James Cartlidge Portrait

James Cartlidge

Conservative - South Suffolk

First elected: 7th May 2015

Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)

(since April 2023)

Public Accounts Committee
15th Nov 2022 - 6th Jun 2023
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Oct 2022 - 21st Apr 2023
Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill
12th Oct 2022 - 20th Oct 2022
Assistant Whip
19th Sep 2021 - 7th Jul 2022
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
19th Sep 2021 - 7th Jul 2022
Judicial Review and Courts Bill
27th Oct 2021 - 23rd Nov 2021
Work and Pensions Committee
31st Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Public Accounts Commission
4th Nov 2015 - 3rd May 2017


Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, James Cartlidge has voted in 872 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All James Cartlidge 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
Alex Cunningham (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Justice)
(59 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(52 debate interactions)
Andy Slaughter (Labour)
(52 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
HM Treasury
(294 debate contributions)
Ministry of Defence
(256 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(92 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(51 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Judicial Review and Courts Act 2022
(41,976 words contributed)
Finance (No. 2) Act 2023
(6,164 words contributed)
Finance Act 2023
(3,318 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all James Cartlidge's debates

South Suffolk 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

The Government should bring forward legislation to allow assisted dying for adults who are terminally ill and have mental capacity. It should be permitted subject to strict upfront safeguards, assessed by two doctors independently, and self-administered by the dying person.

Matthew was taken to, ‘a place of safety’, and died 7 days later.
24 others died by the same means, dating back to the year 2000. An indicator that little was done to address the growing problems.
Something went terribly wrong with the NHS Mental Health Services provided to my son.


Latest EDMs signed by James Cartlidge

24th May 2016
James Cartlidge signed this EDM on Thursday 26th May 2016

VICTIMS OF IRA LIBYAN SEMTEX

Tabled by: Andrew Rosindell (Conservative - Romford)
That this House believes that it is the first duty of government to protect and promote the interest and well-being of its citizens, and therefore records its dismay at the failure of successive UK administrations to protect and promote the interests of the innocent victims of IRA/Libyan Semtex, their dependents …
17 signatures
(Most recent: 13 Jun 2016)
Signatures by party:
Democratic Unionist Party: 6
Conservative: 5
Ulster Unionist Party: 2
Labour: 2
Independent: 1
Non-affiliated: 1
View All James Cartlidge's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by James Cartlidge, 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.


James Cartlidge has not been granted any Urgent Questions

2 Adjournment Debates led by James Cartlidge

1 Bill introduced by James Cartlidge


A Bill to make provision for the imposing of restrictions on assets owned by persons involved in supplying terrorist organisations in the United Kingdom with arms, for the purpose of securing compensation for citizens of the United Kingdom affected by the supply of such arms.

Lords Completed
Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 30th November 2016

Latest 32 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
27th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 6 September 2022 to Question 40864 on National Grid: Scotland and to Answer of 6 June 2022 to Question 6661 on Electric Cables: Seas and Oceans, for what reason the Government was able to provide the financial cost of the proposed Sealink 1 undersea electrical cable from Sizewell to Kent but not in a position to provide a cost of delivering the Eastern High Voltage Direct Current Link scheme; and if he will make a statement.

The Eastern High Voltage Direct Current Link scheme is a joint project between the three private electricity transmission network companies in Great Britain. Eastern Links 1 and 2 have received Final Needs Case approvals from Ofgem based on estimated combined capital costs (not lifetime costs) of £3.4bn.

The Electricity System Operator’s Holistic Network Design, a blueprint for offshore and onshore transmission projects required to support Government’s ambition for 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, confirmed the need for the Eastern Links 1 and 2. The Holistic Network Design is estimated to save consumers £5.5bn over the network asset lifetime.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
27th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 22 March 2021 to Question 167922 on Electric Cables: Seas and Oceans, if he will make an estimate of the lifetime cost of the Eastern High Voltage Direct Current Link scheme.

The Eastern High Voltage Direct Current Link scheme is a joint project between the three private electricity transmission network companies in Great Britain. Eastern Links 1 and 2 have received Final Needs Case approvals from Ofgem based on estimated combined capital costs (not lifetime costs) of £3.4bn.

The Electricity System Operator’s Holistic Network Design, a blueprint for offshore and onshore transmission projects required to support Government’s ambition for 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, confirmed the need for the Eastern Links 1 and 2. The Holistic Network Design is estimated to save consumers £5.5bn over the network asset lifetime.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
27th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 6 September 2022 to Question 40864 on National Grid: Scotland, if he will make an estimate of the cost of delivering the Eastern High Voltage Direct Current Link scheme via overland pylons.

The Eastern High Voltage Direct Current Link scheme is a joint project between the three private electricity transmission network companies in Great Britain. Eastern Links 1 and 2 have received Final Needs Case approvals from Ofgem based on estimated combined capital costs (not lifetime costs) of £3.4bn.

The Electricity System Operator’s Holistic Network Design, a blueprint for offshore and onshore transmission projects required to support Government’s ambition for 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, confirmed the need for the Eastern Links 1 and 2. The Holistic Network Design is estimated to save consumers £5.5bn over the network asset lifetime.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much and what proportion of Post Office Limited revenue was distributed to Post Masters for providing in-branch high street banking services in the latest year for which data is available.

Post Office Limited publishes their reports and accounts annually and lays them before Parliament. These reports include information on the total costs Post Office allocate for postmaster remuneration, and can be found here: https://corporate.postoffice.co.uk/en/governance/key-reports-statements/post-office-annual-report-accounts-2020-21.

Post Office Limited is a commercial business. It has a Chief Executive and a Board of Directors, who are responsible for running Post Office day-to-day and for providing strategic oversight respectively. The remuneration postmasters receive for different services is a commercial decision for Post Office Limited.

Kevin Hollinrake
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has plans he has to help increase the use of solar panels on roofs of industrial and commercial buildings.

The Government is encouraging businesses to install solar panels on their roofs in various ways, for example through a business rate exemption for a range of green technologies, including solar panels and solar & storage packages, used for generating renewable energy onsite until 2035.

Businesses installing solar panels also benefit from tax relief. My Rt. Hon. Friend the then Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Growth Plan set out that the temporary increase in Annual Investment Allowance for qualifying expenditure on plant and machinery assets (including solar panels) has been made permanent.

The Government is also reviewing existing permitted development rights to simplify planning and enable more rooftop solar deployment on industrial and commercial buildings.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether it is his Department's policy to attribute different weight in different parts of the UK to the impact on communities as determining factor in whether new electrical transmission pylon infrastructure should be via overland pylons or undersea connections.

It is Government policy for any part of Great Britain that overhead lines are the starting presumption for most electricity network developments. This takes account of the fact that undergrounding and the use of offshore subsea cables is significantly more expensive.

However, overhead lines can cause detrimental landscape and visual impacts in particularly sensitive areas. Within the energy National Policy Statements, undergrounding and the use of subsea cables can be considered where the benefits outweigh other considerations. This applies across Great Britain.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
13th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his Department will make an estimate of the (a) time it would take to complete and (b) cost of transmitting the capacity required from East Anglia GREEN pylons through alternative primarily undersea interconnectors.

Private network operators, in this case National Grid Electricity Transmission, are responsible for delivering network infrastructure necessary to meet consumer needs. This includes identifying preferred options for the infrastructure, considering a range of factors. Network operators tender for suppliers to deliver the project, considering efficiencies and cost, to ensure value for money for the consumer.

The independent energy regulator, Ofgem, regulates and incentivises network operators to do this efficiently through its network price controls, including considering delivery times and technical capability of individual projects.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
13th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what information he holds on whether National Grid or National Grid ESO has sought estimates from companies capable of delivering undersea bootstraps to ascertain the potential cost of offshore transmission alternatives to East Anglia GREEN.

Private network operators, in this case National Grid Electricity Transmission, are responsible for delivering network infrastructure necessary to meet consumer needs. This includes identifying preferred options for the infrastructure, considering a range of factors. Network operators tender for suppliers to deliver the project, considering efficiencies and cost, to ensure value for money for the consumer.

The independent energy regulator, Ofgem, regulates and incentivises network operators to do this efficiently through its network price controls, including considering delivery times and technical capability of individual projects.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the cost of SCD1, the proposed offshore HVDC link between Suffolk and Kent.

SCD1, the proposed 2GW offshore HVDC link between Suffolk and Kent is planned to transfer renewable energy generated from offshore wind farms on the coast of East Anglia to demand within the south east of England, bypassing the most constrained areas of the network. National Grid Electricity System Operator’s Network Options Assessment (NOA) 2020/21 indicates a cost band for this project of £1 billion - £1.5 billion. The NOA 2020/21 analysis suggests SCD1 could provide significant economic benefit to multiple areas in the south and east regions as it can be configured to transfer power in both directions.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the cost of the Western HVDC Link from Hunterston to Connah's Quay to date.

The Western Link is a joint venture between National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) and Scottish Power Transmission (SPT), which become operational in 2017. It is an electricity transmission subsea link built primarily to transfer renewable energy from Scotland to homes and businesses in England and Wales, which Ofgem stated has cost £1.3 billion.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made about the estimated cost of the Eastern Link undersea electricity link between Scotland and England.

The Government supports Ofgem and network companies in delivering the critical national infrastructure required to achieve our Net Zero target, including supporting 40GW of offshore wind generation by 2030. The progression of the Eastern Link undersea electricity link between Scotland and the North of England is the responsibility of National Grid Electricity Transmission, Scottish Power and SSEN Transmission, as the developing transmission owners, under the regulatory supervision of Ofgem.

Current estimates are that the Eastern Link could cost over £3bn. Ofgem plans to consult soon on the development of the project so far. Its final decision on whether the project should be funded is expected to be reached in 2022, following a full consideration of the benefits and costs.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the proposed completion date is of the Eastern HVDC link project.

The three main transmission companies in Great Britain, National Grid, Scottish Power and SSE announced on 16th November that they are together taking forward work on the Eastern HDVC link, which will connect Peterhead, Aberdeenshire and Drax, North Yorkshire. Investment in network projects like the Eastern HVDC link project is key to supporting the Government’s 10-point plan to drive a Green Industrial Revolution in the UK, as part of the energy system transformation needed to integrate clean technologies such as offshore wind, electric vehicles and electric heat pumps.

Delivery of the Easter link is a matter for the companies concerned, who are now proceeding with the planning and consultation phases of the project. I understand from National Grid that the link is scheduled for completion in 2027.

20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans she has for the roll-out of 5G in rural areas in Suffolk.

The Government remains committed to becoming a world leader in 5G and providing a 5G signal to a majority of the population by 2027.

Towards this aim, the Government has taken steps to ensure that we build the right conditions for commercial investment in 5G. As a part of this, we have invested in a nationally coordinated 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme which continues to build the business case for 5G in Britain.

Two of the Phase 1 programmes funded through this scheme, 5GRIT and 5G RuralFirst, are specifically focussed on building a market for 5G use cases in rural areas. We are also providing funding for up to 10 rural-based 5G research and development projects over the next two years through the Rural Connected Communities initiative. We expect these projects to do important work in building the business case for 5G investment in rural areas, such as those within South Suffolk.

It is important to note that the vast majority of commercial rollout of 5G services will be delivered by industry, according to their own timeframes. All four Mobile Network Operators have already begun launching their 5G offerings and coverage is expected to be available in 50 major towns and cities by summer 2020.

In the interim, Government is working closely with the Mobile Network Operators on the Shared Rural Network proposal to provide high quality 4G coverage to 95 percent of the UK. This proposal will help tackle both partial not spots - area where this is currently only coverage from at least one, but not all operators - and total not spots - areas with no coverage from any operator, ensuring good 4G signal wherever people live, work and travel.

It is expected that harder to reach locations, such as rural areas within Suffolk, will see the greatest benefit from this proposal.

16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many (a) teachers, (b) pupils and (c) other members of school staff who have been attending or working at school in England since 1 June 2020 have tested positive for covid-19 since that date.

Please note that the Department does not hold the information in the format required. The latest national data on pupil attendance in educational establishments since 23 March was published on Tuesday 16 June at the following link and covers data up to Thursday 11 June:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings.

The data is collected from individual education establishments and the published figures include estimates for non-response.

20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to improve SEND provision in Suffolk; and if he will make a statement.

Our ambition is for every local authority and Clinical Commissioning Group to deliver a high-quality service for every child or young person with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission conduct inspections of SEND services in local areas. Their inspection of Suffolk published in 2017 and subsequent revisit published in 2019 found strengths and improvements over time, but there remained a number of areas of significant weakness where sufficient progress had not been made.

Where we have concerns with performance, as there are with Suffolk, the Department for Education works with partners, including NHS England, to support and challenge local areas to improve. This includes regular advice and monitoring from the Department for Education and NHS England advisers as well as access to funded training opportunities and resources. Whilst there is more to be done, we welcome the progress being made and will continue to monitor the position closely.

In addition, in 2020-21, Suffolk will be receiving £74.9 million for its high needs budget, an increase of 17% per head of population aged 2-18 years old.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of his Department’s effectiveness in dealing with avian flu in the last two years; and if he will make a statement.

Over the last two years, the UK has experienced its largest ever outbreaks of avian influenza. Together with unprecedented numbers of findings of avian influenza in wild birds, between November 2020 and March 2021, 26 cases of notifiable avian influenza were confirmed in poultry and other captive birds, and during the current outbreak and since October 2021, 125 cases have been confirmed in poultry and other captive birds (prior to this the largest outbreak was 13 cases overwinter in 2016/2017). A similar situation is also being experienced across continental Europe and North America.

Defra’s objective in tackling any outbreak of avian influenza is to eradicate the disease as quickly as possible from the UK poultry and captive-bird population and regain UK World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) disease-free status. Defra’s approach is set out in the Notifiable Avian Disease Control Strategy for Great Britain (www.gov.uk/government/publications/notifiable-avian-disease-control-strategy). Current policy is in line with international standards of best practice for disease control. It reflects our experience of responding to past outbreaks of exotic animal disease. However, we continue to monitor the current situation both in Europe and globally, as well as the effectiveness of any disease control measures taken.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) are leading on a cross-government, cross-agency review of lessons identified during the recent outbreaks. This review aims to identify what went well and areas where improvements can be made to improve the effectiveness of the response to future outbreaks. Any future decisions on disease control measures will be based upon the latest scientific, ornithological, and veterinary advice.

In addition, epidemiological reports setting out our investigations into confirmed cases of avian influenza in poultry and other captive birds in Great Britain are published. Reports from past outbreaks are available on GOV.UK (www.gov.uk/government/publications/reports-relating-to-recent-cases-of-avian-influenza-bird-flu). The report of the current outbreak is in preparation and will be published once finalised.

Controlling avian influenza is only possible thanks to the tireless work of the APHA’s field and laboratory staff in often challenging conditions as well as the continued efforts of all birds keepers to maintain scrupulous biosecurity and vigilance for signs of disease.

18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department has taken to ensure that the needs and concerns of small avian farms are considered when developing the Government’s response to avian flu outbreaks.

Defra in collaboration with the Devolved Administrations host regular avian influenza stakeholder meetings attended by organisations representing the breadth of the bird keeping sector including commercial, small scale, pet and specialist bird keepers, together with ornithological and veterinary sector representatives. Expert advice is also sought by the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer and animal health policy officials through the Ornithology National Experts Group and Great Britain Avian Exotic Disease Core Group which include representatives from across the bird keeping sector. These forums, in conjunction with facilitating transmission of information from government on the latest outbreak situation, control measures and biosecurity advice to the sector, provide the opportunity for the sector to escalate questions and feedback to government.

In addition, the Animal and Plant Health Agency is leading on a cross-government, cross-agency review of lessons from the recent outbreak which will identify what went well and areas where improvements can be made to improve the effectiveness of the response to future outbreaks. Stakeholders, including small avian farms, have fed into this process and their suggestions and concerns will be reviewed as part of this.

18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress his Department has made in developing a vaccine to protect against avian flu.

Defra’s objective in tackling any outbreak of avian influenza is to eradicate the disease as quickly as possible from the UK poultry and captive-bird population and regain UK World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) disease-free status. Defra’s policy on vaccination is set out in the Notifiable Avian Disease Control Strategy for Great Britain (www.gov.uk/government/publications/notifiable-avian-disease-control-strategy) and in separate guidance on GOV.UK (www.gov.uk/government/publications/avian-influenza-bird-flu-vaccination/avian-influenza-bird-flu-vaccination). Outside of zoos, the vaccination of birds as an immediate disease control response is not currently permitted. Swift and humane culling of birds on infected premises coupled with good biosecurity including the separation of poultry and other captive birds from wild birds and disease surveillance remains the most effective means of controlling the disease.

Commercial avian influenza vaccines are available; however, these vaccines are unlikely to provide full protection for the current strains of highly pathogenic avian influenza circulating in the UK and continental Europe, or cross-protection to other strains which may circulate in the future. At present, vaccination can help to reduce mortality, but it is likely that some vaccinated birds would still be capable of transmitting avian influenza if they became infected. This would increase the time taken to detect and eradicate the virus.

In addition, there are a number of practical, animal welfare and commercial disadvantages relating to the use of currently available vaccines which would present significant logistical and cost challenges to industry. These vaccines need to be delivered by individually injecting each bird and, since it is difficult to differentiate infected from vaccinated birds, this leads to issues relating to exporting poultry and their products to other countries.

Current policy is in line with international standards of best practice for disease control. It reflects our experience of responding to past outbreaks of exotic animal disease.

Defra continues to invest in avian influenza research and last month launched a new consortium, led by the Animal and Plant Health Agency, to fund research to help us prepare for future outbreaks. In addition, we continue to monitor the current situation both in Europe and globally, as well as the effectiveness of any disease control measures taken, including vaccine development. Any future decisions on disease control measures, including the use of vaccination, will be based upon the latest scientific, ornithological, and veterinary advice.

18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to reduce the bureaucracy and restrictions imposed on farms that are subject to avian flu controls.

Defra’s objective in tackling any outbreak of avian influenza is to eradicate the disease as quickly as possible from the UK poultry and captive-bird population and regain UK World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) disease-free status. Defra’s approach is set out in the Notifiable Avian Disease Control Strategy for Great Britain (www.gov.uk/government/publications/notifiable-avian-disease-control-strategy). Current policy is in line with international standards of best practice for disease control. It reflects our experience of responding to past outbreaks of exotic animal disease. Our approach aims to reduce adverse impacts on the rural and wider economy, the public, rural communities and the environment, whilst protecting public health and minimising the overall cost of any outbreak.

We recognise the significant impact the current avian influenza is having on bird keepers. In particular, the scale of the current avian influenza outbreak has led to large numbers of poultry and other captive birds being subject to movement restrictions as a result of being located within disease control zones surrounding infected premises. During the current outbreak, Government has been able to reduce the administrative burden on keepers associated with applying for movement licenses from disease control zones through the launch of an online Avian Influenza Licensing Service. (https://apply-for-an-outbreak-licence.defra.gov.uk/)

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) are leading on a cross-government, cross-agency review of lessons from the recent outbreak with the aim of identifying what went well and areas where further improvements can be made. This will include identifying areas where administrative burdens on keepers could potentially be eased if they do not impact the effectiveness of disease control measures.

9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to help farmers respond to Wireworm outbreaks; and if he will make a statement.

The management of wireworm outbreaks predominantly relies on non-chemical control such as consolidating seed beds to help restrict its movement and controlling grass weeds to reduce its food source. This non-chemical approach is integral to integrated pest management (IPM) which can help control all pest species. The Government has put IPM at the centre of its draft revised UK National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of Pesticides. The draft plan sets out how we will support farmers, land managers, amateur users, and amenity users to maximise non-chemical control and increase uptake of IPM approaches. It also sets out how we would do this, by: improving education, knowledge sharing platforms, and advisory mechanisms; considering how to offset financial risks that could be associated with uptake of an IPM approach; and investing in research and development on alternative crop protection options. The consultation on the draft plan closed on 26 February and the final plan will be published later in the year.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to announce additional access for all funding for railway station accessibility; and if he will make a statement.

We have announced the funding currently available for the 2019-2024 rail Control Period. In addition to the 73 Access for All stations announced last year, we will shortly be announcing additional projects selected to benefit from £20m of Mid-Tier funding. Future funding decisions will be made at a later time. However, I would like to assure you that I am committed to improving access at all stations, and will continue to seek further opportunities, and funding, to make more improvements.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the adequacy of innovation in the delivery of bus services funding; and if he will make a statement.

In 2018/19, bus operators received around £2.1bn of support from the public sector, with around £1bn of funding for older and disabled people’s concessions and £850m of subsidy for socially necessary services provided by local authorities and funded via MHCLG’s Revenue Support Grant.

In addition, the Department for Transport provides £250m of support to local authorities and bus operators via Bus Service Operator Grant (BSOG). In October 2019, the Government committed to review how BSOG is paid to ensure it supports the environment and improved passenger journeys.

In October 2019, the Government published A Better Deal for Bus Users, which sets out the Government’s plans for buses, including providing local authorities with an additional £30m of funding in 2020/21 and publishing a buses strategy.

2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to acknowledge and take account of the religious beliefs of people who are (a) entering the social care system and (b) lack mental capacity as a result of the progression of a neurodegenerative disease.

People who lack mental capacity to make specific decisions about their lives, including those with neurodegenerative diseases, are protected by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA). If a best interests decision needs to be made under the MCA, the decision-maker should consider all relevant circumstances including, as far as reasonably ascertainable, the person’s beliefs and values, which may include their religious views. Local authorities are also required under the Care Act 2014 to take account of individual’s religious beliefs when assessing their needs for care and support and planning their care and support with them.

25th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that the test and trace service is not subject to (a) fraud and (b) deliberate false reporting.

The Government launched its new NHS Test and Trace service on 28 May 2020 to control the rate of reproduction (R), reduce the spread of the virus and save lives.

NHS Test and Trace has been developed to Government security standards and we have been advised on measures to keep the public safe. Data on positive laboratory tests is fed into the contact tracing system, which automatically contacts people with COVID-19 by text or email and invites them to log into the system with a set of unique characters alongside a secure link to the site. For those people that are unable to respond via email or text, perhaps because they do not have those options available to them, a phone-based service will contact them and support them through the process.

The Test and Trace service will not ask for bank details or payments, nor will anyone be asked for details of their social media or any pin numbers or be asked to call a premium rate number. If the public are concerned about whether a call or email they receive comes from NHS Test and Trace service they can visit GOV.UK and view a page which lists the official phone numbers used by this service. Anyone who thinks they have been sent a scam message, is encouraged to report it to Action Fraud.

We will be constantly developing and improving the system and ensuring appropriate safeguards are in place to prevent misuse. We have confidence in the public to act responsibly and participate fully and openly in NHS Test and Trace, to protect others and save lives.

20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to recruit more (a) nurses, (b) doctors and (c) clinicians in Suffolk.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have confirmed that the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care System is currently developing a workforce strategy that will identify the staffing levels required to deliver its patient care objectives for the next five to 10 years.

At national level, the interim NHS People Plan, published on 3 June 2019, puts the workforce at the heart of the National Health Service and will ensure we have the staff needed to deliver high quality care. The final NHS People Plan will be published in early 2020.

The Government recently pledged to increase nurse numbers by 50,000 in England over the next five years. As part of this commitment, eligible pre-registration nursing students enrolled on courses at English universities from September 2020 will receive a payment of at least £5,000 per academic year which they will not need to pay back.

In addition, in 2016 the Government committed to an extra 1,500 undergraduate medical school places - a 25% increase taking the total number of medical school training places in England to 7,500 by 2020/21. Five new medical schools will open in England to help deliver the expansion.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has for a complete rebuild of West Suffolk hospital; and if he will make a statement.

On 29 September 2019 the Government announced a new Health Infrastructure Plan, to ensure that our health infrastructure is fit-for-purpose for decades to come.

At the centre of this Plan is a new hospital building programme. To launch this programme, in September, the Government announced six new hospital schemes that are receiving funding to ‘go ahead’ now (aiming to deliver by 2025), and a further twenty-one schemes, across 34 hospitals, that have the green light to go to the next stage of developing their plans (aiming to deliver between 2025 and 2030).

West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s scheme at West Suffolk Hospital is part of the second phase and will receive a share of £100 million seed funding, as well as guidance and support from central government, to help progress its plans to the next stage.

Further detail on specific plans and funding will be made available in due course, as part of delivering the Government’s wider commitment to build 40 new hospitals.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
20th Dec 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has for police officer recruitment in Suffolk; and if she will make a statement.

The Government has committed to increasing the number of police officers by 20,000 over the next three years. Up to 6,000 additional officers will be recruited in the first wave and will be shared among the 43 territorial police forces in England and Wales. Suffolk has a recruitment target for the first year of 54.

Targets for all forces were announced on 9 October 2019: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/home-office-announces-first-wave-of-20000-police-officer-uplift

19th Apr 2021
What steps he is taking to reform planning rules in England.

We are transforming the planning system, through recently announced changes and our proposals for ambitious long-term reforms.

Our White Paper, published in August 2020, proposed comprehensive reform of the planning system.

We have also published changes to calculating local housing need, to enable more homes to come forward where we need them most, and a National Model Design Code, which will drive up the quality of new development.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the legal status of a neighbourhood plan that has reached referendum stage but the vote has not taken place due to covid-19 social distancing rules; and if he will make a statement.

The delay to referendums will be frustrating for communities that have dedicated significant time and effort to the neighbourhood planning process and naturally want their plans to come into force as soon as possible. With this in mind, Government planning guidance ( https://www.gov.uk/guidance/neighbourhood-planning--2#covid-19 ) was updated in May to set out that neighbourhood plans awaiting referendums can be given significant weight in decision-making.

20th Jul 2020
What steps he is taking to reform the planning system in England.

Our seven-decade old planning system is in need of an overhaul, and we will shortly be publishing a planning Policy Paper in the summer setting out our proposals for comprehensive reform.

These reforms will deliver more high-quality, well-designed homes, and beautiful and greener communities for people to live in.

Alongside this we continue to create new planning freedoms to support the high street and create new homes – including new Permitted Development Rights and Use Class Order reform.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress he has made on improving child access rights for grandparents.

The Government understands the difficulties that some grandparents face in continuing relationships with their grandchildren following disputes arising from parental separation.

We wish to understand the outcome of the President of the Family Division’s consultation on recommendations for reforming how child arrangements cases are dealt with by the family court before deciding whether any specific proposals are needed in respect of child arrangements and grandparents. The Government will carefully consider those proposals when published.