Darren Jones Portrait

Darren Jones

Labour - Bristol North West

Science and Technology Committee (Commons)
2nd Mar 2020 - 22nd Feb 2021
Science and Technology Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 22nd Feb 2021
Science and Technology Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
European Scrutiny Committee
30th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Science and Technology Committee (Commons)
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019


Select Committee Meeting
Monday 12th September 2022
16:00
Select Committee Meeting
Monday 17th October 2022
16:00
Department Event
Tuesday 18th October 2022
11:30
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Oral questions - Main Chamber
18 Oct 2022, 11:30 a.m.
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (including Topical Questions)
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Division Votes
None available
Speeches
Tuesday 5th July 2022
Energy (Oil and Gas) Profits
I wonder whether the Treasury has made any assessment yet of how much money will be raised by this windfall …
Written Answers
Monday 1st August 2022
Meat: UK Trade with EU
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 20th January 2021
Internet Access Bill 2019-21
A Bill to extend the universal service obligation for internet providers to include mobile internet access; to make requirements regarding …
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 14th March 2022
1. Employment and earnings
2 March 2022, received £200 from the BBC, Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London W1A 1AA, for appearing on Any Questions. …
EDM signed
Thursday 21st December 2017
NATIONAL SIKH WAR MEMORIAL
That this House appreciates the extraordinary bravery and sacrifices of Sikh soldiers in service of Great Britain, including during both …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Climate Education Bill 2021-22
A Bill to require matters relating to climate change and sustainability to be integrated throughout the curriculum in primary and …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Darren Jones has voted in 433 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
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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
Alok Sharma (Conservative)
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
(20 debate interactions)
Kwasi Kwarteng (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
(9 debate interactions)
Paul Scully (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
(9 debate interactions)
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Department Debates
Home Office
(18 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(17 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(14 debate contributions)
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Legislation Debates
Forensic Science Regulator Bill 2019-21
(4,515 words contributed)
Trade Bill 2019-21
(2,526 words contributed)
United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020
(1,953 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Darren Jones's debates

Bristol North West 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).

Petition Debates Contributed

Ensuring statutory adoption pay is available to a self-employed parent in the same way that maternity allowance is available for self-employed new mums would promote an equal and fair society inclusive of all routes to parenthood.


Latest EDMs signed by Darren Jones

19th December 2017
Darren Jones signed this EDM on Thursday 21st December 2017

NATIONAL SIKH WAR MEMORIAL

Tabled by: Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi (Labour - Slough)
That this House appreciates the extraordinary bravery and sacrifices of Sikh soldiers in service of Great Britain, including during both World Wars, and supports the erection of a permanent national monument in a prime central London location to commemorate and highlight these contributions; notes that for over a decade there …
265 signatures
(Most recent: 2 Feb 2018)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 170
Conservative: 33
Scottish National Party: 25
Independent: 12
Liberal Democrat: 9
Democratic Unionist Party: 9
Plaid Cymru: 3
Non-affiliated: 2
The Independent Group for Change: 2
Crossbench: 1
Green Party: 1
View All Darren Jones's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Darren Jones, 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.


Darren Jones has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Darren Jones

2 Bills introduced by Darren Jones


A Bill to make provision for the appointment of the Forensic Science Regulator; to make provision about the Regulator and about the regulation of forensic science; and for connected purposes.

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


A Bill to extend the universal service obligation for internet providers to include mobile internet access; to make requirements regarding internet access for children eligible for free school meals; to require the Secretary of State to report to Parliament on progress in reducing digital inequalities; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 20th January 2021
(Read Debate)

253 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
6 Other Department Questions
19th Jan 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what recent progress her Department has made on banning conversion therapy.

The Government is committed to banning the practice of all coercive so-called ‘conversion therapy’ in this country, strengthening existing criminal law provisions and introducing an offence which protects under-18s and those who are unwillingly subjected to these abhorrent practices.

The Government is currently consulting on our proposals to legislate for a ban on conversion therapy. The question is how, not whether, we will ban conversion therapy. We are engaging with a wide range of relevant stakeholders, victims and professionals to ensure that the ban is effective in ending different forms of conversion therapy. The consultation runs until Friday 4 February and I would encourage anyone with an interest who has not yet done so to respond at: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/banning-conversion-therapy.

The consultation responses will be used to further refine the Government’s policy proposals on banning conversion therapy and inform the process of developing legislation. We will prepare a Bill for this Spring to be introduced as soon as Parliamentary time allows.

3rd Sep 2021
To ask the President of COP26, how many times the (a) Climate Action Strategy Committee, (b) Climate Action Implementation Committee, (c) Climate Change National Strategic Implementation Group, (d) National Strategic Implementation Group Net Zero Sub-Group, (e) National Strategic Implementation Group Domestic Adaptation and Resilience Sub-Group and (f) 25 Year Environmental Plan Board have met in each of the last 12 months.

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

The DEFRA-led Cross-Government 25 Year Environment Plan Board was established in December 2020. The Board meets every two months and has had five meetings to date.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the President of COP26, whether the (a) membership of and (b) terms of reference for the (i) Climate Action Strategy Committee, (ii) Climate Action Implementation Committee, (iii) Climate Change National Strategic Implementation Group, (iv) National Strategic Implementation Group Net Zero Sub-Group, (v) National Strategic Implementation Group Domestic Adaptation and Resilience Sub-Group and (vi) 25 Year Environmental Plan Board have been published.

GOV.UK is updated regularly with the terms of reference and membership of Cabinet Committees, including the Climate Action Strategy Committee and Climate Action Implementation Committee.

The membership and terms of reference have not been published for the following officials’ forums: the National Strategic Implementation Group Net Zero Sub-Group; the National Strategic Implementation Group Domestic Adaptation and Resilience Sub-Group; and the 25 Year Environment Board.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the President of COP26, if he will publish a category breakdown of the successful applications to have a presence at COP26.

The Government ran an Expression of Interest process earlier this year to identify stakeholder interest in participating within UK Government managed spaces at the summit, receiving 3,966 proposals from across 93 countries. Following an extensive evaluation process, we have longlisted a range of proposals for further consideration. At this stage, no organisation has received confirmation of space within UK Government managed spaces at the summit.

An events programme and list of exhibitors within the UK Government managed Green Zone will be made available to the public in due course.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the President of COP26, how many applications were accepted from organisations applying for a presence at COP26.

The Government ran an Expression of Interest process earlier this year to identify stakeholder interest in participating within UK Government managed spaces at the summit, receiving 3,966 proposals from across 93 countries. Following an extensive evaluation process, we have longlisted a range of proposals for further consideration. At this stage, no organisation has received confirmation of space within UK Government managed spaces at the summit.

An events programme and list of exhibitors within the UK Government managed Green Zone will be made available to the public in due course.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Attorney General, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

The Attorney General’s Office (AGO), Government Legal Department (GLD), Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) are committed to tackling climate change and delivering our world-leading net zero target. Each department is located on separate premises and therefore their steps to climate responsibility differ.

The AGO is located within a building shared with other tenants. The department engages with the landlord to support any opportunities to reduce greenhouse emissions. Emissions data is produced for the building and is not identifiable for each tenant. Information relating to the government vehicle is collated and reported by the Department for Transport. The AGO ensures that all travel is kept to a minimum.

The CPS actively seeks to understand and mitigate its sustainability impacts associated with delivering its core organisational responsibilities. The CPS’ sustainability objectives include delivering on the Greening Government Commitments1 (GGC) for reducing energy, water, paper and other resource use, reducing travel and managing waste and assessing and managing social and environmental impacts and opportunities in policy development and decision making.

The GLD has not made any specific assessment of the effect of climate change on the work of the Department. They provide legal advice in support of our clients’ considerations of climate change and the impact on their business, whilst we have made changes to our operations over time to reduce the consumption of natural resources, including the consumption, movement and storage of paper files, and travel‎.

No formal assessment has been made on how climate change may impact the work of the SFO. However, the Serious Fraud Office is committed to playing its part in meeting the government’s ambitious targets to reduce emissions and deliver on the Greening Government Commitments.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
18th Mar 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reason the ROSSI index was discontinued in January 2017.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority.

A response to the hon. Member’s Parliamentary Question of 18 March is attached.

Heather Wheeler
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the international interoperability of a proposed covid-19 vaccination certification or passport for the UK in order to facilitate international travel.

The UK is working with other countries who have programmes to allow vaccinated people to travel more freely, to lead global efforts to adopt a clear international framework with standards that provide consistency for passengers and industry alike. The Government is working closely with the World Health Organisation and other multilateral organisations like ICAO to help shape an internationally interoperable certification system. Additionally, we have been working with like-minded partners, to ensure people can prove their health status when travelling abroad, once international travel resumes from 17 May at the earliest.

On 9 April, a framework to chart the safe return of international travel was set out by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. The report, produced by the Global Travel Taskforce shows how international travel could resume from 17 May 2021 at the earliest, and commits to working with industry to do so in a safe, accessible and affordable way. This report shows how the UK will once again allow people with families and partners outside the UK to see their loved ones again.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the potential discretionary effect of the requirement by many online services for a mobile telephone number on elderly people using those services who rely on a landline telephone.

The Service Standard requires all government services to only ask for a phone number or mobile phone number if essential, and that there should always be an alternative channel available to the user who does not have a computer, mobile phone, or access to the internet.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Prime Minister's roadmap to ease covid-19 lockdown restrictions, published on 22 February 2021, what his planned timescale is for permitting (a) chess clubs and (b) chess competitions to resume their activities.

On 22 February the Government published it's 'COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021' roadmap to recovery.

Chess clubs and other social clubs can take place in line with the social contact limits at each step.

In regards to chess competitions, indoor events that bring people from different households together must not run until Step 3 (no earlier than 17th May), unless there is an explicit exemption. However, from 29 March we will allow limited gatherings outdoors of up to 6 people, or in a larger group if everyone present is from the same two households. A ‘household’ can include the support bubble linked to that household [if eligible].

The design of the roadmap has been informed by the latest scientific evidence and seeks a balance between our key social and economic priorities, whilst preserving the health and safety of our country.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

This information is not held centrally. The Industrial Strategy spans a wide array of policy areas across multiple government departments, agencies and bodies, including the Cabinet Office of which the Prime Minister’s Office is an integral part.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to Command Paper CP 239, The UK Government's COVID-19 recovery strategy, when the Government plans to allow people to gather in slightly larger groups to facilitate small weddings.

Our Plan To Rebuild, the Government's COVID-19 Recovery Strategy, is published on gov.uk and includes details on plans for weddings. We understand the frustration couples planning a wedding must be feeling at this time. We are keeping these restrictions under review and will ease them as soon as it is safe to do so. We will continue to work closely with faith leaders and local government over the coming weeks to go through the practicalities of doing so.

Marriages and civil partnerships under the special procedure for those who are seriously ill and not expected to recover, are taking place in some cases where it is safe to do so in line with PHE guidance.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Cabinet Committee on Climate Change will next meet; and what topics will be discussed at that meeting.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given by Earl Howe to PQ HL1347 on 13 February 2020.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

The UK is a world leader in cutting emissions while growing the economy, and has set an ambitious net zero target which will require transformation across the economy.

Tackling climate change is a priority for the whole of government, which is why the Prime Minister has set up the Cabinet Committee on Climate Change. This committee will hold departments to account for their actions to combat climate change and oversee the UK’s preparations to host the COP26 summit.

The Government is leading from the front, and delivering on the Greening Government Commitments. Cabinet Office monitors and reports performance against these Commitments through the annual publication of the State of the Estate Report. The Report describes the size and cost, efficiency of use and sustainability of property for central government buildings.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
6th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what percentage of staff previously employed in the Investment Security Group were employed in the Investment Security Unit as of 6 July.

As of 6 July 2022, there are 94 full time equivalent posts in the Investment Security Unit. As with any organisation, actual staffing levels fluctuate over time. The ISU operates a ‘hub and spoke’ model, bringing together expertise from across government and the intelligence community to scrutinise acquisitions and assess the need for intervention to protect the UK’s national security, ensuring the Business Secretary can make well evidenced decisions.

The Investment Security Group team was previously based in the Cabinet Office but moved to BEIS in April to form the basis of the ISU.

Jane Hunt
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what percentage of staff employed in the Investment Security Unit as of 6 July were previously employed in the Investment Security Group.

As of 6 July 2022, there are 94 full time equivalent posts in the Investment Security Unit. As with any organisation, actual staffing levels fluctuate over time. The ISU operates a ‘hub and spoke’ model, bringing together expertise from across government and the intelligence community to scrutinise acquisitions and assess the need for intervention to protect the UK’s national security, ensuring the Business Secretary can make well evidenced decisions.

The Investment Security Group team was previously based in the Cabinet Office but moved to BEIS in April to form the basis of the ISU.

Jane Hunt
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many full time equivalent staff were employed in the Investment Security Unit as of 6 July 2022.

As of 6 July 2022, there are 94 full time equivalent posts in the Investment Security Unit. As with any organisation, actual staffing levels fluctuate over time. The ISU operates a ‘hub and spoke’ model, bringing together expertise from across government and the intelligence community to scrutinise acquisitions and assess the need for intervention to protect the UK’s national security, ensuring the Business Secretary can make well evidenced decisions.

The Investment Security Group team was previously based in the Cabinet Office but moved to BEIS in April to form the basis of the ISU.

Jane Hunt
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many applications have been made to the Boiler Upgrade Scheme since its launch.

The Boiler Upgrade Scheme has received 1,966 applications from 23rd May to 17th June 2022.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many officials in the Business British Bank sponsoring team within his Department have a professional background in banking regulation; and how that number has changed in each of the last three years.

The Government’s sponsorship team for the British Business Bank is split across the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and UK Government Investments (UKGI). Currently four colleagues on the team have private sector professional experience in the financial services sector (2021: four, 2020: two). The BBB is not (and has never been) a regulated bank, given its wholesale model, i.e. ordinarily delivering through delivery partners, with no direct relationship with SME borrowers. Neither BEIS nor UKGI perform the function of a regulator with respect to BBB.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when his Department plans to publish its analysis of potential offshore wind development scenarios which could be in place by 2050.

This study is led by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, The Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland, with consultancy support from Arup. It is part of the Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme, and is due to be completed in spring 2022.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that households on pay as you go meter tariffs will receive the £200 energy bill discount.

The Government is developing this policy with key industry and consumer stakeholders to ensure it can be delivered in a convenient way for customers and can get the benefit to eligible households, including those on pre-payment meters. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will consult on the scheme in the spring.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when his Department plans to publish an update of the reforms to the Electrical Performance Certificate (EPC) to take into account the performance of heat pumps and other renewable electrical sources.

Electrical Performance Certificates (EPCs) use an Energy Efficient Rating to measure energy performance based on the estimated running costs of the building. Since energy costs can be a significant outlay, it is important homeowners and occupiers are aware of the running costs of their property. Using the Energy Efficient Rating ensures that recommendations generated by the EPC lead to a reduction in energy cost. Given the higher cost of electricity relative to gas, the presence of a heat pump may result in a lower Energy Efficient Rating without additional measures to reduce energy demand, such as insulation.

The Government has recently reinstated the Environmental Impact Rating on the EPC, which measures energy performance based on carbon dioxide emissions, and recognises lower carbon measures such as heat pumps. Recent consultations on policies that use EPCs have sought views on alternative metric options to both reduce emissions and keep energy bills low. The responses to these consultations are being analysed and Government responses will be published in due course.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his Department will reconsider its decision to refuse the New Scientist’s Freedom of Information request to publish a spreadsheet showing by how much individual policies in the Net Zero Strategy will reduce emissions.

In the Net Zero Strategy, the Government outlines measures to transition to a green and sustainable future, helping businesses and consumers to move to clean power, supporting hundreds of thousands of well-paid jobs and leveraging up to £90 billion of private investment by 2030.

Each year the Department publishes updated energy and emissions projections, analysing and projecting future energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in the UK. The Government will publish an updated set of Energy and Emissions projections in due course. This will set out emissions reductions from those specific Net Zero Strategy measures where decisions on the design of the associated individual policy intervention are sufficiently advanced to meet Energy and Emissions projections publication standards.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to publish information on how much individual policies announced in the Net Zero Strategy are projected to cut emissions by.

In the Net Zero Strategy, the Government outlines measures to transition to a green and sustainable future, helping businesses and consumers to move to clean power, supporting hundreds of thousands of well-paid jobs and leveraging up to £90 billion of private investment by 2030.

Each year the Department publishes updated energy and emissions projections, analysing and projecting future energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in the UK. The Government will publish an updated set of Energy and Emissions projections in due course. This will set out emissions reductions from those specific Net Zero Strategy measures where decisions on the design of the associated individual policy intervention are sufficiently advanced to meet Energy and Emissions projections publication standards.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending the application period for the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme beyond its planned closing date on 31 March 2022.

The Government intends to close the Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive to new applications on 31 March 2022. This will be followed by the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS), which is scheduled to launch in April 2022. The BUS will provide a more targeted, accessible, and simpler offer, by providing upfront capital grants to support the installation of low carbon heat technologies.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many recovery loans have been agreed between companies and their lenders supported by Government guarantees since the launch of the Recovery Loan Scheme; and how much has been lent under that scheme to date.

The British Business Bank intends to publish data on usage of the scheme in due course.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the total sum is of (a) premiums accepted from insurers under the Trade Credit Reinsurance Scheme up to 30 June 2021 and (b) any financial windfall or retained monies received by the Government with specific reference to that scheme.

The Trade Credit Reinsurance Scheme has benefitted over half a million businesses, providing certainty for firms across the UK and safeguarding jobs. It has protected more than an estimated £600 billion of business turnover through providing around £210 billion in insurance cover.

As the scheme remains open to receive claims, it would not be appropriate to disclose information on the financial performance of the scheme at this point.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 9 October 2020 to Question 98272, when he plans to publish the (a) names of the beneficiaries and (b) amounts of the loans with a nominal value of over €100,000 provided under the (i) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and (ii) Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Details of facilities made available under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme will be published where required by the European Commission’s Transparency Aid Module in due course.

Our priority is to ensure borrowers are given notice before information about their loans is shared with the European Commission; we are working with lenders and the British Business Bank to facilitate this. A rolling programme of reporting will then publish details of aid granted within the preceding 12 months.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many officials in (a) his private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

The Digital Communications Team has included approximately 14 members of staff responsible for producing and promoting social media content between 2018 and 2021. We cannot quantify how many other staff in the wider Communications Directorate or wider department as it’s something that many people do as a smaller part of their role.

The Cabinet Office is continuously tracking and reviewing spending on cross-government campaigns, including Covid-19, to ensure our communications are efficient. We will not spend more than is needed to be effective.

The Cabinet Office publishes expenditure, including on public information campaigns, on a rolling monthly basis on gov.uk as part of routine government transparency arrangements.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department made of the number of Green Homes Grant scheme applications it would receive by the end of January 2021 in the initial design of the Green Homes Grant programme.

The Green Homes Grant Voucher scheme has faced a number of delivery challenges, as many new mechanisms do. This has been exacerbated by the understandable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the willingness of householders to welcome tradespeople into their homes.

Different levels of lower than anticipated uptake were considered. However, given the uncertainties surrounding potential take-up, and delivery pathways, no specific forecast was made for the end of January.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his Department's planned timescale is for concluding work on the Industrial Strategy review.

The majority of the 142 policy commitments from the 2017 Industrial Strategy are now in delivery, with around £45 billion of funding assigned to initiatives. These initiatives have strengthened the foundations of productivity, by investing in transport, housing, digital infrastructure, and skills. The Grand Challenges and missions have strengthened the UK’s standing as a global leader in AI, clean growth, healthy ageing, and future transport technology – preparing the UK for a resilient, future economy.

However, the 2017 Industrial Strategy was developed in a pre-COVID-19, pre-Brexit world and the coming decade poses new challenges. The Government is, and will continue to be, a champion of the needs of business and industry as we build back better from the pandemic. We will be laying out our plans to drive growth and support jobs across the UK in due course, and existing work will continue where appropriate.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

The total number of dedicated full-time equivalent officials within the Industrial Strategy (IS) Directorate for the following years, is as follows:

2017: 15*

2018: 21

2019: 41

2020: 51

2021: 50

The Industrial Strategy is a cross-government policy which comprises and drives a significant number of initiatives. These span a wide array of policy areas across 20 government departments and arm’s-length bodies.

Given the breadth of the delivery work, it is difficult to obtain accurate figures for resource associated with the Industrial Strategy in other teams within BEIS. This information is unlikely to be retrievable at this point in time and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when his Department plans to bring forward legislative proposals on the regulation of tips given to hospitality workers.

Some employers in the hospitality sector have recently improved their tipping practices and are now passing 100 per cent of tips to their staff.

When Parliamentary time allows, we will bring forward legislation to create a clear legislative framework for employers which handle tips. This will ensure hospitality workers are properly rewarded for their efforts, and protect the vast majority of hospitality businesses who do the right thing from being undercut by a small minority shirking their responsibilities.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how long on average Future Fund applications have taken to process.

The average time taken to process Future Fund applications is shown in the table below.

The number of days starts when matched funding was approved and finishes when the convertible loan was executed. The elapsed time depends on the actions of companies and investors as well as the managers of the Future Fund. The quickest application to date was completed in 9 days.

Month

Number of applications

Average time taken (days)

May

464

39

June

229

34

July

145

32

August

120

30

September

224

25

To note, averages for October and November are not yet available.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the letter on Climate Assembly UK he received from six select committee Chairs dated 10 September 2020, whether he plans to publish a response before Christmas 2020 to the recommendations of Climate Assembly UK’s report entitled, The Path to Net Zero, published on 10 September 2020.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spoke at the launch event of the Climate Assembly UK report on 10 September and welcomed its findings. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister responded to both the interim and the final Climate Assembly UK reports via letters to the six select committees.

We are working closely with Climate Assembly UK to ensure that government departments are familiar with their findings. We invited the Climate Assembly UK’s expert leads to present the recommendations via seven briefings for officials from across government that took place between 14 and 24 September and covered all the policy areas discussed in the report.

The report’s recommendations are an important part of the evidence base for developing the Government’s Net Zero Strategy, which will be published in 2021.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will bring forward proposals to enable UK Research and Innovation to prolong funding for research students unable to undertake face-to-face interviews as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises that the disruption of recent months has impacted the ability of doctoral students to undertake their research projects. This has led to students having to adjust their projects, making decisions around changing their?approach, collecting different data, or changing the way they had planned to work with people, labs, archives or facilities.

As it is not possible for all students to adjust their projects and training plan in such a way, I announced in April that UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)-funded PhD students in the final year and whose studies have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic would be provided with additional support. Subsequently on the 11th November, UKRI provided a further £19.1 million of funding to support students in earlier years, including disabled students, those with long-term illness, those who are neurodivergent, or those with caring responsibilities.

Combined, these two interventions have meant that UKRI has made over £60 million of financial support available to students most impacted by the pandemic. It is estimated that this funding is available for up to 12,000 students.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what guidance his Department is providing to suppliers wishing to undertake work under the Green Homes Grant but who require bridging finance between undertaking that work and receiving funding allocated under that grant scheme.

In-line with normal industry practice an installer can request a deposit from the customer prior to carrying out work. The deposit cannot be more than the expected customer contribution to the cost of measures under the quote provided and the installer may not charge any more than they would usually charge for a measure.

For those on the low income scheme an installer may only request a deposit where the total cost of the work exceeds the £10,000 grant. In this case, only the amount in excess will be eligible for a deposit.

Installers will be paid for the costs covered by the voucher once the work has been completed and they have confirmed receipt of any customer contribution. Most installers will get the grant payment within 5 working days.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has for the UK to become a third country member of Horizon Europe in the event that the UK does not agree a deal on its future relationship with the EU by the end of the transition period.

The UK is open to participation in Horizon Europe if we can agree a fair and balanced deal. We will make a final decision once it is clear whether such terms can be reached.

In tandem with our EU negotiations, as a responsible government, we are also developing alternative schemes to support international research and innovation collaboration. If we do not formally associate to Horizon Europe we will implement ambitious alternatives as quickly as possible from January 2021 and address the funding gap.

Under all scenarios it is our aim that UK organisations and entities continue to participate in Horizon Europe collaborative projects open to third countries, as well as in wider international collaborations. If we do not formally associate to Horizon Europe, UK organisations would still be able to participate in those elements of the programme, open to third countries. As part of our alternatives to Horizon Europe, we will make funding available to allow UK partners to participate in these schemes. Funding for EU programmes or for alternatives would be subject to allocations at the Spending Review.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the (a) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, (b) Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, (c) Bounce Back Loan Scheme and (d) Future Fund were each (i) notified to the European Commission under the State Aid Temporary Framework of 19 March 2020 and (ii) designed under the General Block Exemption Regulation.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme was approved on 25 March 2020 by the European Commission under the EU State aid Temporary Framework. The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme fall under the UK’s ‘umbrella’ Covid-19 Temporary Framework for UK authorities which was approved by the Commission on 6 April 2020 under the EU State aid Temporary Framework.

They are not designed under the General Block Exemption Regulation.

The Future Fund is provided under the Market Economy Operator Principle and does not involve providing state aid to eligible companies.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of whether the Future Fund is (a) a form of state aid under the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and (b) subject to section 34 of the State Aid Temporary Framework, dated 19 March 2020.

The Future Fund provides government loans to UK-based companies ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors. These convertible loans may be an option for businesses that rely on equity investment and are unable to access other government business support programmes because they are either pre-revenue or pre-profit.

The scheme is not subject to State Aid rules as it is provided under the Market Economy Operator Principle and does not involve providing aid to eligible companies.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many green homes grants have been awarded by his Department in the first month of that scheme being open to applications.

The Green Homes Grant opened to applications on the 30 September 2020. As of midday on 21 October 2020, 22,013 grant applications have been received. BEIS will continue to monitor application data as the scheme progresses.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many providers have been approved for accredited services under the new green homes grant in (a) the UK and (b) each region in England.

As of 26 October, TrustMark has registered 1,108 businesses able to install the primary and/or secondary measures supported by the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the compliance of the State Aid (Revocations and Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 under powers conferred by section 8(1) and section 8C(1) and paragraph 21 of Schedule 7 to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, with the Government policy as set out in the White Paper on Legislating for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union that the Act will not aim to make major changes in policy or to establish new legal frameworks in the UK beyond those that are necessary to ensure the law continues to function properly from day one.

The State Aid (Revocations and Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020 are being made using the powers in the European Union (Withdrawal Act) 2018 (as amended). These powers include those intended to address failures of retained EU law to operate effectively or other deficiencies arising from the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

At the end of the transition period, the EU law on state aid which would otherwise be retained by the Withdrawal Act would contain fundamental deficiencies which would make it inoperable in the UK. In accordance with the requirements of the Withdrawal Act, the instrument is doing no more than is appropriate to address those deficiencies.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the (a) names of the beneficiaries and (b) amounts of the loans with a nominal value of over €100,000 provided under the (a) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, (b) Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme and (c) Bounce Back Loan Scheme and (d) Future Fund as required under the European Commission’s Temporary Framework for State Aid Measures.

Details of individual aid awards under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme and Bounce Back Loan Scheme will be published as required on the European Commission’s Transparency Aid Module in due course. Details of investments made through the Future Fund alongside private investors are commercially confidential.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of employees who have been penalised for self-isolating as a result of concerns about exposure to covid-19; and what steps he is taking to ensure that employers do not penalise employees on that basis.

Most employers are acting responsibly and supporting their staff to self-isolate when needed. However, we are aware of incidences where workers have felt compelled to work when they should be self-isolating. This is unacceptable.

It is critically important that when someone needs to self-isolate, they do so. That is why the Government made changes to the legal position around self-isolation making it an offence for an individual to leave their place of self-isolation (normally home) during the isolating period (either following a positive Covid test, contact by NHS Test and Trace or if they have returned from abroad and are required to quarantine.)

In order to support this, we have also made it an offence for an employer to knowingly allow a person who has been told to self-isolate to work anywhere other than where they are self-isolating. If employers are found to be in breach of this requirement, they will be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice. Repeated breaches will see an increase in the level of the Fixed Penalty Notice (£1k first offence, £2k second offence, £4k third offence, £10k fourth and subsequent offences.)

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the EU requirement for businesses to be owned by a majority of EU-based shareholders will continue to apply to UK based businesses after the transition period.

There is no requirement for businesses to be owned by a majority of EU-based shareholders in current EU law or within the UK’s Companies Act 2006.

However, both Societas Europaeas (SEs) and European Economic Interest Groupings (EEIGs), which are EU specific company formations, have certain ownership-linked requirements. SEs, for example, must have their registered offices in the EU and at least two of the bodies that form an SE must have a presence in different Member States. Similarly, EEIGs, which are a form of association between companies or other legal bodies, must be based in the relevant EU Member State and companies or firms must be incorporated in the EU to become members of an EEIG.

From 1 January 2021, SEs and EEIGs will no longer be able to be registered in the UK and any UK-based SEs and EEIGs that have not made alternative arrangements will be automatically converted into new UK corporate structures, respectively UK Societas and UK Economic Interest Groupings (UKEIG). Members of UKEIGs will continue to be allowed to be based in either a part of the UK or in any EU Member State, and UK Socieatas will not be subject to any continuing ownership-linked requirements.

In addition, there are ownership or voting rights requirements in specific regulated sectors where specific EU regulations apply. Examples include audit firms, where the existing requirements as to the majority of voting rights on the ownership body and the management body will be amended so that each majority must be held by UK registered audit firms or by individuals with UK audit qualifications or UK recognised qualifications.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reason the proposed energy White Paper has not yet been published; and when he plans to publish that White Paper.

The Energy White Paper is a priority and it will be published this Autumn. It will drive economic recovery and help deliver our climate goals. It is important it is aligned with measures we are taking to accelerate a green recovery, such as my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer’s announcement on 8th July about energy efficiency measures.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress the UK has made in agreeing its associate membership of Horizon Europe; and whether agreement can be reached on Horizon Europe irrespective of whether a trade deal is agreed with the EU by the end of the transition period.

Our negotiating approach sets out that we will consider a relationship in line with non-EU Member State participation in certain EU Programmes, including Horizon Europe, provided that this represents value for money and is in the UK’s interest.

We continue to hold discussions on Programme participation with the EU, and my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster’s Written Ministerial Statement (HCWS245) of 19 May sets out that UK and EU discussions took place across all workstreams, including EU Programmes. The Horizon Europe Programme is currently being negotiated in the EU Institutions and has not yet been finalised. The Programme must be adopted by the EU before arrangements for potential UK participation could be finalised.

In tandem with our negotiations, as a responsible government, we are also developing alternative schemes to support international research and innovation collaboration. In this, we are considering a range of measures, which include options to address immediate needs and work through to any future funding scenario.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that holidaymakers whose holiday was cancelled as a result of a change in Foreign Office travel advice are able to receive the refund to which they are entitled.

Package travel agencies are required to comply with The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements Regulations 2018, which protect consumers who have bought package holidays. Consumers are entitled to a refund?if forced to cancel a package holiday due to unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances, which should be issued?within 14 days, depending on the nature of the contract in place. Further information on the rights and responsibilities of consumers and businesses was published on 30 April by the Competition and Markets Authority who have also set up a covid-19 taskforce for consumers to register complaints.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
7th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy what steps the Health and Safety Executive is taking to (a) support engineer surveyors to inspect sites while maintaining social distancing and (b) provide engineer surveyors with personal protective equipment.

In order to help ensure that workplaces are safe for workers in the construction sector, the Government has worked with Public Health England (PHE), business representatives, and trade unions to develop guidance on safer working. Measures include undertaking risk assessments and implementing social distancing.

The Government has also worked with the Construction Leadership Council to develop Site Operating Procedures, which provide practical advice to those seeking to implement this guidance on construction sites.

The UK does not currently advise that face masks should be used outside of care settings, on public transport, and in some shops. However, PHE is continually reviewing its guidance in line with emerging evidence.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if the Government will offer financial support to SMEs that become insolvent following payment of statutory sick pay relating to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government will support small and medium enterprises and individual employers to cope with the extra costs of paying COVID-19-related Statutory Sick Pay (SSP). Eligible SSP costs will be refunded for two weeks per employee from the day on which regulations extending SSP to self-isolators come into force. This will provide 2 million businesses with support worth up to £2 billion to cover the costs of large-scale sick leave.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps she is taking to improve access to paternity leave.

The Government is committed to maintaining and enhancing workers’ rights, and to supporting people to balance their work and caring responsibilities. We recently consulted on parental leave and pay reform, including Paternity Leave and Pay through a survey of approximately 3,300 parents, we are also collecting data on various parental leave and pay policies, including barriers and enablers to take-up. We will publish the consultation response and survey findings in due course.

The Government is committed to making the UK the best place to work and grow a business. As announced in the Queen’s Speech, we will bring forward an Employment Rights Bill to deliver the greatest reform of workers’ rights in over 20 years.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if the Government will take steps to secure associate membership of Horizon Europe at the same time as the Multi-Annual Financial Framework is agreed, prior to the end of the transition period.

We will continue to collaborate with the EU on scientific research and we have been clear that, where it is in the UK’s interests, we will seek to participate in some specific EU Programmes.

The shape and content of the next EU Multi-Annual Financial Framework Programmes for 2021-2027, including Horizon Europe, are currently being negotiated in the EU Institutions and have not yet been finalised. Horizon Europe must be adopted by the EU before any potential formal negotiations on association could begin.

The UK has played a constructive role in the development of Horizon Europe to ensure that it aligns with UK priorities and we look forward to continuing our relationship in research and innovation with our European partners.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment she has made of the effect of climate change on the work of her Department; and what steps she is taking in response to that effect.

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

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

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

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

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if her Department will take steps to ensure that reform to the UK’s data protection regime is aligned with public attitudes to data regulation.

In September 2021, the Government launched its consultation, “Data: A New Direction”.

This consultation ran for 10 weeks, closing on 19 November 2021 and received almost 3,000 responses. Responses were received from the Information Commissioner’s Office; organisations which represent a cross-section of the UK economy and society, and from overseas organisations.

During the consultation period, the Government engaged with a range of stakeholders, including over 40 roundtables with academia, tech and industry bodies, and consumer rights groups, providing a wide range of views.

The Government has carefully considered these responses and we will publish our response soon.

Furthermore, the CDEI recently published the findings from the first wave of its tracker survey. This will be a vital resource in seeking to understand public attitudes towards data and AI, and the conditions needed to create a trustworthy environment for data use.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress has been made on the work programme of the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence; what the UK's contribution is to that partnership; and if he will make a statement.

As a founding member, the UK has been a key part of the Global Partnership on AI (GPAI) and has helped drive this initiative forward.

● GPAI is progressing projects across its Working Groups; Data Governance, Innovation and Commercialisation, Future of Work, Responsible AI and AI and Pandemic Response.

● Initial reports can be found on the new GPAI website (https://gpai.ai/), as well as presentations from the first multi stakeholder summit in December 2020. Work is now focusing on a few key projects in each area.

● UK representatives have contributed their valuable inputs and expertise to these workstreams and a number of experts also sit on the multi-stakeholder Steering Committee, including the current co-chair Joanna Shields, CEO of BenevolentAI.

● GPAI also welcomed four new members in December 2020; Brazil, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain - and there is interest from multiple other countries to join in the future.

The UK looks forward to continuing work with international partners to ensure GPAI fosters responsible development of AI grounded in principles of human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation and economic growth on a global level.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many officials in (a) his private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

Britain is fast becoming a digital-first nation. Roughly 96% of the UK households now have internet access with 66% of the population in the UK using social media.

With this monumental shift in media consumption habits, it is essential for a responsible government to pivot its communications strategy to be more digital-first, to inform and engage the general public on important policies.

Government communication runs across all channels including TV and radio advertising, out of home, digital and social media, print, direct channels such as letters, SMS and webinars, virtual and in-person activity, where needed and in full compliance with social distancing restrictions.

The DCMS News and Communications team leads on managing the department’s social media content as part of its day to day work, which includes a digital team of six that leads on creative content production across all of our corporate channels including online (for social media) and also offline, out of home and internal comms channels. This grew from a team of five people during 2018 to 2019. There are also two members of staff within Private Office who support on digital comms, as part of their wider roles.

8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he has taken to help prevent aggressive cold calling of land owners by prospective buyers who contact landowners even though their land is not advertised for sale.

HM Land Registry, as required by statute, includes within the register of title for England and Wales, the name and contact address details for each proprietor of a registered property. This can include email addresses, if the proprietor chooses to provide one, but it does not hold telephone numbers.

For a prescribed fee, a copy of the register entries that relate to an individual registered property can be obtained. HM Land Registry does not offer free and open access to the data they hold about property ownership. It publishes its commitment to citizens’ privacy rights in a Personal Information Charter, which can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/land-registry/about/personal-information-charter#your-legal-rights

The Hon Member’s constituents should be aware that they have a number of rights under the UK’s data protection regime, including the right to object to their data being processed and the right to erasure of their data. If the contact numbers are being held by an organisation that processes personal information, that organisation must comply with the data protection principles.

If anyone is concerned about the handling of their data by any organisation, they should contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for further advice or to make a complaint. The ICO can be contacted by telephone on 0303 123 1113 or through their live chat facility: https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/live-chat/. Further contact details are on the ICO website: https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/.

8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans his Department has to ensure that the rollout of high speed broadband includes areas of low speed broadband in urban areas as well as non-urban areas.

The government is committed to delivering nationwide gigabit connectivity as soon as possible and more than one in three UK premises already have it. We are targeting a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage by 2025 but will seek to accelerate rollout further to get as close to 100% as possible.

Our analysis suggests that the overwhelming majority of urban premises are within the most commercial 80% of the UK. In these areas, we expect that the private sector will deploy gigabit capable connectivity commercially, and address any remaining premises that have slow speeds. To support industry’s efforts, we continue to work quickly to incentivise investment and remove barriers to rollout, for example through the Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill, which will make it easier for the industry to connect blocks of flats to high speed fixed and mobile technology.

In addition, we are proposing to invest £5 billion through our UK Gigabit programme to deliver gigabit connectivity to less commercial premises, including those with lower speeds currently. This programme will use a variety of interventions, including procurements, connecting public sector hubs and gigabit vouchers.

Matt Warman
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, for what reasons group fitness classes are not permitted in areas under tier 3 covid-19 restrictions.

As the Prime Minister said on 23 November national restrictions ended on Wednesday 2 December, and gyms and sport facilities will reopen across all tiers. As set out in the COVID Winter Plan the decision to allocate tiers is based on a range of factors and will be reviewed every 14 days. In Tier 3 areas we have taken further measures to limit social interactions and therefore opportunities for the virus to spread.

Outdoor organised sport can resume, but the Government will advise against contact sports with a higher risk of transmission, although these can still go ahead for under 18s and disabled groups. Group activity and exercise classes indoors are also advised against.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to protect vulnerable people from fraudulent cold calling.

Fraudulent calls can have significant and devastating impacts on people’s lives, particularly the most vulnerable in society. As well as being a nuisance, cold calling is the most common method used to initiate fraud, especially relating to pensions. That’s why the government has taken action to ban pension cold calling.

HM Treasury has introduced a ban on pension cold calling in order to reduce the chance of individual’s being enticed into fraudulent schemes.

Further to this, Home Office has collaborated with UK Finance to run the Take Five fraud awareness campaign. The campaign is designed to equip the public to challenge fraudulent approaches with confidence – be they face-to-face, on the telephone or online.

The Government continues to work on practical solutions to address nuisance and scam calls. DCMS have provided over £1 million in the last 3 years to the National Trading Standards for distribution of call blocking devices to vulnerable people. This funding helped to protect some of the most vulnerable in society from nuisance calls and scams, including those originating from overseas.

3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the effectiveness of covid-19 restrictions on sports which prevent adults from travelling between local authorities but enable coaches, umpires and under-18s to do so.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus. That’s why we opened up grassroots sport and leisure facilities as soon as it was safe to do so.

You can travel in order to exercise across all tiers, however there is additional guidance for Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas which affects those living in the areas as well as those who wish to travel into the areas to take part in sporting activities. In tier 2: you should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make, where possible.

You are advised not to travel into or out of Tier 3 areas, including for sport, unless this is necessary to enable individual exercise (or exercise for people from the same household or support bubble). Where this is necessary (for example to access a green space for a run or cycle), you should only travel a short distance and stay as local as possible. Travel is also permitted where it is necessary to enable sport for disabled people, sport for educational purposes, or supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, to take place, but should still be minimised and kept to short distances only. People can additionally travel for necessary work or voluntary purposes.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Government plans to issue guidance on the holding of public firework display events in England during the covid-19 outbreak; and whether the Government plans to make material revisions in relation to those events to its most recent general guidance on outdoor gatherings during the covid-19 outbreak.

Outdoor events - including firework display events - organised by businesses, charitable organisations, and public bodies are currently permitted provided event organisers follow all relevant Covid-19 Secure guidance, organisers and attendees adhere to all legal requirements including only allowing people to attend in groups of up to 6 people, and the event does not pose a risk to public health.

Industry guidance developed by the Events Industry Forum in collaboration with DCMS outlines the Covid-secure measures that events organisers must put in place in order to host an outdoor event, including a firework display.

Local Authorities are responsible for permitting or prohibiting large organised outdoor events from taking place in their local area. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, and Local Authorities should provide advice to businesses on how to manage events of this type if required.

We will keep the Outdoor Events guidance under review to determine whether further guidance should be provided as government measures to stop the spread of the virus change. The Events Industry Forum’s guidance for outdoor events can be found here: https://www.eventsindustryforum.co.uk/index.php/11-features/14-keeping-workers-and-audiences-safe-during-covid-19.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of the UK Association for Science and Discovery Centres' proposal for an Emergency Resilience Fund for science centres during the covid-19 outbreak.

Science and discovery centres around the country have an important role in educating and entertaining visitors of all ages on what science is and the important discoveries over the centuries that have changed all our lives.

The proposal for an Emergency Resilience Fund sets out the difficulties that science centres are facing while they are closed and unable to earn income from visitors.

Science centres in England have access to the unprecedented support the Government has announced for business and workers, to protect them against the current economic emergency. This includes the Job Retention Scheme, which I am pleased science centres have benefited from, VAT payment deferrals, and £330bn worth of government backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses. The Chancellor has also announced a Bounce Back loan scheme to help small businesses access loans of up to £50,000, with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders.

Many science and discovery centres are also part of museum groups or are heritage sites, such as members Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, the Discovery Museum in Newcastle, part of Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums, and Thinktank, the Birmingham Science Museum. Museums and heritage organisations can access over £200 million of coronavirus support schemes from Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Science centres outside England may be eligible for further support from the devolved governments.

Our immediate national priority is containing the spread of the virus. As soon as it is safe to do so, we will be encouraging people to visit leisure attractions once again. On 11th May 2020 the Government published a roadmap setting out how we expect organisations such as science and discovery centres to open back up and welcome visitors again.

4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will meet representatives of the (a) Independent Community News Network and (b) Public Interest News Foundation to discuss (i) allocating a proportion of the Government’s Coronavirus advertising spend to independent-sector newspapers and (ii) disbursing that funding and placing those advertisements under a sector-wide agreement with that network and foundation.

The Minister for Media and Data met with the Independent Community News Network and the Public Interest News Foundation on 6 May to discuss Government support for the independent news publishing sector to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19 on the sector. This meeting included a discussion about the Government's national campaign to provide information and reassurance to the public about Covid-19 and how the independent sector may be used to reach underserved audiences.

All titles utilised in the campaign have been selected by the Government's media planning and buying agency, OmniGOV. As with any media planning approach, titles are selected on their ability to engage with audiences at a national, regional and local level and to ensure value for money, reach and targeting efficacy. The current partnership brings together over 600 national, regional and local titles across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to reach 49 million people a month. The vast majority of titles are local papers and additional titles have been selected in order to further reach priority audiences including BAME and older men.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister of State, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make the proposed Online Harms Bill subject to pre-legislative scrutiny.

We will announce our intentions for the legislative process shortly.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the effect of climate change on the work of her Department; and what steps she is taking in response to that effect.

DCMS is committed to helping tackle climate change. The UK is a world leader in cutting emissions while growing the economy. Our world-leading net zero target will require transformation across the economy. HMG will set out further plans to deliver net zero throughout 2020 ahead of COP26, including plans on energy and heat in buildings. HMG is leading from the front, reducing emissions from the government estate and delivering on the Greening Government Commitments.

DCMS works closely with the Electronic Communications Resilience and Response Group (the industry run group which represents all the major Telecoms operators and leads on resilience activity and best practice); this group has produced reports on climate change adaptation and we have worked closely with them and with Defra colleagues to develop a template which will enable a sector wide response to the third adaptation reporting round which closes at the end of 2021.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of availability of educational psychologists to support the needs of children with SEND.

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) Green Paper sets out our vision for an inclusive education system to ensure that all children and young people have timely access to specialist services and support.

Since 2020, the department has increased the number of educational psychologist trainees that we fund to over 200, from 160 per annum, and we invested £30 million to train three more cohorts for academic years 2020, 2021, and 2022, to reflect increased demand. The first cohort will enter the workforce in 2023 to provide crucial support to children and young people, schools, families, and local authorities.

This February the department announced a further investment of over £10 million to train over 200 more educational psychologists. These trainees will begin their courses in September 2023, and graduate in 2026.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will provide funding to Bristol City Council to enhance the training of additional educational psychologists.

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) Green Paper sets out our vision for an inclusive education system to ensure that all children and young people have timely access to specialist services and support.

Since 2020, the department has increased the number of educational psychologist trainees that we fund to over 200, from 160 per annum, and we invested £30 million to train three more cohorts for academic years 2020, 2021, and 2022, to reflect increased demand. The first cohort will enter the workforce in 2023 to provide crucial support to children and young people, schools, families, and local authorities.

This February the department announced a further investment of over £10 million to train over 200 more educational psychologists. These trainees will begin their courses in September 2023, and graduate in 2026.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Green Paper entitled SEND Review: Right support Right place Right time, published on 29 March 2022, when the next cohort of educational psychologist trainees will commence their training.

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) Green Paper sets out our vision for an inclusive education system to ensure that all children and young people have timely access to specialist services and support.

Since 2020, the department has increased the number of educational psychologist trainees that we fund to over 200, from 160 per annum, and we invested £30 million to train three more cohorts for academic years 2020, 2021, and 2022, to reflect increased demand. The first cohort will enter the workforce in 2023 to provide crucial support to children and young people, schools, families, and local authorities.

This February the department announced a further investment of over £10 million to train over 200 more educational psychologists. These trainees will begin their courses in September 2023, and graduate in 2026.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
14th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an estimate of the average class size in secondary schools in (a) North Swindon, (b) South Swindon, (c) Bournemouth East, (d) Bournemouth West, (e) Bristol East, (f) Bristol North West, (g) Bristol South, (h) Bristol West, (i) Exeter, (j) Filton and Bradley Stoke, (k) Kingswood and (l) Stroud constituency in (i) May 1997, (ii) May 2010, (iii) December 2019 and (iv) June 2022.

The department does not hold figures on class sizes for dates throughout the year. Class size is collected annually on January school census day and regarded as a representative sample of class size. The attached tables give average primary and secondary school class sizes as of January 2019 and 2022 for schools in the constituencies listed. We do not hold the data at constituency level for 1997 or 2010.

14th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an estimate of the average class size in primary schools in (a) North Swindon, (b) South Swindon, (c) Bournemouth East, (d) Bournemouth West, (e) Bristol East, (f) Bristol North West, (g) Bristol South, (h) Bristol West, (i) Exeter, (j) Filton and Bradley Stoke, (k) Kingswood and (l) Stroud constituency in (i) May 1997, (ii) May 2010, (iii) December 2019 and (iv) June 2022.

The department does not hold figures on class sizes for dates throughout the year. Class size is collected annually on January school census day and regarded as a representative sample of class size. The attached tables give average primary and secondary school class sizes as of January 2019 and 2022 for schools in the constituencies listed. We do not hold the data at constituency level for 1997 or 2010.

27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that the providers of Early Years Foundation services have adequate numbers of qualified staff from which to recruit.

The department recognises that recruitment and retention are key issues for the early years sector, with local authorities reporting significant pressures on providers. We are working with the sector to build our understanding of the situation in the workforce and how we might support providers in this area.

We are committed to supporting the early years sector to develop a workforce with the appropriate knowledge, skills, and experience to deliver high quality early education and childcare.

The department has engaged with early years employers to help them develop three high-quality apprenticeships. These are early years educator, practitioner, and lead practitioner, spanning levels 2 to 5. Since academic year 2018/19, over 32,000 early years apprenticeships have been started and we continue to work with employers on developing these apprenticeships to meet the sector’s needs.

In September 2020, we launched T Levels in education and childcare. The two-year 16-19 technical programme has been designed by employers to provide direct progression into early years education roles. It is aligned to the early years practitioner level 3 occupational standard and covers the early years educator criteria. Over 500 students enrolled in September 2020/21, and approximately a further 1,500 this academic year.

The department continues to fund the early years initial teacher training programme, including grants, bursaries and employer incentives. As part of early years education recovery, we are expanding the number of training places to increase the supply of qualified graduates to the sector.

In April 2021, free level 3 early years qualifications became available through the Lifetime Skills Guarantee.

As part of our education recovery package, we announced a £153 million investment in evidence-based professional development for early years practitioners, including through new programmes focusing on key areas such as speech and language development. This year we will commission a review of the level 3 early years qualification criteria, through the recovery programme, responding to feedback from the sector. This review will consider how we can improve the quality and rigour of the level 3 early years qualification, including the criteria, through consultation and engagement with stakeholders from across early years.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of staff leaving roles in Early Years Foundation service providers.

The Department for Education has published figures on the total number of paid staff working in childcare and early years provision in a representative, national survey of providers, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/childcare-and-early-years-providers-survey-2021. This report shows that the total number of paid staff working in childcare and early years provision in 2021 was estimated at 328,500. This figure is somewhat lower than in 2019 (344,100) but in line with the estimates for 2019 (331,400). 2019 is the earliest year for which comparable data are available. No comparable data was collected in 2020 because of reprioritisation for COVID-19 reasons.

The average (mean) number of paid staff per early years setting remained similar in 2021 compared with 2019 for all provider types.

In spring 2022, we will publish a report on the theme of early years workforce, which will include new data on the number of staff leaving roles in early years providers.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of current regulations for private special educational needs providers in ensuring that the level of education provided is adequate.

Independent schools must have meet the requirements of the Education (Independent School Standards) Regulations 2014 which set out the standards for the education, welfare and safety for pupils attending an independent school, including pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. Ofsted and the Independent Schools Inspectorate inspect all independent schools against these standards.

Local authorities are responsible for securing the provision specified in the education, health and care plans (ECHPs) they maintain, including for those placements in private providers. They are required to conduct reviews of all EHCPs that they maintain at least annually. If a review finds that elements of the provision specified in the plan are no longer appropriate, then the local authority should review the EHCP and consider whether the provision should be amended and/or a different institution named.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to recruit more private applied behaviour analysis tutors nationally.

Autism is a spectrum condition where children have a range of strengths and difficulties. There is no well-founded research to show that any one intervention for children with autism (such as Applied Behaviour Analysis) is more effective than all the other interventions or which interventions are best for which children on the spectrum. The government believes that intervention decisions should be taken by professionals locally, in consultation with parents and young people, after a thorough assessment of the child or young person’s needs.

All schools are required to identify and address the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) of the pupils they support and to use their best endeavours to make sure that a child or young person gets the support they need.

High needs funding, which is specifically for supporting children with SEND, will be increasing by £1 billion in financial year 2022-23 and will bring the overall total of funding for high needs to £9.1 billion. This unprecedented increase of 13% comes on top of the £1.5 billion increase over the last two years. Decisions about how funding is used, including for the employment of specialist tutors or the use of specific interventions, are made by local authorities and schools.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made on the adequacy of funding provided to local authorities to support the provision of support services to SEND students.

High needs funding for children and young people with complex needs is increasing in the next financial year 2022-23 by £1 billion to over £9.1 billion. This unprecedented year-on-year increase of 13% comes on top of the £1.5 billion increase over the last 2 years, and will continue to support local authorities and schools with the increasing costs they are facing.

As well as substantial increases in high needs funding for all local authorities, of at least 12% per head, the department are also targeting extra support for those authorities in the most financial difficulty and reviewing the overall system of support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what financial support the Government is providing to students with visa applications for studying within the UK; and what recent progress has been made on the processing of delayed Erasmus grants to UK students studying in the UK.

International students are required to demonstrate their ability to financially support themselves during their studies as part of the visa application process. The UK government does not offer financial support to students applying for a visa to study in the UK.

Students that have a UK visa and are studying full-time on a course at degree level or above at a higher education provider with a track record of compliance are able to work 20 hours per week during term time and full-time during vacation periods.

In specific cases, immediate hardship funding can be made available by universities for students in need. Students should speak to their providers if they find themselves in need of hardship support.

The UK government funds several programmes offering scholarships and bursaries to support international students looking to study in the UK. The UK National Agency for Erasmus+ confirms that there have been no delays in disbursement of funds to existing beneficiaries.

15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has plans for summer-born children to be given automatic admission to secondary school for children who currently have a delayed start.

The Department remains committed to legislating to change the School Admissions Code to allow summer born children to be automatically admitted to Reception at the age of five, where that is what their parents' wish, and to remain with that cohort throughout their compulsory education.

In September 2020, we published updated guidance for admission authorities and advice for parents on the current arrangements for requesting admission outside a child’s normal age group. The guidance states that where children have delayed their start in Reception and are applying for transition to junior, middle or secondary school, unless there are sound educational reasons to do otherwise, the assumption should be that they remain outside their normal year group and in the year in which they have been educated so far. The guidance will help ensure that decisions are taken in the best interests of the child concerned.

11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many officials in (a) his private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

There has been no-one in my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education’s private office allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on Department for Education social media.

The number of officials in the central social media team based in the communications division are outlined by year in the following table:

Year:

Number of Officials:

2018-19

5

2019-20

7

2020-21

10

This reflects the increasing importance of communicating directly on social media to parents, students and school, college and university staff with clear, practical information and support during the COVID-19 outbreak.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason the Student Loans Company is not permitted to support young people who have Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK with access to student finance for the purposes of undertaking higher education courses.

Generally, to be eligible for student support a student must be resident in England and have ‘settled’ status or a recognised connection with the UK on the first day of the first academic year of the course and must have been resident in the UK and Islands (Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) for the 3 years prior to that date.

Student finance is, therefore, available to those persons who have indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK provided they meet the relevant residence and other requirements.

The Student Loans Company relies on information from the Home Office in relation to immigration matters when assessing eligibility.

8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish his (a) response, (b) agreed actions and (c) timetable for change to the Information Commissioner's compulsory audit of his Department, published on 7 October 2020, which was due to be published in January 2021.

The official departmental response to the 2020 Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) data protection audit of the Department for Education is publicly available and was deposited in the House Libraries 28 January 2021. The document can be found through the following link: https://depositedpapers.parliament.uk/depositedpaper/2282906/files.

The Department continues to work with the ICO to deliver against the recommendations identified within the audit report. The official response sets out that the Department is committed to a programme of work and will publish a further update in June 2021.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

Numerous teams across the department have worked to develop and deliver policies that contribute to delivering the Industrial Strategy, so we are unable to quantify staff numbers in this respect.

This includes teams focusing on: the introduction of ground-breaking T Levels; establishing new Institutes of Technology; developing the National Skills Fund; increasing funding for 16-19 provision; improving take up of science and maths at A level; improving digital education at all levels through changes to the curriculum and a new digital entitlements for adults; and the introduction of Skills Advisory Panels and the Skills Productivity Board.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the decision to fund local authorities on the basis of their January 2021 census for early years provision, what assessment he has made of the effect of that decision on the financial viability of early years providers; and if he will bring forward proposals to raise the cap on top-up funding to 100 per cent of the January 2020 level for local authorities that demonstrate a commensurate growth in spring term attendance.

On 17 December 2020 the government announced a return to funding early years settings for the spring term on the basis of attendance, as measured by the January 2021 census. The early years census count has gone ahead as expected and the census guidance is unchanged. To support local authorities, we issued some technical advice on how that guidance can be applied this year.

If attendance rises after the census is taken, we will top-up councils to up to 85% of their January 2020 census level, where a local authority can provide evidence for increased attendance during the spring term. This will give local authorities additional financial confidence to pay providers for increasing attendance later in the spring term. We were expecting a small decrease in the number of children taking up the entitlements to manifest in the January 2021 census due to projected demographic changes, irrespective of the COVID-19 outbreak. Therefore, there will be fewer children to fund for the entitlements than last year.

As is usual, the Early Years dedicated schools grant funding allocations published in December are provisional and based on the January 2020 census, as the most recent available data point. We expect lower demand to manifest in the January 2021 census due to a range of factors, including known demographic changes, irrespective of the COVID-19 outbreak, which will feed into future allocations updates.

We plan to spend £3.6 billion on the early years budget envelope in the 2020-21 financial year to fund the free early education and childcare entitlements.

We stay in regular contact with the early years sector and have heard from them already on this subject. We publish regular official statistics on attendance in early years settings here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. We will be closely monitoring both parental take-up of places and the capacity and responses of providers.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he will publish his (a) response, (b) agreed actions and (c) timetable for change to the Information Commissioner's compulsory audit of his Department, published on 7 October 2020.

The Department has been working closely with the Information Commissioner’s Office since the audit was undertaken in February 2020 to address all the recommendations. My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education will be publishing a formal response in January 2021.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether (a) pupil premium funding and (b) physical education and sport funding for schools will be (i) maintained at the level and (ii) paid on the dates agreed prior to the covid-19 outbreak.

The pupil premium for financial year 2020-2021 will be paid using the per pupil rates and on the dates set out in the conditions of grant published in February 2020 on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pupil-premium-allocations-and-conditions-of-grant-2020-to-2021.

Primary PE and sport premium payments were made to local authorities for their maintained schools in April 2020 and to academies in May 2020 on the dates and at the level announced in October 2019 on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/pe-and-sport-premium-conditions-of-grant-2019-to-2020.

29th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to page 29 of his Department's document entitled, Teacher recruitment and retention strategy published on 28 January 2019, what progress his Department has made on establishing pilot schemes for teacher sabbaticals.

The recruitment and retention of teachers remains a priority for the Government. We want to ensure that all pupils in England are taught by high-quality teachers.

The Department has a significant programme of work in place to improve recruitment, retention, and the quality of teaching, much of which is set out in our Recruitment and Retention Strategy, published in January 2019. As part of this, we intend to work closely with the sector and potential delivery partners to consider how to design an effective sabbaticals pilot that works for teachers and school leaders. We are not yet at the stage where we can launch the scheme.

The Department will provide further information on any pilot in due course.

11th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to ensure that vulnerable people, in the event that they are advised to self-isolate are not penalised if they have to remove their dependents from school in order to do so.

Parents will not be penalised for absence that results from following government guidance on self-isolation.

Where a pupil is in self-isolation, in accordance with the latest advice from Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England, schools have been advised to record the pupil as being unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances in the attendance register.

Schools have also been advised that where a pupil does not attend school and is not self-isolating, the pupil will be recorded as absent but we expect headteachers will authorise absence where a pupil is not able to attend because of an underlying health condition that means they, or a family member in their household, are particularly vulnerable to the virus.

Recording a pupil as unable to attend due to exceptional circumstances and authorising absence will not lead to enforcement action being taken.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

The Department of Education is supporting sustainability both through the content taught to students, and through supporting our schools to become more sustainable institutions.

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

In addition, sustainability content will be included in T levels, new post-16 technical study programs. In setting outline content, the T level panels of employers and industry experts must consider the inclusion of sustainability as relevant to their sector. For example, in Construction, T level students will be required to learn about renewable energy and emerging technologies to support energy efficiency.

The Department support sustainability through our capital funding and programmes, both to reduce carbon and save schools money on energy. Schools can use their condition funding to invest in improving energy efficiency. Furthermore, interest free loans for energy efficiency projects in maintained schools are available through the Government backed Salix finance scheme. Salix loans have also been made available to academies through an annual application process. More broadly, we are working with colleagues across the Government on carbon reduction and energy efficiency and developing thinking on how future capital programmes can contribute further.

During procurements, Department for Education considers how this might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the area, where this is relevant to the subject matter of the contract.

From April, the Department will begin implementation of new government guidance on Social Value, which requires central Government Departments to take account of social impact as part of the award criteria where this is linked to the subject matter of the contract and proportionate. This may include reducing environmental impacts.

15th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of altering the existing Export Health Certificate requirements so that monthly compliance attestations from EU suppliers can be accepted as part of the sign-off requirements for those certificates for imported meat goods from the EU into Great Britain.

Health certification is a biosecurity measure related to the consignment subject to export. The certification conditions relate to physical parameters for a specific consignment such as vaccination, health tests status, time of slaughter, production details and disease status at time of production.

The certifying Official Veterinarian signs the certificate to confirm the status of the consignment. The act of signing their name on documents should be approached with care and accuracy. An Official Veterinarian would not be able to put their name to a consignment, for example, at the start of the month covering products that might be produced and shipped later that month as they would not have the necessary data to support their signature and professional responsibility.

We are keeping our GB import certification requirements under review to minimise the burden on trade while maintaining our high biosecurity standards.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many of the 10,500 temporary visas the Government has offered to hauliers and food poultry workers.

Under an emergency temporary visa scheme agreed with the Home Office this autumn 5500 visas for poultry workers and 4700 visas for HGV drivers delivering food were made available ahead of Christmas 2021. The scheme for poultry workers closed on 15 November 2021 and the scheme for food sector HGV drivers closed on 1 December 2021.

Details of the numbers of temporary work visas granted for poultry workers and HGV drivers in food distribution will be published in the usual way via the Home Office’s quarterly immigration statistics.

On 1 October, the Home Office also stood up at pace an emergency visa scheme for HGV drivers in the fuels supply sector. This arrangement permitted fully licenced and qualified drivers, identified by the fuel transport sector and endorsed by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to take up employment in the UK on a temporary basis. The arrangement closed on 15 October 2021.

The rapid deployment of this arrangement necessitated those applications for leave to enter be considered at the border, and as a result this group is not discretely captured within Home Office data.

These were emergency, temporary visa scheme measures. We are looking at ways to help both the poultry sector and road haulage sectors recruit more domestic labour to support the overall aim of reducing the sector’s dependency on seasonal migrant labour.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to his Department's press release, Gove calls for 30 per cent of world’s oceans to be protected by 2030, published 24 September 2018, how protected oceans will be (a) maintained and (b) enforced as no fishing zones; and how that enforcement is planned to be funded.

The UK is a world leader on ocean protection. The UK is championing a target to protect at least 30% of the global ocean by 2030 and working to secure its adoption at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Conference of Parties later this year where the post-2020 global biodiversity framework will be adopted. In support of this target, the UK leads the Global Ocean Alliance and is the Ocean Co-Chair (alongside France and Costa Rica) of the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People.

We are also playing an active role in negotiations to conclude a new agreement, under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (“the BBNJ Agreement”). We are pressing for an ambitious BBNJ Agreement to be concluded this year that includes provisions for the designation of globally recognised Marine Protected Areas in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

The UK believes the whole ocean should be sustainably managed to allow the marine environment and sustainable marine economies to thrive. Effective MPAs can cover a range of protection measures including highly protected no-catch sites and those that deliver conservation outcomes alongside sustainable economic activities.

Accountability with effective planning, reporting and review mechanisms will be essential to delivering the post-2020 global biodiversity framework. That is why the UK, in partnership with Norway, is leading a programme of workshops to provide space for discussions between Parties to enhance planning, reporting and review mechanisms to strengthen the implementation mechanisms of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and the CBD.

To deliver on an ambitious the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, it is essential that the framework is supported by a global uplift in financing for nature and capacity-building. Mobilising resources from all sources (public and private), and at all levels (domestic and international) will be vital to supporting implementation of the goals and targets.

The UK is a major contributor to the Global Environment Facility and wants to see it become the Financial Mechanism for the BBNJ Agreement as it is for the CBD. The UK’s new Blue Planet Fund will also provide additional support for marine and ocean protection for developing countries, complementing the successes of the Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme and Blue Belt Programme for UK Overseas Territories.

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to his Department's press release Gove calls for 30 per cent of world’s oceans to be protected by 2030 published on 24 September 2018, whether existing Marine Protected Areas and Marine Conservation Zones in UK waters are no-fishing zones; how no-fishing zones are (a) monitored and (b) enforced; and whether the designation of those zones has led to a like-for-like reduction in the (i) size and (ii) number of fisheries being licensed out of the UK.

The Government consulted on measures to reduce personal water use in 2019 and we have committed to publish our response in late spring. Our ambitions are aligned with the recommendations set out in the National Framework to reduce personal water consumption to 110 litres per person per day by 2050. We believe our measures will enable this ambition to be met without affecting the quality of life and the enjoyment of water used by households.

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the impact of commercial fishing is planned to be on the agenda at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties.

As incoming president of COP26 in partnership with Italy, the UK is committed to showcasing ambitious action on climate change and inspiring others to do the same. We are placing a priority on Nature at COP26, championing the protection, restoration and sustainable use of marine ecosystems, to improve the ocean’s resilience to climate change and support the restoration of habitats critical for adaptation.

The agenda for COP26 will be based on mandates agreed at previous COPs. We are committed to enabling progress across all the mandates we have been given, and to securing an outcome that respects and reflects the interests of all Parties, including the poorest and most climate vulnerable. This includes the outcomes from the Ocean and Climate Change Dialogue, mandated at COP25 in Decision 1/CP.25.

Looking beyond COP26, we will use our status as a newly independent coastal State to expand and enhance our international efforts to sustainably manage fisheries, protect ecosystems and combat illegal fishing.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Written Statement of 27 January 2021, HCWS738 on Bovine TB, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of cutting short extant badger culling licences at the same time as he plans to ban new licences from being issued in 2022.

In January 2021 we launched a consultation on the next phase of bovine TB eradication strategy as part of our objective for TB-free status in England by 2038. The consultation includes proposals to stop issuing intensive cull licences for new areas after 2022 and could see new four-year licences, after two-years of culling, be revoked after a progress evaluation by the Chief Veterinary Officer.

The consultation also includes proposals to restrict supplementary badger control licences to two years and to prohibit the issuing of new licences for areas licensed after 2020.

The consultation closes on 24 March 2021 and a government response and next steps will be published thereafter. Changes to the intensive and supplementary cull licences will be implemented by Natural England through revised guidance from Defra, which we are also consulting on. Details can be found at https://consult.defra.gov.uk/bovine-tb-2020/eradication-of-btb-england/.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent progress has been made on bringing forward legislative proposals to ban new licences for badger culling in England.

In January 2021 we launched a consultation on the next phase of bovine TB eradication strategy as part of our objective for TB-free status in England by 2038. The consultation includes proposals to stop issuing intensive cull licences for new areas after 2022 and could see new four-year licences, after two-years of culling, be revoked after a progress evaluation by the Chief Veterinary Officer.

The consultation also includes proposals to restrict supplementary badger control licences to two years and to prohibit the issuing of new licences for areas licensed after 2020.

The consultation closes on 24 March 2021 and a government response and next steps will be published thereafter. Changes to the intensive and supplementary cull licences will be implemented by Natural England through revised guidance from Defra, which we are also consulting on. Details can be found at https://consult.defra.gov.uk/bovine-tb-2020/eradication-of-btb-england/.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many officials in (a) his private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

At Defra, in 2020-21 we had 17 people allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media. Sixteen of those people worked across three organisations: Defra, Natural England and the Environment Agency. In 2018-19 we allocated 16 people and in 2019-20 we allocated 17 people.

We have no private office officials allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media.

Britain is fast becoming a digital-first nation. Roughly 96% of the UK households now have internet access with 66% of the population in the UK using social media. With this monumental shift in media consumption habits, it is essential for a responsible government to pivot its communications strategy to be more digital-first in order to inform and engage with the general public on important policies.

Government communication runs across all channels - TV and radio advertising, out of home, digital and social media, print, and direct channels such as letters, SMS and webinars, virtual and in-person activity, where needed and in full compliance with social distancing restrictions.

Cabinet Office is continuously tracking and reviewing spending on cross-government campaigns, including Covid-19, to ensure our communications are efficient. We will not spend more than is needed to be effective. Cabinet Office publishes expenditure, including on public information campaigns, on a rolling monthly basis on gov.uk as part of routine government transparency arrangements.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is responsible for the overall delivery of the Industrial Strategy.

The Industrial Strategy is a cross-Government policy which comprises and drives a significant number of initiatives. These span a wide array of policy areas across 20 Government departments and arm’s-length bodies

Given the breadth of the delivery work within Defra, it is difficult to obtain accurate figures for resources associated with the Industrial Strategy in teams within the department. The information requested is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will apply to the European Commission for the UK to become a Part 1 listed third country under the EU Pet Travel Regulations.

The Department has submitted its application to allow the UK to become a Part 1 listed third country under Annex II of the EU Pet Travel Regulations and is currently seeking technical discussions with the European Commission. As we have left the EU, it is now for the Commission to consider our application for listed status.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the effect of climate change on the work of her Department; and what steps she is taking in response to that effect.

Tackling climate change is a priority for the whole of Government, which is why the Prime Minister is chairing a new Cabinet Committee on Climate Change to drive action across all sectors of the economy and demonstrate the UK’s global leadership as we prepare to host the crucial COP26 talks in Glasgow in November. Defra is playing its part in achieving net zero, taking forward efforts to reduce emissions from agriculture, waste, land-use and fluorinated gases and to encourage sequestration through forestry.

Defra, as the lead department for domestic adaptation, is responsible for delivering adaptation duties set out in the Climate Change Act 2008. These include preparing, every five years, a UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA), followed by a National Adaptation Programme (NAP), which sets out actions to address the risks identified in the CCRA. The second, most recent, CCRA was published in 2017 and the second NAP was published in July 2018.

Adaptation is rightly integrated throughout the policies and programmes of Government. The NAP includes actions in a broad range of areas, including the natural environment, infrastructure, people and the built environment, business and industry, and local Government. It sets out the actions Government is taking to address the risks posed by a changing climate - including Government investment of £2.6 billion between 2015 and 2021 to better protect 300,000 homes from flooding and coastal erosion. We are also developing and implementing a Nature Recovery Network, which will create or restore 500,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat in England. Nature recovery can help us to mitigate and adapt to climate change, because our wetlands, forests and grasslands capture carbon and provide other environmental benefits, such as flood management and pollination. Marine Protected Areas (including the 41 new Marine Conservation Zones we designated last year) now cover 40% of English waters and will help enhance the resilience of ecosystems and wildlife to climate change.

Defra will work with other departments through the Cabinet Committee on Climate Change, chaired by the Prime Minister.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

My department has long recognised that climate change puts development and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals at risk. We contribute to the development of science and analysis on climate change to help improve global understanding of the challenge, as well as building the evidence of effective approaches to tackle it. Since 2011, our International Climate Finance has supported 57 million people to cope with the effects of climate change and given 26 million people improved access to clean energy.

It is clear that more global action is urgently needed to avoid dangerous climate change and environmental degradation. The Government is working hard to ensure the international climate negotiations in Glasgow in November are a success. Last year, the Prime Minister committed to double our International Climate Finance to at least £11.6 billion from 2021/22 to 2025/26, and we have also committed to align all UK aid with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. This means that we will be investing more in helping countries to build their capability to manage the impact of climate change already locked in and to support lower carbon development, with an increasing focus on nature-based solutions such as investing in sustainable forestry.

11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many officials in (a) his private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

There are no officials in my Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade’s Private Office whose dedicated role is the production and promotion of online content for use on social media.

In the UK, the number of officials in the Department whose roles are dedicated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media is 6 full-time employees. Other officials in the UK and overseas may contribute content as required.

This has been at a consistent level across the years indicated at (a), (b) and (c).

In UK Export Finance, the number of full-time equivalent members of staff working on production and promotion of content for social media in those three years was (a) 2018-19 1.5 FTE; (b) 2019-20 1.5 FTE; and (c) 2020-21, 1.0 FTE. Other officials contribute to the production and promotion as required.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

The Industrial Strategy is a cross-government policy which comprises and drives a significant number of initiatives. These span a wide array of policy areas across 20 government departments and arms-length bodies.

Trade is a critical element of the Industrial Strategy. Global trade has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on prosperity in the UK and around the world. International trade and investment are linked to increased jobs, productivity, growth, prosperity and development. The structure and networks the Department for International Trade (DIT) has put in place ensure the Department can deliver on the international aspects of the Industrial Strategy.

Given the breadth of the delivery work, it is difficult to obtain accurate figures for resources associated with the Industrial Strategy in teams within DIT. This information is unlikely to be retrievable at this point in time and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
30th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment her Department has made of the economic and environmental benefits of allowing Australian wine to be carbonated in the UK and labelled as Australian sparkling wine; and if she will ensure that any future trade deal with Australia will permit that process.

The Government is aware of interest in this subject, which has been raised in our ongoing stakeholder engagement. We are working hard for an agreement which works for both British businesses and consumers.

We have recently completed our third round of negotiations with Australia, including positive and detailed discussion on technical barriers to trade. We will continue to engage with wine producers, exporters, and distributors to address issues relating to trade in wine between the UK and Australia – including the agreement the Government has already reached with Australia to secure ongoing trading terms for wine.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has for the regulation of electric motor bicycles and electric scooters on public land.

The Transport Bill announced in the Queens Speech, offers an opportunity to set out a new, adaptable regulatory framework for small, light electric vehicles.

It is our intention that the Transport Bill will create a Low-Speed Zero Emission Vehicle category that is independent from the cycle and motor vehicle categories. New powers in the Bill would subsequently allow the Government to decide which vehicles will fall into this category, and how they should be regulated to ensure safe use.

No decisions have been made on the details of the regulations for e-scooters. We will consult before any new arrangements come into force, and all interested parties will have a chance to shape the new regime.

Electrically assisted pedal cycles (EAPCs) are regulated for in the Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles Regulations 1983. The Department undertook a review of the case for amending the current speed and power restrictions of EAPCs as part of the Future of Transport Regulatory Review Call for Evidence published in 2020. Having considered the evidence carefully, the Department’s position is that the safety disbenefits of doing so would outweigh the potential benefits.

Trudy Harrison
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will extend the validity of driving theory tests for people who cannot book practical tests as a result of slots being fully booked before their theory test runs out.

The maximum duration of two years between passing the theory test and a subsequent practical test is in place to ensure a candidate’s road safety knowledge and ability to identify developing hazards is current. This validity period is set in legislation and the Government has no current plans to lay further legislation to extend it.

It is important road safety knowledge and hazard perception skills are up to date at the critical point a person drives unsupervised for the first time. Those with theory test certificates expiring now will have taken their test in early 2019. Since then, they have been unable to take lessons and practice for long periods of time, and not at all during recent lockdowns. It is difficult to maintain knowledge and understanding of driving theory at the level required during that time without being able to put it into practice. Research suggests that this would be particularly harmful for hazard perception skills, a key factor in road safety.

Ensuring new drivers have current relevant knowledge and skills is a vital part of the preparation of new drivers, who are disproportionality represented in casualty statistics. Learners will therefore need to pass another theory test if their certificate expires.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has plans to issue guidance to enable parents to hand over children that live between two parents in separate countries in an airport before returning to their own country during covid-19 travel restrictions.

Guidance for parents escorting children for overseas travel from England during the national restrictions is published on GOV.UK, at: https://www.gov.uk/travel-abroad.

Further detail is also available under the ‘Reasonable excuses for travel abroad’ section of the following GOV.UK site: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-declaration-form-for-international-travel

Guidance is also available on GOV.UK for those travelling into the UK: https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control?priority-taxon=774cee22-d896-44c1-a611-e3109cce8eae

A parent accompanying a child to England who will immediately return to their country of original should review transit guidance published on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules#transiting-through-the-uk

Different international travel rules may apply in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales, and individuals should follow the guidance of the relevant Devolved Administration.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to enable parents whose children live in the UK and another country to see those children during the covid-19 pandemic.

The government has put in place measures to reduce the impact of border measures on families. For arrivals who have not been in a red-list country in the previous 10 days children are required to self-isolate, however they can do so in the family home and may also move between family homes during that period of isolation.

For managed quarantine facilities, family groups will be able to quarantine together as long as the hotel is able to accommodate them. This includes couples and parents with children.

The Global Travel Taskforce recently reported on “the safe return of international travel” and we will implement its recommendations in a way that is based on science while supporting the economy and allowing families and friends to reunite.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many officials in (a) his private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

a) No officials in the Secretary of State’s private office are allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media.

b) Resource within the wider department allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media equates to approximately 11.15 Full Time Equivalents (FTE) in 2018/19, 11.4 FTE in 2019/20, and 12.65 FTE in 2020/21.

This resource can be broken down across two main areas, the central Communications team and separate policy and HR teams.

The central Communications team create and promote departmental social media content managing several corporate social media channels as well as some behavioural change campaign channels. For example THINK!, the critical road safety campaign to help reduce deaths and serious injury on roads; and ‘It’s everyone’s journey’ championing equal access on public transport. The number of officials in the central team, working across a range of disciplines including media and digital, equates to approximately 7.15 FTE in 2018/19, 7.4 FTE in 2019/20, and 8.15 FTE in 2020/21

These people are not solely focussed on the production and promotion of online content for social media although it forms the majority of their role alongside channel management, brand and design, accessibility, insight and evaluation and wider social media support including training.

HR and some policy teams across the department also own and manage their own social media channels. The number of officials across HR and the different policy teams equates to approximately 4 FTE in 2018/19 and 2019/20 and 4.5 FTE in 2020/21.



Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his July 2020 report entitled Gear change: a bold vision for cycling and walking, what assessment he has made of the (a) minimum acceptable and (b) ideal width of a segregated cycle lane.

Alongside the Gear Change plan, the Department published updated cycle infrastructure design guidance for local authorities to improve the quality, accessibility and safety of local cycle infrastructure schemes. The updated guidance is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycle-infrastructure-design-ltn-120 and it includes detailed advice on both of these points.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the report published by his Department in July 2020 entitled Gear Change, whether he plans to bring forward proposals to fund cycle hire schemes in cities outside London; and what steps his Department is taking to solve the last-mile problem to enable low-carbon multi-modal journeys.

On 28 July 2020 the Prime Minister launched ambitious plans to boost cycling and walking. This included a £2 billion five-year package of funding for active travel, the bulk of which will go to local authorities across England to support schemes, including potentially cycle hire schemes, in their areas.

The Spending Review in November confirmed that £257 million of dedicated funding would be made available next financial year to support cycling and walking schemes. Further details about how this funding will allocated will be announced in due course. Decisions on how best to support low-carbon last-mile journeys in their areas are matters for local highway and planning authorities.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has to ensure that Compulsory Basic Training certificates can be renewed or extended during the covid-19 national lockdown.

The two-year validity period of a compulsory basic training (CBT) certificate is set out in legislation. It is in place to ensure learner moped and motorcycle riders can ride safely on their own, with L-plates, while they practise for a full moped or motorcycle test. The Government has no plans, on road safety grounds, to waive that two-year validity period.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

Transport plays an important role in supporting the aims of the 2017 Industrial Strategy; central both to the Infrastructure Foundation and the Future of Mobility Grand Challenge. Key areas of activity span the department, for example in areas such as Transport for the North and Midlands Connect, local transport investment through the Transforming Cities Fund and policies on EV infrastructure and incentives. A cross-Department Future of Transport (FoT) programme has also been established to manage changes in transport technology over the decade, including (1) a regulatory review to address barriers to deployment; (2) Future Transport Zones to enable local authorities to actively engage and shape transport innovations; and (3) sector-specific work in zero emission and connected/automated vehicles to secure UK leadership.

DfT contributions to delivery of the Industrial Strategy are not localised within specific teams across the department, and so we are unable to provide officials numbers as requested. However, for example there has been an increase in officials supporting the Office for Low Emission Vehicles programme, and a further increase for officials supporting electric and autonomous vehicles. These programmes share common outcomes with the Industrial Strategy, particularly in meeting the grand challenge set for the Future of Mobility in the UK.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reason MOTs have not been extended in the context of the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

Garages testing and repairing vehicles are allowed to remain open for business during the English lockdown announced in January, on the basis of Covid-secure working practices. The vast majority (over 95%, in the last week) of the testing network is open for business. There is widespread availability of contact free, pick-up and drop-off MOT services. The MOT test is important to vehicles being roadworthy and dangerous defects being identified and rectified. As with other aspects of the lockdown, the position is subject to review.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will review public health guidance on driving instruction to permit practical lessons to continue for key workers during covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

To help stop the spread of coronavirus and save lives it is vital that approved driving instructors respect the national restrictions in England, reduce day-to-day contact with others, and not carry out driver training. Pupils can still have private practice using their own car providing they and the supervising driver are from the same household and it is travel for work, education or for other legally permitted exemptions.

In line with the Government’s national restrictions, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has suspended practical driver testing in England until Thursday 3 December 2020. Given the short period of time the new restrictions are in place, the DVSA will not be offering a critical worker priority service, but the agency will keep this under review.

16th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to his news story, Idling drivers could face higher fines under new government crackdown, published 29 June 2019, what progress he has made on proposals to charge idling drivers higher fines.

Existing guidance to Local Authorities makes clear that fines should be dispensed to motorists only as a last resort. The priority must be to change motorists’ behaviour – to encourage them not to idle, which after all is wasting their fuel, and instead to encourage motorists towards using the technological solutions now available.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
13th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of the use of air curtains in indoor settings to help prevent the airborne transmission of covid-19.

DfT is considering a range of potential engineering mitigations for Covid-19 on the transport network. We are following advice from SAGE which has considered the potential benefits of improved ventilation flows, however to date no assessment on the use of air curtains directly has been made.

We are aware that experts are producing guidance such as the CIBSE Covid-19 Ventilation Guidance and the REHVA Covid-19 Guidance.

Kelly Tolhurst
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he has taken to ensure that road hauliers have access to (a) hot food, (b) toilet facilities, and (c) washing facilities while making long-distance deliveries during the covid-19 outbreak.

Officials in the Department have been working closely with the freight associations and operators of Motorway Service Areas (MSAs), to ensure that the MSAs continue to provide suitable food, toilets and shower facilities to hauliers travelling on the road network. We have also been working with large Regional Distribution Centres (RDCs), to ensure they have implemented hygiene procedures and social distancing in line with government guidelines.

In a small number of cases, MSA operators have reduced the opening hours of some facilities, but fuel, toilets, and takeaway food and drink currently remain available at all MSAs 24 hours a day. MSAs must provide these amenities as required by the DfT planning circular.

Truck stops and garages may also provide facilities, however, these are private businesses which are subject to different levels of regulation to MSAs.

Where access to toilet or handwashing facilities is denied, and proper social distancing measures are not in place, this can be reported via e-mail to covid19info@rha.uk.net.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many people who have applied for a key worker lorry driving test due to the covid-19 outbreak have been able to access such a test.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has booked 302 emergency lorry driving tests for critical workers for the period 23 March to 19 June 2020.

The DVSA does not hold data on the number of people who have applied for a key worker lorry driving test due to the covid-19 outbreak. This is because the booking system that was used between 23 March and 24 April 2020 was a manual system that captured the number of emails received, not number of unique requests received.

The DVSA has now streamlined the process and introduced a new online application form.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

The Department for Transport (DfT) works closely with its operators on risk assessment and mitigation measures for transport infrastructure. DfT contributed to the Government’s National Adaption Programme 2018 and Climate Change Risk Assessment 2017. These two documents set out Government’s adaptation measures and predicated climate change impacts nationally. DfT is continuing to work with transport operators and delivery partners to increase climate resilience in the planning and design of transport infrastructure and will keep incorporating adaptation into its strategies.

Government is committed to delivering a net zero emission transport system, which will deliver wider benefits for the UK and its citizens, as soon as possible. These benefits include improved air quality and public health, new opportunities for economic growth and high-quality jobs in clean growth, as well as a sustainable and more efficient transport system. The forthcoming Transport Decarbonisation Plan will set out our bold and ambitious policies for transport to ensure the transport sector plays its part in ending the UK’s contribution to climate change by 2050.

6th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he will make an assessment of the merits of the requirement provided for in the Third European Driving Licence Directive for a minimum horizontal visual field of 120 degrees for Group 1 licence eligibility after the UK leaves the EU.

As part of our preparations future relationship negotiations with the EU, we will be considering all aspects of applicable EU law. However, we would want to ensure that our high safety standards are maintained on UK roads while considering opportunities that may arise from the UK’s exit from the EU.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the impact of the three month relevant period on eligible universal credit claimants' financial wellbeing.

No assessment has been made.

Where a claimant is determined to have limited capability for work and work-related activity (LCWRA), an additional amount of Universal Credit may be awarded. However, before the additional amount is payable, the claimant must serve the ‘relevant’ period, a 3-month term used to establish that they have a long-term health condition. This replicates the 13-week assessment period applied to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claims. This period starts on the day the Department first receives medical evidence or a self-certificate from the claimant.

The reason that a 3 month period applies to most claimants is one of equity. It would not be fair to pay some claimants earlier than others because of circumstances beyond their control. There are exceptions for people who are terminally ill to ensure that they quickly receive the support they need as they have a short time to live or people who have previously claimed Universal Credit and have already served the relevant period and are returning to the benefit and whose circumstances meet certain specified criteria.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason there is a three month relevant period that claimants have to wait to receive their full entitlement when eligible for Universal Credit with limited capability for work and work-related activity.

No assessment has been made.

Where a claimant is determined to have limited capability for work and work-related activity (LCWRA), an additional amount of Universal Credit may be awarded. However, before the additional amount is payable, the claimant must serve the ‘relevant’ period, a 3-month term used to establish that they have a long-term health condition. This replicates the 13-week assessment period applied to Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claims. This period starts on the day the Department first receives medical evidence or a self-certificate from the claimant.

The reason that a 3 month period applies to most claimants is one of equity. It would not be fair to pay some claimants earlier than others because of circumstances beyond their control. There are exceptions for people who are terminally ill to ensure that they quickly receive the support they need as they have a short time to live or people who have previously claimed Universal Credit and have already served the relevant period and are returning to the benefit and whose circumstances meet certain specified criteria.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of uprating universal credit in line with the ONS HCI benchmarks for low-income households when it is published in May 2022.

There are currently no plans to use Office for National Statistics Household Cost Indices to up-rate Universal Credit. The Household Cost Indices to be published by Office for National Statistics in May are experimental statistics and still in development.

The Secretary of State undertakes an annual review of benefits and pensions, and the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) in the year to September this approach has been in place since 1987 is the latest figure that the Secretary of State can use to allow sufficient time for the required legislative and operational changes before new rates can be introduced at the start of the new financial year.

CPI has been the default inflation measure for the government’s statutory annual review of benefits since 2011.

CPI has a basket of goods and services that is relevant to pensioners and benefit recipients, is the target level of inflation used by the Bank of England and is an internationally recognised measure.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment her Department has made of the levels of child poverty in Bristol North West in the context of the decision to uprate universal credit by 3.1 per cent.

No assessment has been made.

The latest statistics on the number and proportion of children who are in low income families by local area, covering the six years, 2014/15 to 2019/20, can be found in the annual publication: Children in low income families: local area statistics 2014 to 2020 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)(opens in a new tab).

This Government is committed to reducing child poverty and supporting all low-income families, and believes work is the best route out of poverty. In 2019/20, children in households where all adults were in work were around six times less likely to be in absolute poverty (before housing costs) than children in a household where nobody works.

We are giving the lowest earners a pay rise by increasing the National Living Wage by 6.6% to £9.50 from April 2022, and making permanent changes to Universal Credit, worth £1000 a year on average, to two million in-work claimants.

To support low income families further, we have increased the value of Healthy Start Food Vouchers to £4.25, helping eligible low income households buy basic foods like milk, fruit and vitamins. We are also investing over £200m a year from 2022, to continue our Holiday Activities and Food programme which is already providing enriching activities and healthy meals to children in all English Local Authorities. The Chancellor has extended the Household Support Fund to £1 billion to help vulnerable families.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what her Department's rationale is for the decision to uprate universal credit by September 2021's three per cent Consumer Price Index (CPI) benchmark when CPI is expected to exceed six per cent at the point that policy is implemented.

The Secretary of State undertakes an annual review of benefits and pensions. CPI in the year to September (published by the Office for National Statistics in October) is the latest figure the Secretary of State can use to allow sufficient time for the required legislative and operational changes to be made before new rates can be introduced at the start of the new financial year.

All benefit up-rating since April 1987 has been based on the increase in the relevant price inflation index in the 12 months to the previous September, as happens now. Using the same benchmark every year ensures consistency over time, allowing uprating to balance out over a number of years.

For up-rating 2022/23 the Secretary of State announced the outcome of her annual review to Parliament on 25 November 2021 and from April 2022 benefits and pensions will increase by 3.1%.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Personal Independence Payment recipients had their entitlement withdrawn as a result of being stranded in another country during periods of lockdown in the UK in 2020 and 2021.

Claimants who were abroad and could not return to Great Britain due to travel restrictions during the COVID-19 epidemic were advised that they could continue to be paid for as long as those restrictions remained in place. Once travel restrictions were lifted, claimants were expected to return to Great Britain if they wished to continue to receive payments.

A digital scan was run to identify claimants who had notified the Department they would be abroad on or after 2nd November 2019, identifying 409 claimants. The claims identified were extended to ensure they did not fall out of payment. Regular tracking of cases was undertaken to check if and when customers had returned to the country. Claims were ended when claimants stated they did not intend to return, and in three cases payment was stopped as no acceptable reason was provided for failure to return.

These numbers exclude claimants who failed to inform us that they had left the country because there was no information on the system to track, however guidance stated that once claimants did inform us, payment could be made as long as travel restrictions remained in place.

The numbers also exclude individual cases where claimants chose to travel after travel restrictions were lifted, and cases where the daily living component of PIP can remain in payment in the European Economic Area or Switzerland where a relevant EU Regulation applies and they can demonstrate a genuine link to the United Kingdom social security system.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of a rise in inflation on levels of child poverty in (a) Bristol North West constituency and (b) the UK.

I refer the Hon. Member to my response to Parliamentary Question 126529 answered 25th February 2022.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment her Department has made of the costs of uprating universal credit in line with the rate of inflation.

UC standard allowances will be up-rated in April-22 in line with the September-21 CPI figure of 3.1%. A full list of how each UC element will be uprated can be found at: https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/CBP-9439/CBP-9439.pdf.

In 2022/23 spend on UC will be around £1.1bn higher because of the uprating of the UC standard allowances and various UC elements.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has of the cost to her Department of mandatory reconsiderations for (a) employment and support allowance and (b) personal independence payment benefits claims in (i) 2019-20 and (ii) 2020-21.

I refer the Hon Member to the answer I gave on 2nd February 2022 to question number 108447.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the potential impact on the finances of (a) employment and support allowance and (b) personal independence payment claimants who have to wait until tribunal in order to receive their correct benefits award.

The Department understands the potential effect of waiting for a tribunal hearing which is why our aim is to make the right decision as early as possible in the claim journey. Recent improvements to our decision-making processes mean that Decision Makers can better gather relevant additional evidence. This helps to ensure that people get the support they are entitled to as quickly as possible, without the need for a tribunal appeal.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to ensure that claimants receive the correct benefit award after their assessment without requiring a mandatory reconsideration or tribunal.

The Department’s aim is to make the right decision as early as possible in the claim journey. We have made improvements to our decision-making processes to ensure that people get the support they are entitled to as quickly as possible, because decision makers can better gather relevant additional evidence earlier in the process.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the mental and physical pressures that medical reassessments relating to a personal independence payment claim has on claimants with a chronic illnesses or a hidden disability.

The Department aims to continually improve the assessment process for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) through customer insight, stakeholder engagement and qualitative research. For people with the highest level of support and with severe and lifelong health conditions which will not improve or will deteriorate, new guidance was introduced in August 2018 for both new claims and award reviews to ensure they receive an ongoing award of PIP, with a light-touch review at the 10-year point. Since 2019 ongoing awards with a light-touch review at the 10-year point are also applied to most awards for people over State Pension age.

PIP is designed to support an individual’s functional needs arising from a range of disabilities, including chronic or hidden illnesses, and the PIP Assessment Guide (PIPAG) makes clear that Health Professionals must take into consideration the invisible nature of some symptoms such as fatigue and pain in their assessment of a claimant.

We published ‘Shaping Future Support: The Health and Disability Green Paper’ in July 2021 and asked for views on how we might improve health assessments considering a number of options. The consultation closed on 11 October 2021 and we will set out next steps in a White Paper later this year.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department had made of the physical and mental health pressures that medical reassessments for welfare support place on claimants who are recovering from strokes.

As set out in answer UIN102750, benefits are designed to support an individual’s needs arising from a range of disabilities or ill health, including strokes.

The Department aims to continually improve the assessment process for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) through customer insight, stakeholder engagement and qualitative research. For people with the highest level of support and with severe and lifelong health conditions which will not improve or will deteriorate, new guidance was introduced in August 2018 for both new claims and award reviews to ensure they receive an ongoing award of PIP, with a light-touch review at the 10-year point. Since 2019 ongoing awards with a light-touch review at the 10-year point are also applied to most awards for people over State Pension age.

We published ‘Shaping Future Support: The Health and Disability Green Paper’ in July 2021 and asked for views on how we might improve health assessments considering a number of options. The consultation closed on 11 October 2021 and we will set out next steps in a White Paper later this year.

We are now exploring how to test a new Severe Disability Group (SDG) so those with severe and lifelong conditions can benefit from a simplified process to access ESA/UC and PIP without ever needing to complete a detailed application form or go through a face to face assessment/reassessment.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent comparative assessment her Department has made of level of monies received by pensioners on (a) the former basic State Pension and (b) receiving the new State Pension.

The published figures can be accessed here - DWP benefits statistics: November 2021 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what provisions are in place to ensure continued receipt of child maintenance payments from a parent who is imprisoned but still in receipt of income from personal assets.

Where a paying parent is in prison and receives income from certain assets, then a variation can be considered and that income may be taken into account when calculating the maintenance liability.

If the paying parent fails to make payments that are due, the Child Maintenance Service can make arrangements to enforce payment of any arrears.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the Government has made representations to the Greek Government on unpaid pension entitlements due to Greek citizens residing in the UK.

The EU Withdrawal Agreement and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement set out the rules on the payment of state pensions when individuals of any nationality have moved, or move in future, between the UK and EU member states.

These agreements maintain the same rules as prior to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU in respect of the payment of their state pension and the coordination between states in its calculation. The UK and EU Member State governments are bound by obligations in those agreements.

The agreements also provide mechanisms for raising issues relating to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU with the European Commission and the governments of Member States.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what arrangements her Department has put in place to maintain EU member state derived pension entitlements for EU citizens residing in the UK following the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

The EU Withdrawal Agreement and the Trade and Cooperation Agreement set out the rules on the payment of state pensions when individuals of any nationality have moved, or move in future, between the UK and EU member states.

These agreements maintain the same rules as prior to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU in respect of the payment of their state pension and the coordination between states in its calculation. The UK and EU Member State governments are bound by obligations in those agreements.

The agreements also provide mechanisms for raising issues relating to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU with the European Commission and the governments of Member States.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many officials in (a) her private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

The DWP is the largest department in Whitehall, making a difference to the lives of millions of people right across the country, and as such it is vital that communications are far-reaching, clear and effective. DWP manages social media through these key areas;

  • At a national level in the Strategic Communications Directorate (SCD) to communicate key policy areas to the public, campaign messaging and ministerial priorities.

  • At a local level in the Customer Experience Directorate (CED) through operational staff using jobcentre accounts that are a valuable resource to help people find work and access the support they need.

  • In the Digital Group (DG) to communicate how it uses technology and innovation to build products and services that change the lives of people across the UK.

The following table shows the amount of staff who have a role in the production of social media content.

Year

Number of staff

2018/19

20

2019/20

27

2020/21

25

Operational staff who manage local jobcentre accounts are not included in these figures as social media forms a small part of their daily role. There are no officials in Ministers’ private offices that create or manage content for social media.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

Given DWP’s strong focus on supporting individuals into employment a significant number of officials have been and continue to be involved in aspects of Industrial Strategy design and delivery. However, the Department does not keep this information centrally and to provide it would incur disproportionate costs.

22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will bring forward proposals to extend jobseeker's allowance eligibility beyond 182 days for unemployed people who are ineligible to receive universal credit or other covid-19-specific benefits.

I refer the honourable member to the answer given to PQ 119284.

11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020, whether he plans provide unpaid carers with a supplementary Carer's Allowance payment.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to Parliamentary Question 54856 on 9 June 2020.

22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to reform calculation of monthly equivalents for universal credit claimants with weekly rent liabilities by multiplying the weekly rent by the (a) number of rent weeks in the year, and dividing that figure by 12 or (b) average number of weeks in a year.

Neither tenants or landlords lose a week’s rent in a 53 weekly rent payment year as has been alleged; no year contains 53 weeks. The problem is alignment between weekly and monthly cycles. Each month the UC housing element is a constant figure but claimants with weekly tenancy agreements will be required to make either four or five rent payments within this period. When rent is always paid on time, in five payment months they are effectively making payment for part of the following month. That month will always be a four rent payment month, so the combination of the advance payment and the ‘overpayment’ of housing support during that month will result in the correct amount of housing element being paid.

Where a landlord charges rent weekly on a Monday, because of the way the calendar falls every 5 or 6 years, they will seek 53 rent payments in a year, with the 53rd payment in part covering the tenancy for the first few days of the following year. The effect of this is that, over the course of the next housing association rental year, a tenant’s UC payments will accurately reflect their liability, irrespective of the 53 payment weeks.

There is a separate issue with respect to the way the calculation in the Universal Credit regulations converts a weekly liability into a monthly allowance. The conversion is achieved by multiplying the weekly rent by 52 and then dividing by 12. This effectively means one day’s rent a year (two days in a leap years) are not covered by UC. We are currently considering whether this formulation around weekly rents, and potentially other weekly amounts in the UC calculation, should be amended.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of climate change on the work of her Department; and what steps she is taking in response to that effect.

The Department for Work and Pensions assesses climate change as a potential risk to its operational responsibilities.

The UK Government recognises climate change as a material risk to most if not all pension schemes. Therefore, we have clarified trustees’ investment duties in legislation to consider all financially material considerations – including climate change. Trustees have to document a policy on how they take account of climate change. Defined contribution and hybrid benefit schemes are required to publish their policy and defined benefit schemes will be required to publish from 1 October.

With respect to its own operations, the Department applies criteria that considers the effect of climate change, such as flood risk, when deciding on future site strategy.

The Department also undertakes regular reviews of their location specific emergency planning, disaster recovery and business continuity plans.

The Department’s estate supply chain is undertaking site visits which include an assessment of climate change risk with recommendations on investment. Investment in the Departmental estate is focused upon its core assets, with the level of criticality of those assets a key measure. This helps to ensure that its buildings are as resilient as possible. By using data, asset management principles and specialist knowledge we are able to identify assets most at risk of failure and to mitigate accordingly.

The DWP has a dedicated Estates Sustainability and Environment Team. Their purpose is to oversee that from an estate perspective: -

• Our effects on sustainability and the environment from appropriately managed and

• That risks from the environment are proportionately managed.

In terms of sustainability, the Department is committed to tackling climate change and delivering against the Government’s sustainability targets. We are currently exceeding our carbon reduction targets under the Greening Government Commitments (GGC). The GGC requires the Department to reduce carbon emissions by 51% by 2020 against a 2009/10 baseline. As of June 2019, we are currently at a 56% reduction.

7th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of increasing the pay of NHS staff in line with the rate of inflation.

The Government is looking to the independent Pay Review Bodies (PRBs) for a pay recommendation for the National Health Service. The PRBs consist of industry experts and recommendations are based on an assessment of evidence from stakeholders, including NHS system partners, trade unions, and the Government. These recommendations are informed by factors such as the cost of living and inflation, recruitment and retention, affordability and value for the taxpayer. We expect to formally receive the PRBs’ report shortly and we will consider the recommendations.

23rd May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of introducing legislative proposals to require the labelling of alcoholic drinks to include sugar content for the benefit of consumers with diabetes.

The consultation to seek views on whether to introduce mandatory calorie labelling on prepacked alcohol and alcohol sold in on-trade businesses such as pubs and restaurants will be launched in due course. Respondents to the consultation will be able to provide suggestions for additional labelling requirements for consideration, such as sugar content.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of regularly publicising the number of unvaccinated people being admitted to hospital with covid-19 that then requires inpatient admission to help increase the level of vaccine uptake amongst people yet to receive one.

The UK Health Security Agency publishes the vaccination status of those hospitalised on a weekly basis via its surveillance reports. This includes the number of unvaccinated people being admitted to hospital with COVID-19 resulting in overnight inpatient admission and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-vaccine-weekly-surveillance-reports

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of providing an annual health check for those people diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who may not be independently able to identify other health issues.

NHS England and NHS Improvement, in partnership with Autistica, have supported the development and piloting of an autism-specific health check in primary care. Newcastle University are currently running this pilot in the North East to determine its effectiveness and ease of use by practitioners. Results from the study are expected late in 2024, with an economic evaluation.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to take steps to bring forward the reduction in price of Hormone Replacement Therapy prescriptions for women experiencing menopause symptoms.

We are currently exploring methods to implement these changes at the earliest opportunity.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Support (CAMHS) funding to the Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.

The majority of Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust’s income derives from local commissioners. Funding during the COVID-19 pandemic has been maintained at pre-pandemic levels. All providers have been funded at cost and the Trust reported a small surplus in 2020/21 with all costs covered either through commissioner income or system allocations.

NHS England and NHS Improvement’s funding for children and young people’s mental health services for the South West has now transferred in full to the local provider collaborative. It is anticipated that this will allow for planned reinvestment in better service provision over the next three years.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help increase the number of covid-19 walk-in centres in Bristol aimed at vaccinating 12 to 15 year olds.

In Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG), the School Age Immunisation Service (SAIS) visited every secondary school in the area to provide a first dose COVID-19 vaccination clinic for 12 to 15 year olds. These clinics concluded in December 2021. Parents or carers can now book an appointment at a dedicated general practitioner or vaccination clinic using the online National Booking Service or via 119. The large-scale centre at the University of the West of England Bristol offers walk-in vaccinations for 12 to 15 year olds seven days a week.

Local clinics are planned in schools in areas where uptake in this age group is low. These clinics will be promoted through schools and local authorities, with parents or carers able to make an appointment using a local booking system. BNSSG also offers walk-in family clinics, some of which offer vaccinations for 12 to 15 year olds alongside adult vaccinations. A number of these may be based in schools out of school hours or in a clinic in very close proximity to a cluster of schools.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the Workforce Capacity Fund.

From January to March 2021, we have supported the adult social care sector through the £120 million Workforce Capacity Fund (WCF) to increase capacity to meet critical staffing shortages caused by COVID-19. By 8 October, local authorities reported that over the funding period, a total of 7.3 million additional hours of work and 39,047 new recruits were generated by the WCF. While 75% of ​the 59 local authority survey respondents agreed that the WCF was either ‘somewhat’ or ‘very’ effective in supporting them to strengthen workforce capacity, we also heard that the duration of the fund limited how effectively the sector could utilize the funding.

Learning from the WCF has also informed the design and implementation of the recently launched £162.5 million Workforce Recruitment and Retention Fund for winter 2021/2022. The outcomes and findings from the WCF are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/workforce-capacity-fund-for-adult-social-care/workforce-capacity-fund-outcomes-and-findings-october-2021

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing a retention bonus to people employed within the social care sector as part of the covid-19 Winter Plan 2021 to 2022.

No assessment has been made. The vast majority of care workers are employed by private sector providers who ultimately set their pay and renumeration, independent of central Government. Therefore, we have no current plans to issue recruitment and retention payments directly to social care staff.

However, we recognise the challenges that providers and local authorities are currently experiencing in recruiting and retaining social care workers. To provide additional support to the sector over the winter, on 21 October we announced a new £162.5 million Workforce Recruitment and Retention Fund. We expect local authorities to work closely with care providers on how this funding is spent, which may include incentive and retention payments.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to (a) prepare for and (b) procure covid-19 booster vaccine doses for variants of concern.

We are preparing for a Covid-19 booster vaccination programme and planning for several potential scenarios. Final decisions on the timing and scope of the programme will be taken later this year, in line with results from key clinical studies. Any decision will be informed by independent advice from the Joint Committee for Vaccination and Immunisation.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
16th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what performance metrics his Department plans to publish for private sector providers of rapid covid-19 testing services for international travel.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before prorogation.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason a covid-19 test for travel to France costs £219 each way when that travel is for a permitted reason, such as a family funeral.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before prorogation.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken to ensure equal access to covid-19 rapid testing for (a) people who are visually impaired and (b) other people who are unable to administer the tests themselves.

NHS Test and Trace has worked with a number of charities, including RNIB, the Macular Society, Thomas Pocklington Trust and Visionary.

NHS Test and Trace has undertaken trials with RNIB and volunteers with differing levels of vision quality. New tools are being introduced for those ordering home test kits who are visually impaired, including improved boxes which are easier to assemble for the returning of tests; instructions in braille, audio and large print; and an RNIB information line hear a recorded version of the instructions.

On 1 April, we launched the ‘Be My Eyes’ app which offers live video assistance from trained NHS Test and Trace staff. To support those who are unable to administer a test themselves, there are now more than 50 static regional test sites across the United Kingdom which offer assisted testing.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of covid-19 vaccine prioritisation for people who are visually impaired and unable to manage social distancing in all circumstances.

Visual impairment is not a risk factor for clinically more serious outcomes from COVID-19. Therefore, those with a visual impairment are not prioritised on the basis of this condition. However, some visually impaired individuals who are aged 50 years old and above or who meet the criteria for one of the nine priority groups will have been prioritised in phase one, in line with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s advice.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many officials in (a) his private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

The information requested is show in the following table. All members of staff shown work in the wider Department.

Year

Number of staff

2018-19

3

2019-20

6

2020-21

10

9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of when people with asthma should be prioritised to receive a covid-19 vaccination; and whether he has directed the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to make an assessment of when people with asthma should be prioritised for that vaccine.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is the independent body of scientific and clinical experts who advise the Government on which vaccines the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. The JCVI has concluded that only a subset of those with asthma are at clinically high risk from COVID-19. This group are defined as adults with asthma who require continuous or repeated use of systemic steroids or with previous exacerbations requiring hospital admission and will be vaccinated as part of priority group six.

An individual with a more severe case of asthma may have been included in the clinically extremely vulnerable group, in which case they will be vaccinated as part of priority group four. Those in priority group four should already have been offered the vaccine.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to authorise GPs to issue prescriptions for Fampridine for multiple sclerosis patients at the standard NHS prescription charge.

It is for the prescribing clinician to decide on the most appropriate course of treatment for their patient. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) current recommendation is that fampridine is not a cost-effective treatment for lack of mobility in people with multiple sclerosis. NHS England and NHS Improvement’s commissioning policy concluded in 2016 that there is not enough evidence to make the treatment available at that time. However, NICE is currently updating its guideline on multiple sclerosis, including to take account of new evidence on the effectiveness of fampridine for treating mobility in people with multiple sclerosis. NICE currently expects to publish final updated guidance in July 2022.

9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the finding by Mencap that 80 per cent of deaths of people with a learning disability in the week ending 22 January 2021 were related to covid-19, if he will include people with mild to moderate learning disabilities in the first phase of covid-19 vaccinations; and whether he (a) has directed or (b) plans to direct the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to make an assessment of the potential effects of (i) including and (ii) excluding people with mild to moderate learning disabilities from the first vaccination phase.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) reviewed data on mortality from COVID-19 in coming to its recommendation, which included the available data on those with learning disabilities. As a result, individuals with severe and profound learning disabilities and younger adults with learning disabilities living in residential and care homes are prioritised for a vaccination in group six. Adults with Down’s syndrome were included in the clinically extremely vulnerable cohort and have therefore been included within priority group four.

Everyone on their general practitioner’s Learning Disability Register will be vaccinated as part of priority group six in phase one.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to include staff working in (a) nursery schools and (b) other early year providers in the same priority category as primary and secondary school teachers for the covid-19 vaccine.

Staff working in nursery schools or in other early years roles, like teachers in primary and secondary schools, will be offered their vaccinations alongside other adults of the same age, or earlier if they have underlying health conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. They are not currently being prioritised because of their occupation alone.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent body made up of scientific and clinical experts who advise Government on which vaccines the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

The Industrial Strategy is a cross-government policy which comprises and drives a significant number of initiatives. These span a wide array of policy areas across 20 Government departments and arm’s length bodies.

This information is not held centrally as work on the strategy is embedded in a number of roles across the Department.

22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will bring forward proposals to enable families with disabled children over the age of five to form support bubbles during the covid-19 outbreak.

People can form a support bubble if they fulfill the eligibility criteria, including if their household includes a child with a disability who requires continuous care and is under the age of five years old. The eligibility criteria are limited to ensure we strike the right balance between providing support to those most in need and controlling transmission risks.

Whilst a household with a disabled child over five years old may not be able to form a support bubble, there are exemptions from gathering and ‘stay at home’ restrictions for the purposes of providing care to a vulnerable person and respite care. The Government keeps support bubbles eligibility under continual review and will make changes if the data and science support it.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to increase biomedical research on the causes and treatment of myalgic encephalomyelitis in the UK.

The Department funds research through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). In 2020, the NIHR and the Medical Research Council, through UK Research and Innovation, came together to fund the world’s largest genome-wide association study of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), sometimes referred to as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). This £3.2 million study, ‘DecodeME’, will analyse samples from 20,000 people with ME/CFS to search for genetic differences that may indicate underlying causes or an increased risk of developing the condition. DecodeME is a partnership between biomedical scientists at the University of Edinburgh and ME/CFS charities and people with lived experience of ME/CFS. It is hoped that the outcomes of this study will aid the development of diagnostic tests and targeted treatments.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will work with the Welsh Government to bring forward specific travel guidance for researchers and students at Welsh universities who are resident in England and require laboratory access to complete their qualifications.

We continue to work closely with colleagues in the devolved administrations including in the Welsh Government on the implications of guidance about travel during national restrictions.

In England until 2 December, people should avoid travel outside their local area, unless for permitted reasons. These reasons include work and education, therefore enabling researchers and students to access the laboratory when necessary and complete their qualification. If this would include travelling to Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, they should refer to the specific rules in place there.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including soft tissue therapy in those medical practices permitted to continue operating during covid-19 restrictions.

No specific assessment has been made.

6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to increase funding for bariatric surgery in the UK.

Clinical commissioning groups are responsible for commissioning complex obesity services for adults, which include all bariatric surgical procedures and the associated care. We are already providing all National Health Service organisations with significant funding commitments including the Chancellor’s funding for the healthcare response to COVID-19, with £31.9 billion of support for health services announced at the summer Economic Statement and a further £16.4 billion as part of the Winter Economy Plan. This is in addition to the funding increase by £33.9 billion by 2023-24.

Through ‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’ we are delivering a range of measures on weight management. Further details about these measures will be available later in the year.

23rd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans NICE has to review recent research on the (a) use of and (b) eligibility for Spinraza for treatment of type three spinal muscular atrophy.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has committed to reviewing new evidence that becomes available for non-ambulant spinal muscular atrophy type 3 patients during the five-year course of the existing managed access agreement (MAA). This review will assess whether any new evidence has become available to support a change in the MAA treatment eligibility criteria.

NICE expects to commence the review later this year.

5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when the Government plans to issue revised guidance for managing a funeral during the covid-19 outbreak; and what changes the Government plans to make to that guidance.

Public Health England (PHE) is keeping all guidance related to COVID-19 under review, including ‘Managing a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic’. PHE updates guidance as new evidence emerges and legislation is updated.

Updated guidance will be published shortly.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will allow GP practices to administer flu vaccines to their own staff members.

General practitioners are able to administer the flu vaccine to their own staff as part of their occupational health responsibilities to staff working in their practice. Advice is available at the following links:

https://www.themdu.com/guidance-and-advice/latest-updates-and-advice/providing-work-related-vaccinations-to-practice-staff

https://www.sps.nhs.uk/articles/written-instruction-for-the-administration-of-seasonal-flu-vaccination/

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to encourage locum doctors to work more hours during the covid-19 oubreak; and whether he has reviewed death in service benefits for locum doctors since the start of that outbreak.

The National Health Service has mobilised a large number of clinical and non-clinical staff, both retired and who normally work in the private sector, to ensure sufficient supply of medical staff to manage the challenges that this pandemic has created for the NHS.

In addition, the NHS has a robust temporary staffing supply chain to ensure it can bring in the right people at the right time to deal with fluctuations in demand.

In general practice, general practitioner (GP) locums as well as returners and substantive GPs wishing to increase their hours are providing additional patient care within the NHS 111 COVID-19 Clinical Assessment Services.

The NHS Pension Scheme provides good quality death in service benefits to all members. The Secretary of State recently announced a new life assurance scheme for frontline health and social care staff who contract COVID-19 during the course of their work. The scheme is non-contributory and pays a £60,000 lump sum where staff die as a result of COVID-19 and had been recently working in frontline roles and locations where personal care is provided to individuals who have contracted COVID-19.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Security, if he will take steps to ensure that UK ports publish regularly updated health information on covid-19 from each docking ship's Maritime Declaration of Health.

At the point at which a ship's declaration would be received, any report could only be treated as a suspected case, as laboratory testing takes place later in the care pathway. For this reason, the United Kingdom ports do not routinely publish this information on COVID-19.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

The Department has made assessments of the effect of climate change on the work of the Department in developing our commitments for the health and social care system within the National Adaptation Programme available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/climate-change-second-national-adaptation-programme-2018-to-2023

It has also developed a Departmental Sustainable Development Plan, which sets the ambition for the Department to embed sustainability in all policy development and includes our commitment to the ‘Greening Government Commitments’. This is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/greening-government-commitments

This Department works closely across Government to ensure that climate change policies also deliver associated benefits to public health where appropriate.

11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many officials in (a) his private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

The Communications directorate is responsible for delivering digital communications on behalf of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and supporting the social media activity of an overseas network of embassies. In the years 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-21 between 20 and 30 people have worked in the Communications directorate and key communications hubs to support and deliver digital communications activity. This covers those working to produce and disseminate social media content, deliver social media training, website publishing and social media analytics and evaluation.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

The Industrial Strategy is a cross-government policy which comprises and drives a significant number of initiatives. These span a wide array of policy areas across 20 government departments and arm's-length bodies.

Given the breadth of the delivery work, it is difficult to obtain accurate figures for resources associated with the Industrial Strategy within the FCDO. The information is not readily available/held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

Climate change is one of the most urgent and pressing challenges facing the world today. However, no country alone can solve this problem. That is why climate change is a top priority for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and why the British government bid and secured responsibility to host COP26 in Glasgow this year, in partnership with Italy. COP26 will be a major international moment in 2020, and the FCO network will have a key diplomatic role to play, along with other government departments, in efforts to raise global ambition in all countries to tackle climate change.

Heather Wheeler
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
21st Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Business, Energy and Industry Strategy Committee Select Committee hearing on 15 March 2022, for what reason HMRC was unable to provide banks with access to revenue data for companies applying for covid-related finance products.

Jim Harra, Chief Executive and First Permanent Secretary of HMRC wrote to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee concerning HMRC’s data-sharing with banks on 24 March 2022: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/9452/documents/161409/default/.

HMRC has always stood ready to assist the banks to prevent and tackle fraud in the Covid-19 loan schemes. At no time has HMRC declined to share data for this purpose.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, when his Department will publish the conclusions of the Access to Cash consultation.

The Government recognises that cash remains an important part of daily life for millions of people across the UK, which is why it has committed to legislate to protect access to cash.

From 1 July to 23 September last year, the Government held the Access to Cash Consultation on proposals for new laws to make sure people only need to travel a reasonable distance to pay in or take out cash. The Government’s proposals intend to support the continued use of cash in people’s daily lives and help to enable local businesses to continue accepting cash by ensuring they can access deposit facilities.

The Government received responses to the consultation from a broad range of respondents, including individuals, businesses, and charities.

The Government is carefully considering responses to the consultation as it develops legislation. The Government will set out next steps in due course.

Following the Government’s commitment to legislate, firms are working together through the Cash Action Group to develop new initiatives to provide shared services. The Government welcomes the direction set by industry’s commitments at the end of last year and looks forward to seeing what results they deliver in protecting cash facilities for local communities across the UK.

19th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that (a) pensioner and (b) other people who apply for credit without a comprehensive credit rating have fair access to finance.

The Government believes that a consumer without a comprehensive credit rating should have fair access to credit.

To support those struggling to access credit, in 2018, the Government announced the winners of its £2 million Rent Recognition Challenge. The winners offer apps for renters to record and share their rent payment data, helping boost their credit score. Further, since 2019, the Government has provided £96 million to Fair4All Finance to increase the financial resilience and wellbeing of people in vulnerable circumstances through improving availability of fair and accessible financial products and services.

For consumers struggling to access credit, Credit Reference Agencies can advise consumers to add a Notice of Correction (of up to 200 words) to their credit report explaining any special circumstances, and to explain how their situation has now changed or improved. The content of the Notice should be taken into account alongside the information on the consumer’s report.

To support pensioners, those in receipt of Pension Credit may be able to apply for Budgeting Loans available through DWP’s Social Fund. These are interest-free loans, which are repayable from benefit awards and are designed to help with intermittent expenses that are considered difficult to budget. Those in receipt of Universal Credit can access new claim advances at the beginning of their claim should they have upfront costs. There are also budgeting or change of circumstances advances, available throughout a Universal Credit claim, should someone encounter unexpected one-off expenses.

11th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many officials in (a) his private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

There are no officials in private office allocated to the production and promotion of online content. The digital capability in communications team is not wholly devoted to social media but also deals with content production for other purposes such as design and photography. With that caveat the number of civil servants for whom this is a part of their role for the relevant years is:

2018-19: 4

2019-20: 5

2020-21: 6 ( and 1 vacancy)

23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what support his Department can provide to UK-based, French-owned companies who no longer benefit from French research and development tax credits for UK-based work.

Firms within the charge to UK corporation tax, which undertake qualifying R&D, may be able to claim R&D tax reliefs via the Research and Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC) or the Small and medium sized enterprises (SME) R&D Relief.

Combined, these reliefs provided £5.1 billion of support to nearly 60,000 businesses in 2017-18.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is responsible for the overall delivery of the Industrial Strategy.

9th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has plans in place to support sellers who miss the deadline for stamp duty relief as a result of buyers unexpectedly withdrawing from a property transaction.

The temporary relief was designed to stimulate immediate momentum in a property market where property transactions fell by as much as 50 per cent during the COVID-19 lockdown in March. This momentum in the property market will also support the jobs of people whose employment relies on custom from the property industry, such as retailers and tradespeople.

The Government will continue to monitor the market. As the relief was designed to provide an immediate stimulus to the property market, the Government does not plan to extend this relief.

16th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will publish guidance on the support available under his economic recovery plan for (a) mothers, (b) lone parents, (c) survivors of domestic abuse and (d) refugees.

The Government has listened to charities and the Domestic Abuse Commissioner about the pressures the sector faces and is providing extra funding for charities which support victims and their children. The Home Office launched an awareness campaign in April called #YouAreNotAlone, in order to raise the profile of domestic abuse victims during COVID-19 and signpost victims to the support services available.

£76 million of support announced in May is helping the most vulnerable in society, including domestic abuse victims, through:

  • £10 million from MHCLG for charities providing safe accommodation, such as refuges.
  • £2 million from the Home Office for national and other non-local charities providing support to victims of domestic abuse in the community. The fund was opened for bids for the first time on 22 May 2020, closing on 8 June, and £793,000 has now been allocated to 13 successful applicants. On 8 July, the remaining £1,207,000 of the fund was opened for further bids.
  • £25 million from the Ministry of Justice to help victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence in the community access support services during the coronavirus outbreak, and a further £3 million per annum investment in Independent Sexual Violence Advisors until 2022.

The Government is allowing households where there is only one adult – including people who live alone or single parents with children under 18 – to form a “support bubble” with another household.

The Plan for Jobs package also provides support to those who have lost their jobs and DWP will ensure that support from Jobcentres and partners addresses the needs of those who are underrepresented in the labour market, such as BAME groups and lone parents.

Through the furlough scheme, the Government has supported those who have been unable to work for childcare reasons. The Government is continuing to fund free early years entitlements, and the minimum income for Tax-Free Childcare has also been temporarily suspended for those who would have met the requirement were it not for the pandemic.

15th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will review the Government's financial support packages for agency workers who (a) are unable to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, (b) have recently lost their employment and (c) who are ineligible to claim universal credit because they hold more than £16,000 in savings.

The Government is committed to protecting people’s jobs and incomes as far as possible. In March the Government announced the unprecedented Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has so far supported more than 7.5 million jobs and was recently extended to October. Employers can claim for employees on any type of contract, including agency workers.

For individuals who need to rely on the safety net of the welfare state, the Government has announced a significant package of temporary measures to support them. These include a £20 per week increase to the Universal Credit (UC) standard allowance, and for renters, an increase to the Local Housing Allowance rates so that the UC housing element covers the cheapest third of local rents.

In order to ensure that support is targeted at families most in need, households with capital, such as savings, above £16,000 will be ineligible for UC. In such cases, it is likely that they will have alternative means of financial support.

Individuals who have lost their jobs may be entitled to other welfare support. If they have made sufficient National Insurance contributions, they may be eligible for new style Jobseeker’s Allowance, which does not take savings into account. More information is available at

www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/employment-and-benefits-support.

11th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to extend the provisions of section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act to cover creditors that are third-parties.

Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 usually only applies when there is a direct transactional relationship between the debtor (the consumer), the creditor (the credit card provider), and the supplier of goods and services.

If a credit card is used to pay for something through a third-party intermediary service, for example a payment services provider, the conditions in section 75 may not be met.

This aims to strike the right balance between consumer protection and proportionate burdens on business, and the Government does not intend to extend the liability of a creditor with respect to suppliers with which it has no relationship or arrangement.

29th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps to allow local authorities to extend covid-19 business rates relief for 2020-21 tax year to English language centres.

The Government has provided enhanced support to the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors through business rates relief given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors.

A range of further measures to support all businesses, including those not eligible for the business rates holiday, such as English language centres, has also been made available. For example, the Government has launched the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to help firms keep people in employment, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs, and is deferring VAT payments for this quarter.

The Government will consider any further financial assistance necessary to help businesses get through this period.

22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will issue updated guidance on the makes and models of car-derived vans and combi-vans which HMRC defines as (a) cars and (b) vans for input tax deduction purposes.

HM Revenue and Customs update the list of relevant vehicles upon receipt of a notification from manufacturers or sole concessionaires of new vehicles that qualify as car-derived vans and combi-vans for input tax deduction purposes. The current list was discussed with The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders trade body in April 2019 and to date no new notifications have been received.
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

HM Treasury takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously. As you would expect, we are considering what further fiscal and other policy measures are needed to meet our 2050 net zero target.

HM Treasury’s Net Zero Review is looking into how the transition to a net zero economy will be funded, and where the costs will fall. The review will publish its findings in Autumn 2020.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
6th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Northern Ireland Executive will receive the full £1 billion extra funding agreed in the Confidence and Supply Agreement between the Conservative and Unionist Party and the Democratic Unionist Party during the last Parliament.

The Confidence and Supply financial annex committed the UK Government to providing £1 billion to Northern Ireland. £ 763 million has been released so far and the release of further funding would take place following Parliament’s approval in the normal way through the Estimates process.

24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many ECAA applicants awaiting a decision have been waiting for longer than the standard service provision as of 23 June 2022.

This information requested is routinely published as part of UKVI Transparency data.

The most recent published data for outstanding ECCA applications can be found here: Visas and Citizenship data: Q1 2022 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Under Visas and Citizenship Data, Tab VC_02 includes the number of straightforward applications and non-straightforward applications which remained outstanding at the end of the last reported period.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she will respond to the correspondences from the hon. Member for Bristol North West on Wednesday 18 May 2022.

The Minister for Safe and Legal Migration responded on 27th June 2022

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, at what point of the application process her Department informs applicants who are paying for super priority and priority applications of the level of service provision they can expect.

The timescales for priority (PV) and super priority (SPV) applications are set out on GOV.UK so the information is available to the customer before starting the application process.

PV information is also covered on the waiting times page and includes a message that PV/SPV is temporarily unavailable for some routes.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what her Department's working definitions are of the level of service provision for a (a) super priority, (b) priority and (c) standard service visa application.

Answer UKVI’s definitions for super priority, priority, and standard visa services are as below: Out of Country Applications Super Priority – applies to both in and out of country applications UKVI will aim to make a decision by the end of the next working day after your appointment at the visa application centre to provide your biometrics. Priority – applies to both in and out of country applications UKVI will aim to make a decision within 5 working days of your appointment at the visa application centre to provide your biometrics. Standard UKVI will aim to make a decision within 3 weeks of your appointment at the visa application centre to provide your biometrics. Settlement Priority – applies to both in and out of country applications UKVI will aim to make a decision within 6 weeks of your appointment at the visa application centre to provide your biometrics. Settlement Standard UKVI will aim to make a decision within 24 weeks of your appointment at the visa application centre to provide your biometrics. Further information is published at Visa decision waiting times: applications outside the UK - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) In Country Applications Switch/Extend a Student, Family, Ancestry, Work, Visitor, or Graduate Visa UKVI will aim to make a decision within 8 weeks of your appointment at the visa application centre to provide your biometrics. Switch/Extend a Hong Kong British National (Overseas) Visa UKVI will aim to make a decision within 12 weeks of your appointment at the visa application centre to provide your biometrics. Applying for Settlement You should usually get a decision on your visa within 6 months once you apply online. Further information is published at Visa decision waiting times: applications inside the UK - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what financial support is available to individuals who are supporting refugees entering the UK via the Ukraine Family Visa scheme.

There is no specific financial support available to those who choose to sponsor family members to join them in the UK. This includes those sponsoring under the Ukraine Family Scheme.

However, Ukrainian nationals coming to the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme are given access to work, benefits and public services as laid down in Appendix Ukraine to the Immigration Rules, details of which can be found at:

Immigration Rules Appendix Ukraine Scheme - Immigration Rules - Guidance - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support is available to families in the UK with relatives in Afghanistan; and what steps Afghan nationals in Afghanistan, and under threat from the Taliban, can take to come to the UK.

Families in the UK with relatives in Afghanistan can access information to assess their relative’s eligibility for the following resettlement schemes on gov.uk:

From Spring, the UNHCR will refer refugees to the ACRS, based on assessments of protection of need. The Government will also offer ACRS places to the most at risk British Council and Gardaworld contractors and Chevening alumni. We are committed to working in step with the international community and continue to do all we can to enable those who are eligible to relocate to the UK.

The Minister for the Armed Forces recently visited the region, to identify what more we can do for applicants both in Afghanistan and in neighbouring countries. We are working with a wide range of allies and partners and are exploring every avenue to help them reach safety.

The UK Government will work with international partners to put pressure on the Taliban to allow those with a right to leave Afghanistan to do so safely.

12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether UNHCR referrals to the Afghan Citizens' Resettlement Scheme will be available to Afghans currently within Afghanistan or whether they will take place through third party countries.

The Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme commenced on 6th January and will provide up to 20,000 women, children and others at risk with a safe and legal route to resettle in the UK.

From Spring, we are working with the UNHCR to receive referrals of vulnerable refugees in need of protection through the ACRS.

UNHCR refer refugees who, by definition, are outside their country of origin.

5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she has taken to progress the implementation of the Forensic Science Regulator Act 2021.

We are fully committed to delivering statutory powers to the Forensic Science Regulator in accordance with the Act. Home Office officials are working closely and holding regular meetings with the Regulator, the UK Accreditation Service and other stakeholders to commence the measures in the Act as soon as possible.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how British National (Overseas) passport holders in Hong Kong can apply for residency in the UK once their British National (Overseas) passports have been relinquished as required by the Chinese government.

China has made the decision to no longer recognise BN(O) passports as valid identity or travel documents. The UK continues to recognise valid BN(O) passports as valid travel and identity documents.

Those wishing to apply to the BN(O) route do not need to apply using their BN(O) passport and can apply using another valid identity document such as a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport. Those applying for the route will need to be able to prove they hold BN(O) status and where an individual is unable to provide their BN(O) passport, eligibility checks can be made using historical records held by Her Majesty’s Passport Office.

Those applying for the route do not need to travel to the UK on their BN(O) passport, but will need another valid travel document in order to travel from Hong Kong given the decision of the Chinese Government not to recognise them.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many officials in (a) her private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

There are currently 9 social media specialists in the department working as part of the communication directorate on the production and delivery of social media products to promote the important work the department does to secure our borders and protect the public. The department has approximately 33,000 staff with a communication directorate of 121 staff.

In 2018-19, there were 6 specialists and at the beginning of 2020 there were 8 specialists in the social media team.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what financial support her Department is providing to Police and Crime Commissioners to ensure the continued presence of police community support officers.

On the 4th February 2021, the Government published a total police funding settlement of up to £15.8 billion in 2021/22, an increase of up to £636 million compared to 2020/21 which will ensure forces continue to make progress towards recruiting 20,000 additional police officers by March 2023.

Decisions on how to deploy resources are a matter for Chief Constables and locally elected Police & Crime Commissioners.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) own the Government’s Industrial Strategy.

As the Home Office contributes to delivery of the aims of the Industrial Strategy through existing workstreams rather than dedicated resource, it is not possible to provide the information requested.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the Government's migration policy on the status of EU nationals currently working in the UK as au pairs.

EU citizens currently in or resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, including those working as Au Pairs, can apply for UK immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme, to enable them to continue living and working in the UK after 30 June 2021 in the same way as they do now.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to remove the requirement for people with Settled Status to hold Comprehensive Sickness Insurance when applying for British citizenship.

To meet the statutory requirements for naturalisation, a person of any nationality must have been in the UK lawfully during the residential qualifying period.

EEA Regulations set out the requirements which EEA nationals needed to follow if they wished to reside here lawfully on the basis of free movement. In the case of students or the self-sufficient, but not those who were working here, the possession of comprehensive sickness insurance has always been a requirement. This position has not changed since the UK left the European Union

The British Nationality Act allows us to exercise discretion over this requirement in the special circumstances of any particular case.

There are no current plans to amend legislation in this respect given they reflect EEA rules on Freedom of Movement.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to issue revised guidance on the resumption of in-person eligibility meetings for civil partnerships; and what assessment she has made of the potential merits of facilitating those meetings through the use of video-conferencing.

The local registration service has been advised attesting civil partnership notices can recommence where these can be safely delivered in line with public health and local authority guidelines.

In accordance with legislation, meetings to complete the legal preliminaries of giving notice for a civil partnership must be conducted in the presence of the relevant authorised person.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the accuracy of reports that police forces have conducted searches of Clearview AI’s facial recognition database; and what assessment she has made of the legal basis for police forces to conduct such searches in the course of their investigations.

The use of suppliers and systems by the police to carry out a search of a database is a matter for the relevant police force, operating in accordance with the law.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has (a) live and (b) historic contracts with (i) Clearview AI and (ii) subsidiaries of that company.

Our records show that the Home Office has no (a) live or (b) historic contracts with (i) Clearview AI or (ii) the 2 identified subsidiaries, Smartcheckr or Insight Camera.

3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment his Department has made of the ability of fire authorities to respond to fires in (a) electric and (b) hydrogen vehicles.

It is the responsibility of each fire and rescue authority to determine their operational response based on its analysis of risk and local circumstances, and drawing on national operational guidance provided by the National Fire Chiefs Council.

20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the Government plans to phase out the use of EEA national identity cards as a valid form of identification at the UK border.

The documents that EEA and Swiss nationals need to travel to the UK will not change until at least 2021.

We will announce further details of our plans to phase out the use of EEA national identity cards in due course.

However, EU Settlement Scheme status holders and others who are protected by the Withdrawal Agreement and equivalent agreements with the EFTA states will continue to be able to use national identity cards for travel to the UK until at least December 2025, in accordance with the terms of those agreements. Thereafter, they will continue to be able to travel here on their national identity card, provided it meets International Civil Aviation Organisation standards.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the effect of climate change on the work of her Department; and what steps she is taking in response to that effect.

My Department recognises the importance of climate change with regard to policy development. We are keeping the effects of climate change on Home Office business under consideration. We have also been mindful of the Greening Government Commitments.

19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent assessment the Government has made of the role of (a) Whatsapp, (b) Signal, (c) Telegram and (d) other social media messaging services in Taliban military command, control and communications in (i) totality and (ii) the summer 2021 advance on Kabul; and if he will make a statement.

It is not Ministry of Defence policy to comment on intelligence matters.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many officials in (a) his private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

Please find below the information requested:

a) SofS private office – 0

b) Wider Departmental figures are as follows:

Year

Total number of officials in the wider Department allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media

2018 – 2019

37

2019 – 2020

37

2020 – 2021

37

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many officials in their Department were dedicated to their Department's responsibilities associated with the delivery of the Industrial Strategy in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019, (d) 2020 and (e) 2021.

The Ministry of Defence does not record the exact numbers of officials who contribute to the delivery of industrial strategy. A large number of teams across the department support work in this area. These include staff working on prosperity, industrial policy, strategic relationship management and the National Shipbuilding and the Future Combat Air Strategies. In March 2020 we announced the launch of the cross-Government Defence and Security Industrial Strategy review which will outline how we work with the defence sector in the future.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

The Ministry of Defence recognises the need to adapt quickly to mitigate its own impact on the climate and to build resilience to new threats caused by climate change.

To face this challenge, the Department has established a team to review its current position and drive progress towards the Government's target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to prevent leasehold management companies from imposing five year ground rent review periods which limits the owner's ability to secure a mortgage.

The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for homeowners and ensuring that consumers are protected from abuse and poor service. We are therefore taking forward a comprehensive programme of reform to end unfair practices in the leasehold market.

We know that high or increasing ground rents are a cause of considerable concern to affected leaseholders. We introduced the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rents) Bill into Parliament last month, which will prevent landlords from including a financial ground rent in new leases.

We also asked the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate potential mis-selling of homes and unfair terms (such as high and increasing ground rents) in the leasehold sector. On 19 March 2021, the CMA announced that it is requiring the removal of ground rent terms which it thinks are unfair from all existing Countryside and Taylor Wimpey contracts. The companies must also agree not to use the terms again in any future leasehold contracts. The Government strongly welcomes the CMA's efforts to bring justice to homeowners affected by unfair practices and continues to keep a close eye on the CMA investigation. We will consider any next steps once the CMA have progressed their enforcement action.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has made an assessment of the potential effect of the number of people choosing to migrate to the UK from Hong Kong on the availability of affordable housing; and what steps he is taking to ensure that an increase in demand for that housing does not lead to a lack of affordable housing stock for people who need it.

We are proud to welcome those arriving from Hong Kong who have strong cultural and historical ties to the UK. The Government’s new visa route is a generous offer to Hong Kong BN(O) status holders and their family members, who in turn will be expected to be self-sufficient and contribute to UK society.

Approximately 27,000 BN(O) status holders and their family members have applied for a visa since January – this number reflects applications rather than visa holders. The evidence from the Home Office’s Impact Assessment published in October 2020 suggests this visa will have a net positive impact on the UK of between £2.4 and £2.9 billion over 5 years.

The Government is committed to increasing the supply of affordable housing and are investing over £12 billion in affordable housing over 5 years, the largest investment in affordable housing in a decade. This includes the new £11.5 billion Affordable Homes Programme, which will provide up to 180,000 new homes across the country, should economic conditions allow.

Further to this, the Secretary of State announced a new £43.1 million UK wide welcome programme to support Hong Kong BN(O) status holders. This will provide support for BN(O) status holders and reduce impacts on resident communities

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to his press release, Right to Regenerate to turn derelict buildings into homes and community assets, published 16 January 2021, whether council-owned land designated as a nature reserve will be exempted from the right to regenerate.

The Right to Regenerate is about making sure that people and communities can hold public bodies to account, and make sure that public land is put to the best use possible. Designated nature reserves exist to protect the natural environment: the land would clearly be in use, and is highly unlikely to be suitable for disposal. We are currently analysing the responses to the consultation, and will publish a formal response in due course.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what progress he has made on the First Homes scheme and if he will make a statement.

First Homes, the Government’s new home ownership initiative, will provide a sustained and ongoing supply of homes sold to first-time buyers and key workers with a discount of at least 30% below market value. In some areas, the discount could be as high as 50%. Crucially, the discount will be passed on each time the property is sold, ensuring local areas continue to benefit for generation to come.

The Government has published two consultations regarding the implementation of First Homes. The first of these was published on 7 February 2020 and closed on 1 May that year, we responded to that consultation on 6 August 2020.

On that same day we published the second consultation, as part of the wider document ‘Changes to the current planning system’. This consultation was technical in nature, exploring specific planning system changes required to implement First Homes. This consultation closed on 1 October and we have been analysing responses. We hope to be able to publish our response and outline next steps very soon.

11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many officials in (a) his private office and (b) the wider Department have been allocated to the production and promotion of online content for use on social media in (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

MHCLG has a creative team which supports the Department's digital channels. Their responsibilities include, but are not limited to, content creation for social media. This team’s headcount in the format requested is as follows:

  • 2018-19 – 4
  • 2019-20 – 5
  • 2020-21 – 5
Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will (a) bring forward legislative proposals to provide financial support to assist private leaseholders in complying with their legal obligations to remove and replace unsafe external cladding and (b) review the adequacy of free legal advice available to leaseholders in understanding their rights and obligations in relation to fire safety.

It is the responsibility of the building owner, whether freeholder or commonholder, to ensure their building is safe. This includes ensuring that there is an up-to-date fire risk assessment. The Department has made £1.6 billion available to support the remediation of unsafe cladding, and a large proportion of this will protect leaseholders from these costs and will deal with some of the highest risk and highest cost safety defects on high-rise buildings. The Department continues to work with, and has provided additional funding to, the Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE) to ensure that leaseholders are aware of their rights and are supported to understand the terms of their leases.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of a shortage of surveyors competent to undertake EWS1 assessments on the ability of mortgage providers to make timely lending decisions.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) designed the EWS1 process in conjunction with mortgage lenders to assist with valuation of high-rise residential buildings. Some lenders are asking for information that they do not need, and are requesting EWS1 forms for a greater range of buildings than the process was designed for. The EWS1 process is not a Government regulatory requirement and the Government does not support the blanket use of EWS1, especially for lower rise blocks.

The Department is aware that there are capacity challenges with the availability of professionals to undertake fire safety assessments of external wall systems. We are working with professional bodies to increase the number of skilled professionals who can undertake external wall assessments where one is required.

6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent steps he has taken to support leaseholders in replacing cladding on their properties when they are unable to secure financing from their mortgage providers.

The Department has made £1.6 billion available to support the remediation of unsafe cladding, and a large proportion of this will protect leaseholders from these costs and will deal with some of the highest risk and highest cost safety defects on high-rise buildings.

To support the valuation process for high-rise residential buildings with cladding, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors designed the EWS1 process. The EWS1 process is not a regulatory requirement and the Department does not support a blanket approach to EWS1. The Department is working with mortgage lenders to support a more pragmatic approach in their valuation of homes within multi occupancy, multi storey residential buildings. We are encouraging lenders to accept a broader range of evidence to assure themselves of a building’s safety.

21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Government's Planning for the Future consultation and forthcoming proposals for reform to planning regulation, what assessment he has made of the need to preserve existing (a) requirements for archaeological investigation and (b) safeguards for heritage and the historic environment as part of the planning process.

The Government is committed to the protection of the historic environment and we have put in place a strong legislative and policy framework to achieve this. In bringing forward any reforms to the planning system, we will ensure that heritage considerations, including the need for archaeological surveys, are taken into account.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, with reference to the Answer of 9 July 2020 to Question 68414 on Letting Agents: Fees and Charges, what assessment he has made of (a) the potential inefficacy of the provisions in the Tenant Fees Act 2019 in relation to preventing office and administrative costs being (i) improperly, (ii) excessively and (iii) arbitrarily passed to tenants by lettings agents; and if he will bring forward legislative proposals to (b) stop the charging of those costs.

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 bans unfair fees paid by tenants in the private rented sector in England. This includes most office or administration costs such as referencing, administration, inventory, renewal and check-out fees. Such fees are prohibited payments, and charging them to the tenant is a breach of the Tenant Fees Act.

Letting agents or landlords that are found to have committed a breach of the Act will be liable for a £5,000 fine in the first instance, and if a further breach is committed within five years they will be liable for up to a £30,000 fine, as an alternative to prosecution. The Act is enforced by local enforcement authorities, normally trading standards, who are supported with advice and information by a lead enforcement authority.

The Act created this new Lead Enforcement Authority to support action against rogue agents. The Secretary of State has appointed the National Trading Standards Estate and Letting Agency Team to this role, and has provided them over £1,000,000 per annum in funding since the Act came into force.

The Government has no current plans to bring forward further legislation at this time.

2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to (a) restrict the ability of lettings agents to charge administrative fees to tenants and (b) sanction the (i) improper, (ii) excessive and (iii) arbitrary levying of those fees.

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 was approved by Parliament with cross-party support and came into force on 1 June 2019.

The Tenant Fees Act bans unfair letting fees and caps tenancy deposits paid by tenants in the private rented sector in England. From 1 June 2020 the Act applies to all assured shorthold tenancies.

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to amend section 122(1) of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 to impose duties on public landlords as well as private landlords of residential premises in England for the purposes of ensuring that electrical safety standards are met during any period when the premises are occupied under a tenancy.

In the Social Housing Green Paper we asked whether safety standards, including electrical safety, that apply in the private rented sector should also apply to social housing.

We will bring forward a?Social Housing White Paper, which will set out further measures to ensure social homes are safe and decent. This will include measures to provide greater redress, better regulation and improve the quality of social housing. We will publish the White Paper in due course.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

Achieving net zero is a priority for the whole of government, which is why the Prime Minister is chairing a new Cabinet Committee on Climate Change to drive action across all sectors of the economy and demonstrate the UK’s global leadership as we prepare to host the crucial COP26 talks in Glasgow in November.

My Department has a critical role in fighting climate change through our work on housing, planning and building standards. Our consultation on energy efficiency standards for new homes closes on 7 February. The Department is also responsible for working with local government to build resilience capability in response to its impacts.

9th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if his Department will publish the funding agreements for Legal Aid Agency's immigration legal aid contracts that are expected to commence from September 2022.

The existing 2018 Standard Civil Legal Aid Contract is being extended until 31 August 2023 with the exception of the Immigration category which will be extended for a shorter period. The length of the Immigration extension will be communicated as soon as agreed.

Payment for legal aid work carried out under the 2018 Standard Civil Legal Aid Contract is subject to the rates and provisions set out in the Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) Regulations 2013.

The department will be consulting in Spring 2022 on new immigration fees as a result of the Nationality and Borders Bill, and any future Immigration contract will be tendered on the basis of these proposals, once finalised and subject to consultation. Details about future contracts will be published on the Legal Aid Agency’s tender page https://www.gov.uk/topic/legal-aid-for-providers/tenders.

The Legal Aid Agency will be contacting all current civil contract providers shortly to confirm its intentions.

4th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department has made of the financial impact on Legal Aid Agency organisations of not yet publishing the funding agreements for the Legal Aid Agency's contracts, expected to commence from September 2022.

It is unclear what is meant by the term funding agreements in this context.

Payment for legal aid work carried out under the current and any future legal aid contracts is subject to the rates and provisions of published legislation, namely:

These regulations are subject to amendment during the life of the contract.

Funding for legal aid is on a demand led basis; the Legal Aid Agency does not have a specific budget allocation for delivery of legal aid services under its contracts.

Details about future legal aid contracts, including current tender opportunities, are published on GOV.UK https://www.gov.uk/topic/legal-aid-for-providers/tenders.

2nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if his Department will publish the funding agreements for Legal Aid Agency's contracts that are expected to commence from September 2022.

A procurement process for Criminal Legal Aid Services is ongoing. The deadline for submitting a tender closed at 5pm on 20 November 2021 and applicants have been notified of the outcome of their application. Contracts awarded under this procurement process are scheduled to commence on 1 October 2022. Copies of the draft Contracts are available online Standard Crime Contract 2022 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

The specific levels of remuneration payable under this contract are set out in Regulations - The Criminal Legal Aid (Remuneration) Regulations 2013 (as amended.) Funding for legal aid is on a demand led basis; the Legal Aid Agency does not have a specific budget allocation for delivery of legal aid services under its contracts.

5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the debate of 10 March 2021, Official report, col 144WH, what discussions his Department has had on the recent work of the Criminal Procedure Rule Committee in respect of proposed changes to the legal status of algorithmic decisions in criminal law.

The outcome of the Rule Committee’s continuing discussion is awaited and Ministry of Justice officials are participating. The Committee will be pleased to describe that discussion in full detail and to supply the hon. Member with copies of its papers. Its secretary will write to him with those documents.

8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether people categorised as key workers during the covid-19 outbreak remain exempt from being called for jury service.

In line with the Juries Act 1974, jurors are summoned randomly by the Jury Central Summoning Bureau (JCSB) using the Electoral Voting Registers. The registers are a list of everyone who has registered themselves as eligible to vote which are supplied to HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) by every Local Authority each year. At the point of being called for jury service a person’s occupation is not known.

At this time, the Government does not expect frontline emergency services staff, including those in the NHS, Police and Fire Service, to be serving on juries. Anyone in these groups, or any Key Worker working in any other frontline role, who is summoned for jury service should contact the JCSB. While by law we cannot automatically defer jurors, HMCTS has issued guidance to help staff deal sympathetically with all requests from the public who wish to be released or deferred from jury service as a result of COVID-19. Each application for deferral/excusal is considered on its own merit, in a way that is both fair to the individual and consistent with the needs of the court in providing a representative jury. We are keeping the situation under constant review.

We have published further details here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-courts-and-tribunals-planning-and-preparation#jury-trials-and-jury-service

21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to (a) resolve conflicts which arise between contract and probate law when the nominated completion date for sale of a property postdates the vendor's death but precedes probate being granted to their beneficiaries and (b) provide for affected contracts to be automatically extended or nullified on the death of the vendor.

There are no current plans to bring forward legislation as these cases are exceptional, and the existing law provides for the means of resolving disputes arising in such circumstances. Nevertheless, the Government will keep this area of law under review and would welcome any examples of problems that have arisen.

Generally, where one of the contracting parties to the sale of a property dies before the completion of the sale, their legal responsibilities transfer to their personal representatives. They are able to enter into discussions with the other party to vary the contract (for example extend it) by mutual agreement.

If no such agreement can be reached, the Probate Registry can operate an emergency system to expedite the Grant of Probate or for a limited Grant of Probate to be issued. This may be used to enable the sale of the property to take place with minimum delay.

If probate is unlikely to be granted before a fixed completion date, the personal representatives may agree to allow the buyer into the property on licence pending formal completion.

In addition, Section 113 of the Senior Courts Act 1981 empowers a court to grant probate or administration in respect of any part of a deceased person’s estate, limited as a court feels is appropriate to the circumstances of the case.

11th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what plans the Government has to bring forward legislative proposals to introduce statutory access rights for grandparents to their grandchildren.

The Government understands the difficulties that some grandparents face in continuing relationships with their grandchildren following disputes arising from parental separation. We also recognise the importance of ensuring that the child’s welfare is paramount in court decisions regarding future arrangements for them following parental separation.

We wish to understand the outcome of the President of the Family Division’s consultation – which concluded last year - on recommendations for reforming how child arrangements cases are dealt with by the family court before deciding whether any specific proposals are needed in respect of child arrangements and grandparents.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

Achieving net zero is a priority for the whole of government, which is why the Prime Minister is chairing a new Cabinet Committee on Climate Change to drive action across all sectors of the economy and demonstrate the UK’s global leadership as we prepare to host the crucial COP26 talks in Glasgow in November.

The Ministry of Justice takes climate change very seriously and is committed to tackling the impact of this on its operations by collaborating across government to adapt and be resilient to the inevitable effects of climate change on its work.

As the second largest central government contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, we are very clear that reducing our emissions is a key priority. We have already reduced our emissions by 38% since 2009/10 and reduced our energy bill by £12m/year since 2014-15, enabling more funding for frontline services. The department is also currently discussing a new emissions reduction target for 2020 to 2025 with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The Ministry of Justice is developing its Climate Change Adaptation Strategy to prepare for the risks associated with, and impacts, of climate change on our estate, people, and operations.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

The Northern Ireland Office supports the Greening Government Commitments and has taken steps to improve the environmental performance of its own estate and operations. The Department has introduced initiatives such as the use of more energy efficient LED lighting, removal of single use plastic products, investment in new energy efficient boilers, and taken steps to reduce its energy footprint by cutting down the requirement for staff to travel by making greater use of modern technology to broaden the range of video conferencing facilities. .

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

We are delighted that the UK Government is hosting COP26 in Glasgow in November. This will be a great opportunity for the UK government to continue to show great leadership on this vital issue, having already become the first major economy to pass new laws to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050.

Achieving net zero is a priority for the whole of government, which is why the Prime Minister is chairing a new Cabinet Committee on Climate Change to drive action across all sectors of the economy and demonstrate the UK’s global leadership as we prepare to host the crucial COP26 talks in Glasgow.

The Office of the Secretary of State for Scotland has put in place a number of measures necessary to adapt to future climate change including contributing to the overall reduction in the size of the UK Government estate and the amount of carbon emissions for which the UK Government as a whole is responsible; reducing unnecessary travel and utilising public transport; minimising paper use and eliminating the purchase of single use plastics.

The UK Government will set out further plans to deliver net zero throughout 2020 ahead of COP26, including plans on energy and heat in buildings.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what assessment he has made of the effect of climate change on the work of his Department; and what steps he is taking in response to that effect.

Achieving net zero is a priority for the whole of government, which is why the Prime Minister is chairing a new Cabinet Committee on Climate Change to drive action across all sectors of the economy and demonstrates the UK’s global leadership as we prepare to host the crucial COP26 talks in Glasgow in November.

The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales (OSSW) is committed to tackling climate change and delivering our world-leading net zero target. We are focused on reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and report our progress in doing so in the Office’s Annual Report and Accounts. We are committed to working with other government departments in delivering on the Greening Government Commitments.

David T C Davies
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip) (Jointly as unpaid Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Wales Office)