Geraint Davies Portrait

Geraint Davies

Labour (Co-op) - Swansea West

European Scrutiny Committee
6th Nov 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Welsh Affairs Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Environmental Audit Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Panel of Chairs
22nd Jun 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (Substitute Member)
10th Nov 2010 - 3rd May 2017
Environmental Audit Committee
26th Oct 2015 - 3rd May 2017
European Scrutiny Committee
15th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Panel of Chairs
25th Jun 2015 - 3rd May 2017
European Scrutiny Committee
5th Jul 2013 - 30th Mar 2015
Welsh Affairs Committee
12th Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Public Accounts Committee
25th Jul 1997 - 10th Sep 2003


Oral Question
Wednesday 16th June 2021
11:30
Northern Ireland Office
Oral Question No. 27
What discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential effect on trade flows between Northern Ireland and Holyhead of the proposed establishment of a freeport in Liverpool.
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Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 17th June 2021
08:40
Welsh Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Responsibilities of the Secretary of State for Wales
17 Jun 2021, 8:40 a.m.
At 9.30am: Oral evidence
Rt Hon Simon Hart MP - Secretary of State for Wales at Office of the Secretary of State for Wales
David TC Davies MP - Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at Office of the Secretary of State for Wales
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Select Committee Meeting
Thursday 24th June 2021
13:20
Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Investing in Children and Young People
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 193 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 224 Noes - 0
Speeches
Thursday 10th June 2021
Oral Answers to Questions

Happy birthday, Mr Speaker. The English-speaking population in Cameroon faces mass killings, atrocities and torture. As we have heard, the …

Written Answers
Tuesday 18th May 2021
Police: Demonstrations
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the implications for her …
Early Day Motions
Monday 18th January 2021
Safer PPE and FFP3 masks for healthcare workers
That this House salutes the contribution of all healthcare professionals to combating the COVID-19 pandemic; recognises that with 49,000 healthcare …
Bills
Wednesday 20th March 2019
Fracking (Measurement and Regulation of Impacts) (Air, Water and Greenhouse Gas Emissions) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 30th March 2020
7. (i) Shareholdings: over 15% of issued share capital
Until 1 December 2019, Pure Crete Ltd, tour operator to Crete. (Updated 17 March 2020)
EDM signed
Monday 14th June 2021
NHS privatisation
That this House expresses dismay at the Government’s White Paper, The Future of Health and Care, published on 11 February …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 7th February 2018
Homelessness (End of Life Care) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Geraint Davies has voted in 226 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Geraint Davies Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
(25 debate interactions)
Simon Hart (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Wales
(22 debate interactions)
Dominic Raab (Conservative)
Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State
(13 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(24 debate contributions)
Scotland Office
(19 debate contributions)
Wales Office
(17 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Geraint Davies's debates

Swansea West Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest Swansea West signature proportion
Petitions with most Swansea West signatures
Geraint Davies has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Geraint Davies

11th May 2021
Geraint Davies signed this EDM on Monday 14th June 2021

NHS privatisation

Tabled by: Jon Trickett (Labour - Hemsworth)
That this House expresses dismay at the Government’s White Paper, The Future of Health and Care, published on 11 February 2021 which rubber stamps the US care models for the UK; notes that the Bill is a Trojan horse for deregulated privatisation and that language on integrated care championed by …
42 signatures
(Most recent: 14 Jun 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 33
Scottish National Party: 4
Independent: 3
Alba Party: 2
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
9th June 2021
Geraint Davies signed this EDM on Thursday 10th June 2021

Racism in football

Tabled by: Clive Lewis (Labour - Norwich South)
That this House applauds England football manager Gareth Southgate and his players for their principled opposition to racism; stands in solidarity with all football players and supporters who have been subjected to racism, while participating in the sport they love or in other areas of their life; recognises that those …
25 signatures
(Most recent: 15 Jun 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 15
Plaid Cymru: 3
Liberal Democrat: 2
Green Party: 1
Independent: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Alliance: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
View All Geraint Davies's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Geraint Davies, 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.


Geraint Davies has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Geraint Davies has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

26 Bills introduced by Geraint Davies


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to establish a right to breathe clean air; to make provision about reducing air pollution; to require the Secretary of State to set, measure, and report on air quality targets; to establish the National Clean Air Agency to enforce air quality targets; to make provision for the development of sustainable public, private and commercial transport by road, rail, air and sea; to restrict the use of polluting vehicles in urban areas; to prohibit the sale of new petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles from no later than 2030; to make it an offence to remove permanently devices that reduce vehicle emissions; to make requirements regarding indoor air quality; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 2nd October 2019
Next Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Date TBA

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require the Secretary of State to measure and regulate the impact of unconventional gas extraction on air and water quality and on greenhouse gas emissions; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 20th March 2019

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require the holding of a referendum in which one option is to approve the withdrawal agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union and the other option is for the United Kingdom to remain a member of the European Union; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 26th February 2019

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require the Secretary of State to set, measure, enforce and report on air quality targets; to make provision about mitigating air pollution, including through the use of clean air zones; to make provision about vehicle emissions testing; to restrict the approval and sale of vehicles with certain engine types; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 22nd November 2017

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require the Secretary of State to set, measure, enforce and report on targets for the reduction and recycling of plastic packaging; to require that such targets following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union at least match such targets set by the European Union; to establish enforcement mechanisms in respect of such targets and associated provisions; to make provision for support for the development of sustainable alternatives to plastic packaging; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 9th May 2018
(Read Debate)

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require the Prime Minister to revoke the notification, under Article 50(2) of the Treaty on European Union, of the United Kingdom’s intention to withdraw from the European Union unless two conditions are met; to establish as the first condition for non-revocation that a withdrawal agreement has been approved by Parliament by 21 January 2019 or during an extension period agreed by that date under Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union; to establish as the second condition for non-revocation that a majority of participating voters have voted in favour of that agreement in a referendum in which the United Kingdom remaining as a member of the European Union was the other option; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 18th December 2018

A Bill to require the holding of a referendum to endorse the United Kingdom and Gibraltar exit package proposed by HM Government for withdrawal from the EU, or to decide to remain a member, following the completion of formal exit negotiations; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 6th September 2017
(Read Debate)

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to set, measure, enforce and report on air quality targets; to require that vehicle emissions targets and testing reflect on-road driving conditions; to make it an offence to remove permanently devices that reduce vehicle emissions; to provide powers for local authorities to establish low diesel emissions zones and pedestrian-only areas; to restrict the use of diesel vehicles in urban areas; to make provision about the promotion of electric and hydrogen powered vehicles and for the development of sustainable public, private and commercial transport by road, rail, air and sea; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 16th November 2016
(Read Debate)

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to set targets for sugar content in food and drinks; to provide that added sugar content on food and drink labelling be represented in terms of the number of teaspoonfuls of sugar; to provide for standards of information provision in advertising of food and drinks; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 14th September 2016

A Bill to require the holding of a referendum to endorse the United Kingdom and Gibraltar exit package proposed by HM Government for withdrawal from the EU, or to decide to remain a member, prior to the UK giving notice under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 6th July 2016

A Bill to make provision about the safeguarding of standards of environmental protection derived from European Union legislation, including for water, air, soil, flood protection, and climate change, after the withdrawal of the UK from the EU; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 13th July 2016

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to lay bilateral and multilateral trade and investment agreements before Parliament; to prohibit the implementation of such an agreement without the approval by resolution of each House; to provide a process for the amendment of such agreements, including any arrangements for investor-state dispute settlement, by Parliament; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 20th July 2016

A Bill to make provision about urban air quality targets; to require vehicle emissions targets and testing to reflect on-road driving conditions; to provide powers for local authorities to establish low diesel emissions zones and pedestrian-only areas; to restrict the use of roads in urban centres by diesel vehicles; to make provision about the promotion of the development of electric tram systems and buses and taxis powered by liquefied petroleum gas in urban centres; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 23rd February 2016

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to measure and regulate the impact of unconventional gas extraction on air and water quality and on greenhouse gas emissions; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 8th December 2015

A Bill to make provision about urban air quality targets relating to diesel emissions; to require vehicle emissions targets and testing to reflect on-road driving conditions; to make the removal or disablement of pollution-reducing devices in vehicles a criminal offence; to provide powers for local authorities to establish low diesel emissions zones and pedestrian-only areas and to restrict the use of roads in urban centres by diesel vehicles; to promote the development of trams, buses and taxis powered by electricity or hydrogen in urban centres for the purpose of improving air quality; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 14th September 2016

A Bill to require scrutiny of and enable amendments to international trade agreements, including investor state dispute settlements, by the European and UK Parliaments; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 16th September 2015

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to set targets for sugar content in food and drinks; to provide that sugar content on food and drink labelling be represented in terms of the number of teaspoonfuls of sugar; to provide for standards of information provision in advertising of food and drinks; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 21st October 2015

A Bill to provide that the Health and Care Professionals Council be the regulatory body for counsellors and psychotherapists; to prohibit gay to straight conversion therapy; to make consequential provision for the protection of children and adults; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 16th July 2014

A Bill to prohibit the advertising of electronic cigarettes; to prohibit the sale of electronic cigarettes to persons under the age of 18; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 22nd October 2014

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to measure and regulate the impact of unconventional gas extraction on air and water quality and on greenhouse gas emissions; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 21st January 2015

A Bill to require scrutiny of and enable amendments to international trade agreements, including investor state dispute settlements, by the European and UK Parliaments; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 27th October 2014

A Bill to prohibit the distribution of sexually explicit images via the internet and text message without the consent of the subjects of the images; to provide that mobile phones and other devices capable of connection to the internet be set by manufacturers as a default to deny access to pornography; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 10th September 2014

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to set targets for sugar content in food and drinks; to provide that sugar content on food and drink labelling be represented in terms of the number of teaspoonfuls of sugar; to provide for standards of information provision in advertising of food and drinks; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 15th July 2014

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to provide that the Health Professionals Council be the regulatory body for counsellors and psychotherapists; and for connected purposes


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 23rd October 2013

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require multinational motor manufacturing companies to provide a duty of care to former employees in respect of pension provision


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 12th December 2012

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 21st July 2010

195 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
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the report of the all-party group on air pollution entitled Air Quality Strategy to Reduce Coronavirus Infection, published on 29 May 2020.

The Cabinet Office welcomes the All-Party Group’s report and has noted its recommendations. Improving air quality is a priority for the Government. DEFRA has recently published the report of the Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG) on its Call for Evidence to understand more fully the impact that coronavirus is having on air pollution emissions, concentrations and exposure.

Penny Mordaunt
Paymaster General
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support research into the efficacy of a covid-19 vaccine in (a) older people and (b) other vulnerable groups.

The University of Oxford / Astra Zeneca Phase 3 trial includes branches that specifically looks at safety and efficacy of the vaccine in those aged between 56 – 69 and over 70. For these groups, researchers are assessing the immune response to the vaccine in people of different ages, to find out if there is variation in how well the immune system responds in older people. Other vaccine developers that the Government are working with may also decide to include specific groups such as these in their trials.

In addition to the work that vaccine developers are undertaking, the Government has funded the NHS Registry, developed by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). This national registry is encouraging people who may be disproportionately affected by COVD19, such as older people, older people with underlying health conditions and people from different ethnic groups, to volunteer for clinical trials. This includes supporting the development of communications materials to provide information on taking part in COVID 19 vaccine trials via the NIHR website (Be Part of Research). These have been translated into other languages, including Urdu, Gujarati, Punjabi, Hindi and Bengali in order to reach the wider Asian community.

The Government also has a proactive communications programme aimed at the above-mentioned groups, to encourage greater sign up to the registry.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with the Minister of the Cabinet Office on the UK’s future association with the Horizon Europe programme.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy regularly speaks to my Rt. Hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office about a range of policy issues, including the UK’s potential association with Horizon Europe.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support research into understanding the biological mechanisms of long-term covid-19 symptoms and air pollution.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided research funding for programmes looking into the factors that contribute to the severity of Covid-19 cases. This includes £4.9m funding to the ISARIC consortium for research and provision of real time information into the factors, including existing respiratory conditions, that put people most at risk of developing severe hospitalised illness as a result of Covid-19; and £1m to OpenSAFELY, a secure platform linking the primary care NHS records of 24 million patients, which is able to identify patients at higher risk of admission, ventilation and death from Covid-19.

UKRI’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) provides a national capability in air pollution research that underpins ongoing evaluations of the potential relationship between long-term air pollution exposure, respiratory conditions and COVID-19 symptoms and mortality. UKRI has also funded or repurposed at least 12 research projects studying the links between Covid-19 and air quality.

Through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the Department of Health and Social Care funds 14 Health Protection Research Units (HPRUs), which are research partnerships between universities and Public Health England (PHE). One of these Units, the NIHR HPRU in Environmental Exposures and Health based at Imperial College London, undertakes research on the health effects associated with exposure to a range of environmental pollutants. This includes research to investigate possible links between air pollution and COVID-19. Further information on projects on COVID-19 that are underway at the Unit can be found here: https://eeh.hpru.nihr.ac.uk/covid-19-projects/.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support research into covid-19 and respiratory conditions caused by air pollution.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), in partnership with the Department of Health and Social Care, has provided research funding for programmes looking into the factors that contribute to the severity of Covid-19 cases. This includes £4.9m funding to the ISARIC consortium for research and provision of real time information into the factors, including existing respiratory conditions, that put people most at risk of developing severe hospitalised illness as a result of Covid-19; and £1m to OpenSAFELY, a secure platform linking the primary care NHS records of 24 million patients, which is able to identify patients at higher risk of admission, ventilation and death from Covid-19.

UKRI’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) provides a national capability in air pollution research that underpins ongoing evaluations of the potential relationship between long-term air pollution exposure, respiratory conditions and COVID-19 symptoms and mortality. UKRI has also funded or repurposed at least 12 research projects studying the links between Covid-19 and air quality.

Through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the Department of Health and Social Care funds 14 Health Protection Research Units (HPRUs), which are research partnerships between universities and Public Health England (PHE). One of these Units, the NIHR HPRU in Environmental Exposures and Health based at Imperial College London, undertakes research on the health effects associated with exposure to a range of environmental pollutants. This includes research to investigate possible links between air pollution and COVID-19. Further information on projects on COVID-19 that are underway at the Unit can be found here: https://eeh.hpru.nihr.ac.uk/covid-19-projects/.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support research into covid-19 and ageing.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave the Hon. Member for Dulwich and West Norwood on 7th September 2020 to Question 77719.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to publish a review of the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 in response to his Department's 2014 consultation on amendments to those regulations and the accompanying technical annex.

The Government consulted in 2014 and 2016 on amending the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988. The Government published a response to the 2016 consultation on 18 July 2019.

There are no plans to publish a review of the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988. In its response to the 2016 consultation the Government announced that it will now develop a new approach to the regulations which is based on essential safety requirements to bring the regulations in line with modern product safety legislation.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the (a) remit (b) purpose, (c) terms of reference and (b) membership application process is for the British Standards Institute (i) Expert Advisory Group and (ii) Working Group FW/6 on flammability performance and fire tests for furniture.

The British Standards Institution (BSI) is appointed by government as the UK’s National Standards Body. Standards are voluntary and BSI is independent from government. The BSI are responsible for ensuring their standards committees are balanced and broadly represent the views of all interested stakeholders. This is formally set out in the British Standard, “BS 0: A standard for standards: principles of standardization”. Section 7 of this standard makes it clear that “committee membership is at the discretion of BSI”.

The Government announced in July 2019 that it would developing a new approach to the Furniture and Fire Safety Regulations and it will seek appropriate expert advice to inform the policy development.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps is his Department taking to ensure that it appoints a wide range of (a) stakeholders, (b) representative organisations (c) experts and (d) professionals to the British Standards Institute (i) Expert Advisory Group and (ii) Working Group FW/6 on flammability performance and fire tests for furniture.

The British Standards Institution (BSI) is appointed by government as the UK’s National Standards Body. Standards are voluntary and BSI is independent from government. The BSI are responsible for ensuring their standards committees are balanced and broadly represent the views of all interested stakeholders. This is formally set out in the British Standard, “BS 0: A standard for standards: principles of standardization”. Section 7 of this standard makes it clear that “committee membership is at the discretion of BSI”.

The Government announced in July 2019 that it would developing a new approach to the Furniture and Fire Safety Regulations and it will seek appropriate expert advice to inform the policy development.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Government Response to the Environmental Audit Committee's Twentieth Report of Session 2017–19 on Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Life, published on 30 October 2019, HC160, if he will report on his Department’s review of the status of baby and children’s products within the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988; and what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the evidence heard by that Committee on the effect of the chemicals in flame retardants on children’s health.

The Government published its response to the Environmental Audit Committee's Twentieth Report of Session 2017–19 on Toxic Chemicals in Everyday Life (EAC) on the 16 September 2019. It committed to reviewing the scope of the furniture and fire safety regs including baby and children’s products. This remains the case.

We will consider all available evidence including that which was submitted to the EAC and we will source a wide range of expertise in consultation with Chief Scientific Advisor.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much funding his Department (a) has supplied to the Hartley Anderson Group in the last year and (b) will supply to that group in the coming year for the investigation of deflagration as a method of unexploded ordnance disposal.

The Department’s contractor for provision of project management for the maintenance of Strategic Environmental Assessments, Hartley Anderson Ltd, commissioned the National Physical Laboratory for this project. Funding for financial year 2019-2020 totalled £221,000 (excl. VAT), which includes third party costs for munition manufacture and experimental site hire.

The funding allocated to this project to date in financial year 2020-2021 is £7,500 (excl. VAT).

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to introduce a car scrappage schemes for (a) old and (b) polluting vehicles.

The Government is investing a total of £2.5 billion to support consumers to make the transition to zero emission vehicles. We have no current plans to introduce a scrappage scheme.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the barriers which prevent people from working from home.

As part of its ongoing work to support and promote the more widespread adoption of flexible working, Government has commissioned a programme of research. The results will be published in due course.

Since Covid-19 measures were introduced there have been high proportions of people working from home with many businesses rapidly adapting to remote working, using new technology and finding new ways of working. As we move beyond the current situation, and the economy begins to reopen, we are very keen to do more to promote flexible working in all its forms. In our manifesto we said that, subject to consultation, we would introduce measures to make flexible working the default.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the report of the all-party group on air pollution entitled Air Quality Strategy to Reduce Coronavirus Infection, published on 29 May 2020.

As we recover from COVID-19, the Government intends to deliver a UK economy which is stronger, cleaner, more sustainable and more resilient. This includes ensuring we improve air quality while cutting emissions, for example through more building UK supply chains in low carbon transport.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he has taken to increase digital connectivity and training to allow people to work from home.

On March 29th, the Government and Ofcom agreed a set of voluntary commitments with the UK’s major telecommunications providers to support and protect vulnerable consumers and those who might become vulnerable due to circumstances arising from Covid-19. These included commitments to lift data allowance caps on all current fixed broadband services, and to offer new, generous mobile and landline packages to vulnerable consumers. A further set of smaller providers signed up to the same commitments in mid-May.

The sector has also provided reassurances that, to date, the UK’s broadband network has been able to handle home working alongside the other demands being placed on it such as gaming, using streaming services and home learning, as well as other leisure usage.

DCMS continues to work closely with the key telecommunications providers who are monitoring traffic levels on an ongoing basis. Similarly, the mobile network operators are managing network performance including a shift from typical inner city demand to suburban home working.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the correlation between regular exercise in childhood and levels of exercise of those same people in adulthood.

Levels of physical activity for children and young people are captured through the Active Lives Children and Young People Survey which was launched in schools in September 2017. Levels of physical activity for adults 16+ are captured through the Active Lives Survey. Reports and data tables for both surveys are available on Sport England’s website. Data is collected through national randomised samples, so individual results cannot be tracked, and the surveys use different methodologies so data cannot be directly compared.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the report of the all-party group on air pollution entitled, Air Quality Strategy to Reduce Coronavirus Infection, published on 29 May 2020.

The Secretary of State for DCMS welcomes the all-party group’s report and has noted its recommendations with interest. Improving air quality is a top priority for the Government and, especially during these unprecedented times, we will continue to take robust and comprehensive action to improve air quality in the UK and minimise public health impacts. DEFRA recently launched a rapid Call for Evidence to understand more fully the impact that coronavirus is having on air pollution emissions, concentrations and exposure and DEFRA’s Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG) are currently analysing the responses.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Government's announcement of 3 February 2021 on the appointment of the Education Recovery Commissioner, what plans the Commissioner has to ensure that there is a comprehensive programme of catch-up for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs whose support and learning may have been impacted by school closures during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is committed to helping children and young people recover education lost as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In June 2020, the Department announced a catch-up package worth £1 billion, including a ‘Catch Up Premium’ worth a total of £650 million to support schools to make up for lost teaching time and £350 million for the National Tutoring Programme.

In January 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, also committed a further £300 million for tutoring and to engage with parents, pupils and teachers to develop and deliver a plan to help all pupils catch up over the course of this Parliament.

To support the Government with this, the Prime Minister and my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, have appointed Sir Kevan Collins as the Education Recovery Commissioner. Sir Kevan will advise ministers on the best approach for education recovery, with a particular focus on helping all pupils catch up on learning lost as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

We know that one size does not fit all and will be looking at how interventions can address the individual needs of pupils, including those with speech, language and communication needs.

We will set out more detailed plans in due course.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the (a) Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and (b) Secretary of State for Justice on the recommendation that Government should be levelling up on spending on speech and language therapy around the country as set out in the Children’s Commissioner’s report, Still not safe: The public health response to youth violence, published in February 2021.

Spending on speech and language therapy is determined at a local level.

We do not prescribe in detail how local authorities should allocate their high needs funding, but local authorities and schools have statutory duties under the Children and Families Act 2014 to support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), including those who require speech and language therapies.

The department remains committed to continuous improvement. The cross-government SEND Review was announced in September 2019 and is looking at ways to make sure the SEND system is consistent, high quality, and integrated across education, health, and care. It is also considering measures to make sure that money is being spent fairly, efficiently, and effectively, and that the support available to children and young people is sustainable in the future.

The SEND Review is looking at ways to support mainstream settings to identify and get support to children and young people more quickly, through making best use of precious expertise such as speech and language therapists and educational psychologists. These issues are long-standing and complex, but the government is determined to deliver real, lasting change. We intend to publish the SEND Review in spring 2021.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Prime Minister's announcement of 3 February 2021 on the appointment of the Youth Mental Health Ambassador, what plans the (a) Ambassador has and (b) Mental Health in Education Action Group have to ensure the (i) identification of and (ii) appropriate support for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs.

The Mental Health in Education Action Group will look at the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the mental health and wellbeing of children, young people and staff in nurseries, schools, colleges, and universities. It will consider how to support mental wellbeing while children and young people are being taught remotely, as they return to education settings and with transitions period between education settings in September 2021.

In the first instance we will engage with health experts to bring together the evidence of impact on children and young people, identify the existing range of support and how to make sure it is easy to access and has the greatest possible impact. The department will also engage with education stakeholders, including staff and leadership unions, to ensure that we understand the issues that are facing staff in nurseries, schools, colleges, and universities and how those can be supported in the coming months. We will also work with the existing higher education task force to ensure that the issues it is considering around mental health are reflected. Further information about the remit of the group will be available in due course, but it will look at the specific mental health and wellbeing issues faced by children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), including children with speech, language and communication needs.

The SEND Review was announced in September 2019 and is looking at ways to make sure the SEND system is consistent, high quality, and integrated across education, health, and care. It is also considering measures to make sure that money is being spent fairly, efficiently, and effectively, and that the support available to children and young people is sustainable in the future. The SEND Review is looking at ways to support mainstream settings to identify and get support to children and young people more quickly, through making best use of precious expertise such as speech and language therapists and educational psychologists. These issues are long-standing and complex, but the government is determined to deliver real, lasting change. We intend to publish the SEND Review in spring 2021.

On the 4 February 2021, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, appointed Dr Alex George as Youth Mental Health Ambassador to advise the government and raise the profile of mental health education and wellbeing in schools, colleges, and universities. As Youth Mental Health Ambassador, he will use his clinical expertise and personal experience to champion the government’s work on children’s and young people’s mental health, and help shape policy on improving support for young people in schools, colleges, and universities.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make it his policy to issue an update of the Building Bulletin 101:'Guidelines on ventilation, thermal comfort and indoor air quality in schools for (a) BS EN ISO 16890:2016, (b) BS EN ISO 10121-2:2013 and (c) BS EN 16798-3:2017.

The design and construction standards for new school buildings are under regular review to reflect any changes in regulations or best practice nationally. There are no plans at present to update Building Bulletin 101 'Guidelines on ventilation, thermal comfort and indoor air quality in schools' which was published in 2019.

We published guidance on 3 June on the reopening of buildings and campuses to help providers make informed decisions about their provision in ways that protect the health and well-being of both staff and students. Our guidance contains links to other sources of relevant advice, including on safer workplaces: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19, which includes references to the importance of ventilation, particularly in advance of reopening buildings.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to ensure that funding is allocated to local authority areas to enable evidence-based catch-up interventions for children and young people’s speech, language and communication needs; and if he will make a statement.

In 2020-21, we are allocating £7.2 billion in high needs funding across England for children with complex special educational needs and disabilities, which includes those with speech, language and communication needs.

Specifically, in response to COVID-19, we are introducing an additional catch-up premium worth a total of £650 million to support schools to rise to make up for lost teaching time. Our expectation is that this funding will be spent on the additional activities required to support children to catch up after a period of disruption to their education. Headteachers will decide how the universal catch up premium is spent to best meet the needs of their pupils. The Education Endowment Foundation has published guidance on effective interventions to support schools:
https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/.

We will set out how this funding will be distributed between individual schools shortly.

Local authorities’ core allocations to support children with high needs in 2021-22 will also be published shortly.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to ensure that (a) children’s early language and communication development and (b) the timely identification and support for speech, language and communication needs are prioritised in (a) local and (b) national covid-19 recovery plans.

Supporting the most vulnerable children and young people, including those with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), is a priority for us, especially at this time. Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, educational settings have been asked to ensure that vulnerable children and young people can attend where appropriate.

Local authorities are responsible for their own strategic planning and have statutory requirements to offer SLCN provision where a child or young person requires it as part of their education, health and care (EHC) plan. Since May, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, it has been necessary to modify the duty on local authorities and health commissioners so that they could use their ‘reasonable endeavours’ to secure or arrange the specified special educational and health care provision in EHC plans. However, we are committed to removing these flexibilities as soon as possible and my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has confirmed that, unless the evidence changes, he will not be issuing further national notices to modify this duty.

We have also been working to support early language and communication development specifically. Since 2018, we have committed more than £60 million to programmes to improve early language and literacy. We will work with the sector to explore how best to continue to support children’s early development, including through the Early Years Foundation Stage reforms and the department’s Hungry Little Minds campaign, which we will continue to use to provide support for parents to develop their children’s early language and literacy.

More widely, we are ensuring that resources are available. We have announced a package worth £1 billion to ensure that schools across England have the resources they need to help all pupils make up for lost teaching time, with extra support for those who need it most. £650 million will be spent on ensuring all pupils have the chance to catch up and supporting schools to rise to the challenge. For pupils with complex needs, we strongly encourage schools to spend this funding on catch-up support to address their individual needs, which could include speech and language therapy where appropriate. We will set out how this funding will be distributed between individual schools shortly.

We will also roll out a National Tutoring Programme, worth up to £350 million, which will deliver one-to-one tuition to the most disadvantaged young people. More details are available here:
https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/.

We are providing the Oak National Academy with an additional £4.3 million to produce another 10,000 lessons over the course of the next academic year. This includes for the Oak National Academy's specialist curriculum, which includes speech and language therapy.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on reducing air pollution around schools, to help protect (a) teaching staff and (b) children attending schools during the covid-19 outbreak.

Local authorities are responsible for the mitigation of air pollution hot spots in areas where people may be exposed, including schools. They have discretionary powers to take action to improve local air quality. For example, they can issue fixed penalty notices to drivers leaving engines running unnecessarily after being asked to turn them off. In areas with poor air quality, local authorities have a statutory duty to publish air quality plans for reducing air pollution.

Local authorities also have a statutory duty to promote sustainable school travel. The department’s guidance sets out that this duty should have a broad impact, including improvements in air quality to which children are particularly vulnerable.

Government advice, particularly during the COVID-19 outbreak, is to walk or cycle to school where possible. The Department for Transport’s cycling and walking investment strategy sets out the government’s ambition to make cycling and walking the natural choice for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer journey. Details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycling-and-walking-investment-strategy.

On 9 May the Department for Transport announced a £2 billion package to promote cycling and walking:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/2-billion-package-to-create-new-era-for-cycling-and-walking.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent steps he has taken to increase access to school bus services.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to provide free home to school transport for eligible children. A child is eligible if they are of compulsory school age, attend their nearest suitable school and it is more than the statutory walking distance from their home. The statutory walking distance is 2 miles for children under the age of 8 and 3 miles for children aged 8 and over. A child is also eligible if they live within the statutory walking distance but could not reasonably be expected to walk to school because of their special educational needs, disability or mobility problems, or because the nature of the route means it would be unsafe for them to do so.

There are additional entitlements to free home to school transport for those children who are eligible for free school meals, or if a parent they live with receives the maximum amount of Working Tax Credit. These are known as extended rights and are intended to support low income families in exercising school choice.

It is for local authorities to decide how they will provide free transport for eligible children depending on local circumstances. They might, for example, provide a pass for free travel on a service bus, or they might provide a dedicated school bus or a taxi to transport children.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of (a) walking and (b) cycling to school on children's health.

Local authorities have a statutory duty to promote sustainable school travel. The Department’s guidance sets out that this duty should have a broad impact, including providing health benefits for children, and their families, through active journeys, such as walking and cycling; as well as improvements in air quality to which children are particularly vulnerable.

Government advice, particularly during the COVID-19 outbreak, is to walk or cycle to school where possible. This will not only help reduce the spread of infection and reduce demand on public transport, but also have enormous benefits for children’s health.

The Department for Transport’s cycling and walking investment strategy sets out the Government’s ambition to make cycling and walking the natural choice for shorter journeys, or as part of a longer journey. Details can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cycling-and-walking-investment-strategy.

On 9 May the Department for Transport announced a £2 billion package to create new era for cycling and walking: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/2-billion-package-to-create-new-era-for-cycling-and-walking.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of the recommendations made by the School Streets Initiative in relation to (a) healthier learning environments for school children and (b) increased space to ensure social distancing at schools.

Outdoor air quality and road traffic restrictions are the responsibility of local authorities. Where there are concerns about air quality the local authority must prepare an air quality action plan.

We are not aware of any recommendations to the Department on the impact of the School Streets Initiative on healthier educational environments. The Department published guidance (Building Bulletin 101) on achieving good indoor air quality in new and refurbished schools in 2019.

As my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, made clear when he spoke at the daily press briefing on 19 June, the Department is working towards bringing all children and young people back to school in September. We have published further information and guidance to help schools prepare for September. The guidance is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the report of the all-party group on air pollution entitled, Air Quality Strategy to Reduce Coronavirus Infection, published on 29 May 2020.

Outdoor air quality and road traffic restrictions are the responsibility of local authorities. Where there are concerns about air quality the local authority must prepare an air quality action plan.

We are not aware of any recommendations to the Department on the impact of the School Streets Initiative on healthier educational environments. The Department published guidance (Building Bulletin 101) on achieving good indoor air quality in new and refurbished schools in 2019.

As my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, made clear when he spoke at the daily press briefing on 19 June, the Department is working towards bringing all children and young people back to school in September. We have published further information and guidance to help schools prepare for September. The guidance is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what provisions on indoor air quality will be included the Environment Bill; and how those provisions will be enforced.

We recognise the importance of national leadership on the issue of indoor air quality, and we are working across Government with the Chief Medical Officer and the Government Chief Scientific Advisor to coordinate further action, as well as with the Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England who are taking the lead on this area.

Our Clean Air Strategy also includes measures to reduce emissions from key sources which contribute to indoor air pollution, including measures to reduce emissions of fine particulate matter from domestic solid fuel burning, which are in part delivered through the Environment Bill.

However, we consider that building our evidence base is a key first step to ensure that any future interventions are appropriately targeted and effective and that is what we are now focusing on. For example, our Air Quality Expert Group, with support from members of the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution, will be producing a report on indoor air quality, focusing on fine particulate matter and volatile organic compounds as the air pollutants which are prevalent in indoor environments.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals in the Environment Bill in response to the recommendations of the coroner's report following the inquest into the death of Ella Kissi-Debrah.

Our thoughts continue to be with Ella’s family and friends. We will carefully consider the recommendations in the Prevention of Future Deaths report and respond in due course.

We know that air pollution is the single greatest environmental risk to human health, and although air pollution has reduced significantly over the last decade, there is more to do. This is why the Government is continuing to take urgent action to curb the impact air pollution has on communities across England through the world-leading Clean Air Strategy, the landmark Environment Bill, and the delivery of the £3.8 billion plan to clean up transport and tackle nitrogen dioxide pollution at the roadside.

We know there is a strong case for taking ambitious action on PM2.5 as it is the pollutant that has the most significant impact on health. That is why we are introducing a duty to set a PM2.5 target – alongside at least one additional long-term air quality target - in the Environment Bill. We have always been clear that we will consider the World Health Organization’s guidelines for PM2.5 at part of this process.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the coroner's Report to prevent future deaths following the inquest into the death of Ella Kiss--Debrah, what steps he is taking to help ensure that there are enough air quality sensors in local communities.

Our thoughts continue to be with Ella’s family and friends. We will carefully consider the recommendations in the Prevention of Future Deaths report and respond in due course.

Local authorities have statutory duties to review and assess local air quality. Local authorities decide what local monitoring is undertaken in line with national and local priorities, funded by their grant in aid settlement. Over £1 million additional funds from Defra’s 2018/19 Air Quality Grant was awarded for local authorities to pilot and evaluate low cost sensors.

In addition, Defra’s national monitoring network is published on the UK Air Information Resource (UK AIR). This is updated in real time to provide a live representation of the national monitoring network.

We have invested over £2 million in the last two years into the research and development of emerging sensor and satellite technologies and practical, on the ground trials in order to bring forward new monitoring advancements.

Information on sites managed by local authorities and those that make up national networks managed by Defra can be found on UK AIR (https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/networks/find-sites and https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/interactive-map).

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the coroner's Report to prevent future deaths following the inquest into the death of Ella Kissi-Debrah, what estimate he has made of the effect of reducing national limits for Particulate Matter in line with the World Health Organisation's guidelines on the number of deaths from air pollution in the UK.

Our thoughts continue to be with Ella's family and friends. We will carefully consider the recommendations in the Prevention of Future Deaths report and respond in due course.

We know there is a strong case for taking ambitious action on PM2.5 as it is the pollutant that has the most significant impact on health. That is why we are introducing a duty to set a PM2.5 target - alongside at least one additional long-term air quality target - in the Environment Bill.

The costs, benefits and distributional impacts of any measures to meet air quality targets on businesses and wider society will be assessed as part of our development of targets under the Environment Bill Framework. They will be included in an Impact Assessment which will accompany a public consultation on environmental targets in early 2022. To inform this analysis, we have asked the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants for expert advice to ensure we are taking account of the latest health evidence. World Health Organization guidelines will also be considered to inform target development.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to reduce levels of particulate air pollution to within the limit set in the World Health Organisation's recommendations in the Prevention of Future Deaths report, published on 21 April 2021.

Our thoughts continue to be with Ella’s family and friends. We will carefully consider the recommendations in the Prevention of Future Deaths report and respond in due course.

We know that air pollution is the single greatest environmental risk to human health, and although air pollution has reduced significantly over the last decade, there is more to do. The World Health Organization has praised our Clean Air Strategy as “an example for the rest of the world to follow”. We know there is a strong case for taking ambitious action on PM2.5 as it is the pollutant that has the most significant impact on health. We have already taken action on a major source of PM2.5 by legislating to phase out the sale of house coal, small volumes of wet wood and high sulphur manufactured solid fuels for domestic burning, but further action is needed. This is why we are introducing a duty to set a PM2.5 target – alongside at least one additional long-term air quality target - in the Environment Bill. We have always been clear that we will consider the World Health Organization’s guidelines for PM2.5 as part of this process.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the restriction proposal on manufacture, use and placing on the market of PFHxS, its salts and related substances agreed by ECHA will be transposed into UK REACH at the end of the transition period.

At the end of the transition period, only those restrictions that are in force in EU REACH will be automatically carried over into UK REACH. The restriction proposals on C9-C14 PFCAs and on PFHxS are not yet agreed under EU REACH and are not likely to be in force at the end of the transition period, so will not be automatically carried over into UK law.

After the end of the transition period we will make independent decisions on future REACH restrictions, taking into account any analysis already carried out, including in the EU, consultations, and our own independent scientific advice.

Defra and the Environment Agency are working closely with other regulators to investigate sources, pathways and risks associated with PFAS chemicals in the environment in order to facilitate decisions on future risk management options.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the (a) Swedish Chemicals Agency's substance evaluation for flame retardant bis(2-ethylhexyl) tetrabromophthalate and (b) potential merits of the Health and Safety Executive classifying the flame retardant bis(2-ethylhexyl) tetrabromophthalate as a substance of very high concern.

The substance evaluation recently completed by KEMI, the Swedish Environment Agency, recommended further follow-up regulatory action at EU level, although the process required under EU REACH to identify the substance as a “substance of very high concern” (SVHC) has not yet started.

After the end of the transition period, the UK will establish its own independent chemicals regulatory framework for Great Britain, UK REACH. All substances on the EU REACH candidate list of SVHCs for authorisation at that point will be listed on the UK REACH candidate list. We will make independent decisions on future identification of substances as SVHC, taking into account existing evidence, and consultation.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking (a) to support research into indoor air pollution to help build the evidence base and (b) to work with other Departments to facilitate a cross-government approach to improving indoor air quality.

Defra is supporting work on indoor air quality by gathering evidence needed to inform effective policies. Our Air Quality Expert Group, with input from members of the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, will be publishing a paper on indoor air quality in the new year. This will focus on fine particulate matter and volatile organic compounds as the air pollutants which are prevalent in indoor environments. We have also engaged actively with the research community through the Clean Air Programme, which is part of UK Research and Innovation’s Strategic Priorities Fund. Wave 2 of this programme is focused on the indoor/outdoor air quality interface.

Earlier this year, Defra attended a cross-Government roundtable on indoor air quality hosted by the Chief Medical Officer and Government Chief Scientific Advisor. Given the health drivers for action, DHSC and Public Health England will be taking the lead on indoor air quality and Defra will continue to support them, alongside other Government departments.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the draft National Action Plan on the Sustainable Use of Pesticides will include a commitment to phase out local authority use of pesticides in urban areas.

The revised National Action Plan for the Sustainable use of Pesticides (NAP) will be published for public consultation later this year and is applicable to all pesticide users including local authorities. The consultation document recognises action being taken by some local authorities to encourage phase out of pesticide usage and commits to encouraging an approach where non-essential use of pesticides is avoided.

The NAP consultation puts Integrated Pest Management (IPM) at the heart of our approach to minimise the use of pesticides across all sectors and support the uptake of non-chemical alternatives. Steps are being taken to integrate support for IPM approaches within future agri-environment schemes, for example through Environmental Land Management.

Through the NAP, we aim to minimise the risks and impacts of pesticides to human health and the environment, while ensuring pests and pesticide resistance are managed effectively. We are improving UK indicators of pesticide usage and toxicity in order to track progress against this aim. This work includes the development of a pesticide load indicator, building on the Danish model and tailoring it our domestic circumstances. We have been assessing the role of targets to support the ambitions of the NAP. The first step is to establish a robust baseline through improved indicators to ensure that goals are meaningful and drive the greatest benefit. We are aware of the difficulties experienced by France in meeting reduction targets they have set. Despite an ambitious reduction target, their overall pesticide usage has actually increased. The revision of the NAP provides an opportunity to assess the experiences of the EU and other countries, and set our domestic ambitions for the sustainable use of pesticides.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he has taken to ensure that additional support for UK farmers to undertake integrated pest management will be included in National Action Plan.

The revised National Action Plan for the Sustainable use of Pesticides (NAP) will be published for public consultation later this year and is applicable to all pesticide users including local authorities. The consultation document recognises action being taken by some local authorities to encourage phase out of pesticide usage and commits to encouraging an approach where non-essential use of pesticides is avoided.

The NAP consultation puts Integrated Pest Management (IPM) at the heart of our approach to minimise the use of pesticides across all sectors and support the uptake of non-chemical alternatives. Steps are being taken to integrate support for IPM approaches within future agri-environment schemes, for example through Environmental Land Management.

Through the NAP, we aim to minimise the risks and impacts of pesticides to human health and the environment, while ensuring pests and pesticide resistance are managed effectively. We are improving UK indicators of pesticide usage and toxicity in order to track progress against this aim. This work includes the development of a pesticide load indicator, building on the Danish model and tailoring it our domestic circumstances. We have been assessing the role of targets to support the ambitions of the NAP. The first step is to establish a robust baseline through improved indicators to ensure that goals are meaningful and drive the greatest benefit. We are aware of the difficulties experienced by France in meeting reduction targets they have set. Despite an ambitious reduction target, their overall pesticide usage has actually increased. The revision of the NAP provides an opportunity to assess the experiences of the EU and other countries, and set our domestic ambitions for the sustainable use of pesticides.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of (a) the EU biodiversity strategy and farm to fork strategy which commit to a 50 per cent reduction in both the amount and toxicity of pesticides by 2030 and (b) similar targets set by Denmark and France; and what steps he is taking to use the EU's implementation of its strategy to inform UK policy in this area.

The revised National Action Plan for the Sustainable use of Pesticides (NAP) will be published for public consultation later this year and is applicable to all pesticide users including local authorities. The consultation document recognises action being taken by some local authorities to encourage phase out of pesticide usage and commits to encouraging an approach where non-essential use of pesticides is avoided.

The NAP consultation puts Integrated Pest Management (IPM) at the heart of our approach to minimise the use of pesticides across all sectors and support the uptake of non-chemical alternatives. Steps are being taken to integrate support for IPM approaches within future agri-environment schemes, for example through Environmental Land Management.

Through the NAP, we aim to minimise the risks and impacts of pesticides to human health and the environment, while ensuring pests and pesticide resistance are managed effectively. We are improving UK indicators of pesticide usage and toxicity in order to track progress against this aim. This work includes the development of a pesticide load indicator, building on the Danish model and tailoring it our domestic circumstances. We have been assessing the role of targets to support the ambitions of the NAP. The first step is to establish a robust baseline through improved indicators to ensure that goals are meaningful and drive the greatest benefit. We are aware of the difficulties experienced by France in meeting reduction targets they have set. Despite an ambitious reduction target, their overall pesticide usage has actually increased. The revision of the NAP provides an opportunity to assess the experiences of the EU and other countries, and set our domestic ambitions for the sustainable use of pesticides.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the London School of Economics report, Vulnerabilities of Supply Chains Post-Brexit, published in September 2020, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the recommendation in that report which advocates full recognition by the EU and the UK at customs borders of their respective agreed food safety systems and veterinary certifications to minimise frictions in supply chains for UK food and dairy producers.

I welcome the London School of Economics report. It is important that we are able to minimise friction in our supply chains.

We have been clear any future agreement will be made in respect of the decision-making autonomy of the European Union and with respect for British sovereignty.

The UK must retain the ability to set its own laws and regulations, and so in the ongoing negotiations with the EU, we will always look to agree the best deal for British producers and businesses.

From 1 January 2021 the UK will have the autonomy to introduce its own approach to goods imported to Great Britain from the EU. However, we recognise the impact Covid-19 has had on businesses and therefore we have taken the decision to introduce border controls in three stages up until 1 July 2021. This flexible and pragmatic approach will give industry extra time to make necessary arrangements.

We remain committed to engaging closely with businesses to ensure that delivery of any new administrative requirements works for everyone. This included a warning already given to stakeholders that they need to prepare to trade on different terms once the UK has left the Single Market.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the London School of Economics report, Vulnerabilities of Supply Chains Post-Brexit, published in September 2020,what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the estimate in that report that predicts a 55 per cent increase on the price of 99 per cent of dairy product imports after the end of the transition period in the event that no deal is agreed.

The Government has been clear that it seeks a free trade agreement with the EU, based on friendly cooperation and maintaining tariff and quota free access. The UK is a significant importer of food and other goods, and avoiding tariffs should be beneficial to both sides, given our shared commitment to high regulatory standards.

However, in the event that we have a trading relationship with the EU along the same lines as Australia, without a free trade agreement, and the UK Global Tariff applies, we have a highly resilient food supply chain. Consumers in the UK have access to a range of sources of food, including countless domestic food producers. This will continue to be the case after December 2020. As part of the UK Global Tariff, the Government has sought a balance between the interests of consumers and producers to benefit the UK economy as a whole.

There are many factors that impact the cost of food, including commodity prices, exchange rates and oil prices. This will not change at the end of the Transition Period. The UK Government does not directly control these factors but we work closely with industry to promote transparency for consumers and internationally to promote open global markets.

Moreover, the UK's new independent trade policy enables us to take control of more levers to facilitate competitive trade and to forge new trading relationships around the world in the interests of UK agri-food businesses and consumers.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of increased cost of health problems caused by air pollution as a proportion of GDP since the start of the covid-19 outbreak; and what steps he is taking to reduce air pollution.

We have not assessed the increased cost of health problems caused by air pollution as a proportion of GDP since the start of the covid-19 outbreak. However, in 2018 Public Health England reported that the cumulative costs to the health and social care service from air pollution will be £5.3 billion by 2035, and their evidence shows that a reduction of 1 µg/m 3 of PM 2.5 in England in a single year would prevent 9,000 cases of asthma, 50,000 cases of coronary heart disease, 4000 lung cancers and 15,000 strokes in the period until 2035.

We are committed to tackling air pollution in order to improve public health and the environment. This is stated in our Clean Air Strategy of 2019, which the World Health Organization lauded as world leading. Our landmark Environment Bill is currently going through Parliament, and in it we are committing to an ambitious new air quality target on PM 2.5, the pollutant of greatest harm to human health.

We have also put in place a £3.5 billion plan to tackle roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary State of Health on the correlation between air quality indoors and outdoors in terms of public health.

The Secretary of State regularly meets with cabinet colleagues to discuss a range of issues, including air quality. Whilst there haven’t been specific discussions regarding the correlation between air quality indoors and outdoors in terms of public health, Defra is working with Public Health England and DHSC to develop a better understanding of this complex issue. For example, Defra's Air Quality Expert Group, with support from members of the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, managed by PHE, will be producing a dedicated report on indoor air quality. This report will focus on fine particulate matter and volatile organic compounds as the pollutants which are most prevalent in indoor environments. In addition, Defra participated in a roundtable organised by the Chief Medical Officer and Government Chief Scientific Advisor on the issue of indoor air quality earlier this year.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in food packaging on the environment.

A number of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are already banned or highly restricted. The UK is a Party to the Stockholm Convention, which has already agreed restrictions on the use of certain PFAS. There are also restrictions in place under the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) regulations.

At the end of the Transition Period the UK will put in place its own domestic chemicals regulatory framework. Existing restrictions under REACH will be brought into UK law. Our commitments under the Stockholm Convention will continue to apply. Future UK decisions to control the environmental and human health impacts of substances will be taken under our independent regime and will be based on rigorous assessment of the scientific evidence, including looking at approaches taken by chemical regimes across the world.

We are working to improve our understanding of the emissions and risks of PFAS in the UK, and how we manage these chemicals will be considered in our forthcoming Chemicals Strategy. The Food Standards Agency also regularly reviews new information on PFAS and will be considering the upcoming review by the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment of the European Food Safety Authority’s latest scientific opinion on PFAS in food.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to include in the UK chemical strategy a ban within 12 months on the non-essential use of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances.

A number of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are already banned or highly restricted. The UK is a Party to the Stockholm Convention, which has already agreed restrictions on the use of certain PFAS. There are also restrictions in place under the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) regulations.

At the end of the Transition Period the UK will put in place its own domestic chemicals regulatory framework. Existing restrictions under REACH will be brought into UK law. Our commitments under the Stockholm Convention will continue to apply. Future UK decisions to control the environmental and human health impacts of substances will be taken under our independent regime and will be based on rigorous assessment of the scientific evidence, including looking at approaches taken by chemical regimes across the world.

We are working to improve our understanding of the emissions and risks of PFAS in the UK, and how we manage these chemicals will be considered in our forthcoming Chemicals Strategy. The Food Standards Agency also regularly reviews new information on PFAS and will be considering the upcoming review by the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment of the European Food Safety Authority’s latest scientific opinion on PFAS in food.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on using taxation to improve air quality.

Air pollution poses the biggest environmental threat to public health and improving air quality remains a top priority for the government. In delivering against our stretching air quality commitments, we regularly hold discussions with Ministers and officials across Government departments, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer and HMT.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to transport refrigeration units emissions, (a) how the Government is measuring levels of those emissions, (b) how often data on those emissions is published and (c) for how long that data been collected.

Tailpipe emissions from vehicles which power transport refrigeration units are recorded as road traffic emissions in the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory. The data for road transport emissions is published annually and has been reported since 1990 onwards. The Government does not estimate emissions from transport refrigeration unit auxiliary engines as the available data are limited.

Defra has commissioned research and is working with industry and sector experts to improve the evidence base on emissions from non-road mobile machinery emissions, including transport refrigeration units. As set out in the Clean Air Strategy, the Government is considering the options to reduce emissions from non-road mobile machinery.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food will publish its 2019 annual report.

The 2019 Annual Report of the UK Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food will be published on 4 November 2020 on GOV.UK.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/expert-committee-on-pesticide-residues-in-food-prif-annual-report.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to reduce the level of carbon emissions embedded in goods imported to the UK.

The latest figures show carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions associated with imported goods fell by 1% between 2016 and 2017, and by 16% between 2007 (when they peaked) and 2017.

The latest figures published are at: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uks-carbon-footprint but they focus on greenhouse gas emissions rather than just CO2 emissions. Consumption emissions are officially categorised as “experimental statistics” due to inherent uncertainties in the estimates produced. The UK’s GHG emissions statistics used for the purposes of measuring progress against the net zero target are calculated in line with the standard international accounting approach for measuring emissions as established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The Government's Resources and Waste Strategy for England sets out its ambition to move from a make, take, use, throw linear economic model to a more circular economy which will reduce our carbon footprint from imported emissions through increasing repair, reuse, remanufacture and other waste prevention activities.

The Environment Bill includes measures that will help consumers to make purchasing decisions that support the market for more sustainable products. It contains powers to introduce clear product labelling, which will enable consumers to identify products that are more durable, reparable and recyclable and will inform them on how to dispose of used products.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment the Government has made of the effect of air pollution on (a) BAME communities and (b) women.

As part of the UK Plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide (NO2), the Government reviewed evidence investigating the inequalities in the distributional impact of poor air quality. The published technical report references research conducted by Fecht et al (2015) that demonstrates that higher concentrations of NO2 and coarse particulate matter (PM10) have been observed in ethnically diverse neighbourhoods.

Additionally, in 2020 the Office for National Statistics published a report on Coronavirus mortality rates and air quality. Data analysis highlighted that ethnicity is strongly correlated with pollution exposure, with ethnic minorities more likely to live in polluted areas. To date, the Government has not investigated whether there are air pollution inequalities between women and men. Such analysis would be particularly challenging due to the fixed nature of the Government's air quality monitoring stations; the monitoring network limits our ability to make robust inferences about air pollution exposure at places of work, within households or at an individual level.

The Government is taking a proactive approach to tackling air pollution concentrations through the NO2 plan and Clean Air Strategy, both of which will improve air quality across the UK. Furthermore, those actions that focus on reducing the highest concentrations of harmful pollutants will disproportionately benefit ethnically diverse communities that are located in areas of poor air quality.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he has taken to ensure that flame retardant chemicals from end-life sofas and mattresses are prevented from polluting (a) the air, (b) rivers and (c) oceans.

The Stockholm Convention bans or restricts the use of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that are toxic, persist in the environment, bio-accumulate in humans and animals, and have long-ranging properties. The Convention has banned some chemicals that have historically been used as flame retardants in sofas and mattresses and the UK supported this action. Those bans are in force in the UK.

To prevent POPs entering the environment, the waste industry has a legal requirement to destroy POPs where they are present in waste articles above a threshold limit. We have recently completed a study to better understand the use of two of the most commonly used flame retardants in soft furnishings before they were banned, decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD). We will now use this information as a basis on which to work with the waste industry to review management of soft furnishings. This will ensure that articles most likely to contain POPs are destroyed at the end of their life, preventing pollution.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he has taken to ensure compliance with the Stockholm Convention by ensuring disposal of furniture containing flame retardant chemicals safely at end-life.

The Stockholm Convention bans or restricts the use of persistent organic pollutant chemicals (POPs) that are toxic, persist in the environment, bio-accumulate in humans and animals and have long-ranging properties. The Convention has banned some chemicals that have historically been used as flame retardants in soft furnishings and the UK has supported this action.

The waste industry has a legal requirement to destroy POPs that are in articles such as soft furnishings and this is achieved if they are incinerated at the correct temperature. We have recently completed a study to better understand the use of Decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) and Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD), which were the most commonly used flame retardants in soft furnishings before they were banned. We will now work with the waste industry to use this information to recognise where soft furnishings are likely to contain POPs, thereby ensuring disposal processes destroy the banned flame retardants.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the existing evidence base for deflagration as an alternative to the high-order detonation method mandated by existing Marine Management Organisation licensing for ordnance clearance ahead of the construction of offshore wind farms.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has not undertaken a formal assessment of the evidence base for deflagration. The Marine Management Organisation sits on the steering group for a research project on deflagration commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and Defra receives regular updates on progress.

A recent project report is available on the UK Offshore Energy Strategic Environmental Assessment pages of the gov.uk website.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answers of 13 March 2020 to Questions 26130 and 26131 on Seabed: Bomb Disposal, how much funding has been allocated for the sea trials of deflagration planned for 2020, and what the planned timeframe is for that trial.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has not undertaken a formal assessment of the evidence base for deflagration. The Marine Management Organisation sits on the steering group for a research project on deflagration commissioned by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and Defra receives regular updates on progress.

A recent project report is available on the UK Offshore Energy Strategic Environmental Assessment pages of the gov.uk website.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of trends in the level of air pollution caused by the incineration of recyclable waste during the covid-19 lockdown.

This is a devolved matter and the information provided therefore relates to England only.

Energy from waste plants are regulated by the Environment Agency (EA) and must comply with the strict emission limits set down in legislation. Permit conditions are set based on a range and mix of waste arisings and plants are designed with abatement technologies that enable them to handle and treat a range of wastes. It is currently understood that no operators have reported issues with meeting emission limits due to any change in recyclable waste input during the Covid-19 lockdown.

With our Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG), we ran a rapid Call for Evidence to ensure we can more fully understand the impact that COVID-19 is having on air pollutant emissions, concentrations and human exposure. This report was published on 1 July. Improving air quality remains a top priority for the Government and, especially during these unprecedented times, we will continue to take robust and comprehensive action to improve air quality in the UK and minimise public health impacts.

Defra has worked with local government, other Government departments and the waste industry to produce and publish guidance to help local authorities manage their waste collection services and household waste recycling centres (HWRCs) during the Covid-19 outbreak. The guidance on reopening HWRCs was developed in conjunction with Public Health England and the Home Office and sets out how to operate HWRCs in a way that protects human health while?maintaining safe systems of working. The HWRC guidance is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-to-local-authorities-on-prioritising-waste-collections/managing-household-waste-and-recycling-centres-hwrcs-in-england-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic

Since publication of our guidance nearly all local authorities are now able to offer a HWRC service and local householders can make trips to these sites as needed.?Weekly surveys indicate that, due to the hard work of those in the sector, nearly all English authorities are operating household waste collections as normal, with only a small percentage reporting minor disruption.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the cost of air pollution is to the economy.

Air pollution can affect economic output through several channels. These include:

  • Affecting the size of the working population;
  • Reducing the amount of hours worked per worker, if they are sick and cannot work (or have to attend for a sick relative);
  • Reducing workers’ productivity when at work;
  • Increasing cost for health care resources that could be used elsewhere; and
  • Affecting the quality of natural capital, reducing yields in agriculture.

Public Health England found that costs to the NHS and social care in England due to diseases related to air pollution could amount to as much as £5.5 billion for the 2017-2025 period, unless action is taken.

An analysis commissioned by Defra estimates that particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide and ozone reduces GDP by 0.11% through labour productivity losses. It also shows that greater vulnerability of children to poor air quality also affects their productivity in the long term.

The OECD estimates that an increase in concentration of particulate matter by 1µg/m3 - equivalent to a 13% rise in the UK - would cause a 0.8% reduction in GDP on average in European countries.

Improving air quality remains a top priority for the government and, especially during these unprecedented times, we will continue to take robust and comprehensive action to improve air quality in the UK and minimise its impacts on both public health and the economy.

We estimate that actions set out in our Clean Air Strategy could cut the costs of air pollution to society by £1.7 billion every year from now, rising to £5.3bn from 2030. These estimates are based on Defra damage costs, which provide impact values for a range of outcomes beyond economic impacts, in particular public health and ecosystem impacts.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to plant protective hedges around schools to reduce air pollution in schools.

To support local authorities in their work to tackle air pollution hotspots, this Government has given a great deal of thought to the role that vegetation might play in improving air quality. The Air Quality Expert Group published a report named Impacts of Vegetation on Urban Air Pollution which is available to read here:

https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/assets/documents/reports/cat09/1807251306_180509_Effects_of_vegetation_on_urban_air_pollution_v12_final.pdf

The key conclusion is that while vegetation might bring some highly localised benefits to air quality, it will not be a solution at a city scale. In the context of a school perimeter, there is little evidence to support vegetation reducing nitrogen oxides from exhausts and while significant amounts of foliage might provide a localised barrier effect to reduce particulate levels from the roadside, the effectiveness of these measures is unclear.

This is why the emphasis of our Clean Air Strategy is to tackle the sources of pollution levels as the most effective way to improve air quality for all.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the report of the all-party Parliamentary group on air pollution entitled, Air Quality Strategy to Reduce Coronavirus Infection, published on 29 May 2020.

The Secretary of State welcomes the all-party group’s report and has noted its recommendations with interest. Improving air quality is a top priority for this Government and, especially during these unprecedented times, we will continue to take robust and comprehensive action to improve air quality in the UK and minimise public health impacts.

Defra’s commitment and the need for cross-Whitehall work on this was recognised in the meeting between the hon Member and myself on 6 July. We recently published the findings from a rapid Call for Evidence to understand more fully the impact that coronavirus is having on changes in air pollution emissions, concentrations and exposure and Defra’s Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG).

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for International Trade to ensure that (a) chlorpyrifos, (b) neonicotinoids and (c) other pesticides banned in the UK are not imported on products as the result of trade negotiations.

We will maintain our high food and environmental standards when operating our own independent pesticides regulatory regime after the Transition Period. The statutory requirements of the EU regime on standards of protection will be carried across unchanged into domestic law. Food imports into the UK will need to continue to comply with the rules on the maximum residue levels of pesticides. Existing maximum residue levels will all remain in place at the end of the Transition Period.

The Government will stand firm in trade negotiations to ensure any future trade deals live up to the values of farmers and consumers across the UK. We will not lower our standards nor put the UK’s biosecurity at risk as we negotiate new trade deals.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he has taken to ensure the hazard-based approach to pesticide regulation is maintained in the event that the UK agrees trade deals with the US and Australia.

We will maintain our high food and environmental standards when operating our own independent pesticides regulatory regime after the Transition Period. The statutory requirements of the EU regime on standards of protection will be carried across unchanged into domestic law. Food imports into the UK will need to continue to comply with the rules on the maximum residue levels of pesticides. Existing maximum residue levels will all remain in place at the end of the Transition Period.

The Government will stand firm in trade negotiations to ensure any future trade deals live up to the values of farmers and consumers across the UK. We will not lower our standards nor put the UK’s biosecurity at risk as we negotiate new trade deals.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he has taken to ensure a diversity of trees and plants in local parks and green spaces to reduce the incidence of allergic reactions linked to asthma and other respiratory conditions.

The Government recognises the importance of a resilient, healthy, and genetically diverse treescape in the urban environment, which is ready for our future climate and relies on saplings grown in the UK.

Although allergen-free green spaces are not possible, a range of measures can be employed to reduce allergen risk through good design. We are working to ensure that trees for urban planting, such as in parks and streets, have a varying flowering and pollen regime to reduce the overall pollen burden to the urban landscape and lower allergenic threshold.

The Forestry Commission has also produced the Urban Tree Manual which provides advice on selecting and procuring the right tree for the right place in urban areas, including managing pollen.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the report of the all-party group on air pollution entitled, Air Quality Strategy to Reduce Coronavirus Infection, published on 29 May 2020.

The Secretary of State welcomes the all-party group’s report and has noted its recommendations with interest. Improving air quality is a top priority for the government and, especially during these unprecedented times, we will continue to take robust and comprehensive action to improve air quality in the UK and minimise public health impacts. We recently launched a rapid Call for Evidence to understand more fully the impact that coronavirus is having on changes in air pollution emissions, concentrations and exposure and Defra’s Air Quality Expert Group is currently analysing the responses.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 17 February 2020 to Question 13972 on Chemicals, what discussions he has had with his international counterparts as part of the Stockholm process on the management of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) as a group of chemicals; and whether he has made representations to his international counterparts on (a) listing and (b) managing PFAS as a group of chemicals as part of that process.

The Stockholm Convention lists persistent organic pollutant chemicals (POPs) that are toxic, persist in the environment, bioaccumulate in humans and animals and have long-ranging properties.

International awareness is growing of the adverse effects of PFAS as a group. The Stockholm Convention has banned some of the most harmful chemicals in the PFAS family and the UK has fully supported this action.

The Government is working with international counterparts on new PFAS assessments and lifecycle approaches and will continue work to develop these. Defra officials have been attending the POP review committee and inputting into the evidence base. The department is also financing PFAS evidence projects through the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and remains an active member.

We will continue to develop our position on the rest of the PFAS group, based on evidence, and will engage with our international partners to support the ban on any PFAS substances that fulfil the POPs criteria.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will take steps to restrict all non-essential uses of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs).

Per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) constitute a group of thousands of chemicals that are widely used in consumer and industrial products. There are existing restrictions on the use of certain PFAS under the Stockholm Convention, to which the UK is a signatory, and under the REACH regulation (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and restriction of Chemicals).

Defra is working with regulators to improve the understanding of the emissions and risks of PFAS in the UK, and how we manage these chemicals will be considered in our forthcoming Chemicals Strategy.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Jan 2020
What recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of the length of the transition period on the outcome of negotiations with the EU on the future relationship between the UK and the EU.

As set out in the Political Declaration, both the UK and EU have committed to reaching an agreement on our future relationship by the end of 2020. This is in everyone’s interests.

As set out in the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, we will not be extending the Implementation Period beyond 2020.



James Duddridge
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
29th Apr 2020
What steps she is taking to help ensure that UK trade agreements promote (a) fair trade and (b) the provision of affordable medicines.

The UK is both a champion of free trade and a friend to developing countries. Now that we have left the EU, the UK will work for trade deals that are free and fair for developing countries. We are seeking to continue and even enhance our previous trade agreements with African, Caribbean and Pacific countries. Access to medicines is vital, so we are continuing our commitment to the Doha Declaration on Public Health to help developing countries get the supplies they need.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent discussions she has had with UK trade partners on maintaining environmental protection standards in trade agreements.

HM Government is clear that more trade does not have to come at the expense of the environment and we are committed to meeting our ambitious environmental objectives in our future trade policy.

Of course, Britain has long supported the promotion of our values globally, and we will continue now that we have left the EU. The precise details of any British free trade agreement are a matter for formal?negotiations?and we would not seek to pre-empt these discussions, but we are exploring all options in the design of future trade and investment agreements including possible environment provisions, to make sure that future trade is sustainable and upholds Britain’s high environmental standards.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent discussions she has had with UK trade partners on maintaining International Labour Organisation standards in future trade agreements.

HM Government shares the high regard of the British people for worker protections and has made clear that we will not compromise on these.

Whilst the precise details of any British free trade agreement are a matter for formal?negotiations?and we would not seek to pre-empt these discussions, we are exploring all options in the design of future trade and investment agreements, including possible labour provisions, to make sure that future trade upholds Britain’s own high standards and our international obligations.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the carbon footprint of the Mozambique gas project funded by UKEF; and whether that carbon footprint meets the the UK"s commitments under the 2015 Paris Climate Commitment and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

The Project’s Environmental and Social Impact Assessment estimated the annual Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the Mozambique LNG Project to be approximately 6 MtCO2eq. per annum. This equates to around 6 - 10% of Mozambique’s national GHG emissions, which are historically very low (just over 1/20th of the UK per capita level). GHG emissions were estimated in accordance with the GHG Emissions Protocol: Corporate Accounting & Reporting Standard developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the World Resources Institute (WRI).

The Paris Agreement (Article 4.1) recognises that the peaking of greenhouse gases will take longer for developing countries, such as Mozambique, and the LNG Project sits within Mozambique’s longer-term plans to establish strong social and economic stability.

The Project’s Scope 3 emissions are produced predominantly by the use of the Project’s LNG. Calculating LNG Scope 3 emissions is highly complex and requires details of when, where, how and how much of the Project’s gas volumes will be used. UKEF made some reasonable assumptions about Scope 3 emissions, that it then took into account in its review of the Project.

UKEF also considered the likelihood of the Project’s gas being used to replace or displace more polluting hydrocarbon sources, such as oil and coal. This would result in lower net emissions when used as energy sources.

UKEF has not specifically considered alignment of the MOZ LNG Project in relation to the SDGs. As a UK government department delivering support to UK exporters, UKEF actively contributes to the UK’s progress towards, and achievement of goal 8 (decent work and economic growth), goal 16 (peace justice and strong institutions) and goal 17 (partnership for the goals). UKEF’s role in unlocking finance for delivery of projects has ancillary contributions to other SDGs in destination countries.

The UK Government keeps its support for the fossil fuels industry under review to ensure the UK reaches its net zero target by 2050.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on how new agricultural subsidies linked to the delivery of public goods will be integrated into the UK's trade negotiations.

As we take back control of our laws from the EU, we will set our own standards. When the Transition Period ends, we will remain a global leader in environmental protection and animal welfare standards, maintaining high quality produce for consumers at home and overseas.

HM Government’s reforms to agricultural subsidies are a domestic policy and we will uphold our support for farmers in all our trade negotiations. The Secretary of State for International Trade regularly discusses trade negotiations with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with (a) Cabinet colleagues and (b) her international counterparts on the UK signing the proposed Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability.

Having left the EU, the UK has a unique opportunity to design a set of policies to tackle climate change and environmental improvement tailored to the needs and high ambition of the country. We are exploring trade policy options to support ambitious action on climate change, including the policy options set out as part of the Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability (ACCTS) negotiations.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, if she will publish the next meeting date of the Strategic Trade Advisory Group.

The Strategic Trade Advisory Group (STAG) is currently under review, ahead of a new 24 month term of appointment. My Department will make the dates and times of meetings, the agendas and a high-level summary of the discussion available following each meeting of the STAG.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions she has had with Cabinet colleagues on support for the development and export of tidal technology.

The Secretary of State has had no discussions with other Cabinet colleagues on this matter.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what recent discussions she has had with her US counterpart on reforms to the World Trade Organisation disputes resolution process.

The Secretary of State engages regularly with the US Trade Representative on World Trade Organisation (WTO) reform, amongst other trade interests.

The United Kingdom is committed to supporting the multilateral trading system. A two-stage, impartial, binding and compulsory dispute settlement system is crucial in ensuring that we can enforce the rules we have negotiated.

We have listened carefully to the concerns raised about the Appellate Body and stand ready to engage in further discussions on potential solutions, including reforms to the

system, with our US counterparts and other international partners.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that the UK will not accept imports (a) with higher Maximum Residue Levels than currently allowed and (b) with pesticide residues currently banned in the UK from countries with pesticide standards lower than the UK's, after the transition period.

The approach of HM Government to food standards in trade deals is clear. We remain firmly committed to upholding Britain’s high environmental, food safety and animal welfare standards.

As we take back control of our laws from the EU, we will decide how we set and maintain our own laws, standards and regulations. When the Transition Period ends, we will be a global leader in environmental protection and animal welfare standards, maintaining the high-quality of our produce for consumers at home and overseas.

Our current high standards, including on import requirements, will continue to apply after the end of the Transition Period. The 2018 Withdrawal Act will transfer all existing food safety provisions, including existing import requirements, onto the United Kingdom’s statute book.

Our food standards, for both domestic production and imports, are overseen by the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland. These agencies provide independent advice to HM Government and the devolved administration in Scotland respectively. They will continue to do so, in order to make sure that all food imports – from any country – comply with the United Kingdom’s high standards.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what the Government's timetable is for holding (a) discussions, (b) meetings and (b) negotiations with the Australian Government on a potential UK - Australia free trade agreement.

The Government is committed to negotiating and securing an ambitious free trade deal with Australia as soon as is practical. During these unprecedented times we are working with our negotiation partners to consider options for conducting negotiations in a way that reflects the current situation and respects public health.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what her Department's (a) objectives and (b) planned timetable are for agreeing a trade deal with Australia.

The Government is committed to negotiating and securing an ambitious free trade deal with Australia as soon as it is practical in a way which respects public health at this current time. We will jointly decide with Australia on how and when to proceed with the negotiations as the developing situation with COVID-19 becomes clearer.

The UK Government will publish its negotiating objectives for a UK-Australia Free Trade Agreement, before negotiations start. This will be accompanied by a scoping assessment which will set out the potential economic impacts of any agreement.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what bilateral free trade agreements her Department is discussing; and on what dates she plans to publish the negotiating objectives for those free trade agreements that do not relate to the US or EU.

The Government is committed to the international free trade agenda. During these unprecedented times we are looking at options to conduct negotiations in a way that reflects the current situation and respects public health. Negotiating objectives will be published before the launch of negotiations.

24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the potential (a) environmental and (b) social impacts on the UK of a UK trade deal with Australia.

At the start of free trade agreement negotiations with Australia, the Government will publish its Outline Approach which will include our negotiating objectives. This will be accompanied by a scoping assessment which will set out the potential economic impacts of any agreement.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether she plans to prohibit imports from (a) New Zealand, (b) Australia and (c) other future trading partners of food produced under systems banned in the UK.

It is vital that we explore new trading opportunities, but that should not mean a dilution of the standards for which British food is world renowned. Without exception, imports into the UK will meet our stringent standards and any future deals must work for UK consumers, farmers and companies.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the level of regulatory divergence on goods between the UK and Australia; and what steps she is taking to ensure that goods produced under systems with lower levels of environmental regulation are not imported into the UK.

We continue to consider Australian regulations and engage with our Australian counterparts to build a shared understanding of our countries’ approaches and ambitions for our future bilateral trade relationship. In line with our international obligations, the Government will continue to ensure a high level of protection of the environment in new trade agreements. The Government shares the public’s high regard for the UK’s environmental protections and has made clear that we will not compromise on these.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the potential effectiveness of alternative investor protection provisions in relation to a free trade agreement between the UK and Australia.

This Government is keen to ensure that UK investors overseas benefit from strong protections against discriminatory or unfair treatment from a host state. The precise details of any future UK Free Trade Agreement with Australia are a matter for formal negotiations, and we would not seek to pre-empt these discussions.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
24th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what assessment she has made of the implications for (a) her policy on investor-state dispute settlement in a future UK-Australia trade agreement and (b) the Government's climate change objectives of the recent use of that dispute settlement by energy companies overseas.

The Government is clear that our future investment policy will continue to protect our right to regulate in the public interest, including to meet our climate change and environmental objectives. There is yet to be a successful investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) claim against the UK, nor has the threat of potential disputes affected the government’s legislative programme.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with bus operating companies on improving the (a) reliability and (b) journey times of bus routes.

Department of Transport ministers and officials are in regular dialogue with bus operators to discuss various issues facing the sector.


Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on bringing forward the ban on new fossil fuel vehicle engines to 2030.

On 4 February, the Prime Minister launched a consultation on bringing forward an end to the sale of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars and vans from 2040 to 2035, or earlier if a faster transition appears feasible. This consultation ends on the 31 July. The Secretary of State and Minister Maclean have regular discussions with the Business Secretary to discuss the many ways in which the Government is working to achieve net zero by 2050.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many of the 7,200 additional on-street electric vehicle?charge points announced on 9 May 2020 have been installed.

In January the Government announced a doubling of the value of the On-street Residential Charing Scheme (ORCS) from £5 to £10 million, providing grant funding for as many as 3,600 chargepoints for motorists who do not have access to off-street parking. To ensure more Local Authorities and motorists can benefit from the scheme the Government again doubled the funding available for ORCS in May up to £20 million to assist with the cost of up to 7,200 more chargepoints. To date, the scheme has supported the installation of 555 chargepoints and provided funding for a further 1603 to be installed. Covid-19 has significantly slowed down installation rates and we would expect this number to increase as more Local Authorities are able to procure and install chargepoints as the Covid-19 Lockdown eases.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many local authorities have made changes to road layouts to give more space to cyclists and pedestrians since the publication of the Department for Transport’s statutory guidance to local authorities under the Traffic Management Act 2004.

It is for local traffic authorities to decide what measures to install to enable social distancing and active travel, and the Department does not maintain a record of local authorities that have implemented such changes. There are measures available to local authorities that can be implemented to widen pavements and that do not require extra powers or approval from the Department. For example, some authorities have used cones or barriers to reallocate part of the road to pedestrians as a temporary measure.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many individual (a) petrol pumps, (b) diesel pumps and (c) electric vehicle charge points there in each local authority in England.

Data on the number of individual petrol and diesel pumps in England is not available. The number of electric vehicle charging devices publicly available in England at 1 April 2020 was 14,979. The numbers for each local authority are provided in the attached document in an annex to this answer.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the report of the all-party group on air pollution entitled, Air Quality Strategy to Reduce Coronavirus Infection.

The Government is committed to making lasting changes to the way people, goods and services travel to help make our country greener and healthier, and to deliver clean economic growth. In line with our clean air and net zero carbon targets, our policies will ensure that emissions continue to fall over time right across the country through a green economic recovery from COVID-19 that has transport at its heart. This includes a £5 billion package of investment in zero emission buses, cycling and walking in line with the recent recommendations of the all-party group on air pollution.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the level of access to public transport in towns and rural communities compared with urban areas.

The Government is committed to levelling up the country to provide equal opportunity for all and recognises the vital importance public transport plays in supporting the economy and bringing society together across rural and urban areas.

The Department currently publishes tables of estimated travel time to key services by different modes in Journey times to key services (JTS01) with different levels of rural/urban areas. This can be found here:

www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/journey-time-statistics-data-tables-jts#journey-times-to-key-services-jts01

In addition to this, the National Travel Survey (NTS) provides a range of measures which include a breakdown by Rural / Urban classification which can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/nts99-travel-by-region-and-area-type-of-residence

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential merits of peak-spreading commuter traffic.

As the transport sector is restarted, DfT continues to work closely with Cabinet Office, BEIS, DHSC and others to develop contingency plans and to identify areas where there is increased risk of congestion or crowding.

The Department continues to recommend that the public avoids using public transport if possible and encouraging those travelling by public transport or in cars to avoid travelling in the peak to maximise capacity for key workers and the supply of goods.

The Department is also encouraging employers to continue home working and staggering start times so that demand can be reduced.

Departmental analysis to date shows that demand in the interpeak is currently higher than the traditional morning (and afternoon) peak.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with local authorities on (a) repurposing traffic lanes and parking spaces for cycling and wider footways and (b) the issues that those authorities have faced in doing that work.

The Department has regular discussions with local authorities at both Ministerial and official level on a range of transport related matters including cycling and walking. These discussions have informed the development of the Emergency Active Travel Fund, through which the Department is supporting local authorities with the introduction of measures of this sort, and the new network management duty guidance that the Department published on 9 May.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the number and proportion of people using public transport as their primary mode of transport in (a) the UK and (b) comparable countries.

The National Travel Survey (NTS) recorded that public transport was the primary mode of transport used for 9.6% of trips per person, per year in England in 2018.

Around 15% and 5% of people in England reported using the bus and train at least three times a week respectively in 2018 according to the NTS, equating to 8.2m and 2.7m people.

Data is not held for other countries, including other countries in the UK.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of increasing public transport service frequency to enable the same number of passengers to travel on that transport while applying the 1 metre rule as travelled on it prior to the covid-19 outbreak.

On 23 May, the Transport Secretary announced a further £283 million to help increase bus and light rail services across England as quickly as possible to help ensure there is enough space for passengers to observe social distancing guidelines, as we begin to re-open our economy.

The Government has approved £2.9bn of additional expenditure during the 2020/21 financial year to ensure that vital rail services continue to operate. This expenditure covers all train operators with franchise agreements with the Department.

To support Transport for London services we have agreed a £1.6 billion funding and financing support package to enable them to continue operating essential services, transporting passengers safely and protecting staff during the pandemic and supporting the capital’s gradual recovery from COVID-19.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the roll-out of electric infrastructure to service (a) boat and (b) ferry transport in rural areas.

In the Clean Maritime Plan, published last year, the UK Government committed to identifying and supporting zero emission shipping clusters. It is Government’s ambition that clusters would combine innovation and infrastructure associated with zero emission propulsion technologies, including electrification, and that a number of clusters would be operational by 2035.

In line with this commitment, Government, in conjunction with a working group of the Clean Maritime Council, is undertaking a study on clusters. This study includes consideration of electric infrastructure for the maritime sector across the UK as a whole.

The results of this study will be fed into national strategic cross-Government work, including the Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he has taken to ensure that public transport workers (a) feel safe going to work and (b) are given priority access to covid-19 testing.

The Department is working closely with the wider transport sector, including operators and trade unions, on the implementation of the Safer Transport guidance that aims to help organisations, agencies and others (such as self-employed transport providers) understand how to provide safe workplaces and services (the guidance can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-transport-guidance-for-operators).

The guidance sets out how employers can advise staff and passengers on maintaining good hand hygiene and on ways to keep their distance from other people as much as possible, including, for example, through using screens, staggering departures and arrival times, and reducing the use of face to face seating if possible.

It also outlines that staff should wear a face covering when they are unable to maintain social distancing in passenger facing roles, while recognising that there will be exceptional circumstances when a staff member cannot wear a face covering, or when their task makes it sensible (based on a risk assessment) for them not to wear a face covering.

The Secretary of State for Transport is committed to ensuring that every transport worker who requires testing has access. The Department is engaging closely with stakeholders and DHSC to ensure that a robust testing process is in place for transport workers, whilst recognising that priority needs to be given to patient care, front-line healthcare staff and social care workers. Everyone in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland with COVID-19 symptoms can get tested. Antigen testing, or testing for current infection, is currently available through home delivery kits, regional test sites, satellite sites and mobile testing centres throughout the country.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to accelerate the conversion of bus fleets to (a) electro and (b) hydrogen models.

The Government has supported the use of a range of low carbon bus technologies, including battery-electric technology, through funds including the Low Emission and Ultra Low Emission Bus Schemes. These have focussed not just on electric buses but also included funding for hydrogen buses and supporting infrastructure.

In February, the Government announced a £5 billion funding package for buses and cycling, which includes support for the purchase of at least 4,000 zero-emission buses. The details of these programmes, including technology options and how funding will be distributed, will be announced in due course.

Local Authorities had until 4 June to apply for a £50m package to deliver Britain’s first All-Electric Bus Town. The winner(s) will be announced shortly.

I also know that my Rt Hon Friend the Transport Secretary is exploring options for a hydrogen bus town and a hydrogen hub, looking into how this country can lead the world using green hydrogen as a power source for types of transport, including freight, ships, buses and trains.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent steps he has taken to promote (a) walking buses and (b) cycling as means of transport to and from school.

The Department for Transport is making £225 million available to local authorities this financial year for urgent measures to make it easier for people to walk and cycle for all short journeys, including to school.

The Department has also provided significant amounts of funding to keep buses running to serve those who rely on them. On 3 April, the Government announced £397 million of support for bus services, and on 23 May the Secretary of State announced a further £254 million to help increase bus services?across England?as we begin to?re-open?our economy.

The Department for Education has produced guidance on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings. This guidance sets out that schools should ‘ensure parents and young people are aware of recommendations on transport to and from education or childcare settings’ and encourage parents and children and young people ‘to walk or cycle to their education setting where possible’.

A few months ago we announced that Bikeability training for schoolchildren would be expanded to cover all children nationwide.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has made an assessment of the effect on household income of people using public rather than private transport.

No such assessment has been made. While household income varies across the users of public and private transport, we are not aware of any reason why household income would be affected by people using public rather than private transport.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the implications for his policies of the University of Central Lancashire's report on Minimising firefighters' exposure to toxic fire effluents, published 23 November 2020, that showed exposure to high levels of toxic contaminants in indoor air pollution has increased cancer amongst firefighters.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is considering this report together with broader national and international research on occupational health issues. These findings will inform policy decisions on legislation, advice and guidance.

The overarching legal duty for Fire and Rescue Services (FRS) to prevent and control risks to their employees’ health from exposure to hazardous substances remains unchanged. FRS are required to have measures in place to control exposure to contaminants that give rise to a risk to health.

HSE works proactively with the National Fire Chief’s Council (NFCC) to ensure that FRS use such information to identify and control risks to their employees.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions she has had with the Health and Safety Executive on protecting the health of workers in recycling businesses who are exposed to flame retardant chemicals when stripping down end-of-life sofas and mattresses.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) outline specific duties on employers to protect workers from harmful substances, such as foams and flame retardants, which may be contained in soft furnishings such as mattresses and sofas. HSE provides practical advice and guidance on the basics of COSHH, completing COSHH assessments and links to industry specific information and guidance to prevent and control workplace exposure to harmful substances at http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh.

Furniture manufacturers buy upholstery materials that have already received treatment to meet specified ignition resistance levels and are suitably labelled. HSE has not specifically examined the issue of exposure to flame retardant chemicals when cutting and sewing these fabrics. Exposure to flame retardant chemicals from stripping end of life sofas and mattresses is not a known issue in the waste and recycling industry and no guidance has been produced on the topic by either HSE or the industry’s own Waste Industry Safety and Health Forum.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions she has had with the Health and Safety Executive on taking steps to protect the health of workers in the UK furniture manufacturing business who are exposed to flame retardant chemicals when cutting and sewing chemically saturated fabrics and foams.

The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) outline specific duties on employers to protect workers from harmful substances, such as foams and flame retardants, which may be contained in soft furnishings such as mattresses and sofas. HSE provides practical advice and guidance on the basics of COSHH, completing COSHH assessments and links to industry specific information and guidance to prevent and control workplace exposure to harmful substances at http://www.hse.gov.uk/coshh.

Furniture manufacturers buy upholstery materials that have already received treatment to meet specified ignition resistance levels and are suitably labelled. HSE has not specifically examined the issue of exposure to flame retardant chemicals when cutting and sewing these fabrics. Exposure to flame retardant chemicals from stripping end of life sofas and mattresses is not a known issue in the waste and recycling industry and no guidance has been produced on the topic by either HSE or the industry’s own Waste Industry Safety and Health Forum.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will conduct an equalities impact assessment on the effect of (a) race and (b) gender on air pollution related illnesses.

PHE has developed a five-year cleaner air programme which aims to reduce people’s exposure to air pollution and achieve better outcomes for all, particularly for the most vulnerable groups such as those with pre-existing respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, older people, pregnant women and children.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect on health of indoor air pollution resulting from cooking; and what steps he is taking to reduce pollution resulting from cooking.

Indoor air pollution is caused by a wide range of sources. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines on indoor air quality at home highlight the link between gas cooking and pollutant levels. Pollutant levels are generally higher in the kitchen while cooking without using an extractor fan, than outdoor levels. Evidence also showed that cooking activity increases moisture and creates damp conditions.

NICE guidelines advise that mechanical ventilation or extractors should be used, or windows opened if possible and safe when using cookers, especially gas cookers. The NICE guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng149

The Department continues to engage with colleagues across Government to coordinate work in this area and develop the evidence base around the health impacts of air pollution.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he made of the effect on health of indoor air pollution caused by cooking; and steps he is taking to reduce pollution caused by cooking.

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

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will conduct an equalities impact assessment on the effect of (a) race and (b) gender on air pollution related illnesses.

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

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that health care professionals communicate the risks of air pollution to their patients.

The Department continues to engage with organisations such as Health Education England and the Royal Colleges to ensure that healthcare professionals are equipped to provide information and advice to those vulnerable to the health impacts of air pollution. The Chief Medical Officer has also discussed this matter with the Royal Colleges during a recent meeting. This will allow patients and their carers to take steps to reduce their exposure to air pollution and give them greater power to manage their condition.

The NHS Long Term Plan committed to improve outcomes asthma outcomes for children and young people. The Children and Young People’s Transformation Programme has asked local systems to prioritise local improvements in asthma care. This will include supporting clinicians to discuss the short and long-term adverse effects of air pollution in children with asthma and any mitigation strategies.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to consult food retailers on the development and rollout of a new digital Healthy Start Voucher scheme.

The NHS Business Services Authority is leading work to digitise the Healthy Start scheme, on behalf of the Department, to facilitate families to apply for, receive and use Healthy Start benefits. The NHS Business Services Authority has been engaging with retailers directly through regular showcase demonstrations and round table discussions hosted by the Food Foundation.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Government’s publication, The best start for life: a vision for the 1,001 critical days, published on 25 March 2021, when the Cabinet Minister is planned to be appointed to oversee implementation of the agreed actions from the Early Years Healthy Development Review Report.

The Prime Minister recognises the importance of the start for life period being considered and advocated for at the heart of Government. Parents and carers need to know that someone is advocating on their behalf and who that person is.

The Prime Minister will nominate a Cabinet Minister who will ensure that ‘Start for Life’. A decision on who fulfils this role will be made in due course.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his Department's policy paper entitled Integration and Innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all, published on 11 February 2021, what discussions officials in his Department have had with (a) representatives of professional organisations working with children and young people, (b) charities and voluntary organisations working with children and young people, and (c) children and young people and their families and carers on the (i) themes and (ii) proposals contained in that paper.

The recommendations in this paper build on close engagement with more than 100 stakeholders representing all parts of the health and care system. Officials have recently met with the National Children’s Bureau to discuss the paper’s proposals for integrating care and will continue to have discussions with a range of stakeholders representing children and young people, their families and carers and other patient groups.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to Question 151588, on Speech and Language Therapy, tabled on 9 February 2021 by the hon. Member for Swansea West.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer to Question 151588.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the oral contribution of Baroness Penn of 11 November 2020 Official Report, Column 450GC on the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill, what progress has been made on the scoping project led by NHS England and NHS Improvement with the devolved Administrations and professional bodies on the current and potential future use of medicines supply, administration and prescribing mechanisms by a range of non-medical healthcare professionals.

The seven consultations were open from 15 October to 10 December 2020. NHS England and NHS Improvement are currently analysing the responses.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to his Department's policy paper entitled Integration and Innovation: working together to improve health and social care for all, published on 11 February 2021, what discussions officials in his Department have had with the (a) Allied Health Professions Federation, (b) Royal College of Podiatry, (c) Society and College of Radiographers, (d) Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, (e) College of Paramedics, (f) Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, (g) British and Irish Orthoptic Society, (h) Royal College of Occupational Therapists, (i) British Association of Prosthetists and Orthotists, (k) British Dietetic Association, (l) British Association of Drama therapists, (m) British Association of Art Therapists and (n) British Association for Music Therapy on the (i) themes and (ii) proposals contained in that paper.

The recommendations in this paper build on engagement with stakeholders representing different parts of the health and care system, with more than 100 organisations engaged on the White Paper’s themes to date. This includes engagement with the Social Partnership Forum, of which several members of the Allied Health Professions Federation are also members. Officials will continue to have discussions with stakeholders accordingly.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Independent High Risk AGP Panel Summary of recommendations arising from evidence reviews to date, published on 11 January 2021, what consideration did that Panel give to the Health and Safety Executive’s 2008 report, RR619 Evaluating the protection afforded by surgical masks against influenza bioaerosols in arriving at its conclusions.

The Independent High Risk AGP Panel was set up to provide practical and scientific advice to the Chief Medical Officers for the four United Kingdom nations on specific high risk aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is outside the scope of the panel to make recommendations about personal protective equipment use in the context of AGPs. For this reason, the Health and Safety Executive’s 2008 report RR619 was not formally considered in producing the recommendations. These recommendations focussed on specific medical procedures of concern and took into account only peer reviewed publications, as detailed in the systematic review protocol.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to NHS staffing data published on 11 February 2021 stating that there are 41,175 covid-19 related absences of staff, what assessment he has made of the reasons why NHS staff are being infected with covid-19; and what plans he has to mitigate against the infection of staff.

It is not possible to state how many infections amongst staff have been contracted in the workplace and how many have been infected through contacts outside the National Health Service.

It is for individual hospital trusts to carry out continual risk assessments of their premises and to put appropriate measures in place such as distancing, sanitising measures and the use of personal protective equipment to help minimise the spread of COVID-19, in line with nationally published guidance.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to NHS England's announcement of 18 December 2020 on the introduction of long covid clinics, what plans NHS England has to ensure that those clinics include speech and language therapists.

The national specification for these services asks providers ensure patients have access to a multidisciplinary team of professionals to account for the multi-system nature of post-COVID-19 syndrome. Where speech and language therapy are required, patients should be able to get the treatment they need.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of covid-19 on people’s communication, voice and swallowing.

The Your COVID Recovery website has a section on the impact of COVID-19 on the voice and swallowing which is available at the following link:

https://www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk/managing-the-effects/effects-on-your-body/voice-and-swallowing/

For longer term effects, ‘long’ COVID-19 is a relatively new illness and understanding of the condition and the best treatment is developing.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to allow speech and language therapists to train to be Approved Mental Health Professionals.

There are no current plans to allow speech and language therapists to train to be Approved Mental Health Professionals (AMHP). AMHPs are highly trained and experienced mental health professionals, who have responsibilities outlined within the Mental Health Act 1983. The Mental Health (Approved Mental Health Professionals) (Approval) (England) Regulations 2008 state that social workers, psychiatric nurses, occupational therapists and clinical psychologists can train to be AMHPs and be authorised by their local authority.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the prevalence of (a) speech, language and communication needs and (b) dysphagia among adults accessing (i) community mental health services and (ii) secure mental health services.

No such assessment has been made.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to reply to the letter from the AGP Alliance, dated 25 September 2020, on definitions of aerosol-generating procedures and personal protective equipment for healthcare professionals.

We are working rapidly to provide all Members and external correspondants with accurate answers to their correspondence, as well as supporting the Government’s response to the unprecedented challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The AGP Alliance’s letter will be answered as soon as possible.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of whether air filters reduce the rate of transmission of viruses in indoor environments.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) considered the paper, ‘Application of UV disinfection, visible light, local air filtration and fumigation technologies to microbial control’ at meeting 37 on 19 May. Among the key findings of that paper are that the use of local air cleaning devices, including filter devices and ultraviolet C devices are unlikely to have significant benefit unless the airflow rate through the device is sufficient. The paper is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/emg-role-of-ventilation-in-controlling-sars-cov-2-transmission-30-september-2020

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has had discussions with the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on Denmark's decision to ban per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in food packaging for reasons of public health.

The Department of Health and Social Care regularly engages with other government departments, including the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on a range of topics related to chemicals and chemical policy and is aware of Denmark’s national ban preventing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) being intentionally used in paper and board food-contact applications.

The Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) is an independent scientific committee that provides advice to the Department of Health and Social Care, the FSA, and other departments and agencies on matters concerning the toxicity of chemicals, including PFAS. The FSA regularly reviews new information on this subject and will consider COT’s upcoming review of the European Food Safety Authority’s scientific opinion on PFAS in food packaging.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of increased congestion since the easing of covid-19 lockdown restrictions on the health of pregnant women and future newborns.

COVID-19 lockdown restrictions reduced exposure to some air pollutants in the short term for certain groups, however, long term exposure to air pollution levels can be harmful to everyone. Some people, including pregnant women, are more susceptible to health problems caused by air pollution. Public Health England (PHE) is not aware of any increase of congestion levels beyond those of pre-COVID-19 levels.

PHE continues to make the case for critical action to address air pollution so that people in England enjoy cleaner air and healthier lives, especially those who are most vulnerable such as pregnant women and children. Further information is available in the PHE Strategy 2020 to 2025, available to view at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/phe-strategy-2020-to-2025

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to protect the health of pregnant women from air pollution.

Public Health England (PHE) continues to make the case for critical action to address air pollution so that people in England enjoy cleaner air and healthier lives, especially those who are most vulnerable such as pregnant women.

The Government’s Clean Air Strategy, aims to reduce exposure to polluted air and lower rates of ill health attributable to air pollution and to provide better health outcomes for vulnerable groups most affected by poor air quality, including pregnant women.

To assist with the Government’s Clean Air Strategy, the Department commissioned PHE to undertake a review of the evidence for effective and cost-effective air quality interventions and provide practical recommendations for actions to improve air quality that will significantly reduce harm from air pollution.

The Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants has established a subgroup to consider the evidence on the effects of maternal exposure to ambient air pollution on adverse birth outcomes.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the research published in September 2018 by Queen Mary University of London showing that inhaled pollution particles reach the placenta.

Public Health England’s strategy for 2020-2025 highlights that poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health. The ambition is to make the case for critical action to address air pollution so that people in England enjoy cleaner air and healthier lives, especially those who are most vulnerable, such as pregnant women.

The Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants has established a subgroup to consider the evidence on the effects of maternal exposure to ambient air pollution on adverse birth outcomes. A report is currently being prepared and it will include consideration of relevant and recent studies, including the research conducted by Queen Mary University of London showing that inhaled pollution particles reach the placenta.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on guidance on the wearing of personal protective equipment by health professionals when they are working in (a) early years and (b) educational settings supporting children and young people?.

Our priority is to get pupils and students back to schools and colleges safely.

At each stage of our response to the pandemic, we have listened to and continue to be guided by the latest medical and scientific advice. Children in early years settings do not need to wear a face covering. However, if we think that the guidance should apply to staff and visitors in early years settings then we will not hesitate to act swiftly and decisively.

Nationwide, schools and further education settings will have the discretion to require staff, visitors and pupils to wear face coverings in indoor communal areas where social distancing cannot be safely managed, if they believe that it is right in their particular circumstances.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the precautionary principle is adhered to in his Department's guidance and preparations for (a) a potential second wave of coronavirus and (b) potential future pandemics.

The Government takes the precautionary principle into account but recognises it must be flexible. In planning for a potential second wave and future pandemics, the Government is taking the principle into account, alongside the available evidence in order to balance the risks between taking action or taking none.

To prepare the National Health Service for winter, the Government is providing an additional £3 billion of funding. This includes funding to allow the NHS to maintain the Nightingale surge capacity and continue to use the extra hospital capacity available within the independent sector.

Effective local management of any outbreaks is the first line of protection against a second wave that might overwhelm the NHS. To support local authorities, we made £300 million available and they already have robust plans in place to respond to outbreaks.

NHS winter preparations include delivering a very significantly expanded seasonal flu vaccination programme for priority groups.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment has he made of the potential merits of introducing (a) H14 and (b) HEPA air filtration in healthcare premises to (i) improve air quality and (ii) reduce the prevalence of covid-19.

In line with the guidance in BS EN 16798-3: 2017 High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are specified as required by the design for the indoor environmental air quality.

Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 03-01: Specialised Ventilation for Healthcare Premises is currently being updated and is going through final draft review and approval processes as is normal for all technical guidance. The revision will take account as appropriate of the BS EN 16798-3: 2017 and Eurovent 4-23 (October 2018 guidelines).

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the document entitled, Revision of Health Technical Memorandum HTM 03-01: Specialised Ventilation for Healthcare Premises; and whether that document is in compliance with the standards (a) BS EN 16798-3: 2017 and (b) Eurovent 4-23 (October 2018 guidelines).

In line with the guidance in BS EN 16798-3: 2017 High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are specified as required by the design for the indoor environmental air quality.

Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 03-01: Specialised Ventilation for Healthcare Premises is currently being updated and is going through final draft review and approval processes as is normal for all technical guidance. The revision will take account as appropriate of the BS EN 16798-3: 2017 and Eurovent 4-23 (October 2018 guidelines).

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the effect of air pollution caused by fireworks and bonfires on the spread of covid-19.

Public Health England has made no assessment of the effect of air pollution caused by fireworks and bonfires on the spread of COVID-19.

Older people, individuals with existing cardio-respiratory diseases and pregnant women who are most susceptible to air pollution are also at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. There is no clear evidence yet to suggest that air pollution has a direct link to the spread or severity of COVID-19. If individuals are directly affected by smoke, they should avoid the area. If there is visible smoke they are advised to stay indoors and keep their doors and windows closed.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the safety of employees and customers in offices and shops at risk of contracting covid-19 as a result of increased exposure to PM2.5 fine particle pollution.

Public Health England is not aware of any increase in exposure to PM2.5 fine particulate matter to members of the public and employees in offices and shops.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to reply to the letter from the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, dated 22 April 2020, on aerosol-generating procedures undertaken by speech and language therapists.

I replied to the letter from the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists on 12 August.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the advice the Government received on the effect of wearing face-masks on the spread of covid-19.

The Government has published advice on the effect of wearing face masks related to the spread of COVID-19. The ‘SAGE 27 minutes: Coronavirus (COVID-19) response, 21 April 2020’ can be found online at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sage-minutes-coronavirus-covid-19-response-21-april-2020

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies advised that using cloth masks as a precautionary measure could be at least partially effective in enclosed spaces like public transport where social distancing is not possible consistently, creating a risk of close social contact with multiple parties the person does not usually meet.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions has he had with Public Health England on the cost to social care of air pollution during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department has had no discussion with Public Health England (PHE) on the cost to social care due to air pollution during the COVID-19 outbreak.

PHE has previously considered the costs to the National Health Service and social care due to the health impacts of air pollution in their 2018 published report ‘Estimation of costs to the NHS and social care due to the health impacts of air pollution: summary report which is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/708855/Estimation_of_costs_to_the_NHS_and_social_care_due_to_the_health_impacts_of_air_pollution_-_summary_report.pdf

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the report of the all-party group on air pollution entitled Air Quality Strategy to Reduce Coronavirus Infection published on 29 May 2020.

Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the United Kingdom and there is emerging evidence suggesting an association between exposure to air pollution and COVID-19 mortality. However, many of the papers are, as yet, not peer-reviewed and are of variable quality.

In April, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ independent Air Quality Expert Group, with input from the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, launched a call for evidence to help with assessing the impact of the pandemic and air quality. This work will be published in due course.

The Department continues to have extensive discussions with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and other departments on the relationship between health and air quality.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the effects of air pollution on people contracting covid-19.

Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the United Kingdom and there is emerging evidence suggesting an association between exposure to air pollution and COVID-19 mortality. However, many of the papers are, as yet, not peer-reviewed and are of variable quality.

In April, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ independent Air Quality Expert Group, with input from the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, launched a call for evidence to help with assessing the impact of the pandemic and air quality. This work will be published in due course.

The Department continues to have extensive discussions with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and other departments on the relationship between health and air quality.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the implications for Government policy of Queen Mary University's research on the biological link between air pollution and coronavirus.

Poor air quality is the largest environmental risk to public health in the United Kingdom and there is emerging evidence suggesting an association between exposure to air pollution and COVID-19 mortality. However, many of the papers are, as yet, not peer-reviewed and are of variable quality.

In April, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ independent Air Quality Expert Group, with input from the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, launched a call for evidence to help with assessing the impact of the pandemic and air quality. This work will be published in due course.

The Department continues to have extensive discussions with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and other departments on the relationship between health and air quality.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Jun 2020
Whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the report of the all-party group on air pollution entitled, Air Quality Strategy to Reduce Coronavirus Infection and its reference to Queen Mary University's research on the biological link between air pollution and coronavirus.

Long-term air pollution exposure is the leading environmental risk to human health. We are working with relevant experts to understand the relationship between air quality and increased risks from COVID-19 based on emerging science. This will be supported by the National Institute for Health Research and UK Research and Innovation joint open call for projects on mitigating the health, social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts of COVID-19.

We note that there is emerging evidence suggesting an association between COVID-19 mortality and exposure to air pollution, but many of the emerging papers are, as yet, generally not peer-reviewed and are of variable quality. Currently, there is no clear evidence to suggest that air pollution has a direct link to the spread or severity of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom.? In April, the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs initiated work to conduct detailed statistical analysis of the United Kingdom data, delivered in collaboration with the Department for Health and Social Care, Public Health England and the Office for National Statistics, and with input from the relevant Air Quality Expert Group and Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollution experts. The work will be published in due course. The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs continues to have extensive discussions with the Department for Health and Social Care and other departments on the relationship between air quality and health.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to ensure student nurses who were contracted to work during the covid-19 outbreak are compensated for the hours they have been contracted to work.

The Government is extremely grateful to all student nurses who have supported the COVID-19 response, by opting into a paid placement for their time in practice at the frontline during the pandemic.

We have ensured that all students who do so are rewarded fairly for their hard work. NHS England has been funding the support to trusts where the contracts are held and Health Education England (HEE) has been brokering appropriate placements between the university and trust.

It was always made clear to these students that the arrangements would need to come to an end at an appropriate point and Health Education England, NHS England and NHS Improvement have agreed appropriate transition arrangements for all students in paid placements.

Any student in the last six months of their programme on a paid placement will be paid until the end of their contract, unless otherwise agreed. By the end of July most final year students can qualify as registered nurses and start full time work, increasing their pay.

For students in year two or the first part of their final year, employers and universities will work with them to aim to bring paid placements to a close no later than 31 August. This will be part of a voluntary learning agreement between student, placement provider and university.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits for people's health of the reduction in air pollution during the covid-19 lockdown.

The implementation of social distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 has resulted in short-term reductions in the measured concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter (PM). When these measures are eased, PM and NO2 levels are likely to return to pre- epidemic levels. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Public Health England and the Office for National Statistics are working together to assess whether there is evidence of an association between exposure to particulates and COVID-19 mortality in the United Kingdom. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ independent Air Quality Expert Group launched a call for evidence to help with assessing the impact of the pandemic, and a summary report will be produced.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons the UK did not join the EU scheme for purchasing ventilators.

The United Kingdom has been a signatory to the EU Joint Procurement Agreement since 2014. Owing to an initial communication problem, the UK did not receive an invitation in time to take part in the first four European Joint Procurements in response to COVID-19, including the ventilators scheme. However, participating in those four initial joint procurement schemes would not have allowed us to do anything that we have not been able to do ourselves.

We currently have over 10,800 mechanical ventilators available to National Health Service patients, with thousands more ventilators on order from manufacturers in the UK and abroad. We are working around the clock to deliver a strategy that provides the best outcome for the whole UK.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions officials from his Department have had with representatives of (a) NHS England and (b) Public Health England on the aerosol generating procedures undertaken by speech and language therapists.

The United Kingdom Government has published guidance on appropriate personal protective equipment for health and social care workers and provides a list of current procedures which are considered to be potentially infectious aerosol generating procedures for COVID-19. This guidance has been written and reviewed by all four UK public health bodies and informed by NHS infection prevention control experts. It is based on Health Protection Scotland evidence reviews and the evidence and reviews have been endorsed by the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group. It is regularly reviewed and updated.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the level of absence among NHS workers who are self-isolated and have not been tested for covid-19.

No assessment has been made of the level of absence among National Health Service workers who are self-isolated and have not been tested for COVID-19.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans Public Health England has to update the guidance published on 6 April 2020 entitled Covid-19 infection prevention and control to include the aerosol generating procedures undertaken by speech and language therapists.

The evidence around aerosol generating procedures is being kept under review; the evidence review is led by Public Health Scotland.

This guidance has been written and reviewed by all four United Kingdom public health bodies and informed by National Health Service infection prevention control experts. It is based on Health Protection Scotland evidence reviews and the evidence and reviews have been endorsed by New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG). A rapid evidence appraisal has been conducted by Health Protection Scotland to assess the risk of patient to healthcare worker infection transmission associated with a wide range of potentially aerosol generating medical procedures. An updated evidence review and the position on the presented evidence review from NERVTAG is awaited.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the level of infection transmitted by NHS workers who have not been tested for covid-19.

Testing is a vital part of the United Kingdom’s response to COVID-19, as set out in the Government’s recently published Testing Strategy. The Government is working with industry, academia, the National Health Service and many others, to dramatically increase the number of tests being carried out each day, including for critical key workers. The Government is organising a larger population study to determine what proportion of the UK have already contracted the virus, operated by Public Health England and the Wellcome Trust at Porton Down. These tests are important to strengthen our scientific understanding and inform us all on the best courses of action to address this crisis. Key workers and clinically high-priority cases will be prioritised for testing. Furthermore, a number of supporting documents for Infection Prevention & Control (IPC) have been developed to support excellent standards of IPC within trusts. All documents are available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/secondary-care/infection-control/

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what procedures his Department is using with (a) skilled academics and (b) engineers to select innovative ventilator designs during the covid-19 outbreak.

The ventilator challenge work is being undertaken and managed by the Cabinet Office.

The Prime Minister’s call to manufacturers on 16 March had an overwhelming response, with over 5,000 United Kingdom and international businesses offering to help provide services, including designing and building new devices, manufacturing components or transporting them to National Health Service hospitals.

Following this, the Government has partnered a number of the UK’s leading technology and engineering firms with smaller manufacturers to rapidly build existing, modified or newly designed ventilators at speed, with seven priority projects underway.

Officials are currently working with expert clinicians and health regulators to test all new machine designs, as patient safety is of paramount importance. Any new orders are all dependent on machines passing regulatory tests, but the Government, manufacturers and regulators are working at pace to drive this work forward.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the covid-19 antibody testing kits.

The Government is currently evaluating antibody tests at pace, through a special process at Oxford University, overseen by several of the leading scientists in the field. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has also published a ‘Target Product Profile’ for serology tests, outlining expected test performance.

The results from the first evaluation of antibody tests have shown that, of the tests the Government has looked at so far, none have proven accurate enough to be rolled out for clinical use. Further information on the methodology and results of the evaluation process has been published in a paper (which has been submitted to the Lancet for acceptance and review), which can be found at the following link:

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.15.20066407v1

As new tests become available, we will continue to review them through the process outlined above, at pace.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether final year trainee (a) doctors and (b) nurses will be charged tuition fees while working for the NHS during the covid-19 outbreak.

Medical students and student nurses will continue to be required to pay tuition fees for their final term. Given the extended length of medical degrees, which can be up to six years in length, Health Education England pay medical student tuition fees from year 5 of study.

As part of the Government’s COVID-19 response, current year 5 medical students are currently being graduated by their medical schools early to enable them to apply for Provisional Registration with the General Medical Council, and if they so choose to deploy in to Foundation Year 1 posts. Those that do so will be contracted from the date they start their employment and employed under the 2016 terms and conditions for doctors and dentists in training. They will also continue to get their National Health Service bursary and student maintenance loan.

Year 3 nursing students have been invited to opt in to paid placements in the NHS. All students who do opt in to support the COVID-19 response will be rewarded fairly for their hard work. Students will be getting a salary and automatic NHS pension entitlement at the appropriate band. They will also still receive their student maintenance loan and Learning Support Fund payments too.

Decisions about the NHS workforce in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, including the funding that they provide for students, are a matter for the devolved administrations of those countries.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the recent We are the NHS recruitment campaign, for what reasons speech and language therapists are not among the roles being recruited.

The National Health Service recruitment campaign ‘We are the NHS’, targets those allied health Professional roles in England, most in need based on the NHS Long Term Plan and interim NHS People Plan and those in hard to fill roles. It is for the devolved administrations in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland to decide on their recruitment needs and how they go about securing their workforce

The NHS People Plan, due to be published by the NHS in 2020, will set out a clear framework for growing and sustaining a well-skilled workforce across the whole NHS in England. At November 2019 there were 6,284 full time equivalent speech and language therapists in England, this is a 5% increase since 2016.

In December 2019 the Government announced additional maintenance grant funding of at least £5,000 per academic year for students studying nursing, midwifery and most allied health professions, including speech and language therapy, which will be available from September 2020 for new and continuing students at English universities. In addition, students with child dependents will benefit from an extra £1,000.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to extend prescribing rights to speech and language therapists.

There is currently no work ongoing to extend prescribing responsibilities in this area. Work to develop and consider any further detailed proposals would be taken forward in close co-operation with the full range of stakeholders, including the relevant regulatory and professional bodies.

Subject to Parliamentary approval, the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill currently before Parliament will give the Government powers to extend prescribing responsibilities to new professional groups where it is safe and appropriate to do so.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has had with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists on amending the Mental Health Act 1983.

No discussions have taken place between the Department and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists on amending the Mental Health Act 1983.

We plan to publish our White Paper in the next few months, which will set out the Government’s response to Sir Simon Wessely’s Independent Review of the Mental Health Act. Following the White Paper, there will be an opportunity for interested parties to feed in their views on the proposals.

A Bill to amend the Act will be introduced in due course.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the (a) level of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances in paper and cardboard food packaging and (b) potential effect of those substances on (i) human health and (ii) the environment.

Whilst fluorinated compounds from food contact materials such as paper and board have not raised specific safety concerns to date, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) regularly reviews new information on this subject. The European Food Safety Authority has just published its draft Opinion on the ‘Risk to human health related to the presence of perfluoroalkyl substances in food’ on Monday 24 February 2020 and it can be found at the following link:

https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/consultations/call/public-consultation-draft-scientific-opinion-risks-human-health

The FSA will consider this new Opinion and whether any risk management action is required.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what additional steps the (a) Government and (b) UN are planning to take in response to the human rights abuses in the Xinjiang Province of China against the Uyghur Muslims.

The Government remains gravely concerned by the human rights situation in Xinjiang and is committed to continued robust action to hold China to account for its human rights violations in the region. In February, the Foreign Secretary used a personal address at the UN Human Rights Council to reiterate his call for China to allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, or another independent expert, urgent and unfettered access to Xinjiang. On 22 March, the Foreign Secretary announced that the UK had imposed, under the UK's Global Human Rights sanctions regime, asset freezes and travel bans against four senior Chinese government officials responsible for the violations that have taken place and persist against the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. Alongside those individuals, the UK also designated the Public Security Bureau of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, the organisation responsible for enforcing the repressive security policies across many areas of Xinjiang.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to ensure that UK companies are not complicit in the use of Uyghur forced labour in (a) the manufacture of products and (b) chains of supply.

The Department for International Trade has been taking forward measures to help make sure British businesses are not complicit in human rights violations in Xinjiang, as announced in Parliament by the Foreign Secretary on 12 January. This includes a review of export controls as they apply to Xinjiang, to make sure that we are doing everything that we can to prevent the export of any goods that could directly or indirectly contribute to any such violations. It includes updating our Overseas Business Risk guidance too, underlining the specific risks faced by companies with links to Xinjiang and the challenges of conducting effective due diligence there.

We continue to advise businesses with supply chain links in Xinjiang to conduct appropriate due diligence to satisfy themselves that their activities do not support, or risk being seen to be supporting, any human rights violations.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the human rights situation of Uyghur children in China following reports of the forced separation of exiled families and children in the recent report by Amnesty International entitled China: The nightmare of uyghur families separated by repression.

We are deeply concerned by reports of the mistreatment of Uyghur children, including reports of children being forcibly separated from their parents and placed in state run institutions. The Government has taken careful note of Amnesty International's report of 19 March 2021 and will continue to engage with a range of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and other experts, to inform our understanding of the situation in Xinjiang and guide policy development. We will also continue to take action to hold China to account for its human rights violation in Xinjiang, working closely with international partners. On 22 March, the Foreign Secretary announced that the UK has imposed, under the UK's Global Human Rights sanctions regime, asset freezes and travel bans against four senior Chinese government officials responsible for the violations that have taken place and persist against the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. Alongside those individuals, the UK also designated the Public Security Bureau of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, the organisation responsible for enforcing the repressive security policies across many areas of Xinjiang.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the right hon. Member for East Hampshire, representing the Parliamentary Works Sponsor Body, what assessment of air quality has been made as part of the plans for refurbishing the Palace of Westminster.

An initial desk-based assessment of existing data regarding air quality in the vicinity of the Palace of Westminster has been conducted as part of the Restoration and Renewal Programme, and a further assessment will be conducted to provide more accurate and up to date data. These assessments will inform the development of the designs and business case for the restoration works.

The Sponsor Body has agreed a strategic objective to mitigate the environmental impact of the Programme during the construction phase and to minimise the impact in relation to the Palace's future operation, in line with its statutory obligations. This objective has been endorsed by the Commissions of both Houses and will be kept under review as the Programme progresses.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if the Government will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward the planned reforms to red diesel taxation in the event that data shows that those reforms will accelerate the development of clean technology to tackle air pollution.

The Chancellor announced at Budget 2020 that the Government will remove the entitlement to use red diesel from April 2022, except in agriculture, fish farming, rail and for non-commercial heating (including domestic heating). This change will ensure that most businesses using diesel in the UK pay the standard fuel duty rate on diesel, which more fairly reflects the harmful impact of the emissions they produce.

These reforms are also designed to ensure that the tax system incentivises users of diesel to improve the energy efficiency of their vehicles and machinery, invest in cleaner alternatives or use less fuel. The Government has previously received feedback from developers of alternative fuels and technologies that they view the low cost of running a diesel engine with red diesel as a barrier to entry for greener alternatives.

To support the development of alternative energy sources that businesses can switch to, the Chancellor committed at Budget 2020 to at least doubling the size of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s £500 million Energy Innovation Programme.

Recognising that this will be a significant change for some businesses, the Chancellor set out at Budget that businesses will have until April 2022 to prepare before any changes take effect. The Government launched a consultation in July on these tax changes and this has now closed. The Government will announce next steps in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to page 19 of the Reforms to the tax treatment of red diesel and other rebated fuels: consultation, what steps his Department plans to take to assess the effect of those reforms on the prices of goods and services that households and voluntary organisations use.

The Chancellor announced at Budget 2020 that the Government will remove the entitlement to use red diesel from April 2022, except in agriculture, fish farming, rail and for non-commercial heating (including domestic heating). The Government recognises that this will be a significant change for some businesses and launched a consultation in July to make sure it has not overlooked any exceptional reasons why other sectors should be allowed to continue to use red diesel beyond April 2022.

To assess the effect of these reforms on the prices of goods and services that households and voluntary organisations use or pay for over the long-term, the Government will draw on a range of relevant evidence. This includes information received from stakeholders as part of the consultation on sectors and organisations' current red diesel consumption and costs, their capacity to shift to alternatives to red diesel, and their capacity to pass through costs down the supply chain or absorb these extra costs.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on the effect on the zero-emission technology industry of the red diesel taxation reform Budget announcement made in March 2020.

The Chancellor announced at Budget 2020 that the Government will remove the entitlement to use red diesel from April 2022, except in agriculture, fish farming, rail and for non-commercial heating (including domestic heating). This change will ensure that most businesses using diesel in the UK pay the standard fuel duty rate on diesel, which more fairly reflects the harmful impact of the emissions they produce.

These reforms are also designed to ensure that the tax system incentivises users of diesel to improve the energy efficiency of their vehicles and machinery, invest in cleaner alternatives or use less fuel. The Government has previously received feedback from developers of alternative fuels and technologies that they view the low cost of running a diesel engine with red diesel as a barrier to entry for greener alternatives.

To support the development of alternative energy sources that businesses can switch to, the Chancellor committed at Budget 2020 to at least doubling the size of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s £500 million Energy Innovation Programme.

Recognising that this will be a significant change for some businesses, the Chancellor set out at Budget that businesses will have until April 2022 to prepare before any changes take effect. The Government launched a consultation in July on these tax changes and this has now closed. The Government will announce next steps in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary State for Environment. Food and Rural Affairs on the potential merits of carbon border adjustments for supporting the UK's climate commitments.

As a global leader on decarbonisation, the UK recognises the importance of ensuring that policy interventions to cut domestic emissions do not lead to increased emissions elsewhere. A range of approaches could potentially help to address this, of which carbon border adjustments are one, and the Treasury continues to engage on the issue.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 3 July 2020 to Question 64047 on Coronavirus: Protective Clothing; if he will make it his policy to make a comparative assessment of the cost to the public purse of the production of pm2.5 filtration masks for people in the most polluted areas and covid-19 associated deaths in those areas.

No such comparative assessment has been made at this time. The Government’s priority remains to prioritise clinical PPE to protect frontline staff and ensure they feel safe in their workplace.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on improving local economies through increased walking and cycling.

The Government has committed to invest £2bn in cycling and walking in England over the course of this Parliament. This includes £225m to be spent this year on expanding cycling and walking infrastructure in local authorities across England to encourage people to cycle and walk to reduce demand for public transport while social distancing is in place.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a zero rate of vehicle excise duty for (a) electric and (b) hydrogen vehicles.

For the purposes of Vehicle Excise Duty, Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEVs) are nil rated, both for first year registration and annual licences.

At Budget 2020, the Chancellor announced that ZEVs registered before 1st April 2025 would also be exempt from the expensive car supplement.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an comparative assessment of the cost to the public purse of the production of pm2.5 filtration masks for people in the most polluted areas and covid-19 associated deaths in those areas.

No such comparative assessment has been made at this time.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the (a) behaviour and (b) alleged use of force by police in response to the vigil for Sarah Everard in London and demonstrations in Bristol against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill in March 2021.

The Government fully supports the public’s right to peaceful protest. However, those rights do not extend to violent or threatening behaviour and the police have powers to deal with any such acts.

The management of demonstrations and the use of the powers available is an operational matter for the police, who take decisions based on the circumstances they are faced with on the ground.

Police put themselves in harm’s way to defend us and the use of force is a vital part of their powers. However, the Government is also clear that all use of force must be lawful, proportionate and reasonable in the circumstances and subject to proper scrutiny.

Following the events on Clapham Common, the Home Secretary asked Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) to conduct a full, independent lessons learned review. The report was published on 30 March and concluded that whilst the vast majority of attendees were peaceful and respectful; severe provocations in the evening by a minority of those present warranted the proportionate enforcement actions taken by the police.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference the finding in the University of Central Lancashire report entitled Minimising firefighters’ exposure to toxic fire effluents: Interim Best Practice Report, published in November 2020, that exposure to high levels of toxic contaminants increased cancer among firefighters, if she will take steps to improve indoor air quality in fire stations.

Responsibility for health and wellbeing of firefighters rests with Fire and Rescue Authorities as employers. This includes working conditions inside fire stations. There are strict requirements for decontamination of personal protective equipment following incidents which should always be followed.

The National Fire Chiefs’ Council’s (NFCC) Health and Wellbeing lead, has established a health and wellbeing board to drive positive change across the sector which focuses on prevention, early intervention and support for individuals. The Home Office are supporting these initiatives.

James Brokenshire
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference the report by the University of Central Lancashire entitled Minimising firefighters’ exposure to toxic fire effluents: Interim Best Practice Report, published in November 2020 and the finding in that report that exposure to high levels of toxic contaminants increased cancer among firefighters, if he will meet with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to discuss steps to improve Government guidance on indoor air quality in public sector buildings.

Responsibility for health and wellbeing of firefighters rests with Fire and Rescue Authorities as employers. This includes working conditions inside fire stations. There are strict requirements for decontamination of personal protective equipment following incidents which should always be followed.

The National Fire Chiefs’ Council’s (NFCC) Health and Wellbeing lead, has established a health and wellbeing board to drive positive change across the sector which focuses on prevention, early intervention and support for individuals. The Home Office are supporting these initiatives.

James Brokenshire
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she has taken to remove upholstered furniture, carpets and curtains in UK (a) hotels, (b) care homes, (c) hospitals and (d) other non-domestic properties that still contain the flame retardant chemical DecaBDE since that chemical was banned under REACH in March 2019.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the FSO) is the legislation covering fire safety in non-domestic premises in England and Wales.? The FSO requires the person responsible for the premises to undertake a fire risk assessment of the premises and put in place and maintain adequate fire protection measures to reduce the risk to life from fire to as low as reasonably practicable.

The FSO does not prescribe the levels of flame-retardant chemicals used in products. Product safety comes under the Office of Product Safety and Standards, which is the body responsible for the regulations that apply to furniture and furnishings.

James Brokenshire
Minister of State (Home Office)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Home Department, what steps she has taken to reduce the levels of flame retardant chemicals used in furniture, carpets, curtains and other product in non-domestic properties in order to meet the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (the FSO) is the legislation covering fire safety in non-domestic premises in England and Wales. The FSO requires the person responsible for the premises to undertake a fire risk assessment of the premises and put in place and maintain adequate fire protection measures to reduce the risk to life from fire to as low as reasonably practicable.

The FSO does not prescribe fire protection measures, nor the levels of flame-retardant chemicals used in products present. The particular measures and their properties is a matter for the responsible person.

James Brokenshire
Minister of State (Home Office)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with the (a) Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and (b) Secretary of State for Education on the role of speech and language therapists in supporting (i) adults and (ii) children who have experienced domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse has a devastating impact on children and young people. Growing up in a household of fear and intimidation can impact their health, wellbeing and development, with lasting effects into adulthood.

The Home Office liaises regularly with the Department for Health and Social Care and the Department for Education on safeguarding issues and the provision of appropriate support services to victims of domestic abuse. It is recognised that early speech and language is an important protective factor for child health and development.

The Domestic Abuse Commissioner is responsible for assessing, monitoring and publishing information about the provision of services for victims and survivors. This will include speech, language and communication therapy, amongst other services.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to ensure that the Domestic Abuse Commissioner is able to identify and support the speech, language and communication needs of (a) adults and (b) children who have experienced domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse has a devastating impact on children and young people. Growing up in a household of fear and intimidation can impact their health, wellbeing and development, with lasting effects into adulthood.

The Home Office liaises regularly with the Department for Health and Social Care and the Department for Education on safeguarding issues and the provision of appropriate support services to victims of domestic abuse. It is recognised that early speech and language is an important protective factor for child health and development.

The Domestic Abuse Commissioner is responsible for assessing, monitoring and publishing information about the provision of services for victims and survivors. This will include speech, language and communication therapy, amongst other services.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that information on domestic abuse support is made available in a format accessible to people with speech, language and communication needs.

The Government has taken a number of steps to ensure that all victims of domestic abuse are aware and able to access the support services they need. We have published specific advice on gov.uk to guide victims to the most appropriate support for their individual needs. This includes links to disability specialist services and charities offering resources in different languages.

This advice and guidance has been extensively promoted through the Home Secretary’s awareness raising campaign #YouAreNotAlone. In order to ensure that the campaign’s information is readily accessible, those materials have been translated into 15 priority languages.

The Home Secretary also announced £2 million funding to assist domestic abuse organisations by bolstering helplines and ensuring they could continue to run as normal during COVID-19. £1.2 million has thus far been allocated, including in support of charities such as Sign Health which provides domestic abuse service support for deaf people in British Sign Language.

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what services the Government has made available for vulnerable (a) children and (b) adults who are at risk of domestic abuse during the covid-19 outbreak.

Domestic abuse is unacceptable in any situation, no matter what the stresses.

The Government acknowledges that measures announced to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19) can cause additional anxiety for those who are at risk of domestic abuse. We are working closely with the sector and local safeguarding partners to understand how COVID-19 has impacted on their work to protect vulnerable children and adults. Safeguarding remains a priority during this extremely challenging period, and we continue to support local agencies to continue to work together and keep children safe.

Guidance on vulnerable children and young people has been updated and can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

The Government will make funding worth £1.6 million available immediately for the NSPCC to expand and promote its national helpline for adults. This will assist more adults to know how and where to raise concerns and seek advice or support about the safety and wellbeing of any children they are worried about.

Following increases in calls to domestic abuse helplines and online services, the Home Secretary announced an additional £2m to bolster organisations’ capacity on April 11. This is in addition to £28m of Government funding for domestic abuse charities to help survivors of domestic abuse and their children by providing more safe spaces, accommodation and access to support services during the coronavirus outbreak.

We have also launched a campaign to raise awareness of domestic abuse and signpost victims to the support services available. The campaign, under the hashtag #YouAreNotAlone, aims to reassure those affected by domestic abuse that support services remain available during this difficult time. Details of these services can be found at www.gov.uk/domestic-abuse

Victoria Atkins
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
5th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will publish a regional impact assessment on the potential effect of the proposed points-based immigration system on NHS trusts in the UK.

The Government published “The UK’s Points-Based System: Policy Statement” on 19 February.

To facilitate the migration of skilled workers to support our NHS, we will create a fast-track NHS visa for certain medical professionals with NHS job offers reducing their visa fees and providing support to come to the UK with their families.

In delivering on its manifesto commitments for a new points-based system, the Government has considered relevant views, evidence, and analysis. We will also keep labour market data under careful scrutiny.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
7th Dec 2020
What representations he has received from former armed forces personnel on the effect of the Overseas Operations Bill on the limitation period for claims against his Department.

I receiive regular representations from veterans and from veteran groups, including Regimental Associations, on a wide range of matters of interest to them, including in respect of the Overseas Operations Bill. In 2019, our consultation on proposed legal protections measures, which informed the measures in the Bill, attracted 2,261 responses from those who identified as either a veteran or a relative of a veteran. I am committed to continuing to engage with this important group on these issues.

3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make healthy housing a central feature of the future planning system.

Planning Reform provides a once in a generation opportunity to place renewed emphasis on how the planning system can contribute to delivering the healthy homes and neighbourhoods this country needs. The importance of this has been clear during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has highlighted the role that our homes and neighbourhoods play in health and wellbeing


We are taking measures to deliver healthy homes through the current planning system. We have published the National Design Guide which recognises the need for new homes to be functional, healthy and sustainable. The forthcoming National Model Design Code will help local authorities embed this through their own local design codes


The Planning for the Future White Paper consultation closed on 29 October 2020 and we are currently considering the responses received. The Government will publish a response which will set out decisions taken and proposed implementation.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to ensure that the quality of permitted development conversions to residential is on a par with the quality of homes delivered through planning permission.

To ensure that all homes delivered under permitted development rights in England are quality homes we have recently introduced legislation to require adequate natural light in all habitable rooms and that, in future, all new homes delivered through the rights must meet the nationally described space standards.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to ensure that environmental impact assessments for new housing developments include analysis of (a) air quality and (b) noise pollution.

New housing developments which are likely to have significant effects on the environment require an environmental impact assessment (EIA). An EIA must identify, describe and assess the likely significant impacts on a variety of factors, including on human health and air quality.

This will, where relevant, include an assessment of air and noise pollution, as well as a description of their effects. The EIA is then open to consultation with experts and the public. The information the assessment contains and the views expressed through consultation must be taken into account in the decision to grant permission for any development.

As part of our commitment to streamline and improve the planning system, we have committed to review the environmental assessment process, with the aims of making it faster and easier to navigate, whilst upholding environmental protections and where possible going further to take advantages of opportunities for environmental improvement.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
16th Nov 2020
What progress his Department has made on the forthcoming devolution and local recovery White Paper.

We intend to bring forward the English Devolution and Local Recovery White Paper in due course, which will set out Government’s regional economic strategy to move us from recovery into levelling up and our vision for expanding devolution across England.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish a review of fire-safety requirements of domestic and non-domestic properties and their interaction with the (a) Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 and (b) Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

The Government has now published the Draft Building Safety Bill – the next step in making the most significant change to building legislation in nearly 40 years. In addition to this, the Government?has?introduced?the Fire Safety Bill which?will clarify?that the Fire Safety Order applies to external walls and individual flat entrance?doors?in all multi-occupied residential buildings. Alongside the Building Safety Bill, the Home Office has launched a public consultation on the FSO which it will publish in due course. In July 2019, the Government announced that it will be developing a new approach to the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations to address the different sources and chemical risks posed by fire to upholstered furniture and furnishings in domestic properties.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to ensure that the domestic abuse strategies of local authorities include details of how people’s speech, language and communication needs are identified and supported.

The Domestic Abuse Bill will introduce a statutory duty on local authorities to commission support in safe accommodation for all victims, including children, in line with a local needs assessment and strategies. This duty will be underpinned by robust statutory guidance, clearly setting out expectations on local authorities in meeting their duty which will come into force from April 2021.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the report of the all-party group on air pollution entitled, Air Quality Strategy to Reduce Coronavirus Infection, published on 29 May 2020.

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government welcomes the all-party group’s report and has noted its recommendations with interest. Improving air quality is a top priority for the Government and, especially during these unprecedented times, we will continue to take robust and comprehensive action to improve air quality in the United Kingdom and minimise public health effects. Defra recently launched a rapid Call for Evidence to understand more fully the effect that coronavirus is having on air pollution emissions, concentrations and exposure, and Defra’s Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG) are currently analysing the responses.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of reforms to the judicial review system on the numbers of legal cases brought against the Government on illegal levels of air pollution.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer given to PQ97451 on 9th October 2020. Further to that answer the Government has also committed to undertaking a review of the Environmental Costs Protection Regime, and will set out further details in due course.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
21st Apr 2021
What steps he is taking to increase trade flows between Northern Ireland and Holyhead.

The Government is committed to strengthening the Union and Northern Ireland’s place within it. Increasing trade flows between the four nations of the UK is a key part of that strategy.

That is why the unfettered access protections for qualifying businesses on arrival in Great Britain will apply whether goods are moved directly to Great Britain or indirectly via Ireland - meaning unfettered access whether goods leave Belfast for Cairnryan, or Dublin for Holyhead.

Further to this, the Union Connectivity Review will make recommendations on whether and how to best improve connectivity across the UK.

The interim report identified a ferry route between Warrenpoint and Holyhead as being of further interest to the Panel, to be explored further, so I look forward to seeing the final report.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)
1st Jul 2020
What discussions he has had with the Prime Minister on the UK’s future relationship with the EU in relation to Scotland.

My Rt Hon Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland speaks to the Prime Minister regularly on a variety of areas of interest to Scotland, including the future relationship with the EU.

Iain Stewart
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
22nd Apr 2020
What assessment he has made of the potential effect on the Welsh economy of maintaining the existing transition period deadline.

The Government’s position remains unaltered; extending the transition period will cause further uncertainty to businesses in Wales and will hamper our post-covid recovery.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales