Greg Smith Portrait

Greg Smith

Conservative - Buckingham

First elected: 12th December 2019




Oral Question
Tuesday 27th February 2024
11:30
Department for Energy Security & Net Zero
Oral Question No. 4
What steps she is taking with Cabinet colleagues to help ensure that land used for food production is not used for solar installations.
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Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 13th March 2024
13:45
European Scrutiny Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Retained EU law: the progress and mechanics of reform
13 Mar 2024, 1:45 p.m.
At 2:30pm: Oral evidence
Rt Hon Kemi Badenoch MP - Secretary of State at Department for Business and Trade
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Department Event
Thursday 21st March 2024
09:30
Department for Transport
Oral questions - Main Chamber
21 Mar 2024, 9:30 a.m.
Transport (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Ceasefire in Gaza
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 24 Conservative No votes vs 9 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 20 Noes - 212
Speeches
Thursday 22nd February 2024
Oral Answers to Questions
2. Whether the commissioners have issued recent guidance to church parishes on securing buildings to prevent theft.
Written Answers
Wednesday 13th December 2023
Motor Vehicles: Carbon Emissions
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 21 November 2023 to Question 1534 on …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 15th June 2022
Equipment Theft (Prevention) Act 2023
A Bill to make provision to prevent the theft and re-sale of equipment and tools used by tradespeople and agricultural …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 30th October 2023
3. Gifts, benefits and hospitality from UK sources
Name of donor: British Association for Shooting and Conservation
Address of donor: Marford Mill, Rossett, Wrexham LL12 0HL
Amount of …
EDM signed
Tuesday 5th December 2023
Dogs
That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, praying that the Dangerous Dogs (Designated Types) (England and Wales) Order …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 18th April 2023
Public office (child sexual abuse) Bill 2022-23
A Bill to make provision for the purpose of preventing a person who has failed to discharge a duty in …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Greg Smith has voted in 919 divisions, and 15 times against the majority of their Party.

24 Jun 2020 - Demonstrations (Abortion Clinics) - View Vote Context
Greg Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Conservative No votes vs 56 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 213 Noes - 47
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Greg Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
30 Nov 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Greg Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 19 Conservative No votes vs 268 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 434 Noes - 23
30 Nov 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Greg Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 32 Conservative No votes vs 259 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 36
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Greg Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 38 Conservative No votes vs 271 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 441 Noes - 41
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Greg Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 97 Conservative No votes vs 224 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 126
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Greg Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 60 Conservative No votes vs 258 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 385 Noes - 100
20 Jun 2022 - High Speed Rail (Crewe - Manchester) Bill - View Vote Context
Greg Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 5 Conservative No votes vs 201 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 205 Noes - 6
22 Jun 2022 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Greg Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 61 Conservative No votes vs 106 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 215 Noes - 70
18 Oct 2022 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Greg Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 103 Conservative No votes vs 113 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 297 Noes - 110
7 Mar 2023 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Greg Smith voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 107 Conservative Aye votes vs 109 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 116 Noes - 299
18 Jul 2023 - Business without Debate - View Vote Context
Greg Smith voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 16 Conservative No votes vs 251 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 402 Noes - 21
16 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Greg Smith voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 57 Conservative Aye votes vs 262 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 58 Noes - 525
16 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Greg Smith voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 58 Conservative Aye votes vs 262 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 68 Noes - 529
17 Jan 2024 - Safety of Rwanda (Asylum and Immigration) Bill - View Vote Context
Greg Smith voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 59 Conservative Aye votes vs 266 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 65 Noes - 536
View All Greg Smith 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
Rishi Sunak (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(31 debate interactions)
James Cleverly (Conservative)
Home Secretary
(24 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
(21 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(57 debate contributions)
Department for Transport
(45 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(44 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Levelling-up and Regeneration Act 2023
(18,089 words contributed)
Equipment Theft (Prevention) Act 2023
(9,692 words contributed)
Health and Care Act 2022
(1,802 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Greg Smith's debates

Buckingham Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

We want the Government to amend the Grocery Supply Code of Practice (GSCP) to require retailers, without exception, to:

- Buy what they agreed to buy
- Pay what they agreed to pay
- Pay on time

We believe the current GSCP is inadequate and doesn't protect farmers from unfair behaviour.

Mark Avery , Chris Packham and Ruth Tingay (Wild Justice) want the opening of the Woodcock shooting season to be pushed back to 1 December. 160,000 Woodcock are shot for fun across the UK whilst their population is declining. The Defra Secretary of State has powers to vary the shooting season.

We ask Parliament to repeal the High Speed Rail Bills, 2016 and 2019, as MPs voted on misleading environmental, financial and timetable information provided by the Dept of Transport and HS2 Ltd. It fails to address the conditions of the Paris Accord and costs have risen from £56bn to over £100bn.

Chris Packham, Ruth Tingay and Mark Avery (Wild Justice) believe that intensive grouse shooting is bad for people, the environment and wildlife. People; grouse shooting is economically insignificant when contrasted with other real and potential uses of the UK’s uplands.

The Coronavirus Act grants potentially dangerous powers including to detain some persons indefinitely, to take biological samples, and to give directions about dead bodies. Powers last up to 2 years with 6 monthly reviews, and lockdown powers could prevent protests against measures.

The Government should allow golf courses to remain open during the second lockdown, and any future restrictions. Shops and clubhouses can close, but courses should be allowed to remain open, with social distancing in place.

Consider keeping gyms open during lockdown because so many people have mental health and stress and they need something to do to take their mind off it closing all fitness facilities can affect us pretty badly.

Urgent call for the government to close all nurseries and early years settings in light of the new lockdown to protect early years staff.

We want the government to recognise the importance of gyms, health clubs, leisure centres and swimming pools in empowering people to look after their health and stay fit and for them to open first as we come out of lockdown.

We're also calling for government to fund a Work Out to Help Out scheme.

We want the Government to commit to not rolling out any e-vaccination status/immunity passport to the British public. Such passports could be used to restrict the rights of people who have refused a Covid-19 vaccine, which would be unacceptable.

12 kids in the UK are diagnosed with cancer daily. 1 in 5 will die within 5 years, often of the deadliest types like DIPG (brainstem cancer) - fatal on diagnosis & other cancers on relapse. Yet there has been little, or no, funding for research into these cancers and little, or no, progress.

After owning nurseries for 29 years I have never experienced such damaging times for the sector with rising costs not being met by the funding rates available. Business Rates are a large drain on the sector and can mean the difference between nurseries being able to stay open and having to close.

For the UK government to provide economic assistance to businesses and staff employed in the events industry, who are suffering unforeseen financial challenges that could have a profound effect on hundreds of thousands of people employed in the sector.

If nurseries are shut down in view of Covid-19, the Government should set up an emergency fund to ensure their survival and ensure that parents are not charged the full fee by the nurseries to keep children's places.

The prospect of widespread cancellations of concerts, theatre productions and exhibitions due to COVID-19 threatens to cause huge financial hardship for Britain's creative community. We ask Parliament to provide a package of emergency financial and practical support during this unpredictable time.

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak there are travel bans imposed by many countries, there is a disastrous potential impact on our Aviation Industry. Without the Government’s help there could be an unprecedented crisis, with thousands of jobs under threat.

The cash grants proposed by Government are only for businesses in receipt of the Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Relief, or for particular sectors. Many small businesses fall outside these reliefs desperately need cash grants and support now.

To extend the business rate relief to all dental practices and medical and aesthetics clinics and any small business that’s in healthcare

Zoos, aquariums, and similar organisations across the country carry out all sorts of conservation work, animal rescue, and public education. At the start of the season most rely on visitors (who now won't come) to cover annual costs, yet those costs do not stop while they are closed. They need help.

As we pass the COVID-19 Peak, the Government should: State where the Theatres and Arts fit in the Coronavrius recovery Roadmap, Create a tailor made financial support mechanism for the Arts sector & Clarify how Social Distancing will affect arts spaces like Theatres and Concert Venues.


Latest EDMs signed by Greg Smith

27th November 2023
Greg Smith signed this EDM on Tuesday 5th December 2023

Dogs

Tabled by: Christopher Chope (Conservative - Christchurch)
That an humble Address be presented to His Majesty, praying that the Dangerous Dogs (Designated Types) (England and Wales) Order 2023 (S.I., 2023, No. 1164), dated 31 October 2023, a copy of which was laid before this House on 31 October 2023, be annulled.
13 signatures
(Most recent: 8 Jan 2024)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 8
Labour: 4
Liberal Democrat: 1
1st February 2023
Greg Smith signed this EDM on Tuesday 7th February 2023

Exiting the European Union (No. 2)

Tabled by: Jeffrey M Donaldson (Democratic Unionist Party - Lagan Valley)
TThat this House calls upon the Government to withdraw the Official Controls (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2023 (S.I., 2023, No. 17) because they are injurious to the integrity of the UK Internal Market in circumstances where the Northern Ireland Protocol has not been replaced by new arrangements that respect and protect …
19 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Feb 2023)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 11
Democratic Unionist Party: 8
View All Greg Smith's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Greg Smith, 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.


Greg Smith has not been granted any Urgent Questions

3 Adjournment Debates led by Greg Smith

Tuesday 23rd November 2021
Wednesday 25th November 2020

2 Bills introduced by Greg Smith


A Bill to make provision to prevent the theft and re-sale of equipment and tools used by tradespeople and agricultural and other businesses; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 20th July 2023 and was enacted into law.


A Bill to require persons selling second hand tools online to show the serial numbers of those tools in searchable advertisement text; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 27th April 2021

275 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
5th May 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the timescales for businesses to prepare for the implementation of the Border Target Operating Model.

The government published the draft Border Target Operating Model in April. This sets out plans to introduce security and biosecurity controls from 31 October in a way which implements critical protections at the UK border, while ensuring these new controls are as simple as possible for businesses to comply with.

The relevant business stakeholders informed us before publication that they will need time to prepare for these changes, and our phased approach to implementation is designed to give them this time.

We are working closely with businesses to get this right - the current period of engagement helps us to gather views on our draft proposals from businesses in the UK and overseas, to explore the costs of implementing the new model, and to ensure importing is as smooth as possible where checks are needed.

The cost of preparing for regulatory change will vary from business to business, however the Government is working closely with businesses to help them understand what they need to do.

We are also using the engagement period to ensure that UK and international businesses and their supply chains are aware of and understand the new requirements and are ready for these changes.

We will publish a final version of the Border Target Operating Model, providing further detail where needed, in the summer.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
5th May 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment has been made of the potential impact on supply chains of implementing the Border Target Operating Model.

The government published the draft Border Target Operating Model in April. This sets out plans to introduce security and biosecurity controls from 31 October in a way which implements critical protections at the UK border, while ensuring these new controls are as simple as possible for businesses to comply with.

The relevant business stakeholders informed us before publication that they will need time to prepare for these changes, and our phased approach to implementation is designed to give them this time.

We are working closely with businesses to get this right - the current period of engagement helps us to gather views on our draft proposals from businesses in the UK and overseas, to explore the costs of implementing the new model, and to ensure importing is as smooth as possible where checks are needed.

The cost of preparing for regulatory change will vary from business to business, however the Government is working closely with businesses to help them understand what they need to do.

We are also using the engagement period to ensure that UK and international businesses and their supply chains are aware of and understand the new requirements and are ready for these changes.

We will publish a final version of the Border Target Operating Model, providing further detail where needed, in the summer.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
5th May 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the costs to business of preparing for the implementation of the Border Target Operating Model.

The government published the draft Border Target Operating Model in April. This sets out plans to introduce security and biosecurity controls from 31 October in a way which implements critical protections at the UK border, while ensuring these new controls are as simple as possible for businesses to comply with.

The relevant business stakeholders informed us before publication that they will need time to prepare for these changes, and our phased approach to implementation is designed to give them this time.

We are working closely with businesses to get this right - the current period of engagement helps us to gather views on our draft proposals from businesses in the UK and overseas, to explore the costs of implementing the new model, and to ensure importing is as smooth as possible where checks are needed.

The cost of preparing for regulatory change will vary from business to business, however the Government is working closely with businesses to help them understand what they need to do.

We are also using the engagement period to ensure that UK and international businesses and their supply chains are aware of and understand the new requirements and are ready for these changes.

We will publish a final version of the Border Target Operating Model, providing further detail where needed, in the summer.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
5th May 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he plans to publish guidance for businesses on the Border Target Operating Model.

The government published the draft Border Target Operating Model in April. This sets out plans to introduce security and biosecurity controls from 31 October in a way which implements critical protections at the UK border, while ensuring these new controls are as simple as possible for businesses to comply with.

The relevant business stakeholders informed us before publication that they will need time to prepare for these changes, and our phased approach to implementation is designed to give them this time.

We are working closely with businesses to get this right - the current period of engagement helps us to gather views on our draft proposals from businesses in the UK and overseas, to explore the costs of implementing the new model, and to ensure importing is as smooth as possible where checks are needed.

The cost of preparing for regulatory change will vary from business to business, however the Government is working closely with businesses to help them understand what they need to do.

We are also using the engagement period to ensure that UK and international businesses and their supply chains are aware of and understand the new requirements and are ready for these changes.

We will publish a final version of the Border Target Operating Model, providing further detail where needed, in the summer.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much the Government has spent on advertising covid-19 restrictions.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to PQ 33512 on 23 March 2020, and to PQ 40655 on 27 April 2020.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
9th Nov 2023
o ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of mobile connectivity in rural areas.

Almost 93% of the UK benefits from good quality 4G coverage from at least one mobile network operator, but we know more needs to be done in rural areas.

Our £1bn Shared Rural Network agreement with industry, will increase coverage to 95% by the end of 2025, supporting rural businesses and communities.

Ofcom is also looking at the accuracy of coverage reporting to ensure it better reflects people’s experiences over coverage.

11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to support innovation in small satellite propulsion technologies in the context of the announcement of the UK Space Agency’s planned National Propulsion Test Facility at Westcott.

The Government has invested £4.12m in the National Space Propulsion Test Facility to support innovation in small satellite propulsion technologies; building on significant existing facilities and expertise at Westcott, Buckinghamshire. This facility will enable leading edge research and promote the development of an innovation community across the UK around space propulsion that stimulates R&D, facilitates the transfer of ideas between the research community and industry, and develops a pool of skilled people appropriate to the future needs of the industry and the sector. The facility can then enable UK Space companies to maintain and grow their competitive edge internationally through a world-leading facility that is attractive to foreign direct investment and one that will also allow universities to take on cutting-edge propulsion research topics. This environment will promote effective work between the research community and the commercial sector which will accelerate: innovation, knowledge exchange and commercial exploitation of propulsion and engineering research. These steps to support innovation will also help develop sovereign small satellite launch capability and the participation in international launcher R&D programmes.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential (a) merits and (b) commercial opportunities arising from the proposal to develop a new Disruptive Innovation in Space Centre at Westcott.

The Government believes that the Space Sector offers opportunities to drive economic growth across the country.

In order to better understand the pipeline of space research, development & innovation infrastructure proposals, which could be funded through a number of routes, the UK Space Agency has initiated a space infrastructure road mapping exercise and has been in touch with Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership to seek further details of this proposal for a Disruptive Innovation in Space Centre.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support the Government is providing to Local Enterprise Partnerships in order to stimulate industry growth in the space sector.

We wish to see growth of our world class space sector benefitting the whole of the UK. The UK Space Agency, working with partners including the Satellite Applications Catapult, is currently supporting three Centres of Excellence in Satellite Applications (in the North East, South West and the South Coast of England). In November 2020 we announced £0.5m funding to support the development of new space hubs, bringing together local partners, expertise and businesses to create strategies for how their area can take maximum advantage of the commercial space race and align the space sector within their local industrial strategies.

We have also provided Buckinghamshire Local Enterprise Partnership with £7.7m from the Getting Building Fund, of which I understand they intend to invest £2m into the initial phase of their Westcott Disruptive Innovation Space Centre. In addition, specific work is currently being funded by the UK Space Agency to bring together the significant space interests across the Oxford to Cambridge Arc – including the exciting developments at Westcott - and to put together an action plan for the development of the Arc Space Sector.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to promote innovation within the small satellite manufacturing sector; and if he will make a statement.

Through the UK Space Agency, the Government continues to invest in supporting research & development. Increasingly, this is aimed at fostering innovation in the manufacture of small satellites and associated ground systems to support this growing market. Initiatives are underway to support Earth observation, satellite telecommunications, exploration and science, ranging from providing low cost access to space to enable a wider range of small and medium enterprises and academia to use space, to setting up a commercial lunar data relay service using small satellites.

The UK Space Agency has also supported UK small satellite manufacturers and their UK supply chains to industrialise production of their satellites to meet an increase in demand and exploit emerging technologies.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support private investment in the UK's hydrogen sector.

It is clear, there is growing interest in the Hydrogen sector and we are in regular discussions with businesses about their investment plans for hydrogen projects. The Government is currently investing up to £121 million in hydrogen innovation, supporting a range of projects exploring the potential of low carbon hydrogen across the value chain. Alongside our innovation activity, we are developing sustainable business models to support hydrogen production and will be engaging with Industry on the £100m Low Carbon Hydrogen Fund later this year. We are undertaking extensive stakeholder engagement as we develop new policy to help bring forward the technologies and supply chains, we will need to grow the UK hydrogen economy. As part of this we are looking to formalise regular engagement between Government and industry to discuss and drive development of the UK hydrogen economy. This will consider how we can best work together to encourage increased private sector investment in hydrogen projects, growing the hydrogen supply chain and providing clean growth and new jobs across the UK.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to set a target for the production of green hydrogen by (a) 2025, (b) 2030 and (c) 2050.

We recognise the important role that targets, alongside long-term policy frameworks have often played in the development of low carbon technology in the UK. We are currently developing our strategic approach to hydrogen and its potential to deliver against our net zero goals. We will set out our plans in due course. We are undertaking extensive stakeholder engagement as we develop new policy to help bring forward the technologies and supply chains, we will need to grow the UK hydrogen economy, including green hydrogen. As part of this we are looking to formalise regular engagement between Government and industry to discuss and drive development of the UK hydrogen economy. We have not set any targets, although we support green hydrogen production facilities both through innovation funding and other grants. An example is our support for the industrialisation of production processes at the new ITM Power Gigafactory being built in Sheffield which when complete will be the largest electrolyser manufacturing facility in the world.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to promote the UK's hydrogen sector at COP26.

COP26 will provide an opportunity to demonstrate a range of UK innovations and developments, including potential use of hydrogen as a contributor to achieving our net-zero ambition. We are exploring how this might be achieved, including demonstration of hydrogen appliances developed under the Hy4Heat programme, as part of the BEIS Energy Innovation Portfolio. The UK is well placed to enhance international cooperation to accelerate clean energy innovation, including hydrogen technologies.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to produce a UK-wide hydrogen strategy.

The Government is committed to the development of hydrogen as a strategic decarbonised energy carrier for the UK. We are currently developing our strategic approach to hydrogen and its potential to deliver against our net zero goals. We will set out our plans in due course.

In order to inform our approach, we are undertaking extensive stakeholder engagement as we develop new policy to help bring forward the technologies and supply chains, we will need to grow the UK hydrogen economy. This includes business models to support the deployment of, and investment in, low carbon hydrogen production and a £100m Low Carbon Hydrogen Production Fund to stimulate capital investment. We will be further engaging with industry on both schemes throughout the year.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the hydrogen strategies being published by (a) Germany, (b) Denmark and (c) the European Commission.

The Government is committed to the development of hydrogen as a strategic decarbonised energy carrier. We are closely monitoring international hydrogen developments and participate in a range of international fora, including the International Partnership for Hydrogen for Fuel Cells in the Economy, Mission Innovation and Clean Energy Ministerial. These forums offer opportunities to discuss international activity on hydrogen, including strategies put forward by Germany, Denmark, and the European Commission. This contributes to understanding of, for example, respective drivers for interest, levels of ambition, innovation priorities and policy support frameworks. This is informing our own strategic approach to the development of hydrogen in the UK context, including opportunities for partnership and economic benefit.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the lifecycle emissions of battery technology.

The Department for Transport developed the Transport Energy Model, published in 2018, to provide a clear assessment of the relative environmental impacts of different road vehicle technologies and fuels. This showed that battery electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK have substantially lower greenhouse gas emissions than conventional petrol or diesel cars, even when taking into account the energy mix of the electricity to charge the vehicle and the electricity used for battery production.

In order to obtain their full environmental benefits, EVs and their batteries need to be manufactured using electricity from carbon-free sources. With the Government’s announcement of up to £1 billion to support EV supply chains, our increasing use of carbon-free energy sources, and our commitment to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the UK is an attractive option for investment in low-carbon battery manufacture.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to create jobs in UK-based hydrogen technology businesses.

The Government is committed to exploring the?development?of hydrogen as a strategic decarbonised energy carrier, alongside electricity and other decarbonised gases. Recently, the government published its Energy Innovation Needs Assessment (EINA) for hydrogen and fuel cells which identified that in 2050 up to 15,000 jobs per annum could be created through domestic hydrogen opportunities. In order to support the development of hydrogen, unlocking jobs and growth we are:

  • Investing in innovation, with up to £121m supporting a range of projects exploring and developing hydrogen across the value chain;
  • Supporting hydrogen deployment through our £100m Low Carbon Hydrogen Fund; and
  • Developing sustainable business models to support low carbon hydrogen production at scale.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the sustainability of sourcing rare earths for battery technology.

The Government is aware of the socioeconomic, environmental and supply concerns surrounding the mining of raw materials for electric vehicle (EV) batteries and is taking steps to address these.

The Government has committed £274m into the Faraday Battery Challenge (FBC) to support the research, development and scale-up of world-leading battery technology in the UK.

This include research to make better use of global resources and support a more circular economy; for example, by reducing the amount of critical raw materials, such as cobalt, that are used in EV batteries, and localising more of the battery supply chain to the UK. The Faraday Institution’s £10m ‘ReLiB’ (Reuse and Recycling of Lithium-ion Batteries) research project is developing the technological, economic and legal infrastructure to allow close to 100% of the materials in lithium-ion batteries to be reused or recycled at the end of their first life. Through the Faraday Institution, the UK participates in the Global Battery Alliance: a World Economic Forum initiative seeking to accelerate action towards a socially responsible, environmentally sustainable and innovative battery value chain.

20th Apr 2023
Whether she is taking steps with Cabinet colleagues to ensure the availability of synthetic and sustainable fuels for use in motorsport.

The Government welcomes the moves of the motorsport sector, including Formula 1, to develop, and make widely available, more advanced sustainable fuels. Formula 1 and the British motorsport industry has a great history of technological innovations which can have an enormous impact beyond the racetrack. Motorsport’s work to develop 100% sustainable fuels stands to benefit the global transport sector, and help our drive towards net zero.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of plans for the Gratitude Games.

The Government recognises the impact that sport and physical activity has on physical and mental health, and the importance of welfare and wellbeing for everyone participating in sport at all levels.

The Government's role in the support of bidding for and hosting major sporting events is set out in the Gold Framework. The Gratitude Games do not meet the criteria as set out in the Gold Framework and therefore would not be within scope for support. We encourage all organisations to continue to work together to support mental health through sport and physical activity.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of the Gratitude Games.

The Government recognises the impact that sport and physical activity has on physical and mental health, and the importance of welfare and wellbeing for everyone participating in sport at all levels.

The Government's role in the support of bidding for and hosting major sporting events is set out in the Gold Framework. The Gratitude Games do not meet the criteria as set out in the Gold Framework and therefore would not be within scope for support. We encourage all organisations to continue to work together to support mental health through sport and physical activity.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans the Government has to replace the international opportunities for young people previously accessed through the European Solidarity Corps and Erasmus+ programmes.

In light of the changing needs of young people and due to the pandemic, DCMS reviewed its programmes and funding for out-of-school provision to ensure it achieves maximum impact and levelling up opportunities. As a result, at the 2021 Spending Review, the government decided that DCMS should continue to focus on domestic youth provision through a National Youth Guarantee for young people and DfE will continue to offer the Turing Scheme, an international educational exchange scheme that has a genuinely global reach and increases social mobility.

The Turing scheme is backed by £110 million, providing funding for over 41,000 overseas placements for students in universities, colleges and schools, starting in September 2021.

48% of the overseas placements receiving Turing Scheme funding are for participants from disadvantaged backgrounds and areas which did not previously have many students benefiting from Erasmus+, making life-changing opportunities accessible to everyone across the country. The second year of the Turing Scheme will open for applications shortly, at which point youth organisations will be able to review the eligibility criteria when considering applying for funding.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th Sep 2021
What steps her Department is taking to improve digital infrastructure and connectivity in rural areas.

The government is focused on improving digital infrastructure and connectivity in rural areas, with our £5bn Project Gigabit and £1bn Shared Rural Network. As such, the government recently announced more details about our procurement pipeline, specifically, for the 2.2 million hard to reach premises in England in Phases 1 and 2 of the delivery plan.

Alongside Project Gigabit and the Shared Rural Network, we are continuing with our strategy to reduce barriers and to promote competition and investment.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to encourage BT to provide functional access to (a) internet-based text, (b) captioned telephony, (c) video and (d) other modernised telephone relay services.

Ofcom, the telecoms regulator, has rules in place requiring all UK telecoms providers, not just BT, to offer text relay for calls to and from deaf or speech-impaired people. The service is free at the point of use, and disabled users are entitled to a special tariff to compensate them for the additional time taken by these calls.

In December 2019, Ofcom consulted on implementing new consumer protection rules, including a proposal to introduce video relay for emergency communications. It also proposed new requirements to ensure disabled consumers have access to information in respect of their telecoms services - for example, contracts, bills and complaints procedures - in accessible formats.

6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many exclusions from school (a) in total and (b) of pupils with SEN occurred in Buckingham constituency in each of the last five years.

The data on requests and issuing of education, health and care plans (EHCPs) are not collected by parliamentary constituency, or by who the requestor is for the plan. The answer provided is based on all requests made to the Buckinghamshire local authority. The number of requests received, and plans issued by Buckinghamshire local authority, are detailed below.

Year

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Requests for EHCP

680

658

888

940

940

New EHCPs issued

447

300

628

674

592

The tables below show the number of permanent exclusions and suspensions for pupils with and without special educational needs (SEN) in Buckingham constituency between the 2015/16 and 2019/20 academic years.

Permanent Exclusions

Academic year

All pupils

Pupils without SEN

SEN with EHCP or statement

SEN without EHCP or statement

2019/20

6

4

1

1

2018/19

12

6

2

4

2017/18

8

2

0

6

2016/17

14

5

2

7

2015/16

14

8

3

3

Suspensions

Academic year

All pupils

Pupils without SEN

SEN with EHCP or statement

SEN without EHCP or statement

2019/20

503

261

98

144

2018/19

696

330

115

251

2017/18

423

146

64

213

2016/17

457

234

67

156

2015/16

283

133

53

97

6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many requests for education, health and care plans were (a) requested by parents and (b) signed off by Buckinghamshire Council for students in the Buckingham constituency in each of the last five years.

The data on requests and issuing of education, health and care plans (EHCPs) are not collected by parliamentary constituency, or by who the requestor is for the plan. The answer provided is based on all requests made to the Buckinghamshire local authority. The number of requests received, and plans issued by Buckinghamshire local authority, are detailed below.

Year

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Requests for EHCP

680

658

888

940

940

New EHCPs issued

447

300

628

674

592

The tables below show the number of permanent exclusions and suspensions for pupils with and without special educational needs (SEN) in Buckingham constituency between the 2015/16 and 2019/20 academic years.

Permanent Exclusions

Academic year

All pupils

Pupils without SEN

SEN with EHCP or statement

SEN without EHCP or statement

2019/20

6

4

1

1

2018/19

12

6

2

4

2017/18

8

2

0

6

2016/17

14

5

2

7

2015/16

14

8

3

3

Suspensions

Academic year

All pupils

Pupils without SEN

SEN with EHCP or statement

SEN without EHCP or statement

2019/20

503

261

98

144

2018/19

696

330

115

251

2017/18

423

146

64

213

2016/17

457

234

67

156

2015/16

283

133

53

97

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the all-party Parliamentary group on cerebral palsy’s report, Early identification, intervention and pathways of care of infants and young children with cerebral palsy: The case for reform and investment, published in March 2021, what plans he has to review how personal budgets in the Local Offer under the Children and Families Act 2014 can be used to enable access to early support for families with babies with or at risk of cerebral palsy.

Currently, any parent or carer of a child or a young person, including those with cerebral palsy, may request a personal budget as part of their education, health and care (EHC) plan as a means of delivering the outcomes specified in the plan. The scope of that budget will vary depending on the needs of the individual, the eligibility criteria for the different components and the mechanism for delivery. This means that decisions need to be taken on an individual basis, including for children with cerebral palsy. Decisions about the provision of personal budgets and other operational matters are for local authorities. Local authorities and their health partners remain responsible for securing the provision specified in an EHC plan, funded where necessary through joint commissioning arrangements.

More broadly, a review regarding special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) was announced in September 2019. The SEND review is looking at ways of making sure that 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.

11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to provide (a) skills and (b) training to help support the UK manufacturing of small satellites; and if he will make a statement.

We recently published the White Paper, Skills for Jobs: Lifelong Learning for Opportunity and Growth. This is focused on giving people the skills they need, in a way that suits them, so they can get great jobs in sectors the economy needs and boost this country’s productivity.

A key focus of the White Paper is making the skills systems more responsive to employer skill needs both locally and nationally. Building on the success of our flagship apprenticeships programme, we are putting employers at the heart of the system so education and training meets their needs. Through employer engagement, we have transformed apprenticeships from a second-rate option to a prestigious opportunity to train with leading employers and get a well-paid job. Our new apprenticeships system includes a Space Engineering Technician apprenticeship that covers the design and manufacture of satellites and the components and subsystems they comprise, along with production, operation and maintenance of the highly specialised ground support equipment used to support development and testing of satellites before launch. It has been developed by employers including Airbus Defence & Space, BAE Systems, Thales Alenia Space UK Ltd, Nammo Westcott Ltd, Reaction Engines Ltd, Oxford Space Systems, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd and several others.

Alongside apprenticeships, by 2030, almost all technical courses will be based on employer-led standards, ensuring that the education and training people receive are directly linked to the skills needed for jobs.

A key part of our plans is to provide the advanced technical and higher technical skills the nation needs including, for example, in satellite production. We are doing this by expanding our flagship Institutes of Technology programme to every part of the country by the end of this Parliament to spearhead the increase in higher-level technical skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. We will also continue to roll out T Levels, which prepare students for entry into skilled employment or higher levels of technical study, including apprenticeships. We are reforming higher technical education with a new approval system based on employer-led standards and are creating clear progression routes for students towards the higher-level technical qualifications that employers need.

We are also funding the High-Value Manufacturing Catapult’s ‘Skills Value Chain’. This process assesses future skills needs in advanced manufacturing, develops courses to meet these needs, and makes those courses widely available through high-quality providers such as Institutes of Technology. It will support Small and Medium Enterprises to work with emerging technologies in the manufacturing sector, such as electrification, additive manufacturing, and metrology. We will then explore whether this Skills Value Chain approach can be used in other emerging skills areas and to support government priorities such as net zero.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what advice his Department gives to schools to ensure that pupils with (a) neurofibromatosis 1 and (b) other genetic conditions receive adequate and effective support.

Our ambition is for every child, no matter what challenges they face, to have access to a world-class education that sets them up for life.

The statutory guidance to support pupils at school with medical conditions are designed to help schools ensure that they are meeting their legal responsibilities by taking reasonable action to support children with medical conditions and to give parents confidence that the right support will be put in place. The guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/supporting-pupils-at-school-with-medical-conditions--3.

The guidance covers a range of areas including the preparation and implementation of school policies for supporting pupils with medical conditions, the use of individual healthcare plans, staff training, medicines administration, roles and responsibilities, consulting with parents and collaborative working with healthcare professionals. It was developed based on good practice in schools.

We will continue to work with organisations such as the Health Conditions in Schools Alliance to help raise further awareness of the duty on schools. Collaborative working between local authorities, health bodies, schools and school governing bodies is vital to ensure that pupils with medical needs are appropriately supported in school.

24th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of disruption to education as a result of the covid-19 outbreak on the timetabling of 11 plus examinations in 2020; and if he will issue new guidance to admissions authorities to enable 11 plus examinations to be rescheduled in 2020.

Arrangements for selecting pupils by ability are for the admission authorities of selective schools to decide. We are working with the sector and intend to publish advice on the impact of COVID-19 on testing arrangements for admissions to selective schools shortly.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of primary schools in England have a dedicated music teacher.

The information requested is not held centrally.

9th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 6 February 2023 to Question 136754 on Packaging: Recycling, what (a) aims and (b) objectives she has for the extended producer responsibility scheme in 2033; and what steps she is taking to achieve those aims and objectives.

The overall aims of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging are to reduce the amount of unnecessary packaging that is produced, and to increase the proportion of this packaging that is recycled or reused. Our analysis estimates that, with the introduction of EPR in 2024 and a Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers in 2025, overall recycling rates will increase from 63.2% in 2021 to 76% by 2033. This is an important step towards meeting our 25 Year Environment Plan commitment to eliminate avoidable waste by 2050.

These measures will also help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 2.2 million tonnes by 2033 as the creation of new packaging using virgin materials is reduced. This will contribute to climate change mitigation, in line with our commitment to decarbonise all sectors of the UK economy and achieve net zero by 2050.

This will be achieved by making producers pay for the waste management costs associated with the packaging that they place on the market. The EPR fees that producers will pay will also be varied (modulated) based on the type of packaging produced, with less easily recyclable packaging incurring a higher cost. This will place a strong financial incentive on producers to reduce the overall amount of packaging they use, and to design and use packaging that is easily reusable or recyclable.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 6 February 2023 to Question 136754 on Packaging: Recycling, what steps her Department plans to take in adjusting the regulatory framework to deliver her Department's vision for what the EPR scheme in 10 years’ time.

Defra’s intention is that the regulations to introduce Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging will be introduced at the end of 2023. These regulations will reflect the policy set out in the Government response to the 2021 consultation, which was published in March 2022.

In parallel with drafting these regulations, the department is continuing to work with stakeholders to develop a future vision for our waste reforms programme over the longer term. As part of this work, we have recently embarked on an eight-week series of industry-wide Sprint events bringing together key stakeholders to obtain their input. Outputs from this process will need due consideration and may include subsequent amendments to the regulatory framework.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 6 February 2023 to Question 136755 on Plastics: Landfill, what assessment she has made of the steps that will need to be taken by producers to meet forthcoming extended producer responsibility for packaging requirements to reduce plastic waste going to (a) landfill and (b) incinerators.

Producers will need to start reporting data on the packaging they place on the market from October 2023. We have published guidance and an obligation checker to help packaging producers to prepare for Extended Producer Responsibility on the gov.uk website, including outlining what data producers will need to start collecting and reporting. This guidance will be continually updated with more detailed information.

The payments that producers will be required to pay to local authorities will be determined from April 2024. These payments will cover the costs for improved management of household packaging when it becomes waste, and provide for the collection of additional packaging materials for recycling such as plastic films and flexible packaging. This, together with higher recycling targets for packaging waste, will result in less packaging waste being sent to landfill and incinerators.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 6 February 2023 to Question 136754 on Packaging: Recycling, what the policy objective is of her Department’s eight-week visioning sprint programme.

The policy objectives of the Sprints are to build a shared vision on the landscape around packaging reforms in 10 years' time. This includes a shared strategic roadmap detailing a UK Government and industry agreed view of how the benefits will be realised over time. The overall objective is to build a multi-stakeholder view and recommendation to policy on how to incorporate EPR policies in a way that best realises the shared benefits and vision. Representatives from the Devolved Assemblies were invited to nominate attendees, ensuring all UK nations guide common future packaging reform policy.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 6 February 2023 to Question 136754 on Packaging: Recycling, what (a) representations and (b) feedback her Department has received from (i) industry representatives and (ii) others on the work of the Business Readiness Forum.

We continually engage with industry on the EPR packaging requirements and are providing guidance and support to ensure a smooth transition. Feedback from industry has been encouraging and having dedicated forums for industry has been well received.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 3 February 2023 to Question 136753 on Packaging: Recycling, whether the Impact Assessment needs to be reviewed in response to recent increases in costs for businesses.

In May 2022, in response to increasing inflationary pressure in the economy, we modelled an increase in the full net cost of collecting and managing household packaging waste. Specifically, we looked at the impact of an increase in fuel costs, staff costs due to an increase in wages, and in the cost of trucks used for collections. Fairly sizeable increases in these costs were modelled and the result was that the overall increase in full net costs was not substantial.

An updated impact assessment will be published later this year alongside the draft Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging and Packaging Waste) Regulations 2023.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the potential impact of the proposed new extended producer responsibility scheme on (a) retailers, (b) food and drink manufacturers and (c) other producers affected by that scheme in the UK.

We published an Impact Assessment alongside the Government Response to the consultation on Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for packaging setting out the costs and benefits of the policy. This includes the potential impact on obligated businesses. We continue to engage with obligated businesses as we prepare for implementation and as we develop the next phases of EPR.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress she has made on the Resources on Waste Strategy ambition to reduce the amount of plastics ending up in landfills.

In October 2020 we legislated to prevent the incineration or landfilling of certain separately collected material, including plastic, paper, metal and glass, unless it has undergone a treatment process first and only if landfill or incineration is the best environmental outcome. This is in addition to existing permit conditions that already prevent acceptance of recyclable material at landfills and waste incinerators.

We also want to make recycling easier. Following support at public consultation, the new s45 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 stipulates that all local authorities in England must make arrangements for a core set of materials to be collected for recycling from households, including plastic packaging. In April last year, we brought in the Plastic Packaging Tax. This will stimulate increased levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste. The introduction of Extended Producer Responsibility in 2024 will also encourage businesses to think carefully about how much plastic packaging they use, to design and use plastic packaging that is easily recyclable and encourage use of reusable and refillable packaging. These measures will reduce plastic waste and divert plastic packaging away from landfill and incineration.

We have restricted the supply of plastic straws, plastic drink stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds and introduced a carrier bag charge which has reduced the use of single-use carrier bags in the main supermarkets by over 97%. More recently we announced the supply of single-use plastic plates, cutlery, balloon sticks and expanded and extruded polystyrene food and beverage containers will also be banned in England from October this year.

We are committed to going further and addressing other sources of plastic pollution, which is why we also ran a call for evidence to help us gather information to help inform future policy on other problematic plastic items and help inform future policy making. Our response can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/single-use-plastic-banning-the-supply-of-commonly-littered-single-use-plastic-items/outcome/summary-of-responses-and-government-response.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will hold further discussions with representatives of the food and drink industry to help ensure the creation of an end-to-end circular economy in packaging recycling.

We continue our engagement with representatives of the food and drink industry, alongside others, in ensuring industry is prepared ahead of the EPR requirements coming into force. This includes a dedicated fortnightly Business Readiness Forum to update industry and answer questions plus a programme of webinars to deep-dive into specific issues and themes. Among the hundreds of stakeholders from the food and drink industry that have so far taken part in this engagement, and will continue to do so, are trade associations (and their members) such as the Food and Drink Federation, the British Soft Drinks Association and the British Retail Consortium.

Additionally, we have initiated an eight-week visioning sprint programme incorporating over 75 representatives from across the different sectors impacted by EPR to work with us to create a vision for what an EPR scheme will look like in 10 years’ time with a view to creating an end-to-end circular economy in packaging and recycling.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies Langholm Moor Demonstration Project’s findings that when snares and other predator control methods are used, curlew numbers increased on average by 10 per cent per annum.

The management of predators, such as foxes and carrion crows, plays an important role in supporting the recovery of some of our most vulnerable species, particularly ground nesting birds including the curlew.


We have recently published an update on environmental land management schemes which confirms that we are exploring how actions to do with managing predatory species - when those species are impacting threatened species recovery - will be made available.

25th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust's findings in the document entitled A future for curlew that the curlew population declined by 17 per cent. per year without legal predator control and increased by 14 per cent. per year with legal predator control.

The management of predators, such as foxes and carrion crows, plays an important role in supporting the recovery of some of our most vulnerable species, particularly ground nesting birds including the curlew.


We have recently published an update on environmental land management schemes which confirms that we are exploring how actions to do with managing predatory species - when those species are impacting threatened species recovery - will be made available.

24th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the outcomes of his recent review of environmental land management schemes.

We remain committed to our environmental land management schemes and are looking at how best to deliver the schemes to see where and how improvements can be made. We will continue to work closely with the sector in developing the schemes and publish more information by the end of the year.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 30 September 2022 to Question 53520 on Animal Welfare: Electric Shock, what comparative assessment he has made of the power of electric (a) livestock fences and (b) training collars; and on what basis his Department concluded that electric livestock fences only produce slight discomfort for the animals which touch them.

The proposed ban on the use of electric shock collars controlled by hand-held devices was developed after considering a broad range of factors, including the potential impacts of such a ban. HM Government considered academic research, public consultation responses, and direct engagement with the sector and concluded that these devices present an unacceptable risk to the welfare of dogs and cats and that their use should not be permitted.

The Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock states, users of electric fences should ensure that they are designed, constructed, used and maintained properly, so that when animals touch them, they only feel slight discomfort. As stated in our answer to Question 53520, anyone causing unnecessary suffering as a result of a poorly installed electric fence may be prosecuted under relevant animal welfare legislation.

In addition, please note that the statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs includes guidance and reminders for owners about their responsibilities to provide for the welfare needs of their animal, but also to keep their dogs safe and under control. The code of practice is available here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/697953/pb13333-cop-dogs-091204.pdf

Scott Mann
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the welfare implications for dogs which (a) touch a livestock fence delivering 15,000 mJ of electricity and (b) are startled with an electronic collar delivering 5 mJ of electricity.

Defra’s "Action Plan for Animal Welfare" demonstrates our commitment to a brighter future for animals both at home and abroad. Electric fences used to deter animals from crossing a boundary and which deliver a shock directly to the body are different to e-collars. The use of electric fences in agricultural settings is subject to statutory guidance which requires anyone installing an electric fence to ensure that it is designed, constructed, used and maintained properly, so that when the animals touch it they only feel slight discomfort. Installers and users should also comply with any relevant local regulations and ensure that their responsibilities under other relevant legislation, including the Health & Safety At Work Act 1974, are properly discharged.

Animals are protected from suffering as a result of poorly maintained or installed electric fences by animal welfare laws, including the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 it is an offence to cause an animal unnecessary suffering. Anyone who is cruel to an animal may face an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to five years, or both.

The Defra commissioned research into the effects of e-collars was robust and showed that e-collars have a negative impact on the welfare of some dogs. The research showed that many users of the handheld devices were not using them properly in compliance with the manufacturers’ instructions. As well as being misused to inflict unnecessary harm, there is also concern that e-collars can redirect aggression or generate anxiety-based behaviour in pets, making underlying behavioural and health problems worse.

Scott Mann
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
14th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 25 May to Question 3747, on what date did his officials become aware that academics his Department commissioned to research electronic training collars for dogs had previously made representations to the Department to ban them.

I refer the hon. Member back to my answer of 25 May to PQ 3747. In particular, the Government is satisfied that the processes for tendering and considering bids, relating to the research on e-collars in 2007, were conducted in accordance with the rules on government procurement exercises. The Government is also satisfied that the resultant peer-reviewed Defra-commissioned research carried out between 2007 and 2010 is robust.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 18 May to Question 1492 on Livestock and Wildlife: Dogs, whether he has made an assessment of the potential difficulties of introducing dogs gradually and positively to (a) sheep and (b) deer using reward-based training methods.

Defra understands that the right approach for pet owners to take in managing and controlling their dog’s behaviour differs from both person to person and from pet to pet. Consequently the department has not undertaken a specific assessment of the potential difficulties of gradually introducing dogs to livestock but instead, and as stated in answer to Question 1492, advises owners who are concerned about controlling their dog’s behaviour, for whatever reason, to take advice from their vet or a suitably qualified dog behaviourist or trainer. Such specialists would be best positioned to advise on the best approach for their specific case and can be located through The Animal Behaviour and Training Council which can be found at: https://abtc.org.uk/practitioners/.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
17th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if his Department will make an assessment of the number of academics that his Department commissioned to research the training of dogs with e-collars who had previously campaigned for an e-collar ban by (a) writing to the Department (b) signing a petition.

The concerns that e-collars can cause harm have been made by a number of trainers and behaviourists, the animal welfare sector and dog keeping organisations. In light of these concerns Defra commissioned a research study.

The Government is satisfied that the processes for tendering and considering bids, relating to the research on e-collars in 2007, were conducted in accordance with the rules on government procurement exercises. The Government is also satisfied that the resultant peer-reviewed Defra-commissioned research carried out between 2007 and 2010 is robust.

Data from the research was published separately in two different reputable scientific journals, which required additional independent peer review exercises involving scrutiny from experts in the same field prior to publication. This gives the Government further confidence that the results are robust.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
17th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the potential impact of a ban on electronic training collars on the number of dog attacks each year on (a) deer and (b) birds.

The Government has considered evidence from Defra-funded research, the results of a public consultation, and information from other relevant sources to inform its policy on the use of electric shock collars for the control of dogs.

The proposed ban on the use of electric shock collars was developed after considering a broad range of factors, including the effects of such a ban. When considered alongside the academic research, the public consultation responses, and direct engagement with the sector, the Government concluded that electric shock collars present a risk to the welfare of dogs and cats and that their use should not be permitted.

Defra’s statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Dogs and Natural England’s refreshed version of the Countryside Code apply to handling dogs in the vicinity of livestock and outline the actions that can be taken by dog owners to reduce the occurrence of attacks or chasing.

The livestock worrying measures in the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill, which is currently before Parliament, introduce further protections including in relation to enclosed deer and enclosed birds, including poultry and game birds.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of Natural England’s progress in reviewing the consents for the release of gamebirds (a) on Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation and (b) within a 500 metre buffer zone of those sites.

Natural England are in the process of reviewing the historical SSSI consents issued under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, that relate to Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation.

Natural England’s SSSI consenting regime provided by section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 only extends to land which is designated under this provision; it does not extend to the adjacent 500-metre buffer zone around the site.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many reviews of Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation and the 500m buffer zone around those sites in respect of consents for gamebird releasing have (a) been completed, (b) are in progress and (c) are planned but have yet to be commenced.

Natural England’s review of historical SSSI consents relating to Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation is ongoing.

Natural England’s SSSI consenting regime provided by section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 only extends to land which is designated under this provision; it does not extend to the adjacent 500-metre buffer zone around the site.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what additional resources (a) his Department has provided to Natural England or (b) have been allocated within that organisation to review the consents on Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conversation and the 500m buffer zone around those sites for the release of gamebirds.

Defra provided Natural England with additional funding in 2021 to support their review of historical SSSI consents relating to gamebird releasing on sites designated as Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation.

Natural England’s SSSI consenting regime provided by section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 only extends to land which is designated under this provision; it does not extend to the adjacent 500-metre buffer zone around the site.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what Natural England's timeframe is for completing its review of consents relating to Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation and the 500m buffer zone around those sites for the releasing of gamebirds.

Natural England’s review of historical SSSI consents relating to gamebird releasing on sites designated as Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation is scheduled to be completed by the end of March 2022.

Natural England’s SSSI consenting regime provided by section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 only extends to land which is designated under this provision; it does not extend to the adjacent 500-metre buffer zone around the site.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how his Department defines a cage for (a) pets, (b) poultry farming, (c) livestock farming and (d) game farming.

The Government is delivering a series of ambitious reforms, as outlined in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/action-plan-for-animal-welfare). One of the ways we wish to improve the welfare of farm animals is strengthening protections against animal confinement. We are actively exploring options to phase out the use of cages in farming, including the use of enriched cages for laying hens, farrowing crates for pigs and cages for breeding pheasants and partridges. Ending the use of cages would have a significant impact on some sectors of the farming industry and so we would need to undergo a public consultation.

For pets, the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations, introduced in 2018, require businesses that carry out activities involving animals to obtain a valid licence from their local authority. Licences must meet strict statutory minimum welfare standards which are enforced by local authorities who have powers to issue, refuse or revoke licences. The 2018 Regulations are supported by statutory guidance which provides specific information about the conditions for each activity. This includes guidance on the size of cages that should be sold in the course of selling animals as pets:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/animal-activities-licensing-guidance-for-local-authorities

Current requirements on how farmed livestock should be kept, including detailed provisions on accommodation, are set down in The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007 with further guidance provided in Defra’s species-specific farm animal welfare codes.

For gamebirds, the Statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Gamebirds Reared for Sporting Purposes provides keepers with guidance on how to meet the welfare needs of their gamebirds as required by the Animal Welfare Act 2006. It recommends that barren cages for breeding pheasants and small barren cages for breeding partridges should not be used and that any system should be appropriately enriched.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the Government’s policy is on the use of cages in respect of (a) pets, (b) poultry farming, (c) livestock farming and (d) game farming.

The Government is delivering a series of ambitious reforms, as outlined in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/action-plan-for-animal-welfare). One of the ways we wish to improve the welfare of farm animals is strengthening protections against animal confinement. We are actively exploring options to phase out the use of cages in farming, including the use of enriched cages for laying hens, farrowing crates for pigs and cages for breeding pheasants and partridges. Ending the use of cages would have a significant impact on some sectors of the farming industry and so we would need to undergo a public consultation.

For pets, the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations, introduced in 2018, require businesses that carry out activities involving animals to obtain a valid licence from their local authority. Licences must meet strict statutory minimum welfare standards which are enforced by local authorities who have powers to issue, refuse or revoke licences. The 2018 Regulations are supported by statutory guidance which provides specific information about the conditions for each activity. This includes guidance on the size of cages that should be sold in the course of selling animals as pets:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/animal-activities-licensing-guidance-for-local-authorities

Current requirements on how farmed livestock should be kept, including detailed provisions on accommodation, are set down in The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007 with further guidance provided in Defra’s species-specific farm animal welfare codes.

For gamebirds, the Statutory Code of Practice for the Welfare of Gamebirds Reared for Sporting Purposes provides keepers with guidance on how to meet the welfare needs of their gamebirds as required by the Animal Welfare Act 2006. It recommends that barren cages for breeding pheasants and small barren cages for breeding partridges should not be used and that any system should be appropriately enriched.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the number of (a) negative or (b) inconclusive Bovine Tuberculosis first culture tests on pigs that have subsequently returned a positive test result on the second culture in each of the last three years.

Bovine tuberculosis (TB) is a chronic, infectious and primarily respiratory disease caused by the slow-growing bacterium Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis). It is mainly a disease of cattle and other bovines, but it can affect a wide range of mammal species, including pigs.

TB is a notifiable disease in pigs and other non-bovine farmed animals. This means that suspected lesions of TB detected in the carcases of those animals during veterinary post-mortem examination or routine post-mortem meat inspection in the slaughterhouse must be reported to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) without delay. APHA will place the affected herd under precautionary movement restrictions pending completion of bacteriological culture and whole-genome sequencing to try to identify the bovine TB bacterium from those lesions in the laboratory.

On certain occasions it becomes necessary to repeat an initial negative culture and, because M. bovis is a slow-growing bacterium, this will substantially increase the turnaround time for the final laboratory results.

The numbers of primary cultures and re-cultures are shown in the table below, along with the results thereof.

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

2021

Primary culture

112

171

245

122

115

131

Re-cultures

66

90

128

55

89

122

Percentage re-culture

59%

53%

52%

45%

77%

93%

Primary culture

Negative

85

140

214

101

92

32

M. bovis detected

25

21

25

13

6

1

M. microti detected

2

0

0

1

2

1

Other

0

10

6

7

15

97

112

171

245

122

115

131

Re-cultures

Negative

63

85

123

52

74

32

M. bovis detected

1

4

2

0

2

0

M. microti detected

2

0

0

1

1

1

Other

0

1

3

2

12

89

66

90

128

55

89

122

The higher percentage of re-cultures in 2020 and 2021 are due in part to a decision that all pig samples sent from the bovine TB Low Risk Area of England and all of Scotland should be subject to primary culture and secondary culture, conducted simultaneously (in parallel) in order to minimise the time the affected herd is under precautionary movement restrictions. The large number of ‘other’ results in 2021 is due to a large proportion of cultures that had not yet completed the full incubation time at the time the data were extracted.

APHA has validated a new polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that can detect the bovine TB bacterium directly from tissue samples collected at post-mortem meat inspection, without the need for bacteriological culture. The major advantage of this new method is that it will typically take only three weeks to report a result from the day the sample reaches the laboratory, compared with 6-22 weeks for bacteriological culture. It is hoped that this new PCR test for TB will enter routine use at APHA for tissue samples from pigs and other non-bovine animals early in 2022.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Oct 2021
What steps he is taking to support food and drink exporters.

We want people at home and abroad to be lining up to Buy British. We have announced an export package to support food and drink producers, and will be establishing an Export Council. This will bring together industry and Government to drive export growth. We are also expanding our agri-food counsellor network to make sure that our sectors can take advantage of export opportunities.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many (a) licences and (b) consents have been issued for (a) game bird release, (b) outdoor sports and (c) leisure and recreation activities on European protected sites under the interim licencing scheme for 2021.

The Government is preparing to introduce an interim licensing regime for the 2021 releases of common pheasant and red-legged partridge within European protected sites and within a 500m buffer zone around the sites. A consultation will be launched shortly proposing a general licence to cover the majority of European Protected Sites. It will not cover consents or include other activities beyond gamebird release.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to review the effect of (a) sport and leisure and (b) other activities on European protected sites; and what other activities will be covered by the interim licencing scheme for release of game birds in 2021.

Natural England, and other competent authorities, have a duty to review consents for activities on areas subsequently designated as European sites, within a reasonable timeframe.

We plan to shortly consult on our proposals for the interim licensing of game bird releasing. We are committed to achieving an interim licensing regime which is both effective and workable for users.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure Natural England has adequate resources to assess applications to the interim licensing regime for the 2021 to release game birds on or near European protected sites.

Defra is working closely with Natural England to ensure that they have the capacity and capability to assess individual applications for the forthcoming interim licensing regime for pheasants and red-legged partridges on and near European Protected Sites. We will be launching a public consultation on the interim licencing regime shortly.

Natural England is very aware of the timeframes involved and the need for decisions to be made promptly to align with the shooting industry's annual calendar of activity.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many hen harrier nesting attempts there were in England in 2020; how many of those nests were successful; what the known causes for nest failures were; and how many chicks were fledged.

In England in 2020 there were 24 hen harrier nesting attempts recorded. Nineteen of these were successful and 60 chicks have fledged.

Based on information held by Natural England, ten of these nesting attempts were on land where the RSPB had primary control over the access, with five of these being failed attempts.

There were a number of reasons for the five failed nests. One was thought to be predated by a fox, two were abandoned for unknown reasons and a further two nests may have failed due to the disappearance of a breeding male.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many hen harrier nesting attempts in England in 2020 were located in areas where the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds had primary control over access; how many of those nests failed to have any chicks fledge; and what were the known causes of those nest failures.

In England in 2020 there were 24 hen harrier nesting attempts recorded. Nineteen of these were successful and 60 chicks have fledged.

Based on information held by Natural England, ten of these nesting attempts were on land where the RSPB had primary control over the access, with five of these being failed attempts.

There were a number of reasons for the five failed nests. One was thought to be predated by a fox, two were abandoned for unknown reasons and a further two nests may have failed due to the disappearance of a breeding male.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many applications for individual licences were made in 2020 for the control of common pest and predatory corvids to conserve wildlife within European protected sites and 300m buffer zones; and how many of those have been granted.

Natural England has received approximately 160 applications to control Corvid species on or close to European protected sites. To date, 26 of these applications have been granted, 8 rejected, with 126 still to be determined or have been withdrawn. For some applications, not all corvid species for which a licence has been requested have been granted.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to amend the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 after the transition period to increase the effectiveness of protections for vulnerable species and increase biodiversity.

The Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2017 will be amended at the end of the Transition Period under powers in the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018. This will ensure that the regulatory framework in this area maintains existing environmental protections and that the UK continues to meet its international obligations.

We have no other plans to amend the Regulations.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what comparative assessment he has made of the merits of a risk-based approach to wildlife licensing compared to one based on the EU interpretation of the precautionary principle.

The Government’s policy on wildlife licensing already follows a risk-based approach. We believe that people should be free to manage wildlife within the law where they need to do so. Legislation provides statutory authorities with the parameters within which they may licence otherwise prohibited activities where there is a demonstrable need to do so. In taking a licensing decision the authorities balance a number of risks and issues before coming to a decision, involving taking a precautionary view of the risks where necessary in the circumstances.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of restrictions imposed by Natural England on the ability of land managers to control the impact of gulls.

Herring and lesser black-backed gull populations have both declined in recent decades. An assessment carried out by Natural England (NE) has indicated that the scale of activity carried out under licences in recent years, were it to continue, would be above a sustainable level and would be likely to have a harmful impact on the population levels of both species. For this reason, it has been necessary to scale back the lethal control of these gull species.

In rural areas, where populations overall are known to be in decline, NE has set upper ‘safe’ number of birds that could be killed. Upper ‘safe’ levels have not been identified for lethal control in urban populations of gulls, as these are faring better.

Beyond a class licence for air safety, gull control is now via individual licence. In taking this decision, it was recognised that there would be an impact on the level of control particularly in rural areas, but this was considered necessary given the situation, so that licensed activity would need to be prioritised. NE considers the strength of need in each licence application individually but generally protecting human life and health is the overriding priority.

Any control to be undertaken under other purposes such as preventing serious damage and conserving wild birds and flora or fauna will need to be targeted. If applicants do not receive an individual licence, they may still be able to achieve some of their objectives by using alternative non-lethal measures.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to work with stakeholders to ensure that the wildlife licensing system is fit for purpose.

The Department is in the process of carrying out a review of General Licences for certain bird species. This has involved extensive stakeholder engagement including a public survey which generated over 4,400 responses and a series of workshops with licence users and other stakeholders. The resulting General Licences will draw on a detailed assessment of the scientific literature, identified user needs and stakeholder views and knowledge. To further help stakeholders we intend to allow time for them to familiarise themselves with the new licences before the changeover takes place.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to ensure the timely issuance of new general licences for the control of pest birds in England.

The Secretary of State granted general licences for the lethal control of certain wild birds in June 2019, which are valid until 29 February 2020. Since June 2019, Defra has been undertaking a review of these general licences, including a public survey which generated over 4,400 responses, a review of scientific evidence and a series of workshops with licence users and other stakeholders. The Secretary of State will make an announcement soon on licensing arrangements from 1 March.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether officials in her Department will continue to work with representatives of the employee relocation sector to maximise opportunities to attract inward investment by exploring options to give the UK a competitive advantage over other prospective destinations; and if she will make a statement.

The employee relocation sector has an important role to play in supporting inward investment into the United Kingdom. My officials will continue to engage with it.

The UK is one of the most open economies and one of the foremost destinations for inward investment in the world. In 2019/20 the Department for International Trade provided support for 1,449 Foreign Direct Investment projects, creating almost 45,000 new jobs and safeguarding a further 8,000. We also recently launched a new points-based, single global immigration system to attract a wide pool of skilled workers; this will allow a fairer, skills-led system, and a process that is simpler and quicker for employers.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th Nov 2020
What progress has been made in discussions with her Israeli counterpart on an agreement for further trade cooperation with Israel beyond the trade continuity deal.

Britain's trading relationship with Israel is already strong, totalling £5bn in 2019. As my Rt Hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary said recently, we are now able to 'start scoping, probing for talks for a new higher level ambition trade agreement'. Next year's United Kingdom-Israel Trade and Partnership Joint Council - alongside our plans to host a United Kingdom-Israel Trade and Investment Conference - will drive forward these discussions to deliver significant benefits for British business.

4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to facilitate exports from Israeli companies that are developing technologies to tackle covid-19.

The British Embassy in Tel Aviv is following Israeli research and innovation related to COVID-19 closely, including in the technology sector. We have facilitated exchanges between United Kingdom and Israeli public health and scientific experts to discuss testing, epidemic management strategies, treatments and vaccine research, as well as cooperation on medical equipment.

5th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 21 November 2023 to Question 1534 on Motor Vehicles: Carbon Emissions, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the report entitled Powered Light Vehicles Life Cycle published by Zemo Partnership in December 2021.

As stated in the answer to Question 1534, we are now analysing responses to the 2022 consultation on ending the sale of new non-zero emission L-category vehicles, including evidence provided on this issue, and will bring forward the Government’s response in due course.

The Government recognises that L-category vehicles represent a small proportion of the overall greenhouse gas exhaust emissions created by the road transport sector. However, only a transition to fully zero emission technologies will reduce air and noise pollution.

Anthony Browne
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
5th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the impact of the reduction of the plug-in motorcycle grant on the (a) commercial viability of the production and (b) consumer uptake of electric mopeds and motorcycles.

The plug-in motorcycle grant, which was introduced in 2017 to stimulate the early market for zero emission mopeds and motorcycles, has provided over £7m to support the purchase of over 11,000 zero emission mopeds and motorcycles.

In 2021, the share of moped (L1-category vehicles) registrations that were electric was 41.7%. After a grant rate reduction at the end of 2021, this remained similar at 40.6% in 2022.

In 2021, the share of motorcycle (L3-category vehicles) registrations that were electric was 2.9%. After a grant rate reduction at the end of 2021 and the introduction of the £10k price cap, this increased to 3.3% in 2022.

Anthony Browne
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of highways funding for (a) Buckinghamshire and (b) England.

Local highway authorities across England are set to benefit from an £8.3 billion boost in funding for highway maintenance, the biggest ever increase in funding for local roads. This funding is in addition to local transport funding from the last Spending Review and in addition to what local authorities were expecting to receive. Buckinghamshire will receive a minimum additional overall uplift of £51 million between 2023-24 and 2033-34, which should allow it to make major improvements to the condition of its local roads.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will provide a breakdown of the roles undertaken by the 167 FTE staff employed by HS2 Ltd in its Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Directorate.

The majority of staff are engaged on community engagement activities along the 200 mile HS2 route, and the number of staff employed in the Directorate and handling all HS2 communication and engagement activity is a very small proportion of the 30,000 people now working on the HS2 project.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the value for money of HS2 Ltd's £8,086,998 annual spend on communications and community engagement.

An estimated 2.4 million people live within five miles of the HS2 route in rural areas, and within one mile in urban areas, across 58 local authorities and 75 parliamentary constituencies. Specialist teams in HS2 Ltd engage with communities and stakeholders across 200 miles of the proposed route to help ensure that there is a level of understanding and transparency around the impacts of construction on those affected. Similarly, HS2 Ltd’s 24-hour Helpdesk responds to around 30,000 enquiries a year, and the HS2 website (www.hs2.org.uk) received over 1.9 million visits in 2022.

The Department for Transport monitors all HS2 Ltd expenditure in order to ensure value for money for the taxpayer.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to ensure that historic vehicles are protected from changes to (a) fuel standards and (b) other regulations.

The Department continues to ensure the concerns of owners of historic vehicles are reflected in any regulatory changes.

Fuel quality standards in the UK are agreed through the British Standards Institution (BSI) liquid fuel standards committee, which includes representatives from the historic vehicles sector.

The quality of fuel sold in the UK is also ensured through the Motor Fuel (Composition and Content) Regulations 1999. Changes to these regulations are subject to consultation, in which the views of vehicle owners and their representative groups would be sought. This would also be the case for regulatory changes to motor vehicle standards.

For example, when E10 petrol was introduced last September we put in place provisions to ensure the continued availability of E5 petrol; we are also ensuring that current proposals to modernise vehicle standards do not prevent restoration, repairs or legitimate improvements to vehicles, including historic vehicles, or damage to the businesses involved in such activities.

6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure historic marque specialists are consulted in the appeals process for rejected VC5 applications for historic vehicles.

An application to register a used vehicle (which includes historic vehicles) with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for the first time takes on average between four to six weeks. A vehicle registration certificate (V5C) is then issued for the vehicle.

The DVLA advises applicants on how best to proceed with their application if further evidence is needed and information is also available on GOV.UK.

The DVLA regularly engages with historic vehicle owners’ clubs and takes into account information received from historic marque specialists in support of applications. The DVLA recognises that some vehicles require the expert opinion of specialists to ensure that historic vehicles are preserved. Every effort is made where evidence allows to reunite vehicles with their original registration numbers and if that is not possible to allocate alternative age-appropriate registration numbers.

The DVLA has recently set up a user group to support the historic vehicle sector. This promotes collaborative working between representatives from the historic and classic vehicle sector in relation to the DVLA’s services, policies, and initiatives.

6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to reduce incorrect rejections of historic vehicles V5C forms.

An application to register a used vehicle (which includes historic vehicles) with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for the first time takes on average between four to six weeks. A vehicle registration certificate (V5C) is then issued for the vehicle.

The DVLA advises applicants on how best to proceed with their application if further evidence is needed and information is also available on GOV.UK.

The DVLA regularly engages with historic vehicle owners’ clubs and takes into account information received from historic marque specialists in support of applications. The DVLA recognises that some vehicles require the expert opinion of specialists to ensure that historic vehicles are preserved. Every effort is made where evidence allows to reunite vehicles with their original registration numbers and if that is not possible to allocate alternative age-appropriate registration numbers.

The DVLA has recently set up a user group to support the historic vehicle sector. This promotes collaborative working between representatives from the historic and classic vehicle sector in relation to the DVLA’s services, policies, and initiatives.

6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the average amount of time required by the DVLA is to process a new V5C registration application form for a historic vehicle.

An application to register a used vehicle (which includes historic vehicles) with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) for the first time takes on average between four to six weeks. A vehicle registration certificate (V5C) is then issued for the vehicle.

The DVLA advises applicants on how best to proceed with their application if further evidence is needed and information is also available on GOV.UK.

The DVLA regularly engages with historic vehicle owners’ clubs and takes into account information received from historic marque specialists in support of applications. The DVLA recognises that some vehicles require the expert opinion of specialists to ensure that historic vehicles are preserved. Every effort is made where evidence allows to reunite vehicles with their original registration numbers and if that is not possible to allocate alternative age-appropriate registration numbers.

The DVLA has recently set up a user group to support the historic vehicle sector. This promotes collaborative working between representatives from the historic and classic vehicle sector in relation to the DVLA’s services, policies, and initiatives.

26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to publish the Government response to the consultation on Introducing E10 Petrol, which closed on 3 May 2020.

We plan to publish the Government response to our consultation on the introduction of E10 as soon as possible.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to create jobs in hydrogen transport technology.

The UK is particularly well placed to be a leader in hydrogen and fuel cell powered transportation due to our high-quality engineering and manufacturing capability in relevant supply chains creating opportunities for investment and jobs. The Government’s approach to delivering long-term ambitions for greener transport is technology neutral and we are supporting hydrogen where the market favours its use.

In road transport, hydrogen is eligible for support under the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation following changes made to the scheme in April 2018. The Office for Low Emission Vehicles and the Advanced Propulsion Centre are funding a wide range of development projects in hydrogen roads vehicles across technology readiness levels. Government is also supporting the technology through the £23m Hydrogen for Transport programme and £2m FCEV fleet support scheme. The Clean Maritime Plan published last year recognised hydrogen as one of a number of the key fuels on a pathway to zero-emission shipping. Our innovation programmes have supported the development of hydrogen technology, such as the ‘Hydroflex’ train, and continue to provide funding opportunities for innovative environmental projects. These trials may provide a springboard for industry growth and commercial exploitation. In support of the Clean Maritime Plan (2019) the Department has published research into the economic opportunities afforded by the transition to alternative fuels in shipping, and has undertaken an assessment of uptake scenarios for such fuels, including hydrogen and hydrogen carriers.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential of hydrogen electric vehicles to provide sustainable, greener transport in rural areas.

Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles have zero tailpipe emissions. Like battery electric vehicles, their well-to-wheel greenhouse gas emissions depend on the method of energy production. A range of production pathways and technological improvements in hydrogen production are under development, with the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2018, the Department for Transport published the outputs of the Transport Energy Model. The model provides a clear assessment of the relative environmental impacts of a range of fuel and powertrain options for cars, vans, buses and heavy goods vehicles over the period to 2050. This assessment does not distinguish between urban and rural scenarios with regard to the potential for greener transport in rural areas. Network Rail is developing a Traction Decarbonisation Network Strategy that will examine which parts of the network are best suited to use of hydrogen trains, as well as battery and electrification. This will inform Government decisions in 2020.

16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what guidance has been issued to HS2 Ltd on the placing of CCTV cameras around enabling works sites.

There has been no specific guidance issued to HS2 Ltd by the Secretary of State for Transport in regards to the placement of CCTV cameras around site. HS2 Ltd’s Tier 1 contractors need to comply with all legislation around the use of CCTV on their sites, which has been provided to them by HS2 Ltd.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what communications his Department have undertaken with (a) HS2 Ltd and (b) Buckinghamshire Country Council on the designs for the Addison Road Bridge in Steeple Claydon, Buckinghamshire.

The design of the HS2 railway, including associated features such as the Addison Road Bridge, is a matter for HS2 Ltd, the company charged with the project’s delivery, and its contractors. The design of the Addison Road bridge was developed by the main works contractor to Scheme Design stage during 2019. This was shared with the HS2 project team at Buckinghamshire County Council in July 2019 and feedback was received from them in October 2019. The design for the highway is expected to be finalised in May 2020, where further review and pre-application discussions are planned with the local authority. The Department is not directly involved in the detail of this process, but was involved in establishing the overall framework and continues to monitor it.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential effect of inaccessible rail infrastructure on (a) employment, (b) education and (c) community inclusion for disabled people.

The cross-government Disability Unit in the Cabinet Office has been established to reduce the barriers that disabled people face in their lives.

The National Strategy for Disabled People due to be published later this year will focus on the issues that most affect disabled people: housing, education, transport and jobs. As part of this, departments across Whitehall are considering how they can make the greatest contribution to the lives of disabled people in our nation.

More widely, the Department continues to deliver the Access for All programme which provides accessibility improvements over and above those being delivered as part of other major projects or whenever the industry installs, replaces or renews station infrastructure. We have recently allocated £350 million to add another 209 stations to this programme during Control Period 6.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recommendation in the Oakervee Review that passive provision be made for a High Speed Two station at Calvert.

The Government is still in the process of considering all of the conclusions in the Oakervee Report and their implications. It is looking at providing its response, including on question of passive provision for an additional station, in due course.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans his Department has for issuing new guidance for the operation of community buses under sections 19 and 22 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

The Department will update its guidance on the ‘exclusively non-commercial purposes’ exemption to EU Regulation 1071/2009 on operator licensing in line with the High Court judgement in due course.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many road traffic accidents have been recorded as taking place on or in the vicinity of pedestrian crossings in each of the last three years.

The number of reported road accidents with a personal injury within 50 metres of a pedestrian crossings in Great Britain between 2016 and 2018 can be found in the below table.

Reported road accidents with a personal injury within 50 metres of pedestrian crossings¹,², Great Britain, 2016-2018

Year

Accidents

2016

25,829

2017

25,348

2018

25,235

Source: DfT, STATS19

1. Includes human controlled crossings by school crossing patrols and by other authorised

persons, zebra crossings, pelicans, puffins, toucans or other similar non-junctions,

pedestrian phases at traffic signal junctions, footbridges or subways, and central refuges

2. Excludes cases where road crossing type was undefined

29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps HS2 Ltd takes to assess barn owl activity on sites under construction as part of High Speed Two enabling works.

HS2 Ltd has undertaken extensive wildlife surveys across the route, which includes barn owls. In addition, HS2 Ltd has a Barn Owl Mitigation Plan (developed after consultation with wildlife groups including the RSPB) to ensure that best practice guidelines are followed to minimise any adverse effects of HS2 on barn owls and maximise potential benefits.

Paul Maynard
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether HS2 Ltd were authorised to begin enabling works at the Calvert Jubilee nature reserve; and whether all works have been halted at that site.

There has been a recent incident in Calvert Jubilee nature reserve where some (non-ancient woodland) vegetation was inadvertently cleared without the landowner’s consent. In this case HS2 Ltd believed they understood who owned the land and had obtained their consent in advance of these works taking place. However, after further investigation it has become clear that their ownership information was incorrect, and that the land in question was in fact owned by the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust.

HS2 Ltd have written directly to the Trust to unreservedly apologise for this error and to discuss the matter further with them.

No further works will take place at this site until a full investigation has been carried out by HS2 Ltd. HS2 Ltd are putting in place additional assurance measures to prevent a repeat of this incident.

Paul Maynard
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he will bring forward a priority review of the Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.

We will provide an update on whether the project should continue in due course.

10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to promote the Access to Work scheme to disabled people.

Access to Work continues to undertake targeted marketing and awareness raising activities. For example, the scheme is promoted to benefit claimants through Jobcentre Plus and to a range of business leaders through the Disability Confident scheme. We have also worked with a variety of stakeholder organisations to market Access to Work to their clients, including sharing information about how individuals can apply for support.

The 2018/19 AtW statistics illustrate the increase in support provided by Access to Work, with over 36,000, the highest ever number of people with disabilities and health conditions receiving tailored and flexible support to do their job.

5th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care System plans to take to increase capacity levels for endoscopy procedures for patients in Buckingham constituency.

£2.3 billion was awarded at the 2021 Spending Review to transform diagnostic services over the next three years to increase diagnostic capacity, including for endoscopy services. This funding will also increase the number of community diagnostic centres (CDCs) up to 160 by March 2025, including a number delivering endoscopy services.

In 2022/23, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care System (ICS) spent a total of £24,790,510 on all diagnostic services. Of this, £5,179,888 (21%), was spent on diagnostic endoscopy procedures at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

Cutting National Health Service waiting lists, including for endoscopy services, is one of the Government’s top priorities. This is a shared ambition amongst ICSs, including Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West ICS. Priorities are set locally through joint strategic needs assessments as part of joint forward plans across the ICS and partnering NHS trusts.

In October 2021, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West ICS opened West Berkshire Community Hospital CDC. West Berkshire Community Hospital CDC has since delivered 4,492 additional endoscopy tests closer to people’s homes, supporting earlier access to endoscopy procedures. Additional endoscopy capacity from new CDCs within the ICS will also start to come onstream later this year. This includes North Bedfordshire CDC (Whitehouse Health Centre), which will be located in the Buckingham constituency. Endoscopy services at these CDCs may be offered to the Buckingham population where convenient, to improve their access to diagnostic care.

The Government has not made a recent assessment of the barriers to reducing endoscopy waiting lists in the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West ICS. It is the responsibility of individual ICSs to work with NHS England to understand local barriers to delivering the required diagnostics services, including endoscopy, and to implement appropriate waiting list solutions based on local need.

5th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care System's diagnostic funding was spent on diagnostic endoscopy procedures in Buckinghamshire NHS Healthcare Trust in 2022-23.

£2.3 billion was awarded at the 2021 Spending Review to transform diagnostic services over the next three years to increase diagnostic capacity, including for endoscopy services. This funding will also increase the number of community diagnostic centres (CDCs) up to 160 by March 2025, including a number delivering endoscopy services.

In 2022/23, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care System (ICS) spent a total of £24,790,510 on all diagnostic services. Of this, £5,179,888 (21%), was spent on diagnostic endoscopy procedures at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

Cutting National Health Service waiting lists, including for endoscopy services, is one of the Government’s top priorities. This is a shared ambition amongst ICSs, including Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West ICS. Priorities are set locally through joint strategic needs assessments as part of joint forward plans across the ICS and partnering NHS trusts.

In October 2021, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West ICS opened West Berkshire Community Hospital CDC. West Berkshire Community Hospital CDC has since delivered 4,492 additional endoscopy tests closer to people’s homes, supporting earlier access to endoscopy procedures. Additional endoscopy capacity from new CDCs within the ICS will also start to come onstream later this year. This includes North Bedfordshire CDC (Whitehouse Health Centre), which will be located in the Buckingham constituency. Endoscopy services at these CDCs may be offered to the Buckingham population where convenient, to improve their access to diagnostic care.

The Government has not made a recent assessment of the barriers to reducing endoscopy waiting lists in the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West ICS. It is the responsibility of individual ICSs to work with NHS England to understand local barriers to delivering the required diagnostics services, including endoscopy, and to implement appropriate waiting list solutions based on local need.

5th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of potential barriers to reducing endoscopy waiting lists in (a) Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care System and (b) Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

£2.3 billion was awarded at the 2021 Spending Review to transform diagnostic services over the next three years to increase diagnostic capacity, including for endoscopy services. This funding will also increase the number of community diagnostic centres (CDCs) up to 160 by March 2025, including a number delivering endoscopy services.

In 2022/23, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West Integrated Care System (ICS) spent a total of £24,790,510 on all diagnostic services. Of this, £5,179,888 (21%), was spent on diagnostic endoscopy procedures at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust.

Cutting National Health Service waiting lists, including for endoscopy services, is one of the Government’s top priorities. This is a shared ambition amongst ICSs, including Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West ICS. Priorities are set locally through joint strategic needs assessments as part of joint forward plans across the ICS and partnering NHS trusts.

In October 2021, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West ICS opened West Berkshire Community Hospital CDC. West Berkshire Community Hospital CDC has since delivered 4,492 additional endoscopy tests closer to people’s homes, supporting earlier access to endoscopy procedures. Additional endoscopy capacity from new CDCs within the ICS will also start to come onstream later this year. This includes North Bedfordshire CDC (Whitehouse Health Centre), which will be located in the Buckingham constituency. Endoscopy services at these CDCs may be offered to the Buckingham population where convenient, to improve their access to diagnostic care.

The Government has not made a recent assessment of the barriers to reducing endoscopy waiting lists in the Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West ICS. It is the responsibility of individual ICSs to work with NHS England to understand local barriers to delivering the required diagnostics services, including endoscopy, and to implement appropriate waiting list solutions based on local need.

15th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps his Department is taking to help increase the number of (a) doctors, (b) nurses and (c) Allied Health Professionals entering specialist rheumatology training.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 30 May 2023 to Question 185980.

15th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to increase the number of NHS staff providing rheumatology care in the (a) Buckinghamshire, (b) Oxfordshire and (c) West Berkshire Integrated Care Board area and (d) England.

No assessment has been made. Rheumatology services are generally commissioned locally by integrated care boards which have a statutory responsibility to commission healthcare services that meet the needs of their whole population.

The Government has committed to publishing the Long-Term Workforce Plan shortly. This will include projections for the number of doctors, nurses and other professionals that will be needed. The plan will provide estimates of NHS workforce as a whole; however, it will not go into detail about condition-specific workforce, such as for rheumatology. The recruitment of staff for multi-disciplinary rheumatology teams is for local determination.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to take steps to increase funding for the clinical (a) radiology and (b) oncology workforce.

The work of the Long Term Workforce Plan will be used to inform future Government work on how to best meet the needs of patients and the National Health Service workforce. The Plan is for the whole of the NHS workforce, including cancer services; however, it will not provide detailed workforce assessments for individual services.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to commission a review into streamlining the Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration process.

On 14 December 2022 a statutory instrument was laid which amends the Postgraduate Medical Education and Training Order of Council 2010 and The General Medical Council (Applications for General Practice and Specialist Registration) Regulations 2010 to provide the General Medical Council (GMC) with the freedom to develop additional registration pathways for GP and specialist registration.

These changes do not amend the GMC’s Certificate of Eligibility for Specialist Registration (CESR) process but provide it with broader registration criteria and flexibility to expand the range of evidence that it can accept from applicants. The Order has a commencement date of 30 November 2023. There are no further plans for the Department to review the CESR process.

13th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has had discussions with Cabinet colleagues on reviewing funding for specialty training posts and incentivising NHS trusts to take on new trainees.

The Secretary of State meets regularly with other Cabinet colleagues and NHS England on a variety of matters pertaining to health and social care.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has had recent discussions with the (a) Chancellor of the Exchequer and (b) NHS England on increasing funding for the clinical (i) radiology and (ii) oncology workforces.

The Secretary of State meets regularly with other Cabinet colleagues and NHS England on a variety of matters pertaining to health and social care.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with NHS England on support imaging networks to help develop IT systems and image-sharing technologies.

The Secretary of State holds a number of discussions with NHS England on a range of issues, including diagnostic transformation. The Department is working with NHS England to support the maturity development of imaging networks across England by December 2023.

13th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Global Radiologists Programme in filling NHS radiology vacancies.

No specific assessment has been made.

13th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the (a) funding for and (b) number of specialty training posts in line with changes in the number of medical training places.

To support the workforce as a whole, we have commissioned NHS England to develop a long term workforce plan for the next 15 years. This plan will help ensure that we have the right numbers of staff with the right skills to transform and deliver high quality services fit for the future. In 2022, Health Education England announced 750 additional medical specialty training posts across all programmes, and in 2023, HEE announced that nearly 900 additional medical specialty training posts have been created for this year.

13th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to commission research on the potential impact of artificial intelligence on (a) diagnostics, (b) health economics and (c) clinicians' workloads.

Since 2017, the Department has invested £148 million through the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and an additional £123 million through the AI in Health and Care Award to research artificial intelligence in healthcare. This is funding research into the potential impact of artificial intelligence on diagnosis and treatment for major conditions, including cancer and cardiovascular diseases, and research into how the technology can be used to improve NHS services and reduce the burden of clinicians’ workloads.

13th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take in the workforce plan to improve the retention rate for doctors.

The NHS Long Term Workforce Plan will seek to ensure that we have the right numbers of staff with the right skills to deliver high quality services fit for the future.  This includes improving retention for all staff groups, including doctors.

13th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Royal College of Radiologists’ Workforce Census Report 2022, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of that report's findings on (a) additional costs for clinical directors to meet imaging demand and (b) the cost of outsourcing scans; and what steps his Department plans to take to ensure radiology departments are sustainable financially.

No specific assessment has been made. To support the workforce as a whole, we have commissioned NHS England to develop a long term plan for the next 15 years, which will help ensure that we have the right numbers of staff with the right skills to transform and deliver high quality services fit for the future. The plan is for the whole of the National Health Service workforce and will not provide detailed assessments for individual services.

13th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to fill vacancies in clinical radiology as part of the long-term workforce plan.

In 2023/24, NHS England is continuing to invest £50 million in the priorities set out in the Cancer Workforce Plan, including additional medical training places for clinical or medical oncology, radiology, histopathology, and gastroenterology.

The Government has also committed to publishing the Long Term Workforce Plan shortly. The Long Term Workforce Plan will help ensure that we have the right numbers of staff, with the right skills to transform and deliver high quality services fit for the future.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to take steps to increase the number of clinical oncology and clinical radiology specialists in training after the publication of the long-term workforce plan.

In 2023/24, NHS England is continuing to invest £50 million in the priorities set out in the Cancer Workforce Plan, including additional medical training places for clinical/medical oncology, radiology, histopathology, and gastroenterology.

As at February 2023 there are 1,641 full-time equivalent (FTE) doctors working in the speciality of clinical oncology, which is an increase of 335 (25.7%) since 2019. This includes 865 consultants working in the speciality of clinical oncology, which is an increase of 120 (16.1%) since 2019.

As at February 2023 there are 5,362 FTE doctors working in the speciality of clinical radiology, which is an increase of 969 (22.0%) since 2019. This includes 3,672 consultants working in the speciality of clinical oncology, which is an increase of 575 (18.6%) since 2019.

The Government has also committed to publishing the Long Term Workforce Plan shortly. The Long Term Workforce Plan will help ensure that we have the right numbers of staff, with the right skills to transform and deliver high quality services fit for the future.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is to minimise the potential impact of the shortfall of clinical oncology consultants on (a) diagnostic waiting times, (b) patient outcomes and (c) staff wellbeing.

In the South East region, local systems are taking steps to address diagnostic waiting times, patient outcomes and staff wellbeing in the area. These include initiatives such as upskilling other staff such as radiographers to undertake advanced practice; investing over £40 million in digital infrastructure while working with industry partners around artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions; rolling out the i-refer system to support general practitioners (GPs) to appropriately refer for imaging tests; creating imaging networks to enable departments to provide mutual support and aid across the region.

£2.3 billion was awarded at Spending Review 2021 to transform diagnostic services over the next three years including increasing the number of Community Diagnostic Centres up to 160 by March 2025. This investment will support the ambition for 75% of patients with an urgent GP referral for suspected cancer to be diagnosed or have cancer ruled out within 28 days by March 2024. This is in line with to NHS Long Term Plan ambitions on early diagnosis and improving patient outcomes.

The health and wellbeing of National Health Service staff is taken seriously, and NHS England have put in place a wide ranging package of support for NHS staff. This includes emotional and psychological health and wellbeing support.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the impact of the shortfall in clinical radiology consultants in the South East region on (a) diagnostic waiting times, (b) patient outcomes and (c) staff wellbeing in the region.

In the South East region, local systems are taking steps to address diagnostic waiting times, patient outcomes and staff wellbeing in the area. These include initiatives such as upskilling other staff such as radiographers to undertake advanced practice; investing over £40 million in digital infrastructure while working with industry partners around artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions; rolling out the i-refer system to support general practitioners (GPs) to appropriately refer for imaging tests; creating imaging networks to enable departments to provide mutual support and aid across the region.

£2.3 billion was awarded at Spending Review 2021 to transform diagnostic services over the next three years including increasing the number of Community Diagnostic Centres up to 160 by March 2025. This investment will support the ambition for 75% of patients with an urgent GP referral for suspected cancer to be diagnosed or have cancer ruled out within 28 days by March 2024. This is in line with to NHS Long Term Plan ambitions on early diagnosis and improving patient outcomes.

The health and wellbeing of National Health Service staff is taken seriously, and NHS England have put in place a wide ranging package of support for NHS staff. This includes emotional and psychological health and wellbeing support.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
24th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to increase the number of trained interventional radiologists in the NHS.

As of October 2022, there were 1,588 full-time equivalent doctors in training in the clinical radiology specialty in the National Health Service in England. This is an increase of 252, 18.9%, since 2019.

The Government funded an additional 20 Specialty Training year six (ST6) places for interventional radiologists in 2021/22 and 2022/23. These increases in the overall radiology workforce will increase the number of radiologists who can train to deliver interventional radiology and expand national capacity for the paediatric interventional radiology workforce.

To support the workforce as a whole, we have commissioned NHS England to develop a Long Term Workforce Plan, which will include independently verified forecasts for the number of healthcare professionals required in future years. The Plan is for the whole of the NHS workforce, it will not provide detailed workforce assessments for individual services.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department is taking steps to ensure that the Major Conditions Strategy includes policies on bowel cancer patients.

The Major Conditions Strategy will draw on previous work on cancer, including over 5,000 submissions provided to the Department as part of our Call for Evidence last year.  Many of those submissions will have included feedback on bowel cancer. We will continue to work closely with stakeholders, citizens and the National Health Service in coming weeks to identify actions for the Strategy that will have the most impact.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he will meet with representatives from The Royal College of Radiologists to discuss the findings and recommendations of their paediatric interventional radiology report.

I would be pleased to meet The Royal College of Radiologists to discuss their recent report into paediatric interventional radiology.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to expand national capacity for paediatric interventional radiology training.

As of January 2023, there were 1,584 full-time equivalent (FTE) trainee doctors working in clinical radiology services in the NHS in England. This is an increase of 274 (20.9%) since 2020.

The Government funded an additional 20 Specialty Training posts for interventional radiologists in 2021/22 and 2022/23. These increases have expanded the number of radiologists who can train to deliver paediatric interventional radiology.

26th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure (a) paediatric interventional radiology (PIR) inclusion in all relevant NHS service specifications and (b) PIR policies in all hospitals that treat children.

The Department will discuss these issues with NHS England. National Health Service trusts are expected to have the relevant policies in place, in line with service specification and commissioning guidance produced by NHS England.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to require all hospitals that provide paediatric services to have paediatric interventional radiology service policies in place.

The Department will discuss these issues with NHS England. National Health Service trusts are expected to have the relevant policies in place, in line with service specification and commissioning guidance produced by NHS England.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of requiring all hospitals that provide paediatric services to have paediatric interventional radiology service policies in place.

The Department will discuss these issues with NHS England. National Health Service trusts are expected to have the relevant policies in place, in line with service specification and commissioning guidance produced by NHS England.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to facilitate equal access to paediatric interventional radiology services.

The Department will discuss these issues with NHS England. National Health Service trusts are expected to have the relevant policies in place, in line with service specification and commissioning guidance produced by NHS England.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to increase the tariffs applied to paediatric interventional radiology procedures.

This will be subject to discussions with NHS England as tariffs are set by NHS England.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has taken steps to (a) increase access to paediatric interventional radiology services and (b) ensure that every hospital has a strategy for dealing with out-of-hours emergencies requiring those services since 2010.

The Surgery in Children Clinical Reference Group (CRG) provides clinical leadership and advice to NHS England and the Surgery in Children Operational Delivery Group, including on paediatric imaging and interventional radiology. Since the COVID-19 pandemic surgery restoration and recovery have been prioritised, however, the issues linked to access to interventional radiology are to be presented to the Women and Children’s Programme of Care on the 28 June 2023 and will also be presented to Surgery in Children Operational Delivery Networks to incorporate into their respective work programmes during 2023/24.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the number of of paediatric interventional radiologists employed per million children in the (a) NHS and (b) US.

The Surgery in Children Clinical Reference Group (CRG) provides clinical leadership and advice to NHS England and the Surgery in Children Operational Delivery Group, including on paediatric imaging and interventional radiology. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Programme of Care, the CRG and the Surgery in Children Operational Delivery Networks (ODNs) have had to prioritise surgery restoration and recovery, however, the issues linked to the concerns raised about access to interventional radiology are to be presented to the Women and Children’s Programme of Care on the 28 June 2023 and will also be presented to ODNs to incorporate into their respective network work programmes during 2023/24.

The number of paediatric interventional radiologists will also be the subject of discussions between NHS England and the Department.

26th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the impact of unequal access to paediatric interventional radiology services on (a) survival rates and (b) life-long health complications for children eligible for this care.

The Surgery in Children Clinical Reference Group (CRG) provides clinical leadership and advice to NHS England and the Surgery in Children Operational Delivery Group, including on paediatric imaging and interventional radiology. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Programme of Care, the CRG and the Surgery in Children Operational Delivery Networks (ODNs) have had to prioritise surgery restoration and recovery, however, the issues linked to the concerns raised about access to interventional radiology are to be presented to the Women and Children’s Programme of Care on the 28 June 2023 and will also be presented to ODNs to incorporate into their respective network work programmes during 2023/24.

Equal access will also be the subject of discussions between NHS England and the Department.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of The Royal College of Radiologists’ findings that there are (a) 12 consultant paediatric interventional radiology posts in the UK and (b) five paediatric interventional radiology posts based outside London; and if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of the number of those posts.

The Department will be discussing the geographic spread of posts with NHS England.

I have agreed to meet the Royal College of Radiologists so this matter will also be discussed in a meeting with them.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to reduce the 62-day cancer waiting times from urgent referral to treatment.

The Department is taking steps with NHS England to support local systems to address the waiting list for cancer services. November 2022 saw the highest number of urgent general practitioner referrals for cancer with nearly 265,000 patients referred compared to the pandemic low of 80,000 in April 2020.

Cancer treatment is also at record levels. The National Health Service has treated a record number of people for cancer in the last year with over 321,000 people receiving their first cancer treatment over the last year, between December 2021 to November 2022.

To support elective recovery the government plans to spend more than £8 billion from 2022/23 to 2024/25. NHS England has also developed an intervention model through which challenged trusts are receiving additional national and or regional support to maximise and expand their cancer diagnostic and treatment capacity.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to update the reimbursement tariffs to incentivise modern forms of radiotherapy such as adaptive radiotherapy.

NHS England has signalled its intent to revise the reimbursement arrangements for radiotherapy as part of its consultation guidance, released in December 2022. The new arrangements aim to deliver the NHS Long Term Plan ambition to incentivise innovative forms of radiotherapy and timely equipment replacement.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to improve radiotherapy services to reduce cancer treatment waiting times.

Since 2016, around £162 million of central investment has been made to replace or upgrade around 100 radiotherapy machines. This means that every radiotherapy service has access to modern equipment.

11 Radiotherapy Networks were established across England in 2019/20 to drive improvements, ensuring all patients can access the very best treatment regardless of where they live.

NHS England will be undertaking a capacity and demand review of external beam radiotherapy capacity in 2022/23. This will support local systems to plan radiotherapy provision and allocate system capital allocations appropriately, based on an assessment of equipment age, capacity and demand and opportunities to improve access.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what specific steps he is taking to increase access to radiotherapy cancer treatments.

NHS England, as the accountable commissioner for radiotherapy services, is responsible for setting evidence-based national service standards. This includes service specifications, clinical commissioning policies and ensuring the implementation of National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Technology Appraisal Guidance within local systems.

This has led to the expansion of access to stereotactic ablative body radiotherapy, selective internal radiation therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery/stereotactic radiation therapy, brachytherapy and proton beam therapy. NHS England actively encourages clinicians to submit proposals to expand the range of clinical commissioning policies, helping to ensure that patients remain able to access the latest evidence-based treatments and care.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many additional radiotherapy LINACS have been purchased to increase the overall fleet of LINACS used in the NHS in (a) 2020, (b) 2021 and (c) 2023.

Until the publication of capital planning guidance covering the period 2022-25, the responsibility of replacing radiotherapy equipment sat with NHS trusts delivering radiotherapy services. NHS England does not hold central records of the machines that trusts purchased directly in 2020, 2021 or 2022.

However, prior to release of the 2022-25 capital guidance, a further circa £32 million of central capital was allocated to support the replacement of circa 17 linear accelerators (LINACs) in the period 2021-22. This was in addition to the circa £130 million central capital investment which enabled the upgrade and/or replacement of circa 100 LINACs during the period 2016-2019.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to include radiologists and interventional radiologists in the NHS workforce strategy to ensure there are sufficient numbers of trained interventional radiologists to deliver interventional oncology therapies.

The Government has committed to publishing a workforce plan next year, which will include independently verified forecasts for the number of healthcare professionals required in future years, including radiologists and interventional radiologists.

Health Education England are implementing the priorities identified in the cancer workforce plan phase one and are investing an additional £50 million in 2022/23 to expand the cancer and diagnostics workforce, including postgraduate medical training of cancer-related medical professions, such as diagnostic and interventional radiologists.

15th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 19 July 2022 to Question 26865 on Cancer: Medical Treatments, what recent progress his Department has made on completing the Prior Information Notice and market engagement exercise on the use of selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT).

Ten National Health Service trusts are currently commissioned to provide selective internal radiation therapy for metastatic colorectal cancer. Following publication of Technology Appraisal 688 by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence, seven of the 10 trusts confirmed interest in also treating hepatocellular carcinoma. This is now expected to rise to around 15 trusts, following completion of a market engagement and Prior Information Notice process.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is making to ensure there is sufficient infrastructure in Cancer Alliances to help deliver minimally invasive cancer therapies across England.

NHS England’s specialised commissioning team have been undertaking work to expand the number of providers offering minimally invasive cancer therapies, such as selective internal radiation therapy.

The market engagement and Prior Information Notices have now been completed, with regional teams now putting in place the necessary contractual arrangements with National Health Service trusts. This work is also being completed ahead of the delegation of commissioning responsibilities to integrated care boards.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve access to GP services.

We expect the measures in 'Our Plan for Patients' to make over a million more appointments available this winter.

We have provided 31,000 additional phone lines to practices, freed up funding rules to bolster general practice teams with other professionals, and accelerated support for practices to secure high-quality cloud-based telephony systems.

From November 2022, we will publish practice-level data for the first time, giving patients information on appointments at every GP practice in England.

Steve Barclay
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment she has made (a) podiatry vacancy rates in the NHS in Buckinghamshire and (b) the impact these vacancies will have on patient treatment for diabetic foot complications.

The information requested is not held centrally.

12th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of plans for the Gratitude Games.

We have made no specific assessment as the Department has no direct role in the organisation of this event.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
30th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits for mental health of the Gratitude Games.

No specific assessment has been made.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
28th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has taken steps to improve patient access to selective internal radiation therapy since that treatment received a NICE technology appraisal in March 2021.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are expanding the number of trusts which are commissioned to provide selective internal radiation therapy. This involves a market assessment and Prior Information Notice, which is in the final stages of completion.

28th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if his Department will develop a simple funding pathway for focal ablative therapies to ensure that patients have the option to receive minimally invasive treatments.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group’s report refers to a number of treatments which are not directly commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement. Where the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recommended a treatment following a technology appraisal, commissioners have a mandate to support implementation, including providing funding pathways where necessary.

For those treatments cited in the report which have received a positive technology appraisal, such as the use of selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT) to treat hepatocellular carcinoma, NHS England and NHS Improvement’s specialised commissioning team is currently expanding the number of providers. This involves a Prior Information Notice and market engagement exercise, which is due to be completed in 2022/23, before a service can be delegated to integrated care boards.

28th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve (a) clinical and (b) patient awareness of minimally invasive cancer therapies as outlined in the All-party parliamentary group on Minimally Invasive Cancer Therapies' recent report, Barriers to Patient Access.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group’s report refers to a number of treatments which are not directly commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement. Where the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recommended a treatment following a technology appraisal, commissioners have a mandate to support implementation, including providing funding pathways where necessary.

For those treatments cited in the report which have received a positive technology appraisal, such as the use of selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT) to treat hepatocellular carcinoma, NHS England and NHS Improvement’s specialised commissioning team is currently expanding the number of providers. This involves a Prior Information Notice and market engagement exercise, which is due to be completed in 2022/23, before a service can be delegated to integrated care boards.

28th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to take steps to implement the recommendations of the recently published report of the All-party parliamentary group on Minimally Invasive Cancer Therapies, Barriers to Patient Access; and if he will make a statement.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group’s report refers to a number of treatments which are not directly commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement. Where the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recommended a treatment following a technology appraisal, commissioners have a mandate to support implementation, including providing funding pathways where necessary.

For those treatments cited in the report which have received a positive technology appraisal, such as the use of selective internal radiation therapy (SIRT) to treat hepatocellular carcinoma, NHS England and NHS Improvement’s specialised commissioning team is currently expanding the number of providers. This involves a Prior Information Notice and market engagement exercise, which is due to be completed in 2022/23, before a service can be delegated to integrated care boards.

13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to (a) develop and (b) publish the long-term workforce strategy for the NHS; and if his Department will consult organisations representing patients on that strategy.

In July 2021, the Department commissioned Health Education England (HEE) to review long term trends for the health and regulated social care workforce and update the existing long term strategic framework, ‘Framework-15’. This review is nearing completion and we anticipate that the updated Framework-15 will be published in summer 2022.

As part of the development of Framework-15, over 1,000 senior leaders, frontline staff, the future workforce, academics and think tanks, trade unions and others were consulted. A call for evidence issued in the autumn of 2021 elicited 322 responses and three large, deliberative events saw engagement with over 200 senior leaders and professionals from the health and social care system.

In January 2022, the Department commissioned NHS England and NHS Improvement to develop a long-term workforce plan to supplement the NHS People Plan and develop themes in the recent Elective Recovery Plan. It will also align with the priorities in HEE’s forthcoming Framework-15. We intend to engage with a range of stakeholders in developing this plan and patient representative groups will be consulted where appropriate. Its conclusions will be made available in due course.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to tackle regional variation in the early diagnosis of cancer.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are delivering projects to tackle identified inequalities in cancer care, including the stage of diagnosis. The Targeted Lung Health Check programme offers lung health checks to current and former smokers aged between 55 and 74 years old.

Cancer Alliances also target patient groups within the local system where early diagnosis rates are lower. Through Cancer Alliances, the National Health Service is funding local awareness campaigns with specific community and patient groups and tailored approaches aimed at identifying those who may not have consulted their general practitioner regarding possible symptoms. Local systems are expected to support general practice capacity where most patients will present. In 2022/23, Primary Care Networks are required to implement actions to improve the referral practice for suspected cancers, particularly among people from disadvantaged areas where early diagnosis rates are lower.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the (a) NHS is training a cancer workforce that can meet the rising burden of cancer in years to come and (b) year-on-year spend is there to support that workforce.

In 2021/22, Health Education England has invested £52 million in the cancer and diagnostics workforce. Between 2016 and 2021, the annual growth rate of the overall cancer workforce has remained between 3% to 4%. Spending plans for individual budgets for 2022/23 and beyond are subject to a detailed financial planning exercise and will be finalised in due course. This includes the education and training of the cancer workforce. The forthcoming 10 Year Cancer Plan will also ensure that the appropriate workforce is in place to deliver services.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
15th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the fiscal impact of proposed restrictions on advertising and product offers for high fat, sugar and salt products in shops.

The impact assessments for further advertising restrictions and restricting promotions for products high in fat, salt or sugar show a positive net present value for each policy, meaning the health benefits outweigh the costs to business and the Government.

The health benefits for advertising restrictions accrued when appraised over 100 years are estimated at approximately £2 billion. Additionally, the policy will provide savings for the National Health Service of £50 million, £40 million in social care and reduced premature mortality is expected to deliver an additional £119 million of economic output. Over the 25 year appraisal period, the location restrictions on promotions are expected to accrue health benefits of £57,600 million and provide savings to the NHS of £4,364 million. The volume price promotions restrictions are expected to accrue health benefits of £2,390 million and provide NHS savings of £180 million.

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress his Department has made on taking forward the recommendation of the Task and Finish Group on Brain Tumour Research to improve access for researchers to brain tumour tissue and blood samples with accompanying clinical data; and what plans his Department has to tackle that issue.

The Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission reports that over 70% of United Kingdom neuro-oncology centres now have biobanking infrastructure in place to collect samples and tissue for research. These centres are collaborating to improve tissue collection opportunities through the Tessa Jowell Academy.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether products which are a source of protein will be subject to the upcoming restrictions on products that are high in fat, sugar and salt; and how the Government will define which products are a source of protein within the Obesity Strategy.

For restrictions on advertising and promotions of high fat, salt or sugar products, there will be a two-stage process to define what products are captured by the restrictions. This two-stage process ensures the restrictions apply to the products of most concern to childhood obesity whilst allowing the healthier products within categories to be excluded.

As part of this process, the Government is using the 2004/05 Nutrient Profiling Model, as it is based on scientific evidence and provides an overall assessment of the nutritional content of products considered by balancing beneficial nutrients including fruit, vegetables and nuts, fibre and protein content against components of food that children should eat less of, such as saturated fat, sugar, salt, and calories.

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress has been made on the establishment of dedicated neuro-oncology consultant posts within the fields of neurosurgery, neurology, neuropathology, paediatrics and medical and clinical oncology, as recommended by the Task and Finish Group on Brain Tumour Research.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have worked with the Tessa Jowell Brain Cancer Mission to designate centres of excellence in the management of brain tumours. Nine centres have achieved designation in its first phase. The Mission has a workstream on training to expand the brain tumour treatment workforce in collaboration between National Health Service bodies, Royal Colleges and charities.

All NHS services for brain tumours should be provided according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence improving outcomes guidance which makes recommendations on workforce specialisations. NHS England and NHS Improvement expect the services commissioned to adhere to these guidelines.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Office for Product Safety and Standards is taking against producers, importers or distributors who sell unsafe or non-compliant e-cigarette and refill container products.

The Department of Health and Social Care is the responsible department for the regulation of e-cigarettes. The Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, through the Office for Product Safety and Standards, does not have a role in compliance or enforcement of e-cigarettes


The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 introduced e-cigarette product and safety standards, with a duty to notify the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) of any product which is to be placed on the United Kingdom market. Non-compliant products are subject to local trading standards enforcement measures. The Department works with the MHRA, Trading Standards and other regulatory enforcement agencies to ensure that products sold in the UK comply with regulations for all e-cigarette products and that non-compliant products are removed from the market.

15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to (a) restore dementia diagnosis to pre-covid-19 levels and (b) improve the diagnosis rate to above those levels.

We continue to closely monitor the dementia diagnosis rate on a monthly basis. The Government has made £17 million available this financial year to NHS England and NHS Improvement to reduce dementia waiting lists and increase the number of diagnoses. NHS England and NHS Improvement are working to deliver targeted efforts to support recovery of referrals, diagnosis, and where appropriate, support access to post-diagnostic support.

We will be setting out our plans on dementia for England for future years in due course, including improving diagnosis rates.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to improve patient access to (a) FDG-PET and (b) CSF tests for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease in line with NICE guidelines.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) guidelines provide evidence-based recommendations for health and care, including on assessment, management and support for people living with dementia and their carers. NICE’s guideline NG97 states that FDG-PET and CSF tests should be considered when the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is uncertain.

Clinical commissioning groups are expected to commission appropriate services, including such testing, in line with their local population health needs.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will meet with representatives of the food and drink industry to discuss the potential for loss of revenue as a result of introducing restrictions on the promotion and placement of products that are high in fat, salt and sugar.

The Department has engaged with a wide range of stakeholders, including the food and drink industry, on proposals for restrictions on the promotion of high fat, salt and sugar products. We have been careful to consider the views of industry through two consultations and extensive engagement throughout the development of the regulations. The final impact assessments on the proposals to restrict the promotion of foods high in fat, salt and sugar by location and by volume are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/restricting-promotions-of-food-and-drink-that-is-high-in-fat-sugar-and-salt

28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with businesses that will be affected by the introduction of restrictions on the promotions and placements of products that are high in fat, salt and sugar.

The Department has regular discussions with the food and drink industry and other stakeholders.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of UK citizens who have received three doses of a covid-19 vaccination as a result of the non-recognition of second doses administered overseas.

We have made no specific estimate as the Government does not hold data on the number of vaccinations administered to British nationals through overseas programmes.

28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of UK citizens who have received their second dose of a covid-19 vaccination overseas.

Data on the number of vaccinations administered to British nationals through overseas programmes is not held centrally.

28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if (a) his Department and (b) Public Health England will formally recognise second doses of covid-19 vaccinations delivered overseas, where the initial dose was administered within the UK.

Work is ongoing to determine which non-United Kingdom vaccines could be recognised in this country. However no final decisions have been taken.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much his Department has spent on advertising covid-19 restrictions.

From 15 March to 19 April 2020, the Department spent £3,157,287 on advertising relating to COVID-19 restrictions, launching the ‘Stay At Home’ campaign. From 19 April 2020, responsibility for COVID-19 public information campaigns transferred to the Cabinet Office.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the all-party Parliamentary group on cerebral palsy’s report, Early identification, intervention and pathways of care of infants and young children with cerebral palsy: The case for reform and investment, published in March 2021, what steps he is taking to increase the (a) size and (c) capacity of the health visiting workforce.

Local authorities are responsible for commissioning public health services for 0 to five year olds. The skill mix in any area will vary depending on local needs and therefore the number and ratio of health visitors to support staff will vary. To help increase the health visiting workforce, a Specialist Community and Public Health Nurse apprenticeship (Level 7) is now available, offering an alternative route direct into the health visiting profession.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the all-party Parliamentary group on cerebral palsy’s report, Early identification, intervention and pathways of care of infants and young children with cerebral palsy: The case for reform and investment, published in March 2021, if he will offer the health visitor workforce specialised training in identifying signs of early movement difficulty in infants to help identify those infants with cerebral palsy.

An e-learning programme, ‘Children’s Emotional and Additional Needs’ includes training for health visitors to provide support to children with long-term conditions such as cerebral palsy.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the all-party Parliamentary group on cerebral palsy’s report, Early identification, intervention and pathways of care of infants and young children with cerebral palsy: The case for reform and investment, published in March 2021, if he will modify the Personal Child Health Records to include checks for signs of abnormal motor development to enable parents and health visitors to identify signs of cerebral palsy in children and enable more rapid onward referrals.

The Personal Child Health Record is constantly under review. The content and format are overseen by a multi-disciplinary group, hosted by the Royal College of Paediatric Child Health.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the all-party Parliamentary group on cerebral palsy’s report, Early identification, intervention and pathways of care of infants and young children with cerebral palsy: The case for reform and investment, published in March 2021, what plans he has to assign each family an independent partner within their child development team or from a specialist voluntary provider who is a qualified professional with knowledge of cerebral palsy and who is able to provide monitoring, in-reach, information, and support to the family and help them to refer to and co-ordinate services.

Local delivery models of Child Development Teams vary and local authorities are encouraged to use the national commissioning guidance. The skill mix in any given area will vary depending on local needs, as this is because it should be led by health needs of a population and geographical areas. We will continue to work with the Local Government Association, professional bodies, and locally through Public Health England centres, to share evidence and guidance that allows councils to make the best decisions to meet local need.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the all-party Parliamentary group on cerebral palsy’s report, Early identification, intervention and pathways of care of infants and young children with cerebral palsy: The case for reform and investment, published in March 2021, if he will put in place three additional universal health visiting contacts at (a) three to five weeks, (b) three months and (c) three and half years to increase the opportunity for early detection of children with cerebral palsy and refer those children with early signs of that condition to specialised care pathways.

Five mandated health reviews for children aged 0 to five years old are offered to all families. However, mandated reviews are not the full extent of the health visiting service offer and additional contacts and reviews are considered where health visiting teams could respond to a family’s identified needs. Health visitors utilise their clinical judgement and can refer children to a specialist teams to assess for cerebral palsy if needed.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the all-party Parliamentary group on cerebral palsy’s report, Early identification, intervention and pathways of care of infants and young children with cerebral palsy: The case for reform and investment, published in March 2021, if he will create a national cerebral palsy register.

No specific assessment has been made of these recommendations at this stage. However, NHS England and NHS Improvement will be meeting later in April to consider the report.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the all-party Parliamentary group on cerebral palsy’s report, Early identification, intervention and pathways of care of infants and young children with cerebral palsy: The case for reform and investment, published in March 2021, what steps he is taking to improve systems of data collection on the incidence, diagnosis, medical history, developmental needs and outcomes of children with cerebral palsy.

No specific assessment has been made of these recommendations at this stage. However, NHS England and NHS Improvement will be meeting later in April to consider the report.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the all-party Parliamentary group on cerebral palsy’s report, Early identification, intervention and pathways of care of infants and young children with cerebral palsy: The case for reform and investment, published in March 2021, if he will provide specific training for (a) GPs, (b) community paediatricians, (c) health visitors, (d) social workers and (e) other non-specialist health professionals to identify the early signs of cerebral palsy and associated neurodisabilities in infants.

No specific assessment has been made of these recommendations at this stage. However, NHS England and NHS Improvement will be meeting later in April to consider the report.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the all-party Parliamentary group on cerebral palsy’s report, Early identification, intervention and pathways of care of infants and young children with cerebral palsy: The case for reform and investment, published in March 2021, if he will ensure that all families of children with cerebral palsy have access to expert services provided by the private or voluntary sectors in the event of inadequate provision or lengthy waiting times in the statutory sector for assessment and intervention.

No specific assessment has been made of these recommendations at this stage. However, NHS England and NHS Improvement will be meeting later in April to consider the report.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the all-party Parliamentary group on cerebral palsy’s report, Early identification, intervention and pathways of care of infants and young children with cerebral palsy: The case for reform and investment, published in March 2021, if he will ensure that referral-to-treatment timescales for cerebral palsy are tightened and minimised to facilitate rapid intervention at the earliest possible stage for a child.

No specific assessment has been made of these recommendations at this stage. However, NHS England and NHS Improvement will be meeting later in April to consider the report.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the all-party Parliamentary group on cerebral palsy’s report, Early identification, intervention and pathways of care of infants and young children with cerebral palsy: The case for reform and investment, published in March 2021, whether his Department is taking steps to ensure that all care pathways include agreed and audited quality standards.

No specific assessment has been made of these recommendations at this stage. However, NHS England and NHS Improvement will be meeting later in April to consider the report.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the all-party Parliamentary group on cerebral palsy’s report, Early identification, intervention and pathways of care of infants and young children with cerebral palsy: The case for reform and investment, published in March 2021, if his Department will take steps to ensure that health authorities are required to implement the NICE Guidelines and Quality Standard as a minimum standard for the prompt referral of children with Cerebral Palsy to expert multidisciplinary teams.

No specific assessment has been made of these recommendations at this stage. However, NHS England and NHS Improvement will be meeting later in April to consider the report.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the all-party Parliamentary group on cerebral palsy’s report, Early identification, intervention and pathways of care of infants and young children with cerebral palsy: The case for reform and investment, published in March 2021, what steps he is taking to fund and ringfence streamlined pathways for children at risk of neurodisability.

No specific assessment has been made of these recommendations at this stage. However, NHS England and NHS Improvement will be meeting later in April to consider the report.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the all-party Parliamentary group on cerebral palsy’s report, Early identification, intervention and pathways of care of infants and young children with cerebral palsy: The case for reform and investment, published in March 2021, if his Department will establish fully mapped out, costed and funded national care pathways between primary care and secondary and tertiary multidisciplinary centres of excellence for children with cerebral palsy and their families.

No specific assessment has been made of these recommendations at this stage. However, NHS England and NHS Improvement will be meeting later in April to consider the report.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the all-party Parliamentary group on cerebral palsy’s report, Early identification, intervention and pathways of care of infants and young children with cerebral palsy: The case for reform and investment, published in March 2021, what steps he is taking to work in partnership with NHS England and devolved health bodies to develop a high-quality, standardised national surveillance programme for preterm babies and infants who are at high risk of diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

No specific assessment has been made of these recommendations at this stage. However, NHS England and NHS Improvement will be meeting later in April to consider the report.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the all-party Parliamentary group on cerebral palsy’s report, Early identification, intervention and pathways of care of infants and young children with cerebral palsy: The case for reform and investment, published in March 2021.

No specific assessment has been made of these recommendations at this stage. However, NHS England and NHS Improvement will be meeting later in April to consider the report.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to prevent cases of respiratory syncytial virus in infants.

The Government has measures in place to prevent cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in the most vulnerable infants. Babies born prematurely are particularly vulnerable to RSV.

Each winter the National Health Service treats the most vulnerable infants with Palivizumab. Palivizumab provides passive immunity to RSV, similar to the protection offered by a vaccination. During the last RSV season, October 2020-Feburary 2021, NHS England and NHS Improvement produced a rapid policy statement that extended the criteria to include a larger population of at-risk infants with the aim of decreasing hospitalisation and intensive care admission rates in such infants.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to address the burden of infant respiratory syncytial virus on the (a) NHS and (b) health of the population.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) usually causes a mild self-limiting respiratory infection in adults and children, but it can be severe in infants who are at increased risk of acute lower respiratory tract infection. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation recommends that at-risk infants for whom RSV infection is likely to cause serious illness or death and all children less than 24 months of age with severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome are given the Synagis injection.

Public Health England (PHE) monitors levels of RSV activity in England and Wales and publishes information throughout the season. NHS England is working with PHE as part of its preparing and planning for the 2021 RSV season. This includes ensuring access to Synagis out of season in the event of a spring/summer outbreak and ensuring that clinicians have access to the most up to date and evidence-based guidance to support patient treatment and safe discharge from hospital.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate has been made of the prevalence of respiratory syncytial virus among infants (a) under five years old, (b) under two years old and (c) in their first year of life.

This data is not available in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of respiratory syncytial virus among infants on (a) GP appointments, (b) A&E attendances and (c) hospital admissions in the latest period for which data is available.

From June 2020 to March 2021, the rate of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has been much lower than expected. This is thought to be a result of measures implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic response, such as social distancing, lock down and masks. The Government extended the use of palivizumab immunisation in October 2020 with an aim to decrease hospitalisation and intensive care admission rates in at risk infants.

The rates of RSV in England are monitored by the Respiratory DataMart system, and this can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/national-flu-and-covid-19-surveillance-reports

In the past month, the proportion of positive specimens of RSV have been tracked by the Respiratory DataMart at 0.0%.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that adequate funding is being made available for neurofibromatosis Type 1 patients.

NHS England has commissioned a national specialised service to address the healthcare needs of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) patients with rare complications that cause major health problems (called complex-NF1).

NHS England has published processes on its website that set out how it decides which treatments to prioritise for funding at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/allocations/

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many of the known patients with neurofibromatosis Type 1 were treated at national specialist care centres in the last 12 months.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned a national specialised service to address the healthcare needs of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) patients with rare complications that cause major health problems (called complex-NF1). There are two centres responsible for the diagnosis and long-term care of patients with complex NF1, which are based at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.

These centres also provide education with the National Health Service to raise and maintain awareness of NF1 and are expected to form a relationship with local health and social care providers to help optimise any care for complex NF1 patients provided locally.

The complex NF1 service has approximately 450 patients on its caseload, however the number of patients treated in the last 12 months is not held centrally.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve the diagnosis and treatment of neurofibromatosis Type 1.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned a national specialised service to address the healthcare needs of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) patients with rare complications that cause major health problems (called complex-NF1). There are two centres responsible for the diagnosis and long-term care of patients with complex NF1, which are based at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.

These centres also provide education with the National Health Service to raise and maintain awareness of NF1 and are expected to form a relationship with local health and social care providers to help optimise any care for complex NF1 patients provided locally.

The complex NF1 service has approximately 450 patients on its caseload, however the number of patients treated in the last 12 months is not held centrally.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department will take to improve awareness amongst nurses and general practitioners of neurofibromatosis Type 1.

Over the last few years, there has been an increase in the awareness of neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) through more training of doctors and nurses, particularly through community paediatricians, development of guidelines with nurses, and links with genetic and neurology clinics. Professionals at the expert NF1 centres, based in Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, including consultants and specialist nurses also undertake the usual range of activities to raise awareness of the condition by giving lectures and presentations, attending conferences and publishing papers in medical journals.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to introduce immunity passports as a means of allowing the public to safely (a) take flights and (b) attend the theatre.

COVID-19 is a new disease and the science around ‘immunity’ remains uncertain – we do not know, for example, how long an antibody response to the COVID-19 virus lasts or whether having antibodies means one does not transmit the virus to others.

Before considering whether antibody testing and certification could ever be used to enable specific individuals to be exempted from social distancing restrictions and/or self-isolation measures, we first need to improve our understanding of how the immune system responds to COVID-19.

To gain answers to these critical questions on immunity, the United Kingdom Government has been working closely with the Office for National Statistics, Biobank, universities and other partners to establish a series of studies that will help us learn more about the prevalence and spread of the virus, as well as the nature and duration of the immune response.

6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to ensure that care homes have the technological capability to (a) maintain social contact and (b) preserve cognitive ability for people affected by dementia during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department, Public Health England, the Care Quality Commission and the National Health Service have published guidance on the care of residents in care homes, including those with dementia. It asks care homes to consider alternatives to in-person visiting, including use of telephones or video, or the use of plastic or glass barriers between residents and visitors. NHSX has rapidly established a team to support those who are vulnerable, isolated or in social care with technology during Coronavirus (Covid-19). The team has taken several steps to ensure that care homes have the technological capability to maintain social contact for their residents, including: a pilot of 2,050 Facebook Portal devices, and negotiating broadband deals to make sure care homes have the connectivity to access video calls. Twelve of the major telecoms providers have also agreed to work with care homes that have slow, or no broadband connections, to improve connectivity wherever possible. A number of offers have recently been made available to care homes.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to bring forward guidance for care homes allowing visitors to care home residents with dementia during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department’s COVID-19 Adult Social Care Action Plan outlines the importance of restricting visitors to care homes at this time to reduce the risk of infection for care home residents and staff. The Adult Social Care Action Plan is available to view at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-adult-social-care-action-plan

It is recognised that this restriction in visitors may cause anxiety for both residents and their relatives. Existing guidance encourages that alternatives to in-person visiting are explored such as telephones or video calling. It is important that relatives can visit their loved one if they are dying, or if the relatives’ bereavement is likely to be worse, with a higher risk of psychological and physical morbidity. The Adult Social Care Action Plan acknowledges this exception.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that testing methods for covid-19 in care homes take account of the specific needs of people with dementia.

As the national testing capacity has increased, we have built a national testing infrastructure and are using this capacity to deliver up to 30,000 tests a day to residents and staff in care homes for older people. We know many of those in care homes will have specific needs, including residents with dementia. We have provided detailed guidance and training materials to ensure staff can administer tests safely and effectively, and with due regard for the residents’ best interests.

Our care system represents the best of us, supporting our loved ones with tenderness and dedication at their time of greatest need. Through this unprecedented expansion of testing, we can give them the certainty and confidence that high-quality testing can provide.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of recommending the use of an oropharyngeal swab only for testing care home residents with dementia for covid-19 to reduce distress.

As the national testing capacity has increased, we have built a national testing infrastructure and are using this capacity to deliver up to 30,000 tests a day to residents and staff in care homes for older people. We know many of those in care homes will have specific needs, including residents with dementia. We have provided detailed guidance and training materials to ensure staff can administer oropharyngeal tests safely and effectively, and with due regard for the residents’ best interests.

Our care system represents the best of us, supporting our loved ones with tenderness and dedication at their time of greatest need. Through this unprecedented expansion of testing, we can give them the certainty and confidence that high-quality testing can provide.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to reduce NHS staff login times.

This Government has announced that it will provide £40 million to reduce National Health Service staff login times, tackling one of the main technology frustrations facing NHS staff.

NHSX is leading on a programme to deliver faster access to systems using this money. Discovery work is underway and a milestone plan is currently being developed that will include the roll out of single-sign on where appropriate.

The discovery work will also look at helping organisations speed up access to systems and simplify logon processes for their staff.

Harnessing the best technology will improve care for patients and reduce burden on staff.

4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support (a) healthcare professionals and (b) NHS England in improving data collection systems required to create a UK cerebral palsy register.

NHS England has advised that there are currently no plans to establish a national register of children with cerebral palsy. As health is a devolved matter, it would be for the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to make decisions about such registers in their respective countries.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to support the development of regional multi-disciplinary centres of excellence for infants and young children with, or at risk of, neuro-developmental conditions such as cerebral palsy.

NHS England and NHS Improvement established the Children and Young People Transformation Programme Team to take forward commitments on keeping children well, improving quality of care, integrating services, and including children and young people in all that they do.

During 2020/21 the programme team will work with local areas to develop integrated models of care for children and young people. Health and care systems will work together to achieve more joined up services that cater for the needs of children and young people across primary, secondary and specialist care; between mental health and physical health; between National Health Service public health and education; and between children, adolescent and adult services. This will include health and care for children and young people with disabilities.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what training is provided on cerebral palsy to (a) education and (b) health practitioners.

For education practitioners, governing boards are required to make arrangements to support pupils with medical conditions, and to have regard to the statutory guidance ‘Supporting pupils with medical conditions at school’.

For health practitioners, general practice play a key role in the identification of disorders such as cerebral palsy, and the condition is identified as a key area of clinical knowledge in the Royal College of General Practitioners curriculum.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many individual contractors businesses have been assessed under IR35 rules for the supply of agency staff to NHS Trusts.

Information on how many individual contractors’ businesses have been assessed under IR35 rules for the supply of agency staff to National Health Service trusts is not held by the Department.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve waiting times for cancer treatment in Buckinghamshire.

Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to improving survival rates for cancer and we have committed to the new 28-day faster diagnosis waiting times standard. Implementation in all trusts including Buckinghamshire, subject to Government approval, is planned from spring 2020.

Buckinghamshire is included in plans to develop Rapid Diagnostic Service models as part of the Long Term Plan for Thames Valley to improve and speed up cancer diagnostics and patient experience. During 2019, they established a non-site specific (also referred to as vague symptom) pathway for general practitioners (GPs) with Buckinghamshire NHS Trust to fast track such patients.

Cancer is a priority for this Government and in October 2018 we announced a package of measures that will be rolled out across the country with the aim of seeing three quarters of all cancers detected at an early stage by 2028 (currently just over half). This is part of the Long Term Plan for the National Health Service and forms part of how the Government will achieve its ambition to see 55,000 more people surviving cancer for five years in England each year from 2028.

The Long Term Plan is available at the following link:

https://www.longtermplan.nhs.uk/

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, what recent discussions he has had with his Israeli counterpart on Hamas’s placement of military infrastructure within civilian areas.

It is clear that Hamas has put Palestinians at grave risk by embedding themselves in the civilian population, and Hamas has used civilians as human shields. The Foreign Secretary visited Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories on 23 November, where he met President Herzog, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Cohen and other senior Israeli interlocutors to discuss the conflict. However, we are not going to specifically comment on individual locations. Israel has a legitimate right to self-defence against Hamas but the Israel Defense Forces military actions in Gaza must be carried out in accordance with International Humanitarian Law and Israel must take all possible measures to protect civilians.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the implication for his polices of reported anti-Semitic comments by the President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas in the context of the Middle East Peace Process.

The UK condemns the recent antisemitic remarks made by President Abbas. The UK stands firmly against all attempts to distort the Holocaust. Such statements do not advance efforts towards reconciliation. President Abbas' comments are completely unacceptable and can only serve to exacerbate tensions and undermine efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state solution that is in the interests of both Israelis and Palestinians. Officials at the British Consulate General in Jerusalem have raised this matter with the Palestinian Authority and the Foreign Secretary intends to do the same during his visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of reports that Ethiopia allegedly used Iranian-made armed drones in the Tigray War.

We advocate for responsible arms exports which comply with international obligations, including International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law. The US have set out that Iran supplied Mohajer-6 drones to Ethiopia in 2021. If so and in the absence of approval by the UN Security Council, such transfers by Iran violate UN Security Council Resolution 2231.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
9th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of reports that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps allegedly supplied surface-to-air missiles to the Polisario Front.

The UK condemns the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' (IRGC) destabilising activity, including its weapon proliferation to non-state actors, wherever it occurs. The UK maintains a range of sanctions that work to constrain the activities of the IRGC, which itself is sanctioned in its entirety. We strongly support the work of Staffan de Mistura as Personal Envoy of the UN Secretary-General for Western Sahara and continue to urge the parties to avoid further escalation and swiftly re-engage with the UN-led political process, including a return to a ceasefire.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the threats to security of the Lions’ Den terror group in the West Bank.

We continue to closely monitor the fragile security situation in the West Bank and continue to monitor developments closely. We must see an end to rising violence and instability. Every Israeli and Palestinian has the right to live in peace and security. We look to all parties to take urgent steps to de-escalate tensions.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of Iran’s negotiating position at the current December 2021 nuclear talks in Vienna, resumed following first round talks in June 2021.

Iran returned to talks on restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) on 29 November. We have been clear that if Iran is serious about rapidly restoring the JCPoA it should engage in good faith to swiftly resolve outstanding issues. The UK government will work tirelessly, constructively and in good faith to seek to restore the deal. However, Iran's nuclear escalation means that this is the last chance to save the JCPoA.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with her counterparts in the (a) European Union and (b) US Administration on Iran’s ballistic missile programme.

The Foreign Secretary and her officials hold regular discussions with European partners and the US on a range of issues concerning Iran, including its nuclear and ballistic missiles programme. The most recent meeting which included consideration of Iran's ballistic missiles took place at Political Director level in November. The UK, French and German Political Directors were joined by US Special Envoy on Iran, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Egypt and Jordan, to discuss their mutual concerns at Iranian use and transfer of ballistic missiles. Alongside France and Germany (as E3), we have also written repeatedly to the UN Secretary-General, most recently on 11 August, to bring attention to Iranian missile activity inconsistent with UNSCR 2231, the resolution which underpins the JCPoA.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications of his policies of reports of Iran’s successful enrichment of uranium to 60 per cent purity.

Iran continues its systematic non-compliance with its nuclear commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA). On 16 April Iran announced that it had started uranium enrichment up to 60% using advanced centrifuges, which is a serious and worrying development in violation of its nuclear commitments. The production of highly enriched uranium is an important step in the production of a nuclear weapon. Iran has no credible civilian need for enrichment at this level.

We are currently engaged in intensive discussions in Vienna with other participants and the US aimed at returning the US to the JCPoA, bringing Iran back into full compliance with its commitments and restoring the benefits of the deal for all.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with international partners on pursuing a strengthened nuclear deal that addresses Iran’s support for terrorism and ballistic missile programme.

A restored and fully implemented Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) could provide the confidence to further address regional and security concerns. As such, we welcome and support President Biden's commitment to not just return to the deal, but to strengthen and extend it. A substantive effort is required to improve regional security and Iran's role in destabilising the region needs to be addressed

We have been engaged in intensive discussions in Vienna with other JCPoA participants and the US, which are aimed at returning the US to the JCPoA, bringing Iran back into full compliance with its commitments and restoring the benefits of the deal for all.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
24th Nov 2020
What progress has been made on the international review of the content of Palestinian Authority school textbooks.

The UK is concerned about allegations of incitement in Palestinian Authority textbooks. The Foreign Secretary raised this with the Palestinian Authority (PA) during his visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories in August.

An independent, EU commissioned, review of PA textbooks is ongoing. In July, an interim report was submitted to the EU. We have regular discussions with our European Partners to encourage them to finalise the report as soon as possible. Officials discussed the review with the EU most recently on 19 November.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
9th Mar 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what information his Department holds on the value of compensation awarded under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme in each financial year since 2018-19.

The overall cost of compensation awarded by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme for the years in question can be found in its Annual Reports and Accounts, which are published here: https://www.fscs.org.uk/industry-resources/annual-report-archive/ and https://www.fscs.org.uk/news/fscs-news/annual-report/.

In 2021/22, the last year for which numbers have been published, the cost was £584 million.

Andrew Griffith
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
31st Jan 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the impact of the Plastic Packaging Tax on trends in the rates of recycling for (a) flexible plastics and (b) films.

The Plastic Packaging Tax was introduced in April 2022 to encourage businesses to include more recycled plastic in packaging. This will increase demand for recycled plastic, which will stimulate increased levels of recycling and collection of plastic waste.

The government continues to keep all taxes under review and will consider conducting an evaluation of PPT after at least one year’s worth of monitoring data has been collected.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
21st Nov 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Office for Budget Responsibility's report entitled Economic and fiscal outlook, published in November 2022, whether it is Government policy to introduce a 23 per cent. increase in fuel duty in late-March 2023.

No changes to fuel duty were made in November’s Autumn Statement.

The Government will confirm policy on fuel duty in the Budget in the Spring, as has been the case in previous years. The impact of any policy change is carefully considered.

Until then, the OBR’s forecast is prepared on the Government’s longstanding assumption that fuel duty will rise in line with inflation.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
21st Nov 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Office for Budget Responsibility's report entitled Economic and fiscal outlook, published in November 2022, what assessment he has made of the impact of a potential increase in fuel duty in March 2023 on the road haulage sector.

No changes to fuel duty were made in November’s Autumn Statement.

The Government will confirm policy on fuel duty in the Budget in the Spring, as has been the case in previous years. The impact of any policy change is carefully considered.

Until then, the OBR’s forecast is prepared on the Government’s longstanding assumption that fuel duty will rise in line with inflation.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
21st Nov 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Office for Budget Responsibility's report entitled Economic and fiscal outlook, published in November 2022, what assessment he has made of the impact of a potential increase in fuel duty on the classic car sector.

No changes to fuel duty were made in November’s Autumn Statement.

The Government will confirm policy on fuel duty in the Budget in the Spring, as has been the case in previous years. The impact of any policy change is carefully considered.

Until then, the OBR’s forecast is prepared on the Government’s longstanding assumption that fuel duty will rise in line with inflation.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
15th Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the total revenue received by the Exchequer from fuel duty was in each of the last five years.

During the previous five calendar years, the following amounts of revenue have been received by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) from Fuel Duty (also referred to as hydrocarbon oils):

2017: £27,974 million

2018: £27,929 million

2019: £27,796 million

2020: £22,646 million

2021: £24,828 million [provisional]

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the projected revenue from fuel duty is for the 2021-22 financial year.

The Office for Budget Responsibility’s (OBR) latest update of its forecast was published on 27 October 2021 in the October 2021 Economic and fiscal outlook (EFO). It was forecast that fuel duty revenues would amount to £26.8 billion in 2021-22. The full EFO is available to view here: https://obr.uk/efo/economic-and-fiscal-outlook-october-2021/

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the projected level of economic activity in the hospitality sector when VAT returns to 20 per cent in the sector.

The temporary reduced rate of VAT was introduced on 15 July 2020 to support the cash flow and viability of around 150,000 businesses and protect over 2.4 million jobs in the hospitality and tourism sectors. As announced at Budget 2021, the Government has extended the temporary reduced rate of VAT of 5% for the tourism and hospitality sector. This relief ended on 30 September. On 1 October 2021, a new reduced rate of 12.5% was introduced to help ease affected businesses back to the standard rate. This new rate will end on 31 March 2022.

This relief will cost over £7 billion and, while all taxes are kept under review, there are no plans to extend the 12.5% reduced rate of VAT. The Government has been clear that this relief is a temporary measure designed to support the cash flow and viability of sectors that have been severely affected by COVID-19. It is appropriate that as restrictions are lifted and demand for goods and services in these sectors increases, the temporary tax reliefs are first reduced and then removed in order to rebuild and strengthen the public finances.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the hospitality industry on the impact of VAT rates returning to 20 per cent by 2022.

The temporary reduced rate of VAT was introduced on 15 July 2020 to support the cash flow and viability of around 150,000 businesses and protect over 2.4 million jobs in the hospitality and tourism sectors. As announced at Budget 2021, the Government has extended the temporary reduced rate of VAT of 5% for the tourism and hospitality sector. This relief ended on 30 September. On 1 October 2021, a new reduced rate of 12.5% was introduced to help ease affected businesses back to the standard rate. This new rate will end on 31 March 2022.

This relief will cost over £7 billion and, while all taxes are kept under review, there are no plans to extend the 12.5% reduced rate of VAT. The Government has been clear that this relief is a temporary measure designed to support the cash flow and viability of sectors that have been severely affected by COVID-19. It is appropriate that as restrictions are lifted and demand for goods and services in these sectors increases, the temporary tax reliefs are first reduced and then removed in order to rebuild and strengthen the public finances.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect on employment in the hospitality sector when VAT is returned to 20 per cent for this sector.

The temporary reduced rate of VAT was introduced on 15 July 2020 to support the cash flow and viability of around 150,000 businesses and protect over 2.4 million jobs in the hospitality and tourism sectors. As announced at Budget 2021, the Government has extended the temporary reduced rate of VAT of 5% for the tourism and hospitality sector. This relief ended on 30 September. On 1 October 2021, a new reduced rate of 12.5% was introduced to help ease affected businesses back to the standard rate. This new rate will end on 31 March 2022.

This relief will cost over £7 billion and, while all taxes are kept under review, there are no plans to extend the 12.5% reduced rate of VAT. The Government has been clear that this relief is a temporary measure designed to support the cash flow and viability of sectors that have been severely affected by COVID-19. It is appropriate that as restrictions are lifted and demand for goods and services in these sectors increases, the temporary tax reliefs are first reduced and then removed in order to rebuild and strengthen the public finances.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps HMRC is taking against umbrella companies who advised their clients to use disguised remuneration schemes.

The Government and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are determined to continue to tackle promoters and operators of tax avoidance schemes. This includes challenging the entities, including umbrella companies, and individuals who promote disguised remuneration schemes.

Umbrella companies advising individuals to use disguised remuneration tax avoidance schemes are treated as promoters or enablers by HMRC. Where appropriate, they are subject to the range of measures laid out in HMRC’s strategy for tackling promoters of tax avoidance schemes, published on 19 March 2020. The strategy sets out HMRC’s work to date and outlines how HMRC will continue to take robust actions against promoters of tax avoidance. The Promoter Strategy is available on GOV.UK.

The Government announced new measures at Budget 2020, which will strengthen the existing regimes and which will help HMRC act more swiftly against promoters and enablers. The Government has also announced that it will consult in the spring on further measures to tackle promoters.

11th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of how many medical professionals are (a) subject to or (b) have settled to avoid being subject to the Loan Charge.

HMRC do not hold the requested estimates and do not routinely collect data on profession.

11th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate his Department has made of the number of armed forces veterans that (a) are subject to or (b) have settled to avoid being subject to the Loan Charge.

HMRC do not hold the requested estimates and do not routinely collect data on profession.

29th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to his oral contribution of 17 March 2020, Official Report, column 964, what steps he has taken to ensure that event hire companies receive the full package of financial support under covid-19 emergency measures.

The Government has announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency. Where they have business premises, event hire companies may benefit from either of the grants schemes announced on 17 March:

  • The Small Business Grant Fund, which provides eligible businesses with a £10,000 grant per property, for each property in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) or Rural Rates Relief (RRR).
  • The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, which provides eligible businesses with a £10,000 grant per property, for each property used for these purposes with a rateable value of £15,000 or less and which is not in receipt of SBRR or RRR. Businesses are also eligible for a £25,000 grant per property, for each property used for these purposes with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.

In addition to these grants, small businesses, including those in the event hire industry, may be able to benefit from the new Discretionary Grant Fund announced by the Government on 1 May. Government has provided up to an additional £617m for Local Authorities in England to enable them to make grants payments to businesses which are facing high fixed property-related costs, but have been excluded from the existing grants schemes because of the way they are treated by the business rates system. Local Authorities are responsible for defining precise eligibility for these funds, and businesses will need to apply to their Local Authority in order to receive grants. Businesses which think they may be eligible for a discretionary grant should contact their Local Authority.

Businesses not eligible for these grant schemes have access to other support measures the Government has introduced, including:

  • The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)
  • The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBL) for SMEs
  • VAT deferral for up to 12 months
  • The Time To Pay scheme, through which businesses and self-employed individuals in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, can receive support with their tax affairs
  • Protection for commercial leaseholders against automatic forfeiture for non-payment until June 30, 2020

The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply - https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
29th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of furloughed employees of small owner limited companies due to the covid-19 outbreak.

Applications for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) opened on Monday 20th April.

This is a new scheme and HMRC are currently working through the analysis they will be able to provide based on the data available. HMRC will make the timescales for publication and the types of data available in due course.

29th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of sole traders who made average profits of between (a) £50,001 and £60,000, (b) £60,001 and £70,000, (c) £70,001 and £80,000 and (d) over £80,000 in the UK over the last three years.

HMRC have examined their data systems and because of the way the data is held, they cannot construct an average of sole trader profits over several years for such a large group within the resource constraints for a Parliamentary Question.

HMRC are using Self-Assessment data to identify those eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), and aim to contact those eligible by mid-May 2020.

Eligibility for the SEISS is based on average trading profits for sole traders and income from partnerships. More information on the eligibility criteria can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-a-grant-through-the-coronavirus-covid-19-self-employment-income-support-scheme.

Those with average profits above £50,000 are not eligible for SEISS but could still benefit from other support. The SEISS supplements the significant support already announced for UK businesses, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the deferral of tax payments. More information about the full range of business support measures is available at www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/

16th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policy on public sector off-payroll reforms of locum health workers responding to covid-19.

In April 2017, the Government changed the off-payroll working rules for those working in the public sector, shifting responsibility for determining employment status from the worker’s own limited company to the organisation they work for. These existing rules continue to apply.

On 17 March 2020, the Government announced that the reform to the off-payroll working rules that would have applied for people contracting their services to large or medium-sized organisations outside the public sector, as well as engagers in the public sector, will be delayed for one year from 6 April 2020 until 6 April 2021.

This is part of the additional support for businesses and individuals to deal with the economic impacts of COVID-19. This means that the different rules that exist for inside and outside the public sector will continue to apply until 6 April 2021.

The Government remains committed to this policy to ensure that people working like employees, but through their own limited company, pay broadly the same tax as individuals who are employed directly.

7th Jan 2020
What the timeframe is for the review of HMRC's IR35 Tax Regulations.

The Government has announced today further details about the review of the off-payroll working rules reform. As set out at Budget 2018, the reform is due to be extended to all sectors from April 2020. The review will address any remaining concerns from businesses and individuals about how the upcoming reform will be implemented, and will focus on steps the Government can take to ensure smooth and successful implementation. The self-employed are not in scope of the rules; and the review will consider whether any additional support for businesses is needed to ensure that the self-employed are not affected.

5th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to tackle rural crime.

We are committed to driving down rural crime, which is why the Government is providing funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit.

We have also added new measures to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act which introduce tougher sentencing and improved police powers for hare coursing, including two new criminal offences and the possibility of imprisonment.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the personal protective equipment provided to police community support offices in protecting them from physical attack.

Police Community Support Officers play an important role in policing our communities. Any assaults on our police are completely unacceptable and they should have the most appropriate protection when facing the physical violence that is sometimes directed against them.

The Government’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory helps to develop and manage protective equipment standards, such as body armour, so that our police officers and staff are better protected.

.

16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to introduce new personal protective equipment for police community support officers to help protect them from physical attack.

Police Community Support Officers play an important role in policing our communities. Any assaults on our police are completely unacceptable and they should have the most appropriate protection when facing the physical violence that is sometimes directed against them.

The Government’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory helps to develop and manage protective equipment standards, such as body armour, so that our police officers and staff are better protected.

.

12th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to help develop innovative defence technology.

The Ministry of Defence works closely with UK industry and academia, including Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, to identify and invest in innovative technologies that address our most pressing capability challenges as well as publishing our future priorities to incentivise investment. We are transforming processes to drive this at pace. We are already testing and deploying these technologies.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what recent estimate he has made of the acreage of farm land used for (a) housing development, (b) commercial development, (c) solar panels and (d) battery storage in each of the last five years.

Figures for 2019 onwards are derived using a revised methodology and are expressed as three-year totals. They are not directly comparable with figures for earlier years. Accordingly, the available information for the last three years for which figures are available for (a) and (b) is set out in the table below. Separate figures for (c) and (d) are not available.

Amount of land changing use (acres) (a)

Period (b)

Change of use:

Agriculture to residential

Agriculture to Industry and commerce

2019 to 2022 (c)

9,854

3,168

Source: DLUHC Land use change - hectarage statistics, (part of) Live Table P361 at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/land-use-change-hectarage-2019-to-2022

Notes:

(a) Figures are published in hectares and have been converted into acres for this table.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether it is the policy of the Planning Inspectorate Service to seek to discourage challenges by planning authorities against planning appeal decisions by the threat of incurring costs; and on how many occasions this occurred in the last ten years.

Guidance on the award of costs in planning appeals is published here.

The Planning Inspectorate uses that guidance to support its decisions on costs awards, which can apply to any main party in the appeal if they behave unreasonably.

Parties in planning appeals and other planning proceedings normally meet their own expenses, but the costs regime exists in legislation to discourage unreasonable behaviour during the appeals process.

The Planning Inspectorate approaches all its decisions and recommendations openly, fairly and impartially, as expected of Tribunals.

In judicial review proceedings and court challenges it is common practice for the winning party to seek to recover their costs from the losing party - whether they are successful in doing so is a matter for the Judge. The Inspectorate does not systematically collect store data on the number of times costs are incurred.

6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what proportion of planning authority judicial review challenges to appeal decisions incur the award of costs against them.

Guidance on the award of costs in planning appeals is published here.

The Planning Inspectorate uses that guidance to support its decisions on costs awards, which can apply to any main party in the appeal if they behave unreasonably.

Parties in planning appeals and other planning proceedings normally meet their own expenses, but the costs regime exists in legislation to discourage unreasonable behaviour during the appeals process.

The Planning Inspectorate approaches all its decisions and recommendations openly, fairly and impartially, as expected of Tribunals.

In judicial review proceedings and court challenges it is common practice for the winning party to seek to recover their costs from the losing party - whether they are successful in doing so is a matter for the Judge. The Inspectorate does not systematically collect store data on the number of times costs are incurred.

24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of Buckinghamshire Council's bid for a county deal.

Officials met with all areas that expressed an interest in a County Deal over the summer to discuss their proposals.

We will set out further information on County Deals in the Levelling Up White Paper and officials will be in touch with Buckinghamshire Council – and all other areas that expressed interest – to outline the next steps after it is published.

11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect of the construction of (a) HS2, (b) East West Rail and (c) other national infrastructure projects on the resources of parish and town councils who cover areas affect by those projects.

Nationally significant infrastructure projects are defined by thresholds in the Planning Act 2008. Decisions on nationally significant infrastructure projects are for the relevant Secretary of State following examination of those proposals by the Planning Inspectorate, in which all relevant issues, which can include effects of construction, are considered. Decisions on transport nationally significant infrastructure projects are for the Secretary of State for Transport.

For nationally significant infrastructure projects, relevant parish councils are statutory consultees and can raise their views, including on implications of construction, before the proposed project is submitted to the Planning Inspectorate for consideration and during its subsequent examination.

Construction of phase 1 and phase 2a of HS2 was authorised through Hybrid Bills where Royal Assent was granted on 23 February 2017 and 11 February 2021 respectively. A Transport and Works Act Order for the Bicester to Bletchley section of East-West Rail was made by the Secretary of State for Transport on 29 January 2020 and came into force on 25 February 2020.

23rd Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2022 to Question 125503 on Prisons: Energy Supply, what is the total cost of works already started and fully committed to by (a) UK Power Networks and (b) other electrical supply contractors to install additional power to the (i) HMP Grendon and (ii) HMP Springhill site areas; and how much and what proportion of that existing cost is for use by (A) existing prisons and (B) planned prisons which do not have planning permission.

The total cost of necessary power upgrades has not been finalised. This is because the final cost is dependent on the route taken, which is subject to the relevant Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) securing the necessary consents and wayleaves and any stipulations made by the Local Authority in relation to works.

Works already started are to support a necessary uplift in energy capacity at the existing prison (HMP Springhill) only. The existing power demand at HMP Springhill is already currently over capacity, therefore that site requires a power upgrade irrespective of the proposed expansion. No works already started relate to the proposed new prison currently undergoing planning.

The total commitment to date to UK Power Networks for this upgrade is £840,000 (including VAT).

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
17th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of works with (a) UK Power Networks and (b) other electrical supply contractors to install additional power to the (i) HMP Grendon and (ii) HMP Springhill site area; and how much and what proportion of that cost is for use by (A) existing prisons and (B) planned prisons which do not have planning permission.

Negotiations are ongoing with UK Power Network and Western Power Distribution; any estimates are commercially sensitive, and their release would risk prejudicing our negotiating position.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many times (a) the Police and (b) other enforcement services were called out to deal with incidents at HMP Berwyn in (i) 2017, (ii) 2018, (iii) 2019 and (iv) 2020.

In line with policy at HMP Berwyn, when a medical emergency procedure is activated it is standard response for the communications room to call for an ambulance. This is in partnership with the prison’s healthcare providers – Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Welsh Ambulance Service Trust. HMPPS does not hold information about the number of times the ambulance service has been called to attend the prison as the information is held by the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust.

HMP Berwyn works closely with colleagues in the police and have a dedicated police team on site to support with incidents where required. Information about the number of times the police and other enforcement services have been called to attend HMP Berwyn is held by the police.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many times the Ambulance Service was called out to deal with incidents at HMP Berwyn in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019 and (d) 2020.

In line with policy at HMP Berwyn, when a medical emergency procedure is activated it is standard response for the communications room to call for an ambulance. This is in partnership with the prison’s healthcare providers – Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Welsh Ambulance Service Trust. HMPPS does not hold information about the number of times the ambulance service has been called to attend the prison as the information is held by the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust.

HMP Berwyn works closely with colleagues in the police and have a dedicated police team on site to support with incidents where required. Information about the number of times the police and other enforcement services have been called to attend HMP Berwyn is held by the police.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many staff, not directly employed by the prison, were employed at HMP Berwyn by the end of each year for (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019 and (d) 2020; and whether he plans for that number to increase over the next three years.

HMPPS does not hold information about the number of non-directly employed staff who work at HMP Berwyn. This information is held by the individual service providers or supplier and each would have their own plans for potential future recruitment.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number directly employed permanent jobs that will be created at each of the new Five Wells and Glen Parva prisons; and how many of those jobs have been filled to date.

The total number of pre-constructed concrete sections delivered to Glen Parva to 21 July 2021 is 5,951. Delivery has been variable between the first delivery which took place on 26 January 2021 and the latest update. This averages out at 234 panels per week. The deliveries to the site are still ongoing.

HMP Five Wells has incorporated 15,183 pre-constructed concrete panels during the installation period between September 2019 to September 2020, averaging out at 290 panels a week. The reason for the variance between the number of panels delivered to each site is due to the difference in delivery stage between the projects. HMP Five Wells has fully completed its pre-cast concrete installation at the point of reporting whereas Glen Parva is still ramping up installation process as of 29 April 2021.

We estimate that there will be around 600-700 permanent jobs created at both HMP Five Wells & Glen Parva once they are open. We will not have a final number of jobs created until these prions are open. An operator has not yet been appointed for Glen Parva and the Department does not currently collect granular workforce data from private prison providers, which includes HMP Five Wells. To publish this data or require the provider to do so would require significant changes to the contracts of all private prison providers and we currently have no plans to do this.

We have interpreted ‘indirectly employed jobs’ as those not employed by the prison operators but indirectly via contractors or part of the supply chain for prison operation. We do not hold this information.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many pre-constructed concrete sections per week have been delivered to the (a) Five Wells and (b) Glen Parva sites from the commencement of construction to date; and over what time period those deliveries took place.

The total number of pre-constructed concrete sections delivered to Glen Parva to 21 July 2021 is 5,951. Delivery has been variable between the first delivery which took place on 26 January 2021 and the latest update. This averages out at 234 panels per week. The deliveries to the site are still ongoing.

HMP Five Wells has incorporated 15,183 pre-constructed concrete panels during the installation period between September 2019 to September 2020, averaging out at 290 panels a week. The reason for the variance between the number of panels delivered to each site is due to the difference in delivery stage between the projects. HMP Five Wells has fully completed its pre-cast concrete installation at the point of reporting whereas Glen Parva is still ramping up installation process as of 29 April 2021.

We estimate that there will be around 600-700 permanent jobs created at both HMP Five Wells & Glen Parva once they are open. We will not have a final number of jobs created until these prions are open. An operator has not yet been appointed for Glen Parva and the Department does not currently collect granular workforce data from private prison providers, which includes HMP Five Wells. To publish this data or require the provider to do so would require significant changes to the contracts of all private prison providers and we currently have no plans to do this.

We have interpreted ‘indirectly employed jobs’ as those not employed by the prison operators but indirectly via contractors or part of the supply chain for prison operation. We do not hold this information.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what information his Department holds on the average daily distance travelled by prison officers and staff working at HMP Springhill and HMP Grendon from their home to place of work.

The information requested is not held and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoner visitors there were at HMP Berwyn in (a) 2017, (b) 2018, (c) 2019 and (d) 2020.

The number of individuals listed to attend HMP Berwyn for social visits in each of the years requested is provided below. Please note that these numbers will include visitors who attended on multiple occasions and those who cancelled or did not attend on the day.

Year

Number of Listed Visitors

2017

6,494

2018

12,564

2019

15,512

2020

7,406

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish details of how Government-owned land that is not owned by his Department has been (a) identified and (b) subsequently discounted as an alternative prison site to the one at Grendon Underwood; and on what basis sites were discounted.

The information requested for both questions is commercially sensitive and would therefore not be appropriate for us to share.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish details of any prison site selection assessments that have been carried out and since discounted for alternative sites to the one at Grendon Underwood.

The information requested for both questions is commercially sensitive and would therefore not be appropriate for us to share.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many contractors have been on site per week at the (a) Five Wells site and (b) Glen Parva site from the beginning of construction to date.

At HMP Five Wells, starting in May 2019, the workforce on the site averaged around 100 people per day throughout the working week. The workforce built up over time and peaked in November 2020 with approximately 1,000 people per day for a two-month period. Currently the site is running with approximately 750 people per day during the working week.

At Glen Parva, construction began in August 2020 with around 30 people per day on site. This has steadily risen as activity increases on site, with a number of dips such as over the Christmas period. Currently, there are approximately 470 people on site each day.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many (a) car and (b) light vehicle movements per week there have been at the (i) Five Wells site and (ii) Glen Parva site from the beginning of construction to date.

At HMP Five Wells car and van movements (entering and leaving site) started in May 2019 at around 100 vehicles per week and increased to around 3,500 vehicles per week at peak in October 2020. The site is currently (in July 2021) running at around 2,500 vehicles per week.

At Glen Parva, car and light vehicle movements are not tracked specifically – deliveries to site are tracked but this includes heavier vehicles and excludes operatives arriving by car. It is therefore not possible to provide data on the number of car and light vehicle movements at the site.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many HGV movements there have been at the (a) Five Wells site and (b) Glen Parvaper site from the beginning of construction to date.

Deliveries commenced at HMP Five Wells in May 2019, however it is not possible to distinguish between HGV deliveries and non-HGV deliveries from the data available. Deliveries commenced at Glen Parva in January 2021. Between January 2021 and the end of June 2021, 8916 HGVs made deliveries to the site. All main contractors provide a traffic management plan which is shared with sub-contractors. This helps to manage the impact of construction traffic on the surrounding community.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish a definition of the catchment area within the South East from which his Department has collected statistics that prove an anticipated demand for prison places that will be satisfied by the proposed expanded facility at Edgcott, including full statistics used.

We currently define the South East region to be the region of England including London and surrounding counties, namely Hampshire and Isle of Wight, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Kent, Surrey and East and West Sussex.

Projected demand for new prison places at both a national and local level is one of a range of factors that are taken into account when considering proposed sites for new prisons. Other considerations and constraints include closeness to home to facilitate resettlement back into the community, delivering value for money for the taxpayer (including in relation to the costs of both purchasing and developing new sites), the availability of land, and the ability to build on that land.

In terms of demand for prison places, internal estimates indicate that by April 2027, when the proposed prison near Edgcott will be fully operational, areas within the South East region will have both surpluses and deficits in Category C Resettlement places, including a deficit of places in London.

As a national service, HMPPS uses individual prisons’ capacity to meet national and wider geographical demand. Internal modelling has indicated that, if the MoJ did nothing to expand the existing estate save for new prisons already under construction, demand for Resettlement Category C places could outstrip capacity by c. 4,000, nationally, in April 2027.

The proposed new prison will hold men for whom it is the nearest available Category C Resettlement prison place to their home area (subject to any other relevant constraints) providing the opportunity to maintain or re-establish family and community ties. Thus the proposed new prison near Edgcott is also critical in managing estimated deficits for Category C Resettlement prison places in the adjacent south west region.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish the map referred to in Buckinghamshire Council’s summary note of the meeting with Ministry of Justice officials dated 8 October 2020 relating to proposals for a new prison adjacent to HMP Grendon and HMP Springhill, showing a temporary construction access off Lawn House Lane.

The MoJ did not meet with Buckinghamshire Council on 8 October 2020.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish copies of the (a) Heritage Advisory Report of September 2020, (b) Ecological Assessment by Tyler Grange dated Feb 2019 and (c) Atkins Transport Assessment of September 2020 referred to in the pre-planning discussions with Buckinghamshire Council, disclosed in response to freedom of information requests in relation to proposals for a new prison adjacent to HMP Grendon and HMP Springhill.

The Ministry of Justice submitted a planning application to Buckinghamshire Council for a new prison at Grendon Springhill on 21 June 2021. The Heritage, Ecology and Transport Assessments have been updated to reflect the revised scheme and have been submitted with the outline planning application. They will be made public in due course via the Buckinghamshire Council planning portal.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department has taken to determine the life carbon footprint of the (a) Five Wells and (b) Glen Parva prisons; how that footprint will be measured; and how frequently his Department plans to publish data on that footprint.

For both Five Wells and Glen Parva prisons, we have used industry best practice and existing prison benchmarks to forecast their operational carbon footprints. The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) has also been adopted to encourage low carbon building designs and low embodied carbon construction materials.

The operational carbon emissions of the prisons will be measured in line with Greening Government Commitment requirements. Once the prisons are operational this information will be regularly collated, along with data from all MoJ prisons, and our greenhouse gas emissions performance will be published annually.

Looking ahead to our next four prisons, their whole life carbon footprint will be measured by adopting the PAS2080 Carbon Management in Infrastructure verification scheme.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish the evidential basis for his Department's assessment that a 10 per cent net gain in biodiversity will be achieved by the development of a new prison adjacent to HMP Grendon and HMP Springhill.

The MOJ submitted an application for outline planning permission to Buckinghamshire Council, the local planning authority, on the 21st June. The Biodiversity Net Gain assessment methodology, supporting calculations and plans have been submitted as part of the application for the development.

The full details of our biodiversity plans will therefore be available to view, as part of our applications suite of documents, in due course via Buckinghamshire Council’s planning portal.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the effect of the presence of contractors for the building of the (a) Five Wells and (b) Glen Parva sites on the availability of parking nearby.

At both the HMP Five Wells and Glen Parva construction sites all vehicles must be parked within the work area site boundary using the temporary car park areas provided. Contractors are not permitted to use the streets or roads surrounding either site for parking.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how much and what proportion of the increased cost of £116 million in the build for the new prison at Glen Parva is as a result of (a) inflation and (b) additional ground works; what additional works were required to be carried out; and for what reason the additional work was not identified when initial feasibility works and surveying and engineering assessment works were carried out.

The initial cost estimate for the previous Glen Parva project was based on an earlier design and reflected different assumptions than the current project; it was not a contract price and is therefore not directly comparable to the contract price for the current project. The previous project was part of a programme of six new prisons within the Prison Estate Transformation Programme. After that programme was reduced in scope in 2019, the project moved to being delivered on a standalone basis.

The project is currently delivering on time and on budget. The current budget reflects cost changes since the previous scheme and moving from an initial cost estimate to a contract price. Inflation has resulted in a £12m cost increase and, as initial cost estimates were carried out prior to detailed site surveys, site conditions have resulted in an increase of £8m. Other factors contributing to the increased cost include diseconomies of scale, changes in the construction market, and changes in scope and design to support the sustainability agenda, and to drive better outcomes and value for the taxpayer.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what mitigation funding the Government has made available for the (a) Five Wells and (b) Glen Parva sites; and what has this money been spent on.

We are unable to disclose information regarding mitigation funding and expenditure on either the Five Wells or Glen Parva sites as this is commercially sensitive information.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many apprenticeships have been created for local residents living within a 25 mile radius of the (a) Five Wells site and (b) Glen Parva site; how long into the construction phase were those apprenticeships created; and how many of those apprenticeships have been filled by ex-offenders.

As of May 2021, HMP Five Wells has employed 58 apprentices. It is estimated that over 50% of these were people living within a 25 mile radius of the site. None of these self-declared as ex-offenders.

As of May 2021, Glen Parva has employed 4 apprentices, 50% (2) of these were people living within a 25 mile radius of the site. None of these self-declared as ex-offenders.

The total number of apprenticeships that have been created throughout the pre-construction and construction phases, are set out below. Please note that if a request is made for information and the total figure amounts to five people or fewer, the MoJ must consider whether this could lead to the identification of individuals and whether disclosure of this information would be in breach of our statutory obligations. For this reason, ≤5 is used as a replacement value from which it would be difficult to isolate or extract any individual data in this instance.

Apprenticeships created at HMP Five Wells

*Prior to May-19 during pre construction phase

13

May-19 (construction start)

Less than 5

Jun-19

Less than 5

Jul-19

Aug-19

Less than 5

Sep-19

Less than 5

Oct-19

Less than 5

Nov-19

Less than 5

Dec-19

Jan-20

Less than 5

Feb-20

Mar-20

5

Apr-20

May-20

Less than 5

Jun-20

Less than 5

Jul-20

7

Aug-20

Less than 5

Sep-20

6

Oct-20

5

Nov-20

Dec-20

Jan-21

Feb-21

Less than 5

Mar-21

Less than 5

Apr-21

Less than 5

May-21

Total

58

Apprenticeships created at Glen Parva

Sep-20

2

Oct-20

Nov-20

Dec-20

Jan-21

Feb-21

2

Mar-21

Apr-21

May-21

Total

4

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many full time jobs have been created for local residents living within a 25 mile radius of (a) Five Wells site and (b) Glen Parva site; how long into the construction phase were those jobs created; and how many of those jobs have been filled by ex-offenders.

As of May 2021, at HMP Five Wells 81 jobs were held by those living within a 25 mile radius, representing 37% of the newly created jobs. As of May 2021, at Glen Parva 37 jobs were held by those living within a 25 mile radius, representing 32% of the newly created jobs.

The table below shows job creation month on month since beginning of construction at each site. Please note that if a request is made for information and the total figure amounts to five people or fewer, the MoJ must consider whether this could lead to the identification of individuals and whether disclosure of this information would be in breach of our statutory obligations. For this reason, ≤5 is used as a replacement value from which it would be difficult to isolate or extract any individual data in this instance.

Jobs created at HMP Five Wells

May-19

7

Jun-19

21

Jul-19

0

Aug-19

0

Sep-19

≤5

Oct-19

≤5

Nov-19

≤5

Dec-19

≤5

Jan-20

12

Feb-20

12

Mar-20

0

Apr-20

≤5

May-20

≤5

Jun-20

≤5

Jul-20

31

Aug-20

≤5

Sep-20

46

Oct-20

15

Nov-20

41

Dec-20

0

Jan-21

7

Feb-21

≤5

Mar-21

≤5

Apr-21

0

May-21

8

Total

221

Jobs created at Glen Parva

Aug-20

≤5

Sep-20

13

Oct-20

5

Nov-20

7

Dec-20

10

Jan-21

38

Feb-21

14

Mar-21

7

Apr-21

9

May-21

12

Total

116

At HMP Five Wells, as of May 2021, 26 roles were filled by ex-offenders or prisoners released on temporary licence, representing 12% of the new jobs created.

At Glen Parva, as of May 2021, 31 roles were filled by ex-offenders or prisoners released on temporary license, representing 27% of the new jobs created.

By the end of the construction programme for both sites, 25% of the new job creation target during the construction phase is targeted to be filled by ex-offenders or prisoners released on temporary licence. However, this is reliant on job-holders and contractors self-declaring any convictions.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
1st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish a list of all land owned by the Ministry of Justice in the South East of England.

Information regarding land owned by the Ministry of Justice (including location and tenure) is available via the Government’s Property and Land asset database, e-PIMS, which can be accessed via the following link:

http//data.gov.uk/dataset/c186e17f-654d-4134-aed7-b3f13469546a/central-government-welsh-ministers-and-local-government-including-property-and-land

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
5th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many sites for new prison developments are currently being considered by his Department; how many developments are being prepared for public consultation; and how many of those proposed developments are in the public consultation phase.

The Ministry of Justice is currently considering a number of sites for potential new prison developments, delivering a mix of places based on population type and category.

We have received outline planning permission for one site, adjacent to the existing prison at HMP Full Sutton, and we are preparing for pre-planning public consultation for another two.

There are no further sites currently undergoing public consultation. The pre-planning public consultation phase for our proposed new prison on land adjacent to HMP Grendon/Springhill formally started on 2 December 2020 and concluded on 29 January 2021. This was extended to accept any feedback received by email until 18:00 on Friday 5 February 2021, to ensure that all constituents had the opportunity to do so.

Potential new prison sites will be made public should they progress to pre-planning public consultation or if we make a public announcement. However, they are currently exempt from disclosure due to commercial sensitivities and to protect the development/formulation of government policy.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
5th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what proportion of (a) staff and (b) visitors at (i) HMP Grendon and (ii) HMP Springhill arrive by public transport.

The information requested is not held.

There is a bus service supporting the local area which can be used by both staff and visitors, however, the majority arrive by private car or taxi. The nearest train station to the prison is Bicester which is approximately 15-20 minutes away by taxi. The prison has the facility to use its own transport to do pick-ups, however, demand for this is currently low.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
5th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what information his Department holds on the average distance travelled by prison officers and staff from their home to place of work.

The information requested could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
5th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners serving sentences in each prison across the prison estate were resident in Buckinghamshire prior to their sentencing.

As at 31 December 2020 (latest data available), there were 7 prisoners held across HMPs Grendon and Springhill* who had a recorded home address in a Buckinghamshire local authority area.

As at 31 December, there were 371 sentenced male and female prisoners aged 18 and over held in other prisons and young offender institutions in England and Wales who had a recorded home address in a Buckinghamshire local authority area. However, most of these individuals were not suitable to be held in either Grendon or Springhill due to their security category, their time left to serve, their individual resettlement needs or their specific offending behaviour requirements, which are best provided at other prisons.

Grendon and Springhill are both designated as national resources and can, at any time, reasonably expect to hold prisoners from across England and Wales. In the case of Grendon, this is because of the unique suite of interventions that they provide. In the case of Springhill, this is because there is not an even geographical spread of Open Prisons and, therefore, they are all designated as national resources. This means that, although every effort is made to ensure that most prisoners are in the closest Open Prison to their release address, this is not always in their home county.

There are complex and wide-ranging issues involved in transferring and locating prisoners, and allocation decisions must reflect both the specific needs and circumstances of the prisoner, including their security category, as well as the operating environment and range of services at the receiving prison.

HMPPS is committed to ensuring, where practicable, that prisoners are accommodated as close as possible to their resettlement communities and families. Whilst this is a priority, it is not always possible due to a variety of factors including wider population pressures, or where individuals have specific sentence planning needs which can only be met at certain establishments.

* If a request is made for information and the total figure amounts to five people or fewer, the MoJ must consider whether this could lead to the identification of individuals and whether disclosure of this information would be in breach of our statutory obligations under the Data Protection Act 2018. For this reason, the MoJ has chosen not to provide an exact figure where the true number falls between one and five. The figures for HMP Grendon and HMP Springhill have therefore been presented as a composite and breakdowns by individual prison have not been provided.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
5th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many prisoners held in (a) HMP Springhill and (b) HMP Grendon were resident in each postcode area of Buckinghamshire prior to their sentencing.

As at 31 December 2020 (latest data available), there were 7 prisoners held across HMPs Grendon and Springhill* who had a recorded home address in a Buckinghamshire local authority area.

As at 31 December, there were 371 sentenced male and female prisoners aged 18 and over held in other prisons and young offender institutions in England and Wales who had a recorded home address in a Buckinghamshire local authority area. However, most of these individuals were not suitable to be held in either Grendon or Springhill due to their security category, their time left to serve, their individual resettlement needs or their specific offending behaviour requirements, which are best provided at other prisons.

Grendon and Springhill are both designated as national resources and can, at any time, reasonably expect to hold prisoners from across England and Wales. In the case of Grendon, this is because of the unique suite of interventions that they provide. In the case of Springhill, this is because there is not an even geographical spread of Open Prisons and, therefore, they are all designated as national resources. This means that, although every effort is made to ensure that most prisoners are in the closest Open Prison to their release address, this is not always in their home county.

There are complex and wide-ranging issues involved in transferring and locating prisoners, and allocation decisions must reflect both the specific needs and circumstances of the prisoner, including their security category, as well as the operating environment and range of services at the receiving prison.

HMPPS is committed to ensuring, where practicable, that prisoners are accommodated as close as possible to their resettlement communities and families. Whilst this is a priority, it is not always possible due to a variety of factors including wider population pressures, or where individuals have specific sentence planning needs which can only be met at certain establishments.

* If a request is made for information and the total figure amounts to five people or fewer, the MoJ must consider whether this could lead to the identification of individuals and whether disclosure of this information would be in breach of our statutory obligations under the Data Protection Act 2018. For this reason, the MoJ has chosen not to provide an exact figure where the true number falls between one and five. The figures for HMP Grendon and HMP Springhill have therefore been presented as a composite and breakdowns by individual prison have not been provided.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will list the Government-owned land that was considered for new prison buildings prior to the identification of the site of HMP Grendon and HMP Springhill for consultation on a new 1,400 capacity prison.

The Ministry of Justice considered land that it owns and sought information from other major land-owning government departments for details on land potentially suitable for a new prison site. An external search of suitable privately-owned land was also conducted. Following this exercise, land that was suitable and available was considered by the MoJ for use. The land available adjacent to HMP Grendon and HMP Springhill meets the relevant criteria, and is already owned by the MoJ and therefore was shortlisted as potentially suitable for a new prison build. The remaining list of shortlisted sites cannot be published because this is commercially sensitive information which, if shared, may undermine our ability to deliver.

The land adjacent to HMP Bullingdon was not put forward by any other government department as a potential site that met our criteria and was available for use.

Surveys have been carried out to determine whether the construction of a new prison is practical at the Grendon and Springhill site and they concluded that it is. Should a planning application be pursued here, the details of these works will be submitted to the local planning authority for review. At this point they will also be made available to the public via the planning portal.

We considered brownfield sites in England and Wales as part of the site selection process, but are unable to disclose a list as this is commercially sensitive information and may hinder future development requirements, as we deliver on our commitment for 18,000 additional prison places.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment his Department made of the potential merits of the land adjacent to HMP Bullingdon prior to selecting the land adjacent to HMP Grendon and HMP Springhill for consultation on a new 1,400 capacity prison.

The Ministry of Justice considered land that it owns and sought information from other major land-owning government departments for details on land potentially suitable for a new prison site. An external search of suitable privately-owned land was also conducted. Following this exercise, land that was suitable and available was considered by the MoJ for use. The land available adjacent to HMP Grendon and HMP Springhill meets the relevant criteria, and is already owned by the MoJ and therefore was shortlisted as potentially suitable for a new prison build. The remaining list of shortlisted sites cannot be published because this is commercially sensitive information which, if shared, may undermine our ability to deliver.

The land adjacent to HMP Bullingdon was not put forward by any other government department as a potential site that met our criteria and was available for use.

Surveys have been carried out to determine whether the construction of a new prison is practical at the Grendon and Springhill site and they concluded that it is. Should a planning application be pursued here, the details of these works will be submitted to the local planning authority for review. At this point they will also be made available to the public via the planning portal.

We considered brownfield sites in England and Wales as part of the site selection process, but are unable to disclose a list as this is commercially sensitive information and may hinder future development requirements, as we deliver on our commitment for 18,000 additional prison places.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will publish the assessment his Department made which led to the consultation on a new 1,400 capacity prison on land adjacent to HMP Grendon and HMP Springhill.

The Ministry of Justice considered land that it owns and sought information from other major land-owning government departments for details on land potentially suitable for a new prison site. An external search of suitable privately-owned land was also conducted. Following this exercise, land that was suitable and available was considered by the MoJ for use. The land available adjacent to HMP Grendon and HMP Springhill meets the relevant criteria, and is already owned by the MoJ and therefore was shortlisted as potentially suitable for a new prison build. The remaining list of shortlisted sites cannot be published because this is commercially sensitive information which, if shared, may undermine our ability to deliver.

The land adjacent to HMP Bullingdon was not put forward by any other government department as a potential site that met our criteria and was available for use.

Surveys have been carried out to determine whether the construction of a new prison is practical at the Grendon and Springhill site and they concluded that it is. Should a planning application be pursued here, the details of these works will be submitted to the local planning authority for review. At this point they will also be made available to the public via the planning portal.

We considered brownfield sites in England and Wales as part of the site selection process, but are unable to disclose a list as this is commercially sensitive information and may hinder future development requirements, as we deliver on our commitment for 18,000 additional prison places.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will list the brownfield sites that have been assessed for new prison development in the UK in the last three years.

The Ministry of Justice considered land that it owns and sought information from other major land-owning government departments for details on land potentially suitable for a new prison site. An external search of suitable privately-owned land was also conducted. Following this exercise, land that was suitable and available was considered by the MoJ for use. The land available adjacent to HMP Grendon and HMP Springhill meets the relevant criteria, and is already owned by the MoJ and therefore was shortlisted as potentially suitable for a new prison build. The remaining list of shortlisted sites cannot be published because this is commercially sensitive information which, if shared, may undermine our ability to deliver.

The land adjacent to HMP Bullingdon was not put forward by any other government department as a potential site that met our criteria and was available for use.

Surveys have been carried out to determine whether the construction of a new prison is practical at the Grendon and Springhill site and they concluded that it is. Should a planning application be pursued here, the details of these works will be submitted to the local planning authority for review. At this point they will also be made available to the public via the planning portal.

We considered brownfield sites in England and Wales as part of the site selection process, but are unable to disclose a list as this is commercially sensitive information and may hinder future development requirements, as we deliver on our commitment for 18,000 additional prison places.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
14th Jul 2020
What discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on support for victims of domestic abuse in preparing for trials.

I would like to pay tribute to Independent Domestic Violence Advisors, they are a valuable source of support to victims of domestic abuse particularly as they prepare to give evidence at a court hearing.

Courts also have a role to play in ensuring that victims of domestic abuse have access to special measures such as screens that allow the witness to give evidence without being seen by the defendant.

We have been working across government to introduce the Domestic Abuse Bill which will enhance the safety of victims and the support that they receive.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
22nd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will take steps to support a bid for a round of the World Rally Championship series to be hosted in Northern Ireland in 2024.

Northern Ireland is a fantastic place to host international events, but tourism is devolved in Northern Ireland and therefore this is not something within the control of the Northern Ireland Office.

Steve Baker
Minister of State (Northern Ireland Office)