.

As of 30 April 2021, 4.9m grants of EUSS status have been made. The Home Office urges anyone eligible for the EUSS to apply before the 30 June deadline to ensure their rights are protected following the end of the grace period.

25th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent estimate she has made of the number of British citizens who have been sent a letter telling them to register for EU settled status.

The Government is using every possible channel to encourage everyone who may be eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) to apply.

The Home Office is currently working with HMRC and DWP to send letters to EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who receive benefits, but it appears are yet to apply to the EUSS.

The information shared with the Home Office by DWP was sourced from the DWP Data Analytics Data Warehouse (DADW) which holds data from Legacy systems, the Universal Credit (UC) database and the Migrants Workers Database (MWDB).

In trying to reach as many people as possible, there may be a small number of instances where these letters are sent to recipients who are naturalised as a British citizen. The letter may also be received by a small number of individuals who have already applied to the EUSS, for example because they applied after the initial exercise with DWP or HMRC was completed, but before the letter was sent out. The letter makes clear anyone who is a British citizen or already has EUSS status does not need to take any action.

As of 30 April 2021, 4.9m grants of EUSS status have been made. The Home Office urges anyone eligible for the EUSS to apply before the 30 June deadline to ensure their rights are protected following the end of the grace period.

15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 12 March 2021 to Question 162580 on Youth Mobility Scheme, how many visas her Department plans to include in any reciprocal Youth Mobility Scheme (a) with the EU and (b) with individual EU Member States.

We have indicated our intention to continue operating and further expanding our youth mobility arrangements both to countries within the EU and beyond.

Any agreement must be reciprocal hence there is no timeframe for when formal discussions will take place as this involves other nations. The specific terms of each scheme, including the numbers of places available under it, will be confirmed with the relevant parties during such negotiations.

15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 12 March 2021 to Question 162580 on Youth Mobility Scheme, whether she plans to include au pairs be in any future Youth Mobility Scheme with the EU or individual EU Member States.

We have indicated our intention to continue operating and further expanding our youth mobility arrangements both to countries within the EU and beyond.

Any agreement must be reciprocal hence there is no timeframe for when formal discussions will take place as this involves other nations. The specific terms of each scheme, including the numbers of places available under it, will be confirmed with the relevant parties during such negotiations.

15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 12 March 2021 to Question 162580 on Youth Mobility Scheme, when she plans to commence formal discussions with the EU collectively or any EU member state individually on a reciprocal youth mobility scheme.

We have indicated our intention to continue operating and further expanding our youth mobility arrangements both to countries within the EU and beyond.

Any agreement must be reciprocal hence there is no timeframe for when formal discussions will take place as this involves other nations. The specific terms of each scheme, including the numbers of places available under it, will be confirmed with the relevant parties during such negotiations.

3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with her EU counterparts on a reciprocal youth mobility scheme.

We remain open to expanding our Youth Mobility Scheme to more nations, based on agreeing suitable reciprocal arrangements.

We have not commenced formal discussions with any EU member states or with the EU collectively but remain open to doing so.

14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people in immigration removal centres have refused fluid and food for 24 hours or more in the last 12 months.

We take the welfare and safety of persons detained in our care very seriously and their health is monitored closely at all times and particularly during periods where they appear to be or are not consuming food and or fluid. Persons detained who appear to be or are not consuming food and or fluid are managed in line with published guidance, Detention Services Order (DSO) 3/2017, ‘Care and Management of Detainees Refusing Food and Fluid’.

It is not uncommon for persons detained to refuse set meals at times of fasting, or for religious or dietary reasons. Individuals may also prefer to purchase their own food and drink from the local shop within an Immigration Removal Centre.

As there may be many reasons why an individual is not eating set meals, the Home Office does not publish data on the number of individuals who are being managed in line with the DSO.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers in supported accommodation have refused fluid or food in the last 12 months.

We take the welfare of those in our care very seriously. We provide asylum seekers in supported accommodation with safe, Covid-compliant accommodation along with free nutritious meals, all paid for by the taxpayer.

Regular welfare checks are conducted on service users, including behavioural monitoring of those who show signs of vulnerability, and where appropriate safeguarding referrals are made to relevant bodies.

We work closely with our accommodation providers to ensure that all asylum seekers in supported accommodation are aware of, and have access to, Migrant Help’s helpline. This service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, if service users need help, advice or guidance, including signposting to relevant mental and medical health services.

The Home Office does not publish statistics of service users who refuse fluid or food in supported accommodation.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people in immigration removal centres are on hunger strike as of 14 January 2021.

We take the welfare and safety of persons detained in our care very seriously and their health is monitored closely at all times and particularly during periods where they appear to be or are not consuming food and or fluid. Persons detained who appear to be or are not consuming food and or fluid are managed in line with published guidance, Detention Services Order (DSO) 3/2017, ‘Care and Management of Detainees Refusing Food and Fluid’.

It is not uncommon for persons detained to refuse set meals at times of fasting, or for religious or dietary reasons. Individuals may also prefer to purchase their own food and drink from the local shop within an Immigration Removal Centre.

As there may be many reasons why an individual is not eating set meals, the Home Office does not publish data on the number of individuals who are being managed in line with the DSO.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many asylum seekers in supported accommodation are currently refusing food or fluid.

We take the welfare of those in our care very seriously. We provide asylum seekers in supported accommodation with safe, Covid-compliant accommodation along with free nutritious meals, all paid for by the taxpayer.

Regular welfare checks are conducted on service users, including behavioural monitoring of those who show signs of vulnerability, and where appropriate safeguarding referrals are made to relevant bodies.

We work closely with our accommodation providers to ensure that all asylum seekers in supported accommodation are aware of, and have access to, Migrant Help’s helpline. This service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, if service users need help, advice or guidance, including signposting to relevant mental and medical health services.

The Home Office does not publish statistics of service users who refuse fluid or food in supported accommodation.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what contracts have been negotiated with CCGs in Hampshire on the provision of health care services to asylum seekers in supported accommodation.

Given pressure on the system during these unprecedented times, we have worked tirelessly with local authorities and other partners to provide asylum seekers, who would otherwise be destitute, with suitable accommodation, as we are required to do by law.

Following a review of available government property, the Ministry of Defence offered temporary use of some of its sites. This includes Barton Stacey and we are engaging with leaders and officials at Test Valley and Hampshire councils, local MPs, the police and health services – including the relevant Clinical Commissioning Group – as we continue to explore this as an option.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications for a Biometric Residents Permit were outstanding for more than six weeks in the most recent period for which figures are available.

Performance against service standards, where service standards apply, are included in the Migration Transparency data which is published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/migration-transparency-data#uk-visas-and-immigration

10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many work-in-progress asylum applications there are as of 10 December 2020.

The Home Office publishes data on asylum applications in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on the asylum applications awaiting decision are published in table Asy_D03 of the asylum and resettlement detailed datasets. Information on how to use the dataset can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbook. The latest data relates to the asylum applications awaiting a decision as at 30th September 2020 and includes data for main applicants and dependents. Additionally, the Home Office publishes a high-level overview of the data in the summary tables. The ‘contents’ sheet contains an overview of all available data on asylum and resettlement.

Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what lessons her Department has learned from the use of Napier and Penally barracks as temporary asylum accommodation centres.

The current global pandemic has presented us with significant challenges when it comes to the provision of asylum accommodation. During these unprecedented times the Home Office has acted quickly to source contingency accommodation to create additional capacity to ensure that our obligations can be met in full.

The length of time such sites remain in use is dependent on future demand for asylum accommodation, however we are clear contingency accommodation will only be used for as long as absolutely necessary.

The Napier Barracks and Penally training camp sites have been in operation for almost three months. They are fit for purpose, safe and equipped in line with existing contractual requirements for asylum accommodation. We continue to work closely with our provider and partners to identify opportunities for improvement, as we do across our entire accommodation estate.

We work with local stakeholders, including the relevant Clinical Commissioning Group and health boards, to ensure access to healthcare services for service users in asylum support accommodation.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much funding she has allocated for a temporary asylum accommodation centre in Barton Stacey.

The current global pandemic has presented us with significant challenges when it comes to the provision of asylum accommodation. During these unprecedented times the Home Office has acted quickly to source contingency accommodation to create additional capacity to ensure that our obligations can be met in full.

The length of time such sites remain in use is dependent on future demand for asylum accommodation, however we are clear contingency accommodation will only be used for as long as absolutely necessary.

The Napier Barracks and Penally training camp sites have been in operation for almost three months. They are fit for purpose, safe and equipped in line with existing contractual requirements for asylum accommodation. We continue to work closely with our provider and partners to identify opportunities for improvement, as we do across our entire accommodation estate.

We work with local stakeholders, including the relevant Clinical Commissioning Group and health boards, to ensure access to healthcare services for service users in asylum support accommodation.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for how long she plans to use the proposed temporary asylum accommodation centre in Barton Stacey.

The current global pandemic has presented us with significant challenges when it comes to the provision of asylum accommodation. During these unprecedented times the Home Office has acted quickly to source contingency accommodation to create additional capacity to ensure that our obligations can be met in full.

The length of time such sites remain in use is dependent on future demand for asylum accommodation, however we are clear contingency accommodation will only be used for as long as absolutely necessary.

The Napier Barracks and Penally training camp sites have been in operation for almost three months. They are fit for purpose, safe and equipped in line with existing contractual requirements for asylum accommodation. We continue to work closely with our provider and partners to identify opportunities for improvement, as we do across our entire accommodation estate.

We work with local stakeholders, including the relevant Clinical Commissioning Group and health boards, to ensure access to healthcare services for service users in asylum support accommodation.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what health care services will be provided on site at future temporary asylum accommodation centres established by her Department.

The current global pandemic has presented us with significant challenges when it comes to the provision of asylum accommodation. During these unprecedented times the Home Office has acted quickly to source contingency accommodation to create additional capacity to ensure that our obligations can be met in full.

The length of time such sites remain in use is dependent on future demand for asylum accommodation, however we are clear contingency accommodation will only be used for as long as absolutely necessary.

The Napier Barracks and Penally training camp sites have been in operation for almost three months. They are fit for purpose, safe and equipped in line with existing contractual requirements for asylum accommodation. We continue to work closely with our provider and partners to identify opportunities for improvement, as we do across our entire accommodation estate.

We work with local stakeholders, including the relevant Clinical Commissioning Group and health boards, to ensure access to healthcare services for service users in asylum support accommodation.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 3 December 2020 to Question 121241, what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on adhering to Habitat Regulations and the need to implement nitrate mitigation measures when seeking permission for overnight accommodation in the Solent region.

The Home Secretary has regular meetings as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to start accepting applications from BNO passport holders wishing to come to the UK on a five-year visa with the right to work.

As announced by the Foreign Secretary on 1st July, a new bespoke immigration route will allow BN(O)s to apply to come to the UK without the current 6 month limit, granting them 5 years limited leave to remain, with the ability to live and work in the UK, after which they may apply for settled status and a year later citizenship. This is a special bespoke set of arrangements, developed for the unique circumstances we face and in light of our historic commitment to the people of Hong Kong.

The new route will be implemented in the coming months, with further details to be announced in due course on the simple, streamlined application process which will have no quota on numbers.

1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether British Nationals Overseas passport holders from Hong Kong will be able to travel to the UK and make an in-country application for a five year visa enabling them to work in the UK.

As announced by the Foreign Secretary on 1st July, a new bespoke immigration route will allow BN(O)s to apply to come to the UK without the current 6 month limit, granting them 5 years limited leave to remain, with the ability to live and work in the UK, after which they may apply for settled status and a year later citizenship. This is a special bespoke set of arrangements, developed for the unique circumstances we face and in light of our historic commitment to the people of Hong Kong.

The new route will be implemented in the coming months, with further details to be announced in due course on the simple, streamlined application process which will have no quota on numbers.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many staff in the General Register Office are working on the digitalisation of marriage certificates.

Work on the secondary legislation, IT systems and administrative processes that are required to enable the electronic registration of marriages is being undertaken by 15 people, alongside their other duties at the General Register Office.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the average time taken is for the General Register Office to correct a marriage certificate that contains an error.

GRO has a target of 25 working days to process an application for a correction.

The length of time before the correction is made is dependent on other factors such as the production of the correct evidence and the availability of the person who has custody of the register(s); as only they can correct the entry.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the proposed points-based immigration system, when the system will be open for applications from businesses wishing to register.

The Government published “The UK’s Points-Based System: Policy Statement” on 19 February.

Employers not currently approved by the Home Office to sponsor migrants should consider applying now if they think they will want to sponsor skilled migrants, including from the EU, from early 2021.

In delivering on its manifesto commitments for a new points-based system, the Government has considered relevant views, evidence, and analysis. We will keep labour market data under careful scrutiny and publish further detail in due course.

A programme of engagement will begin this month to raise awareness of the new system, ensuring those affected by the changes are fully aware of what it means for them and understand how the system will operate.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether vets will be able to transfer roles under the same sponsoring employer once they have arrived in the UK under the proposed points-based immigration system.

The Government published “The UK’s Points-Based System: Policy Statement” on 19 February.

Employers not currently approved by the Home Office to sponsor migrants should consider applying now if they think they will want to sponsor skilled migrants, including from the EU, from early 2021.

In delivering on its manifesto commitments for a new points-based system, the Government has considered relevant views, evidence, and analysis. We will keep labour market data under careful scrutiny and publish further detail in due course.

A programme of engagement will begin this month to raise awareness of the new system, ensuring those affected by the changes are fully aware of what it means for them and understand how the system will operate.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many applications for the equivalent of Tier 2 visas her Department estimates it will receive each month under the proposed points-based immigration system.

In delivering on its manifesto commitments for a new points-based system, the Government has considered relevant views, evidence, and analysis. We will keep labour market data under careful scrutiny to identify any pressures in key sectors.

The Home Office will publish further detail on the points-based system in due course.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how long it will take to train staff in the proposed points-based immigration system.

Planning for the implementation of the new UK points-based system includes ensuring all aspects of operational resourcing, recruitment and training are fully delivered.

In UK Visas and Immigration, who will be delivering the new system operationally, there is a natural cycle of recruitment of caseworkers every year and this year the requirements of the new system have been factored in.

Work is underway on this and is a specific strand project planning for the overall programme, and progress is reported weekly and monitored by the FBIS programme board which oversees the delivery of the new system.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many new staff have been hired to process applications from EU nationals under the proposed points-based immigration system.

Planning for the implementation of the new UK points-based system includes ensuring all aspects of operational resourcing, recruitment and training are fully delivered.

In UK Visas and Immigration, who will be delivering the new system operationally, there is a natural cycle of recruitment of caseworkers every year and this year the requirements of the new system have been factored in.

Work is underway on this and is a specific strand project planning for the overall programme, and progress is reported weekly and monitored by the FBIS programme board which oversees the delivery of the new system.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans the Government has to run a recruitment campaign to hire additional staff to work on the proposed points-based immigration system.

Planning for the implementation of the new UK points-based system includes ensuring all aspects of operational resourcing, recruitment and training are fully delivered.

In UK Visas and Immigration, who will be delivering the new system operationally, there is a natural cycle of recruitment of caseworkers every year and this year the requirements of the new system have been factored in.

Work is underway on this and is a specific strand project planning for the overall programme, and progress is reported weekly and monitored by the FBIS programme board which oversees the delivery of the new system.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the time it will take for SMEs to register as Tier 2 employers under the new immigration system.

Under the current immigration system, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are already able to apply as Tier 2 employers and sponsor highly-skilled migrant workers.

On the 19 February, the Government published a policy statement on the UK’s Points-Based Immigration System, for introduction from January 2021. For employers sponsoring skilled migrants, the visa process will be streamlined to reduce the time it takes to bring in a skilled migrant worker by up to eight weeks and we will abolish the Resident Labour Market Test.

A programme of engagement will begin this month to raise awareness of the new system, focusing upon those sectors most impacted, including SMEs.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the time it will take for (a) a veterinary practice and (b) other SME registered with her Department to employ under the new immigration system a (i) vet and (ii) other employee from overseas to fill a vacancy that cannot be filled by settled workers.

Under the current immigration system, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are already able to apply as Tier 2 employers and sponsor highly-skilled migrant workers.

On the 19 February, the Government published a policy statement on the UK’s Points-Based Immigration System, for introduction from January 2021. For employers sponsoring skilled migrants, the visa process will be streamlined to reduce the time it takes to bring in a skilled migrant worker by up to eight weeks and we will abolish the Resident Labour Market Test.

A programme of engagement will begin this month to raise awareness of the new system, focusing upon those sectors most impacted, including SMEs.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many veterinary practices are registered as Tier 2 employers.

The specific information that has been requested is not included in data published by the Home Office, and would require manual intervention at disproportionate cost to the taxpayer produce this data.

13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will extend the visas of Chinese students unable to return to China as a result of flight cancellations due to the coronavirus outbreak in that country.

We are taking a proportionate approach to individuals who are unable to comply with their visas due to the coronavirus outbreak.

We have set up a dedicated helpline and are providing visa extensions for anyone whose immigration status has been affected. Full guidance has been published on the GOV.UK website and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-immigration-guidance-if-youre-unable-to-return-to-china-from-the-uk

No one will be unfairly penalised for events beyond their control.

7th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department produced a ministerial response under the write round process to the Department for Education's review of the relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) curriculum.

The Government has been clear that it is very concerned about reports of inappropriate materials being used to teach relationships and sex education (RSHE). It has brought forward the review of the RSHE statutory guidance as a result, including conducting a public consultation as soon as possible.

The statutory guidance clearly states that the guidance will be reviewed every three years from first teaching (September 2020) and so the decision to review the guidance does not require collective agreement. The Secretary of State for Education will seek collective agreement to the consultation documents through a write-round process, before publishing the consultation in the autumn. This process is not yet underway.

As part of the review, an expert panel has been established to advise the Secretary of State on what topics should and should not be taught in school and the introduction of age limits. This will provide clear guidance for teachers about when certain topics can be addressed.

The Oak Academy is producing a suite of materials to support teachers to create age-appropriate lessons plans and ensure that they have access to appropriate materials.

The Government is determined to make sure RSHE teaching leaves children equipped to make informed decisions about their health, well-being and relationships, in a sensitive way that reflects their stage of development.

The Government expects new statutory guidance to be released in the coming months. It will then be subject to public consultation to conclude by the end of the year, coming into statutory force as soon as possible after that.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
15th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the National Disability Strategy published on 28 July 2021, which of his Department’s commitments in that strategy that have not been paused as a result of legal action have (a) been fully, (b) been partially and (c) not been implemented.

In January 2022, the High Court declared the National Disability Strategy (NDS) was unlawful because the UK Disability Survey, which informed it, was held to be a voluntary consultation that failed to comply with the legal requirements on public consultations

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) had five commitments included in the National Disability Strategy. These included:

1. By September 2021, the MOD will publish a plan to bring more disabled people into the civilian workforce to meet its target of 15.3% by 2030

2. MOD will explore how to increase opportunities for disabled people to serve as part of the Armed Forces reserves by the end of 2023, including:

- promoting better use of disabled reservists for appropriate roles across the Armed Forces

- guaranteeing interviews for disabled reservists who meet the minimum requirements when recruiting for those roles

3. By 2025, MOD will deliver the Armed Forces Recruiting Programme to recruit more diverse military personnel, including disabled people

4. We will experiment with the recruitment of more diverse military personnel into the new National Cyber Force, using it as a pathfinder for increased inclusivity

5. The Office for Veterans’ Affairs will share best practice and insight from the veterans’ adaptive sport community with disability organisations and providers of sport and activity by March 2022

Commitment 1, to publish a plan to bring more disabled people into the civilian workforce has been partly implemented. A plan is in development and a number of relevant activities have so far been identified and are progressing. We continue to monitor the effects of the actions, which will make Defence a more attractive, diverse and inclusive employer.

Commitment 2, to explore how to increase opportunities for disabled people to join Defence, has not been implemented. Defence wishes to minimise the risk of acting inconsistently with the Court’s declaration, without compromising on the ambitious agenda we are delivering for disabled people. As such, we are disappointed to have had to pause the work on guaranteed interviews for disabled reservists. However, this does not prevent disabled people who meet the minimum requirements from applying to be a reservist. Our intent remains to contribute to the wider commitment of creating more opportunities for disabled people to participate and thrive across the whole Force, not just as reservists; to protect and promote the rights of disabled people; and to tackle the barriers that prevent disabled people from fully benefiting from, and contributing fully to, every aspect of our society.

Commitment 3, to deliver the Armed Forces Recruiting Programme (AFRP) to recruit more diverse military personnel, is in the process of being implemented. The AFRP is responsible for the delivery of a new single, tri-Service, Armed Forces Recruiting Service (AFRS). A key requirement of the future solution is placing candidates at the heart of the Armed Forces recruiting experience, keeping them inspired and motivated whilst recruiting from the broadest spectrum of society to improve diversity and representation. A key tenet of the Programme is to establish an agile and flexible approach to meet the demand of the Armed Forces across roles and people requirements. The Armed Forces demand requirement is updated annually and will be delivered through the supplier and the AFRS working collaboratively. It will be fully implemented in 2027.

Commitment 4, to use the National Cyber Force as a pathfinder for inclusivity, has been fully implemented. In 2021, the MOD announced a Cyber Pathfinder Scheme to increase inclusion in Defence. This is now open and trains and assesses military personnel joining the National Cyber Force.

Commitment 5, to share best practice and insight from the veterans’ adaptive sport community with disability organisations and providers of sport and activity, was fully implemented in March 2022.

We remain fully committed to supporting disabled people in the UK through creating more opportunities, protecting their rights, and ensuring they fully benefit from, and can contribute to, every aspect of our society. To support this, the MOD will be providing further details of our recent achievements to improve disabled people’s lives in the forthcoming Disability Action Plan consultation due for publication in the summer.

Ahead of this, the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work will write providing a list of these achievements and will place a copy in the House Library.

Andrew Murrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has to extend the period beyond three years in which service personnel can report historic allegations of serious sexual assault.

The Service Justice System does not have a time limit in regard to bringing cases of sexual assault. The Service Police will continue to investigate any allegations of historic serious sexual offence brought to their attention.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he has taken to ensure (a) understanding and (b) acknowledgement of the term Military Sexual Trauma (MST) by the Ministry of Defence and Office of Veterans Affairs; and what gender-specific training is funded by the Office of Veterans Affairs to help prevent the occurrence of MST during and after military service.

Whilst I am aware that the term 'Medical Sexual Trauma' is used elsewhere as a means of referring to cases of sexual assault or sexual harassment which occur whilst in service, The Ministry of Defence has made no formal decision to do the same. What we have done is to make it absolutely clear that there is no place for this behaviour in the Armed Forces. All allegations will be thoroughly investigated and appropriate support provided to victims, be they serving or veteran. We recognise the great courage it takes to come forward and report a sexual offence. Personnel who come forward can have full confidence that all allegations are thoroughly investigated; Commanding Officers must always refer any allegation of rape and sexual assault, or any other offence which may have a sexual element, to the Service Police. Anyone found to fall short of the Services' high standards or to have committed an offence is dealt with appropriately, up to and including imprisonment and dismissal from service.

The Armed Forces are committed to addressing the issues of sexual assault and harassment through a range of actions, including awareness campaigns and training presentations around sexual consent.

For those who have served in the Armed Forces the Government's ambition is to make the United Kingdom the best place to be a veteran anywhere in the world. This ambition extends across the diversity of the veterans' community, including those whose service has been affected by sexual violence in any form. We recognise that such experiences can have profound and enduring impacts on an individual both during their service and as a veteran. This is why it is paramount that world class support services are available, both during an individual's service and afterwards. This includes within the Ministry of Defence's own medical services, the Chains of Command of the Armed Forces and the NHS' bespoke Armed Forces clinical pathways. This Government is committed to ensuring that any veteran or their family can access the support they need, including that support which may need to be specifically tailored to individual genders; we are continuously working to identify and draw upon lessons from other countries for both our serving and veteran populations.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to ensure that the Office of Veterans' Affairs understands the potential effects of sexual assault and harassment on serving armed forces' personnel's (a) physical health and (b) emotional and psychological well-being.

The Ministry of Defence is absolutely clear there is no place for sexual offending in the Armed Forces. The Armed Forces are committed to addressing the issues of sexual assault and harassment through a range of actions, including awareness campaigns and training presentations around sexual consent.

We recognise the great courage it takes to come forward and report a sexual offence. Personnel who come forward can have full confidence that all allegations are thoroughly investigated; Commanding Officers must always refer any allegation of rape and sexual assault, or any other offence which may have a sexual element, to the Service Police. Anyone found to fall short of the Services’ high standards or to have committed an offence is dealt with appropriately, up to and including imprisonment and dismissal from service.

The Office for Veterans Affairs (OVA) was created as part of the Cabinet Office to be the voice for veterans across Whitehall. It is committed to understanding the experiences of all Armed Forces personnel and how their time in service might impact on their life as a veteran. Defence Ministers and officials maintain a regular and ongoing dialogue with the OVA, Department for Health and Social Care and third sector partners to ensure that we share best practice and the latest understanding of the most effective ways to address the health and wellbeing issues faced by the Armed Forces community, both serving and veteran.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
8th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of measures introduced to support outdoor dining during the covid-19 pandemic on disabled people and their access to pedestrian areas.

We have engaged extensively with stakeholders including local authority officers, the LGA, charities and networks representing disabled people and sector leads to develop the pavement licensing measures. Pavement licence provisions were amended to ensure that the impacts on disabled people are fully taken into consideration by local authorities when making decisions.

The needs of disabled persons must be taken into account by the authority when determining whether furniture put on the highway would be an unacceptable obstruction. In doing so, authorities are required to have regard to the needs of disabled people and the recommended distances required for access by disabled people, as set out in guidance issued by the Secretary of State.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities does not centrally collect data on the number of projects delivered by local authorities which seek to increase high street accessibility.

Jacob Young
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, pursuant to the Answer to Question 189778 on 20 June 2023 on Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities: Disability, how many projects his Department have commissioned to increase high street accessibility for disabled people through local growth funding in the last three years by location.

We have engaged extensively with stakeholders including local authority officers, the LGA, charities and networks representing disabled people and sector leads to develop the pavement licensing measures. Pavement licence provisions were amended to ensure that the impacts on disabled people are fully taken into consideration by local authorities when making decisions.

The needs of disabled persons must be taken into account by the authority when determining whether furniture put on the highway would be an unacceptable obstruction. In doing so, authorities are required to have regard to the needs of disabled people and the recommended distances required for access by disabled people, as set out in guidance issued by the Secretary of State.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities does not centrally collect data on the number of projects delivered by local authorities which seek to increase high street accessibility.

Jacob Young
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
7th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department is taking steps to help support local authorities to find accommodation for UK citizens who have fled Gaza.

On 27 October the Government introduced emergency legislation to ensure British citizens and those eligible for support fleeing the violence in the Gaza Strip will be exempt from the Habitual Residence Test. This legislation will ensure those fleeing the conflict are eligible for benefits, social housing and homelessness assistance, where needed, without delay.

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
7th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps he is taking to support local communities who have a (a) village hall and (b) other community building impacted by Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete.

I refer the Hon Member to my answer to Question UIN 197493 on 11 September 2023.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
5th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, pursuant to the Answer of 20 June 2023 to Question 189778 on Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities: Disability, what his planned timetable is for the (a) research on statutory guidance for building regulations approved document M and (b) secondary consultation on building regulations announced by his Department in July 2022.

I refer my Rt. Hon. Friend to the answer to Question UIN HL8422 on 26 June 2023 and the answer to Question UIN 191722 on 3 July 2023. The Government will consult further on those technical changes needed to mandate the higher accessibility standard in the Building Regulations, and in statutory guidance, in due course.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
5th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, pursuant to the Answer of 20 June 2023 to Question 189778 on Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities: Disability, what (a) steps his Department is taking to improve and (b) his planned timetable is for improving the framework to deliver accessible new homes.

I refer my Rt. Hon. Friend to the answer to Question UIN HL8422 on 26 June 2023 and the answer to Question UIN 191722 on 3 July 2023. The Government will consult further on those technical changes needed to mandate the higher accessibility standard in the Building Regulations, and in statutory guidance, in due course.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
29th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many Help to Buy homeowners are currently waiting for a decision on a loan redemption application in (a) Romsey and Southampton North constituency and (b) Hampshire.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities does not collect local level data on the number of homeowners who are currently waiting for a decision on a loan redemption application. We can confirm that between 1 April 2013 and 31 December 2022, 1,362 homes were purchased in East Hampshire, 1,086 in Southampton and 2,156 in the Test Valley area which covers Romsey using the Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme. Further data on the number of households in England which have benefitted from the Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme can be found in the latest Help to buy Equity Loan scheme statistics.

15th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to the National Disability Strategy published on 28 July 2021, which of his Department’s commitments in that strategy that have not been paused as a result of legal action have (a) been fully, (b) been partially and (c) not been implemented.

Please find below a table which sets out which of my department’s commitments in the National Disability Strategy published on 28 July 2021 have been fully and partially implemented. The Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) had no commitments in the Strategy paused as a result of legal action, and no commitments that have not been implemented.

DLUHC commitments in the National Disability Strategy (2021)

Status of commitment

DLUHC [formerly MHCLG] will confirm plans to improve the framework to deliver accessible new homes by December 2021.

Fully implemented

DLUHC [formerly MHCLG] is commissioning new research to develop the statutory guidance on meeting Building Regulations, covering access to and use of buildings (Approved Document M).

Fully implemented

DLUHC [formerly MHCLG] has commissioned new research to develop robust evidence: - to inform building regulation guidance on the fire safety in new care homes and specialised housing. This will conclude by autumn 2021. - to inform policy in England on the means of escape for disabled people from new buildings. This will conclude by autumn 2021.

Partially implemented

DLUHC [formerly MHCLG] has committed that 10% of the 180,000 homes built through the £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme 2021-26 will be for supported housing.

Partially implemented

DLUHC [formerly MHCLG] will make the new Shared Ownership model, including the reduced (10%) minimum initial stake, available to disabled people buying a home under the HOLD scheme.

Fully implemented

Following an independent review of the Disabled Facilities Grant published in December 2018, DLUHC [formerly MHCLG] and DHSC will jointly publish new government guidance for local authorities in England on effective delivery of the £573 million Disabled Facilities Grant during 2021.

Fully implemented

DLUHC [formerly MHCLG] will consider how we can support projects that increase high street accessibility for disabled people in the design of any future local growth funding.

Fully implemented

DLUHC [formerly MHCLG] will make £30 million available from summer 2021 to accelerate delivery of Changing Places toilets in existing buildings in England.

Fully implemented

DLUHC [formerly MHCLG] will publish a new National Model Design Code in the summer (2021), setting out design considerations for local planning authorities. The department will use guidance supporting the Code to stress the importance of providing accessible and inclusive play spaces and equipment for all.

Fully implemented

Building on the experience of the Access to Elected Office fund and the EnAble fund, DLUHC [formerly MHCLG] will support a new scheme from April 2022 to support those seeking to become candidates and - as importantly - once they have been elected to public office.

Fully implemented

The Cabinet Office (now DHLUC for Elections) has introduced the Elections Act which will improve the support provided to voters with disabilities who are voting in polling stations. Returning Officers will have a new responsibility to consider additional support for a range of disabled voters in the polling station. This includes meeting voters’ needs in a more tailored way, and providing equipment and resources that most support voters in their local area. The Act will also remove unnecessary barriers to voting including by widening the pool of people able to provide help to disabled people in casting their vote to any companion who is over the age of 18 in UK Parliamentary elections. The Elections Division also convenes the Access to Elections Working Group which meets with representatives of civil society organisations and charities and the elections sector across the UK to discuss and plan to improve accessibility for all disabled electors.

Fully implemented

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether the nutrient neutrality policies of the local planning authorities around the Solent assist Southern Water in its efforts to control the effect of discharges of sewage into rivers and the sea.

Nutrient Neutrality, through the provision of mitigation, ensures that development does not contribute additional nutrient loads to the Solent catchment, avoiding additional harm and so adverse effects to habitats sites.

My department and DEFRA have established a cross-Government task force to tackle nutrient pollution and enable development to continue. The cross-Government taskforce continues to identify the range of options in the short, medium and long term. Defra having recently published the Strategic Policy Statement to Ofwat, making clear that Ofwat and water companies should consider nutrients pollution in line with their environmental duties, which include duties under the Habitat Regulations; working with wider stakeholders to support efforts to tackle nutrients pollution.

Defra together with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Natural England, the Environment Agency, the Forestry Commission and the Partnership for South Hampshire (PfSH) are working with EnTrade to develop a nutrient trading pilot project in the Solent region. The project aims to connect developers, who need to offset pollution from new developments, with landowners willing to undertake land use change to reduce pollution. This will help to unblock housing delivery whilst avoiding further harm to important protected wildlife sites and delivering wider environmental benefits.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what guidance has been issued to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors on the need for external wall surveys on buildings less than 18 metres high.

An EWS1 form is not a statutory or regulatory requirement nor ​a​ safety ‘test’, it is a form used for valuation and was introduced by The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), together with UK Finance and the Building Societies Association.

Government also supports the independent expert statement from July 2021 which was clear that there is no systemic risk of fire in residential buildings under 18 metres and that EWS1s should not be required on buildings under 18 metres. However, RICS announced in December that they will retain their valuation guidance including for buildings under 18 metres but committed to keep it under review. This is disappointing and we continue to work with RICS to address their disproportionate approach to risk. We must make sure that RICS are equipped to support a solution to this building safety challenge which is why we plan to legislate to allow the Secretary of State to conduct a review into their governance.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what guidance has been issued to mortgage lenders on the requirement for an external wall survey for blocks of flats under 18 metres.

An EWS1 form is not a statutory or regulatory requirement nor ​a​ safety ‘test’. The measures in the January Statement, https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-sets-out-new-plan-to-protect-leaseholders-and-make-industry-pay-for-the-cladding-crisis, provide a clear framework for proportionate risk assessments whilst encouraging lenders to base their risk management on the presumption that medium risk buildings are safe, unless there is evidence to the contrary.

Government also supports the independent expert statement from July 2021 which was clear that there is no systemic risk of fire in residential buildings under 18 metres and that EWS1s should not be required by lenders on buildings under 18 metres.

We will continue to challenge industry on the use of the EWS1 process, as well as pressing for more data so that we can have greater assurance that EWS1 requests are proportionate, including in buildings under 18 metres.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 13 January 2021 to Question HL11693, whether development on Crown Land is exempt from (a) the Habitats Directive and (b) all planning regulations.

Since 2006, development by the Crown has been subject to planning permission under Part 13 of The Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This development is not exempt from the current habitats regulations.

11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, by what date he plans to bring forward legislative proposals on leasehold reform.

The Government is taking forward a comprehensive programme of reform to end unfair practices in the leasehold market. This includes measures to ban the sale of new leasehold houses, restrict ground rents to zero for future leases, give freehold homeowners equivalent rights to challenge unfair charges, and close loopholes to prevent unfair evictions.

We are also working with the Law Commission to make buying a freehold or extending a lease easier, quicker and cheaper – and to reinvigorate commonhold to provide consumers with a choice of tenure and the Right to Manage to help empower those that wish to, to take on management responsibilities for their properties.

This is a long-term reform programme; it is complex with many interdependencies and will take time to get the detail right. Once it is enacted the effect will be felt for generations and so we are determined this work considers all the implications with care. We will bring forward leasehold legislation as soon as parliamentary time allows.

11th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, by what date the New Homes Ombudsman will be established and taking on cases.

The New Homes Ombudsman scheme will enhance consumer protection for new build homebuyers. Published on 20 July 2020, the draft Building Safety Bill includes provision for the New Homes Ombudsman scheme to resolve disputes between developers and consumers. The legislation has finished pre-legislative scrutiny and we are considering the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committees’ recommendations. Alongside introducing legislation, we continue to stay in touch with the industry-led New Homes Quality Board to consider the appointment of a voluntary New Homes Ombudsman scheme.

7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of suspending the five year Housing Land Supply for Councils requirement in the Solent Region in response to the need to establish a suitable nitrate mitigation regime.

The Government recognises the challenges local authorities in the Solent are facing, and officials from across Government and its agencies are working closely together to identify practical ways forward. However, it is important to keep the planning system moving so it can play its full part in the economic recovery to come. We will keep this matter under review.

In the absence of the 5 year land supply, the presumption in favour of housing development will not be at the expense of important protected areas, such as Green Belt, Sites of Special Scientific Interest and irreplaceable habitats.

30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has made an assessment of whether use of emergency development provisions under the Town and Country Planning Act override the need for nitrate mitigation measures in the Solent region.

The Habitats Regulations apply to plans or projects which are likely to have a significant effect on a protected habitats site. All development, whether emergency or not is subject to this requirement, regardless of the legislation under which planning permission is granted.

Where a plan or project is likely to have significant effects on the environment the competent authority will need to undertake an Appropriate Assessment to determine whether development will have an adverse effect on the protected site. The competent authority may only grant consent where adequate mitigation of any adverse effect can be secured to enable development to proceed – such as nitrate neutrality.

26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether temporary overnight accommodation proposed in the Solent region requires the installation of nitrate mitigation measures before development can commence.

Under the Habitats Regulations, it is for the competent authority to decide, through undertaking an appropriate assessment and considering advice from Natural England, whether a particular application requires mitigation measures and the adequacy of these proposals. It may be possible for individual proposals to advance mitigation schemes other than nitrate neutrality that are sufficient to demonstrate to the competent authority that an individual scheme would not have an adverse effect on the protected habitats sites.

26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on reducing the requirements for nitrate mitigation measures for overnight accommodation in the Solent region.

I will be meeting the Minister for the Environment to discuss the effect that nutrient pollution is having on development. Officials from across government and its agencies are working closely together to identify practical ways forward across the country. In the Solent, we have committed £3.9 million of funding to pilot a nutrient trading process to secure nature-based solutions to nitrate pollution across the Solent area, and a loan offer of up to £5.7 million to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to deliver mitigation to unlock stalled planning applications.

26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what progress he has made in tackling nitrate neutrality in the Solent.

The Government has been working to understand the nitrogen pollution problems in the Solent, the impacts on housing delivery and the options for enabling growth whilst avoiding harm to important protected sites. In September, we announced £3.9 million of funding to pilot a nutrient trading process to secure nature-based solutions to nitrate pollution across the Solent area. We have also made a loan offer of up to £5.7 million to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to deliver mitigation to unlock stalled planning applications.

We are aware of the challenges faced through nutrient pollution and are seeking to address the most common sources of polluting nutrients to water. Agriculture is now the most significant source of pollution in our rivers, lakes and seas. This Government is using a package of measures to combat this, including Catchment Sensitive Farming, regulation and incentives. We will use the flexibility achieved by leaving the EU to replace Common Agricultural Policy subsidies (CAP) with an Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme through the Agriculture Act 2020 which will pay farmers for taking action to reduce pollution and restore habitats which go beyond regulatory requirements.

This Government remains committed to bringing at least three quarters of our waters to as close as possible to their natural state as soon as is practicable. In support of this, a further legally binding target is being brought forward as part of the target setting processes set out in DEFRA’s Environment Bill. The Environment Bill will place a statutory requirement on water companies to produce drainage and sewerage management plans, and we will continue to press water companies to protect both people and the environment.

26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of family homes that have not been built as a result of problems with nitrate neutrality in the Solent.

We have not made a direct assessment of the number of homes that have not been built due to the problems with nitrate pollution in the Solent. Information provided by the affected local authorities has indicated at least 4,500 units are backlogged principally due to this issue. This is an estimate of delayed planning applications, and not an estimate of homes not built, as not all planning permissions would have been built within this time. These are indicative numbers and some of these planning applications may also be delayed due to other issues and planning considerations as well.

Some of the affected local authorities have now launched or are in the process of agreeing mitigation schemes, ranging from offsetting through changes to council owned agricultural landholdings, offsetting through improvements to the water efficiency of council owned housing stock, and offsetting using green infrastructure secured through local plans, which will enable planning applications to be determined.

The Government is also making a loan offer of up to £5.7 million to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to deliver mitigation to unlock the stalled applications across the affected area.

26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of granting an exemption from nitrate mitigation measures for any type of overnight accommodation proposed within the Solent region.

It is not possible to grant an exemption for a specific class of development from the requirements of the Habitat Regulations. Any development which might have an effect on a protected habitats site must demonstrate that mitigation is in place to avoid that damage. Under the Habitats Regulations, local authorities as 'competent authority' need to undertake an appropriate assessment to determine whether development is likely to result in significant effects on protected habitats sites, and whether adequate mitigation can be secured to enable development to proceed. Where a protected habitat site has fallen into an unfavourable condition, nutrient neutrality may be the mitigation necessary to ensure further damage is not caused by additional development.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of house purchasers seeking to use the Help to Buy Scheme who have had their completion dates delayed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak and as a result have lost deposits on purchases.

On 31 July a two-month extension was announced to the building completion deadline from 31 December 2020 to 28 February 2021, allowing an additional two months’ build time. The legal completion deadline for the purchase remains 31 March 2021.

The Government also announced an extra measure to protect existing customers who have experienced severe delays as a result of coronavirus. Homes England, who administer Help to Buy, will work with those who had a reservation in place before 30 June to assess their situation and look to provide an extension where necessary. In which case, they will have until 31 May 2021 to legally complete. More information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/help-to-buy-scheme-extended.

Should there be any cases where a reservation has been secured after 30 June 2020 and the build is severely delayed despite the additional build time, and so the homebuyer is unable to reach legal completion by 31 March 2021, they must be unconditionally released from the contract. The homebuyer is advised to contact their conveyancer should they need further advice.

Meanwhile the Government’s new Help to Buy scheme, which will replace the current scheme and is for first time buyers only, will commence on 1 April 2021 and run until March 2023. There are no plans for further extensions. https://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/equity-loan/help-to-buy-equity-loan-2021-2023/.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to extend the Help to Buy scheme so that property completions delayed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak can be accepted as part of that scheme.

The Government recognises that there have been delays caused by Covid-19, resulting in some homes reserved under the Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme not being built within the current scheme deadlines. Therefore, on 31 July a two-month extension was announced to the building completion deadline moving it from 31 December 2020 to 28 February 2021. The legal completion deadline for the purchase remains 31 March 2021.

The Government also announced an extra measure to protect existing customers who have experienced severe delays as a result of coronavirus. Homes England, who administer Help to Buy, will work with those who had a reservation in place before 30 June to assess their situation and look to provide an extension where necessary, in which case they will have until 31 May 2021 to legally complete. More information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/help-to-buy-scheme-extended.

Meanwhile the Government’s new Help to Buy scheme, which will replace the current scheme and is for first time buyers only, will commence on 1 April 2021 and run until March 2023. There are no plans for further extensions. https://www.helptobuy.gov.uk/equity-loan/help-to-buy-equity-loan-2021-2023/.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether local authorities may extend the three month discount on council tax for empty properties.

The power to offer a council tax discount on empty properties is at the discretion of local authorities who can determine both the level of the discount and the length of time that it should be applied

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what proportion of complaints to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman were upheld in 2019.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman publishes on their website an annual review of local government complaints. The latest report available is for financial year 2018 to 2019. It reveals that 4,232 detailed investigations were carried out in 2018 to 2019 and 58 per cent of those complaints were upheld.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many complaints to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman were upheld in 2019.

The Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman publishes on their website an annual review of local government complaints. The latest report available is for financial year 2018 to 2019. It reveals that 4,232 detailed investigations were carried out in 2018 to 2019 and 58 per cent of those complaints were upheld.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of affordable housing units built in England in the last 12 months for which figures are available.

In 2018/19 57,485 additional affordable homes were completed.

Details are published in live table 1000: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-affordable-housing-supply

Esther McVey
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what proportion of all planning permissions granted for affordable housing units were subject to a contribution in lieu in the last 12 months for which figures are available.

The Department does not hold figures splitting out the proportion of affordable housing planning permissions which are subject to a contribution in lieu. Section I13a of the Local Authority Housing Statistics includes a figure for the direct payment of financial contributions received during the financial year 2018/19 towards the provision of affordable housing from developers via planning obligations (s106 agreements).

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/local-authority-housing-statistics-data-returns-for-2018-to-2019

Esther McVey
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what proportion of affordable housing units were built by (a) housing associations and (b) private developers in England in the last 12 months for which figures are available.

The Department collects data on affordable housing through funding sources and does not differentiate between housing associations and developers. A full breakdown of affordable housing provision by funding source is available in live table 1011c: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-affordable-housing-supply.

Esther McVey
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the proportion of planning permissions granted that were for affordable housing units in England in the last 12 months for which figures are available.

The Department publishes an estimate of the total number of housing units granted planning permission in the quarterly planning application statistics statistical release: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/planning-applications-in-england-july-to-september-2019


The statistics do not split permissions between affordable and market housing


Section I10 of the Local Authority Housing Statistics includes figures for the numbers of affordable units granted final planning permission during the year as part of developer (section 106) contributions. This will be a subset of all affordable planning permission.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/local-authority-housing-statistics-data-returns-for-2018-to-2019.

Esther McVey
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what the maximum limit is on service charges that can be passed on to tenants by social housing landlords.

There is no maximum limit on service charges that can be passed on to social rented tenants but they must be set in line with the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 with service charges payable only to the extent that the costs have been reasonably incurred. The reasonableness of the service charge a social housing landlord is seeking will depend on the nature of the works required and other contributing factors.

Social housing tenants have the ability to apply to the Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal for a determination where they do not believe the charges are reasonable, and must be consulted when major works are being proposed.

For those in Affordable Rent properties the calculation of their gross rent includes service charges. Gross rent for these properties is capped at 80 per cent of market rent.

Esther McVey
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans the Government has to protect social housing tenants from unreasonable service charges levied by social landlords.

There is no maximum limit on service charges that can be passed on to social rented tenants but they must be set in line with the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 with service charges payable only to the extent that the costs have been reasonably incurred. The reasonableness of the service charge a social housing landlord is seeking will depend on the nature of the works required and other contributing factors.

Social housing tenants have the ability to apply to the Property Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal for a determination where they do not believe the charges are reasonable, and must be consulted when major works are being proposed.

For those in Affordable Rent properties the calculation of their gross rent includes service charges. Gross rent for these properties is capped at 80 per cent of market rent.

Esther McVey
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
7th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether his Department produced a ministerial response under the write round process to the Department for Education's review of the relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) curriculum.

The Secretary of State for Education has been clear she is very concerned about reports of inappropriate materials being used to teach relationships and sex education (RSHE). The Government has brought forward the review of the RSHE statutory guidance as a result, including conducting a public consultation as soon as possible.

The statutory guidance clearly states that the guidance will be reviewed every three years from first teaching (September 2020) and so the decision to review the guidance does not require collective agreement. The Secretary of State for Education will seek collective agreement to the consultation documents through a write-round process, before publishing the consultation in the autumn. This process is not yet underway.

As part of the review, an expert panel has been established to advise the Secretary of State on what topics should and should not be taught in school and the introduction of age limits. This will provide clear guidance for teachers about when certain topics can be addressed.

In tandem to this work, the Oak Academy is producing a suite of materials to support teachers to create age-appropriate lessons plans and ensure that they have access to appropriate materials.

The government is determined to make sure RSHE teaching leaves children equipped to make informed decisions about their health, wellbeing and relationships, in a sensitive way that reflects their stage of development.

The Government expects new statutory guidance to be released in the coming months. It will then be subject to public consultation to conclude by the end of the year, coming into statutory force as soon as possible after that.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
29th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many male prisoners were serving a sentence of 12 months or more had children as on 30 June 23, and if his Department holds data on the ages of those children.

This data is not currently available.

The Government is seeking to improve our data and evidence in this area through the Better Outcomes through Linked Data (BOLD) Programme. BOLD is a cross-government Shared Outcomes Fund project which will link data to enable better evidenced and more joined up cross government services.

Through BOLD, we will explore data sharing to improve our understanding of the number of parents in prison and the number of children impacted by parental imprisonment. BOLD’s findings will include breakdowns by gender and sentence length, enabling us to identify how many male prisoners serving a sentence of 12 month or more have children. Findings will be published when the analysis is complete.

Changes have been made to the Basic Custody Screening Tool to enable us to collect data on entry to prison about how many primary carers are in custody, how many children under the age of 18 are affected by their imprisonment and the ages of those children. The learning from the data collected will be incorporated into findings from the BOLD programme.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
29th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many female prisoners currently serving a sentence of 12 months or more have children; and if his Department records data on the ages of those children.

This data is not currently available.

The Government is seeking to improve our data and evidence in this area through the Better Outcomes through Linked Data (BOLD) Programme. BOLD is a cross-government Shared Outcomes Fund project which will link data to enable better evidenced and more joined up cross government services.

Through BOLD, we will explore data sharing to improve our understanding of the number of parents in prison and the number of children impacted by parental imprisonment. BOLD’s findings will include breakdowns by gender and sentence length, enabling us to identify how many female prisoners serving a sentence of 12 months or more have children. Findings will be published when the analysis is complete.

Changes have also been made to the Basic Custody Screening Tool to enable us to collect data on entry to prison about how many primary carers are in custody, how many children under the age of 18 are affected by their imprisonment and the ages of those children. The learning from the data collected will be incorporated into findings from the BOLD programme.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
29th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what data his Department holds on the number of children affected by parental imprisonment.

The Ministry of Justice’s most comprehensive prison population data suggests over the course of a year, approximately 200,000 children may be affected by a parent being in or going to prison.

The Prisons Strategy White Paper includes a commitment to improve the quality of the data collected on children impacted by parental imprisonment and to improve the support provided.

We are delivering on this through our Better Outcomes through Linked Data (BOLD) Programme. BOLD is a cross government project which will link data to enable better evidenced and more joined up cross government services.

Through BOLD, we will explore data sharing to improve our understanding of the number of children with parents in prison and how parental incarceration impacts children’s outcomes, including education, employment and future offending.

Changes have also been made to the Basic Custody Screening Tool to enable us to collect data on entry to prison about how many primary carers are in custody and how many children under the age of 18 are affected by their imprisonment. The learning from the data collected will be incorporated into findings from the BOLD programme, which will be delivered by March 2024.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
15th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the National Disability Strategy published on 28 July 2021, which of his Department’s commitments in that strategy that have not been paused as a result of legal action have (a) been fully, (b) been partially and (c) not been implemented.

In January 2022, the High Court declared the National Disability Strategy (NDS) was unlawful because the UK Disability Survey, which informed it, was held to be a voluntary consultation that failed to comply with the legal requirements on public consultations.

The Ministry of Justice had five policies included in the National Disability Strategy. These include to:

○ attract more disabled people to the magistracy;

○ set out enhanced rights for disabled victims;

○ progress legislation in 2021 as part of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to amend common law so that deaf people who need a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter can do jury service

○ develop a neurodiversity training toolkit for frontline staff;

○ improve provision for disabled users, including through the accessibility of the estate and use of digital support.

Fully Implemented Policies

  • The MoJ has invested over £1 million to support the recruitment of 4,000 new and diverse magistrates over the next few years in England and Wales. This includes encouraging more applications from a range of underrepresented groups in the magistracy, such as those with disabilities.
  • The Victims’ Code sets out the minimum level of service that victims must receive from criminal justice bodies. In April 2021, a revised Victim’s Code came into force, structured around 12 key entitlements that are straightforward, concise and easy to understand.
  • The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 gained Royal Assent in April 2022 and the provision allowing BSL interpreters to be appointed for deaf jurors came into force at the end of June 2022.
  • HMPPS have developed a ‘National Neurodiversity Training Toolkit’ that is available for all frontline staff within prison and probation. The toolkit was developed by and with neurodivergent staff, in cooperation with HMPPS and MoJ staff networks.
  • HMCTS has awarded a contract to the organisation ‘We are Digital’ who are delivering a service to support digitally excluded citizen users’ access to online services. This is being delivered through a network of advice and support organisations such as Law Centres, Citizens Advice and community centres.
  • MoJ is piloting digital tools to improve support for neurodivergent people and evaluate what works well to inform future interventions. This includes piloting a new digitised literacy tool aimed at improving outcomes for prison leavers with learning disabilities and low literacy. This pilot will run for 12 months until October 2023, with an emphasis on evaluating the reducing reoffending rate over time.

We remain fully committed to supporting disabled people in the UK through creating more opportunities, protecting their rights and ensuring they fully benefit from, and can contribute to, every aspect of our society. To support this, the Ministry of Justice will be providing further details of our recent achievements to improve disabled people’s lives in the forthcoming Disability Action Plan consultation due for publication in the summer.

Ahead of this, the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work will write providing a list of these achievements and will place a copy in the House Library.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans he has to make cyber flashing a criminal offence.

The government remains firmly committed to the protection of people from abuse and harm online.

While this disturbing behaviour may already be captured by existing offences the Government is keenly aware of concerns that have been expressed over the misuse of new communications technology. Therefore we asked the Law Commission to review the law on Harmful Online Communications to ensure that the law is up to date and fully equipped to protect victims.

The Law Commission has completed that review and made a number of recommendations, including the creation of a new criminal offence to capture specifically the practice known as cyberflashing.

The Government is carefully considering that recommendation, and potential legislative vehicles, as we aim to introduce a new specific offence to criminalise this behaviour.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care