Gavin Shuker Portrait

Gavin Shuker

Independent - Former Member for Luton South

Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion
15th Nov 2016 - 6th Nov 2019
Women and Equalities Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 8th May 2019
Environmental Audit Committee
28th Nov 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Women and Equalities Committee
26th Oct 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Shadow Minister (International Development)
7th Oct 2013 - 18th Sep 2015
Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Mar 2011 - 7th Oct 2013
Transport Committee
2nd Nov 2010 - 18th Jul 2011


Division Voting information

Gavin Shuker has voted in 1559 divisions, and 5 times against the majority of their Party.

30 Jan 2019 - Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Gavin Shuker voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 6 Labour Aye votes vs 206 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 310 Noes - 257
12 Sep 2018 - EU-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (FTA) And Investment Protection Agreement (IPA) - View Vote Context
Gavin Shuker voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 21 Labour Aye votes vs 143 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 331 Noes - 145
23 Feb 2015 - Serious Crime Bill [Lords] - View Vote Context
Gavin Shuker voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 28 Labour Aye votes vs 178 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 201 Noes - 292
7 Sep 2011 - Health and Social Care (Re-committed) Bill - View Vote Context
Gavin Shuker voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 11 Labour Aye votes vs 208 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 118 Noes - 368
15 Jun 2010 - Backbench Business Committee - View Vote Context
Gavin Shuker voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 53 Labour Aye votes vs 57 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 171 Noes - 263
View All Gavin Shuker Division Votes

All Debates

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

Sparring Partners
David Cameron (Conservative)
(30 debate interactions)
Justine Greening (Independent)
(26 debate interactions)
Lord Benyon (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
(21 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Transport
(77 debate contributions)
Home Office
(64 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(58 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Gavin Shuker's debates

Latest EDMs signed by Gavin Shuker

23rd July 2019
Gavin Shuker signed this EDM on Wednesday 24th July 2019

UNIVERSAL CREDIT AND HOSPITALISED CHILDREN

Tabled by: Ruth George (Labour - High Peak)
That this House recognises the enormous personal and financial pressures placed on parents when their child is seriously ill; is aware of the care that parents are required to give their children while their children are in hospital, the additional costs of transport and parking that they incur, and that …
42 signatures
(Most recent: 9 Sep 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 31
Independent: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Liberal Democrat: 2
Scottish National Party: 2
Crossbench: 1
Conservative: 1
6th March 2018
Gavin Shuker signed this EDM on Tuesday 6th March 2018

REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY: TIME OFF FOR RETAIL STAFF ON 100th ANNIVERSARY OF THE END OF WW1

Tabled by: David Hanson (Labour - Delyn)
That this House believes that all people in the UK should be able to pay their respects on 11 November 2018 to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country during conflict; notes that this year marks the centenary of the end of the First World War; further notes …
65 signatures
(Most recent: 19 Jun 2018)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 51
Independent: 4
Scottish National Party: 3
Liberal Democrat: 3
The Independent Group for Change: 2
Conservative: 2
Non-affiliated: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Gavin Shuker's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Gavin Shuker, 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.


1 Urgent Question tabled by Gavin Shuker

Wednesday 22nd March 2017

Gavin Shuker has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Gavin Shuker has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Gavin Shuker has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


219 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
5 Other Department Questions
18th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps the Government is taking to improve access to further and higher education for young Muslims.

We have recently introduced the Higher Education and Research Bill which, subject to the will of Parliament, will permit the introduction of a non-interest bearing alternative to student loans. This would be available to students of all faiths and none and will result in no financial advantage or disadvantage relative to the equivalent loan.

The Government is committed to increasing the number of BME students in higher education by 20% by 2020 and the proportion of apprenticeship starts by people from BME backgrounds by 20% by 2020.

We have also recently announced our intention to introduce a Transparency Duty on higher education institutions to publish more statistical information on the number of students who apply for places, receive offers and drop out from higher education institutions by ethnicity, gender and social background.

18th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what discussions he has had with his counterpart in Pakistan on increasing trade between the UK and (a) Pakistan and (b) Azad Kashmir.

I have held no discussions with the Federal Minister for Commerce of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan, about increasing trade between the UK and Pakistan or Pakistan Administered Kashmir.

9th Mar 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what recent estimate he has made of the number of (a) men and (b) women in each of the sectors covered by his Department's 11 industrial strategies.

The original industrial strategies did not contain estimates for employment by gender. Where sectors are clearly defined by Standard Industrial Classifications (SIC) we have been able to calculate estimates of these using published ONS data. Where this is not the case estimates are unavailable.

Employment in Industrial Strategy Sectors by Gender 2014

Male

Female

Total

Aerospace

99

14

113

Automotive

131

17

148

Construction (Contracting only)

1,833

283

2,116

Digital Economy

1,071

475

1,546

Life Sciences

55

35

90

Oil and Gas

24

5

29

Professional and Business Services

2,439

1,812

4,251

Source: BIS Calculations on ONS Annual Business Survey and Employee Jobs Data

2nd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, how much was spent on each media type for 2016 Step Up to the Living Wage campaign.

The total budget allocated for the National Living Wage advertising campaign is £4.95 million. The campaign will run until the end of April and we expect to come in under budget.

A breakdown of anticipated costs for the National Living Wage campaign can be found in the table below:

Advertising design and planning

£497,571

Poster advertising

£751,612.69

TV and video on demand(VOD)

£1,730,387.70

Social media advertising (combined budget)

£354,000

Digital display advertising and pay per click (PPC)

£520,000

Newspaper/magazine advertising

£250,000

National Living Wage website

£21,860

Other elements of the campaign (please specify)

  • Radio: £299,826
  • Evaluation £250,000

The Government’s new National Living Wage is a step up for working people, so it is important workers know their rights and that employers pay the new £7.20 from April 1 this year. Britain deserves a pay rise and as a One Nation Government we are making sure it gets one. The campaign will tell people about their entitlements and is targeted at employers, and workers currently earning the National Minimum Wage.

2nd Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps he is taking to secure OECD agreement to stop OECD members supporting coal projects overseas through export credit agencies.

UK Export Finance has been participating in discussions within the OECD with the aim of achieving a multilateral agreement on limiting the provision of export credits for coal-fired power projects.

8th Feb 2016
To ask the Attorney General, how many people have been charged with paying for sexual services of a child under section 47 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 where (a) the victim was under 18, and those charged did not reasonably believe that the victim was 18 or over and (b) the victim was under 13 in each of the last three years.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not maintain a central record of the number of defendants prosecuted for offences brought under section 47 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 or the ages of victims. This information could only be obtained by examining CPS case files, which would incur disproportionate cost. However, records are held showing the overall number of offences, rather than defendants, in which a prosecution commenced at magistrates’ courts. These are detailed below.

2012-2013

2013-2014

2014-2015

Sexual Offences Act 2003 S.47

26

36

49

Note: A single defendant may be prosecuted for multiple offences.

Robert Buckland
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
25th Sep 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he has received legal advice on the compliance of the Get ready for Brexit campaign with the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019.

In law that the UK is set to leave the EU on 31 October 2019. “Get Ready for Brexit” is a public information campaign providing the facts citizens and businesses need to know about the preparations they need to take to be ready for when the UK leaves the EU.

The campaign is a cross-government campaign using national advertising including TV, radio, press, digital and outdoor advertising. It also includes direct engagement and local elements including business preparedness events, ministerial visits and local authority activity.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Sep 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he has taken to amend the Get Ready for Brexit advertising campaign as a result of the European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 2) Act 2019.

In law that the UK is set to leave the EU on 31 October 2019. “Get Ready for Brexit” is a public information campaign providing the facts citizens and businesses need to know about the preparations they need to take to be ready for when the UK leaves the EU.

The campaign is a cross-government campaign using national advertising including TV, radio, press, digital and outdoor advertising. It also includes direct engagement and local elements including business preparedness events, ministerial visits and local authority activity.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
1st Jul 2019
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2019 to Question 268457 on European Parliament: elections, whether the Government received such legal advice after 23 May 2019.

Ministers regularly receive legal advice on a variety of topics to aid the decision making process.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
24th Jun 2019
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Government has received legal advice on its recent performance of its obligations under Article 20(2)(b) TFEU to guarantee EU citizens resident in the UK the right to vote and to stand as candidates in elections to the European Parliament under the same conditions as UK nationals.

The Government took all the legal steps necessary to prepare for the European Parliamentary
elections and put in place all the legislative and funding elements to enable Returning Officers to
make their preparations required for the polls on 23 May.

The necessity for EU citizens to complete a UC1 form to be able to vote in European Parliamentary
elections implements a requirement under EU law. This is not a new requirement and has been in
place for previous European Parliamentary elections. Similar provisions apply to UK citizens living
in other EU Member States

As with any election we will reflect on proceedings and outcomes. In line with their statutory duty,
the Electoral Commission will be publishing a report into the administration of the polls later this
year, which the Government will consider in due course.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
8th Mar 2016
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many billboard and poster sites have been procured for each campaign advertising Government policy since May 2015.

All Government advertising is procured via our media buying agency, Carat. Their database shows that since May 2015, a total of 227,558 Out of Home advertising sites (which includes billboards/posters) have been purchased by central Government and the wider public sector.

The overall cost of Government communications last year was £330 million less than in 2009/10. Over the course of the last Parliament spending was reduced by a total of £1 billion, according to the latest audited figures.

Detail on purchase of sites by each campaign could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

20th Nov 2014
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many new jobs have been created in each parliamentary constituency in the East of England since October 2012.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

17th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of whether post offices that have been integrated within other stores are providing the same level of service as dedicated post office branches.

The Government recognises the critical role that post offices play in communities and for small businesses across the UK. This is why the Government committed to safeguard the post office network and protect existing rural services. The overall number of post offices across the UK remains at its most stable in decades with over 11,500 branches thanks to significant Government investment of over £2 billion since 2010.

While the Government sets the strategic direction for the Post Office, it allows the company the commercial freedom to deliver this strategy as an independent business. Hosting or franchising of Post Office branches an operational matter for Post Office Limited. I have therefore asked Paula Vennells, the Group Chief Executive of Post Office Limited, to write to the hon Member on this matter. A copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

13th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what representations his Department has received on the closure of the main post office in central Luton.

The Government sets the strategic direction for the Post Office and allows the company the commercial freedom to deliver this strategy as an independent business.  This strategy, backed by Government investment of over £2 billion since 2010, has delivered a branch network that is at its most stable and accessible in decades, with over 11,500 branches and 99.7% of the UK population living within 3 miles of their nearest branch.  This investment in the Post Office has also led to other benefits to the consumer including an extra 200,000 opening hours per week and over 7,500 modernised branches.

There is no Post Office closure or privatisation programme and the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy has not received any representations on the franchising of the Post Office in Luton. The Post Office ran a 6-week public consultation from 24 October 2018 to 5 December 2018 and will write to locally elected representatives, Consumer Advocacy Bodies and respondents to the consultation on its decisions and plans.

13th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the economic effect on (a) local businesses and (b) local communities of the closure of dedicated high street post offices in Luton.

The Government recognises the critical role that post offices play in communities and for small businesses across the UK. This is why the Government committed to safeguard the post office network and protect existing rural services. The overall number of post offices across the UK remains at its most stable in decades with over 11,500 branches thanks to significant Government investment of over £2 billion since 2010.

While the Government sets the strategic direction for the Post Office, it allows the company the commercial freedom to deliver this strategy as an independent business. There is no post office closure programme in Luton or across the UK, however, post offices are being franchised and this is an operational matter for the Post Office. I have therefore asked Paula Vennells, the Group Chief Executive of Post Office Limited, to write to the hon Member on this matter. A copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

6th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his department maintains a list of all UK companies which have a global turnover of more than (a) £16 million (b) £26 million (c) £36 million and (d) £46 million.

The department does not maintain such a list of UK companies.

18th Apr 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the average salary of (a) mothers and (b) fathers taking shared parental leave is.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy does not hold information on the average salary of mothers or fathers taking Shared Parental Leave.

13th Apr 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the average salary of mothers who have taken up maternity leave in each year since 2010.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy does not hold information on the average salary of mothers who have taken up maternity leave each year since 2010.

21st May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to promote women’s participation in motorsport.

The government is determined to get more girls and women taking part in sport in a way that suits them, something we set out in our sport strategy, Sporting Future. Motor sports and motor cycling clubs and associations are eligible to apply to Sport England for funding and I would encourage them to consider this as an option to help increase participation.

I also welcome the recently launched W Series, including a race in the UK. The W Series will showcase women's motorsport to an international audience and provide new routes into the sport for women. I applaud the decision of Channel 4 to broadcast the W Series in the UK, celebrating female racing talent and hopefully inspiring a new generation of fans.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to increase funding for sixth form colleges in England in 2019-20.

For the current academic year 2019-20, the department is protecting the base rate of funding at £4,000 for 16 to 19-year-olds at all types of provider, including sixth forms colleges. We are continuing to provide additional funding, for example over £500 million to support disadvantaged students. One new element of funding in this academic year is the advanced maths premium which provides additional funding of £600 for every additional young person studying specified level 3 maths qualifications. Our commitment to the 16 to 19 sector has contributed to the current record high proportion of 16 and 17-year-olds who are participating in education or apprenticeships, the highest since consistent records began.

My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of Exchequer announced on 31 August 2019 that the government will invest an extra £400 million in 16-19 education in 2020-21. This represents an increase of 7% in overall 16 to 19 funding and the biggest year-on-year increase since 2010, with funding increasing faster for 16-19 than in 5-16 schooling. This will ensure that we are building the skills that our country needs to thrive in the future. As part of this, the base rate of funding for all types of providers, including sixth form colleges, will be increased by 4.7% in academic year 2020-21, from £4,000 to £4,188.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
25th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department has issued to schools on the eligibility of EU citizens without settled status to receive state-funded education up to the age of 18.

Schools and local authorities cannot take into account nationality or immigration status when deciding which pupils to admit, and there will be no change to this after exiting the EU. Parents or carers of pupils who are EU, EEA or Swiss citizens will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 2020.

The Department has issued advice for schools on how to prepare for exiting the EU, which includes information on the EU Settlement Scheme and on accessing school places after exiting the EU. The guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-exit-no-deal-preparations-for-schools-in-england/eu-exit-no-deal-preparations-for-schools-in-england.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
26th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of demand for school places for (a) boys and (b) girls in Luton in the next five years.

Local authorities are responsible for ensuring sufficient school places for pupils, including accurately forecasting demand. The Department collects forecasts of future demand for pupil places from each local authority, covering the next five years, through the annual school capacity survey (SCAP). Local authorities do not distinguish the gender of pupils within this data.

The latest published SCAP data, relating to the position as reported at May 2015, can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/school-capacity-academic-year-2014-to-2015. Local authority level data for pupil forecasts can be found in tables A5 for primary and A6 for secondary. This data covers the periods 2015 to 2019 for primary and 2015 to 2021 for secondary.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
26th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much her Department spent on developing and supporting the Saint Anne's High School for Girls free school project in Luton prior to its cancellation.

In line with the Government’s transparency agenda the Department’s policy is to publish expenditure data in a manner helpful to the public. With that in mind we publish the full pre-opening revenue cost of cancelled or withdrawn free school projects once the amount of expenditure has been finalised. Once it has been finalised, the expenditure for Saint Anne’s High School for Girls will be published on: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/revenue-expenditure-for-free-schools

3rd Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Answer of 16 February 2016 to Question 26162, when she plans to publish details of the unspent funding returned to her Department by Luton Girls' Academy or people associated with its free school application.

£155,153 of pre-opening expenditure was spent on Luton Girls’ Academy after taking into account a refund of £24,847 made by the Trust. This was published on GOV.UK in May 2016:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/revenue-expenditure-for-free-schools

22nd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it is her Department's policy to publish details of repayments to the public purse made by cancelled or withdrawn free schools.

Total pre-opening revenue costs for Luton Girls’ Academy will be published by end March 2016. This will take into account a repayment of grant which was made by the Trust in July 2015.

In line with the Government’s transparency agenda the Department’s policy is to publish expenditure data in a manner helpful to the public. With that in mind we publish the full pre-opening revenue cost of cancelled or withdrawn free school projects once the amount of expenditure, taking into account any repayments, has been finalised.

19th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 16 February 2016 to Question 26162 on free schools: Luton, whether she plans to publish details of the repayments made by Luton Girl's Academy or people associated with its application, by date, in March 2016.

Total pre-opening revenue costs for Luton Girls’ Academy will be published by end March 2016. This will take into account a repayment of grant which was made by the Trust in July 2015.

In line with the Government’s transparency agenda the Department’s policy is to publish expenditure data in a manner helpful to the public. With that in mind we publish the full pre-opening revenue cost of cancelled or withdrawn free school projects once the amount of expenditure, taking into account any repayments, has been finalised.

8th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what payments her Department has provided to Luton Girl's Academy or people associated with its application to achieve free school status since 2013; on what dates such payments were made; and on what dates the school or such individuals repaid payments to her Department.

Proposer groups whose applications are approved into the pre-opening stage of the free school process receive a fixed rate project development grant to cover essential expenditure to establish a new school.

Total pre-opening revenue costs for free schools that opened or were withdrawn before opening, are published on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/revenue-expenditure-for-free-schools.

The Department plans to publish updated expenditure for free schools that were open or withdrawn in 2015, which will include Luton Girls’ Academy, by end March 2016. Any unspent funding is returned to the Department by the trust.

2nd Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions officials from her Department have had with Luton local authority on the implications of the decision to withdraw approval for Luton Girls' Academy.

All free school projects approved to enter the pre-opening stage are paid a grant to support the project through to opening – the Project Development Grant (PDG). The PDG is essential to financially support the school during pre-opening. Where a project is withdrawn from the programme, payment of the PDG is stopped. To date, Ace Trust Limited has received two PDG payments amounting to £180,000 and the department will take steps to recover any unspent funds.

The Regional Schools Commissioner for North West London and South Central held a meeting with senior officers from Luton Borough Council on 14 November 2014. The department received written correspondence from the Corporate Director, Children & Learning at Luton Borough Council on 5 January 2015 and a subsequent telephone discussion took place on 14 January 2015 between officials and the team responsible for admissions and pupil place planning in Luton to discuss secondary pupil place need and the potential implications of withdrawing the Luton Girls’ Academy free school project. This ensured the views of the council were taken into account prior to any decision being made, and the impact on pupils was carefully considered.

The decision to withdraw approval for Luton Girls’ Academy was taken on 26 January 2015 and communicated to Ace Trust Limited in a letter dated 27 January 2015.

2nd Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding her Department has provided to ACE Trust Ltd for the development of Luton Girls' Academy.

All free school projects approved to enter the pre-opening stage are paid a grant to support the project through to opening – the Project Development Grant (PDG). The PDG is essential to financially support the school during pre-opening. Where a project is withdrawn from the programme, payment of the PDG is stopped. To date, Ace Trust Limited has received two PDG payments amounting to £180,000 and the department will take steps to recover any unspent funds.

The Regional Schools Commissioner for North West London and South Central held a meeting with senior officers from Luton Borough Council on 14 November 2014. The department received written correspondence from the Corporate Director, Children & Learning at Luton Borough Council on 5 January 2015 and a subsequent telephone discussion took place on 14 January 2015 between officials and the team responsible for admissions and pupil place planning in Luton to discuss secondary pupil place need and the potential implications of withdrawing the Luton Girls’ Academy free school project. This ensured the views of the council were taken into account prior to any decision being made, and the impact on pupils was carefully considered.

The decision to withdraw approval for Luton Girls’ Academy was taken on 26 January 2015 and communicated to Ace Trust Limited in a letter dated 27 January 2015.

2nd Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when the decision was taken to withdraw approval for Luton Girls' Academy.

All free school projects approved to enter the pre-opening stage are paid a grant to support the project through to opening – the Project Development Grant (PDG). The PDG is essential to financially support the school during pre-opening. Where a project is withdrawn from the programme, payment of the PDG is stopped. To date, Ace Trust Limited has received two PDG payments amounting to £180,000 and the department will take steps to recover any unspent funds.

The Regional Schools Commissioner for North West London and South Central held a meeting with senior officers from Luton Borough Council on 14 November 2014. The department received written correspondence from the Corporate Director, Children & Learning at Luton Borough Council on 5 January 2015 and a subsequent telephone discussion took place on 14 January 2015 between officials and the team responsible for admissions and pupil place planning in Luton to discuss secondary pupil place need and the potential implications of withdrawing the Luton Girls’ Academy free school project. This ensured the views of the council were taken into account prior to any decision being made, and the impact on pupils was carefully considered.

The decision to withdraw approval for Luton Girls’ Academy was taken on 26 January 2015 and communicated to Ace Trust Limited in a letter dated 27 January 2015.

2nd Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many first choice school admissions applications were submitted to Luton Girls' Academy for entry in September 2014.

Luton Girls’ Academy was not planned to open for the start of the 2014/15 academic year so no applications were received for entry in September 2014.

19th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps he has taken to improve animal welfare standards for live exports.

The Government’s manifesto made it clear that we would take early steps to control the export of live farm animals for slaughter once we leave the EU.

Last year we launched a call for evidence on controlling live exports for slaughter and improving the welfare of all animals during transport. We passed this evidence to the Farm Animal Welfare Committee (FAWC), who recently submitted their advice to the Government and the devolved administrations. We are considering FAWC’s report and aim to publish it, along with a Government response, in the summer.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
17th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he has taken to ensure continuity of supply for steroid treatments for dogs in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The Government recognises the importance of veterinary medicines in ensuring animal health and welfare in the UK.

The Government is working with the animal medicines industry to ensure that supplies of veterinary medicines remain available in the event of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
22nd May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to reduce the number of race horses killed as a result of horse racing.

The Government is keen that the welfare needs of racehorses are well met, both during their racing lives and afterwards. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is responsible for the safety of racehorses at British racecourses and the BHA works alongside the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare to make horseracing as safe as possible.

However, both I and the BHA consider that more can be done to make horseracing safer which is why I have been holding regular discussions with the BHA about this. Most recently on the 14 May, I met with the BHA as well as the new independent Chair of the BHA’s newly appointed Horse Welfare Board. This was a constructive meeting where the number of fatalities of racehorses was acknowledged and both sides agreed that further action is required to tackle avoidable harm and make the sport safer.

The Board committed to doing all it can to improve welfare outcomes. I stressed the need for the BHA to develop a robust action plan that will deliver tangible results and intend to stay in regular contact with the industry to continue to press for improvements in racehorse welfare.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
21st May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to provide local authorities with the resources to enforce the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to the hon. Member for Bridgend, Madeleine Moon, on 22 May 2019, PQ 256270.

David Rutley
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
11th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the UK meets its ODA obligations in the event that the UK leave the European Union without a deal.

The Department, working with Treasury and other Government departments, is always planning for contingencies to ensure that the UK meets its ODA obligations. The consequences of leaving the European Union without a deal come within this broader contingency planning.

1st Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect on medical facilities in Yemen of the recent cyclone in that country.

Two tropical cyclones – Sagar and Mekunu – hit parts of Yemen in the second half of May, with the most severe damage reported on the island of Socotra. A rapid assessment suggests that all the health facilities in Socotra are functioning but with low capacity and in urgent need of essential drugs. The humanitarian community has started to send shelter kits and other non-food items, as well as food and medical supplies to the island. A UN team is working with the local authorities to assess further needs and coordinate response efforts.

Only half of Yemen’s health facilities are fully functional and 16 million Yemenis require support to obtain healthcare. Our support of £170 million to Yemen this financial year (2018/19) includes support for improving the quality and availability of healthcare and medical supplies in Yemen.

1st Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect on access to clean drinking water in Yemen of the recent cyclone in that country.

Two tropical cyclones – Sagar and Mekunu – hit parts of Yemen in the second half of May. Early reports indicate that the damage was most severe on the island of Socotra, where the water network has been damaged and floods are increasing the risk of waterborne diseases. The humanitarian community has started to send emergency supplies, including hygiene kits and chlorine to purify water to Socotra, and a UN team is working with the local authorities to assess further needs and coordinate response efforts.

Some 16 million Yemenis require support to meet their basic water, sanitation and hygiene needs. The UK’s support of £170 million to Yemen this financial year (2018/19) is helping to provide clean water, sanitation and hygiene services to Yemen.

1st Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to tackle sexual exploitation and trafficking of Rohingya refugee women and girls.

We recognise that Rohingya women and girls face risks in the camps including domestic violence, sexual harassment, forced labour and sexual exploitation. DFID is helping to provide services including psycho-social counselling, reproductive health services, child-friendly spaces, safe shelters and legal advice in the camps. We are also providing essential help in the camps such as improved lighting and alarms to help keep women and girls safer.

1st Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment she has made of the risk of sexual exploitation of women and girls at refugee camps in Bangladesh.

We recognise that Rohingya women and girls face risks in the camps including domestic violence, sexual harassment, forced labour and sexual exploitation. DFID is helping to provide services including psycho-social counselling, reproductive health services, child-friendly spaces, safe shelters and legal advice in the camps. We are also providing essential help in the camps such as improved lighting and alarms to help keep women and girls safer.

17th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment her Department has made of the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

Yemen is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. The recent escalation in fighting and restrictions on commercial and humanitarian access threaten to push the country into catastrophic famine. The UN estimates that almost 18 million people in Yemen do not have reliable access to food and over 8 million people face extreme food shortages.

The International Development Secretary visited Djibouti and Saudi Arabia in December, where she announced a further £50 million in life-saving UK aid to provide food and fuel for millions of people. This announcement increased our support to Yemen to £205 million overall for this financial year (2017/18) making us the third-largest humanitarian donor to Yemen overall and the second-largest to the UN Humanitarian Appeal.

29th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the effect on the level of provision of medical treatment to Yemeni civilians of the withdrawal of Mèdecins Sans Frontières from Ibb Al-Thawra Hospital in Yemen.

According to their statement of 23 March, Médecins Sans Frontières is planning to withdraw gradually over a period of three months, during which access to healthcare will be maintained. It is unclear what arrangements will be in place to supply aid following their withdrawal. DFID is monitoring the situation closely.

14th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the Myanmar government removes remaining aid restrictions and facilities access for humanitarian aid throughout that country.

Humanitarian assistance continues to reach the large majority of those in need in Burma. The government of Burma played a constructive role in providing and facilitating humanitarian assistance to areas affected by flooding in 2015. In conflict areas there remain significant restrictions to humanitarian access, that in some cases limit the quality and reach of humanitarian assistance.

DFID officials, together with other donors and United Nations agencies, have discussed aid policy and coordination with the new government of Burma, including administrative and security regulations that can limit access for assistance, including in Rakhine State in June 2016. DFID officials raise local issues limiting humanitarian access during field visits, including during visits to Kachin State in June 2015 and Rakhine State in May 2016. DFID closely monitors humanitarian access limitations and works together with other donor governments and the United Nations to seek to alleviate these. Through these channels and directly we will be encouraging the new government of Burma to act to address policies and practices that limit humanitarian access.

10th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment she has made of the operational readiness of St Helena Airport; and when she expects commercial operations at that airport to commence.

The St Helena Airport was certificated by Air Safety Support International on 10 May 2016 and is open. As a result of turbulence and wind shear identified on the northern approach, the certification confirms the airport is classed as Category C, which requires certain conditions to be met by airlines and aircraft proposing to use the airport. Work is underway to establish commercial air services.

10th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what estimate she has made of the weekly cost of the deferment of the opening of St Helena Airport.

The St Helena Airport was certificated by Air Safety Support International on 10 May 2016 and is open.

18th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what programmes her Department provides to counter the use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war and subjugation.

DFID is committed to addressing all forms of violence against women and girls in emergencies. This includes rape and sexual violence used within armed conflict as a weapon of war. We know that in conflict settings specifically, rape, or sexual violence by combatants is sadly only one component of a wide range of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Other forms of SGBV are often more prevalent.

DFID’s response to counter the use of rape and sexual violence is primarily through our commitments under the Call to Action to Protect Women and Girls in Emergencies. Through a combination of humanitarian operations and longer term development programmes we address both the immediate needs of survivors of sexual violence and tackle the underlying root causes of violence, such as gender inequality, discrimination and lack of women’s political and economic participation.

2nd Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how many of her Department's staff of each grade attended the Commission on the Status of Women in March 2016.

The DFID staffing requirements for this event are yet to be confirmed.

4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of its funding to the African Union Gender, Peace and Security Programme on each country in receipt of such funding.

UK support to the African Union Gender, Peace and Security Programme (GPSP) comes from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), which has funded the programme since financial year 2014/15. GPSP has delivered a number of high-impact outcomes, including the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative (PSVI). To date the GPSP has: established and supported the role of Special Envoy for Women, Peace and Security within the AU, raising the political profile of Gender across the continent; deployed a team of sexual violence experts to the Central African Republic to help care for victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse; supported the formulation of the Gender Mainstreaming action plan for AMISOM, the African Union’s peacekeeping operation in Somalia; funded a conduct and discipline officer to work with the AU Peace Support Operations Department in embedding gender into all agreements between the AU and Troop Contributing Countries; and supported the African Union in responding to allegations of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse in Somalia by delivering initiatives such as a helpline for victims.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what spending and technical support her Department has committed to what programmes in Central African Republic in each of the last five years.

DFID’s funding to CAR and CAR refugees has increased in the last five years in response to growing humanitarian needs caused by the conflict which started in 2012. DFID committed £2.25m in assistance in 2009, £5m in 2013, £28m in 2014 and has so far programmed £18m in 2015. UK funding has provided health care, livelihoods, protection and food assistance to CAR populations and CAR refugees over this period.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much her Department has spent on (a) physical infrastructure and (b) hygiene promotion for water, sanitation and hygiene services in (i) rural and (ii) urban areas in (1) Sierra Leone and (2) Liberia in each of the last five years; and what such spending her Department has planned for in each of the next three years.

DFID has spent the following on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Services (WASH) programmes in Sierra Leone and Liberia in each of the last five years, from its bilateral aid budget:

2009

(GBP millions)

2010

(GBP millions)

2011

(GBP millions)

2012

(GBP millions)

2013

(GBP millions)

Total

(GBP millions)

Sierra Leone

£3.2

£3.2

£4.4

£11.2

£15.3

£37.4

Liberia

£4

£0.4

£2.5

£6.8

£7.2

£3.6

£4.4

£11.2

£17.8

£44.2

This includes work on both physical infrastructure and hygiene promotion in rural and urban areas; however the data is not broken down in the format requested.

These programmes resulted in over 1 million people gaining access to improved sanitation facilities in Sierra Leone and more than 250 tonnes of municipal solid waste being collected in Monrovia through proper channels.

The ongoing Ebola outbreak, which began in 2014, has devastated both countries. DFID has continued to provide support to WASH as part of our unprecedented £427m response to the crisis. In July this year, the Secretary of State approved a new £240m package to support the government of Sierra Leone in their plans to recover from the outbreak, as well as an additional £6m for the Government of Liberia. Programming, which is now underway, is likely to continue to include significant support for the WASH sector.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
2nd Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department has reached a decision on whether to fund an extension of the Nigerian Infrastructure Advisory Facility - beyond NIAF 2.

The Nigerian Infrastructure Advisory Facility 2 (NIAF2) will end in December 2016. A decision regarding future support for infrastructure development in Nigeria beyond NIAF2 will be taken during the next Country Operational Plan period, starting in April 2016.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
2nd Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department takes to ensure that all UK aid is responsive to climate change and low carbon development.

DFID’s responsibilities on climate and environment derive from the International Development Act’s commitment to sustainable development, based on the substantial evidence that poverty eradication is not possible without tackling climate change. Hence all DFID programmes are assessed for climate and environment opportunities and risks. The capacity of staff to do this has also been strengthened through DFID’s ‘Future Fit’ programme which has helped spending departments identify key climate issues in their programmes.

In addition, the UK’s flagship International Climate Fund (ICF) has been used to comprehensively address climate issues through DFID programmes in climate vulnerable sectors such as forestry, water, agriculture and disaster management. The ICF has already helped 15m people cope with the impacts of climate change, and created 39,000 jobs.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
15th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to (a) help developing countries create efficient tax regimes for multi-national corporations and (b) work with governments in other countries to ensure an equitable tax system for multi-national corporations in developing countries.

The Department for International Development funds the OECD and World Bank Group to provide expert advice to developing country tax authorities to improve their capacity in taxing multinational enterprises and better administering transfer pricing. At the Autumn Statement the Government also announced £1.8 million for HMRC to recruit a dedicated team of experts to tackle tax avoidance and evasion in developing countries, complementing the work of the HMRC Tax Capacity Building Unit. DFID also support the OECD’s Tax Inspectors Without Borders initiative, which puts expert tax auditors in the field working on complex multinational audit cases. In addition the Government is working with OECD members and G20 countries to ensure that developing countries can not only participate in the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) process that is reforming international tax rules, but also implement the outputs that emerge.

10th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if the Government will support at the UN Financing for Development conference the creation of a new international tax body under the auspices of the UN.

The UK is helping developing world countries collect more tax, for example through DFID-funded HMRC teams working in Pakistan and several other countries, and we are ensuring developing countries are participating in international processes, for example they are directly involved in the G20/OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) process and efforts by international organisations to produce practical toolkits to help developing countries implement new BEPS standards. We will continue to champion these and other important efforts to reform domestic and international tax systems at the UN Financing for Development conference.

10th Jun 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what the Government's priorities will be at the UN Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa in July 2015; and what her assessment is of the likely outcome of that conference.

As a country that has met its commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on international development, the UK’s priority for the UN Financing for Development Conference is to provide a solid foundation for the post-2015 summit in September and the climate meeting in December.

Negotiations are still underway and we are working to ensure the UK priorities form a core part of the agenda going forward.

23rd Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much her Department has issued in additional support to Malawi following the recent floods in that country; what activities this additional finance has been used to fund; and what proportion of such funding has been provided to the Malawian government for redistribution.

DFID Malawi has committed to provide up to £4.1 million to support both emergency response and early recovery efforts. These are funds from DFID Malawi’s 14/15 budget, including contingency humanitarian funds and the use of value for money savings. This is additional to the £3.4m already provided to meet the humanitarian needs of the food insecure during the lean season. DFID is working closely with partners to ensure that flooding support reaches those that need it most, in line with the Government of Malawi’s Preliminary Response Plan and coordinated through Government-led structures. No UK funding is channelled through Government of Malawi systems.

UK commitments so far include:

· £1m to the World Food Programme which is supplying 370,000 people with food for the first weeks, including by air to areas cut off by rising waters.

· £665,000 to UNICEF to provide emergency water, sanitation and hygiene facilities to prevent the spread of disease in displacement camps.

· Over £1m through NGO and private sector partners to provide seeds and tools to smallholder farmers whose crops have been damaged by the floods.

· £800,000 through the UN Humanitarian Fund, in support of particular coordination and camp management, nutrition, protection and health activities, plus funds for specialist UN personnel to coordinate the response.

In addition, a number of NGOs have also accessed the Start Fund, a funding mechanism for delivering rapid humanitarian assistance which is jointly funded by the UK and Irish Governments. ActionAid, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide and Save the Children have used £350,000 from the fund to provide vital resources to those displaced by the floods.

20th Feb 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what financial contribution the Government plans to make to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in (a) 2015-16 and (b) 2016-17.

The UK is currently the third largest donor to the UNRWA General Fund providing £106.5 million between 2012-2015. In response to the Gaza conflict last summer, the UK also provided an additional £9 million to the UNRWA Gaza Flash Appeal. Future funding decisions for contributions to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) will be informed by an assessment of need.

20th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, if her Department will ensure that Parliament is given adequate opportunity for effective scrutiny of the positions taken by the EU in the post-2015 sustainable development goals process.

There are ongoing discussions in Brussels and New York regarding the composition of the EU team and what role individual EU member states will play.

20th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what development issues and goal area she expects will be led by individual EU member states in the post-2015 sustainable development goals process; and whether the UK will lead on any of these development issues or goal areas.

There are ongoing discussions in Brussels and New York regarding the composition of the EU team and what role individual EU member states will play.

20th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how many (a) female and (b) male burial operatives have been recruited (i) from the UK and (ii) from Sierra Leone to burial teams as part of her Department's response to the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone.

The UK is supporting the training and management of over 100 burial teams. DFID does not retain specific data on the total number of burial operatives in Sierra Leone.

20th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether her Department has provided any financial support towards the opening of Médecins Sans Frontières' maternity clinic for Ebola sufferers.

DFID has not provided funding for the Médecins Sans Frontières run Ebola maternity clinic. However DFID has provided £750,000 for management of Ebola Treatment Centres in Kailahun in Sierra Leone, and in Monrovia and Foya county in Liberia.

20th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department has taken to target the increased contraction rate of Ebola amongst women in Sierra Leone; and if she will make a statement.

Data from the World Health Organisation indicates that there appears to be little difference in the incidence of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) infection by sex. However the Ebola outbreak has exacerbated the situation for those who were already vulnerable, including girls and women. The UK has therefore developed a Protection Strategy to ensure that action is taken to reduce the risk of transmission to these groups, and to mitigate the secondary impacts that they face.

20th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much funding from her Department has been assigned to Ebola vaccine candidate and safety testing; how much of that funding has been spent in (a) 2014 and (b) 2015 to date; and what steps she is taking to ensure that vaccine candidates funded by her Department are safe for use by pregnant women and nursing mothers.

Alongside the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust, DFID has assigned up to £2m for Phase 1 trials of the GlaxoSmithKline Ebola vaccine candidate. There have been no disbursements of funding to date.

The GSK vaccine has now been tested on healthy people without any significant side effects. Additional data will come from phase 2 and 3 trials. In line with standard practice for vaccine trials, the protocols exclude pregnant and breastfeeding women. This group would therefore not be included in any initial rollout.

20th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how many (a) female and (b) male patients have been treated for Ebola in each treatment centre funded by her Department.

The six UK-constructed Ebola Treatment Centres have admitted 620 patients as of 21 January 2015. Of these, 331 were women and 289 were men.

13th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, who will represent the (a) UK and (b) EU at each of the international meetings in 2015 that will work on the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals process.

The UK will be represented by the UK Envoy on post-2015 as well as other senior officials from DFID at the international meetings in 2015 on the post-2015 sustainable development goals. Who will represent the EU is still under discussion in Brussels.

13th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether the European Commission will be responsible for negotiating the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals on behalf of Member States.

In line with the General Arrangements for EU Statements in multilateral organisations, once the intergovernmental negotiations start, the UK will negotiate as part of the EU while retaining the right to speak nationally where appropriate.

13th Jan 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what the composition of the EU negotiation team for the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals will be; and how many UK representatives at each level of seniority will be permanently appointed to that team.

The composition of the EU negotiating team is still subject to member state approval.

15th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 5 December 2014 to Question 216932, whether any other departments contributed to the costs of holding the DfID Direct Roadshows.

No other DFID or HMG departments contributed to the cost of the DFID Direct Roadshows.

15th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 5 December 2014 to Question 216932, what venues were used for the DfID Direct Roadshows; and what the market value is of the cost of hiring each such venue for an event.

The DFID Direct Roadshows were held in the following venues:

• Temple of Peace, Welsh Centre for International Affairs

• The Paintworks, Bristol

• University Place, The University of Manchester

The Roadshow events incurred no costs to the department.

15th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 5 December 2014 to Question 216932, what publicity material was produced for the DfID Direct Roadshows.

A one page hand-out providing the details of three funding opportunities for small and medium sized civil society organisations was printed within the department by officials.

15th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether any of the projects within (a) the Strengthening Humanitarian Preparedness in High Risk Contexts programme and (b) other programmes by her Department in the Philippines have suffered any damage as a result of Typhoon Hagupit.

Typhoon Hagupit has demonstrated the need for DFID’s programmes in the Philippines and their value in saving lives and promoting recovery. Many of the programmes funded by DFID in response to Typhoon Haiyan supported better resilience of the Philippines in response to Typhoon Hagupit.

For example DFID funded £2million to construct core shelters designed to withstand winds of 250 km or more. All houses of this type built so far in Leyte or Panay islands have withstood the storm winds from Typhoon Hagupit.

15th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what proportion of the projects undertaken within the Strengthening Humanitarian Preparedness in High Risk Contexts programme based in the Philippines were located in areas affected by Typhoon Hagupit.

Manila, Tacloban and other central belt islands were included in the UNICEF programmes and the WFP programmes for pre-positioning stocks.

DFID’s total funding to the Philippines on humanitarian response, recovery and preparedness is currently £92.3 million.

15th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect of the Strengthening Humanitarian Preparedness in High Risk Contexts programme in directly mitigating the impact of Typhoon Hagupit.

DFID’s £20 million programme for strengthening humanitarian preparedness in high risk contexts has been a great success, with evidence showing that pre-positioned stocks are between three to fourteen times better value for money than responding after the event.

In the Philippines the programme has provided £450,000 support to the UN World Food Programme and UNICEF to preposition essential stocks and for preparedness training and national and local capacity development.

DFID’s total funding to the Philippines on humanitarian response, recovery and preparedness is currently £92.3 million.

15th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what projects the Strengthening Humanitarian Preparedness in High Risk Contexts programme has established in the Philippines; and what the (a) outputs and (b) outcomes of those projects has been to date.

The programme has provided the following support to WFP and UNICEF:

· WFP - £130,000 of emergency food supplies able to support 2.4 million people for a two-week period, responding to GoP requests for food, non-food and logistics equipment in various affected areas;

· UNICEF – £320,000 of emergency supplies able to support 6,000 households in Manila, 2,000 in Tacloban and 4,000 in Mindanao;

· 80% of UNICEF country staff trained in emergency response.

DFID will measure and assess outputs and outcomes in collaboration with WFP and UNICEF.

15th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what proportion of the funding for the Strengthening Humanitarian Preparedness in High Risk Contexts programme was allocated to the Philippines.

£450,000 out of £20m - 2.25% - has been committed to date. Decisions on additional funding will be made in early 2015.

DFID’s total funding to the Philippines on humanitarian response, recovery and preparedness is currently £92.3 million.

15th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what interventions other than the Strengthening Humanitarian Preparedness in High Risk Contexts programme her Department has funded (a) bilaterally and (b) through multilateral partners in the Philippines since Typhoon Haiyan, to support the country in adapting to future humanitarian disasters.

Following Typhoon Haiyan DFID has agreed a bilateral package of support to build preparedness and resilience to natural disasters in the Philippines over the longer term.

· £3 million for technical assistance through the World Bank to help the Philippines prepare for the financial costs of natural disasters and boost levels of insurance so the country can recover more quickly.

· £820,000 through the UK Meteorological Office to the Philippines meteorological office to improve forecasting and preparedness.

· £5 million to an Asian Development Bank Multi-donor Trust Fund for reconstruction and recovery.

DFID’s total funding to the Philippines on humanitarian response, recovery and preparedness is currently £92.3 million.

15th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what support her Department has offered to the Filipino government following Typhoon Hagupit.

I have agreed £2m from DFID’s Rapid Response Facility to help with humanitarian relief to the Philippines through the relief agencies Goal, Christian Aid and Oxfam. The money will be used to help with shelter, relief supplies, water, sanitation and livelihoods in the worst affected areas of the Philippines.

10th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 5 December 2014 to Question 216932, how many (a) Direct Roadshows and (b) other events have been organised by her Department since 2010; and where those events have taken place.

Three DFID Direct Roadshows have been organised by the department. These events have taken place in Cardiff, Bristol and Manchester.

10th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, pursuant to the Answer of 5 December 2014 to Question 216932, how many officials of each grade were involved in delivering her Department's Direct Roadshows; and how many Ministers and officials were in attendance at each such event.

Each of the Roadshow events included a key note speech from the Secretary of State and/or DFID Director General and a presentation by a DFID official.

In response to your question, please see the table below:

Event

Officials

Ministers

Cardiff

4 (2 B grade and 2 A grade members of staff)

1 - Secretary of State

Bristol

6 (2 B grade, 2 A grade, 1 Senior Civil Servant and 1 Director General)

0

Manchester

5 (2 B grade, 1 A grade, 1 Senior Civil Servant and 1 Director General)

0

3rd Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how her Department ensures that monasteries in Burma which receive funds from her Department promote religious and social cohesion; and if she will make a statement.

DFID supports the Myanmar Education Consortium (MEC) which has the key objective of increasing the number and proportion of children who complete a quality basic education, including within monastic schools. The Burnet Institute is one of the MEC‘s founding partners and channels MEC funding to the Monastic Education Development Group (MEDG), which is the national level coordinating and decision-making body for the monastic education sector. It is a condition of Monastic Education Development Group support that schools not take part in any activity that risks religious and social cohesion. Any school that is found in breach of this requirement will have all funding and support withdrawn immediately. The Burnet Institute works with the management team of the MEDG to integrate peace and conflict resolution into the teacher training program.

2nd Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how many women in business in the Arab world have received mentoring and expert advice from counterparts in the UK and other G8 countries as part of the package announced at the G8 Deauville Partnership conference in London in June 2013.

According to the most recent progress reports, 121 women have received mentoring and/or advice through the package announced at the G8 Deauville Partnership conference.

2nd Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, which stand-alone goals and targets the Government hopes to achieve in the forthcoming inter-governmental negotiations on the sustainable development goals.

The intergovernmental negotiations process will commence in 2015 and the final framework of goals and targets is subject to negotiation in this forum.

2nd Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what progress the Government has made in negotiating specific targets for the delivery of peace, jobs and justice in the sustainable development goals.

The Open Working Group Report’s proposals show that significant progress has been made in building consensus around the importance of including peace, jobs and justice in the final post-2015 framework.

2nd Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what progress she has made in scaling up her Department's commercial legal programme LASER; and what funding has been allocated to LASER.

The Legal Assistance for Economic Reform (LASER) programme began its implementation phase on 1 June 2014 and is working to improve the investment climates in eight countries across sub Saharan African and Asia, superseding its target to be engaged in six countries by 30 November 2014. DFID has allocated £4.7m to the LASER programme over three and half years.

2nd Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much her Department has spent on its DfID Direct roadshows.

The DFID Direct Roadshows have incurred no costs to the department.

26th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how many people were assisted by Operation Patwin; what costs were incurred by her Department in supporting Operation Patwin, by category of expenditure; and if she will publish her Department's learning review of that operation.

Operation Patwin was the armed forces contribution to the UK Government’s humanitarian response to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Supporting the Department for International Development (DFID), the armed forces delivered essential supplies to an estimated 47,000 people and provided logistical support. The marginal cost to the MOD amounted to £8,950,281. This sum was reimbursed by DFID under the terms of a memorandum of understanding covering military support to humanitarian assistance missions. DFID has commissioned an independent evaluation of its Typhoon Haiyan response, and plans to share the findings with partners early in 2015.

1st Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what checks and monitoring her Department has put in place to ensure that its funding for education in Burma is not being channelled through Buddhist monasteries where hate speech and anti-Muslim or anti-Christian sentiment are promoted.

Monastic schools are supported by the Monastic Education Development Group (MEDG), an implementing partner of the DFID-funded Myanmar Education Consortium. The MEDG has checks in place to safeguard against involvement in political issues. Where infringements are identified and remedial action is not taken, no further support is awarded from MEDG.

1st Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what role private health insurance plays in her Department's plans to promote healthcare in Burma.

DFID does not have any programmes which work on private health insurance in Burma. DFID's key support is through the Three Millennium Development Goal fund, which works to strengthen public healthcare systems as well as to contract some private services where they can fill gaps in public provision.

1st Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether it is her policy to continue funding the official census in Burma.

Of the £10 million committed to the census, £9 million has already been disbursed. The remaining £1m is for data analysis, thematic reports and the dissemination of information.

1st Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what the (a) gender, (b) ethnicity and (c) religion are of the 160,000 children proposed to be helped by the Myanmar Education Consortium.

Both boys and girls are being helped by the Myanmar Education Consortium (MEC). The MEC is working across Burma and expects to reach all the major ethnic groups of Burma and the three major religions: Buddhist, Christian, and Muslim.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with reference to Stepping up a gear for girls and women: updates to the Department for International Development's Strategic Vision for Girls and Women, what steps she is taking to promote girls and women as leaders in politics, peace processes, business and public life, and as active citizens with a voice in society; and if she will make a statement.

Increasing women and girls participation in politics, peace processes, business and public life, and as active citizens with a voice is central to achieving DFID's Strategic Vision for Girls and Women and is crucial if we are to achieve gender equality. DFID works through a range of programmes to address the long term structural barriers to women's political empowerment. For example, DFID is working with the BBC's World Service Trust in 14 countries to enhance political accountability through the media. Women's active and meaningful participation in all peace processes, as well as their representation in formal and informal decision making at all levels, is vital to international peace and security.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, with which non-governmental organisations and agencies her Department is working to help residents in the desert region of Thar in Sindh Province, Pakistan.

The UK Government provides funding to the World Food Programme and UNICEF who are responding to the situation in Thar.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent assessment her Department has made of the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

Yemen is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. The recent escalation in fighting and restrictions on commercial and humanitarian access threaten to push the country into catastrophic famine. The UN estimates that almost 18 million people in Yemen do not have reliable access to food and over 8 million people face extreme food shortages.

The International Development Secretary visited Djibouti and Saudi Arabia in December, where she announced a further £50 million in life-saving UK aid to provide food and fuel for millions of people. This announcement increased our support to Yemen to £205 million overall for this financial year (2017/18) making us the third-largest humanitarian donor to Yemen overall and the second-largest to the UN Humanitarian Appeal.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how much her Department has spent on aid to the desert region of Thar in Sindh Province, Pakistan in each year since 2010.

It is not possible to disaggregate costs specifically for the Thar region without incurring disproportionate cost, but DFID supports a number of national programmes and international agencies which work across Sindh Province.

23rd Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an estimate of the cost to the public purse of extending the English National Concessionary Travel Scheme to peak-time travel.

No estimate has been made of the cost of extending the statutory English National Concessionary Travel Scheme to include pre-9.30am travel.

Concessionary travel legislation gives all local authorities in England the power to introduce local concessions in addition to their statutory obligations, including free or discounted travel before 9.30am.

This is the most commonly offered local concession – 69 of the 89 Travel Concession Authorities in England (outside London) offered free or discounted travel before 9.30am to pass holders in 2018/19.

25th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to tackle number plate cloning.

The law requires that anyone who supplies number plates for road use in the UK must be registered with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA). It is a legal requirement for suppliers to carry out checks to ensure that number plates are only sold to those who can prove they are entitled to the registration number. Number plate suppliers must also keep records of the plates they have supplied.

The DVLA visits number plate suppliers to monitor compliance with the legal requirements and works closely with the police and trading standards to share intelligence and support investigations and prosecutions of suppliers who do not comply.

Anyone who suspects that their number plate has been cloned should report this to the police, who are responsible for on road enforcement. Any fines or correspondence received for offences which have not been committed should be returned to the issuing authorities for investigation. Vehicle keepers can also contact the DVLA, to request issuing a new registration number for a vehicle where necessary.

16th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent steps he has taken to improve accessibility at Luton station.

Luton is one of the 73 stations announced in April that will benefit from the £300 million Access for All funding available over the next 5 years. The Access for All programme delivers a step free, accessible route into the station and to and between each platform.

Network Rail are working with Luton Borough Council to try to ensure that the Council’s proposals for a wider redevelopment of the station are integrated and allow the Access for All phase of development to commence as soon as possible.

9th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support his Department plans to provide to UK nationals accused of (a) driving offences and (b) exceeding the speed limit when driving their UK-registered vehicle in the EU in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

All UK nationals must be aware and obey the local traffic laws of the country they are in when driving abroad. Information is available on www.gov.uk which we would urge drivers to read before they travel. If unsure, drivers can also refer to other sites or seek information from recognised driving associations or automobile clubs. The need to be aware and abide with the laws of another country is unaffected by any arrangements to leave the EU.

The Government does not currently provide legal support or advice to UK nationals accused of a traffic offence abroad and there are no plans to provide legal support or advice in the future.

9th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what proportion of rail passenger journeys take place (a) wholly and (b) for at least 50 per cent of the journey by distance on electrified sections of the railway network in Great Britain.

The Office of Rail and Road publishes data on electrified rail routes in Great Britain. However, this includes routes open to passengers and freight and does not contain a breakdown for passengers only.

The length of network rail operated electrified route in Great Britain was 3,583 miles in 2017-18. This represents 36% of the total mainline railway route.

This data is available at the following link:

https://dataportal.orr.gov.uk/displayreport/report/html/c35e0c28-324f-4168-81b9-be197963f251

1st Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure a greater number of northbound East Midlands Railway trains stop at (a) Luton and (b) Luton Airport Parkway stations under the new franchise.

As detailed in the East Midlands franchise announcement on 10 April, a new express service will operate between London and Corby. This will provide two trains per hour northbound calling at Luton Airport, Luton, Bedford, Wellingborough and Kettering. The current East Midlands timetable provides one direct train per hour northbound to both Luton and Luton Airport.These modern express trains will also deliver more seats for the passengers on this route.

1st Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions his Department has had with East Midlands Trains on northbound services that fail to stop at (a) Luton and (b) Luton Airport Parkway under the existing timetable.

Trains continue to call at Luton Airport Parkway in the peaks. The Department attends monthly Industry forums which discuss the future timetable development of passengers services on the Midlands Main Line, and the expected reinstatement of East Midlands peak service calls at Luton and Bedford.

26th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on the level of greenhouse gas emissions of the decision to exclude electrification from the scope of the Western Phase of the East West Rail project.

The publicly available Environmental Statement which was prepared as part of the TWAO for the Western Section, includes a robust assessment of emissions from diesel trains during the operation of the Order Scheme, as well as construction and operational road traffic emissions.

Passive provision for electrification is being provided in the construction of the Western Section allowing electrification to be implemented in the future should it represent good value for money.

The East West Railway Company is continuing to work with government and other agencies to explore options for a local natural capital plan for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc as a whole, and to support the Government’s 25 year Environment Plan.

17th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the re-sale of illegal second-hand automobile tyres; and if he will make a statement.

The Government is committed to improving road safety, and ensuring the ongoing compliance of vehicles with safety regulations is important to reducing collisions and casualties.

The sale of part worn tyres is regulated by the Motor Vehicle Tyres (Safety) Regulations 1994. Trading Standards has responsibility for enforcing these regulations and upon successful prosecution for failure to comply with the requirements, magistrates’ courts can impose penalties of up to 6-months imprisonment or an unlimited fine in England and Wales (or up to £5000 in Scotland and Northern Ireland).

Michael Ellis
Attorney General
21st May 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the financial effect of the forthcoming Drone Registration Scheme on model flying clubs.

The Government has tasked the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) with developing and operating the Unmanned Aircraft Operator Registration and Education Scheme to improve the accountability of all users of small unmanned aircraft, whether they be drones or model aircraft, and their awareness of how to fly them safely. The CAA has recently published its consultation on the proposed charge to cover the cost of running this service. The proposed charge balances keeping the charge for registration as low as possible and ensuring that the scheme funds itself. Consultation responses will inform the CAA’s final decision on the charge, which will be taken in July 2019. The proposals will be in line with forthcoming requirements from the European Aviation Safety Agency.

Michael Ellis
Attorney General
26th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that the aviation industry can continue without disruption after the UK leaves the EU.

The Government and EU have agreed the text of a Withdrawal Agreement which includes provision for a transition or implementation period after we leave the EU. During this period flights will continue as now. We have also agreed a Political Declaration on the broad terms of our future relationship with the EU. This confirms that the future relationship for aviation will be set out in a Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement which will provide for market access for UK and EU airlines.

26th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent steps his Department has taken to expand the Oyster card system beyond London.

We have invested £80m so that passengers have a smart option for almost all journeys across the network by the end of the year; this is in addition to our £150 million commitment to smart ticketing in the North. Our goal is to ensure that across regional and urban commuter areas smart ticketing is able to deliver the kind of pay as you go structure used in London.

17th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the Rail Review announced on 11 October 2018 on the timing of the East Midlands franchise process; and if he will make a statement.

When the Rail Review was announced on 20 September 2018 the Government made clear in its statement that, with the exception of the Cross Country franchise, all other ongoing franchise competitions (including the East Midlands franchise) and other live rail projects are continuing as planned.

4th Sep 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the consultation document on East Midlands rail franchise, published in July 2017, whether his Department has considered the effect on the local economy of an increase in the number of fast trains from London to London Luton Airport to four an hour.

The Department is still undertaking a process of information gathering to develop the specification for the next East Midlands rail franchise.

All options for future East Midlands services are subject to analysis of the potential benefits and consultation with stakeholders, which is currently ongoing. We are considering the case for additional services to Luton Airport and are working collaboratively with Luton Airport to understand their proposals. Any outcome will seek to secure the best value for money for the taxpayer, be in the best interests of passengers and the decisions will be taken using economic analysis, which includes social and environmental impacts.

The formal public consultation continues until 11 October and will inform the specification, I would strongly encourage the honourable Member to make his views known through the consultation process before it closes.

4th Sep 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether consultation on the East Midlands rail franchise will take into account the volume of air passengers at London Luton Airport; and what assessment he has made of the (a) economic, (b) social and (c) environmental merits of improved rail services related to that franchise to that airport.

All options for future East Midlands services are subject to analysis of the potential benefits and consultation with stakeholders, which is currently ongoing. This consultation explicitly raises the issue of services to Luton Airport Parkway.

The formal public consultation continues until 11 October and will inform the future franchise specification.

29th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of an increase in the number of stopping services on the East Midlands Line to Luton Airport.

Further to the previous question (UIN 68732) on this same topic that was raised by the Honorable Member last month, I can confirm that the Department is currently undertaking a process of information gathering to develop the specification for the next East Midlands rail franchise. All options for future East Midlands services are subject to ongoing analysis of the potential benefits and consultation with stakeholders. We are considering the case for additional services to Luton Airport and are working collaboratively with Luton Airport to understand their proposals. Any outcome will seek to secure the best value for money for the taxpayer and the best interests of passengers.

We are due to begin a formal public consultation soon to inform the specification and I would strongly encourage the Honorable Member to make his views known through the consultation process when it opens.

21st Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what account his Department has taken of the volume of air passengers from London Luton Airport in its work to define the scope of the forthcoming East Midlands rail franchise consultation; and what assessment he has made of the potential (a) economic, (b) social and (c) environmental benefits to that airport from improved rail services related to that franchise.

The Department is currently undertaking a process of information gathering to develop the specification for the next East Midlands rail franchise. All options for future East Midlands services are subject to analysis of the potential benefits and consultation with stakeholders. We are considering the case for additional services to Luton Airport and are working collaboratively with Luton Airport to understand their proposals. Any outcome will seek to secure the best value for money for the taxpayer and be in the best interests of passengers.

We are due to begin a formal public consultation soon to inform the specification and I would strongly encourage the honourable member to make his views known through the consultation process when it opens.

18th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much his Department has spent on improving surface access to each airport in the South East of England since 2010; and if he will make a statement.

This Government’s multi-billion investment programmes for our national road and rail networks, and funding for local authority transport improvements, includes many transport schemes that benefit people travelling to and from an airport.

However, due to the number of schemes and the mixture of capital and resource funding, information on total spending on surface access schemes improving accessibility to airports in the South East of England airports is not readily available in the format requested.

Government has, however, provided significant investment for projects which improve access to airports in the South East, for example, the £14.8 billion Crossrail scheme which will serve Heathrow airport; the £6.5 billion Thameslink Programme which increases capacity and improves reliability for passengers travelling to Gatwick and Luton airports, along with a new £53 million platform at Gatwick airport station; and the over £300 million investment on the M1 between junction 10 and 13, and the £30 million enhancements to junction 10a of the M1 that improve access to Luton airport.

Investment has also been committed for upgrades to the M4 motorway (around £750 million) near Heathrow, as well as up to £250 million on improvements to sections of the M23 serving Gatwick, and up to £25 million on improvements to the M11 improving access to Stansted airport.

10th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much each of the 10 National B Interchanges identified in the Better Rail Stations review as in need of priority funding have received since 2009; and if he will make a statement.

The following amounts of capital funding have been provided from a variety of sources at each of the ten stations named since 2009.

Manchester Victoria Station

Amount/Comment: 44.7m (from a number of sources) on station redevelopment (completed 2015) (made up of Access for All (AfA), National Stations Improvement Programme (NSIP) and Station Commercial Project Facility (SCPF) funding).

Clapham Junction Station

Amount/Comment: £13.1m AfA funding (2011).

Crewe Station

Amount/Comment: £7m franchise funding; £6.2m SCPF funding.

Warrington Bank Quay Station

Amount/Comment: £8.4m franchise funding; £690k NSIP funding

Barking Station

Amount/Comment: By the end of 2019, £5.5m will have been invested through the franchise, plus £350k of NSIP funding.

Preston Station

Amount/Comment: £14m of franchise funding; £710k NSIP funding.

Wigan North Weston Station

Amount/Comment: £10.4m franchise funding; £535k NSIP funding.

Luton Station

Amount/Comment: £5m of Local Sustainable Transport Funding was allocated to Luton Borough Council as a block; DfT does not hold information on how much was allocated by the Council to the railway station, but this money part-funded the High Town footbridge, the bus interchange and station forecourt enhancements, removal of old station footbridge and provision of new staircase at front of station. £180k delivered through franchise funding. £1.9m NSIP funding (recently deferred). These figures exclude 12-car platform extensions and new multi-storey car park (delivered by Network Rail).

Liverpool Central Station

Amount/Comment: Funding at Liverpool Central station is a devolved matter for Merseytravel, and DfT does not hold complete information. However, £1m AfA funding was provided in CP4.

Stockport Station

Amount/Comment: £5m franchise funding; £11.6m SCPF funding.

23rd Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will take steps to specify the provision of a four fast trains per hour service between London St Pancras and Luton Airport Parkway as part of the refranchising of the East Midlands route; and if he will make a statement.

The next East Midlands franchise is due to start in July 2018 and we are currently undertaking a process of information gathering to develop the high-level view of the franchise specification. We are due to begin a public consultation later this year to inform the specification. Until the views submitted through the public consultation are understood and further analysis is conducted on the options for the franchise, a firm decision cannot be taken at this stage.

15th Jun 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent reports he has received on the practice of restricting staff that have recently been on strike from working overtime on (a) Govia Thameslink Railway and (b) other rail franchises.

Management of staff is a matter for the rail operators. I have been assured by the operator of the Govia Thameslink Railway franchise that they are not restricting the staff who have recently been on strike action from working overtime.

8th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the value is of awards made to each route from the Regional Air Connectivity Fund.

In December 2015 Government announced that 11 new air routes would be supported with start-up aid funding through the Regional Air Connectivity Fund for three financial years. The amount of funding provided to support individual routes will be paid in arrears and will be determined once routes begin operations and will depend on factors such as the number of passengers carried.

8th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what responsibilities for (a) upkeep, (b) condition and (c) repair at Luton railway station are discharged by (i) Network Rail, (ii) Govia Thameslink Railway and (iii) any other organisation.

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), as the station operator, are responsible for the upkeep, repair and condition of the cosmetic appearance of the station, including the car park and footbridge under a lease agreement from Network Rail.

Network Rail, as station owner, are responsible for the structural upkeep and repair.

GTR advise the lift and stairs to the footbridge, at the front of the station, are the responsibility of Luton Borough Council and that the bus station and busway do not form part of the station footprint.

5th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what works will be required south of Bedford to enable Midland Mainline electrification north of Bedford.

The scope for Midland Main Line electrification includes making appropriate adjustment to the Fast Line Overhead Line Equipment between London St Pancras and Bedford South Junction.

4th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions his Department has had with Network Rail on improvements to Luton station.

I can confirm that my officials have discussed improvements to Luton station with Network Rail recently. Luton station has been selected for a number of DfT funded improvements, including Access for All and the National Stations Improvement Programme.

26th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to improve the frequency of services to Luton Airport Parkway in the 2018 East Midlands franchise specification.

Detailed work on the 2018 East Midlands franchise specification will begin in the Spring, and as with all franchise competitions, a public consultation exercise will take place later this year to help inform the specification for the next long-term franchise.

26th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to transfer services operated by Govia Thameslink Railway to Transport for London.

As announced on 21 January, (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/transport-secretary-and-mayor-set-out-vision-for-rail-travel-across-london-and-the-south-east) we launched a prospectus with regard to the future of rail passenger services in London and the South East. The prospectus included a number of proposals, one of which is the transfer of responsibility for inner suburban services that operate mostly or wholly within Greater London to Transport for London when the current franchises are due for renewal. This could include inner suburban rail services currently operated by Govia Thameslink Railway.

These are still proposals and no decisions have been made nor plans drawn up. Our key focus now is to seek the views of stakeholders including Local Enterprise Partnerships, local authorities and other local bodies before plans are drawn up. The deadline for our consultation is 18 March.

23rd Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment he has made of the effect on mutual societies of changes in assessing the relative risk under the Pension Protection Fund levy.

The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is an independent body which pays compensation to members of defined benefit occupational pension schemes where the sponsoring employer becomes insolvent and the scheme is unable to cover the accrued pension liabilities. The PPF is funded from a combination of the transferred scheme funds, recoveries from the insolvent employer, investment return and a levy on eligible schemes. Under the Pensions Act 2004, the levy is set by the PPF independently of the Government.

22nd Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment he has made of the level of equality of treatment of different business types under the Pension Protection Fund Levy; and if he will make a statement.

The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is an independent body which pays compensation to members of defined benefit occupational pension schemes where the sponsoring employer becomes insolvent and the scheme is unable to cover the accrued pension liabilities. The PPF is funded from a combination of the transferred scheme funds, recoveries from the insolvent employer, investment return and a levy on eligible schemes. Under the Pensions Act 2004, the levy is set by the PPF independently of the Government.

22nd Nov 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent discussions his Department has held with (a) Experian and (b) the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) on the equitable treatment of businesses under the PPF levy.

The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is an independent body which pays compensation to members of defined benefit occupational pension schemes where the sponsoring employer becomes insolvent and the scheme is unable to cover the accrued pension liabilities. The PPF is funded from a combination of the transferred scheme funds, recoveries from the insolvent employer, investment return and a levy on eligible schemes. Under the Pensions Act 2004, the levy is set by the PPF independently of the Government. The Department has therefore held no discussions on this matter.

20th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people (a) were eligible for and (b) participated in the Work Programme in each parliamentary constituency in the East of England in each month since October 2012.

In response to the first part of the question, statistics on the number of people who were eligible for the Work Programme are not available.

Information on those referred to the Work Programme, by parliamentary constituency, is published and can be found at:

http://tabulation-tool.dwp.gov.uk/WorkProg/tabtool.html

Guidance for users is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dwp-tabulation-tool-guidance

19th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential public health benefits of including asthma as a medical exemption from prescription charges.

The Department has made no assessment. Extensive arrangements are already in place to help people access National Health Service prescriptions. These include a broad range of NHS prescription charge exemptions for which someone with asthma may qualify.

To support those with the greatest need who do not qualify for an exemption, the cost of the prescription pre-payment certificates has been frozen for another year. A holder of a 12-month certificate can get all the prescriptions they need for just £2 per week.

19th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of asthma sufferers that are unable to access medication as a result of the cost of prescription charges.

The Department has made no estimate. Extensive arrangements are already in place to help people access National Health Service prescriptions. These include a broad range of NHS prescription charge exemptions for which someone with asthma may qualify.

To support those with the greatest need who do not qualify for an exemption, the cost of the prescription pre-payment certificates has been frozen for another year. A holder of a 12-month certificate can get all the prescriptions they need for just £2 per week.

19th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the adequacy of funding for the provision of NHS early intervention services for adult sufferers of eating disorders.

It is vital that everyone with an eating disorder can access quick, specialist help when necessary. The Government set up the first ever waiting time targets to improve access to eating disorder services for children and young people, supported by £30 million a year to develop 70 new or extended community eating disorder services across the country.

We are making good progress towards the children and young people’s eating disorder waiting time target, with January to March 2019 data showing 80.6% of young people started treatment for an urgent case within one week and 82.4% of young people started treatment for a routine case within four weeks against a target of 95% by 2020/21.

The NHS Long Term Plan committed at least a further £2.3 billion a year to mental health services by 2023/24. This investment will transform and expand services for people with mental health conditions, including eating disorders, building on our current targets.

The Long Term Plan also commits to investing in the development of services for adults with mental health conditions including eating disorders and testing four-week waiting times for adults and older adults’ community mental health teams with selected local areas.

19th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional funding his Department plans to allocate to the NHS to ensure the commencement of the NHS pilot of a four-week waiting time target for adult eating disorder treatment.

The NHS Long Term Plan committed at least a further £2.3 billion a year to mental health services by 2023/24. This investment will transform and expand services for people with mental health conditions, including eating disorders, building on our current targets.

Within the NHS Long Term Plan ambitions, the Clinical Review of NHS Access Standards aims to “test four-week waiting times for adult and older adult community mental health teams, with selected local areas”. The waiting times pilot will be funded from the additional commitment made in the NHS Long Term Plan. More information will be available when the National Implementation Plan is published.

17th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to ensure continuity of supply for steroid treatments in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The Government remains committed to leaving the European Union with a deal. However, as a responsible Government, we will continue to prepare to minimise any disruption to the supply of medicines and medical products in a potential ‘no deal’ scenario.

The Government fully understands that maintaining access to steroid treatments is vitally important to many people in this country. We are continuing to work with trade bodies and other stakeholders to carefully review the implications of the extension to the Article 50 period until 31 October at the latest, before sharing further guidance with industry at the earliest opportunity.

On 26 April we wrote to suppliers advising that, until further guidance is provided, all no-deal measures (such as stockpiles, additional buffer stocks, etc) should remain in place but on hold.

28th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the level of charges that GPs pass on to applicants for medical reports required for new or renewed shotgun and firearms certificates.

The Department has made no assessment on this issue.

27th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, for what reason the Government is issuing European Health Insurance cards with expiry dates later than 31 March 2019; and if he will make a statement.

As the Prime Minister stated on 20 July 2016, as long as we are a member of the European Union we will respect the rights and obligations of EU membership, therefore the current arrangements for European Health Insurance Cards remain in place. Officials in both the Department of Health and the Department for Exiting the European Union are considering the position and options available to us with the aim of achieving the best outcome for the UK health system and for the United Kingdom as a whole.

We are about to begin these negotiations and it would be wrong to set out unilateral positions in advance, including discussions relating to the European Health Insurance Card.

1st Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that the recent ceasefire between India and Pakistan (a) lasts and (b) marks the beginning of a peace process in the region.

The Government is concerned by recent reports of high levels of firing and shelling between Indian and Pakistani troops over the Line of Control in Kashmir. We continue to follow developments closely, encourage dialogue and call for both sides to exercise restraint. The UK's longstanding position is that it is for India and Pakistan to find a lasting political resolution to the situation in Kashmir, taking into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people. It is not for the UK to prescribe a solution or to act as a mediator. We welcome recent contact between Indian and Pakistani militaries in an effort to reduce firing over the Line of Control.

17th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to (a) the government of Sudan and (b) other governments in that region on the case of Noura Hussein.

The UK Ambassador to Sudan raised our deep concern about Noura Hussein's case at a senior level with the Government of Sudan on 15 May, making clear our strong opposition to the use of the death penalty and to forced marriage. We released a statement on the same day in partnership with EU member states and others confirming our firm opposition to the death penalty and calling on all States to join a moratorium on its use, while working towards its definitive abolition.

19th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support freedom of religion and belief in other countries to meet the strategic commitment to supporting freedom of religion and belief set out in the FCO Departmental Plan 2015-2020.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Departmental Plan 2015-2020 was replaced in December 2017 with the FCO Single Departmental Plan which can be found on gov.uk. In step with the new plan, the FCO continues to promote and defend human rights, including the right to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB).

In our ongoing dialogue with foreign governments and through public statements, the FCO raises individual cases and highlights practices and laws that discriminate against people on the basis of their religion or belief. For example, during my visit to Pakistan in November 2017, I raised the treatment of religious minorities, including discrimination and violence against the Ahmadiyya and Christian communities, with Pakistan's Ministry of Human Rights.

The United Kingdom also actively promotes FoRB through multilateral diplomacy. At the United Nations, we work to maintain consensus on the adoption and implementation of the European Union sponsored Resolution on 'Freedom of Religion or Belief' and the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation sponsored Resolution on 'Combating Religious Intolerance'.

Through the Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy, the FCO continues to support a number of projects to promote tolerance. Current projects include work to promote religious tolerance through secondary school curricula in Iraq, Morocco and Lebanon, and a project which supports a network of human rights defenders in South Asia working on this priority.

6th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what projects in which countries were funded from his Department's Magna Carta Fund to support freedom of religion and belief in 2016-17.

Her Majesty's Government places great importance on defending and promoting the right to freedom of religion or belief. The Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy is one of the tools we use to achieve this goal. In 2016-17 we funded the following projects that supported freedom of religion or belief:

  • Creating Advocates for Freedom of Religion or Belief in developing countries (including, India and Indonesia)
  • Defending Freedom of Religion or Belief in South And Central Asia (including in India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan).
  • Upholding Freedom Of Expression and Promoting Stable Pluralistic Societies In the MENA region (including Egypt).
  • Promoting Social Stability and Security through Advancing Freedom of Religion or Belief in Central Asia (Tajikistan & Turkmenistan)

Due to sensitivities, we are unable to disclose details of all our projects to support freedom of religion or belief.

6th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what positive outcomes for freedom of religion or belief were achieved from Magna Carta Fund funding in 2016-17.

There have been a number of positive outcomes for freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) from projects supported through the Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy in financial year 2016-17. These include:

A project delivered by the Non-governmental Organisation (NGO) Hardwired Inc has promoted tolerance in secondary school curricula in 50 schools in Iraq, Morocco and Lebanon. The Kurdish Regional Government has also asked for it to be shared with all children in their region.

The NGO Christian Solidarity Worldwide is running a project to support human rights defenders in a number countries including India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. This project is raising awareness at the national, regional and international level of the unique challenges human rights defenders campaigning for FoRB face in South and Central Asia. The project is advocating for better protection for them by state authorities.

A project run by the Salzburg Global Seminar is increasing the capacity of institutions with educational missions in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East to combat extremism, prevent genocide and promote tolerance. There is particular emphasis on Rwanda, South Africa and Cambodia.

The Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy was also used to support projects to promote FoRB and tolerance in Burma, Tunisia, Egypt, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. These projects have strengthened civil society actors in those countries.

A project carried out by Cumberland Lodge has promoted greater understanding of FoRB issues and challenges amongst overseas students in the UK. This is sensitising them to these matters before their returning to their native countries where it is hoped they will act as informal advocates for human rights, including FoRB.

5th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the timetable is for the publication of the Government’s freedom of religion or belief strategy.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is developing a work-plan and has a "toolkit" which supports our work to promote and defend freedom of religion or belief (FoRB). The toolkit is published and can be seen at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/561516/Freedom_of_Religion_or_Belief_Toolkit_-_2016.pdf. The work-plan addresses activity at multilateral human rights fora and in our bilateral diplomatic engagement with other states, as well as project work. Because of the sensitivities of some of the material contained, it would not be appropriate to publish the work.

5th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, in what way his Department is using the responses from HM Ambassadors and High Commissioners to its correspondence on their work to advance freedom of religion or belief in order to inform his Department's work in that area.

​The responses we recieved from Her Majesty's Ambassadors and High Commissioners to our letters of 27 October 2017 and 28 November 2017 set out the main current and planned activities of their respective Embassies and High Commissions in the defence and promotion of freedom of religion or belief (FoRB). Officials will follow the progress of these activities and will evaluate outcomes in due course.

5th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, how many and which HM Ambassadors and High Commissioners responded to the letters that his Department sent asking them to report on their work to advance freedom of religion or belief.

​So far ten heads of mission have formally responded to the letters Lord Ahmad and I sent. We have received substantive replies from Embassies or High Commissions in Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Uzbekistan.

5th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to use information from Stabilisation Unit meetings on enhancing understanding of freedom of religion or belief to inform (a) Government programmes and (b) the work of UK overseas posts to improve the way in which patterns of religious persecution are tackled.

​The Stabilisation Unit works with Government Departments to facilitate cross-government conflict assessments which seek to understand the key characteristics of conflicts. Freedom of religion or belief is considered as part of this framework where relevant. These assessments inform wider Government programming, policy making ,and posts are able to draw on them to inform their programme work.

5th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to feed information gathered from roundtable meetings with civil society on freedom of religion or belief into its policy and programmes.

The FCO minister of state with responsibilities for human rights, Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, has hosted two roundtables to date. The first, on 23 October, looked at Burma in the light of the Rohingya crisis. The second, on 12 December, examined the role of women in tackling religiously motivated violent extremism. These roundtables have been excellent opportunities to hear the perspectives and insights of faith leaders.

17th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Israeli counterparts on the detention of Palestinian children.

The issue of children in Israeli military detention remains a human rights priority for the UK. Our Embassy officials in Tel Aviv most recently raised the issue with the Israeli authorities on 16 January, and senior British Government officials raised this issue with the Israeli Ambassador to the UK on 8 January. I raised our concerns on this issue with the Israeli Government during my visit to Israel in August 2017

13th Apr 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with his Israeli counterpart on the deportation of human rights activists from Israel.

Our Deputy Ambassador to Tel Aviv met with Israel’s Europe Director on 13 March to discuss the new immigration law, and we continue to push for clarification from Israel on the impact on British nationals. We have also updated our travel advice for Israel, recommending that concerned UK nationals contact the Israeli Embassy for further information.

The British Government has been consistent in our opposition to the Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel, but we believe the best way to combat this movement is through discussion rather than legislation.

28th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Saudi Arabian counterparts on the potential famine in Yemen.

Yemen is one of the most serious humanitarian crises in the world. I regularly discuss the humanitarian situation and the risk of famine in Yemen with a wide range of interlocutors including the UN, international partners, Government of Yemen and humanitarian organisations. I most recently raised this with Saudi counterparts on Wednesday 29 March when I met with General Assiri, Advisor to the Saudi Defence Minister and Spokesman on the Saudi-led Coalition in Yemen.

28th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with the US Administration on the potential move of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The Foreign Secretary discussed a range of foreign policy issues, including the Middle East Peace Process, with the US administration during his visit to Washington on 21 and 22 March.

28th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of potential crimes against humanity, including mass sexual violence, in Myanmar.

​We remain deeply concerned about human rights violations in Burma. I raised our concerns when I met the Burmese Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, U Kyaw Tin, on 27 February at the Human Rights Council in Geneva. During his visit to Burma in January, the Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Boris Johnson), also raised similar concerns with State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as well as military-appointed government ministers. When the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my noble Friend, the Rt Hon. Baroness Anelay of St Johns visited Burma last November, she specifically raised the issue of sexual violence with the Burmese Minister of Defence, where she pressed him to handle allegations of sexual violence against women in a thorough and transparent manner.

The question of whether any crimes under international law have occurred in Burma is a matter for judicial decision, rather than for governments to determine. Our objective remains to end all violations of human rights in Burma, including conflict-related sexual violence.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
28th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the Palestinian authorities on fuel shortages in Gaza.

We are deeply concerned by the fuel shortages in Gaza and the serious impact on the humanitarian situation, including by disrupting the delivery of basic services and undermining already vulnerable livelihoods. Addressing Gaza’s energy shortfall is critical. We are in regular discussion with the Palestinian Authority, as well as with the Government of Israel, on this topic to encourage improved coordination and an increase in energy supplies.

28th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has had recent discussions with his US counterpart on civilian casualties as a result of US airstrikes in Syria.

The Foreign Secretary discusses the situation in Syria and the Global Coalition's action against Daesh on a regular basis with US colleagues. He did so most recently during a visit to Washington from 21 to 22 March. As part of the Global Coalition, the UK is clear that while no military operations come without risk, the RAF takes all steps necessary to minimise the risk of causing civilian causalities.

We are aware of reports of civilian casualties allegedly caused by unilateral US action against Al Qaida targets in northern Syria. We welcome the US undertaking to investigate these reports.

23rd Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential effect of US withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council on human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories; and if he will make a statement.

The UK is a strong supporter of the Human Rights Council. We were proud to be re-elected as members last year. It is in all our interests to strengthen the rules-based international system. But the Council’s current approach of a hugely disproportionate focus on Israel does not support human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, nor further the goal of a two-state solution. US engagement in the Human Rights Council is a matter for the US Government and we would not issue a statement regarding it.

9th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to fulfil its UN Human Rights Council election pledge to protect and promote freedom of religion or belief.

I refer the Hon. Member to my answer of 9 March 2017 (PQ 66585).

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
14th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Myanmar government on steps to prevent hate speech and incitement of violence against Rohingya people in that country.

This is an issue of serious concern in light of the extensive inter-communal violence of 2012 and the large-scale Buddhist nationalist protests seen across Rakhine at the start of July this year. The British Government has repeatedly raised our concerns with the Burmese Government at the highest levels, and will continue to do so. The former Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Rt Hon. Friend the member for East Devon (Mr Swire), raised this a number of times, including in July 2015 last year during his visit to Burma, when he also visited Rakhine. We are encouraged to see that the new Burmese Government has started to take real steps to try to defuse tensions in Rakhine while making progress for the Rohingya, including through forming a cross-Government Rakhine committee and re-starting the citizenship verification exercise.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
14th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Myanmar government on reform of that country's 1982 Citizenship Law.

The British Government’s concerns that Burma’s 1982 citizenship law does not meet international standards is well known. It is clear that a thorough process of legislative and judicial reform is required in Burma. The new Government have formed a parliamentary committee to consider laws that require reform or repeal. That body has produced an initial list of 142 pieces of legislation to be considered. We encourage the new Government to consider the 1982 citizenship law within this exercise.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
14th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what his policy is on supporting an independent investigation with international experts to investigate human rights violations in Rakhine State, Myanmar.

Ms Yanghee Lee, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights Situation in Burma, produces regular reports which assess specifically allegations of human rights violations, particularly in Rakhine. Her role is mandated by annual UN Human Rights Council Resolutions, which the UK continues to support firmly. Additionally, UN High Commissioner Zeid presented a report to the June Human Rights Council in Geneva detailing patterns of violations and abuses committed over a prolonged period of time against the Rohingya and other minorities in Burma


While it is clear that violations and abuses have taken place in Rakhine State, our priority is to encourage the new civilian Government to take urgent steps to: improve security and the humanitarian situation; lift restrictions on freedom of movement; and find a sustainable solution on citizenship.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
14th Jul 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to support the Myanmar government beginning a reconciliation process between different communities and faith groups in that country.

We are extremely concerned by the recent increase in inter-faith tensions in Burma, the violent incidents in Bago and Hpakant and anti-Muslim protests in Rakhine. Our Embassy in Rangoon has raised these concerns in detail with the Burmese authorities, stressing the need to uphold the rule of law for all communities.

We are promoting peace and reconciliation efforts in Burma through a range of bilateral and multilateral initiatives in support of the peace process, such as the Peace Support Fund and the Joint Peace Fund. We are providing £19 million over five years to the Peace Support Fund and, with a £5 million contribution, we are the largest donor to the multinational Joint Peace Fund. The British Government is one of the biggest humanitarian donors in Rakhine, contributing over £18m since 2012.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
18th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what reports he has received on alleged violations of freedom of religion or belief in Crimea by the Russian authorities; and if he will make a statement.

I am aware of concerning reports of violations of freedom of religion and belief in Russia. The Jehovah’s Witnesses community, for example, has found itself under attack in several parts of Russia, often through misuse of legislation designed to combat extremism. As set out in the FCO Human Rights Report, the UK is deeply concerned about the deteriorating environment for human rights in Russia. We will continue to offer our support to all those who seek peacefully to pursue their freedom of religion and belief.

18th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what resources his Department allocates to promoting and upholding freedom of religion or belief within the countries with which it works.

Human Rights are part of the everyday work of all British diplomats. We work intensively on freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) through the UN, the EU and the OSCE; and in individual countries, prioritising what works in local circumstances. In many parts of the world, we have supported projects through the Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy. In the current financial year, we have allocated almost £900,000 to projects in this area.

18th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department takes to ensure that its policies do not encourage discrimination of religion or belief.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office carefully assesses the probable impact of all policy decisions and actions, and avoids taking any decision or action likely to encourage discrimination of any kind, including on grounds of religion or belief.

18th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of violations of freedom of religion or belief on women; and what his Department is doing to tackle such violations.

There are clear examples where the impact of violations of freedom of religion or belief falls particularly heavily on women – such as treatment of women by Daesh. Under the Magna Carta Fund for Human Rights and Democracy, FCO funds projects to defend freedom of religion or belief, including the protection of the rights of women. For example, the FCO recently agreed to fund a project this financial year that tackles gender- based violence and discrimination in Egypt, Jordan and Tunisia.

18th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he made and received during his visit to Mexico in May 2016 on upholding the right to freedom of religion or belief in that country.

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond) raised human rights and the rule of law in meetings with the Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Education, Social Development and the Attorney General. Discussions focused on the significant security and justice challenges Mexico faces, particularly in terms of impunity. He also raised concerns relating to the disappearance of 43 students in Iguala in September 2014. He did not raise freedom of religion or belief on this occasion. I also raised our human rights concerns with the Minister for Public Administration during his visit to London on 12 May. Our Embassy in Mexico regularly discusses the full range of human rights and rule of law issues, including freedom of religion and belief, with Mexican counterparts and civil society.

18th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has made representations to the Iranian government on the imprisonment of seven Bahá'í leaders.

The UK regularly raises our concerns at the treatment of the Baha’i community in Iran. We call on Iran to cease harassment of all religious minorities and to fulfil its international and domestic obligations to allow freedom of religion to all Iranians.

18th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Iranian government on the imprisonment of Ebrahim Firouzi and other Christians in that country.

I discuss many issues with my Iranian counterpart. Restriction of freedom of expression, religion and belief continue to cause concern. I have repeatedly called on the Iranian government to end all persecution of individuals on the basis of their faith, and to guarantee the human rights of all Iranians, regardless of belief

18th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what plans he has to engage with international partners to tackle the persecution of secularists or of people with no faith in Bangladesh.

As I said to the House on 24 May, there is more we can do to help the Government of Bangladesh to tackle the challenges they face. I raised my concerns about the situation there most recently with the Bangladesh High Commissioner on 24 May.

Our High Commission in Dhaka regularly meets international partners to discuss the treatment of secular activists and minority groups in Bangladesh. Most recently, on 22 May, our High Commissioner met Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister, Abul Hassan Mahmud Ali, with other EU Ambassadors, to discuss signs that intolerance across Bangladesh is increasing


In September 2015, officials from the British High Commission in Dhaka met Heiner Bielefeldt, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, during his visit to Bangladesh. We urge the Government of Bangladesh to implement the recommendations in his report, which includes a call for the government to “protect the vibrant civil society and pluralistic society in Bangladesh”.

18th May 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, which Ministers of his Department have raised human rights issues in an official capacity, and with whom, in the last four weeks.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office ministers raise a broad range of human rights issues on every appropriate occasion with representatives of foreign governments. However, information on each and every occasion on which human rights have been raised during the period in question is not held centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

25th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the compatibility with international law of the arrest and transfer of children from the Occupied Palestinian Territories to Israel.

We are clear that Israel has legal obligations as an Occupying Power with respect to the Occupied Palestinian Territories under the Fourth of the Geneva Conventions of 1949. This includes Article 49, which prohibits deportation of protected persons from the occupied territory and Article 76, providing that protected persons convicted of offenses shall be detained and serve their sentences within the occupied territory. We regularly talk to the Government of Israel with regard to the implementation of those obligations and raise our serious concerns, including about the treatment of Palestinian children that are arrested and detained in Israeli prisons. We have been clear with Israel that forcible transfer would be a breach of international humanitarian law and would have serious ramifications on Israel’s international standing.

14th Oct 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent reports he has received on human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir.

I am aware of concerns about human rights violations on both sides of the Line of Control. We have consistently maintained that any allegations of human rights abuses should be investigated thoroughly, promptly and transparently.

4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what his policy is on re-deploying a Special Envoy to the Sahel region.

Stephen O’Brien MP was the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to the Sahel from 2012 to 2015. Since his departure, the Minister for Africa and senior officials have followed events in the Sahel closely. The UK has also continued to show leadership in the Sahel through participation in international Missions such as the UN Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) and EU training missions in Mali and Niger. The Government will keep its representation in the Sahel under review.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
4th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect on (a) regional security and (b) migration to the EU of instability in the Central African Republic.

The unrest in the Central African Republic (CAR) has impacted on its neighbours through refugee flows and cross-border violence. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is aware of reports of rebel incursions spilling over the border from CAR into Cameroon. Approximately 442,495 of CAR’s population have been internally displaced. Approximately 241,231 refugees have fled to Cameroon, 93,120 to Chad, 68,165 to the Democratic Republic of Congo and 21,554 to the Republic of Congo. The Government is working closely with EU and African Union partners ahead of the Valletta Summit in November to develop proposals for action to disrupt smuggling and trafficking networks; strengthen cooperation on returns; and address the root causes of migration, including regional instability.

Grant Shapps
Secretary of State for Transport
15th Dec 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, under what programme the event held in Luton on 28 August 2014 on Government aid to Syria was funded.

The event was part of a community outreach programme across the country to highlight the Government's policy for Syria. The programme highlighted the Government's policy for Syria, the Government’s humanitarian programme and travel advice for Syria and the region. The event received funding and support from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development, the Home Office and the Charity Commission.

4th Nov 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has raised the cases of Farshid Fathi and Alireza Seyyedian with his Iranian counterparts.

We have not raised these cases specifically with the Iranian Government. However, we remain deeply concerned by the detention and ill treatment of all prisoners of conscience in Iran, and the ongoing discrimination against Christians and other minority religious groups. We have called for the Iranian government to protect the rights of all minority groups in Iran and end the persecution of individuals on the basis of their faith.

9th Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 3 July 2014, Official Report, column 735W, on the South Pacific, what his Department is projected to spend on the Senior Pacific Police Leadership Programme in (a) 2014-15 and (b) 2015-16; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the Hon Member to my reply of 3 July (Official Report, column 735W). I have asked officials to update his office directly when a decision on funding is reached.

1st Jul 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of recent trends in the level of use of forced labour in Chin state, Burma.

The Burmese government has taken welcome steps towards the elimination of forced labour, as noted in the Resolution adopted at the UN Human Rights Council in March this year. However, we recognise that forced labour continues to be a problem in Chin State and elsewhere in Burma. We urge the government to continue its co-operation with the UN and International Labour Organisation to ensure this practice is eliminated once and for all.

27th Jun 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of (a) the value of the Senior Pacific Police Leadership Program; and (b) the effect of the level of investment in the program by his Department.

The aim of the Senior Pacific Police Leadership Programme (SPPL), which ran in 2013, was to improve leadership skills, promote ethical policing practices and reinforce the rights of women in the Pacific. The programme was run in partnership with Australia and New Zealand and was well received by the students and their respective governments.

Twenty-one senior police officers from 15 Pacific Island Countries took part - and it was designed to complement larger scale assistance being provided by our allies in the region.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) spent £23,000 on the SPPL programme. We believe that the SPPL programme has had a positive impact, and helped improve police leadership in the countries which participated. Feedback from our partners in those countries, and from our New Zealand partners who hosted the programme, suggests that the SPPL programme provided a quality of training that would not otherwise be available in the region.

18th Jun 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the regulation of cryptocurrencies in the UK.

The Government established the Cryptoassets Taskforce - comprised of HM Treasury, the FCA, and the Bank of England – to explore the risks and potential benefits of cryptoassets and consider the appropriate response. The Taskforce’s report[1] set out commitments to further consider the regulatory approach to cryptoassets.

The Government has recently consulted on plans to go beyond the requirements set out in the EU’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive to bring all relevant cryptoasset firms into anti-money laundering regulation.

The Government will consult on its approach to unregulated cryptoassets later this year.

[1] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/752070/cryptoassets_taskforce_final_report_final_web.pdf

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Nov 2018
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what his long-term plans are for the adult social care precept after 2019-20.

Funding for Local Government after 2019-20 will be agreed at the Spending Review next year.

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
16th Jan 2018
What plans he has to increase his Department's support for the co-operative sector.

This Government recognises the value of co-operatives and their contribution to the diversity of the UK economy, and is strongly supportive of the sector.

For example, before Christmas, my Department legislated to increase the asset and turnover threshold at which co-operatives have to conduct a full audit from April this year.

The Government will continue to explore further ways to support the sector.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
9th Jan 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department maintains a list of all UK companies which have a global turnover of more than (a) £16 million, (b) £26 million, (c) £36 million and (d) £46 million; and if he will make a statement.

The department does not maintain such a list of UK companies. However we engage with businesses of all sizes in order to understand their needs and priorities

Elizabeth Truss
Minister for Women and Equalities
11th Jan 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that women are not disproportionately affected by the Government's fiscal policies.

It is equally important for the future finances of both women and men that we remain committed to tackling the deficit and strengthening the economy.

Recent government decisions have also been of benefit to women. Around two thirds of those benefitting from the National Living Wage are estimated to be women. And of the 680,000 people who will be lifted out of income tax by 2017/18 as a result of increases in the personal tax allowance, over 60% will be women.

2nd Jul 2015
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the level of take-up of public registers of beneficial ownership in the UK's Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies; and what steps he is taking to persuade such areas to adopt the UK's standard for transparency of company ownership.

International standards on anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing, including transparency of legal persons, are set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) of which the UK is a leading member. The Caribbean Overseas Territories (OTs) are members of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force and as such have signed up to implement the FATF standards. Similarly, the Crown Dependencies (CDs) are members of MONEYVAL, the equivalent organisation for Europe. The OTs and CDs are also subject to mutual evaluations of their AML/CTF regimes through these bodies. The UK Government continues to engage actively with the OTs and CDs to encourage them to make improvements to their AML and CTF regimes in line with the international standards and the UK’s approach.

More specifically, the Government expects each of the OTs with a financial centre to set out timetables for implementing central registries or similarly effective systems by November 2015. The Minister for the Overseas Territories and I wrote to the Leaders of the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, which already has a central register, in March stressing the importance of adhering to their commitment to help combat tax evasion.

Finally, The Government welcomes the commitment already made by the Government of Gibraltar to implement the EU Fourth Money Laundering Directive which includes a central register of company beneficial ownership.

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate his Department has made of the potential effect on GDP of the reform to the air passenger duty banding system announced in the 2014 Budget; and if he will make a statement.

The economic and fiscal effects of Government policies are routinely assessed by the Office for Budget Responsibility. Information can be found in the OBR's economic and fiscal outlook, at:

http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/economic-fiscal-outlook-march-2014

The Government expects the reform to air passenger duty announced in Budget 2014 to support export trade confidence by strengthening UK links to overseas markets.

The Chancellor keeps the use of dynamic modelling under review.

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will commission a dynamic modelling study on the economic effects of air passenger duty; and if he will make a statement.

The economic and fiscal effects of Government policies are routinely assessed by the Office for Budget Responsibility. Information can be found in the OBR's economic and fiscal outlook, at:

http://budgetresponsibility.org.uk/economic-fiscal-outlook-march-2014

The Government expects the reform to air passenger duty announced in Budget 2014 to support export trade confidence by strengthening UK links to overseas markets.

The Chancellor keeps the use of dynamic modelling under review.

29th Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to answer Question 2871 tabled on 21 October 2019 by the hon. Member for Luton South.

The response for UIN 2871 was answered on 4th November 2019.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Oct 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when her Department plans to publish the report entitled Prostitution and sex work: nature and prevalence in England and Wales.

As part of the Government’s response to the 2016 Home Affairs Select Committee report into prostitution, the Home Office provided £150,000 to fund research specifically into the nature and prevalence of prostitution in England and Wales.

This independent research was led by the University of Bristol and will enable us to inform an objective evidence base before we can consider any changes to policy and legislation in respect of prostitution.

The report was published on 30 October and is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/nature-of-prostitution-and-sex-work-in-england-and-wales

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate she has made of the number of applicants to the EU Settlement Scheme who are resident in Luton who have (a) been granted settled status, (b) been granted pre-settled status and (c) had their application turned down in each year since the introduction of that scheme.

Published information on EU Settlement Scheme applications by region and local authority can be found in the Home Office’s ‘EU Settlement Scheme quarterly statistics’, local authority statistics tables, table EUSS_LA, available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/826752/eu-settlement-scheme-local-authority-statistics-28-august-2018-to-30-june-2019.ods.

The latest published information on EU Settlement Scheme applications concluded for the UK can be found in the Home Office’s ‘EU Settlement Scheme monthly statistics’ available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/eu-settlement-scheme-statistics-august-2019. It was noted in this release that one application was refused on suitability grounds during the period from 1 August to 31 August 2019.

The available data is of applications received and processed since testing began on 28 August 2018, just over 12 months ago. The Home Office does not currently publish statistics on EU Settlement Scheme application outcomes by local authority.

The Home Office is committed to publishing more detailed quarterly statistics on the EU Settlement Scheme. Home Office statisticians are currently considering the content of the next quarterly release and will take into account the views of statistics users.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
16th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the closure of the Crown post office in Luton on the accessibility to biometric information services for visa or immigration applications.

Customers making immigration applications can no longer use Post Office branches to enrol their biometrics in the majority of cases. Most customers now enrol their biometrics at a UK Visas & Citizenship Application Service (UKVCAS) centre.

The previous service offered by the Post Office was biometric enrolment only, whereas the new UKVCAS service brings together multiple services to make the application process more streamlined.

The UKVCAS service is run by our commercial partner, Sopra Steria Ltd (SSL), who undertook market research to identify service locations; their research included the impact on customer travel time, cost and accessibility. The results of this were that 62% of customers will, on average, have to travel less than 25 miles to visit a core service point, with 78% travelling less than 50 miles.

SSL can also cater for customers who wish to have more flexible, on-demand, mobile application services, for example at university campuses, employers’ offices or individual customers’ homes.

As part of this contract SSL continuously captures and analyses customer feedback and reviews customer demand to ensure there is sufficient capacity. During May and June SSL opened six additional sites: Manchester, Cardiff, Exeter, Leeds, Sheffield and Edinburgh, with the view to open more.

For information on the closest core and enhanced service points to Luton, please see the UKVCAS website at: https://www.ukvcas.co.uk/locations.

9th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what criteria his Department uses to determine the locations in the UK where biometric information for visa or immigration applications can be provided.

The majority of customers will be able to submit their biometrics and supporting information for their visa application via a UK Visa and Citizenship Application Service (UK VCAS) centre, which are run by Sopra Steria Ltd (SSL) on behalf of UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI). However, Individuals who have higher needs, may be vulnerable, or whose circumstances may be complex and would benefit from face to face interaction with the Home Office are directed to Service and Support Centres (SSC) where they will receive support with their application. The SSCs are all based in pre-existing locations which were previously used as premium service centres, which broadly align with the postal districts of our customers.

There are currently six core UKVCAS service points and seven core SSC’s across the UK at which application submission services are offered. The SSCs are based in Belfast, Cardiff, Croydon, Glasgow, Liverpool, Sheffield and Solihull.

SSL undertook market research to identify initial service locations for the UKVCAS service points; their research included the impact on customer travel time, cost and accessibility. Beyond that, SSL offer a range of enhanced services in a further 50 UKVCAS locations. These services enable customers to submit their biometric information (photo and fingerprints) and supporting evidence in one location. 62% of customers will, on average, have to travel less than 25 miles to visit a core service centre, with 78% travelling less than 50 miles. Appointments may be offered for individual customers and/or family groups to enrol their biometrics together.

28th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department holds on the number of GPs in each police constabulary area who are not participating in the firearms licensing process.

In accordance with arrangements introduced in 2016, the police write to the GPs of those who apply for a firearms licence to seek relevant information regarding the applicant’s health before the licence is issued. We do not collect statistics on the number of certificates that have been granted without the applicant’s GP having participated in the process. However, reports from police forces and firearms licence applicants indicate that the participation rates amongst GPs are variable. We have been in discussions with the police, medical bodies and shooting representatives about how greater consistency can be achieved.

21st Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the five nearest Passport interview offices to Luton are by journey time; and what benchmark journey times his Department used in its decision to close the office in Luton.

Her Majesty’s Passport Office provides an online service where by entering their postcode, customers can find their nearest passport interview office. Find a passport interview office can be found on GOV.UK at the following address:

https://www.gov.uk/passport-interview-office

Minimising the impact upon customers was a key consideration in the decision to close the Luton interview office, with the distance and time for travel to the closest passport interview office in London being in line with many other parts of the UK.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
21st Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of HM Passport Office's customers resident in Luton are required to attend an interview when making an passport application.

Her Majesty’s Passport Office do not hold information on how many people in a particular area could be required to attend a passport application interview.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
21st Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many passport application interviews have been conducted at Luton HM Passport Office in each year since 2012.

Her Majesty’s Passport Office has conducted 55,064 interviews at the Luton Interview Office since 2012. The table below shows the number of annual passport interviews conducted.

Year

Interviews conducted at Luton Interview Office

2012

9347

2013

12236

2014

10650

2015

7839

2016

10083

2017*

4909

*part year data to 19/11/2017

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
26th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what Border Force's budget for 2017-18 will be.

Allocations within the 2017/18 Home Office budget, including the Border Force allocation, remain subject to review and final Ministerial approval.

18th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 12 January 2017 to Question 59330, for what reasons her Department does not hold information on the number of persons examined under Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000 at individual UK airports; in what format data is supplied to her Department; and if she will make a statement.

The Home Office receives data on a quarterly basis from the National Counter Terrorism Policing Headquarters (NCTPHQ) on the number of examinations and subsequent detentions made in Great Britain under Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000. The data received from NCTPHQ cover the total numbers for Great Britain as a whole, with data for individual ports and airports not provided. The data are then published in the quarterly “Operation of Police Powers under the Terrorism Act 2000 and Subsequent Legislation” publication.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
10th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have been subject to questioning under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 at each UK Airport since 2015.

The Home Office does not hold information on the number of persons examined under Schedule 7 to the Terrorism Act 2000 at individual UK airports. The total number of persons examined and detained under Schedule 7 at airports, seaports, and international railway stations are published by the Government on a quarterly basis.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence
8th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions (a) she and (b) officials of her Department had with the National Police Chiefs' Council on its revised prostitution strategy.

Within the structure of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), chief officers are elected by their peers and take the lead on specific issues from a national operational perspective. It is for the national leads to establish working groups to support them in their role. The Home Office is in regular dialogue with on the NPCC Lead for Prostitution’s office, and as such discussed and commented on the current revision of the strategy.

Prostitution is a complex issue, which can impact on individuals and communities in many different ways, and we are therefore clear that local areas and police forces are in the best position to identify and respond to issues around prostitution in their area. Police forces are assisted in doing so by the National Policing Lead’s refreshed Policing Sex Work Strategy, which stresses the priority of the public protection duty that the police services have in relation to the safety of those involved in prostitution.

8th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the appointment process was for the National Police Chiefs' Council lead on prostitution, Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Holland; and what duties ACC Holland is expected to fulfil in consulting with stakeholders.

Within the structure of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), chief officers are elected by their peers and take the lead on specific issues from a national operational perspective. It is for the national leads to establish working groups to support them in their role. The Home Office is in regular dialogue with on the NPCC Lead for Prostitution’s office, and as such discussed and commented on the current revision of the strategy.

Prostitution is a complex issue, which can impact on individuals and communities in many different ways, and we are therefore clear that local areas and police forces are in the best position to identify and respond to issues around prostitution in their area. Police forces are assisted in doing so by the National Policing Lead’s refreshed Policing Sex Work Strategy, which stresses the priority of the public protection duty that the police services have in relation to the safety of those involved in prostitution.

8th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the appointment process was for members of the National Police Chiefs' Council working group on prostitution.

Within the structure of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), chief officers are elected by their peers and take the lead on specific issues from a national operational perspective. It is for the national leads to establish working groups to support them in their role. The Home Office is in regular dialogue with on the NPCC Lead for Prostitution’s office, and as such discussed and commented on the current revision of the strategy.

Prostitution is a complex issue, which can impact on individuals and communities in many different ways, and we are therefore clear that local areas and police forces are in the best position to identify and respond to issues around prostitution in their area. Police forces are assisted in doing so by the National Policing Lead’s refreshed Policing Sex Work Strategy, which stresses the priority of the public protection duty that the police services have in relation to the safety of those involved in prostitution.

8th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department holds on whether the National Police Chiefs' Council consulted academics in producing its revised prostitution strategy.

Within the structure of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), chief officers are elected by their peers and take the lead on specific issues from a national operational perspective. It is for the national leads to establish working groups to support them in their role. The Home Office is in regular dialogue with on the NPCC Lead for Prostitution’s office, and as such discussed and commented on the current revision of the strategy.

Prostitution is a complex issue, which can impact on individuals and communities in many different ways, and we are therefore clear that local areas and police forces are in the best position to identify and respond to issues around prostitution in their area. Police forces are assisted in doing so by the National Policing Lead’s refreshed Policing Sex Work Strategy, which stresses the priority of the public protection duty that the police services have in relation to the safety of those involved in prostitution.

8th Feb 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, who the members are of the National Police Chiefs' Council working group on prostitution.

Within the structure of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), chief officers are elected by their peers and take the lead on specific issues from a national operational perspective. It is for the national leads to establish working groups to support them in their role. The Home Office is in regular dialogue with on the NPCC Lead for Prostitution’s office, and as such discussed and commented on the current revision of the strategy.

Prostitution is a complex issue, which can impact on individuals and communities in many different ways, and we are therefore clear that local areas and police forces are in the best position to identify and respond to issues around prostitution in their area. Police forces are assisted in doing so by the National Policing Lead’s refreshed Policing Sex Work Strategy, which stresses the priority of the public protection duty that the police services have in relation to the safety of those involved in prostitution.

26th Sep 2014
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the cost was to his Department of Operation Patwin, by (a) humanitarian supplies delivered by ship, (b) non-physical humanitarian support and (c) all other costs.

The costs for Operation PATWIN were borne by the Department for International Development.

25th Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent steps he has taken to reduce the (a) level and (b) risk of homelessness among young people.

The Government is committed to reducing homelessness and rough sleeping, including for young people. The Homelessness Reduction Act came into force last year. It placed new duties on local housing authorities to take reasonable steps to try to prevent and relieve a person’s homelessness irrespective of whether a person has ‘priority need’ or may be regarded as being ‘intentionally homeless’, which of course includes young people. Last year we also updated guidance on the ‘Prevention of homelessness and provision of accommodation for 16 and 17-year-old young people who may be homeless and/or require accommodation’ setting out the respective duties of children’s services and housing services.

The Government has now committed over £1.2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the spending review period. Last summer we published the cross-government Rough Sleeping Strategy. This sets out an ambitious £100 million package to help people who sleep rough now, but also puts in place the structures that will end rough sleeping once and for all. The Rough Sleeping Strategy committed to creating a new social impact bond, the Young Futures Fund. This builds on the success of the Fair Chances Fund which ran from 2015-2017 and rehoused 1657 18-24 year old's who were or at risk of homelessness.

21st Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether solar panels installed on domestic properties have a right to light protection under planning legislation.

I would like to refer the Hon. Member to the Government’s response to UIN141851 of 20 May. The Government believes that sufficient protection is already afforded to existing solar arrays by the planning system which can take into account whether a proposed development would have an unreasonable impact on the light enjoyed by neighbouring properties, in terms of its impact on living conditions.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
10th Jan 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) prevalence and (b) environmental and social impact of residents making their private parking spaces available for hire; and if he will make a statement.

The Department does not assess the extent to which individual members of the public rent out their driveways. The Department has given local authorities the tools through the planning system to take action if there are significant planning concerns such as public nuisance to the local residents and community.

Marcus Jones
Vice Chamberlain (HM Household) (Whip, House of Commons)
26th Oct 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the extent of compliance with Part M of the building regulations for (a) dwellings and (b) non-dwellings (i) nationally and (ii) in each local authority area.

My Department has made no recent assessment of compliance with Part M of the Building Regulations. Compliance checking is undertaken by local authorities or private sector Approved Inspectors. However, the English Housing Survey includes information on the proportion of homes built with accessible features. It shows how “visitability” is much higher in homes built from 2001 onwards (when Part M began to have an impact) compared to those built before 2001. Also, my department has commissioned research into the effectiveness of the statutory guidance, which supports the requirements of Part M for new domestic buildings.

8th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to encourage the building of homes for social rent.

We are committed to delivering 275,000 affordable homes by 2020. This will be the fastest rate of affordable house building in the last 20 years.

The Affordable Homes Programme is open and receiving bids. We have already allocated £1 billion.

Brandon Lewis
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
8th Oct 2019
What recent discussions he has had with the Prime Minister on the rule of law.

The Prime Minister and Lord Chancellor meet regularly and discuss a range of matters. The Lord Chancellor has sworn an oath to respect the rule of law and to defend the judiciary. It is an oath he takes very seriously. The government will always abide by the law.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
9th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, on how many occasions in the last year private prisons have required the support of HM Prison Service to deal with concerted indiscipline.

HM Prison Service, and other contracted establishment resources, have been deployed to contracted prisons, as part of our established mutual aid arrangements, to assist with the resolution of concerted indiscipline on three occasions within the last twelve months. The details are as follows;

  • 17 July 2016 Doncaster
  • 01 September 2016 Lowdham Grange
  • 16 December 2016 Birmingham

On each occasion the National Tactical Response Group were also deployed to provide specialist incident management support including advanced tactical options, advice, planning and development of intervention options.

9th Mar 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps she is taking to review the capability of (a) HM Prison Service and (b) contracted-out prisons to respond to incidents of concerted indiscipline.

Concerted indiscipline is defined as an incident in which two or more prisoners act together in defiance of a lawful instruction or against the requirements of the regime of the establishment. Such incidents can cover wide range of circumstances, with most quickly resolved locally but others requiring varying levels of more significant intervention. We are continually reviewing prisons across the public and private estates, and supporting them to mitigate the risk of serious incidents and provide effective responses to incidents that do occur.

This process draws on a wide range of local data and intelligence reported daily by Governors, and assessed alongside other data, such as independent assessments from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons. I review this data regularly with the Chief Executive and other senior leaders.

Interventions available to prevent risks escalating include deploying extra staff on detached duty and overtime, installing extra CCTV, or making fast improvements to building facilities where damage presents risks. Measures are also taken when appropriate to segregate prisoners, provide extra detection or blocking equipment and provide additional search teams. Under the mutual aid process, there are agreements between both public and private prisons which enable them to support each other to respond to significant incidents effectively. If the incident is significant enough, we bolster the local response by deploying specialist (Tornado) teams. Following this, we help stabilise prisons after incidents by transferring disruptive prisoners.

In response to incidents in late 2016 we are improving this existing capability by resourcing two additional, national dog teams to support more perimeter patrols, helping prevent throw overs and drone operations. We are also increasing the number of Tornado-trained staff by 10%. In addition, as part of our wider investment in staffing levels we are increasing intelligence and dedicated search capability at prison level.

In the longer-term, we are improving prisons’ capacity to mitigate and respond to risks of incidents by increasing prison officer numbers by 2,500 and introducing of a new offender management model. Under this model, residential officers in public sector prisons will have a caseload of 6 prisoners each to support and challenge. We expect private prisons to offer a model which also provides one-to-one support for each prisoner.

27th Jan 2016
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people were (a) charged with and (b) convicted of paying for the sexual services of a child under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 in each calendar year since 2010.

The number of defendants proceeded against at magistrates’ courts and found guilty at all courts of offences of paying for the sexual services of a child, under section 47 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, in England and Wales from 2010 to 2014, can be viewed in the table.

Charging data is not held by the Ministry of Justice.

Court proceedings data for 2015 are planned for publication in May 2016.

Defendants proceeded against at magistrates' court, found guilty and sentenced at all courts for offences relating to paying for sexual services of a child, under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, England & Wales, 2010 to 2014(1)(2)(3)

Offence

Outcome

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

Offences relating to paying for sexual services(4)

Proceeded against

3

10

6

4

6

Found Guilty

3

5

16

5

3

(-) = Nil

(1) The figures given in the table on court proceedings relate to persons for whom these offences were the principal offences for which they were dealt with. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe.

(2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

(3) The number of defendants found guilty in a particular year may exceed the number proceeded against as the proceedings in the magistrates' court took place in an earlier year and the defendants were found guilty at the Crown Court in the following year; or the defendants were found guilty of a different offence to that for which they were originally proceeded against.

(4) Includes the following offences:

Paying for sex with a female child under 16 - no penetration

Paying for sex with a male child under 16 - no penetration

Paying for sex with a female child under 13 - penetration

Paying for sex with a male child under 16 - penetration

Paying for sex with a female child under 16 - penetration

Paying for sex with a female child 16 or 17

Paying for sex with a male child 16 or 17

Source: Justice Statistics Analytical Services - Ministry of Justice.

Ref: PQC 24517

2nd Jul 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, whether the proposed offence of failure to prevent economic crime is intended to have extra-territorial effect where a UK link can be proven.

The UK Anti-Corruption Plan, published in December 2014, tasks the Ministry of Justice to examine the case for a new offence of a corporate failure to prevent economic crime and the rules on establishing corporate criminal liability more widely. This work is progressing and any announcements on decisions will be made in due course.

17th Sep 2015
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what steps the Government is taking to tackle low pay in Northern Ireland.

Tackling low pay is part of the Government's plan to move to a higher wage, lower tax and lower welfare society.

100,000 low-paid people in Northern Ireland, 13 per cent of the workforce, will directly benefit from the National Living Wage from April next year.

A full-time worker on the current National Minimum Wage will be £1,200 better off as a result.

Ben Wallace
Secretary of State for Defence