Gavin Williamson Portrait

Gavin Williamson

Conservative - South Staffordshire

1 APPG membership (as of 22 Jul 2022)
Somaliland
Secretary of State for Education
24th Jul 2019 - 15th Sep 2021
Secretary of State for Defence
2nd Nov 2017 - 1st May 2019
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
14th Jul 2016 - 2nd Nov 2017
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
26th Jul 2010 - 28th Nov 2011


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
None available
Speeches
Tuesday 21st June 2022
Oral Answers to Questions
T7. Across the horn of Africa, we are seeing one of the worst droughts in 40 years. Coupled with the …
Written Answers
Tuesday 26th July 2022
Electroconvulsive Therapy
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he is taking steps to ensure that Transcranial …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 12th May 2021
Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to make provision in relation to freedom of speech and academic freedom in higher education institutions and in …
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 27th June 2022
1. Employment and earnings
From 20 June 2022 until further notice, Chairman of the Advisory Board of RTC Education Ltd, 153 Great Titchfield Street, …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 20th July 2022
Pensions (Extension of Automatic Enrolment) Bill 2022-23
A Bill to make provision about the extension of pensions automatic enrolment to jobholders under the age of 22; to …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Gavin Williamson has voted in 476 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Gavin Williamson voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
30 Mar 2022 - Health and Care Bill - View Vote Context
Gavin Williamson voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 72 Conservative Aye votes vs 175 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 215 Noes - 188
View All Gavin Williamson Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Kate Green (Labour)
(47 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(30 debate interactions)
Robert Halfon (Conservative)
(24 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Education
(995 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(13 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Gavin Williamson's debates

South Staffordshire Petitions

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

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

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

Gavin Williamson has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Gavin Williamson

Gavin Williamson has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Gavin Williamson, 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.


Gavin Williamson has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Gavin Williamson

Tuesday 18th January 2022

1 Bill introduced by Gavin Williamson

Introduced: 12th May 2021

A Bill to make provision in relation to freedom of speech and academic freedom in higher education institutions and in students’ unions; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 2nd Reading
Tuesday 28th June 2022
(Read Debate)

1 Bill co-sponsored by Gavin Williamson

Pensions (Extension of Automatic Enrolment) Bill 2022-23
Sponsor - Richard Holden (CON)


35 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his Department will provide a package of support to small businesses that are intensive energy users.

The Government recognises the importance to secure a competitive future for our energy intensive industries (EIIs), and in recent years have provided them with extensive support, including more than £2 billion to help with the costs of energy and to protect jobs. As part of our Energy Security Strategy, we recently announced that we have extended the EII Compensation Scheme for a further three years and its budget will be more than doubled. That strategy also announced plans to consider increasing support offered by the EII Exemption Scheme. Small businesses will continue to be eligible to apply in each case.

15th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he will reply to the letter of 10 January 2022 from the Rt. Hon. Member for South Staffordshire on a national strategy and guidance for battery storage unit planning applications.

The Department received the letter of 10 January on 17 March, on transfer from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. A response will be issued as a priority.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of providing support for domestic users of liquified petroleum gas in the context of increases in market prices.

The price of liquified petroleum gas is affected by a range of factors, including crude oil prices, refinery capacity, stock levels, and distribution costs. Seasonal factors also play a role. The increases to wholesale price of liquified petroleum gas compared to crude tend to occur during the winter months.

Consumers of liquified petroleum gas will be eligible for the £200 energy rebate as long as they are also domestic electricity customers. Financial support also remains available for liquified petroleum gas customers with energy bills, if eligible, through the Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Payment and Cold Weather Payment schemes.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much funding Arts Council England has provided per capita in (a) South Staffordshire, (b) Birmingham, (c) Kensington and (d) Chelsea in the financial year 2021-22.

Arts Council England (ACE) has advised that between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022 it provided the following funding: (a) South Staffordshire (Non-Metropolitan District) received a total of £38,500 investment representing £0.34 funding per capita; (b) Birmingham (Metropolitan District) received £33,173,995 investment representing £29.09 funding per capita; (c&d) Kensington and Chelsea (London Borough) received £6,398,309 investment representing £40.79 funding per capita.

These data are accurate at the time of writing, but are subject to change due to factors such as underspends, withdrawals, and other similar grant adjustments. The figures include both Lottery and Exchequer funding, including one-off grant schemes, such as the Culture Recovery Fund.

As part of building back more strongly, in February 2022, the government announced a series of measures to significantly increase and better distribute ACE’s funding, transforming the landscape for arts and culture to ensure that it benefits everyone. Additional funding announced at Spending Review 2021 for Arts Council England (£43.5 million) will be invested outside London in levelling up places. This means that access to arts and culture across the country will be transformed with plans to increase and better distribute funding for the sector in areas outside London by around £75 million by 2025.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of postponing the phase out of direct payments to farmers until 2024 in the context of the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on global food production.

We are not going to change the profile of Direct Payments reductions.

Area based subsidy gave half the farming budget to 10% of landowners. The Basic Payment Scheme did not support food production and did nothing to stop the decline in nature. We must seize the opportunity to establish a different system of rewards and incentives in agriculture. I am pleased that we are supporting farmers with the choices that they make for their own holdings.

Defra has been engaging with industry via various forums to understand significant impacts of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on individual industries and supply chains in Defra's sectors. No impacts have been reported that will severely disrupt entire markets.

Last month we announced steps to assist farmers with the availability of fertilisers for the coming growing season, to help address uncertainty amongst growers and help keep costs down for farmers.

The planned changes to the use of urea fertiliser will be delayed by at least a year, helping farmers manage costs and giving them more time to adapt to pressures on the supply of ammonium nitrate fertilisers. We are also encouraging farmers to make use of organic fertilisers. Farmers will be further supported by new slurry storage grants introduced this year.

Alongside this, we have published further details of the early rollout of Sustainable Farming Incentive. The scheme will help farmers move towards more sustainable farming practices over time; supporting farmers to build the health and fertility of their soil, and to reduce soil erosion which are essential for food production, helping to bolster food security and the longer-term resilience of the sector.

Defra will continue to keep the situation under review going forward.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if his Department will make an assessment of (a) the effectiveness of existing and (b) potential for further steps to prevent asbestos being disposed of in landfill.

The handling and transport of waste asbestos-containing material is only to be undertaken by specialist asbestos removal contractors, and must be disposed of at a site permitted to accept asbestos-containing materials.

The safest way to dispose of asbestos waste is to an appropriately permitted landfill site, regulated by the Environment Agency in England. Permits for these sites control the site design, quantities of waste and site operation in order to prevent or minimise pollution. Defra has no plans to review the current disposal route.

31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the amount of asbestos sent to landfill.

The handling and transport of waste asbestos-containing material is only to be undertaken by specialist asbestos removal contractors, and must be disposed of at a site permitted to accept asbestos-containing materials.

The safest way to dispose of asbestos waste is to an appropriately permitted landfill site, regulated by the Environment Agency in England. Permits for these sites control the site design, quantities of waste and site operation in order to prevent or minimise pollution. Defra has no plans to review the current disposal route.

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions officials in his Department have had with officials in (a) Department for Education and (b) horticultural sector on working together to secure a high-quality domestic labour supply for that sector.

Attracting bright new talent into agricultural and horticultural careers and having a skilled workforce in place is vital for the future of UK food and farming. By raising awareness of agriculture as an exciting and attractive career path, people will understand the opportunities available to them.

The Government is contributing towards the establishment of a new professional body, The Institute for Agriculture and Horticulture (TIAH). This initiative is aimed at removing the fragmentation that exists within current learning and skills landscape for farming businesses, enabling the industry to drive forward greater uptake of skills, creating clear career development pathways and promoting the sector as a progressive, professional and attractive career choice.

The Government is reforming post-16 technical education to provide clearer routes into skilled employment in agriculture and other sectors. A key part of this is the introduction of the new Technical Level programmes (T-levels). Alongside apprenticeships, these provide more opportunities and pathways for young people looking for careers in horticulture.

Defra continues to speak regularly with the sector and other Government departments, including the Department for Education, to understand labour supply and demand, including both permanent and seasonal workforce requirements, and to ensure there is a long-term strategy for the horticultural workforce.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure an adequate labour supply for the horticultural sector in the (a) short and (b) long term.

On 24 December 2021, the Government announced that the seasonal worker visa route would be extended through to 2024. As with the Pilot, it allows overseas workers to come to the UK for up to six months to harvest both edible and ornamental crops. 30,000 visas will be available in 2022. This will be kept under review with the potential to increase by 10,000 visas if there is clear evidence of need.

While acknowledging the sector's reliance on foreign workers, the UK is committed to becoming a high-skilled, high-wage economy and the Government has been clear that more must be done to attract UK workers through offering training, career options, wage increases and to invest in increased automation technology.

To help with these efforts, Defra is working with industry and the Department for Work and Pensions to raise awareness of career opportunities within the horticulture sector among UK workers.

As announced in December 2020, Defra has undertaken a review of automation in horticulture during 2021, covering both the edible and ornamental sectors in England. It is due to be published in early 2022. Our response to the review will work alongside the seasonal worker visa route - and Defra's efforts to attract more UK residents into agricultural work - to support the overall aim of reducing the sector's dependency on seasonal migrant labour

Defra is also engaging with the operators of the seasonal worker visa route to prepare and advance emergency plans in response to the situation in Ukraine. Operators can recruit from any country they choose for the seasonal workers visa route and operators recruited seasonal works from almost 50 countries in 2021.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether Highways England will make the traffic reports and studies taken to produce the design of the connection at Junction 11 on the M6 link road available to the public.

The traffic reports and studies that informed the design of the M54 to M6 Link road scheme have been made publicly available on both National Highways’ website and the Planning Inspectorate’s website.

The Scheme Assessment Report which details the appraisal of options and informed the Preferred Route Announcement can be found here: https://highwaysengland.citizenspace.com/he/m54-to-m6-m6-toll-link-road/results/schemeassessmentreport.pdf.

The Scheme Assessment Report that was submitted as part of the scheme’s Development Consent order application, along with the Transport Assessment Report, can be found here: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/wp-content/ipc/uploads/projects/TR010054/TR010054-000335-TR010054%20M54%207.4%20Transport%20Assessment%20Report.pdf.

The Transport Assessment Report was updated as part of the DCO application and that can also be found on the Planning Inspectorate’s website: https://infrastructure.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/wp-content/ipc/uploads/projects/TR010054/TR010054-000727-7.4%20P06%20Transport%20Assessment%20Report%20clean%20(1).pdf.

Trudy Harrison
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what additional support his Department has provided to Staffordshire County Council to help run continued rural bus services.

The Government has provided over £2bn of support for local transport networks to date through emergency and recovery grants to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic.

The Government has announced a further £150m in funding for local transport providers to continue supporting the sector following the Covid-19 pandemic from April until October 2022. A condition of this new funding is that both Local Transport Authorities and operators must work together to ensure that effective and financially sustainable networks which cater for the needs of the local public are implemented once recovery funding ends. As part of this, £355,014 has been allocated to Staffordshire County Council to support local bus services, in addition to the funding provided to bus operators directly.

The Department has also provided a Rural Mobility Fund (RMF) worth £20 million to trial more demand responsive services and have awarded funding to 17 pilot projects. Staffordshire County Council was awarded £1,038,091 to pilot demand responsive transport services in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

Trudy Harrison
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will issue guidance to local authorities to prioritise families who rely on non-price capped fuel for the Household Support Fund.

The Household Support Fund extension is part of £22 billion we are providing in 2022-23 to help ease cost of living pressures. The additional £500 million we are providing from April to help households with the cost of essentials brings the total funding for this support to

£1 billion. In England, £421 million will be provided to extend the existing Household Support Fund from 1 April to 30 September inclusive and will continue to help people who are struggling to afford energy and water bills, food, and other essentials.

Local Authorities have been issued with the fund guidance and the accompanying grant determination for the extended funding. We know energy bills may be of particular concern to low income households and so the guidance encourages Local Authorities to focus on supporting households with the cost of energy, and to focus all support on those in most need. Within the parameters set by the guidance, it is for Local Authorities, using their local ties and knowledge, to design local schemes that best meet the needs of local people.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will issue guidance to local authorities to prioritise families who rely on non-price capped fuel for the Household Support Fund.

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

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he is taking steps to ensure that Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation is available in all NHS Trusts in England.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) interventional procedures guidance on repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation for depression, published in December 2015, found the procedure was safe and effective for use in the National Health Service, although the benefits vary among patients. There is no legal requirement for the National Health Service to implement this specific form of NICE’s guidance. While it is considered best clinical practice, NHS commissioners and providers are responsible for commissioning services to meet the needs of the local population.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has plans to support staff in healthcare focused SMEs to develop IT management skills.

We have no specific plans to do so. It is the responsibility of individual employers and service providers to ensure that staff have the appropriate IT management skills for their roles.

22nd Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support healthcare focused SMEs with apprenticeship programmes.

The Government is increasing funding for apprenticeships to £2.7 billion by 2024/5. This will support apprenticeships in non-levy employers, including small and medium enterprises, where the Government will continue to pay 95% of training costs.

22nd Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of using the Health and Social Care Levy to provide support for SMEs who provide training and support for the NHS.

No specific assessment has been made.

24th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will update the criteria for a Platinum Jubilee Medal to ensure that air ambulance staff who do not have NHS ambulance trust service are eligible for the award.

The Platinum Jubilee Medal eligibility criteria were agreed across Government, the devolved administrations and Crown Dependencies, confirmed by the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals and approved by Her Majesty. Individual Government departments are responsible for eligibility decisions regarding the award of the Medal to their staff and other organisations sponsored by that department.

Frontline emergency services personnel who have been in paid service, retained or in a voluntary capacity through a National Health Service ambulance trust, who publicly face the prospect of dealing with emergencies as part of their conditions of service and have completed five full calendar years of service on 6 February 2022 are eligible for the Platinum Jubilee medal. There is no intention to change the eligibility criteria for the Platinum Jubilee Medal, which follows the precedent set for the Diamond Jubilee.

12th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if his Department will review housing associations’ compliance with existing legislation.

The Government believes very strongly that service charges should be transparent and communicated effectively. The way a service charge is organised (for example, what it covers and how it is worked out) is set out in the lease or tenancy agreement. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 is clear that variable service charges, including any increase in costs, must be reasonable, and where costs relate to work or services, the work or services must be of a reasonable standard. This applies equally to social housing residents and tenants.  Leaseholders and tenants may challenge the reasonableness of their variable service charges by making an application to the First-Tier tribunal.

The Government's policy statement on rents for social housing (published in February 2019) encourages registered providers of social housing to keep increases for services charges within CPI+1% per annum, to help keep charges affordable.  It also states that tenants should be supplied with clear information on how service charges are set, and in the case of social rent properties, providers are expected to identify service charges separately from the rent charge.

The Regulator of Social Housing's Rent Standard says that registered providers must comply with all the requirements and expectations of the Government's Rent Policy Statement on the setting, increase and decrease of rents and service charges.

Regarding transparency and accountability, the Social Housing Regulation Bill, introduced in the House of Lords on 8 June, will facilitate the implementation of the new, proactive consumer regulation regime. As part of the new regime, landlords will be required to report on a set of Tenant Satisfaction Measures. These are being developed by the Regulator of Social Housing, and will include measures relating to tenant engagement. Landlords will also be required to publish a set of financial metrics, including information on management costs, to allow tenants to hold their landlords to account and ensure they are receiving value for money. The Bill will also facilitate the introduction of an Access to Information scheme, enabling housing association tenants to request information from their landlords relating to the management of their homes.

This set of measures will ensure that residents can access key information regarding their homes and landlords, and will allow residents to have a stronger voice in decisions relating to their homes.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department is taking steps to encourage housing associations to increase their engagement with tenants.

The Government believes very strongly that service charges should be transparent and communicated effectively. The way a service charge is organised (for example, what it covers and how it is worked out) is set out in the lease or tenancy agreement. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 is clear that variable service charges, including any increase in costs, must be reasonable, and where costs relate to work or services, the work or services must be of a reasonable standard. This applies equally to social housing residents and tenants.  Leaseholders and tenants may challenge the reasonableness of their variable service charges by making an application to the First-Tier tribunal.

The Government's policy statement on rents for social housing (published in February 2019) encourages registered providers of social housing to keep increases for services charges within CPI+1% per annum, to help keep charges affordable.  It also states that tenants should be supplied with clear information on how service charges are set, and in the case of social rent properties, providers are expected to identify service charges separately from the rent charge.

The Regulator of Social Housing's Rent Standard says that registered providers must comply with all the requirements and expectations of the Government's Rent Policy Statement on the setting, increase and decrease of rents and service charges.

Regarding transparency and accountability, the Social Housing Regulation Bill, introduced in the House of Lords on 8 June, will facilitate the implementation of the new, proactive consumer regulation regime. As part of the new regime, landlords will be required to report on a set of Tenant Satisfaction Measures. These are being developed by the Regulator of Social Housing, and will include measures relating to tenant engagement. Landlords will also be required to publish a set of financial metrics, including information on management costs, to allow tenants to hold their landlords to account and ensure they are receiving value for money. The Bill will also facilitate the introduction of an Access to Information scheme, enabling housing association tenants to request information from their landlords relating to the management of their homes.

This set of measures will ensure that residents can access key information regarding their homes and landlords, and will allow residents to have a stronger voice in decisions relating to their homes.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if his Department will review the composition of housing association charges to ensure the equity of those charges for tenants.

The Government believes very strongly that service charges should be transparent and communicated effectively. The way a service charge is organised (for example, what it covers and how it is worked out) is set out in the lease or tenancy agreement. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 is clear that variable service charges, including any increase in costs, must be reasonable, and where costs relate to work or services, the work or services must be of a reasonable standard. This applies equally to social housing residents and tenants.  Leaseholders and tenants may challenge the reasonableness of their variable service charges by making an application to the First-Tier tribunal.

The Government's policy statement on rents for social housing (published in February 2019) encourages registered providers of social housing to keep increases for services charges within CPI+1% per annum, to help keep charges affordable.  It also states that tenants should be supplied with clear information on how service charges are set, and in the case of social rent properties, providers are expected to identify service charges separately from the rent charge.

The Regulator of Social Housing's Rent Standard says that registered providers must comply with all the requirements and expectations of the Government's Rent Policy Statement on the setting, increase and decrease of rents and service charges.

Regarding transparency and accountability, the Social Housing Regulation Bill, introduced in the House of Lords on 8 June, will facilitate the implementation of the new, proactive consumer regulation regime. As part of the new regime, landlords will be required to report on a set of Tenant Satisfaction Measures. These are being developed by the Regulator of Social Housing, and will include measures relating to tenant engagement. Landlords will also be required to publish a set of financial metrics, including information on management costs, to allow tenants to hold their landlords to account and ensure they are receiving value for money. The Bill will also facilitate the introduction of an Access to Information scheme, enabling housing association tenants to request information from their landlords relating to the management of their homes.

This set of measures will ensure that residents can access key information regarding their homes and landlords, and will allow residents to have a stronger voice in decisions relating to their homes.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that tenants renting housing association properties receive value for money.

The Government believes very strongly that service charges should be transparent and communicated effectively. The way a service charge is organised (for example, what it covers and how it is worked out) is set out in the lease or tenancy agreement. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 is clear that variable service charges, including any increase in costs, must be reasonable, and where costs relate to work or services, the work or services must be of a reasonable standard. This applies equally to social housing residents and tenants.  Leaseholders and tenants may challenge the reasonableness of their variable service charges by making an application to the First-Tier tribunal.

The Government's policy statement on rents for social housing (published in February 2019) encourages registered providers of social housing to keep increases for services charges within CPI+1% per annum, to help keep charges affordable.  It also states that tenants should be supplied with clear information on how service charges are set, and in the case of social rent properties, providers are expected to identify service charges separately from the rent charge.

The Regulator of Social Housing's Rent Standard says that registered providers must comply with all the requirements and expectations of the Government's Rent Policy Statement on the setting, increase and decrease of rents and service charges.

Regarding transparency and accountability, the Social Housing Regulation Bill, introduced in the House of Lords on 8 June, will facilitate the implementation of the new, proactive consumer regulation regime. As part of the new regime, landlords will be required to report on a set of Tenant Satisfaction Measures. These are being developed by the Regulator of Social Housing, and will include measures relating to tenant engagement. Landlords will also be required to publish a set of financial metrics, including information on management costs, to allow tenants to hold their landlords to account and ensure they are receiving value for money. The Bill will also facilitate the introduction of an Access to Information scheme, enabling housing association tenants to request information from their landlords relating to the management of their homes.

This set of measures will ensure that residents can access key information regarding their homes and landlords, and will allow residents to have a stronger voice in decisions relating to their homes.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that transparency and accountability measures apply to housing association service charges.

The Government believes very strongly that service charges should be transparent and communicated effectively. The way a service charge is organised (for example, what it covers and how it is worked out) is set out in the lease or tenancy agreement. The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 is clear that variable service charges, including any increase in costs, must be reasonable, and where costs relate to work or services, the work or services must be of a reasonable standard. This applies equally to social housing residents and tenants.  Leaseholders and tenants may challenge the reasonableness of their variable service charges by making an application to the First-Tier tribunal.

The Government's policy statement on rents for social housing (published in February 2019) encourages registered providers of social housing to keep increases for services charges within CPI+1% per annum, to help keep charges affordable.  It also states that tenants should be supplied with clear information on how service charges are set, and in the case of social rent properties, providers are expected to identify service charges separately from the rent charge.

The Regulator of Social Housing's Rent Standard says that registered providers must comply with all the requirements and expectations of the Government's Rent Policy Statement on the setting, increase and decrease of rents and service charges.

Regarding transparency and accountability, the Social Housing Regulation Bill, introduced in the House of Lords on 8 June, will facilitate the implementation of the new, proactive consumer regulation regime. As part of the new regime, landlords will be required to report on a set of Tenant Satisfaction Measures. These are being developed by the Regulator of Social Housing, and will include measures relating to tenant engagement. Landlords will also be required to publish a set of financial metrics, including information on management costs, to allow tenants to hold their landlords to account and ensure they are receiving value for money. The Bill will also facilitate the introduction of an Access to Information scheme, enabling housing association tenants to request information from their landlords relating to the management of their homes.

This set of measures will ensure that residents can access key information regarding their homes and landlords, and will allow residents to have a stronger voice in decisions relating to their homes.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
11th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether his Department plans to introduce legislation to change the park homes pitch fee review inflationary index to the Consumer Prices Index during this session.

The Government remains committed to improving protections for park home residents and this includes changing the pitch fee review inflationary index from the Retail Prices Index (RPI) to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). We will introduce the required legislation when the parliamentary timetable allows.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what support his Department has provided to local authorities to enable them to enforce the fit and proper person test for park home site owners and managers.

To assist local authorities enforcing the fit and proper persons test the department published non-statutory guidance on the implementation and the setting of fees in June 2021 and gave additional advice to authorities as required. We also provided local authorities with new burdens funding to support them in enforcing the test and continue to engage with and support local authorities to ensure the test is applied fairly and consistently.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what records the Government holds on park homes site owners and managers not deemed fit and proper for the financial year 2018-19.

The fit and proper person test was implemented in two stages. The first part came into effect on 1 July 2021 to allow local authorities to set up and prepare to receive applications. By 1 October 2021, all site owners were required to have submitted their applications. There is therefore no data from financial years 2018-2021. The department is aware of site owners and managers who have been deemed not fit and proper since the regulations came into effect, however, as these are the subject of appeals it would not be appropriate to share this information at this time.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what records the Government holds on park homes site owners and managers not deemed fit and proper for the financial year 2019-20.

The fit and proper person test was implemented in two stages. The first part came into effect on 1 July 2021 to allow local authorities to set up and prepare to receive applications. By 1 October 2021, all site owners were required to have submitted their applications. There is therefore no data from financial years 2018-2021. The department is aware of site owners and managers who have been deemed not fit and proper since the regulations came into effect, however, as these are the subject of appeals it would not be appropriate to share this information at this time.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what records the Government holds on park homes site owners and managers not deemed fit and proper for the financial year 2020-21.

The fit and proper person test was implemented in two stages. The first part came into effect on 1 July 2021 to allow local authorities to set up and prepare to receive applications. By 1 October 2021, all site owners were required to have submitted their applications. There is therefore no data from financial years 2018-2021. The department is aware of site owners and managers who have been deemed not fit and proper since the regulations came into effect, however, as these are the subject of appeals it would not be appropriate to share this information at this time.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what records the Government holds on park homes site owners and managers not deemed fit and proper for the financial year 2021-22.

The fit and proper person test was implemented in two stages. The first part came into effect on 1 July 2021 to allow local authorities to set up and prepare to receive applications. By 1 October 2021, all site owners were required to have submitted their applications. There is therefore no data from financial years 2018-2021. The department is aware of site owners and managers who have been deemed not fit and proper since the regulations came into effect, however, as these are the subject of appeals it would not be appropriate to share this information at this time.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what his Department's policy is on whether a surplus contribution to meeting employment need made by a council through its local plan affects expectations for that council's contributions to housing need through the Duty to Cooperate.

The standard method for assessing local housing need is used by councils to inform the preparation of their local plans. Councils decide their housing requirement once they have considered their ability to meet the needs in their area. This includes taking local circumstances and constraints into account.

The duty to co-operate is a statutory requirement on councils (local planning authorities and county councils) and other public bodies. They must work together constructively, actively and on an ongoing basis in relation to planning for strategic cross boundary matters during plan preparation. This can include the redistribution of housing need and employment need between authorities where one authority cannot meet its own need.

There is no direct relationship or expectation that a contribution to meeting employment need, or other development needs, affects an authority's contribution to housing need or vice versa.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will issue guidance to local authorities to use their discretionary powers to fast-track Disabled Facilities Grant applications for people living with motor neurone disease and other terminal conditions.

New Government guidance on the effective delivery of the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) for local authorities in England was published on 28 March 2022 on Gov.uk at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disabled-facilities-grant-dfg-delivery-guidance-for-local-authorities-in-england.

The guidance includes information on discretionary powers available to local authorities under a published Housing Assistance Policy, which can include fast-tracking the DFG process for eligible people living with motor neurone disease and other terminal conditions, as well as means test exemptions for adaptations costing less than £5000 if agreed locally. Any decision to include these priorities in a Housing Assistance Policy is a local one determined by local authorities.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will issue guidance to local authorities to use their discretionary powers to exempt Disabled Facilities Grant applicants from means testing for housing adaptations costing less than £5,000.

New Government guidance on the effective delivery of the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) for local authorities in England was published on 28 March 2022 on Gov.uk at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/disabled-facilities-grant-dfg-delivery-guidance-for-local-authorities-in-england.

The guidance includes information on discretionary powers available to local authorities under a published Housing Assistance Policy, which can include fast-tracking the DFG process for eligible people living with motor neurone disease and other terminal conditions, as well as means test exemptions for adaptations costing less than £5000 if agreed locally. Any decision to include these priorities in a Housing Assistance Policy is a local one determined by local authorities.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
15th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what his policy is on protecting the Green Belt from planning applications for battery storage units; and if he will update the national planning policy framework with a strategy for locating these units on land other than Green Belt land.

This Government has a manifesto commitment to protect and enhance the Green Belt. Our National Planning Policy Framework makes clear that most new building is inappropriate in Green Belt and should be refused permission unless in very special circumstances. Very special circumstances are not defined in national planning policy as it is rightly for the individual local authority to assess each case on its merits, and give relevant circumstances their due weight. However, when considering any planning application affecting Green Belt land, the local authority should ensure that substantial weight is given to any harm to the Green Belt.

The Framework is also clear that local authorities should support transition to a low-carbon future, including renewable and low-carbon energy generation. Local plans should identify suitable areas for renewable and low-carbon energy sources and infrastructure and guidance sets out how local authorities should take account of environmental, landscape and amenity considerations.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)