Jo Gideon Portrait

Jo Gideon

Conservative - Stoke-on-Trent Central

First elected: 12th December 2019



Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Jo Gideon has voted in 936 divisions, and 4 times against the majority of their Party.

23 Jun 2020 - Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme - View Vote Context
Jo Gideon voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 45 Conservative Aye votes vs 235 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 243 Noes - 238
17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Jo Gideon voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Jo Gideon 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
16 Jan 2023 - Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill - View Vote Context
Jo Gideon voted No - against a party majority - in line with the party majority and in line with the House
One of 299 Conservative No votes vs 18 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 49 Noes - 482
View All Jo Gideon 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
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
(16 debate interactions)
Penny Mordaunt (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(16 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Independent)
(11 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(38 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(19 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(19 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Health and Care Act 2022
(3,396 words contributed)
Down Syndrome Act 2022
(1,020 words contributed)
Trade Bill 2019-21
(994 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Jo Gideon's debates

Stoke-on-Trent Central 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).

Jo Gideon has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Jo Gideon

26th March 2024
Jo Gideon signed this EDM on Tuesday 26th March 2024

Referral of matters of 21 February 2024 to the Committee of Privileges

Tabled by: William Wragg (Independent - Hazel Grove)
That this House notes the Speaker’s decision on selection and calling of amendments on 21 February 2024 was not in accordance with the established precedent for Opposition days; and accordingly considers that, notwithstanding the Resolution of this House of 6 February 1978, the matter of whether undue pressure was placed …
71 signatures
(Most recent: 19 Apr 2024)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 42
Conservative: 25
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 1
21st February 2024
Jo Gideon signed this EDM on Wednesday 21st February 2024

No confidence in the Speaker

Tabled by: William Wragg (Independent - Hazel Grove)
That this House has no confidence in Mr Speaker.
91 signatures
(Most recent: 20 Mar 2024)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 43
Scottish National Party: 41
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Workers Party of Britain: 1
View All Jo Gideon's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Jo Gideon, 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.


Jo Gideon has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Jo Gideon has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Jo Gideon


A Bill to make provision about the safety of button batteries; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 6th May 2022

Latest 49 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
1 Other Department Questions
22nd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of running trials on the use of cashless payments for the land-based gambling sector.

The Government is reviewing the Gambling Act 2005 to make sure it is fit for the digital age. Secondary legislation (The Gaming Machine (Circumstances of Use) Regulations 2007) currently prohibits the direct use of debit cards for payment on gaming machines. However, cashless payments via digital apps, ticket in ticket out systems and debit card payments at cash desks are currently permitted in the land-based gambling sector. It is also possible to pay for chips at a casino gaming table by turning away from the table and completing a debit card transaction with a staff member.

We are considering issues around payment methods as part of our wide-ranging Review and will publish a White Paper setting out our conclusions and next steps in due course.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what training his Department (a) makes available and (b) plans to make available for Returning Officers on how to support visually impaired voters.

The Government is committed to ensuring that elections are accessible for all those eligible to vote.

To that end, the Government has introduced a number of measures to support the accessibility of elections in the recently introduced Elections Bill, such as removing restrictions on who can act as a companion to support voters with disabilities and placing a broader requirement for Returning Officers to consider the needs of all disabled voters when providing equipment for polling stations.

Specifically on issues related to sight loss, we were pleased to be able to carry out some testing of accessible voting solutions for blind and partially sighted electors with the RNIB and Broadland District Council at the recent elections in May, and we are currently considering our next steps. We will continue to work with the RNIB and other interested groups in taking this forward and have already talked with RNIB about looking at the postal vote system to see how and where that can be improved to support engagement.

We also continue to work with the members of the Accessibly of Elections Working Group, including the Electoral Commission, the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and the Association of Electoral Administrators. The Association of Electoral Administrators provides training and guidance for Returning Officers and their teams to further improve the support provided to enable disabled electors to participate in future elections.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he plans to take to help ensure that blind and partially sighted people can vote independently in 2022.

The Government is committed to ensuring that elections are accessible for all those eligible to vote.

To that end, the Government has introduced a number of measures to support the accessibility of elections in the recently introduced Elections Bill, such as removing restrictions on who can act as a companion to support voters with disabilities and placing a broader requirement for Returning Officers to consider the needs of all disabled voters when providing equipment for polling stations.

Specifically on issues related to sight loss, we were pleased to be able to carry out some testing of accessible voting solutions for blind and partially sighted electors with the RNIB and Broadland District Council at the recent elections in May, and we are currently considering our next steps. We will continue to work with the RNIB and other interested groups in taking this forward and have already talked with RNIB about looking at the postal vote system to see how and where that can be improved to support engagement.

We also continue to work with the members of the Accessibly of Elections Working Group, including the Electoral Commission, the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and the Association of Electoral Administrators. The Association of Electoral Administrators provides training and guidance for Returning Officers and their teams to further improve the support provided to enable disabled electors to participate in future elections.

24th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if she will make an estimate of the number of households connected to mains electricity only that are in fuel poverty.

The latest official Fuel Poverty Statistics for England were published in February 2023 on gov.uk here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fuel-poverty-statistics#2022-Statistics

In England in 2022, 85 per cent of all households were connected to both mains gas and electricity, with 15 per cent of households connected to mains electricity only. Of the households which were not connected to the gas grid an estimated 653 thousand households were fuel poor.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
24th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if she will make an estimate of the proportion of households that are (a) dual fuel, (b) connected to mains gas only and (c) connected to mains electricity only.

The latest official Fuel Poverty Statistics for England were published in February 2023 on gov.uk here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fuel-poverty-statistics#2022-Statistics

In England in 2022, 85 per cent of all households were connected to both mains gas and electricity, with 15 per cent of households connected to mains electricity only. Of the households which were not connected to the gas grid an estimated 653 thousand households were fuel poor.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
24th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, if she will make an estimate of the added cost of (a) environmental and (b) social obligations on (i) electricity and (ii) gas bills to the average household in 2023.

Ofgem, the energy regulator in Great Britain, administers renewable energy and social schemes on behalf of the Government and ensures that policy targets are met in an economical and consumer conscious way. A list of the current environmental and social schemes that are funded through households and business energy bills can be found on their website: https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/environmental-and-social-schemes.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether his Department is taking steps to ensure energy companies allow business customers who agreed energy contracts in 2022 to renegotiate those contracts to reflect the lower wholesale prices now available.

The Government has implemented the Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS) to take effect until April 2024. Businesses fixed into more costly long-term contracts are more likely to receive EBDS support due to how the baseline discount is calculated. Contract negotiations are ultimately a matter for suppliers and their customers, but the Government continues to work with Ofgem and energy suppliers to ensure they are doing all they can to support their customers.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
20th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether she has made an assessment of the potential merits of consulting people under the age of 18 on its science and technology policies.

The Government is committed to ensuring that the UK is at the forefront of research and innovation. This means we need to inspire young people who are our future decision-makers and researchers and show that research is something to which they can contribute and benefit from throughout their lives.

The Government supports this through programmes like UKRI’s £35m ‘Adolescence, mental health and the developing mind’ which includes a youth advisory group.

The Government also supports ‘Future Forums’, managed by the British Science Association, which seeks young people’s views on science policy and the role of science in solving the issues of tomorrow.

8th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions her Department has had with the SEND in the Specialists coalition on the specialist workforce for children and young people with SEND; and what the outcome was of those discussions.

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan, published on 2 March 2023, set out that the Department for Education will work with the Department of Health and Social Care to take a joint approach to SEND workforce planning, and a steering group has now been established to oversee this work.

As part of the steering group for joint SEND workforce planning, officials are working closely with the SEND in the specialists coalition to seek their views and have regular meetings with representatives from the coalition to gain sector insight and collaborate on ongoing policy work. On the 14 November 2023, officials from the Department for Education attended a coalition meeting where they presented ongoing policy work relating to SEND Practitioner Standards and introduced the department’s new ‘Partnerships for Inclusion of Neurodiversity in Schools’ (PINS) programme. Officials have taken on board the coalition’s feedback, and that of other stakeholders they have engaged with, in the development of products and guidance to support the delivery of the programmes. In addition to engagement at official level, the former Minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing met with the representatives from the coalition last year, and the minister looks forward to continuing these important discussions when he meets with members in the coming months. The department will continue to engage and work together with a range of stakeholders to discuss ways in which we can improve access to the specialist workforce for the many children and young people who need support.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
17th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to help insure that training and education (a) monitors and (b) adjusts to developments in (a) artificial intelligence and (b) the needs of the green economy.

The department wants to capitalise on the opportunities technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) presents for education, as well as addressing its risks and challenges. The department's position on the use of generative AI in education was published on 28 March 2023. The department will keep its programme of measures under review and continue to establish a strong evidence base for technology in education. The Department launched a call for evidence on generative AI in order to gather experiences and expertise from across education, support continued evidence generation and spread best practice.

The department wants to ensure everyone has the essential digital skills they need to engage with modern technology such as AI. A digital entitlement has been introduced to fully fund adults to study towards an Essential Digital Skills Qualification , up to level 1, and from September 2023, Digital Functional Skills Qualifications. Digital skills are also delivered through :T Levels with three Digital pathways, the Level 3 Free Courses for Jobs offer with a range of qualifications on offer, Skills Bootcamps with free, flexible courses in job specific skills including digital professions, and a number of apprenticeships in digital.

The government has also funded a broad package of AI skills and talent initiatives throughout education. These initiatives will address the skills gap, support citizens and businesses to take advantage of AI technologies and drive economic growth.

For higher education institutions, at Level 7 and above, £190 million investment includes pioneering one of the first programmes of its kind to boost the market for AI Masters courses through the Industrial Funded Masters in AI programme, investing £117 million to create PhDs through UKRI Centres for Doctoral Training in AI, £46 million to develop the Turing AI Fellowships, and up to £30 million in the AI and Data Science Conversion Course and Scholarships programme.

Developing the department’s green skills offer is crucial to ensuring the UK can meet its statutory Net Zero Strategy and Environment Act targets. The department is helping to create a sustainable future through education, developing skills needed for a green economy, and supporting sectors to reach net zero. The needs of the green economy are being monitored through our Unit for Future Skills (UFS) and the Green Jobs Delivery Group (GJDG).

The UFS was set up to improve the quality of jobs and skills data to better understand current skills mismatches and future demand. The GJDG is the central forum for driving forward action on green jobs and skills across government and industry. In the Government’s 2023 Powering Up Britain: Net Zero Growth Plan, the GJDG committed to publishing an action plan in 2024. This will include sectoral assessments that will support the department to identify opportunities to flex the skills system.

The Strategy for Sustainability and Climate Change in the Education System, published by the department in April 2022, sets out detail on how the system will help create a sustainable future through education and develop the skills needed for a green economy. The strategy sets out initiatives including extra support for teaching about nature and climate change, the introduction of a Natural History GCSE, a National Education Nature Park, Climate Action Award and support for head teachers to take a whole setting approach to climate change. The National Education Nature Park and Climate Action Award will provide educational opportunities for children and young people to take part in community science, in biodiversity monitoring, mapping and data analysis learning important skills for the future.

5th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has had recent discussions with OCR on progress towards introducing a Natural History GCSE; and whether she plans to launch a consultation for the specification for the qualification.

Last year, the Department announced the introduction of a new natural history GCSE. The Department is committed to developing the GCSE as quickly as possible, provided that it meets the rigorous requirements that apply to all GCSEs. The Department is working closely with the Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations (OCR), other exam boards and independent experts to develop draft subject content for the GCSE.

The Department aims to consult publicly on the draft subject content later this year. Any amendments to subject content will then be made considering responses to the public consultation before the subject content is finalised.

8th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to International Women's Day on 8 March 2023, what progress the Government has made on encouraging more girls into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers, including conservation.

In 2022, 72,683 state funded students took A level maths, of which 45% were female (32,542). Over 7,000 girls obtained an A* grade in A level Maths in 2022 and over 8,500 obtained an A grade.

Through the Careers & Enterprise Company’s (CEC) networks of Careers Hubs and Enterprise Advisers, business volunteers are working with schools and colleges to build on this progress and provide increased opportunities for girls, to meet a wide range of employers and to experience a variety of workplaces, including in the Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) sector.

In 2021/22 the CEC funded Careers Hub Incubation Projects, targeted projects that tested approaches for delivering careers provision and measurable outcomes for young people. For example, Digital Futures in Lancashire aimed to increase the take-up of Computer Science GCSE amongst girls through the delivery of high quality, locally tailored Digital/STEM related careers activities delivered at varying intensities, which will in turn increase the number of young females entering the digital workforce.

Employers and professional bodies in the STEM sector can sign up to ‘Inspiring the Future’, run by the Education and Employers charity. This free programme allows volunteers to visit state schools to talk to pupils about their job. This will raise the profile of various careers within the STEM sector.

The National Careers Service website gives customers access to a range of useful digital tools and resources to support them in making informed choices. ‘Explore Careers’ includes over 800 job profiles, including roles relating to science, maths, engineering and conservation. The role profile information describes what the roles entail, qualifications and entry routes. The content team regularly researches and updates content and welcomes updates from industry to ensure content is accurate and up to date.

1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if his Department will implement a strategy to ensure that School Food Standards are met.

We already have a robust set of regulations in place around food standards in schools, established by The Requirements for School Food Regulations 2014. These regulations apply to all food provided in schools making compliance mandatory for all maintained schools including academies and free schools.

School governors have a responsibility to ensure compliance and should appropriately challenge the headteacher and the senior leadership team to ensure the school is meeting its obligations.

Should parents that feel the standards are not being met at their child’s school may make a complaint using the school’s own complaints procedure.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of investing the Soft Drinks Industry Levy revenues for the coming year 2021-22 in healthy eating initiatives in schools.

In 2016, the government announced investment in several children’s health initiatives alongside the introduction of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy, including doubling the primary PE and sports premium to £320 million a year from September 2017, and introducing the National Schools Breakfast Programme from March 2018.

The Spending Review 2020 confirmed the department’s overall budget for the 2021/22 financial year. We are committed to funding breakfast clubs and have extended the programme until July 2021. We are considering options for breakfast provision beyond this date and expect to say more shortly. The Healthy School Rating Scheme will also continue during the 2021/22 financial year.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of making the enterprise and financial education aspect of Personal, Social, Health and Economic education a mandatory requirement of the curriculum.

Financial education is part of the mathematics and citizenship curriculum where pupils are taught the functions and uses of money, the importance of personal budgeting, money management and the need to understand financial risk. The mathematics curriculum ensures pupils are taught the necessary knowledge and the need to make financial decisions. The computing curriculum should prepare pupils to apply existing digital technologies confidently and effectively, whilst also providing them with the fundamental knowledge needed to create new digital technology products.

The Department will continue to work closely with the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) and other stakeholders, such as Her Majesty’s Treasury, to consider what can be gained from other sector initiatives and whether there is scope to provide further support for the teaching of financial education in schools.

19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of resources available to (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in England to support enterprise and entrepreneurship education.

Entrepreneurship education is an important component of high quality careers provision. The careers statutory guidance, updated in 2018, requires secondary schools in England to provide opportunities for pupils to develop entrepreneurial knowledge relevant for self-employment.

The Department provides resources and support to secondary schools through the Careers & Enterprise Company’s Enterprise Adviser Network, Careers Hubs and online resources, to make links to employers and increase young people’s exposure to the world of work. The Department also funds training for Careers Leaders to develop the knowledge they need to embed and deliver a successful careers programme in their secondary school.

There are now more than 4,000 schools and colleges in the Careers & Enterprise Company’s Enterprise Adviser Network working with business volunteers to strengthen employer links. Careers Hubs now include 45% of all state-funded schools and colleges across England and funding has been provided for 1,950 Careers Leaders training bursaries.

The result is that 3.3 million young people now have regular encounters with employers, including entrepreneurs and 84% of secondary schools and colleges are satisfied with the support they receive from their Enterprise Adviser. 92% of Careers Leaders state they have become more effective as a result of the training. The Department will continue national roll-out of this support as announced in the Skills for Jobs White Paper published in January 2021: https://www.careersandenterprise.co.uk/sites/default/files/uploaded/1244_careers_ed_2020_report18_0.pdf.

Over the last 18 months, the Department has focused on testing what works at a primary level. In partnership with the Careers & Enterprise Company, the Department has developed and launched an online Primary Careers Resources platform which includes free to use tools and resources from 15 organisations, including Primary Futures.

Financial capability is a key component of successful entrepreneurship and in 2014 financial literacy was made statutory within the Citizenship National Curriculum. Pupils are taught the functions and uses of money, the importance of personal budgeting, money management and the need to understand financial risk. The computing curriculum prepares pupils to apply existing digital technologies confidently and effectively but will also provide them with the fundamental knowledge needed to create new digital technology products and to create their own tech start-ups.

Schools can also cover enterprise and entrepreneurship within their personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education. Teachers have the freedom to design lessons and resources in PSHE that meet their pupils’ needs, and they are encouraged to develop their practice with the support of specialist organisations, such as the PSHE Association.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the temporary provision of Free School Meals to children with No Recourse to Public Funds on a permanent basis.

We are working with departments across government to evaluate access to free school meals for families with no recourse to public funds. In the meantime, the extension of eligibility will continue with the current income threshold until a decision on long-term eligibility is made.


23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of children currently receiving Free School Meals are assessed as children subject to No Recourse to Public Funds conditions in (a) Stoke-on-Trent Central constituency, (b) the West Midlands and (c) the UK.

The department collects and publishes information on the number of children eligible for free school meals and the number who claim a meal on school census day, but does not collect information on the proportion of them who are subject to ‘No recourse to public funds’ conditions. We are currently working with departments across government to evaluate access to free school meals for families with no recourse to public funds. In the meantime, the extension of eligibility for free school meals will continue with the current temporary income threshold, until a decision on long-term eligibility is made.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of children eligible for Free School Meals are assessed as children subject to No Recourse to Public Funds conditions in (a) Stoke-on-Trent Central constituency, (b) the West Midlands and (c) the UK.

The department collects and publishes information on the number of children eligible for free school meals and the number who claim a meal on school census day, but does not collect information on the proportion of them who are subject to ‘No recourse to public funds’ conditions. We are currently working with departments across government to evaluate access to free school meals for families with no recourse to public funds. In the meantime, the extension of eligibility for free school meals will continue with the current temporary income threshold, until a decision on long-term eligibility is made.

20th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department plans to estimate the potential (a) costs and (b) profits on large businesses of proposals to introduce mandatory food waste reporting.

We are gathering further evidence using the latest available data in order to retake the decision later this year.

Robbie Moore
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his Department's expected timeline is to introduce mandatory food waste reporting for large businesses.

The Secretary of State decided in November 2023 to look again at how best to secure the benefits of food waste reporting for large businesses. We now intend to gather further evidence and re-consider all options in the 2022 consultation, including mandatory reporting, using the latest available data. We expect to make the decision later this year.

Robbie Moore
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many meetings parties to the Fertilisers common framework have had since the publication in February 2022 of her Department's command paper Fertilisers common framework, CP 595; and when they plan to consult on revised fertilising products regulation.

Parties to the Fertilisers provisional common framework have met monthly since its publication. Officials from Defra, DAERA and the Scottish and Welsh Governments attend these meetings.

A consultation and call for evidence on the revising of fertilising product regulations is planned for autumn 2023.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the National Food Strategy, published in July 2021, whether she is taking steps with Cabinet colleagues to implement (a) the first recommendation on introducing a sugar and salt reformulation tax and (b) other recommendations from that report.

The Government does not consider that now is the right time to introduce new taxes that will push up the cost of food.

The affordability of food, and individuals’ access to food, is a key element of the Government’s approach to tackling poverty as we manage the impact of cost-of-living pressures.

In 2022 the Government published its Food Strategy, which considered and responded to Henry Dimbleby’s independent review.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the timeline is for the public consultation on the Government's new PM2.5 targets.

We are preparing to launch a public consultation on proposed targets for reduction of PM2.5 early this year. Following the consultation, we will publish a Government response and then set the air quality targets in secondary legislation by 31 October 2022.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he will publish the Government's response to recommendations of the National Food Strategy.

The Government will publish a Food Strategy in early 2022. This will consider the evidence of Henry Dimbleby’s review of the food system and build on existing work across Government to identify new opportunities to make the food system healthier, more sustainable, more resilient, and more accessible for those across the UK.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department’s consultation on food labelling is planned to include questions on the need (a) for labelling to better promote healthier foods (b) to simplify the food labelling requirements and (c) to promote more sustainable foods.

The Government’s obesity strategy, published in July 2020, includes a number of important measures to improve nutrition labelling to aid consumers in making more informed, healthier choices. These include commitments to consult on front of pack nutrition labelling and alcohol calorie labelling, and a commitment to introduce legislation to implement out-of-home calorie labelling for large businesses. The consultation on front of pack nutrition labelling closed on 21 October 2020, the consultation on alcohol calorie labelling will take place shortly and we are looking to introduce legislation on out-of-home calorie labelling later this year.

The Government has further committed to consult on what can be done through labelling to promote high standards and high welfare across the UK market following the end of the transition period. The consultation is currently being prepared. The consultation will seek stakeholder and public views on how consumer information should be presented and on a range of policy options including mandatory/voluntary labelling reforms.

We also have the opportunity to carry out a review of food labelling now we are no longer bound by EU rules to ensure information supports UK consumers' safe, healthy and sustainable food choices and also Great British food products. This would include careful consideration of how food labelling might contribute to the outcomes of the National Food Strategy, which is looking in detail at creating a better food system for people and for the environment.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of reforming the regulations governing rail fares to reflect changes in working patterns.

The Government recognises the impact of Covid-19 on people’s travel patterns and therefore the need to accommodate a more flexible style of working and commuting.

The Department has proactively approached the rail industry and is currently considering proposals received from train operators that try to ensure better value and convenience for travellers, but these are unprecedented times and our immediate focus must be on ensuring that we keep the railway available and safe for those who need to rely upon it.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the reasons why young people have accessed Discretionary Housing Payment.

We have made no specific assessment of the reasons why young people have accessed Discretionary Housing Payments.

Discretionary Housing Payments can be paid to those entitled to Housing Benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit who require further financial assistance towards housing costs is required.

Local authorities administer the Discretionary Housing Payments scheme as they are best placed to make informed judgements about relative priorities and needs in their area to ensure that the most vulnerable are supported and the funds are targeted effectively.

There are no prescribed resources tests; local authorities simply have to be satisfied that the person concerned is in need of further financial assistance towards housing costs.

There is no limit to the length of time over which a Discretionary Housing Payment award may be made. It may be awarded for a short period to give a claimant time to deal with their financial circumstances or for an indefinite period until their circumstances change. The start and end dates of an award are decided by local authorities on a case-by-case basis.

Since 2011, the government has provided over £1 billion in Discretionary Housing Payments to local authorities to help support vulnerable people affected by welfare reforms.

8th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if her Department will hold discussions with the (a) Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, (b) Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, (c) Royal College of Occupational Therapists and (d) British Association for Community Child Health on waiting times for community services.

Addressing waiting lists is a priority for the Department and the National Health Service, and NHS England has asked local systems to develop and agree plans for reducing their community services waiting lists.

I am planning to meet with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, Royal College of Occupational Therapists and British Association for Community Child Health to discuss waiting times for community services.

Community Health Service Data is published monthly and can be found here Statistics » Community Health Services Waiting Lists (england.nhs.uk)

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to provide additional funding for social enterprises delivering NHS services.

The Government greatly appreciates the role of social enterprises in delivering National Health Service services. Social enterprises will have existing contracts with Integrated Care Boards in their local area or with NHS England. These contracts are based on local contracting arrangements and therefore the Government does not anticipate uplifting contracts in-year beyond the existing guidance that NHS England has produced for the ‘2023/24 pay award: revenue finance and contracting guidance’. This guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/long-read/2023-24-pay-award-revenue-finance-and-contracting-guidance-updated-version/

The Department has been considering its position regarding the 2022/23 non-consolidated funding, which has required significant and detailed legal consideration and will reach a conclusion in due course.

1st Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to halve child obesity by 2030; and what assessment he has made of the impact the postponing the introduction of the watershed of 9.00pm for television advertisements for food high in fat, salt and sugar will have on meeting that goal.

New Regulations on out of home calorie labelling for food sold in large businesses, including restaurants, cafes and takeaways, came into force in April 2022. Regulations restricting the placement of products high in fat, salt or sugar came into force in October 2022. We are also working with the food industry to ensure it is easier for the public to make healthier choices and make further progress on reformulation.

In addition, we are supporting more than three million children through the Healthy Foods Schemes and helping schools boost physical activity to help children maintain a healthy weight and good overall health through the Primary School Physical Education (PE) and Sport Premium and the School Games Organiser Network.

A full impact assessment for advertising restrictions was published in June 2021 providing detail on the expected impact of the restrictions. We do not expect a short-term delay to the implementation to have a significant impact on the substantial benefits in the longer term.

27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the speed of the implementation of restrictions on advertising of unhealthy foods.

We have announced a delay to the implementation of the introduction of further restrictions on advertising of high fat, salt or sugar products on TV and paid for advertising online. This is due to the delay in the Health and Care Act 2022 receiving Royal Assent and the recognition that the industry needs more time to prepare for the restrictions.

However, the advertising restrictions have now been introduced with a delay in implementation. This will ensure we can address the long-term challenge of obesity, while recognising the unprecedented global economic situation and ensuring the effective implementation of these restrictions.

13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help protect the public's health from air pollution ahead of Clean Air Day 2022.

The Government is currently consulting on two long-term targets for fine particulate matter under the Environment Act 2021. In addition, the Chief Medical Officer for England’s 2022 annual report will focus on air pollution, evidence for potential solutions to reduce the public health impacts and will offer recommendations based on this evidence. The report is due to be published in the summer.

21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of prioritising (a) teachers, (b) refuse collectors and (c) all key workers for the covid-19 vaccine after the existing priority groups have been vaccinated.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccines the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level.  For the first phase, the JCVI has advised that the vaccine be given to care home residents and staff, as well as frontline health and social care workers, then to the rest of the population over 50 years old, in order of age and including some younger people with particular clinical risk factors.

Prioritisation decisions for next phase delivery are subject to of the surveillance and monitoring data and information from phase one, as well as further input from independent scientific experts such as the JCVI. Phase two may include further reduction in hospitalisation and targeted vaccination of those at high risk of exposure and/or those delivering key public services.

25th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent steps his Department has taken to support the clearance of (a) landmines and (b) other explosive remnants of war in conflict-affected countries across the world.

This Financial Year, the Global Mine Action Programme (GMAP) has been working with the HALO Trust and the Mines Advisory Group to support the clearance of landmines and other explosive remnants of war in Angola, Cambodia, Laos, Somalia, South Sudan, Ukraine and Zimbabwe. GMAP also has a live tender out for Afghanistan. Between April and December 2022, GMAP cleared and confirmed safe over 4.9 million square metres of land. The Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF) has also been funding mine action projects as part of wider stabilisation and conflict programming in Ukraine, the Caucasus, Libya, Sri Lanka and Yemen.

Andrew Mitchell
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
7th Jun 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the potential revenue generated by by extending the Soft Drinks Industry Levy to include (a) milk-based drinks and (b) fruit juice; and if he will make a statement.

The exemption for milk-based and certain milk substitute drinks will next be considered after the Office for Health Inequalities and Disparities completes its voluntary sugar reduction reporting programme, expected later in 2023.

The primary aim of the SDIL is to encourage producers to remove added sugar from soft drinks. There are no current plans to review the exclusion of fruit juices packaged and sold without added sugars.

Gareth Davies
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will offer targeted support to businesses which agreed energy contracts in 2022 when wholesale energy prices were high and which are now having difficulty in meeting their operating costs.

The Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS) will provide all eligible businesses and other non-domestic energy users with a discount on high energy bills for 12 months from 1 April 2023 until 31 March 2024. It will also provide businesses in sectors with particularly high levels of energy use and trade intensity with a higher level of support.

EBDS will help those locked into contracts signed before recent substantial falls in the wholesale price manage their costs and provide others with reassurance against the risk of prices rising again.

The Government is aware that some businesses are having difficulties securing the benefit of falling wholesale prices from their energy suppliers. The Government welcomes Ofgem’s recent update on their investigation into the non-domestic retail market. We encourage them to complete their review at pace and welcome their commitment to take swift compliance and enforcement action against any supplier who has breached market rules.

James Cartlidge
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of local climate bonds in funding local environment projects.

The Government considers current funding options for local authorities to pursue environmental projects to be appropriate. Local authorities have full, independent control over their borrowing choices and are free to issue local climate bonds if they wish. It is for local authorities to determine the most appropriate financing mechanism for their projects.

The Government provides accessible, low-cost lending via the Public Works Loan Board which can be used to finance environmental projects, and environmental projects could also be funded via the UK Infrastructure Bank where they meet the bank’s mandate.

In addition, the UK Green Financing Programme has raised £16bn to date, which will be used to finance projects that help tackle climate change and other environmental challenges – some of which local authorities may benefit from.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Feb 2020
What fiscal steps he is taking to help give people the skills they need for the jobs of the future.

We are increasing funding for Further Education by £400 million in 2020-21, recognising the sector’s vital role in delivering the skills people and businesses need. Funding of £2.5 billion is also available for high-quality apprenticeships this year, and our manifesto has committed £3bn for a new National Skills Fund to transform the lives of people who lack qualifications, are keen to return to work, or want to switch careers.

18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the effectiveness of the Move On fund; and what plans his Department has for the future of that fund.

The 2016 Budget announced £100 million of grant for a new Move-On Fund, which will provide homes for former rough sleepers moving on from hostels and victims of domestic abuse moving on from refuge. The Fund is split equally between the Greater London Authority (GLA) in London and Homes England who are administering the fund outside of London.

The Move-On Fund is an ambitious attempt to build or adapt accommodation for former rough sleepers and households fleeing domestic abuse. This in turn will free-up emergency hostel space. The scheme structure is a new one and reliant on potential developers and providers bringing bids forward within a competitive property market. Together with our delivery partners at the GLA and Homes England we refined our approach and the delivery model utilising valuable learning from market tests in the first year. As a result, the scheme was slower to mobilise than anticipated, but since the model has been refined, we are seeing strong bids emerge to a combined value of £61.5 million.

We are in now in the final year of this funding, which is due to end by March 2022. Both organisations are continuing to invite bids for the remaining funding from prospective providers.

16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of permitting Business Improvement Districts to operate as a delivery partner for Reopening High Streets Safely funding.

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) have been a key tool in providing business led improvements to local areas since 2004. They remain an important part of our high street and town centre agenda, and the Government is committed to supporting them.

BIDs also have an important role to play in ensuring our high streets and town centre areas can open in a safe way in order to reinvigorate our local economies and get people back to work and the shops. This is why, through our £50 million Reopening High Streets Safely Fund (RHSSF), local authorities can procure BIDs as a contractor or supplier and pay for eligible services through RHSSF funding.

In order to reduce the administrative burden in delivering the fund, BIDs cannot be delivery partners for the RHSSF, however, local authorities are able deliver eligible RHSSF activity through delivery partner arrangements with other tiers of local government. We have provided further guidance on which organisations can operate as delivery partners under the RHSSF programme: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/925276/Reopening_High_Streets_Safely_Fund_FAQ_V6.pdf.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Education)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether Local Authorities are permitted to contract a Business Improvement District for (a) the recruitment, and (b) the management of High Street Ambassadors.

Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are independent of the Government and local authorities and, subject to their constitution; the BID proposal upon which the original BID ballot was held and any alterations that have been passed subsequently; and the Business Improvement Districts (England) Regulations 2004, BIDs are free to work with local authorities and others to deliver, challenge or enhance local services.? This could include the recruitment and management of high street ambassadors if the BID and the local authority were to agree on terms for the delivery of such a scheme and in adherence to the rules applying to any particular funding streams being utilised.

20th Jul 2020
What steps he is taking to support housebuilding on brownfield land.

I’m delighted that the Prime Minister recently announced that seven Mayoral Combined Authorities, including the West Midlands Combined Authority, are each receiving a share of the £400 million Brownfield Housing Fund. This will help unlock 26,000 homes by bringing under-utilised brownfield land back into use and contribute to the levelling-up our country.

16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he plans to take at the meeting of international justice ministers on 20 March to help ensure (a) practical and (b) financial support to bring to trial perpetrators of alleged war crimes against children in Ukraine.

On 20 March, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Justice, co-hosted a Justice Ministers’ Conference with the Netherlands bringing together 42 countries and institutions from across the globe. Support for victims and witnesses of war crimes in Ukraine, including children, was a core theme of the Conference. Additional practical support for the International Criminal Court was collectively agreed, alongside financial contributions totaling over £4 million. The UK announced £395,000 for the Office of the Prosecutor Trust Fund which will be earmarked for support for victims and witnesses. The Ministry of Justice is exploring further the provision of expertise, advice and training including specialist support for children.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he plans to take at the meeting of international justice ministers on 20 March to help ensure (a) under 18-year-olds, where safe and appropriate, and (b) other survivors are represented in discussions about the process for prosecuting war crimes in Ukraine.

On 20 March, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Justice, co-hosted a Justice Ministers’ Conference with the Netherlands bringing together 42 countries and institutions from across the globe. Support for victims and witnesses of war crimes in Ukraine, including children, was a core theme of the Conference. Additional practical support for the International Criminal Court was collectively agreed, alongside financial contributions totaling over £4 million. The UK announced £395,000 for the Office of the Prosecutor Trust Fund which will be earmarked for support for victims and witnesses. The Ministry of Justice is exploring further the provision of expertise, advice and training including specialist support for children.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he plans to take at the meeting of international justice ministers on 20 March to help ensure that the financial support committed by States for the International Criminal Court investigation includes dedicated funding to embed child-specific expertise throughout the process.

On 20 March, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Justice, co-hosted a Justice Ministers’ Conference with the Netherlands bringing together 42 countries and institutions from across the globe. Support for victims and witnesses of war crimes in Ukraine, including children, was a core theme of the Conference. Additional practical support for the International Criminal Court was collectively agreed, alongside financial contributions totaling over £4 million. The UK announced £395,000 for the Office of the Prosecutor Trust Fund which will be earmarked for support for victims and witnesses. The Ministry of Justice is exploring further the provision of expertise, advice and training including specialist support for children.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)