Ellie Reeves Portrait

Ellie Reeves

Labour - Lewisham West and Penge

Shadow Solicitor General

(since April 2020)
Justice Committee
2nd Mar 2020 - 11th May 2020
Justice Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019


Department Event
Thursday 6th January 2022
10:10
Attorney General
Oral questions - Main Chamber
6 Jan 2022, 10:10 a.m.
Attorney General
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Department Event
Thursday 10th February 2022
10:10
Attorney General
Oral questions - Main Chamber
10 Feb 2022, 10:10 a.m.
Attorney General
Save to Calendar
View calendar
Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 8th December 2021
Nationality and Borders Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 166 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 236 Noes - 288
Speeches
Tuesday 7th December 2021
Prisons Strategy

I thank the Minister for advance sight of her statement.

We all want to see safer prisons that rehabilitate and …

Written Answers
Tuesday 7th December 2021
Long Covid: Clinics
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of …
Early Day Motions
Monday 23rd July 2018
SMALL CLAIMS LIMIT FOR PERSONAL INJURY AND ACCESS TO JUSTICE
That this House expresses concern at the planned increase in the small claims limit for personal injury; regrets the small …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 1st November 2021
1. Employment and earnings
Payment expected of £75 for a survey carried out on 11 October 2021. Hours: 30 mins. (Registered 25 October 2021)
EDM signed
Monday 15th November 2021
Campaign to secure the future of the Covid Memorial Wall
That this House welcomes the creation of the Covid Memorial Wall on Albert Embankment by Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice; …
Supported Legislation
Employment and Workers' Rights Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Ellie Reeves has voted in 289 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Ellie Reeves Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Michael Ellis (Conservative)
Paymaster General
(22 debate interactions)
Suella Braverman (Conservative)
Attorney General
(20 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(12 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(8 debate contributions)
Ministry of Justice
(8 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(8 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Ellie Reeves's debates

Lewisham West and Penge Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest Lewisham West and Penge signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

We have the second most expensive childcare system in the world. A full time place costs, on average, £14,000 per year, making it completely unaffordable for many families. Parents are forced to leave their jobs or work fewer hours, which has a negative impact on the economy and on child poverty.

A significant number of students will sit their final 2021 examinations. The outcome of which undoubtedly will be their passport, for many of their future life chances and successes. In order for this to be done fairly, it is imperative that the amount of content they are tested on is reduced.

We want the Education Secretary and the Government to step in and review the exam board’s decision on how GCSE and A-Level grades will be calculated and awarded due to the current coronavirus crisis. We want a better solution than just using our previous data to be the basis of our grade.

In light of the recent outbreak and lock down, those on maternity leave should be given 3 extra months paid leave, at least. This time is for bonding and social engaging with other parents and babies through baby groups which are vital for development and now everything has been cancelled.


Latest EDMs signed by Ellie Reeves

23rd September 2021
Ellie Reeves signed this EDM on Monday 15th November 2021

Campaign to secure the future of the Covid Memorial Wall

Tabled by: Afzal Khan (Labour - Manchester, Gorton)
That this House welcomes the creation of the Covid Memorial Wall on Albert Embankment by Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice; notes that this memorial now includes over 150,000 hand-painted hearts to symbolise all those who lost their lives during the coronavirus pandemic; praises the work of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for …
134 signatures
(Most recent: 3 Dec 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 97
Scottish National Party: 13
Liberal Democrat: 10
Democratic Unionist Party: 5
Conservative: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
14th January 2021
Ellie Reeves signed this EDM on Wednesday 27th January 2021

Godfrey Colin Cameron

Tabled by: Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)
That this House is deeply saddened by news of the death of Godfrey Colin Cameron, a hardworking member of Parliamentary security staff and member of the PCS trade union who passed away aged just 55 after contracting covid-19; extends our sincere condolences to his devoted wife Hyacinth, children Leon and …
139 signatures
(Most recent: 8 Feb 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 117
Scottish National Party: 15
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
Alba Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Ellie Reeves's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Ellie Reeves, 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.


Ellie Reeves has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Ellie Reeves has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Ellie Reeves has not introduced any legislation before Parliament


171 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
1 Other Department Questions
12th May 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, when the Government plans to respond to the Women and Equalities Committee's Fifth Report of Session 2019-21, Unequal impact? Coronavirus and the gendered economic impact, HC 385.

The Government response to the Women and Equalities Committee's Fifth Report of Session 2019-21, ‘Unequal impact? Coronavirus and the gendered economic impact’, was published on 14 May 2021 and is available on the Parliament website.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Attorney General, how many staff were employed in rape and serious sexual offences units in each (a) CPS area and (b) year since 2010.

Each of the 14 CPS Areas has a dedicated RASSO Unit, staffed by specially trained prosecutors and other operational delivery staff, equipped to deal with the complexities of rape cases. The below data shows the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff employed in each CPS RASSO Unit, which were established in 2016, as of 31 March for each year from 2017. The figures are set out in decimals as there are many part-time members of staff who work in RASSO Units.

CPS Areas are not uniform in size and as such there is a disparity in the staffing levels between each Area. Furthermore, case numbers and types of case in RASSO Units may vary from year to year and across Areas.

It is also important to note that CPS Areas have the flexibility to move staff between teams to support local needs. While the below figures show the number of FTE staff employed in each CPS RASSO Unit in each year, they do not include members of staff who have been moved to teams in other Areas to support local needs

CPS Area20172018201920202021
Cymru Wales27.0124.6421.6420.0618.97
East Midlands20.0220.5422.1920.1423.95
East of England22.2923.8523.7019.1919.65
London North*31.7631.7524.7626.11
London South*38.0236.3333.0134.14
Merseyside and Cheshire19.9821.8020.9419.9519.48
North East27.0028.3128.6826.7024.49
North West44.5750.5347.8745.8242.26
South East27.9625.1524..6420.9119.21
South West23.2921.9020.0218.0816.68
Thames and Chiltern19.8021.8220.0227.3324.14
Wessex26.2621.3022.5218.9819.33
West Midlands34.3833.6935.7436.5134.05
Yorkshire and Humberside37.4534.8035.0632.4835.95

*Prior to 2017, London South and London North operated as a single CPS Area, and the combined number of FTE staff in the pan-London RASSO Unit for 2017 was 66.23.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Attorney General, whether a risk assessment has been carried out on the secure holding of CCTV footage within his Department.

As has been the case under successive Administrations, it is not government policy to comment on security procedures in government buildings.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Attorney General, whether any Departmental business has been conducted on private email addresses; and what mechanisms are in place to ensure that full records are kept of that business.

As has been the case under successive Administrations, it is not government policy to comment on security procedures in government buildings.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Attorney General, whether his Department has referred any Freedom of Information requests received by his Department to the central Cabinet Office Clearing House on Freedom of Information requests for advice on handling, in the last two years.

FOI requests are referred to the Clearing House in line with the published criteria available on gov.uk. The Clearing House, which has been in existence since 2004, provides advice to ensure a consistent approach across government to requests for information.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th May 2021
To ask the Attorney General, how many CPS prosecutors have been in employment in (a) 2018, (b) 2019, (c) 2020 and (d) 2021.

The number of CPS prosecutors who have been in employment in (a) 2018, (b) 2019, (c) 2020 and (d) 2021 is as follows:

(a) 2485 (31 March 2018)

(b) 2579 (31 March 2019)

(c) 2692 (31 March 2020)

(d) 2943 (31 March 2021)

Source Data: Trent and Oracle HR Database

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Apr 2021
To ask the Attorney General, whether officials in his Department have received remuneration for paid work for organisations or companies outside of Government in the latest period for which data is available.

On 23 April, the Cabinet Secretary wrote to the Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee on the management of outside interests in the Civil Service.

The Committee published this letter on 26 April. It can be found here:

https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/5623/documents/55584/default/

The Cabinet Secretary’s letter sets out a series of steps to improve processes. This programme of work will also take account of any recommendations that emerge from Nigel Boardman’s review.

The Civil Service Management Code sets out, at paragraph 4.3.4, the requirement that civil servants must seek permission before accepting any outside employment which might affect their work either directly or indirectly. The applicable principles are those set out in the Business Appointment Rules. The Civil Service Management Code is published here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-servants-terms-and-conditions

Where the civil servant is a member of the departmental board any outside employment, as well as other relevant interests will be published as part of the Annual Report and Accounts or other transparency publication.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the interim charging protocol introduced in March 2020 for cases relating to domestic violence, (a) when it will cease to operate and (b) what assessment has been made of the efficiency of the protocol.

The Crown Prosecution Service (‘CPS’) and the National Police Chiefs’ Council (‘NPCC’) introduced an interim charging protocol in response to the Coronavirus pandemic on 1 April 2020 to identify and prioritise the highest risk cases. This includes those that involve domestic abuse.

The Charging Board, chaired jointly by the CPS and the NPCC, oversees and monitors arrangements for charging at a national level, including the interim charging protocol. Local police forces and CPS Areas (including CPS Direct that covers charging outside usual working hours) monitor local arrangements for charging through local Prosecution Team Performance Management meetings.

The interim charging protocol continues to operate and is the subject of ongoing discussion between the CPS and the police. No end date has been set.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the CPS annual report 2019-20, how many (a) additional prosecutors have been recruited, (b) operational delivery staff have been recruited and (c) offers of employment have been made to new lawyers since 2019.

As of 2nd February 2021, the CPS has recruited:

  • 399 additional prosecutors, with a further 75 due to start by April 2021;
  • 155 Paralegal Officers and Assistants (Operational Delivery Staff);
  • and made 570 offers of employment to new lawyers since 2019.

(Source data – CPS HR Recruitment records)

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the Victims Commissioner's annual report 2019/20, what steps the Attorney General is taking with the Lord Chancellor to promote the changes to the review into the unduly lenient scheme to ensure victims are aware of their right to request a challenge.

The Law Officers promote the unduly lenient sentence scheme and its extension, including in Parliament and on social media.

The AGO has also worked with the Ministry of Justice to take steps to raise awareness of the scheme as part of the revised statutory Code of Practice for Victims of Crime, which was published in November 2020 following consultation. The revised Code will come into force on 1 April, and now includes a requirement for the Witness Care Unit to inform victims of the unduly lenient sentence scheme promptly once sentencing has taken place. This will help to improve awareness of the scheme and also understanding of when cases may be eligible.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Attorney General, following the recent HMCSPI inspectorate report on victim communication, what steps she is taking to implement the recommendations in that report.

The latest HMCPSI report on the Victim Communication and Liaison (VCL) scheme was published on 22 October 2020. The report suggested the CPS should fundamentally review at national level how the VCL scheme is being delivered.

The CPS accepts the need for a radical review of their communications with victims, and the need to make quick progress. The CPS is therefore planning to undertake an evidence-based assessment of victims’ needs, including conducting user research to inform the review. The CPS are taking a phased approach to this work so that early, targeted improvements can be made at the same time as developing a longer-term programme of more impactful change.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Attorney General, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the UK withdrawing from participation in (a) the European Arrest Warrant, (b) membership of Europol and (c) membership of EuroJust on the work of the CPS in prosecuting international crime.


The Crown Prosecution Service (‘CPS’) has worked with other prosecutors, law enforcement, the courts and the Home Office to ensure the CPS continues to have access to the capabilities it needs and that effective international cooperation with EU Member States on extradition, gathering of evidence and asset recovery continues. The CPS has also engaged extensively with EU counterparts in order to safeguard existing cases using EU tools as well as operate the new arrangements effectively.

As well as providing for streamlined extradition arrangements, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) provides for cooperation between the UK and Europol and the UK and Eurojust to facilitate multilateral law enforcement and criminal justice cooperation. The UK remains fully operational at Eurojust with a Liaison Prosecutor Desk which was up and running from 1 January 2021. In December 2020, the CPS was participating in 33 out of 41 Joint Investigation Teams involving the UK and the CPS remains equally involved in all of these today.

The TCA equips operational partners on both sides with the capabilities that help protect citizens and bring criminals to justice – promoting the security of all our citizens.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Attorney General, how many CPS staff were employed and (a) in what role and (b) at what grade those staff were employed in each year from 2010 to 2020.

The number of staff employed by the Crown Prosecution Service (‘CPS’), broken down by grade, between 31/03/12 to 31/03/20, can be found in the tables below. To retrieve data for years 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, and the detail for roles across all years, would represent a disproportionate cost to the CPS.

31/03/2020

ONS Grade

Headcount

FTE

AA/AO

1351

1226.88

EO

1217

1115.80

G6/G7

2656

2447.11

HEO/SEO

886

849.75

SCS

82

80.71

Grand Total

6192

5720.26

31/03/2019

ONS Grade

Headcount

FTE

AA/AO

1392

1263.23

EO

1175

1069.66

G6/G7

2589

2384.21

HEO/SEO

791

757.75

SCS

78

77.10

Grand Total

6025

5551.95

31/03/2018

ONS Grade

Headcount

FTE

AA/AO

1436

1309.02

EO

1186

1084.08

G6/G7

2472

2274.88

HEO/SEO

810

775.08

SCS

76

75.38

Grand Total

5980

5518.44

31/03/2017

ONS Grade

Headcount

FTE

AA/AO

1536

1409.30

EO

1199

1094.03

G6/G7

2399

2206.89

HEO/SEO

780

745.46

SCS

70

69.38

Grand Total

5984

5525.04

31/03/2016

ONS Grade

Headcount

FTE

AA/AO

1527

1398.90

EO

1223

1112.19

G6/G7

2354

2170.88

HEO/SEO

743

710.50

SCS

68

67.78

Grand Total

5915

5460.26

31/03/2015

ONS Grade

Headcount

FTE

AA/AO

1683

1549.14

EO

1298

1189.95

G6/G7

2445

2258.48

HEO/SEO

789

754.83

SCS

65

65.00

Grand Total

6280

5817.40

31/03/2014

ONS Grade

Headcount

FTE

AA/AO

1882

1726.96

EO

1381

1267.24

G6/G7

2558

2362.03

HEO/SEO

777

744.30

SCS

65

65.00

Grand Total

6663

6165.54

31/03/2013

ONS Grade

Headcount

FTE

AO/AA

2061

1877.40

EO

1551

1422.82

G6/7

2801

2592.40

HEO/SEO

850

807.52

SCS

66

66.00

Grand Total

7329

6766.14

31/03/2012

ONS Grade

Headcount

FTE

AA/AO

2087

1896.94

EO

1601

1468.00

G6/G7

2961

2740.09

HEO/SEO

932

887.29

SCS

67

66.80

Grand Total

7648

7059.12

*Data is as at 31st March each year

This data is taken from the Trent and Oracle HR Database.

The data is compiled to ONS specification – it excludes career break, unpaid loans, fee paid and non-salaried staff.

The data excludes no pay staff which are derived from the CIS file provided to us.

Data shows HC and FTE to ONS Grade

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Attorney General, what steps she has taken to ensure the CPS can operate (a) effectively and (b) to the same standard when prosecuting international crime in the context of no longer being a member of Eurojust.


The Crown Prosecution Service (‘CPS’) has worked with other prosecutors, law enforcement, the courts and the Home Office to ensure the CPS continues to have access to the capabilities it needs and that effective international cooperation with EU Member States on extradition, gathering of evidence and asset recovery continues. The CPS has also engaged extensively with EU counterparts in order to safeguard existing cases using EU tools as well as operate the new arrangements effectively.

As well as providing for streamlined extradition arrangements, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) provides for cooperation between the UK and Europol and the UK and Eurojust to facilitate multilateral law enforcement and criminal justice cooperation. The UK remains fully operational at Eurojust with a Liaison Prosecutor Desk which was up and running from 1 January 2021. In December 2020, the CPS was participating in 33 out of 41 Joint Investigation Teams involving the UK and the CPS remains equally involved in all of these today.

The TCA equips operational partners on both sides with the capabilities that help protect citizens and bring criminals to justice – promoting the security of all our citizens.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Attorney General, how many and what proportion of CPS staff have had to self-isolate as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; and what the (a) role and (b) staffing grade of those staff is.

The Crown Prosecution Service (‘CPS’) holds data on staff who have been absent due to COVID-19 and received Special Leave with Pay. The Table below summarises that data, with the column labelled ‘Special Leave With Pay – Other reasons’ including those who have self-isolated. This column shows that 253 staff (approximately 3.8% of the workforce) fall within this category. However, in general, those who have self-isolated will predominantly have continued to work remotely and will not have needed to take time away from the workplace.

Grade

Special Leave with pay-Caring responsibilities (number of staff)

Special Leave with pay-Other reasons (number of staff)

Special Leave with pay-respiratory (number of staff)

Totals

Headcount

Percentage of grade

A1

2

6

1

9

13

69.23%

A2

52

66

118

1130

10.44%

B2

21

7

28

260

10.77%

B3

18

8

26

207

12.56%

Crown Advocate

9

2

11

194

5.67%

Crown Prosecutor

10

2

12

240

5%

Level D

12

2

14

163

8.59%

Level E

1

1

63

1.59%

Legal Manager 1

12

6

1

19

290

6.55%

Legal Manager 2

3

3

100

3%

Paralegal Assistant

17

17

1

35

260

13.46%

Paralegal Business Manager

8

3

11

109

10.09%

Paralegal Officer

36

23

59

609

9.69%

Senior Crown Prosecutor

120

53

3

176

1726

10.2%

Specialist Prosecutor

21

14

1

36

211

17.06%

Senior Specialist Prosecutor

2

1

3

16

18.75%

Senior Legal Manager/SCS

2

2

81

2.47%

AP

9

4

13

141

9.22%

B1/Legal Trainee/EO

47

39

3

89

735

12.11%

402

253

10

665

6594

10.08%

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Attorney General, how many outstanding cases the CPS were working on as a part of EuroJust in December 2020.


The Crown Prosecution Service (‘CPS’) has worked with other prosecutors, law enforcement, the courts and the Home Office to ensure the CPS continues to have access to the capabilities it needs and that effective international cooperation with EU Member States on extradition, gathering of evidence and asset recovery continues. The CPS has also engaged extensively with EU counterparts in order to safeguard existing cases using EU tools as well as operate the new arrangements effectively.

As well as providing for streamlined extradition arrangements, the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) provides for cooperation between the UK and Europol and the UK and Eurojust to facilitate multilateral law enforcement and criminal justice cooperation. The UK remains fully operational at Eurojust with a Liaison Prosecutor Desk which was up and running from 1 January 2021. In December 2020, the CPS was participating in 33 out of 41 Joint Investigation Teams involving the UK and the CPS remains equally involved in all of these today.

The TCA equips operational partners on both sides with the capabilities that help protect citizens and bring criminals to justice – promoting the security of all our citizens.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
16th Oct 2020
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate's report entitled Charging Inspection 2020, published in September 2020, what steps he is taking to improve communication to victims about the Victims’ Right to Review scheme.

The CPS Victims’ Right to Review (VRR) scheme provides an important safeguard for victims. Following a request for a review, a new prosecutor not previously involved in the original decision will conduct a review of the case. If they decide that the original decision was wrong that decision will be overturned and proceedings reinstituted, where possible.

The HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate’s ‘Charging Inspection 2020’ report notes that in 84.7% of the cases where there was a decision to take no further action that qualified for the VRR scheme, there was enough information for the police to explain the decision to the victim.

The CPS are actively engaged in the development of the revised Victims’ Code which sets out victims’ rights to receive services from Criminal Justice agencies, including information about the VRR scheme. The CPS is committed to delivering its responsibilities under the Code to ensure that victims have the information they need to exercise their right to review CPS decisions.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
16th Oct 2020
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate's report entitled Charging Inspection 2020, published in September 2020, what steps she is taking to improve the timings for communications in respect of (a) Victim Communication and Liaison letters being issued and (b) those victims who are entitled to an enhanced service.

The CPS offers an enhanced service to victims of rape or serious sexual offences and the bereaved families of homicide victims. This includes writing to victims or relatives within one day informing them of a decision not to charge a case.

I note that the recent Charging Inspection found 75% of appropriate VCL letters were sent within set enhanced service timescales. The CPS is committed to delivering an excellent service to victims, including working with the Ministry of Justice on revisions to the Victims’ Code, and continues to consider ways to further improve communication with victims, including timeliness.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Attorney General, what the compliance rate was for the Area Assurance Programme in (a) 2020, (b) 2019, (c) 2018, (d) 2017, (e) 2016 and (f) 2015.

HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI) commenced the Area Assurance Programme (AAP) in 2016 and completed the programme in 2018. HMCPSI assessed each CPS Area’s compliance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and these results are included in the individual AAP reports available on the HMCPSI website. Therefore, figures were published by Area and by year. In October 2019, HMCPSI published a composite report of all the AAP inspection findings; the overall CPS Area compliance rate with the Code for Crown Prosecutors was 95.1%.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Attorney General, when the HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate report on the Victim Communication and Liaison scheme will be published.

HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate’s report on the Crown Prosecution Service’s Victim Communication and Liaison scheme will be published 22nd October 2020.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the 2019-20 annual report of the Victims Commissioner, what progress has been made on the joint review by HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services into the drop in rape prosecutions.

Work on the joint inspection by HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate and HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (led by the latter) has been delayed by COVID-19. However, a draft framework and methodology have been shared with stakeholders, including the Victims Commissioner, for consultation and an external reference group has been formed with the first virtual meeting to take place on 10th August 2020.

Thereafter, it is envisaged that interviews with national leads can commence in August 2020 and fieldwork across six police forces will start in September and continue until the mid-November.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to his oral contribution at Attorney General Questions on 9 July 2020, Official Report, Column 1110, if he will publish the framework for the CPS's interim charging protocol for cases of domestic violence.

It is essential that perpetrators, victims and their families know and understand that the criminal justice system remains open and operational during the covid-19 outbreak. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is working closely with colleagues across the Criminal Justice System to ensure that these offences continue to be brought to justice.

The interim charging protocol ‘Coronavirus: Interim CPS Charging Protocol between the National Police Chiefs' Council and Crown Prosecution Service’ was published on 31st March 2020. The interim protocol sets out how charging for all cases including domestic abuse should be managed by the police and the CPS.

The interim protocol specifies that priority must be given to the most serious cases to make sure dangerous offenders are dealt with quickly. The protocol aims to prioritise and focus demand so we are only putting the most serious cases into the courts system immediately. All non-custody domestic abuse cases have been categorised as Category B - High Priority cases. The CPS is committed to working closely with criminal justice partners and the third sector to ensure that victims and witnesses remain at the heart of the process.

Suella Braverman
Attorney General
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the Victims Commissioner's annual report 2019/20, what steps the Attorney General is taking with the Lord Chancellor to promote the changes to the review into the unduly lenient scheme to ensure victims are aware of their right to request a challenge.

The Law Officers promote the unduly lenient sentence scheme and its extension, including in Parliament and on social media. It is important that those in contact with victims at the time of sentencing ensure those victims are aware of the right to request a review of the sentence in qualifying cases. The Lord Chancellor consulted on including this in the Victims’ Code which is due to be published later this year.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the 2019-20 annual report of the Victims Commissioner, what steps the Attorney General is taking with the Lord Chancellor to (a) promote the updated changes to the unduly lenient scheme and (b) increase the awareness of those changes among victims as part of the upcoming launch of the new Victims’ Code.

The Law Officers promote the unduly lenient sentence scheme and its extension, including in Parliament and on social media. The Lord Chancellor, in the recent Victims’ Code public consultation, sought views on a requirement that witness care officers inform victims of the right to request a review of a sentence, at the time of sentence. The Ministry of Justice are currently analysing the responses to the consultation and aim to publish the revised Victims’ Code later this year. As set out in the consultation, raising awareness of the Victims’ Code will be an important part of the re-launch.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the 2019-20 annual report of the Victims Commissioner, what progress has been made on the Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate case study review as part of the Government’s end to end rape review.

The case study referred to in the Victims Commissioners Annual Report was HM Crown Prosecution Service Inspectorate (HMCPSI)’s Rape Inspection Report published on 17th December 2019, which focussed on the role of the Crown Prosecution Service.

The Inspection and Report were carried out as a part of the cross-Government end-to-end review of the criminal justice system response to rape. One of the recommendations from this report was that HMCPSI should carry out a joint inspection with the police inspectorate, HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire Rescue Services (HMICFRS), of the CPS and police response to rape allegations in order to delve deeper into this issue. That inspection is expected to commence in late August 2020.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Attorney General, what steps she is taking with the Lord Chancellor to increase the number of pre-trial video recordings of cross-examination of vulnerable victims in Crown courts; to which additional Crown court locations she plans to make available that capability; and when she plans to do so.

I am pleased that the Lord Chancellor has recently approved national rollout plans for pre-recorded cross examination, for Section 28 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999, for vulnerable witnesses in Crown Court centres in England and Wales.

This plan includes a focus on rolling out Section 28 to London and the South East in the first wave in August, followed by all remaining Crown Courts in England in Wales in the autumn. This is a crucial step to support vulnerable victims and witnesses to give their best evidence.

HMCTS’s intention has always been to complete a national rollout of this service to all Crown Courts by the end of this year and there is extra benefit in having this service available to support more victims and witnesses in light of COVID-19.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Attorney General, how many and what proportion of CPS staff have had to self-isolate due to covid-19 and what (a) role and (b) staffing grade of those staff is.

From records held on the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Oracle HR database for the period 1 April 2020 to 10 August 2020, five CPS employees (0.08% of the workforce) have been absent from work, but not ill, because of the need to quarantine or be in self isolation due to COVID-19. Three of those are employed at Executive Officer equivalent grade and held non-prosecutor roles and two at Grade 7 equivalent and held prosecutor roles.

Data Source: CPS Oracle HR 10 August 2020, categorisation in accordance with Cabinet Office guidance

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 9 February 2021 to Question 146798 on Paternity Leave, what estimate his Department has made of the number of eligible fathers who took unpaid statutory shared parental leave in 2019-20.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy does not routinely collect data on the take-up of parental leave entitlements, including unpaid Shared Parental Leave. However, we are currently completing an extensive evaluation of the Shared Parental Leave and Pay schemes. This has included commissioning and interrogating information collected through large scale, representative, surveys of employers and parents. We also commissioned a qualitative study of parents who have used the schemes. The various data sources will give us a fuller picture of the level of take-up of paid and unpaid entitlements to Shared Parental Leave, tell us how the schemes are being used in practice, and help us to better understand the barriers and enablers to parents taking Shared Parental Leave. We will publish our findings later this year.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 9 February 2021 to Question 146798 on Paternity Leave, how many of the people who received statutory shared parental pay in 2019-20 were in receipt of that pay for more than (a) one month, (b) three months, (c) six months and (d) nine months.

Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Pay was introduced in December 2014 for the parents of children due or adopted from 5 April 2015. The scheme enables eligible working parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay in the first year, where the mother does not intend to use her full maternity entitlements.

Information provided by employers to HMRC in respect of claims for Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) indicates that 4,100 individuals were in receipt of ShPP in Quarter 3 of 2020-21, and 3,300 individuals were in receipt of ShPP in Quarter 4 of 2020-21.

Please note that HMRC does not hold information which calculates the total duration of ShPP received by individual claimants. However, the following table sets out the number of individuals in receipt of ShPP in 2019-20 by the number of months in the year that they made a claim:

Number of months claimed in 2019-20 (see note 4)

Number of claimants

1

4,400

2

3,100

3

2,300

4

1,500

5

800

6

500

7

300

8

100

9

100

Please note:

  1. The data collected uses HMRC Real Time Information (RTI) system and was extracted in May 2021. RTI is subject to revision or updates, and so there may be small fluctuations in figures reported, and these figures should not be considered “final”.
  2. Figures have been rounded to the nearest hundred.
  3. The number of individuals in receipt of ShPP per quarter are based on the total number of individuals in that quarter irrespective of when the payment first started. Quarterly figures should not be added together to make a yearly count of individuals in receipt of ShPP due to double counting claimants from quarter to quarter.
  4. “Number of months claimed” counts each month the same individual was in receipt of ShPP in a given tax year (2019-20). This should not be interpreted as the total duration of pay received. Where individuals are in receipt of pay that spans two financial years HMRC data can only count the period within a single year and where individuals have received pay spanning months, however briefly, will be recorded as two months.
  5. This data represents individuals in receipt of Shared Parental Pay only, so those who take unpaid Shared Parental Leave are not included.
Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, further to the Answer of 9 February 2021 to Question 146798 on Paternity Leave, how many people received statutory shared parental pay in (a) Quarter 3 and (b) Quarter 4 of 2020-21.

Shared Parental Leave (SPL) and Pay was introduced in December 2014 for the parents of children due or adopted from 5 April 2015. The scheme enables eligible working parents to share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay in the first year, where the mother does not intend to use her full maternity entitlements.

Information provided by employers to HMRC in respect of claims for Statutory Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) indicates that 4,100 individuals were in receipt of ShPP in Quarter 3 of 2020-21, and 3,300 individuals were in receipt of ShPP in Quarter 4 (January and February only) of 2020-21.

Please note that HMRC does not hold information which calculates the total duration of ShPP received by individual claimants. However, the following table sets out the number of individuals in receipt of ShPP in 2019-20 by the number of months in the year that they made a claim:

Number of months claimed in 2019-20 (see note 4)

Number of claimants

1

4,400

2

3,100

3

2,300

4

1,500

5

800

6

500

7

300

8

100

9

100

Please note:

  1. The data collected uses HMRC Real Time Information (RTI) system and was extracted in May 2021. RTI is subject to revision or updates, and so there may be small fluctuations in figures reported, and these figures should not be considered “final”.
  2. Figures have been rounded to the nearest hundred.
  3. The number of individuals in receipt of ShPP per quarter are based on the total number of individuals in that quarter irrespective of when the payment first started. Quarterly figures should not be added together to make a yearly count of individuals in receipt of ShPP due to double counting claimants from quarter to quarter.
  4. “Number of months claimed” counts each month the same individual was in receipt of ShPP in a given tax year (2019-20). This should not be interpreted as the total duration of pay received. Where individuals are in receipt of pay that spans two financial years HMRC data can only count the period within a single year and where individuals have received pay spanning months, however briefly, will be recorded as two months.
  5. This data represents individuals in receipt of Shared Parental Pay only, so those who take unpaid Shared Parental Leave are not included.
Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to monitor compliance with his 11 May 2020 guidance to employers on not acting in ways that may discriminate against people with caring responsibilities.

The guidance is non-statutory but does not change existing obligations relating to health and safety, employment, or equalities. Employers, therefore, need to bear in mind the particular needs of different groups or individuals, and make sure that the steps they take to address the risk of COVID-19 do not unjustifiably impact on some groups compared with others. Some workers, whether through specific vulnerability, family caring responsibilities or an abundance of caution may be reluctant to re-enter a workplace even though the employer feels it is safe to do so. The Government would encourage employers to engage constructively with such workers and their representatives and try to find solutions that are agreeable to all.

If anyone has concerns that employers are not taking all reasonably practicable steps to reduce the risks of COVID-19, they should get in touch with their employee representative or union, or with the Health and Safety Executive. Health and safety legislation is enforced by the Health and Safety Executive, the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland and by local authorities. We have been clear that there will be Health and Safety Executive spot checks on businesses to ensure they keep their employees safe. If the enforcing authority finds that an employer is not taking action to properly manage workplace risk, a range of actions are is open to them including specific advice or issuing enforcement notices.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to enforce compliance with his 11 May 2020 guidance to employers on not discriminating against people with caring responsibilities.

The guidance is non-statutory but does not change existing obligations relating to health and safety, employment, or equalities. Employers, therefore, need to bear in mind the particular needs of different groups or individuals, and make sure that the steps they take to address the risk of COVID-19 do not unjustifiably impact on some groups compared with others. Some workers, whether through specific vulnerability, family caring responsibilities or an abundance of caution may be reluctant to re-enter a workplace even though the employer feels it is safe to do so. The Government would encourage employers to engage constructively with such workers and their representatives and try to find solutions that are agreeable to all.

If anyone has concerns that employers are not taking all reasonably practicable steps to reduce the risks of COVID-19, they should get in touch with their employee representative or union, or with the Health and Safety Executive. Health and safety legislation is enforced by the Health and Safety Executive, the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland and by local authorities. We have been clear that there will be Health and Safety Executive spot checks on businesses to ensure they keep their employees safe. If the enforcing authority finds that an employer is not taking action to properly manage workplace risk, a range of actions are is open to them including specific advice or issuing enforcement notices.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure that people with learning disabilities have access to the internet and are supported with using technology during the covid-19 outbreak.

To tackle the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on disabled people DCMS launched the £2.5m digital inclusion Digital Lifeline fund on 25 February. The fund will provide 5000 devices, data and support for disabled people to use the devices safely and confidently.

The government is working on the project with leading digital inclusion charities Good Things Foundation and AbilityNet, both highly experienced in helping disabled people boost their mental health and achieve their goals through digital technology.

The Government has worked closely with industry throughout the pandemic and has agreed a set of commitments with the UK’s major broadband and mobile operators to support vulnerable consumers during the Covid-19 period. Providers committed to working with customers who are finding it difficult to pay their bill as a result of Covid-19 to ensure that they are treated fairly and appropriately supported. Supplementary to this work, Ofcom published a Vulnerability Guide for providers, setting out its expectations and good practice on how vulnerable telecoms consumers should be supported.

1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will provide additional support to organisations working to tackle loneliness and isolation amongst older people in Budget 2021.

The Spring Budget did not include additional support specifically for organisations working to tackle loneliness and isolation amongst older people.

The government has rolled out a substantial package of support which has been available to charities and the wider voluntary sector. Together with the sector-specific £750million package and pan economy measures such as the furlough scheme, the VCSE sector has accessed a multi-billion pound package of support. This has helped to ensure that organisations at risk of financial hardship have been able to continue their vital work supporting the country during the coronavirus outbreak.

As part of this package of support, we have provided over £30 million this financial year to organisations which support people experiencing loneliness or social isolation. Most recently we launched the £4 million Local Connections Fund, made up of £2 million from government and £2 million from the National Lottery Community Fund, supporting small local organisations tackling loneliness. A second round of this funding will open later this year.

25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department has taken to tackle suicide chat forums since the death of Callie Lewis.

The Online Harms White Paper set out government’s plans to establish in law a new duty of care on companies towards their users, enforced by an independent regulator. As part of our plans, companies will be required to take action to address harmful suicide and self-harm content that provides graphic details of suicide methods and self-harming, including encouragement of self-harm and suicide.

There are already arrangements between companies and charities to improve the identification and removal of content when it is reported, and services that signpost help and supportive content to users. The Samaritans has a strategic partnership with social media companies and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC). The partnership works together to set guidance on moderating suicide and self-harm content, and supporting users to stay safe online.

24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to consult those with learning disabilities on the work that Adult Learning centres offer.

We recognise the importance of engaging all adults, particularly those with additional needs, to provide them with the skills and learning they need to equip them for work, an apprenticeship or further learning.

We are continuing to invest in education and skills training for adults through the Adult Education Budget (AEB) which fully funds, or co-funds, skills provision for eligible adults aged 19 and above from pre-entry to level 3, to help them gain the skills they need for work, an apprenticeship or further learning.

Community Learning within the AEB plays a particularly vital role in supporting those furthest from the workplace, and in improving the health and well-being of learners. Delivered in nearly every local authority area across England through adult education services, FE colleges, Institutes of Adult Learning, other training providers and voluntary sector organisations, this provision is an important stepping-stone for learners who are not ready for formal accredited learning, or who would benefit from learning in a more informal way particularly for (post-19) disadvantaged learners.

Community Learning is funded through the Education and Skills Funding Agency and the AEB, which requires providers to prioritise disadvantaged learners, particularly learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, learners with low basic skills, learners with mental health issues, and learners facing financial hardship. Colleges and training providers have the freedom and flexibility to determine how they use their Community Learning funding, to determine how best to meet their learners needs.

Currently, approximately half of the AEB has been devolved to seven Mayoral Combined Authorities (MCAs) and the Mayor of London, acting where appropriate through the Greater London Authority (GLA). Devolving the AEB enables MCAs/GLA to directly support adults in developing the skills that local employers need, reducing skills shortages, boosting productivity and economic prosperity, and improving wellbeing in communities. The GLA is responsible for funding AEB learners resident in Lewisham West and Penge.

Any consultation with learners, including those with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, on the local adult learning offer is the responsibility of local AEB funded providers, MCAs and the GLA.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the recently announced £300 million of catch up tutoring will go directly to schools.

On 24 February 2021, the Government announced a new £700 million plan to help young people catch up on lost education due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This package includes funding that will be provided directly to schools as well as funding for national support programmes that will provide additional capacity to support schools.

The funding includes:

  • A new one-off £302 million Recovery Premium for state primary and secondary schools, building on the Pupil Premium, to further support pupils who need it most. The average primary school will receive around £6,000 extra, and the average secondary school around £22,000 extra. This will help schools to bolster summer provision for their pupils, for example, laying on additional clubs and activities, or for evidence-based approaches for supporting the most disadvantaged pupils from September 2021.
  • £200 million (from the £300 million announced by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister in January 2021) will expand our successful tutoring programmes targeted at disadvantaged pupils. This will fund an £83 million expansion of the National Tutoring Programme for primary and secondary schools, which has been shown to boost catch up learning by as much as 3 to 5 months; a £102 million extension of the 16 to 19 Tuition Fund for a further year to support more pupils in English, maths and other vocational and academic subjects; and £18 million funding to support language development in the early years, supporting a critical stage of child development.
  • £200 million (including the final £100 million from the Prime Minister’s announcement) will be available to secondary schools to deliver face to face summer schools. Schools will be able to target provision based on pupils’ needs but the Government is suggesting they may want to initially target incoming Year 7 pupils. This is alongside wider support funded through our Holiday Activities and Food Programme across the country.

20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what financial support he is providing to the wraparound care sector in response to the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

We recognise that the wraparound childcare sector, like many sectors, is facing unprecedented financial pressures as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. It is for this reason that the government has made a range of financial packages of support available for businesses to access throughout the current crisis. This includes tax relief, business loans or cash grants through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, as well as a £594 million discretionary fund for councils and the devolved administrations to support local businesses that may not be eligible for other support during the current national lockdown.

While the department does not hold a central register of all wraparound provision and is therefore not able to give an assessment on the closure of providers, we do however recognise the value this sector offers to our children and young people, in terms of the enriching activities they provide and the valuable support they provide to our critical worker parents, and vulnerable children. That is why we have encouraged all local authorities to consider what local grants could be used to bolster this part of the childcare sector in their areas to safeguard sufficient childcare provision for children of critical workers and vulnerable children. This includes discretionary funding, such as the £594 million fund provided by government to local authorities to help them support local businesses, as well funding streams such as the Holiday Activities and Food Programme. The expanded programme, which comprises a £220 million fund to be delivered through grants to local authorities, will be expanded to reach all local authority areas over the Easter, summer, and Christmas holidays in 2021.

We are also acutely aware of the impact that the COVID-19 outbreak has had on young people and the vital role our childcare and youth services play. That is why more than £60 million of the unprecedented £750 million package for the voluntary and charity sector has been directed towards organisations supporting children and young people. More recently a £16.5 million youth COVID-19 support fund has been announced, which will protect the immediate future of grassroots and national youth organisations across the country. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-165-million-youth-covid-19-support-fund. This is on top of £200 million government investment in early intervention and prevention support initiatives to support children and young people at risk of exploitation and involvement in serious violence, through the Youth Endowment Fund.

In addition, the Youth Investment Fund remains a manifesto commitment for transformative levelling up across the country over the course of the parliament. In the recently announced Spending Review, £30 million of this was committed as capital investment for financial year 2021-22. This will provide a transformational investment in new and refurbished safe spaces for young people, so they can access support youth workers, and positive activities out of school, including sport and culture.



Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the level of funding support available to the wraparound care sector on the ability of businesses within that sector to remain financially viable during the covid-19 outbreak.

We recognise that the wraparound childcare sector, like many sectors, is facing unprecedented financial pressures as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. It is for this reason that the government has made a range of financial packages of support available for businesses to access throughout the current crisis. This includes tax relief, business loans or cash grants through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, as well as a £594 million discretionary fund for councils and the devolved administrations to support local businesses that may not be eligible for other support during the current national lockdown.

While the department does not hold a central register of all wraparound provision and is therefore not able to give an assessment on the closure of providers, we do however recognise the value this sector offers to our children and young people, in terms of the enriching activities they provide and the valuable support they provide to our critical worker parents, and vulnerable children. That is why we have encouraged all local authorities to consider what local grants could be used to bolster this part of the childcare sector in their areas to safeguard sufficient childcare provision for children of critical workers and vulnerable children. This includes discretionary funding, such as the £594 million fund provided by government to local authorities to help them support local businesses, as well funding streams such as the Holiday Activities and Food Programme. The expanded programme, which comprises a £220 million fund to be delivered through grants to local authorities, will be expanded to reach all local authority areas over the Easter, summer, and Christmas holidays in 2021.

We are also acutely aware of the impact that the COVID-19 outbreak has had on young people and the vital role our childcare and youth services play. That is why more than £60 million of the unprecedented £750 million package for the voluntary and charity sector has been directed towards organisations supporting children and young people. More recently a £16.5 million youth COVID-19 support fund has been announced, which will protect the immediate future of grassroots and national youth organisations across the country. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-165-million-youth-covid-19-support-fund. This is on top of £200 million government investment in early intervention and prevention support initiatives to support children and young people at risk of exploitation and involvement in serious violence, through the Youth Endowment Fund.

In addition, the Youth Investment Fund remains a manifesto commitment for transformative levelling up across the country over the course of the parliament. In the recently announced Spending Review, £30 million of this was committed as capital investment for financial year 2021-22. This will provide a transformational investment in new and refurbished safe spaces for young people, so they can access support youth workers, and positive activities out of school, including sport and culture.



Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to provide financial support to the wraparound care sector in response to the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

We recognise that the wraparound childcare sector, like many sectors, is facing unprecedented financial pressures as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. It is for this reason that the government has made a range of financial packages of support available for businesses to access throughout the current crisis. This includes tax relief, business loans or cash grants through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, as well as a £594 million discretionary fund for councils and the devolved administrations to support local businesses that may not be eligible for other support during the current national lockdown.

While the department does not hold a central register of all wraparound provision and is therefore not able to give an assessment on the closure of providers, we do however recognise the value this sector offers to our children and young people, in terms of the enriching activities they provide and the valuable support they provide to our critical worker parents, and vulnerable children. That is why we have encouraged all local authorities to consider what local grants could be used to bolster this part of the childcare sector in their areas to safeguard sufficient childcare provision for children of critical workers and vulnerable children. This includes discretionary funding, such as the £594 million fund provided by government to local authorities to help them support local businesses, as well funding streams such as the Holiday Activities and Food Programme. The expanded programme, which comprises a £220 million fund to be delivered through grants to local authorities, will be expanded to reach all local authority areas over the Easter, summer, and Christmas holidays in 2021.

We are also acutely aware of the impact that the COVID-19 outbreak has had on young people and the vital role our childcare and youth services play. That is why more than £60 million of the unprecedented £750 million package for the voluntary and charity sector has been directed towards organisations supporting children and young people. More recently a £16.5 million youth COVID-19 support fund has been announced, which will protect the immediate future of grassroots and national youth organisations across the country. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-announces-165-million-youth-covid-19-support-fund. This is on top of £200 million government investment in early intervention and prevention support initiatives to support children and young people at risk of exploitation and involvement in serious violence, through the Youth Endowment Fund.

In addition, the Youth Investment Fund remains a manifesto commitment for transformative levelling up across the country over the course of the parliament. In the recently announced Spending Review, £30 million of this was committed as capital investment for financial year 2021-22. This will provide a transformational investment in new and refurbished safe spaces for young people, so they can access support youth workers, and positive activities out of school, including sport and culture.



Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many early years childcare providers have closed in each of the last five years; and what estimate he has made of the number of such providers that will close in the next 12 months.

This is a matter for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to tackle funding deficit between the hourly costs of delivering a funded childcare place for a two-year-old and the rate paid to providers compared to places for three and four-year-olds.

The government continues to support families with their childcare costs. My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 25 November a further £44 million investment in 2021-22.

We can now also confirm that in 2021-22 we will increase the hourly funding rates for all local authorities by 8p an hour for the 2 year old entitlement and, for the vast majority of areas, by 6p an hour for the 3 and 4 year old entitlement. This will pay for a rate increase that is higher than the costs nurseries may face from the uplift to the national living wage in April.

We are also increasing the minimum funding floor - meaning no council can receive less than £4.44 per hour for the 3 and 4 year old entitlements.

The small number of local authorities who have been protected from large drops to their funding rate as a result of the ‘loss cap’ will have their 2020-21 hourly funding rates for 3 and 4 year olds maintained in 2021-22. 2 of these authorities will see an increase to their hourly rate as they come off the loss cap in 2021-22.

In 2021-22, the average hourly funding rate for a 3-4 year old for the 15 hours universal entitlement in England will be £4.91 and the average hourly funding rate for a 2 year old in England will be £5.56.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have monitored the health of the early years market through continual contact with early years sector organisations through regular meetings and working groups. We have ensured that early years providers have been able to access all the support available by continuing to fund the free childcare entitlements and via the package of additional support provided by the government, which includes Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS,) business rates relief, income support and job retention schemes.

We have also updated the CJRS guidance, so that all providers who have seen a drop in their overall income are able to furlough any staff, so long as they were on payroll on or before 30 October, and aren’t required for delivering the government’s funded entitlements. Providers should consult the full guidance on the CJRS scheme before submitting a claim. Childminders may use the Self Employment Income Support Scheme. The sector has also benefitted from business rates holidays and business loans.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made the financial losses sustained by childcare providers due to the covid-19 outbreak; and what plans he has to prevent mass closures in that sector.

The government continues to support families with their childcare costs. My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 25 November a further £44 million investment in 2021-22.

We can now also confirm that in 2021-22 we will increase the hourly funding rates for all local authorities by 8p an hour for the 2 year old entitlement and, for the vast majority of areas, by 6p an hour for the 3 and 4 year old entitlement. This will pay for a rate increase that is higher than the costs nurseries may face from the uplift to the national living wage in April.

We are also increasing the minimum funding floor - meaning no council can receive less than £4.44 per hour for the 3 and 4 year old entitlements.

The small number of local authorities who have been protected from large drops to their funding rate as a result of the ‘loss cap’ will have their 2020-21 hourly funding rates for 3 and 4 year olds maintained in 2021-22. 2 of these authorities will see an increase to their hourly rate as they come off the loss cap in 2021-22.

In 2021-22, the average hourly funding rate for a 3-4 year old for the 15 hours universal entitlement in England will be £4.91 and the average hourly funding rate for a 2 year old in England will be £5.56.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have monitored the health of the early years market through continual contact with early years sector organisations through regular meetings and working groups. We have ensured that early years providers have been able to access all the support available by continuing to fund the free childcare entitlements and via the package of additional support provided by the government, which includes Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS,) business rates relief, income support and job retention schemes.

We have also updated the CJRS guidance, so that all providers who have seen a drop in their overall income are able to furlough any staff, so long as they were on payroll on or before 30 October, and aren’t required for delivering the government’s funded entitlements. Providers should consult the full guidance on the CJRS scheme before submitting a claim. Childminders may use the Self Employment Income Support Scheme. The sector has also benefitted from business rates holidays and business loans.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of the minimum wage increase on the childcare sector; and if he will make it his policy to increase the per child funding rate for the (a) 16 and (b) 30 hours childcare entitlement.

The government continues to support families with their childcare costs. My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 25 November a further £44 million investment in 2021-22.

We can now also confirm that in 2021-22 we will increase the hourly funding rates for all local authorities by 8p an hour for the 2 year old entitlement and, for the vast majority of areas, by 6p an hour for the 3 and 4 year old entitlement. This will pay for a rate increase that is higher than the costs nurseries may face from the uplift to the national living wage in April.

We are also increasing the minimum funding floor - meaning no council can receive less than £4.44 per hour for the 3 and 4 year old entitlements.

The small number of local authorities who have been protected from large drops to their funding rate as a result of the ‘loss cap’ will have their 2020-21 hourly funding rates for 3 and 4 year olds maintained in 2021-22. 2 of these authorities will see an increase to their hourly rate as they come off the loss cap in 2021-22.

In 2021-22, the average hourly funding rate for a 3-4 year old for the 15 hours universal entitlement in England will be £4.91 and the average hourly funding rate for a 2 year old in England will be £5.56.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have monitored the health of the early years market through continual contact with early years sector organisations through regular meetings and working groups. We have ensured that early years providers have been able to access all the support available by continuing to fund the free childcare entitlements and via the package of additional support provided by the government, which includes Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS,) business rates relief, income support and job retention schemes.

We have also updated the CJRS guidance, so that all providers who have seen a drop in their overall income are able to furlough any staff, so long as they were on payroll on or before 30 October, and aren’t required for delivering the government’s funded entitlements. Providers should consult the full guidance on the CJRS scheme before submitting a claim. Childminders may use the Self Employment Income Support Scheme. The sector has also benefitted from business rates holidays and business loans.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what specific steps he is taking to allocate funds to improve the affordability of childcare.

The government continues to support families with their childcare costs. My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 25 November a further £44 million investment in 2021-22.

We can now also confirm that in 2021-22 we will increase the hourly funding rates for all local authorities by 8p an hour for the 2 year old entitlement and, for the vast majority of areas, by 6p an hour for the 3 and 4 year old entitlement. This will pay for a rate increase that is higher than the costs nurseries may face from the uplift to the national living wage in April.

We are also increasing the minimum funding floor - meaning no council can receive less than £4.44 per hour for the 3 and 4 year old entitlements.

The small number of local authorities who have been protected from large drops to their funding rate as a result of the ‘loss cap’ will have their 2020-21 hourly funding rates for 3 and 4 year olds maintained in 2021-22. 2 of these authorities will see an increase to their hourly rate as they come off the loss cap in 2021-22.

In 2021-22, the average hourly funding rate for a 3-4 year old for the 15 hours universal entitlement in England will be £4.91 and the average hourly funding rate for a 2 year old in England will be £5.56.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have monitored the health of the early years market through continual contact with early years sector organisations through regular meetings and working groups. We have ensured that early years providers have been able to access all the support available by continuing to fund the free childcare entitlements and via the package of additional support provided by the government, which includes Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS,) business rates relief, income support and job retention schemes.

We have also updated the CJRS guidance, so that all providers who have seen a drop in their overall income are able to furlough any staff, so long as they were on payroll on or before 30 October, and aren’t required for delivering the government’s funded entitlements. Providers should consult the full guidance on the CJRS scheme before submitting a claim. Childminders may use the Self Employment Income Support Scheme. The sector has also benefitted from business rates holidays and business loans.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Nov 2020
What steps he is taking to close the gap in (a) educational outcomes and (b) levels of wellbeing between disadvantaged children and their peers.

All children have had their education disrupted by the the COVID-19 outbreak. The government has announced a catch up package worth £1 billion, including a ‘Catch up Premium’ worth a total of £650m to support schools to make up for lost teaching time.

To help schools make the best use of this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation has published a support guide for schools with evidence-based approaches to catch up for all students and a further school planning guide: 2020 to 2021.

Alongside this universal grant, a National Tutoring Programme worth £350 million will deliver proven, successful interventions to the most disadvantaged young people. Research shows high quality individual and small group tuition can add up to 5 months of progress for disadvantaged pupils.

Schools continue to receive the pupil premium each quarter. As schools’ original pupil premium strategies will not have been delivered since March, and the pupils’ needs will have changed or intensified, we recommend that, as part of the planning for needs-based universal catch up, school leaders review their pupil premium strategy and amend it to reflect the new situation from this term.

We have put in place an unprecedented range of action to help schools to develop whole school approaches to mental health and wellbeing, including our £8 million Wellbeing for Education Return training; and trials of approaches to promote positive mental wellbeing in schools, which aim to provide evidence on what works in a school setting to support children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

We recognise that disadvantaged children may not have access to the resources to undertake remote education. That’s why we’ve invested over £195 million to support access to remote education and online social care.

As part of this, we’re making over 340,000 laptops and tablets available this term to support disadvantaged children in year 3 to 11 whose face-to-face education may be disrupted. This supplements over 220,000 laptops and tablets and over 50,000 4G wireless routers, which have already been delivered during the summer term. This represents an injection of over half-a-million laptops and tablets by the end of the year.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans are in place to establish track and trace systems in schools.

The new NHS Test and Trace service was launched on 28 May across England. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and will need to share information about their recent interactions. The Government has recruited 25,000 contact tracers, able to track 10,000 new cases a day.

If a child or young person in school develops symptoms compatible with COVID-19, they should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 7 days and arrange to have a test. Where the child or young person tests positive, traced close contacts, including the rest of their small group, should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days.

As part of the national test and trace programme, if further positive test results arise among the child’s class or school, Public Health England’s local Health Protection Teams will conduct a rapid investigation into the outbreak and will advise schools and other settings on the most appropriate action to take. In some cases, a larger number of other children may be asked to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what (a) financial support and (b) guidance he has issued to (i) educational providers and (ii) others on the safe return of SEND pupils to school.

The department is providing financial support through providing additional funding to schools, on top of existing budgets, to cover unavoidable costs incurred due to the COVID-19 outbreak that cannot be met from their existing resources. This would include any costs incurred supporting the safe return of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) to school. Details of this can be found in the ‘School funding: exceptional costs associated with COVID-19 for the period March to July 2020’ guidance, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-schools/school-funding-exceptional-costs-associated-with-coronavirus-covid-19-for-the-period-march-to-july-2020.

On the 26 May 2020, the department published its ‘Supporting children and young people with SEND [special educational needs and disabilities] as schools and colleges prepare for wider opening’ guidance, which was written with help from SEND sector organisations. It outlines pragmatic approaches that local authorities, educational settings, and parents or carers may wish to take to support children and young people with SEND as schools and colleges prepare for wider opening. The guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-send-risk-assessment-guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-send-risk-assessment-guidance.

This guidance builds upon the department’s wider guidance for ‘Safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care settings’, ‘Implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings’, and ‘Opening schools and educational settings to more pupils from 1 June 2020’.

This was supplemented by an open letter from myself to children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, their parents, carers and families, and others who support them, about the wider opening of schools, colleges and other educational settings from 1 June 2020.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the (a) adequacy and (b) effectiveness of consultation periods used by schools to consult parents on proposals to establish feeder arrangements.

School admission arrangements must comply with the School Admissions Code. The Code permits admission arrangements which give priority to children who attend named feeder schools. It also requires that the selection of feeder schools is transparent and made on reasonable grounds. In addition, the Code requires that admission arrangements are fair.

The School Admissions Code requires admission authorities to consult locally before making changes to their admission arrangements. They must consult for a minimum of 6 weeks between 1 October and 31 January in the school year before the arrangements come into effect. The Code specifies the people and organisations that the admission authority must consult. This includes local parents, other local schools and the local authority.

The admission authority must then determine its admission arrangements by 28 February and publish them on its website. Anyone who considers the determined admission arrangements are unlawful or unfair may complain to the Schools Adjudicator. Where the Adjudicator upholds a complaint, the admission authority is required to amend their admission arrangements.

In the Office of the Schools Adjudicator’s annual report for the 2016-17 school year, the Adjudicator stated, ‘If the giving of priority by a secondary school to children from certain feeder primaries means that other children will face a significantly longer or more difficult journey to different schools as a result, then the arrangements are likely to be found to be unfair.’ The report is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/osa-annual-report.

The Department collects pupil forecasts from each local authority through the annual school capacity survey. The latest published data relates to the position in the 2017-18 school year. Secondary pupil numbers in Bromley local authority are forecast to increase by 3,214 (12%) from 23,618 in 2019-20 to 26,832 in 2024-25, as seen in the table below.

Table 1: Secondary pupil forecasts for Bromley local authority

School year

Bromley local authority secondary pupil total

2019-20

23,618

2020-21

24,415

2021-22

25,281

2022-23

25,991

2023-24

26,561

2024-25

26,832

Further information can be found in the place planning tables at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/school-capacity-academic-year-2017-to-2018.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the increase in the number of secondary school places in Bromley in each of the next five years; and what assessment he has made of the potential effect of feeder school arrangements on that increase.

School admission arrangements must comply with the School Admissions Code. The Code permits admission arrangements which give priority to children who attend named feeder schools. It also requires that the selection of feeder schools is transparent and made on reasonable grounds. In addition, the Code requires that admission arrangements are fair.

The School Admissions Code requires admission authorities to consult locally before making changes to their admission arrangements. They must consult for a minimum of 6 weeks between 1 October and 31 January in the school year before the arrangements come into effect. The Code specifies the people and organisations that the admission authority must consult. This includes local parents, other local schools and the local authority.

The admission authority must then determine its admission arrangements by 28 February and publish them on its website. Anyone who considers the determined admission arrangements are unlawful or unfair may complain to the Schools Adjudicator. Where the Adjudicator upholds a complaint, the admission authority is required to amend their admission arrangements.

In the Office of the Schools Adjudicator’s annual report for the 2016-17 school year, the Adjudicator stated, ‘If the giving of priority by a secondary school to children from certain feeder primaries means that other children will face a significantly longer or more difficult journey to different schools as a result, then the arrangements are likely to be found to be unfair.’ The report is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/osa-annual-report.

The Department collects pupil forecasts from each local authority through the annual school capacity survey. The latest published data relates to the position in the 2017-18 school year. Secondary pupil numbers in Bromley local authority are forecast to increase by 3,214 (12%) from 23,618 in 2019-20 to 26,832 in 2024-25, as seen in the table below.

Table 1: Secondary pupil forecasts for Bromley local authority

School year

Bromley local authority secondary pupil total

2019-20

23,618

2020-21

24,415

2021-22

25,281

2022-23

25,991

2023-24

26,561

2024-25

26,832

Further information can be found in the place planning tables at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/school-capacity-academic-year-2017-to-2018.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect on freedom of secondary school choice for primary schools pupils not in a feeder school in Bromley of the Harris Federation and Langley Park Learning Trust setting up feeder arrangements.

School admission arrangements must comply with the School Admissions Code. The Code permits admission arrangements which give priority to children who attend named feeder schools. It also requires that the selection of feeder schools is transparent and made on reasonable grounds. In addition, the Code requires that admission arrangements are fair.

The School Admissions Code requires admission authorities to consult locally before making changes to their admission arrangements. They must consult for a minimum of 6 weeks between 1 October and 31 January in the school year before the arrangements come into effect. The Code specifies the people and organisations that the admission authority must consult. This includes local parents, other local schools and the local authority.

The admission authority must then determine its admission arrangements by 28 February and publish them on its website. Anyone who considers the determined admission arrangements are unlawful or unfair may complain to the Schools Adjudicator. Where the Adjudicator upholds a complaint, the admission authority is required to amend their admission arrangements.

In the Office of the Schools Adjudicator’s annual report for the 2016-17 school year, the Adjudicator stated, ‘If the giving of priority by a secondary school to children from certain feeder primaries means that other children will face a significantly longer or more difficult journey to different schools as a result, then the arrangements are likely to be found to be unfair.’ The report is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/osa-annual-report.

The Department collects pupil forecasts from each local authority through the annual school capacity survey. The latest published data relates to the position in the 2017-18 school year. Secondary pupil numbers in Bromley local authority are forecast to increase by 3,214 (12%) from 23,618 in 2019-20 to 26,832 in 2024-25, as seen in the table below.

Table 1: Secondary pupil forecasts for Bromley local authority

School year

Bromley local authority secondary pupil total

2019-20

23,618

2020-21

24,415

2021-22

25,281

2022-23

25,991

2023-24

26,561

2024-25

26,832

Further information can be found in the place planning tables at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/school-capacity-academic-year-2017-to-2018.

16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that people that are (a) elderly, (b) vulnerable and (c) required to self-isolate receive food deliveries.

We are working closely across Government, with representatives of the food supply chain and with local authorities and charities to ensure that people who need to stay at home will have continued access to food.

To help supermarkets, the Government has already introduced new measures to keep food supply flowing. We have temporarily relaxed elements of competition law to enable supermarkets to work more closely together to ensure people can access the products they need. Food retailers will now be able to share data on their stock levels, cooperate to keep stores open and share staff, distribution depots and delivery vehicles. This will help keep shops open and staffed and better able to meet high demand. Guidance has been issued to local authorities to show flexibility to allow extended delivery hours to supermarkets to ensure shelves can be replenished more quickly. The Transport Secretary has also announced a temporary and limited relaxation of the drivers’ hours rules so that more goods can be delivered to every store every day. We welcome the actions that industry is taking, including hiring more staff, including prioritising delivery slots for those that need them most.

The Government is working to ensure that up to 1.5 million people in England identified by the NHS as being at higher risk of severe illness if they contract Coronavirus will have access to the food they need. A new Local Support System will make sure those individuals self-isolating at home and who are without a support network of friends and family will receive basic groceries. The Government is working with a partnership of the groceries industry, local government, local resilience forums and emergency partners, and voluntary groups, to ensure that essential items can start to be delivered as soon as possible to those who need it.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what guidance he has issued to businesses on preventing members of the public from stockpiling (a) food and (b) other essential products.

The Government has well-established ways of working with the food industry during disruption to supply situations. Our retailers already have highly resilient supply chains and they are working around the clock to ensure people have the food and products they need. Industry is adapting quickly to any changes in demands, and food supply into and across the UK is resilient.

The Secretary of State is in regular dialogue with industry, including the British Retail Consortium and supermarket chief executives to discuss any additional support the Government can provide. To help supermarkets respond to this unprecedented demand we have already introduced new measures to keep food supply flowing. We have issued guidance to local authorities to allow extended delivery hours to supermarkets so that shelves can be filled up quicker, and we have implemented extensions to drivers’ hours.

We fully recognise the additional pressures on our food supply chain as a result of recent events. The UK’s major supermarkets have last weekend issued a statement to encourage everyone to shop as they normally would and pull together to support those staying at home.

We will continue to work closely with the industry over the coming days and months.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the suitability of the 26-week period of employment required for expectant mothers to qualify for statutory maternity leave; and whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of reducing that qualification period.

Statutory Maternity Leave (SML) is a “day one” right. This means that all employed women are entitled to 52 weeks’ SML if they are pregnant or give birth, provided they give their employer the correct notice.

To qualify for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), a woman must have been continuously employed by the same employer for at least 26 weeks when she enters the 15th week before the week her baby is due. Once a woman has qualified for SMP, her employer must pay it to her even if she subsequently leaves their employment or is made redundant.

These criteria is designed to achieve a balance between the needs of the employer and those of a pregnant employee, ensuring that a woman has made a reasonable contribution towards her employer's business before that employer is required to administer Statutory Maternity Payments, and bear a proportion of the cost.

There are currently no plans to change the qualification period for SMP.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent progress her Department has made on tackling child poverty.

Throughout the pandemic, our priority has been to protect incomes, including additional spending of over £7.4 billion last year, to strengthen welfare support for people of working age.

The evidence shows having parents in work is the most effective way of tackling child poverty, which is why we have invested £407 billion in protecting jobs throughout the pandemic, and why we are spending over £30 billion on a comprehensive plan for jobs to help people back into work

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent employment support her Department is providing to people with learning disabilities to find jobs they are able to apply for and secure employment.

DWP has a range of initiatives to support disabled people, including people with learning disabilities, to stay in and enter work. These include the Work and Health Programme, one-to-one support and training through the Intensive Personalised Employment Support programme, Access to Work, Disability Confident and support in partnership with the health system, including Employment Advice in NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapy services.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have provided specialist employment support remotely, and made programmes easier to access.

Disability Employment Advisers support DWP colleagues by developing their skills to understand the interaction between individuals, their health and disability and employment, to help them to provide more personalised support, tailored to each claimant’s individual needs. They proactively share knowledge and information with work coaches about health and disability, national and local provision, services, training and employment opportunities.

24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what (a) assessment he has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities and (b) recent steps his Department has taken to ensure that people with learning disabilities can still access employment opportunities during the covid-19 outbreak.

DWP has a range of initiatives to support disabled people, including people with learning disabilities, to stay in and enter work. These include the Work and Health Programme, one-to-one support and training through the Intensive Personalised Employment Support programme, Access to Work, Disability Confident and support in partnership with the health system, including Employment Advice in NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapy services. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have provided specialist employment support remotely, and made programmes easier to access.

Disability Employment Advisers support DWP colleagues by developing their skills to understand the interaction between individuals, their health and disability and employment, to help them to provide more personalised support, tailored to each claimant’s individual needs. They proactively share knowledge and information with work coaches about health and disability, national and local provision, services, training and employment opportunities.

16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the adequacy of statutory sick pay in covering individual weekly living expenses; and if she will increase the value of that pay to the European average during the covid-19 outbreak.

The current Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) rate is the legal minimum rate that an employer must pay to an employee; many employers have their own occupational health schemes. Our welfare system is not directly comparable with other European countries. The SSP system is designed to balance support for the individual with the costs to the employer and, as such, there are no plans to make this change. The Government has been clear in its commitment to support those affected in these difficult times and we have made a number of changes to the welfare system in the past fortnight to ensure people are supported in doing this. These changes include:

  • making it easier to access benefits. Those applying for Contributory ESA will be able to claim from day 1 – as opposed to day 8 - and we have removed the need for face-to-face assessment. Both Universal Credit and Contributory ESA can now be claimed by phone or online;
  • increasing the standard allowance of Universal Credit and working tax credit for this year by around £1000 per year; and
  • increasing in the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants so that it covers the cheapest third of local rents – which is on average £600 in people’s pockets.

Together, these measures represent an injection of over £6.5 billion into the welfare system.

15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of staffing levels at long covid clinics.

No formal assessment has been made.

NHS England and NHS Improvement operate 90 post-COVID-19 assessment services across England. Integrated care systems have developed service expansion plans, including increasing workforce capacity. Services are currently recruiting a expert clinical teams, including psychologists, physiotherapists, nurses and occupational therapists. This includes the creation of a care coordination role to support integrated care across the local post-COVID-19 pathway. In July 2021, NHS England and NHS Improvement announced an additional investment of £100 million bringing total National Health Service funding in England to £134 million.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the UK delegation to the Ninth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP9) to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control will include a gender balance in line with the WHO's request that representatives follow United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES/58/142 on women and political participation.

Our delegation to the Ninth session of the Conference of the Parties consists of four female and two male representatives.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of prison inmates have been (a) offered a covid-19 vaccine and (b) vaccinated against covid-19.

All eligible prisoners in England have been offered a COVID-19 vaccine and according to the latest available data, 44% are now fully vaccinated with two doses. This includes 80% of those over 50 years old and 37% of the under 50 year old population.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to finding by the Parent-Infant Foundation in 2019 that 42 per cent of CCGs reported local CAMHS services would not accept a referral for a child aged two and under, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that NHS CAMHS services do not turn away children under two.

We remain committed to the aim of the NHS Long Term Plan to invest at least an extra £2.3 billion a year into mental health by 2023/24. This will see an additional 345,000 children and young people a year, including the youngest children, accessing NHS-funded mental health support by 2023/24, if they need it.

Commissioning mental health services for the youngest age groups is a local matter for clinical commission groups. However, the Government recently published it’s Early Years Review which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-best-start-for-life-a-vision-for-the-1001-critical-days.

Babies and the youngest children in England will get a better start in life following the publication of a review into reducing inequalities in the first 1,001 days of life. This includes every new parent and carer being able to access compassionate and timely mental health support if they need it. To implement this work, the Department will work with Public Health England, NHS England and NHS Improvement as well as local authorities to map out the Start for Life journey of parents and carers that captures how they experience digital, virtual and telephone-based services during the 1,001 critical days from conception to the age of 2. We will ensure parents and carers have an NHS-branded online ‘one stop shop’ to access all the information they need.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the NHS Long Term Plan goal that all children who need specialist mental health care can access it, what steps he has taken to ensure that the youngest children can access specialist mental health care.

We remain committed to the aim of the NHS Long Term Plan to invest at least an extra £2.3 billion a year into mental health by 2023/24. This will see an additional 345,000 children and young people a year, including the youngest children, accessing NHS-funded mental health support by 2023/24, if they need it.

Commissioning mental health services for the youngest age groups is a local matter for clinical commission groups. However, the Government recently published it’s Early Years Review which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-best-start-for-life-a-vision-for-the-1001-critical-days.

Babies and the youngest children in England will get a better start in life following the publication of a review into reducing inequalities in the first 1,001 days of life. This includes every new parent and carer being able to access compassionate and timely mental health support if they need it. To implement this work, the Department will work with Public Health England, NHS England and NHS Improvement as well as local authorities to map out the Start for Life journey of parents and carers that captures how they experience digital, virtual and telephone-based services during the 1,001 critical days from conception to the age of 2. We will ensure parents and carers have an NHS-branded online ‘one stop shop’ to access all the information they need.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of placing a statutory duty on Integrated Care Systems to deliver a strategy that improves outcomes and reduces inequalities in the mental and physical wellbeing of children aged under two.

The proposed legislation for integrated care systems (ICS) is designed to be flexible, allowing the system to continue to evolve and develop new and better ways of working, based on local needs and circumstances.

We expect ICS, in partnership with local agencies, to deliver targeted measures to support people at all stages of life, including measures to address health inequalities in the mental and physical wellbeing of children aged under two.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of mandated health visiting checks missed since covid-19 lockdown began in March 2020; and what steps he is taking in response to those mandated health visiting checks being missed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Public Health England has made no such estimate. Collection of quarterly and annual health visitor service delivery metrics covering has now restarted with the next publication of official statistics expected later in 2021.

Health visiting services have continued to deliver throughout the pandemic with virtual contact unless there has been a clinical or safeguarding need to ensure children remain safe and protected. The restoration framework for community health services for children and young people outlines a recommendation for services to move to restore health visiting services, following their prioritisation during the containment phase of the pandemic.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the level of funding required to deliver the two additional health visiting checks recommended in the Healthy Child Programme commissioning guidance published by Public Health England on 17 March 2021.

Public Health England has made no estimate.

Commissioning guidance provides a framework for local authorities to use and adapt to meet local needs. Additional, non-mandated contacts are described at ages three months or six months old, based on evidence and are outlined for local consideration. Health visitors should also use their clinical judgement to determine use of targeted interventions or referral.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of emerging Public Health England data indicating that the likelihood of babies receiving mandated health visiting checks varies based on ethnicity and level of deprivation.

Public Health England’s experimental statistical release is intended to provide greater visibility and emerging evidence on children who received mandated health visiting reviews accounting for ethnicity, deprivation and other characteristics. This data is in addition to the routinely available health visitor metrics and outcomes. Local authorities and their health visiting providers can use this data to inform their commissioning strategies and needs assessments to improve outcomes and reduce inequalities faced by children of minority ethnic or deprived backgrounds.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to improve accountability for delivering mandated health visiting checks in response to evidence from the Children’s Commissioner's Best Beginnings in the Early Years report that indicated up to 65 per cent of children were not receiving the two and a half year old check in some local areas.

Since publication of the Children’s Commissioner’s report ‘Best beginnings in the Early Years’, Public Health England (PHE) has published updated guidance for mandated health visits to support local decision-making on service commissioning and provision. The guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/healthy-child-programme-0-to-19-health-visitor-and-school-nurse-commissioning

To monitor implementation, PHE also continues to collect and publishes quarterly data on health visiting service metrics, which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/health-visitor-service-delivery-metrics-2019-to-2020

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the new Office for Health Promotion will take to (a) improve outcomes and (b) reduce inequalities in the mental and physical wellbeing of children aged under two.

The Office for Health Promotion (OHP) will bring health improvement focused expert advice, analysis and evidence together with policy development and delivery from Public Health England and the Department. This will include children and young people's health. We will present more detail on our plans for the OHP in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Apr 2021
What recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on NHS pay.

The independent Pay Review Bodies (PRBs) will make a recommendation on pay for National Health Service staff in the spring. In reaching their recommendations the PRBs will take into account the cost of living and inflation, recruitment and retention, morale and motivation, affordability and value for the taxpayer.  The Department works closely with HM Treasury when submitting evidence to the PRBs.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the needs of babies, children and young people in decisions on the restructure of Public Health England.

On Monday 29 March, we published ‘Transforming the Public Health System: Reforming the Public Health System for the challenges of our times’, which sets out our reform plans for the public health system. The publication can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/transforming-the-public-health-system

We are proposing to move most of the Public Health England functions that directly support development and delivery of national health improvement policy into the new Office for Health Promotion in the Department of Health and Social Care, alongside existing Departmental capability on prevention and health improvement, as they are integral to policy development and delivery, and directly support national decision-making. This will include subject-matter expertise on a range of important public health issues, including but not limited to obesity and nutrition, physical activity, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, sexual health, public mental health, children and young people's public health.

Our proposals will strengthen the system and ensure it can meet the needs of the population. This means improving health throughout the life course; from pregnancy and early years, all the way through to old age. We will present more detail on our plans and ambitions for improving the public's health later in 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish details on the future of Public Health England’s maternity and early years functions.

On Monday 29 March, we published ‘Transforming the Public Health System: Reforming the Public Health System for the challenges of our times’, which sets out our reform plans for the public health system. The publication can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/transforming-the-public-health-system

We are proposing to move most of the Public Health England functions that directly support development and delivery of national health improvement policy into the new Office for Health Promotion in the Department of Health and Social Care, alongside existing Departmental capability on prevention and health improvement, as they are integral to policy development and delivery, and directly support national decision-making. This will include subject-matter expertise on a range of important public health issues, including but not limited to obesity and nutrition, physical activity, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, sexual health, public mental health, children and young people's public health.

Our proposals will strengthen the system and ensure it can meet the needs of the population. This means improving health throughout the life course; from pregnancy and early years, all the way through to old age. We will present more detail on our plans and ambitions for improving the public's health later in 2021.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how often individuals and their recent contacts who are required to self-isolate are contacted; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the monitoring of adherence to the requirement to self-isolate.

NHS Test and Trace contacts those who have tested positive and the close recent contacts they provide by text, email and/or telephone and will call up to 10 times. NHS Test and Trace subsequently maintains contact with each person who is self-isolating on days four and seven of their self-isolation period. SMS messages or e-mails are sent on days two, five and eight.

NHS Test and Trace has carried out surveys of reported compliance with self-isolation for people who have tested positive and their contacts. Data is being compiled an assessment of the effectiveness of the monitoring of adherence to self-isolation has yet to be completed.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many Contact Tracing staff have recently been made redundant from the UK-wide symptomatic Covid Testing service; and what the reasons are for those redundancies.

Contact tracing staff are employed by commercial service providers and are separate to those involved with COVID-19 testing. We are not aware of any redundancies among contact tracing staff. Contact tracers are delivered through a number of provisional contracts that allow numbers of tracers to be scaled up and down according to demand.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the (a) efficiency and (b) availability of PCR covid-19 testing for care home employees and residents.

Regular testing is available for all staff, including agency staff, and residents in care homes.

Regular re-testing for all adult care homes has been available since 31 August 2020 through the care home registration portal. The regular re-testing regime in care homes requires staff to be tested once weekly using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, with two additional weekly lateral flow device (LFD) tests and residents are tested every 28 days using a PCR test.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the funding support available to the care home sector for the long-term financial viability of that sector.

As part of the 2020 Spending Review, the Government will provide councils with access to an additional £1 billion for social care next year. In addition, we expect to provide councils with estimated funding of around £3 billion to help manage the impact of COVID-19 across their services, including in adult social care and to compensate for income losses. This funding will support local authorities to maintain care services while keeping up with rising demand and recovering from the impact of COVID-19. Funding decisions on social care beyond 2021/22 will be decided at the next Spending Review. In the longer term, the Government is committed to sustainable improvement of the adult social care system and will bring forward proposals this year.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that working age adults living in care homes receive prioritised access to covid-19 vaccines.

There is clear evidence that those living in residential care homes for older adults have a high risk of exposure to infection and are at higher clinical risk of severe disease and mortality. Therefore, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised that this group should be the highest priority for vaccination as part of phase one.

Many younger adults in long-stay nursing and residential care settings will also be eligible for vaccination if they fall into a clinical risk group - for example, those with learning disabilities. Given the likely high risk of exposure in these settings, where a high proportion of the population would be considered eligible, vaccination of the whole resident population is recommended.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the capacity for regular covid-19 testing for care home employees.

Due to the increasing prevalence of the virus, the existing regime of weekly polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing was extended on 23 December 2020 to include two additional weekly lateral flow device (LFD) tests for care home staff. Additionally, the rapid response testing where all staff are tested daily for seven days using LFD test kits in response to a positive test result in tier 4 care homes which was announced on 23 December 2020 was extended to all care homes in England following the national lockdown announcement on 4 January 2021.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the ability and capacity of NHS Test and Trace to trace contacts in schools.

No such assessment has been made. Contact tracing in schools is carried out by schools, rather than NHS Test and Trace.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many contacts the average NHS Test and Trace contact tracer makes per day.

This information is currently not available in the format requested. During the period 31 December 2020 to 6 January 2021, an average of 11,749 contacts were completed every day by our contact tracers.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the ability of NHS Test and Trace to monitor self-isolating pupils.

No such assessment has been made. Contact tracing in schools is carried out by schools.

Any positive case identified should be reported to the school. The school should then use their risk assessment to identify close contacts of the index case and report cases via the Department for Education’s helpline. Advisors will inform them of any further action that may be required in response to the positive case.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure hospitalised users of (a) other languages and (b) British Sign Language have access to communication support.

National Health Service providers working with their NHS commissioners should be taking steps to ensure hospitalised users receive access to interpreters in community languages and British Sign Language (BSL).

NHS England and NHS Improvement published guidance for Interpreting and Translation principles in primary care. This guidance is available for NHS providers and commissioners to help them in their roles providing hospitalised patients with communication support, whether that is community languages or BSL.

The guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/primary-care/primary-care-commissioning/interpreting/

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure users of (a) other languages, (b) British Sign Language and (c) Braille have timely and accessible information on covid-19.

All guidance, statements and public information released by the Government are readily available to read online information on COVID-19 from Public Health England and the Department is translated into British Sign Language videos can be found at the following link:

https://www.signhealth.org.uk/

Resources for COVID-19 are currently available in nine other languages to ensure that support and advice can be given to non-English speakers. These languages are Polish, Welsh, Arabic (Modern), French, Simplified Chinese (Mandarin), Traditional Chinese (Cantonese), Punjabi, Urdu, Bengali, Gujarati, and Portuguese.

NHS England’s Accessible Information Standard sets out the National Health Service’s obligations around providing information in an accessible format for people who use British Sign Language and braille.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance he plans to issue to people aged 70 and over that are self-isolating to (a) combat loneliness and (b) stay fit and healthy.

Those who are self-isolating are protecting the lives of others, as well as making sure the National Health Service does not get overwhelmed. However, it can be difficult, frustrating and lonely for some people, especially if there is limited space or no access to a garden.

Guidance on looking after personal wellbeing while self-isolating is provided at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

This guidance advises those who are self-isolating to stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media, and signposts sources of support and information that can help, such as the? Every Mind Matters website, available at the following link:

https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/

The guidance also suggests activities such as cooking, reading, online learning and watching films, or taking part in light exercise within the home or garden if those who are self-isolating feel well enough.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he will introduce covid-19 testing for front line NHS and emergency service workers when they show symptoms for covid-19.

The United Kingdom has tested more people than almost any other major economy outside of China, South Korea, Germany and Italy.

We have boosted the number of labs undertaking testing while home testing and drive-through testing is also available in some areas.

We have increased the number of tests to 5,000 a day and it reached over 10,000 on 1 April.

Both key workers - such as health workers - and clinically high priority cases will be prioritised for testing.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government will take to ensure babies and children of parents requiring intensive care treatment as a result of covid-19 are looked after.

In many cases, other family members or friends of the parent(s) will provide temporary care. If there is no-one to look after the child, the local authority may need to take the child into temporary care.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to promote social distancing in response to the outbreak of covid-19.

The Government has commissioned a marketing campaign to promote social distancing, including television adverts, posters and via the use of social media.

The Government has introduced three new measures:

- Requiring people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes;

- Closing certain businesses and venues; and

- Stopping all gatherings of more than two people in public.

Every person in the United Kingdom must comply with these new measures, which came into effect on Monday 23 March. The relevant authorities, including the police, have been given the powers to enforce them – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase (a) the number of ventilators and (b) ICU capacity.

It is the Government’s priority that the National Health Service has appropriate equipment to respond to COVID-19. This includes the provision of intensive care beds. The Department is working closely with NHS England and the devolved administrations to ensure this is achieved.

NHS England is actively assessing the critical care capacity of NHS organisations and the availability of additional facilities in the independent sector. It is working to ensure that hospitals have as much ventilation equipment as required and, crucially, the skilled and trained people to use it.

A new temporary hospital - the NHS Nightingale hospital – will open at the Excel Centre in London next week. It will have capacity for 4,000 people.

Two new temporary hospitals will be set up at Birmingham's NEC and the Manchester conference centre and will be ready next month.

NHS England has agreed a major deal with the nation’s independent hospitals. The deal – the first of its kind ever - includes the provision of 8,000 hospital beds across England and nearly 1,200 more ventilators.

We have been buying up ventilation equipment since the start of the crisis. NHS England expects soon to have just short of 12,000 ventilators available and we have asked the nation’s advanced manufacturers to join a national effort to produce more.

Information on critical care bed capacity is published by NHS England and can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/critical-care-capacity/

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when testing for covid-19 will be made available for members of the public who are not hospitalised.

The United Kingdom has tested more people than almost any other major economy outside of China, South Korea, Germany and Italy.

We have boosted the number of labs undertaking testing while home testing and drive-through testing is also available in some areas.

We have increased the number of tests to 5,000 a day and it reached over 10,000 on 1 April.

Both key workers - such as health workers - and clinically high priority cases will be prioritised for testing.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) quality of care and (b) adequacy of support provided to mental health patients by caseworkers in community mental health teams.

The mental health workforce plan, ‘Stepping Forward: a mental health workforce plan for England’ sets out an ambition for 21,000 new posts across the mental health system occupied by 19,000 new staff. This plan also includes the aim for 6000 full time posts in mental health trusts to come through improved retention.


Under the NHS Long Term Plan, we have announced a £975 million investment in transforming community mental health services. The first tranche of funding will provide 12 pilot sites with 1,000 extra staff and bring together primary and specialist care to better support people’s physical and mental health and better link with other local services such as housing.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the effectiveness of the steps taken by Kent and Medway NHS Trust in response to the findings of the inquest into the death of Callie Lewis.

The Trust has confirmed that, after the death of Callie Lewis in the summer of 2018, it has updated its suicide prevention training to include a section on autism. It has released a new strategy, under which suicide prevention training is a mandatory, annual requirement for all staff in inpatient, liaison psychiatry and crisis settings. The Trust has also included in its training materials information about the harm that suicide forums pose to vulnerable people.

We would expect a National Health Service trust and its responsible clinical commissioning group to ensure the effectiveness of any actions taken to improve and increase safety in a trust’s services. In addition, the Care Quality Commission is responsible for monitoring and inspecting all health care services. It continues to discuss the implementation of the Trust’s improvements at regular engagement meetings and will consider these at future inspections.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether a duty of care that an individual removes from their relatives automatically passes to a public body from which that individual is receiving care.

Both the National Health Service and local authorities owe a common law duty of care to the people within their care.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of caseloads for community mental health teams; and whether he has plans to allocate additional funding from the public purse to support those teams.

The mental health workforce plan, ‘Stepping Forward: a mental health workforce plan for England’ sets out an ambition for 21,000 new posts across the mental health system occupied by 19,000 new staff. This plan also includes the aim for 6000 full time posts in mental health trusts to come through improved retention.


Under the NHS Long Term Plan, we have announced a £975 million investment in transforming community mental health services. The first tranche of funding will provide 12 pilot sites with 1,000 extra staff and bring together primary and specialist care to better support people’s physical and mental health and better link with other local services such as housing.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to take steps to ensure that community mental health workers are able to manage their caseloads.

The mental health workforce plan, ‘Stepping Forward: a mental health workforce plan for England’ sets out an ambition for 21,000 new posts across the mental health system occupied by 19,000 new staff. This plan also includes the aim for 6000 full time posts in mental health trusts to come through improved retention.


Under the NHS Long Term Plan, we have announced a £975 million investment in transforming community mental health services. The first tranche of funding will provide 12 pilot sites with 1,000 extra staff and bring together primary and specialist care to better support people’s physical and mental health and better link with other local services such as housing.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the judgment in the case of Callie Lewis, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that (a) community mental health and (b) Kent & Medway NHS Trust caseworker cases are covered when they are on sick leave.

It is the responsibility of each National Health Service organisation to determine how they manage cover for sick leave with guidance available from both NHS Employers and NHS England and NHS Improvement.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have informed us that Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust’s sickness absence is managed in accordance with trust policy and reviewed on a monthly basis.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason patient satisfaction of England’s community mental health services has decreased in each of the last five years; and what plans he has to reverse that trend.

We recognise that community mental health services need to evolve and expand. Through the NHS Long Term Plan, we have committed to investing £975 extra million per year by 2023/24 in transformed models of integrated primary and community mental health care. These new models will be based on the Community Mental Health Framework for Adults and Older Adults, published in September 2019, which provides a blueprint for change.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps Kent and Medway NHS trust has taken to ensure the safe and effective treatment of patients since the Care Quality Commission reports on that trust and the case of Callie Lewis.

The Trust has confirmed that, after the death of Callie Lewis in the summer of 2018, it has updated its suicide prevention training to include a section on autism. It has released a new strategy, under which suicide prevention training is a mandatory, annual requirement for all staff in inpatient, liaison psychiatry and crisis settings. The Trust has also included in its training materials information about the harm that suicide forums pose to vulnerable people.

We would expect a National Health Service trust and its responsible clinical commissioning group to ensure the effectiveness of any actions taken to improve and increase safety in a trust’s services. In addition, the Care Quality Commission is responsible for monitoring and inspecting all health care services. It continues to discuss the implementation of the Trust’s improvements at regular engagement meetings and will consider these at future inspections.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to ensure adequate 24-hour crisis care is available for community mental health patients throughout the UK.

Under the NHS Long Term Plan, we are investing an additional £2.3 billion a year by 2023/24 in mental health services. Much of this increased investment will be used to increase community-based early intervention and crisis care services as an alternative to hospital admission and ensure timely, universal mental health crisis care for everyone.

We have set out ambitious measures to improve crisis care services including a new national single point of access to crisis care via NHS 111, new mental health transport vehicles and better training for ambulance staff to deal with mental health crises as well as increased investment in complementary and alternative crisis services (sanctuaries, crisis houses etc).

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of community mental health funding.

We recognise that community mental health services need to evolve and expand. Through the NHS Long Term Plan, we have committed to investing £975 extra million per year by 2023/24 in transformed models of integrated primary and community mental health care. These new models will be based on the Community Mental Health Framework for Adults and Older Adults, published in September 2019, which provides a blueprint for change.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of mental health bed availability.

The most recent information on mental illness bed availability is shown in the following table.

Year

Period

Available

Occupied

Occupancy rate

2018/19

Q1

18,395

16,519

89.8%

2018/19

Q2

18,311

16,431

89.7%

2018/19

Q3

18,389

16,285

88.6%

2018/19

Q4

18,368

16,378

89.2%

2019/20

Q1

18,270

16,375

89.6%

2019/20

Q2

18,179

16,284

89.6%

2019/20

Q3

18,097

16,187

89.4%

Notes:

- The data are very limited in terms of what they tell us about mental health bed availability and should therefore be treated with caution for the following reasons:

- The ‘mental illness’ category covers a huge range of inpatient mental health settings which provide very different services for people with different needs. As such, it does not provide the granularity of information required to identify where there might be particular pressures in the mental health system.

- They only cover beds in services that are consultant-led.

- It is very difficult to assess the accuracy of the aggregate data submitted and the accompanying guidance has not been updated since the Department published it in 2010.

Source: NHS England: KH03 data collection

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to close the gaps in community mental health service provision.

We recognise that community mental health services need to evolve and expand. Through the NHS Long Term Plan, we have committed to investing £975 extra million per year by 2023/24 in transformed models of integrated primary and community mental health care. These new models will be based on the Community Mental Health Framework for Adults and Older Adults, published in September 2019, which provides a blueprint for change.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the NHS Improvement Report 2018-19, Q4, what steps he is taking to fill the 10,000 unfilled posts across all mental health services.

The NHS People Plan, which will be published by the National Health Service in early 2020, will set out a clear framework for collective action on workforce priorities, with a focus on growing and sustaining a well-skilled workforce across the whole NHS and will build upon the progress made through the Mental Health Workforce Plan (published by Health Education England in July 2017).

NHS Improvement has developed a shared learning resource to improve staff retention, including case studies to highlight the great work taking place across the service to tackle this specific challenge.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that Kent & Medway NHS Trust staff have (a) autism awareness and (b) suicide awareness training; and what steps he is taking to ensure the provision of that training for health and social care professionals.

Following the death of Callie Lewis in 2018, Kent and Medway NHS Trust have initiated a series of actions. The Trust has updated its suicide prevention training for staff, including refreshing its suicide prevention strategy to specifically reference autism. This training is now a mandatory annual requirement for all Trust staff within inpatient, liaison psychiatry and crisis settings. The Trust has updated its training to include the risks of suicide forums.

In January 2019, we published the first Cross-Government Suicide Prevention Workplan, which sets out an ambitious programme across national and local government and the National Health Service.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance is provided to mental health assessment staff on (a) autism and (b) suicide; and whether that guidance refers to tips on suicide forums on how to pass mental health assessments.

Following the death of Callie Lewis in 2018, Kent and Medway NHS Trust have initiated a series of actions. The Trust has updated its suicide prevention training for staff, including refreshing its suicide prevention strategy to specifically reference autism. This training is now a mandatory annual requirement for all Trust staff within inpatient, liaison psychiatry and crisis settings. The Trust has updated its training to include the risks of suicide forums.

In January 2019, we published the first Cross-Government Suicide Prevention Workplan, which sets out an ambitious programme across national and local government and the National Health Service.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many British nationals were murdered abroad in each year since 2017.

Information on the number of cases where consular officers provided assistance following a British national's death abroad through murder or manslaughter is published on GOV.UK (https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/consular-data) on a monthly basis by country.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of recent information released by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace in Colombia that that the security forces of that country intentionally killed at least 6,402 civilians between 2002 and 2008.

The ongoing work by the Special Jurisdiction for Peace is vital for the transitional justice process agreed as part of the peace agreement. We have been clear that all actors being investigated, including the security services, must be held accountable for their actions, and any crimes thoroughly investigated. The UK has been a leading international advocate of Colombia's peace process, including mechanisms like the Special Jurisdiction for Peace, and supporting the Colombian government in its commitment to implement the 2016 Peace Accords will remain our top priority.

We have contributed more than £60 million in support via the UK's Conflict, Security, and Stability Fund and are the largest donor to the UN Trust Fund for Colombia. We are proud to lead on the issue at the UN Security Council, and will continue to strengthen the international community's support and commitment to peace, stability, and justice in Colombia.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what (a) financial and (b) other support the Government plans to provide to UK nationals overseas to enable them to return to the UK.

Our consular team is working around the clock to provide support, advice and information. We are working closely with local authorities, commercial airlines and other diplomatic missions to enable British people to get home. If British people are in need of urgent assistance, they should call our Embassies and High Commissions, which will automatically connect them to our consular contact centres, where our staff can provide further advice. Given the dramatic increase in demand we are doubling the number of call handlers working to answer peoples' calls. We are helping to reduce travel costs by encouraging airlines to have maximum flexibility on changing return tickets. Where people are in real need, our consular teams will work with them to consider their options and, as a last resort, offer an emergency loan.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that self-employed women that qualify for 30 hours free childcare scheme will be able to access that scheme in the event that Self-Employment Income Support Scheme calculations bring their total income below the threshold for qualifying as a result of a period of maternity leave over the last three years.

To be eligible for Tax Free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare, both parents need to earn at least the equivalent of 16 hours per week at the National Living Wage. The Government introduced a temporary measure to ensure that those who are unable to meet this requirement due to loss of income as a result of Covid-19 will maintain their entitlement.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that the nine Departments tasked with tackling loneliness receive adequate funding to (a) deliver the Government’s long-term vision on tackling loneliness and (b) build on the progress made against the 60 commitments set out in the 2018 strategy entitled A Connected Society.

The government is taking a cross-departmental approach to tackling loneliness, recognising that no one department holds all the levers for successful change. The work is led by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with eight other departments contributing commitments to the Loneliness Strategy. The government's Loneliness Strategy was published in October 2018 and an annual report was published in January 2020, setting out headlines on progress so far. The government will carry out a Comprehensive Spending Review later this year, where the government will take a systematic view across all spending over multiple years and set future budgets. An announcement on the timing of the Spending Review will be made in due course.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
29th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the data she holds on the number of people reporting offences under the Offences against The Person Act 1861, section 23, and section 24 in each year since 2010.

Information on the number of crimes recorded under the Offences against The Person Act 1861 section 23 and section 24, including the offence subcodes “Administering poison so as to endanger life” and “Administering poison with intent to injure or annoy” for each financial year from 2015/16 to 2020/21 can be found in the attached annex.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have reported street flashing as part of the recorded crime statistics for exposure and voyeurism for each year since 2010.

The Home Office collects information on the number of Exposure and Voyeurism offences recorded by the police in England and Wales. However whether or not these offences involved street flashing is not separately identifiable.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish the number of cases issued under a fixed penalty notice in (a) 2020, (b) 2019, (c) 2018, (d) 2017, (e) 2016 and (f) 2015.

The Home Office routinely collects and publishes data on the number of recorded Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) issued by the police in England and Wales for motoring offences. These data are published as part of the annual ‘Police Powers and Procedures’ statistical bulletin and can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/841256/fixed-penalty-notices-police-powers-procedures-mar19-hosb2519-tables.ods.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council has been regularly publishing the number of FPNs issued by the police in England and Wales for breaches of the public health regulations that have been introduced this year to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus (Covid-19). The latest published information can be found here:

https://news.npcc.police.uk/releases/crime-is-close-to-pre-lockdown-levels-and-fines-given-to-the-public-rise-as-new-regulations-are-introduced-1

The Home Office does not collect information on FPNs issued by other public bodies, such as local authorities, who have powers to issue them with respect to anti-social behaviour, environmental breaches and parking offences.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
26th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the (a) total and (b) per application cost to the public purse of processing exceptional case funding applications for immigration matters has been in (i) cash and (ii) real terms in England and Wales in each year since 2012.

The information requested is not held centrally. The unit cost of processing an application is not specifically tracked or recorded by the Legal Aid Agency, nor is the administrative spend on Exceptional Case Funding (ECF) recorded separately to general legal aid administrative spend.

Details about volumes of ECF applications, broken down by category, for every year since 2013 can be found in legal aid statistics published by the Ministry of Justice: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/legal-aid-statistics (available up to and including June 2021).

James Cartlidge
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
26th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the (a) total and (b) per application cost to the public purse of processing exceptional case funding applications across all areas of law that are out of scope for legal aid has been in (i) cash and (ii) real terms in England and Wales in each year since 2012.

The information requested is not held centrally. The unit cost of processing an application is not specifically tracked or recorded by the Legal Aid Agency, nor is the administrative spend on Exceptional Case Funding (ECF) recorded separately to general legal aid administrative spend.

Details about volumes of ECF applications, broken down by category, for every year since 2013 can be found in legal aid statistics published by the Ministry of Justice: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/legal-aid-statistics (available up to and including June 2021).

James Cartlidge
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
29th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have been (a) charged, (b) prosecuted and (c) convicted for offences under the Offences against The Person Act 1861, section 23, and section 24 in each year since 2010.

The Ministry of Justice has published information on prosecutions and convictions under the Offences against the Person Act 1861 in England and Wales, from 2013 to 2020, in the ‘Principal offence proceedings and outcomes by Home Office offence code’ data tool, available here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/987731/HO-code-tool-principal-offence-2020.xlsx

The Ministry of Justice does not hold information on initial charges brought.

Data showing the number of defendants prosecuted and convicted under section 23 and 24 of this Act, in England and Wales from 2010 to 2020 (latest available) can be found in the attached table.

The data supplied is a subset of published information from the Courts Proceedings database.

James Cartlidge
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people have been sentenced for street flashing as part of the statistics for exposure and voyeurism for each year since 2010.

Information on exposure offences held by the Ministry of Justice does not identify whether an offence involved ‘street flashing’, specifically.

The Ministry of Justice has published information on sentences for exposure offences, up to December 2020, available in the ‘Principal offence proceedings and outcomes by Home Office offence code data tool’, available here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/987731/HO-code-tool-principal-offence-2020.xlsx

Use the ‘Offence code’ filter in the above data tool to select the following offence:

  • 088/09 – Exposure (Contrary to section 66 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003)

Figures for the number of individuals sentenced will display in Row 34.

James Cartlidge
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, to how many and what proportion of magistrates courts the domestic abuse best practice framework applies; and how many courts have dedicated sitting days for domestic abuse, broken down by region.

The domestic abuse best practice framework applies to all magistrates’ courts. The domestic abuse work in some HMCTS regions is listed together where possible into courts to make sure that the specialist provision envisaged by the framework is in place.

The information on how many courts have dedicated sitting days is not held centrally as each court has different processes for recording the use of court time.

James Cartlidge
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the level of the backlog of cases in the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service as at 22 September 2021; and what steps he is taking to tackle that backlog.

The protection of children, particularly those who are most vulnerable, is a priority for this government. We recognise the additional pressures that the family justice system has faced since the Covid-19 pandemic, and the impact this has had on children and families who use the family courts. Since the start of the pandemic the number of new cases issued to Cafcass (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) has exceeded the number of cases closed for Cafcass. As at 1 September, Cafcass caseload is 20% higher than March 2020.

The Ministry of Justice has worked closely with Cafcass to manage these pressures and mitigate the impact on its services. Earlier this year £6million in additional funding was agreed to enable Cafcass to increase staff capacity to meet the increased open caseload.

Cafcass has also put in place a protocol to, where necessary, prioritise cases in local service areas so it can continue to meet the needs of the most vulnerable children and families. The approach involves courts working with Cafcass to triage and allocate cases in private law proceedings on the basis of risk and capacity. The Ministry of Justice has agreed an additional £491k to support this work until the end of this financial year.

Cafcass’ prioritisation protocol only applies to private law applications. All public law work continues to be allocated in the normal way and within established timescales. Urgent public law children cases are still being prioritised by the courts, to help safeguard the welfare of the most vulnerable children.

James Cartlidge
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the impact of the public sector pay freeze on the recruitment and retention of staff in the (a) probation service and (b) family courts.

My Department is currently engaging with our recognised Trade Unions on the 2021 pay award for the Probation Service. The pay award will comply with the temporary pause on pay rises for most public sector workforces in 2021/22, including the Civil Service.

Staff in family courts are covered by the temporary pay pause.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to adjust pay levels to assist with the recruitment and retention of staff in (a) probation services and (b) family courts.

My Department is committed to ensuring a fair and enduring reward package for all staff in the Probation Service, building on previous pay reform work to ensure we can recruit and retain necessary levels of staff.

Staff in family courts are covered by the recently agreed MOJ pay deal.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he is taking steps to (a) create and (b) implement a tool to measure the workload of staff in the probation service.

The Probation Service uses a Workload Measurement Tool (WMT) which monitors the workloads of case holding Probation Practitioners. We are also building an in-house WMT which will eventually replace the existing one and by using internal digital capability, we will be able to swiftly make necessary changes, iterations to improve it and have the potential to include a capacity measure for other roles and functions in the service.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the impact of the implementation of the new ViSOR database on the workload of staff in the probation service.

ViSOR is a multi-agency database used for storing and sharing risk related information and intelligence for Multi-Agency Public Protection Arrangement (MAPPA) qualifying offenders and some other high-risk groups. It has been used by Police since 2005, and the Probation and Prison Service since 2007. Having access to ViSOR on probation service devices means that offender managers can access up-to-date information and essential risk related intelligence directly. Prior to having direct access to ViSOR, Offender Managers would have to contact colleagues in other agencies for this information which led to delays in accessing the relevant intelligence. The direct access we are now offering Probation Offender Managers will improve the quality and effectiveness of our risk management plans and the speed in which they are constructed.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what funding is being provided to the probation service to help ensure that those services can be stabilised while the Unified Model is being implemented.

The unification of the Probation Service has been supported by an additional £155m of funding this year (2021-22) and last year (2020-21), which represents a 17% uplift on 2019-20. This additional resource will in itself support the stabilisation and improvement of how probation services are delivered, for example by increasing the number of probation officers and funding the 110 contracts awarded for Commissioned Rehabilitation Services.

In addition, a further £30m in funding has been made available for 2021-22, to assist in meeting transition costs that arise from bringing together previous probation providers into one unified Probation Service.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) men and (b) women were recalled to prison for 14 days or less more than once in (i) 2019, (ii) 2020 and (iii) 2021 to date.

The figures requested are set out below. These figures refer to the number of individuals recalled, so the figures may differ from published recall numbers which refer to instances of recall.

It should be noted that the figures for 2021 reflect the published statistics and refer only to the first quarter of the year and cannot therefore be compared to those provided for 2019 and 2020.

Total number of offenders recalled to prison for 14 days or less

Year

Female

Male

2019

655

3,515

2020

407

2,709

2021 (Qtr1)

87

583

Total number of offenders recalled to prison for 14 days or less more than once

Year

Female

Male

2019

183

821

2020

95

596

2021 (Qtr1)

10

71

Public protection is our priority. Offenders on licence are subject to strict licence conditions and supervision.

Where offenders are eligible for a fixed-term recall, they may be recalled to prison on a fixed-term basis, where that is a necessary and proportionate response to a breach of licence conditions. If not, they will receive a standard recall, which is the only type of recall available for those offenders ineligible for a fixed-term recall (such as those on a life licence). Where they receive a standard recall, they are liable to serve the rest of their sentence in prison, unless the Parole Board, or the Secretary of State using executive powers, decide to re-releases them.

Recall information is published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/offender-management-statistics-quarterly

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) men and (b) women were recalled to prison for 14 days or less in (i) 2019, (ii) 2020 and (iii) 2021 to date.

The figures requested are set out below. These figures refer to the number of individuals recalled, so the figures may differ from published recall numbers which refer to instances of recall.

It should be noted that the figures for 2021 reflect the published statistics and refer only to the first quarter of the year and cannot therefore be compared to those provided for 2019 and 2020.

Total number of offenders recalled to prison for 14 days or less

Year

Female

Male

2019

655

3,515

2020

407

2,709

2021 (Qtr1)

87

583

Total number of offenders recalled to prison for 14 days or less more than once

Year

Female

Male

2019

183

821

2020

95

596

2021 (Qtr1)

10

71

Public protection is our priority. Offenders on licence are subject to strict licence conditions and supervision.

Where offenders are eligible for a fixed-term recall, they may be recalled to prison on a fixed-term basis, where that is a necessary and proportionate response to a breach of licence conditions. If not, they will receive a standard recall, which is the only type of recall available for those offenders ineligible for a fixed-term recall (such as those on a life licence). Where they receive a standard recall, they are liable to serve the rest of their sentence in prison, unless the Parole Board, or the Secretary of State using executive powers, decide to re-releases them.

Recall information is published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/offender-management-statistics-quarterly

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the announcement of 26 November 2020 that £315 million will be allocated to enhance the condition of the existing prison estate, whether that includes spending on the announced 500 prison places for women in the existing estate.

No, the programme to deliver up to 500 new places in women’s prisons is being funded out of the MoJ’s 3-year capital allocation for additional prison capacity. The £315m in capital funding for 2021/22 announced last November is being invested in refurbishment and renewal of the existing prison estate, including temporary accommodation to replace a number of units recently taken out of use that no longer meet current fire safety standards. We expect to spend over £21m of the £315m on works to improve conditions in women’s prisons.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to tackle the disproportionality of women of ethnic minorities in prisons.

We want people to have confidence in a justice system that is fair and open – one where no person suffers discrimination of any sort.

The over-representation of ethnic minority women in prisons, and in the justice system more widely, is a real concern and we continue to prioritise understanding and tackling disparities they may face.

The Female Offender Strategy (FOS), a comprehensive programme of work to improve outcomes for women at all points of the CJS, included a clear commitment to look at how the distinct needs of ethnic minority women can be better addressed, and work is underway to deliver this commitment.

We have established a specific Female Offender Minority Ethnic (FOME) Working Group to better understand the issues faced by ethnic minority women in the CJS. This brings together policy and operational leads with expert voluntary sector colleagues with experience of supporting this cohort of women.

Work includes developing specific staff training centred on the needs of ethnic minority women, user-centred research focusing on the earlier experiences ethnic minority women face in understanding the legal processes they face up to the pre-sentencing stage, supporting those voluntary sector organisations who work with this cohort, and taking forward the recommendations of Lord Farmer’s Review.

More generally, the Department has published two updates to our work on tackling racial disparities detailing the full range of activities to address race disparity in the CJS including specific sections focused on work relevant to the disparity faced by ethnic minority women.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what support is being offered to female offenders to reduce the number of women in prisons.

The Female Offender Strategy emphasises both the importance of diversion and community solutions and the need to provide support for offenders who are in or have left prison.

Since publication of the strategy in June 2018, we have invested £7 million of Strategy funding in women’s community sector services across England and Wales to sustain and enhance current services and provide properties for new women’s centres which provide an important route to diversion from prison.

Under the probation dynamic framework, we have also awarded almost £46 million to charities to deliver wraparound support to women in the criminal justice system over the next three years.

This year we are also boosting funding to steer more women away from crime and prison. £2.5 million will be awarded to community services which tackle root causes of offending and cut crime.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of limited visitations on the (a) welfare and (b) health of women in prisons.

We recognise the importance of positive family contact for all prisoners in custody. When regime restrictions were introduced in prisons to control the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, we acted quickly to ensure that prisoners could maintain family contact despite the exceptional circumstances.

Visits in exceptional circumstances and visits to children in custody continued throughout. Women’s prisons were prioritised for the roll-out of secure video calling, and additional access to video calls and phone credit were provided to promote communication with family, especially children. Closed women’s prisons were also prioritised in the roll out of in-cell telephony.

We produced tailored guidance for supporting specific groups of people in prison whose wellbeing may be more impacted by Covid-19 measures, including women. We also produced a range of products to support Governors in devising and implementing local safety and welfare plans.

From March 2021, prisons resumed social visits where it was safe to do so, as they moved to Stage 3 of the National Framework for Prison Regimes and Services. All prisons are currently offering in-person prison visits and we continue to maximise the use of video calling to support positive family ties.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of covid-19 restrictions on the (a) physical and (b) mental health of prisoners.

The Government takes the health and wellbeing of prisoners very seriously. Maintaining the safety and wellbeing of prisoners has remained a priority throughout the pandemic.

When regime restrictions were introduced in prisons to control the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, we recognised that these measures could exacerbate the mental health needs of those in our care.

To address anxiety and boredom, we have made available distraction packs, in cell activities and a range of self-help materials, including a Wellbeing Plan, created with input from mental health charity Mind. We also gave staff resources for assisting prisoners who might be struggling, such as guidance for understanding and supporting someone who is self-harming and wellbeing checks for vulnerable and priority groups of prisoners. The Samaritans phone service has remained available and we are working with them to ensure their Listener scheme continues to facilitate peer support between prisoners.

We have also acted quickly to ensure that prisoners could stay in touch with their loved ones, rolling-out secure mobile handsets, providing every prisoner with £5 PIN credit per week and introducing secure video calls.

The National Framework for Prison Regimes and Services sets out how we will take decisions about easing Covid-19 restrictions, and the different Regime Stages prisons will operate at. Prisons continue to progress wherever safe to do so; the majority of prisons are now operating at Stage 2 of the Framework and the first prisons have reached Stage 1, which involves the lowest degree of restrictions.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether he has a roadmap for the easing of covid-19 restrictions for inmates in prisons.

Our plan for easing restrictions in prisons (and re-introducing them where necessary) will be guided by public health advice alongside an operational assessment of what can be safely implemented, whilst ensuring we can keep staff and prisoners safe. The National Framework for prison regimes, which sets out in detail how we will take decisions about easing coronavirus-related restrictions in prisons, was published on GOV.UK on 2 June 2020 and updated 18 August 2021: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-national-framework-for-prison-regimes-and-services

We had to suspend routine social visits to adults in prisons over the winter, due to the risks from Covid-19, although visits in exceptional circumstances and visits to children in custody continued. From March 2021, prisons resumed social visits where it was safe to do so, as they moved to Stage 3 of the Framework. All prisons are currently offering in-person prison visits, with physical contact allowed for all people aged under 11, to reflect public health advice on the lower transmission risks for that age group and particular needs of children. In addition, two adults from two different households are now able to visit together, making it easier for prisoners to see more people.

We are also conducting a national rollout allowing visitors to Stage 2 prisons to produce a negative rapid test result in order to have physical contact with the person they are visiting and access to refreshment facilities. Social distancing measures will remain in place at this time for those aged over 11 who cannot provide a negative test result.

We continue to maximise the use of video calling to support positive family ties.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what his planned timetable is for recommencing in-person prison visits; and for what reason he has decided upon that timetable.

Our plan for easing restrictions in prisons (and re-introducing them where necessary) will be guided by public health advice alongside an operational assessment of what can be safely implemented, whilst ensuring we can keep staff and prisoners safe. The National Framework for prison regimes, which sets out in detail how we will take decisions about easing coronavirus-related restrictions in prisons, was published on GOV.UK on 2 June 2020 and updated 18 August 2021: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-national-framework-for-prison-regimes-and-services

We had to suspend routine social visits to adults in prisons over the winter, due to the risks from Covid-19, although visits in exceptional circumstances and visits to children in custody continued. From March 2021, prisons resumed social visits where it was safe to do so, as they moved to Stage 3 of the Framework. All prisons are currently offering in-person prison visits, with physical contact allowed for all people aged under 11, to reflect public health advice on the lower transmission risks for that age group and particular needs of children. In addition, two adults from two different households are now able to visit together, making it easier for prisoners to see more people.

We are also conducting a national rollout allowing visitors to Stage 2 prisons to produce a negative rapid test result in order to have physical contact with the person they are visiting and access to refreshment facilities. Social distancing measures will remain in place at this time for those aged over 11 who cannot provide a negative test result.

We continue to maximise the use of video calling to support positive family ties.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to increase the availability of grants for charities that are participating in the Transforming Rehabilitation partnership programme.

Voluntary sector organisations are a key partner for the Probation Service. We are committed to increasing their role in rehabilitating offenders as part of the new unified model for probation. In doing so, we have sought to learn lessons from the approach taken under the previous Transforming Rehabilitation model for probation (which ceased on 25 June). The procurement process for the new Dynamic Framework for commissioning rehabilitative services has been designed to make it easier for charities and other third-sector organisations to access funding from Government.

An initial £195 million has been awarded to 26 organisations across England and Wales over the next three to four years, to provide vital support services that help reduce reoffending, such as employment and housing advice; and this includes over £45m awarded to organisations providing services tailored to female offenders to address their specific needs and the underlying causes of their crimes as part of the Government’s pledge to see fewer women go to prison.

Around two-thirds of the funding for the 110 contracts awarded so far has been awarded to registered charities or voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations. These are fixed price contracts with a volume cap (with volume bands applying only in larger contracts) to mitigate financial risk to suppliers as a result of volume movement. In addition, many lead organisations are using the specialist skills of smaller organisations to help deliver services, with another 50 organisations, mostly in the voluntary sector, named in their supply chains.

In addition, we commissioned Richard Oldfield to carry out an independent review of the Dynamic Framework. His report recognised the enormous effort that has gone into establishing the Dynamic Framework to enable the unified service to deliver Commissioned Rehabilitative Services and the success of awarding all 110 contracts for day one of our new unified Probation Service with around two-thirds of contracts going to charities and VCSEs. The report made various recommendations to further simplify the process for potential providers and to facilitate the participation of smaller charities in particular, including wider use of grants.

We accept this recommendation and want to promote greater use of grants. We have committed to provide the Probation Service’s regional commissioning teams with clear guidance to help make grants the presumptive choice for funding commissioning intentions that meet specified criteria. We are currently developing the criteria but anticipate it will be a combination of award value, as recommended in the report, and type of requirement / service.

We will continuously review our processes to identify ways to improve future commissioning and procurement.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to tackle the challenges faced by charities when participating in the Transforming Rehabilitation procurement process.

Voluntary sector organisations are a key partner for the Probation Service. We are committed to increasing their role in rehabilitating offenders as part of the new unified model for probation. In doing so, we have sought to learn lessons from the approach taken under the previous Transforming Rehabilitation model for probation (which ceased on 25 June). The procurement process for the new Dynamic Framework for commissioning rehabilitative services has been designed to make it easier for charities and other third-sector organisations to access funding from Government.

An initial £195 million has been awarded to 26 organisations across England and Wales over the next three to four years, to provide vital support services that help reduce reoffending, such as employment and housing advice; and this includes over £45m awarded to organisations providing services tailored to female offenders to address their specific needs and the underlying causes of their crimes as part of the Government’s pledge to see fewer women go to prison.

Around two-thirds of the funding for the 110 contracts awarded so far has been awarded to registered charities or voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations. These are fixed price contracts with a volume cap (with volume bands applying only in larger contracts) to mitigate financial risk to suppliers as a result of volume movement. In addition, many lead organisations are using the specialist skills of smaller organisations to help deliver services, with another 50 organisations, mostly in the voluntary sector, named in their supply chains.

In addition, we commissioned Richard Oldfield to carry out an independent review of the Dynamic Framework. His report recognised the enormous effort that has gone into establishing the Dynamic Framework to enable the unified service to deliver Commissioned Rehabilitative Services and the success of awarding all 110 contracts for day one of our new unified Probation Service with around two-thirds of contracts going to charities and VCSEs. The report made various recommendations to further simplify the process for potential providers and to facilitate the participation of smaller charities in particular, including wider use of grants.

We accept this recommendation and want to promote greater use of grants. We have committed to provide the Probation Service’s regional commissioning teams with clear guidance to help make grants the presumptive choice for funding commissioning intentions that meet specified criteria. We are currently developing the criteria but anticipate it will be a combination of award value, as recommended in the report, and type of requirement / service.

We will continuously review our processes to identify ways to improve future commissioning and procurement.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the suitability of housing arrangements for inmates who do not have housing upon leaving prisons.

Having stable accommodation can prevent offenders committing further crimes. To ensure offenders are not homeless upon release, HMPPS has developed a Community Accommodation Service (CAS) so that people leaving prison can access suitable accommodation. CAS brings Approved Premises (AP), Bail Accommodation and Support Service (BASS), and a new provision of transitional accommodation together under the auspices of one accommodation system.

As a whole system, CAS enables accommodation to be provided that is suitable to an offender’s risk level and circumstances. AP house high-risk offenders with a strict curfew and CCTV inside and out to monitor behaviour. BASS provides accommodation to those released on bail or Home Detention Curfew without otherwise suitable accommodation. These combine with the new provision of temporary accommodation and support for those leaving prison at risk of homelessness, introduced in July. Initially launched in five probation areas in England, the service will support around 3,000 offenders in its first year and will provide up to 12 weeks of temporary accommodation and will be supported into long-term settled accommodation before the end of that 12-week period.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to his Department's announcement of 23 January 2021, which sites have been identified for the building of 500 new prison places for women.

In response to 19655, A total of 112 temporary accommodation cells have been installed and are available for use in the women’s estate at HMP & YOI Drake Hall, HMP & YOI East Sutton Park, HMP Foston Hall and HMP & YOI Askham Grange to limit the spread of covid-19 in the women’s prison estate.

In response to 19656, the expansion of the women’s prison estate is still at a relatively early feasibility investigation stage. However, the initial sites under consideration are: HMP Drake Hall, HMP Eastwood Park, HMP Foston Hall, HMP Send and HMP Styal. Final decisions will only be taken on each site once surveys and investigations have been completed, and after the established local consultation and planning application processes have been concluded. All sites are existing women's prisons and there are currently no plans to expand places for women anywhere else as part of this project.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many temporary cells were installed in women's prisons since April 2020 to limit the spread of covid-19 in prisons.

In response to 19655, A total of 112 temporary accommodation cells have been installed and are available for use in the women’s estate at HMP & YOI Drake Hall, HMP & YOI East Sutton Park, HMP Foston Hall and HMP & YOI Askham Grange to limit the spread of covid-19 in the women’s prison estate.

In response to 19656, the expansion of the women’s prison estate is still at a relatively early feasibility investigation stage. However, the initial sites under consideration are: HMP Drake Hall, HMP Eastwood Park, HMP Foston Hall, HMP Send and HMP Styal. Final decisions will only be taken on each site once surveys and investigations have been completed, and after the established local consultation and planning application processes have been concluded. All sites are existing women's prisons and there are currently no plans to expand places for women anywhere else as part of this project.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much funding was allocated to the (a) women’s services lot and (b) accommodation services lot in the Dynamic Purchasing Framework for probation services.

A total of around £54 million has been allocated to women’s services to address their specific needs and the underlying causes of their crimes as part of the Government’s pledge to see fewer women go to prison. Contracts worth over £45 million have already been awarded with women’s services procured at Police and Crime Commissioner level in 10 of the 12 probation regions. This significant investment provides long-term support to women’s centres and other dedicated services for women serving community sentences or leaving prison.

A total of around £41 million has been allocated to accommodation services with over £33 million allocated in 11 of the 12 probation regions. These have been awarded at a regional level except in Wales where they have been procured at Police and Crime Commissioner level.

For the first time, the Probation Service is jointly commissioning the full range of rehabilitative services in Greater Manchester with the region’s Combined Authority from July 2021.

In London, women’s services will be commissioned jointly with the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) by providing funding to MOPAC’s existing providers for an extension and expansion of the current service. A new commissioning process will be undertaken for services from 2022.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average length of time spent in prison by women has been since March 2020.

The table below shows for each quarter the average (mean) number of months, women who were released in that quarter, served in prison including on remand.

Quarter

Jan-March 2020

April-June 2020

July-September 2020

October-December 2020

Mean time served including remand in months

6.6

8.3

9.1

8.1

Source: Prison releases October to December 2020, Table 3.2i.

The Female Offender Strategy (2018) committed to working towards fewer women serving short custodial sentences with a greater proportion managed successfully in the community. Our Strategy commitment to pilot residential women’s centres, with the first to be located in south Wales, is a key part of this work. We are piloting a Problem-Solving Court approach in up to five locations for certain community and suspended sentence orders. The aim of this is to support offenders who could be both prolific and vulnerable to complete their sentences in the community. Female offenders will be one area of focus given the high proportion who receive short prison sentences, building on the promising outcomes of Manchester’s women’s Problem-Solving Court.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, on how many occasions facilities enabling women and their children to spend time together overnight at (a) HMP Drake Hall, (b) HMP Styal and (c) HMP Askham Grange operated at full capacity in (i) 2018, (ii) 2019 and (iii) 2020.

There are six Mother and Baby Units (MBUs) across the women’s prison estate located at HMP Askham Grange, HMP Bronzefield, HMP Eastwood Park, HMP New Hall, HMP Peterborough and HMP Styal. MBUs are a national resource and enable mothers to maintain a bond with their children during an important period in their development and aim to reduce the negative impact imprisonment can have on young children, if evidence suggests it is in their best interests to remain with their mother.

The MBU also allows for children from the community to come and join their mothers in an MBU up to the age of 18 months. The environment is safe and nurturing for children, with development opportunities you would see in other nurseries, including toys and trips into the community. There is a national capacity of 64 mothers and 70 babies (to allow for multiple births). The national capacity has not been exceeded.

In addition to the existing MBUs, HMP Drake Hall and HMP Askham Grange offer overnight facilities that enable mothers and their children to spend time together. These facilities are available to all children up to the age of 18 years old. There is no additional overnight accommodation available at HMP Styal however, HMP Eastwood Park have enhanced the use of their MBU to provide an opportunity for risk assessed women to spend an overnight stay with one child, up to 12 years of age in the specifically arranged family room.

In regard to capacity, the HMP Askham Grange unit has five double bedrooms to accommodate large families, however only one mother can use the facility at one time. Although information is not held in the time periods requested, the facility was used 144 times in 2018-19 and 98 times in 2019-20.

HMP Drake Hall has two separate units that can accommodate one mother, up to three children aged toddler to 18 years of age, and one baby in a travel cot. For larger families, the two suites can be combined to provide facilities for up to 6 children, which is assessed on a case by case basis. Full information relating to the number of occasions this facility was used is not held however, the suite has not been used during 2020 due to COVID restrictions.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) women and (b) children can access overnight accommodation in HMP (i) Drake Hall, (ii) Styal and (iii) Askham Grange.

There are six Mother and Baby Units (MBUs) across the women’s prison estate located at HMP Askham Grange, HMP Bronzefield, HMP Eastwood Park, HMP New Hall, HMP Peterborough and HMP Styal. MBUs are a national resource and enable mothers to maintain a bond with their children during an important period in their development and aim to reduce the negative impact imprisonment can have on young children, if evidence suggests it is in their best interests to remain with their mother.

The MBU also allows for children from the community to come and join their mothers in an MBU up to the age of 18 months. The environment is safe and nurturing for children, with development opportunities you would see in other nurseries, including toys and trips into the community. There is a national capacity of 64 mothers and 70 babies (to allow for multiple births). The national capacity has not been exceeded.

In addition to the existing MBUs, HMP Drake Hall and HMP Askham Grange offer overnight facilities that enable mothers and their children to spend time together. These facilities are available to all children up to the age of 18 years old. There is no additional overnight accommodation available at HMP Styal however, HMP Eastwood Park have enhanced the use of their MBU to provide an opportunity for risk assessed women to spend an overnight stay with one child, up to 12 years of age in the specifically arranged family room.

In regard to capacity, the HMP Askham Grange unit has five double bedrooms to accommodate large families, however only one mother can use the facility at one time. Although information is not held in the time periods requested, the facility was used 144 times in 2018-19 and 98 times in 2019-20.

HMP Drake Hall has two separate units that can accommodate one mother, up to three children aged toddler to 18 years of age, and one baby in a travel cot. For larger families, the two suites can be combined to provide facilities for up to 6 children, which is assessed on a case by case basis. Full information relating to the number of occasions this facility was used is not held however, the suite has not been used during 2020 due to COVID restrictions.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, which women’s prisons provide facilities for women and their children to spend time together overnight.

There are six Mother and Baby Units (MBUs) across the women’s prison estate located at HMP Askham Grange, HMP Bronzefield, HMP Eastwood Park, HMP New Hall, HMP Peterborough and HMP Styal. MBUs are a national resource and enable mothers to maintain a bond with their children during an important period in their development and aim to reduce the negative impact imprisonment can have on young children, if evidence suggests it is in their best interests to remain with their mother.

The MBU also allows for children from the community to come and join their mothers in an MBU up to the age of 18 months. The environment is safe and nurturing for children, with development opportunities you would see in other nurseries, including toys and trips into the community. There is a national capacity of 64 mothers and 70 babies (to allow for multiple births). The national capacity has not been exceeded.

In addition to the existing MBUs, HMP Drake Hall and HMP Askham Grange offer overnight facilities that enable mothers and their children to spend time together. These facilities are available to all children up to the age of 18 years old. There is no additional overnight accommodation available at HMP Styal however, HMP Eastwood Park have enhanced the use of their MBU to provide an opportunity for risk assessed women to spend an overnight stay with one child, up to 12 years of age in the specifically arranged family room.

In regard to capacity, the HMP Askham Grange unit has five double bedrooms to accommodate large families, however only one mother can use the facility at one time. Although information is not held in the time periods requested, the facility was used 144 times in 2018-19 and 98 times in 2019-20.

HMP Drake Hall has two separate units that can accommodate one mother, up to three children aged toddler to 18 years of age, and one baby in a travel cot. For larger families, the two suites can be combined to provide facilities for up to 6 children, which is assessed on a case by case basis. Full information relating to the number of occasions this facility was used is not held however, the suite has not been used during 2020 due to COVID restrictions.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the rollout of section 28 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999, how many cases have applied or used section 28 used since its rollout, by (a) court and (b) month.

HMCTS does not hold data on how many times the provisions of a section 28 special measure have been applied or used by (a) court and (b) month.

The information requested is not held centrally and can only be obtained at a disproportionate cost.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many Nightingale Courts are being used for criminal trials.

HMCTS has opened 27 Nightingale courts comprising 54 courtrooms. Of these courtrooms, 30 are directly hearing Crown and Magistrates’ Court work with the rest being used to free up capacity for crime hearings within the existing HMCTS estate.

Crime recovery work is moving at pace – our focus is on increasing capacity and maximising use of the capacity we already have. The Criminal Courts Recovery Plan can be accessed on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/court-and-tribunal-recovery-update-in-response-to-coronavirus. This provides a comprehensive update on recovery plans and includes details about Nightingale courts.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many cracked trials there were in each of the last six months.

We have different data sources for the number of cracked trials in the Crown Courts and magistrates’ courts.

The table below shows the latest published data on the number of cracked trials in the Crown Courts. This data can be found on the HMCTS management information page.

Cracked trials in the Crown Courts

August 20

September 20

October 20

November 20

December 20

January 21

177

168

271

386

267

349

The latest published data we have on the number of cracked trials in the magistrates’ courts is set out in the table below. This data can be found on our quarterly national statistics page.

Cracked trials in the magistrates’ courts

Jan-March 20

April – June 20

July – Sept 20

8,807

615

4,315

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of whether social distancing will be required in courts after June 2021.

The access to justice provided by courts and tribunals is of critical importance. It is of the top priority of HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to ensure that essential public service is delivered safely.

We will keep this under careful review in light of PHE guidance at the time we will reform Courts to normal operation as quickly and safely as possible.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
8th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of HM Courts and Tribunals staff are agency staff.

The proportion of HMCTS Courts and Tribunal Full-time Equivalent staff that are agency staff as at the end of Jan 21 is 15%. This is based on an overall FTE figure of 17,439.39 which includes all HMCTS staff and agency staff.

FTE

HMCTS

14878.52

85%

Agency

2560.87

15%

Total

17439.39

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of whether additional funding is required to support prison leavers at risk of homelessness in the region of London compared with (a) East of England, (b) Yorkshire and the Humber, (c) Greater Manchester, (d) Kent Surrey and Sussex and (e) the North West as part of the selection of areas for the new pilot of temporary accommodation for prison leavers.

We recognise the significant problem of homelessness faced by a number of our service users in London and are working to prevent homelessness amongst prison leavers, by continuing the successful probation Homelessness Prevention Team in the region, which has supported many homeless prison leavers during the COVID emergency period, and by working in partnership with other organisations to develop new initiatives.

HMP Wandsworth has been selected as a prison to introduce and test a new accommodation role. The Housing Specialist will work to strengthen links between prisons, through the gate teams and local authorities to improve accommodation outcomes for those at risk of homelessness. The post holder will also work to drive forward our Homelessness Reduction Act and Duty to Refer pilot with several key London local authorities.

London was not chosen as one of the probation regions for the delivery of the Tier 3 – Community Accommodation Service for the next financial year, due to the need to prioritise the work on the transition of probation services in the capital.

It is our intention to roll out the Tier 3 accommodation provision nationally, pending the Spending Review later this year.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether new dedicated staff set to act as brokers for prisoners to secure quicker access to accommodation and services on release in eleven prisons will receive training on gender specific accommodation challenges for women prison leavers.

We are introducing and testing the Housing Specialist role across a number of prisons, including HMP Newhall in the female estate. The specific challenges women prison leavers face accessing accommodation and services on release have been considered as part of the design of the role and project as a whole. Candidates who do not already have an understanding of these challenges will be given support to develop this, working alongside colleagues who understand the challenges, in order to maximise the opportunities on release.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish the Departmental modelling that led to the announcement of up to 500 new prison cells in women’s prisons; and what assessment his Department has made of the effect of those new cells on (a) women’s health and (b) child dependants.

Our prison population projections, published in November last year, show that the female prison population is projected to rise by around two-fifths by 2026 (1,300 women), with most of that rise coming in the next two years. Our projections took in to consideration the impact of the planned recruitment of a further 23,400 police officers.

Our projections further assumed the future gender composition of the prison population will be broadly consistent with the pre-COVID composition; however, there is a fair degree of uncertainty in this respect, not least because of the additional police recruitment. As such we modelled a total of four scenarios which included a 20% higher/lower throughput from the police and a fast court recovery scenario. Table 2.1 and 4.1 taken from our prison population projections, illustrate this below:

Table 2.1 below shows the two extra scenarios of a lower and a higher impact police scenario for both men and women.

Central

Lower Police Scenario

Higher Police Scenario

Fast Court Recovery

September 2020

79,235

79,235

79,235

79,235

September 2021

83,200

83,000

83,500

85,900

September 2022

88,100

87,200

89,100

88,600

September 2023

93,000

91,300

94,700

91,900

September 2024

96,000

93,800

98,300

94,900

September 2025

97,700

95,000

100,300

97,000

September 2026

98,700

95,900

101,600

98,400

All figures are rounded to the nearest hundred. Components may not sum due to rounding.

Table 4.1 below shows the projections separately for children, females over 18 years and males over 18.

Total

Children

Female 18+

Male 18+

September 2020

79,235

395

3,217

75,623

September 2021

83,200

600

3,800

78,900

September 2022

88,100

600

4,100

83,500

September 2023

93,000

700

4,300

88,100

September 2024

96,000

700

4,400

90,900

September 2025

97,700

700

4,500

92,500

September 2026

98,700

700

4,500

93,500

All figures are rounded to the nearest hundred. Components may not sum due to rounding.

Both tables are available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/prison-population-projections-2020-to-2026

Custody should remain the last resort for women. However, it would be wrong to not build these places in response to the projected population forecast as outlined above and would further not align with the requirements of our Female Offender Strategy. The expansion of the women’s estate will provide better conditions for those women who do require custody. It is our responsibility to ensure that those women in our custody are held in appropriate, decent and safe accommodation. The expansion of the female estate will be developed alongside parallel investment in community provision and services for women.

The changes in the Women’s Estate will increase the resettlement opportunities for women by providing greater access to open conditions and also provide valuable modern, purpose-built accommodation within the closed estate which will improve the custodial experience for women who are not assessed as suitable for open conditions. This will provide improved rehabilitation and better outcomes for women.

At the heart of our project is a gender-informed and trauma aware evidence base which recognises that family ties are particularly important for women in custody who are more likely to be primary carers. We intend to reduce the distance from home for some women, making it easier for family visits and access work opportunities relevant to the area in which they may be released/eventually reside. Both of these opportunities are proven to assist in reducing recidivism rates. Our design principles include requirements around ensuring suitable visiting spaces are provided in both open and closed developments, such as the potential inclusion of rooms to support overnight visits for mothers and their children.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many courts the Domestic Abuse Best Practice Framework was rolled out to in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021; and when he plans to publish the results of the effect of that framework on those courts.

The Domestic Abuse Best Practice Framework was implemented across all magistrates’ courts in England and Wales in January 2019. Some regions went a step further and took the opportunity to corrall the Specialist Domestic Abuse Courts (SDAC) into one venue to enable them to provide a stronger, more efficient support service resource as opposed to hearing a small number of cases in nearby centres. All SDACs adopted the 5 core requirements within the Domestic Abuse Framework to ensure the optimum services were provided to all parties. Each region established joint boards to drive forward improvements locally and to review performance which was then monitored by a National DABPF board, where best practice was shared or provide support as and when required.

Domestic Abuse cases are given priority and are heard as soon as possible, but always before a trained bench and staff who are trained in this field.

The Domestic Abuse Best Practice Framework is now embedded in all magistrates’ courts.

The COVID19 pandemic has reduced our court room capacity, however domestic abuse courts remained a priority and were priority listings.

An audit was undertaken in Summer 2020 by the newly formed DABPF national board (membership from CPS, HMCTS, NPCC, MOJ, Home Office, the DA Commissioner, officials from the Office of the Senior Presiding Judge, Women’s Aid, Refuge, Savelives, and Witness Support) which identified that the regions continued to operate Specialist Domestic Abuse Courts, albeit some with remote third sector support due to the COVID pandemic. The reduction of court room capacity and the extra burdens that lockdowns and social distancing placed on courts in terms of service provision for the third sector reduced the ability for most of the Regions to make any meaningful progress towards further improvements. However, all regions have reflected that the relationships they had developed and the structures in place for multiagency new ways of working allowed then to continue to provide access to special domestic abuse services. The guidance and 5 key priorities that the framework provided gave all involved a firm basis to continue to effectively hear Domestic Abuse work despite the pandemic.

The newly formed National DABF board provides a robust governance structure to escalate issues to the National Oversight Group (chaired by the Home Secretary) or the National Criminal Justice Board and can identify and cascade best practice. To explore why referrals have been falling, and to drive up performance, a suite of work will be undertaken within the Framework governance with the NPCC leads, HMICFRS and the third sector.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish the guidance that HMCTS has received from Public Health England during the covid-19 outbreak.

The HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) approach to risk assessment is set out in our Organisational Risk Assessment (available on gov.uk),and is implemented on the ground by site-specific assessments carried out and kept under regular and frequent review. We work closely with Public Health officials to ensure our approach is entirely in line with prevailing standards and best practice.

Public Health experts have confirmed to HMCTS that our arrangements are strong enough to deal with the challenges provided by the new variants of the virus. In the first week of January we sought and received confirmation from Public Health experts that the policies we have in place to mitigate against the risks of transmission continue to be satisfactory. Public Health experts have confirmed that they are.

Public Health bodies consider scientific advice (including that on the new variant) when making their recommendations on Covid-secure arrangements for all workplaces. HMCTS and PHE officials work alongside one another to produce the documentation already published.

HMCTS’s guidance is published on Gov.uk and can found by using the web address below.

www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-courts-and-tribunals-planning-and-preparation

PHE agreed statement on the matter is published at the link below:

www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-courts-and-tribunals-planning-and-preparation#public-health-experts-confirm-court-and-tribunal-covid-secure-arrangements-appropriate

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many jury trials were completed in each of the last six months.

HMCTS publishes quarterly official statistics for the criminal courts here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/criminal-court-statistics-quarterly-april-to-june-2020/criminal-court-statistics-quarterly-april-to-june-2020.

HMCTS also publishes weekly Management Information for all jurisdictions, including the Magistrates’ Court, Crown Court and Employment Tribunal here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/hmcts-weekly-management-information-during-coronavirus-march-to-september-2020.

These weekly MI figures reflect the data held on the relevant case management systems and hence have some definitional and timing differences from any official statistics.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) receipts and (b) disposals there were in (a) magistrates courts, (b) Crown courts and (c) employment tribunals in each of the last 12 months.

HMCTS publishes quarterly official statistics for the criminal courts here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/criminal-court-statistics-quarterly-april-to-june-2020/criminal-court-statistics-quarterly-april-to-june-2020.

HMCTS also publishes weekly Management Information for all jurisdictions, including the Magistrates’ Court, Crown Court and Employment Tribunal here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/hmcts-weekly-management-information-during-coronavirus-march-to-september-2020.

These weekly MI figures reflect the data held on the relevant case management systems and hence have some definitional and timing differences from any official statistics.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how long he plans to keep in place covid-19 flexible operating hours in courts and tribunals in England and Wales.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has led the way internationally in continuing justice, restarting jury trials ahead of all other comparable systems.

We continue to make significant progress on Criminal Courts Recovery. Since August, magistrates’ courts have been consistently completing more cases than they are receiving, dealing with over 21,000 cases each week and tackling the backlog.

In the Crown Court, we are listing over 150 jury trials and conducting thousands of other hearings each week.

As part of the Criminal Courts Recovery we have considered adopting different operating hours to maximise HMCTS’ own estate. Magistrates’ courts are already responding flexibly at a local level, and a number of Crown Court buildings are now testing and refining a blended COVID Operating Hours model. It is important to note that COVID Operating Hours would be a time-limited measure and whilst they would mean that our buildings will be open for longer, no one party would be required to attend court for longer.

We identified seven Crown Court locations to test and refine the COVID Operating Hours model. We are monitoring the pilots and will assess them all by the end of November before a decision on further implementation is taken.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the covid-19 flexible operating hours pilots.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has led the way internationally in continuing justice, restarting jury trials ahead of all other comparable systems.

We continue to make significant progress on Criminal Courts Recovery. Since August, magistrates’ courts have been consistently completing more cases than they are receiving, dealing with over 21,000 cases each week and tackling the backlog.

In the Crown Court, we are listing over 150 jury trials and conducting thousands of other hearings each week.

As part of the Criminal Courts Recovery we have considered adopting different operating hours to maximise HMCTS’ own estate. Magistrates’ courts are already responding flexibly at a local level, and a number of Crown Court buildings are now testing and refining a blended COVID Operating Hours model. It is important to note that COVID Operating Hours would be a time-limited measure and whilst they would mean that our buildings will be open for longer, no one party would be required to attend court for longer.

We identified seven Crown Court locations to test and refine the COVID Operating Hours model. We are monitoring the pilots and will assess them all by the end of November before a decision on further implementation is taken.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the announcement of 21 September 2020 entitled Eight more Nightingale Courts to deliver justice, when those courts will be operating at full capacity; if he will publish the ongoing costs for each of those locations; and when more nightingale courts will be operational.

The dates on which the additional eight Nightingale courts will be open are as follows:

Nightingale court

Opening dates

Salford – Lowry Theatre

28/09/20

York – Hilton Hotel

29/09/20

Middlesbrough – Jury’s Inn

30/09/20

Bristol

w/c 12/10/20

Chester

w/c 19/10/20

Liverpool

w/c 19/10/20

Winchester

w/c 26/10/20

Cirencester

To be confirmed

These additional hearing venues are being rapidly set up to alleviate the pressure on courts and tribunals resulting from the pandemic and as such we are aiming to list cases to the maximum capacity.

The Nightingale courts announced to date will have an overall cost at the end of the financial year of £10m, excluding judicial costs. This covers both set up cost – including the cost of IT and video equipment, furniture, porterage, enabling works to prepare a site, and other costs such as security equipment - as well as ongoing running costs at each venue which reflect local commercial agreements. We are assessing further potential Nightingale court sites and announcements will be made in due course.

HMCTS has published an update on their response to covid-19 in the criminal courts in England and Wales (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/court-and-tribunal-recovery-update-in-response-to-coronavirus). This provides a comprehensive update on recovery plans and includes details about Nightingale courts.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the announcement of 21 September 2020 entitled Eight more Nightingale Courts to deliver justice, how many of those nightingale courts can hold criminal court cases; and how many criminal court trials have been held at nightingale courts since March 2020.

Five of the additional eight Nightingale courts announced on the 21 September 2020 will hear criminal court cases. All Nightingale courts help free up more room in existing courts to hear other cases, including custodial jury trials, which require cells and secure dock facilities to keep the public, victims and witnesses safe.

Information requested on criminal court trials is a subset of data that will be used to produce future National Statistics publications. Statistics on criminal court trials from the period Nightingale courts were operational (Q3 2020 Jul-Sept) are scheduled to be published on 17 December 2020 and I am therefore unable to provide these figures at this time.

HMCTS has published an update on their response to covid-19 in the criminal courts in England and Wales (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/court-and-tribunal-recovery-update-in-response-to-coronavirus). This provides a comprehensive update on recovery plans and includes details about Nightingale courts.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 1 September 2020 to Question 78820 on Nightingale courts, how many cases have been heard at each of the active nightingale court locations; if he will publish the ongoing running costs for each of those locations; and when the final remaining nightingale court locations will be operational.

HMCTS has published an update on their response to covid-19 in the criminal courts in England and Wales (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/court-and-tribunal-recovery-update-in-response-to-coronavirus). This provides a comprehensive update on recovery plans and includes details about Nightingale courts and our plans to open additional locations.

HMCTS has been tracking the utilisation of each of the Nightingale courts for the first weeks of operation and this is shown in the table below. Utilisation gives a better view of how much the courts are used than figures on cases heard – where courts are deliberately designed to hear longer cases, ‘cases heard’ might be low despite the court being in constant use. These estimates have been compiled from local records and compared very favourably with the utilisation of permanent courts prior to Covid-19.

Location

Date opened

Utilisation

Prospero House, London

03/08/2020

81%

Former Telford County Court

17/08/2020

100%

Former Fleetwood Magistrates Court

24/08/2020

70%

*Hertfordshire Development Centre

17/08/2020

80%

Swansea Civic Centre

17/08/2020

87%

Cloth Hall Court, Leeds

28/08/2020

85%

Middlesbrough Town Hall

18/08/2020

95%

East Pallant House, Chichester

20/07/2020

83%

Petty France, London

24/08/2020

70%

Peterborough Cathedral

01/09/2020

80%**

*The venue in Hertfordshire was hired for a specific period to meet a targeted operational need. This site is now closed.

** Estimated utilisation based on forward listing.

The first 18 Nightingale courts will have an overall cost at the end of the financial year of £10m, excluding judicial costs.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to his Department's press release entitled, 10 Nightingale Courts unveiled, published on 19 July 2020, how much each of the the 10 temporary courts listed will cost to establish.

HM Courts & Tribunals Service announced ten locations to provide additional capacity for the courts and tribunals estate on a temporary basis. These sites are located across England and Wales and are intended to hear civil, family and tribunals work as well as non-custodial crime cases, and thereby free up room in existing courts to hear other cases, including custodial jury trials.

Establishment costs are provided below (excluding ongoing running costs):

Pilot Site

Set-up Costs*

Prospero House, London

297,190

(the former) Telford County Court

251,421

(the former) Fleetwood Magistrates’ Court

150,312

Hertfordshire Development Centre

1,350

Swansea Civic Centre

27,579

Cloth Hall Court, Leeds

16,656

Middlesbrough Town Hall

10,163

East Pallant House, Chichester

1,350

Petty France, London

23,428

Peterborough Cathedral

56,256

Total

835,705

*these include the cost of IT and video equipment, furniture, porterage, enabling works to prepare a site, and other costs such as security equipment.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many cases were heard in (a) family courts, (b) civil courts, (c) magistrates courts, (d) crown courts and (e) tribunals in the most recent period for which figures are available; and (i) how many and (ii) what type of cases are outstanding in each of those courts as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Official published national statistics detailing the type and volume of cases disposed from January 2020 to March 2020 for (a) family courts, (b) civil courts, (c) criminal courts and (d) tribunals can be viewed at the following links.

a) Family - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/family-court-statistics-quarterly

b) Civil - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/civil-justice-statistics-quarterly

c) Criminal - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/criminal-court-statistics

d) Tribunals - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/tribunals-statistics

The volume of cases outstanding in the crown and magistrates’ courts from January 2020 to March 2020 are also included in the criminal court published statistics. Published national statistics on the number of outstanding cases in the family and civil courts are not available.

The latest HMCTS weekly management information during coronavirus, detailing the type and volume of cases disposed and outstanding up to 26 July 2020, can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/hmcts-weekly-management-information-during-coronavirus-march-to-july-2020. This management information is subject to the data quality issues associated with large administrative systems, including the late reporting of cases and regular updating of case details, which can lead to the figures being revised. It excludes figures relating to outstanding work in the civil courts - these are not currently collated because a large proportion of cases that begin are subsequently settled out of court or discontinued without HMCTS being notified.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the cost to the public purse was of (a) closing and selling Telford county court in 2017, (b) reopening that court in 2020, (c) closing and selling Fleetwood magistrates court in 2019 and (d) reopening that court in 2020.

On 19 July, HM Courts & Tribunals Service announced ten sites to provide additional capacity for the courts and tribunals estate on a temporary basis. These sites included two previously closed court houses; Telford County Court and Fleetwood Magistrates’ Court. These courts were not sold and have now been re-utilised to provide temporary additional capacity as part of the nightingale court programme.

Costs as requested are provided below:

Closure (decommissioning) costs

Nightingale setup costs*

Telford County Court

£22,201

£251,421

Fleetwood Magistrates’ Court

£49,267

£150,312

*these are setup costs and include the cost of IT and video equipment, furniture, porterage, enabling works to prepare a site, and other costs such as security equipment.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress has been made on the review into the reduction in rape prosecutions; and what her timetable is for (a) completing that review and (b) publishing its recommendations.

The Government recognises that the decline in the number of rape and serious sexual offences being charged and prosecuted in England and Wales is a cause for concern, and we are determined to do everything we can to ensure these appalling crimes are tackled effectively and victims are supported.

A review of the criminal justice response to rape and serious sexual offences was commissioned in March 2019 by the National Criminal Justice Board (CJB). A sub-group of the CJB is driving forward the review and continues to gather and analyse detailed views from key groups and agencies across the Criminal Justice System to enable us to better understand how the system’s response to rape cases can be improved.

The Government intends to publish its initial findings in the autumn.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the oral evidence of the Chief Executive, HM Courts and Tribunals Service to the Justice Select Committee on 23 June 2020, when his Department will publish information on (a) where the next round of Nightingale court venues will be located and (b) when these court venues will be functional.

On 19 July, HM Courts & Tribunals Service announced ten locations to provide additional capacity for the courts and tribunals estate on a temporary basis. These sites are located across England and Wales and are intended to hear civil, family and tribunals work as well as non-custodial crime cases, and thereby free up room in existing courts to hear other cases, including custodial jury trials.

HM Courts and Tribunals Service is working to have all these locations up and running by the end of August. Additional potential sites are being explored across the country and these will be confirmed in due course.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when he plans to publish an update on the progress of the pilot schemes run at Manchester and Brentford courts in early 2020 to test the efficacy of flexible working hours for courts.

The Flexible Operating Hours pilots took place at Manchester Civil Justice Centre and the County Court at Brentford from September 2019 to March 2020. Upon the pilots concluding an update was published in May 2020: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/flexible-operating-hours-pilots-conclude-at-manchester-and-brentford

HMCTS has appointed a consortium of IFF Research and Frontier Economics to carry out an independent evaluation of the Flexible Operating Hours pilots. The evaluation is being conducted as set out in the evaluation plan, published July 2019: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/flexible-operating-hours-evaluation-plan-and-summary. The evaluation report will be published following completion, in the autumn.

Options for extending working hours in the Crown and Magistrates’ courts are under consideration. There has been no pilot scheme to test the efficacy of extended working hours at Liverpool Crown Court.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when he plans to publish an update on the pilot schemes run at Liverpool Crown Court to test the efficacy of extended working hours for courts.

The Flexible Operating Hours pilots took place at Manchester Civil Justice Centre and the County Court at Brentford from September 2019 to March 2020. Upon the pilots concluding an update was published in May 2020: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/flexible-operating-hours-pilots-conclude-at-manchester-and-brentford

HMCTS has appointed a consortium of IFF Research and Frontier Economics to carry out an independent evaluation of the Flexible Operating Hours pilots. The evaluation is being conducted as set out in the evaluation plan, published July 2019: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/flexible-operating-hours-evaluation-plan-and-summary. The evaluation report will be published following completion, in the autumn.

Options for extending working hours in the Crown and Magistrates’ courts are under consideration. There has been no pilot scheme to test the efficacy of extended working hours at Liverpool Crown Court.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when his Department plans to publish the independent evaluation of the flexible operating hours pilots.

The Flexible Operating Hours pilots took place at Manchester Civil Justice Centre and the County Court at Brentford from September 2019 to March 2020. Upon the pilots concluding an update was published in May 2020: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/flexible-operating-hours-pilots-conclude-at-manchester-and-brentford

HMCTS has appointed a consortium of IFF Research and Frontier Economics to carry out an independent evaluation of the Flexible Operating Hours pilots. The evaluation is being conducted as set out in the evaluation plan, published July 2019: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/flexible-operating-hours-evaluation-plan-and-summary. The evaluation report will be published following completion, in the autumn.

Options for extending working hours in the Crown and Magistrates’ courts are under consideration. There has been no pilot scheme to test the efficacy of extended working hours at Liverpool Crown Court.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)