Jon Trickett Portrait

Jon Trickett

Labour - Hemsworth

Jon Trickett is not a member of any APPGs
Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)
11th Feb 2017 - 5th Apr 2020
Shadow Lord President of the Council
27th Jun 2016 - 5th Apr 2020
Campaigns and Elections Chair
27th Jul 2016 - 11th Feb 2017
Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
14th Jul 2016 - 6th Oct 2016
Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills
5th Jul 2016 - 14th Jul 2016
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Shadow Minister for the Constitutional Convention
14th Sep 2015 - 28th Jun 2016
Shadow Minister without Portfolio and Deputy Party Chair
8th Oct 2013 - 14th Sep 2015
Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office
7th Oct 2011 - 7th Oct 2013
Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office)
8th Oct 2010 - 7th Oct 2011
Public Administration Committee
26th Jul 2010 - 2nd Nov 2010
Unopposed Bills (Panel)
17th Oct 2001 - 6th May 2010
Public Accounts Committee
16th Jul 2001 - 5th Jun 2006
Employment Sub-committee
14th Feb 2001 - 11th May 2001
Education & Employment
13th Feb 2001 - 11th May 2001


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Investing in Children and Young People
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 193 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 224 Noes - 0
Speeches
Monday 17th May 2021
Safe Streets for All

In a striking opening comment in the Queen’s Speech debates, the Prime Minister remarked that genius can be found everywhere …

Written Answers
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Schools: Asbestos
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the number of schools in …
Early Day Motions
Monday 7th June 2021
Crisis of insecure work
That this House expresses alarm at the £107 billion rise in wealth for those at the top; notes that the …
Bills
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 23rd November 2020
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: Communication Workers' Union
Address of donor: 150 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1RX
Amount of donation or nature …
EDM signed
Monday 14th June 2021
Novus prison education strike
That this House notes that the University and College Union (UCU) is involved in a protracted dispute with prison education …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Jon Trickett has voted in 246 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

25 Mar 2021 - Coronavirus - View Vote Context
Jon Trickett voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 21 Labour No votes vs 176 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 484 Noes - 76
30 Dec 2020 - Sittings of the House - View Vote Context
Jon Trickett voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 7 Labour Aye votes vs 183 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 335 Noes - 212
View All Jon Trickett 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
Philip Hollobone (Conservative)
(3 debate interactions)
Chloe Smith (Conservative)
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
(3 debate interactions)
Vicky Ford (Conservative)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
(2 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(6 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(5 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(3 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Jon Trickett has not made any spoken contributions to legislative debate
View all Jon Trickett's debates

Hemsworth 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).

Jon Trickett has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Jon Trickett

11th May 2021
Jon Trickett signed this EDM on Monday 14th June 2021

Novus prison education strike

Tabled by: Zarah Sultana (Labour - Coventry South)
That this House notes that the University and College Union (UCU) is involved in a protracted dispute with prison education provider Novus over inadequate covid-safety measures with members at 49 prisons and young offenders institutions taking strike action starting on Tuesday 11 May 2021; is alarmed by reports of intimidation …
28 signatures
(Most recent: 14 Jun 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 22
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
Alba Party: 1
8th June 2021
Jon Trickett signed this EDM on Wednesday 9th June 2021

Channel 4's role as a Public Service Broadcaster

Tabled by: Grahame Morris (Labour - Easington)
That this House shares the concern of the National Union of Journalists that the Government is still actively considering the privatisation of Channel Four Television Corporation, a publicly owned but commercially funded company which makes a notable contribution to British broadcasting; notes that Channel 4 is not presently run for …
34 signatures
(Most recent: 15 Jun 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 17
Scottish National Party: 8
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Liberal Democrat: 2
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
Green Party: 1
View All Jon Trickett's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Jon Trickett, 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.


Jon Trickett has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Jon Trickett has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Jon Trickett has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Jon Trickett has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


427 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
2 Other Department Questions
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when staff of his Department will be required to return to the office as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

The Cabinet Office has ensured appropriate measures are in place to establish Covid secure workplaces in which as many staff as possible can work safely.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions he has had with trade union representatives on adherence to covid-19 guidance for civil servants; and what steps civil servants can take to raise concerns about workplace safety in relation to covid-19.

Details of ministerial meetings with external organisations and individuals are published on gov.uk

The Government is engaging with civil service trade unions on Covid-19 related matters. Civil servants are able to raise any concerns with line managers, in line with existing departmental practice and procedures.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 2 December 2020 to Question 120796, what information the UK Statistics Authority holds on the number of excess winter deaths for each year since 2010.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant the Answer of 18 January 2021 to Question 134347, what information the UK Statistics Authority holds on the number of excess deaths recorded in Yorkshire and the Humber region in each year since 2010 and up to and including 2020.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 18 January 2021 to Question 134354, what information the UK Statistics Authority holds on the number of education staff who have died from covid-19.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 14 January 2021 to Question 135810, what information the UK Statistics Authority holds on people suffering from (a) chronic bronchitis, (b) emphysema and (c) pneumoconiosis who have died from covid-19.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people suffering from (a) chronic bronchitis, (b) emphysema or (c) pneumoconiosis have died from covid-19.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many education staff have died from covid-19.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to increase the number of people from (a) working class and (b) disadvantaged backgrounds (i) applying for and (ii) securing places on the Civil Service Fast Stream programme.

In line with the Government’s approach to equality - which goes beyond the protected characteristics in the Public Sector Equality Duty - the Fast Stream graduate programme has a strong commitment to increasing the representation of all currently under-represented groups, including those from working class and disadvantaged backgrounds.

To increase success rates and broaden the entry pool of those from disadvantaged backgrounds the Fast Stream introduced programmes such as the Early Diversity and the Summer Diversity Internship Programmes.These programmes provide undergraduates from a socially or economically disadvantaged background the opportunity to gain experience of working for the Civil Service the Fast Stream. Undertaking an internship significantly increases the success rate onto the Fast Stream.

To attract an increased number of applications from those with working class and disadvantaged backgrounds, we have a range of specific interventions. These include targeted outreach (including virtual events) to universities with high proportions of socially and economically disadvantaged students, and working with partners (e.g. UpReach and Rare Recruitment) to advertise the Fast Stream as a scheme open to all.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what proportion of current Permanent Secretaries attended private schools.

This information is not held centrally.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the value is of Government contracts awarded to Serco since 2010.

This information is not held centrally.

Details of central government contracts above £10,000, including the value of those contracts, are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search

It is also the case that councils including Leeds City, Hounslow, Newham Borough, North Tyneside, Cumbria County and Milton Keynes have entered into contracts with Serco. Further details are available online.

Julia Lopez
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many excess winter deaths there have been in each year since 2010.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many deaths due to covid-19 per head of the population there have been in each NHS Trust area since 4 July 2020.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 22 July 2020 to Question 74443 on Coronavirus: West Yorkshire, what information the UK Statistics Authority holds on the number of people (a) under 50 years old, (b) aged 51 to 65, (c) aged 66 to 75, (d) aged 76 and above by (i) gender, (ii) ethnicity, (iii) socio-economic group and (iv) occupation who have (A) tested positive for and (B) died as a result of covid-19 in (1) Hemsworth constituency, (2) Wakefield Council area and (3) West Yorkshire Combined Authority area.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 22 July 2020 to Question 74442 on Coronavirus: Death, what information the UK Statistics Authority holds on the number of people who have died as a result of covid-19 in each socio-economic group.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 14 July 2020 to Question 70319 on Business: Closures, what information the UK Statistics Authority holds on the number of businesses that have ceased trading in Hemsworth constituency since March 2020.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people have died as a result of covid-19 in each socio-economic group.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people (a) under 50 years old, (b) aged 51 to 65, (c) aged 66 to 75, (d) aged 76 and above by (i) gender, (ii) ethnicity, (iii) socio-economic group and (iv) occupation have (A) tested positive for and (B) died as a result of covid-19 in (1) Hemsworth constituency, (2) Wakefield Council area and (3) West Yorkshire Combined Authority area.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many businesses have ceased trading in Hemsworth constituency since March 2020.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many deaths due to covid-19 there were per head of the population in each NHS Trust area as of 28 April 2020.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many of the (a) 103 apartments for people over 55 and (b) 168 new homes scheduled to be built on the former Government Civil Service College site at Sunningdale Park will be classed as affordable housing.

Sunningdale Park was sold, generating £48.4 million for the public purse and unlocking surplus Government land for new homes.

Details of the proposed redevelopment, which has been granted planning permission, are available on the website of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the expenditure entries listed in the Cabinet Office transparency data for payments over £25,000 or above for December 2019, entitled, Exp - Purchase of Goods/Services - Marketing & Media - Advertising, refer to services performed before the entry date of December 2019.

The date in the expenditure entries listed in the Cabinet Office transparency data relate to the date payments were made.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the process of hiring Andrew Sabisky included communication through the email account ideasfornumber10@gmail.com.

I refer the Hon. Gentleman to the answer by the Rt. Hon. Member for Hertsmere (Oliver Dowden) of 14 January 2020 (PQ 1411).

Dominic Cummings’ blog invited people to get in touch to discuss opportunities, and did not set out proposed recruitment processes. As this activity was not conducted by government, the Government does not hold information generated by it, including within the email account. This was not part of the appointment process of Special Advisers, Civil Servants or contractors by government.

Information contained within the email account is overseen by the Downing Street Political Office.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the email account ideasfornumber10@gmail.com is managed by civil servants.

I refer the Hon. Gentleman to the answer by the Rt. Hon. Member for Hertsmere (Oliver Dowden) of 14 January 2020 (PQ 1411).

Dominic Cummings’ blog invited people to get in touch to discuss opportunities, and did not set out proposed recruitment processes. As this activity was not conducted by government, the Government does not hold information generated by it, including within the email account. This was not part of the appointment process of Special Advisers, Civil Servants or contractors by government.

Information contained within the email account is overseen by the Downing Street Political Office.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the email account ideasfornumber10@gmail.com complies with Government standards in relation to cyber security.

I refer the Hon. Gentleman to the answer by the Rt. Hon. Member for Hertsmere (Oliver Dowden) of 14 January 2020 (PQ 1411).

Dominic Cummings’ blog invited people to get in touch to discuss opportunities, and did not set out proposed recruitment processes. As this activity was not conducted by government, the Government does not hold information generated by it, including within the email account. This was not part of the appointment process of Special Advisers, Civil Servants or contractors by government.

Information contained within the email account is overseen by the Downing Street Political Office.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many contractors have been hired by the Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street since 12 December 2019.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the hiring of Andrew Sabisky was paid for with funds from the public purse.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Cabinet Secretary approved the hiring of Andrew Sabisky.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many contingent workers work for the Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what was Andrew Sabisky's daily rate of pay as a contractor for the Government.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what internal approval processes were followed on the hiring of Andrew Sabisky.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Cabinet Office approved the hiring of Andrew Sabisky.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether Andrew Sabisky's employment was subject to (a) the Baseline Personnel Security Standard, (b) a Counter-Terrorist Check, (c) a Security Check or (d) Developed Vetting.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the hiring of Andrew Sabisky required Ministerial approval.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether Andrew Sabisky was hired as (a) contingent labour or (b) as a consultant.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether Andrew Sabisky was (a) employed as a contractor and (b) subject to the civil service code when working for the Government.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether Dominic Cummings was involved in the recruitment of Andrew Sabisky as a special adviser.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether civil servants raised concerns the recruitment of Andrew Sabisky as a special adviser.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the recruitment process for Andrew Sabisky complied with the pre-employment controls set out in HMG Baseline Personnel Security Standard.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the contract signed by Andrew Sabisky stated the requirement for the application of the Baseline Personnel Security Standard.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, who the designated Government contract manager was for the recruitment of Andrew Sabisky.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether concerns were raised internally by Ministers on the employment of Andrew Sabisky.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether Andrew Sabisky's employment history was verified prior to his recruitment as a special adviser.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he made of the HMG Baseline Personnel Security Standard in evaluating the suitability of Andrew Sabisky for employment in Government.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether Andrew Sabisky was employed as a special adviser on his Department's pay roll.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Prime Minister approved the appointment of Andrew Sabisky as a special adviser.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many meetings did Andrew Sabisky attend as a Government advisor with (a) officials, (b) members of the Cabinet, and (c) the Prime Minister.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether Andrew Sabisky attended meetings where defence officials were present.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Government's contract with Andrew Sabisky has been terminated.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether classified material was discussed at Government meetings attended by Andrew Sabisky.

Further to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister at Prime Minister’s Questions on 26 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 313), and the answers given by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and myself to Oral Questions and Topical Questions on 27 February 2020 (Official Record, Vol.672, Col 456-457, 461-466), Andrew Sabisky was hired as a contractor between 10 and 17 February, and not as a Special Adviser.

Contractors are subject to the principles of the Civil Service Code. Information about the numbers of contingent labour workers in the Cabinet Office, which also covers 10 Downing Street, is published annually.

Government contractors are paid for from departmental budgets. The Government does not normally comment on individual personnel matters such as pay, or recruitment processes. The Government also does not normally disclose the names of individual line managers.

It has been the practice of successive administrations that the Government does not disclose details of internal meetings. Classified information is made available only to those with appropriate security clearance and whose responsibilities require it.

It would be inappropriate to comment further on the vetting status, checks or contractual arrangements of any individual.



Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many contracts Interserve holds with central government departments; and (a) with which departments and (b) for what duration those contracts are held.

Central Government contracts above £10,000 are published on Contracts Finder, including details of the department awarding the contract and the duration of the contract. (https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk)

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
6th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many Interserve contracts held with central government departments recognise a trade union for staff.

This information is not held centrally.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the civil service median gross salary is by (a) English region and (b) grade.

The Cabinet Office publishes data on civil servants’ median pay by English region and grade. The relevant data, as of 31 March 2019, is available via the link below on table 26:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/civil-service-statistics-2019

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps the Government is taking to improve Freedom of Information disclosure rates across Departments.

The Cabinet Office works with Departments across Government to make sure that all requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act are considered on a case-by-case basis, and exemptions are applied to withhold sensitive information where appropriate. The Government continues to lead the way on transparency, and routinely publishes data beyond its obligations under the FOI Act.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reasons the proportion of Freedom of Information requests granted in full across Government has decreased since 2005.

All requests for information under the Freedom of Information Act are considered on a case-by-case basis, and exemptions are applied to withhold sensitive information where appropriate. The Government continues to lead the way on transparency, and routinely publishes data beyond its obligations under the FOI Act.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the civil service median gross salary is by (a) region and (b) grade.

The Cabinet Office publishes data on civil servants’ median pay by region and grade. The relevant data, as of 31 March 2019, is available via the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/civil-service-median-salaries-by-uk-region-and-grade

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether (a) Government Departments, (b) agencies of Departments and (c) Non Departmental Public Bodies are permitted to sign up to the Trades Union Congress's charter entitled, Dying to Work.

As terms and conditions for sick absence are delegated, departments are able to decide whether they wish to sign up to the Trades Union Congress's charter entitled, Dying to Work.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
8th Jan 2020
To ask Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Constitution, Democracy and Rights Commission will require legislation to be established.

Further announcements will be made in due course.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
8th Jan 2020
To ask Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to identify potential members of the Constitution, Democracy and Rights Commission.

Further announcements will be made in due course.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
8th Jan 2020
To ask Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Constitution, Democracy and Rights Commission will be an independent body.

Further announcements will be made in due course.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
8th Jan 2020
To ask Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Constitution, Democracy and Rights Commission will be established.

Further announcements will be made in due course.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
8th Jan 2020
To ask Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Government's plans to roll-out Voter ID will require (a) primary or (b) secondary legislation.

The Government will bring forward measures requiring electors to show an approved form of photographic ID before casting their vote in a polling station in a UK parliamentary election in Great Britain and local election in England. Any voter who does not have an approved form of ID will be able to apply, free of charge, for a local electoral identity document.

The Government remains committed to introducing Voter ID ahead of the next scheduled general election. We will bring forward primary legislation enabling the implementation of Voter ID when Parliamentary time allows.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
8th Jan 2020
To ask Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Written Statement, of 7 January 2020, HLWS17, The Government’s Legislative Programme 2019, whether the Government plans to bring forward an Electoral Integrity Bill in this Parliament.

The Government will bring forward measures requiring electors to show an approved form of photographic ID before casting their vote in a polling station in a UK parliamentary election in Great Britain and local election in England. Any voter who does not have an approved form of ID will be able to apply, free of charge, for a local electoral identity document.

The Government remains committed to introducing Voter ID ahead of the next scheduled general election. We will bring forward primary legislation enabling the implementation of Voter ID when Parliamentary time allows.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
8th Jan 2020
To ask Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to issue the public consultation on electoral integrity.

The Government remains committed to ensuring elections are secure and fit for the modern age, and further detail will be announced in the coming months.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
8th Jan 2020
To ask Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the proposed remit is for the Constitution, Democracy and Rights Commission.

Further announcements will be made in due course.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans he has for the structure of the Constitution, Democracy and Rights Commission.

Further announcements will be made in due course.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Cabinet Office)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many people were in fuel poverty, in each year from 2010 to 2021.

Fuel poverty is measured at the household level. Using the Low Income Low Energy Efficiency (LILEE) indicator, a household is considered to be fuel poor if it is living in a property with a fuel poverty energy efficiency rating of band D, E, F or G and its after housing costs income minus its energy costs would be less than 60 per cent of the median after housing costs income.” The number of households in fuel poverty in England between 2010 and 2019, the latest year for which statistics are available is shown in the table below:

Table 1 - Total number of households living in fuel poverty, 2010-2019

Year

Number of households (000's)

Proportion of fuel poor households (%)

Fuel poor

2010

4,780

22.1

2011

4,726

21.6

2012

4,351

19.8

2013

4,186

18.5

2014

3,905

17.3

2015

3,778

16.7

2016

3,731

16.2

2017

3,739

16.1

2018

3,517

15.0

2019

3,176

13.4

Note: This is based on the Low Income Low Energy Efficiency metric, 2010-2019

Further details on trends in fuel poverty in England can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fuel-poverty-trends-2021.

Following the publication of the 2019 fuel poverty statistics on 4th March, projections for 2020 and 2021 are due to be published on the 29th of April this year.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many post offices there were in the Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

The number of post offices that were in the Yorkshire and the Humber region was 1005 in March 2010 and 948 in March 2020.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many people in (a) Hemsworth Parliamentary constituency and (b) Yorkshire and the Humber region were living in fuel poverty in each year since 2010 and up to and including 2020.

The table below shows the estimated number of households living in fuel poverty for the requested areas:

Year

Hemsworth Parliamentary constituency

Yorkshire and the Humber region

2010

n/a

269,000

2011

4,100

271,000

2012

3,800

266,000

2013

3,600

244,000

2014

4,300

271,000

2015

4,300

282,000

2016

4,700

275,000

2017

4,200

244,000

2018

3,800

236,000

The latest available estimates are for 2018. Estimates for fuel poverty in 2010 have not been made at sub-regional level under the current Low Income High Costs metric.

Also note, estimates of fuel poverty at the sub-regional level are based on a small number households and are therefore subject to higher levels of uncertainty in particular when comparing changes over time.

The regional data in the table above was taken from https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/fuel-poverty-trends-2020 table 4.

The parliamentary constituency data in the table above was taken from https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/fuel-poverty-sub-regional-statistics.

For example, the data for 2018 was found in table 5 of the following:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/sub-regional-fuel-poverty-data-2020.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the average dual energy bill was for a household in (a) Hemsworth Parliamentary constituency and (b) Yorkshire and the Humber region in the most recent period for which figures are available.

Data on household electricity and gas energy bills are published as part of the Quarterly Energy Prices statistical series (here). The department collects this information at the regional level and does not hold it at the constituency level. Data on the average annual domestic electricity bills for UK regions are presented in table QEP 2.2.3 and average annual domestic gas bills for GB regions are presented in table QEP 2.3.3 (here).

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to help prevent jobs at Rolls Royce in Barnoldswick being offshored.

Rolls-Royce has made clear that the restructuring and global site review reflects the change in medium-term market conditions which have been impacted by the global COVID19 pandemic. Rolls-Royce has announced proposals to consolidate work into the UK including consolidating all widebody engine Assembly & Test capability in Derby, as well as closing a site in the US and consolidating the advanced manufacturing capabilities into Derby and Washington, Tyne & Wear.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to reduce fuel poverty in winter 2020-21.

Improving the energy efficiency of homes is the best long-term solution to tackle fuel poverty. The Energy Company Obligation is a GB wide energy efficiency scheme worth £640m per year until March 2022 and is focused on low-income and vulnerable households. The Green Homes Grant, launched in September 2020, is a £2 billion programme which will help improve the energy efficiency of homes in England. Of this, around half is specifically for low income, vulnerable and fuel poor households.

We recognise that some households may need immediate support this winter and so we provide assistance with energy bills for low income and vulnerable consumers through the Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Payments and Cold Weather Payments.

We have also successfully negotiated an agreement with energy suppliers to support customers impacted by COVID-19. Based on the circumstances, this could include reassessing, reducing, or pausing debt repayments for households in financial distress and support for prepayment meter customers to stay on supply.

The energy price cap currently protects around 11 million households in Great Britain on standard variable and default tariffs. From January 2021 a further 4 million households with prepayment meters will also come under the protection of the cap after the prepayment meter price cap expires. The cap ensures that loyal energy customers are protected from poor value tariffs, saving consumers a total of around £1 billion on their bills annually.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Energy and Clean Growth)
15th Dec 2020
What recent progress his Department has made on the Government's levelling-up agenda.

We have a clear commitment to level up all areas of the country. The recent announcement of our 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution to support green jobs, and a forthcoming Industrial Strategy refresh, are a critical part of this.

Amanda Solloway
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will bring forward proposals to tackle fuel poverty.

Improving energy efficiency is the best long-term solution to tackle fuel poverty and at the Summer Economic Update we announced more than £2 billion of funding for upgrading the energy efficiency of homes. The Green Homes Grant is a £2 billion programme which will help improve the energy efficiency of homes in England. Low-income homeowners in receipt of certain benefits may be eligible for a grant covering up to 100% of the cost of installation. The 2020 Spending Review committed a further £320 million in funding for the Green Homes Grant for 2021-22 and £150 million to help some of the poorest homes become more energy efficient and cheaper to heat with low-carbon energy.

The Energy Company Obligation scheme requires energy companies to deliver energy efficiency and heating measures to low income, vulnerable and fuel poor households. The current scheme is worth £640m per year and ends in March 2022. The Prime Minister announced an extension to this scheme until 2026 in his Ten Point Plan. We also recently closed our consultation on the extension of the Warm Home Discount until March 2022. This will continue to provide a £140 energy bill rebate to over 2 million low income and vulnerable households, and vital projects helping fuel poor households throughout the country through Industry Initiatives.

We are currently consulting on improving the standard of privately rented homes in England and Wales through a minimum energy efficiency performance standard of Band C, helping to tackle fuel poverty in that tenure.

An updated fuel poverty strategy for England will also be released in the coming months, outlining our commitments to delivering against our statutory target to ensure that as many fuel poor homes as is reasonably practicable achieve a minimum energy efficiency rating of Band C, by 2030.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect on local economies in West Yorkshire of young people moving to urban centres for work.

We are investing over £695m in towns and cities across Leeds city region to provide the infrastructure and business support needed to grow the economy and jobs. In addition, investment of £30m per year will be made until 2035 for transport schemes to improve the connection between local areas and urban centres. The spatial concentration of jobs in the area has shifted over the last decade, and local priorities for investment are based on improving the local economy including increasing opportunities for work for young people.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many business have submitted HR1 forms to the Insolvency Service's Redundancy Payments Service since April 2020.

Employers are required to file an HR1 Form with the Redundancy Payments Service where they are proposing to dismiss 20 or more employees at a single establishment. Between 1st April 2020 and 30th September 2020 HR1 forms were received from 4,112 businesses.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate the Insolvency Service has made of the number of employees notified in HR1 forms as being at risk of redundancy in (a) West Yorkshire and (b) Yorkshire and the Humber since March 2020.

The Insolvency Service’s Redundancy Payments Service collects HR1 data and shares it with Government Departments and Agencies which provide support for redundant employees and the unemployed. HR1s are submitted by employers where there is a proposal to make 20 or more redundancies at an establishment. HR1s may include proposed dismissals due to changes to terms and conditions or a proposed relocation of employees which may not necessarily result in any redundancies.

The HR1s received detail a maximum number of potentially affected employees and the Insolvency Service makes no estimations from the HR1 returns of the number of employees that may be at risk in any particular location.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when a covid-19 risk assessment was undertaken for his Department's office in Victoria Street; who carried out those risk assessments; what proportion of staff will be able to return to work in that office; what reduction in workplace capacity that risk assessment identified; how decisions on which staff will be required to return to his Department's offices are made; and if he will place a copy of the risk assessment in the Library.

The COVID-19 Risk Assessment for 1 Victoria Street was undertaken on 12 May 2020. The risk assessment was subsequently reviewed and updated on 2, 3, 4 and 11 June 2020. Prior to this, individual risk assessments were carried out for departmental staff needing to work in the building since the advent of COVID-19.

The risk assessment was undertaken by the Department’s Health, Safety & Wellbeing team in consultation with the Departmental Trade Union Side, with engagement from the Government Property Agency and ISS (our facilities contractor).

Based on current social distancing measures and maintaining a COVID-19 Secure building, 84% reduction in workplace capacity was identified resulting in 13% of the Department’s staff being able to work in the 1 Victoria Street office at any one time, when compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.

In line with the “Working Safely during Coronavirus guidance on office working”, the majority of staff are working from home. When deciding on whether staff can return to the workplace, the Department considers whether staff perform a critical role which cannot be performed remotely, or if there are personal circumstances which mean an individual is unable to work from home. This may include a lack of a safe, suitable working environment or a wellbeing concern.

The risk assessment results for 1 Victoria Street follow the Results summary of COVID-19 Risk Assessment for Civil Service Departments, which was published on GOV.UK by the Cabinet Office on 3 August 2020. A copy of the Results summary of COVID-19 Risk Assessment for Civil Service Departments has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when staff of his Department will be required to return to their workplace as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Since 23 March 2020, the Department has applied the Government’s Safer Working Guidance (for England, Scotland and Wales) to ensure the safety of our staff.

In line with the Government’s latest guidance from 1 August 2020, we are gradually increasing the number of staff working in the office whilst also continuing to enable working from home. This follows a programme of ongoing activity across all our sites to complete COVID-19 Risk Assessments, prepare our buildings, and consult with staff.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to ensure the consistent application of Business Support Grants for organisations in receipt of Small Business Rates relief across local government; and if he will make a statement.

The Government has put forward a package support for businesses to help with their ongoing business costs in recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19. This includes the Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF). Businesses in scope of this scheme are those with a property that, on 11 March 2020, were in receipt of either Small Business Rates Relief (including those with a Rateable Value between £12,000 and £15,000 which received tapered relief) or Rural Rates Relief.

Local authorities are responsible for delivering grants to eligible businesses and we have provided detailed Grant Funding Schemes guidance for local authorities on the eligibility for, and provision of, this fund: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-business-support-grant-funding. We are also working closely with local authorities to ensure the appropriate assurance checks are made before grants are paid out and to promote and share best practice, including providing supplementary guidance and FAQs.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, on what day he held discussions with representative from AirBus on safeguarding jobs in that company; and what support the Government has provided to that company during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government regular meets with Airbus to discuss a wide range of business issues. Details of meetings held by Ministers in the Department are recorded in our transparency data, which is published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/beis-ministerial-gifts-hospitality-travel-and-meetings.

Airbus is benefiting from the Government’s £300 billion Covid-19 business support package, which includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Aerospace companies, such as Airbus, are also benefiting from over £6.25 billion of through the Bank of England’s Covid Corporate Financing Facility, as well as our grants for research and development, and through UK Export Finance over the next 18 months.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the average internet (a) download and upload speed and (b) monthly cost for households in each region of the UK in the latest period for which figures are available.

Superfast broadband coverage is now available to over 97% of the UK, and Think Broadband reports that gigabit-capable networks now serve more than two in five (40%) premises in the UK.

Earlier this month, Ofcom published its UK Home Broadband Performance research which showed that the average download speed in the UK was 80.2 Mbps. This is an increase of 25% from 2019. The same report highlighted upload speeds of 21.6 Mbps which is equal to a 54% increase over the same period. Upload and download speeds will vary based on the type of connectivity installed within a property and the consumer’s individual retail package.

Ofcom published as part of its Connected Nations report in June 2020 the average speeds for each Nation. This showed the average download speeds as:

  • England: 74 Mbps

  • Wales: 58 Mbps

  • Scotland: 70Mbps

  • Northern Ireland: 64 Mbps

Regional data is produced on a quarterly basis by the website ThinkBroadband, and can be accessed at the following address: https://labs2.thinkbroadband.com/local/browse. Average speeds have been increasing each quarter as more premises have access to gigabit-capable broadband networks.

Different packages offered by suppliers may offer greater speeds, data allowances or other benefits, so it is difficult to assess the average cost. For example a number of broadband packages may include Pay TV subscriptions and other additional add-ons. However, to ensure decent broadband is affordable to everyone, a number of operators have brought in new nationwide affordable tariffs starting at £15 per month. For example, BT and Hyperoptic provide fibre social tariff products for households in receipt of Universal Credit and other means-tested benefits offering download speeds ranging from 40Mbps, up to 150Mbps.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) people and (b) households that are considered digitally excluded (i) in the UK and (ii) in each region of the UK in the latest period for which figures are available.

According to the latest Lloyds Bank 2021 Consumer Index, over 9 million people in the UK are lacking in foundation digital skills and 5% (2.6 million) of the population have not been online in the last 3 months.

There has been a substantial decrease amongst the amount of households that do not have internet access. Between 2020 and 2021, the percentage of households without internet access has decreased from 7% to 4% in the UK.

The Lloyds Bank Consumer Index estimates that 13% of people in Wales, 8% of people in the North East and 8% of people in the South West have not been online in the past 3 months. These are the areas with the highest proportion of people offline. The East Midlands is estimated to have 6% of people offline, the North West, South East, and Yorkshire and the Humber have an estimated 4% offline. Both the West Midlands and London have 3% of their population offline.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if spectators will be permitted to attend non-elite sport from 17 May 2021.

As set out in the roadmap announced by the Prime Minister on Monday 22 February, spectators at some large events will return subject to capacity caps from step 3 (expected to take place no earlier than 17 May). Government is working to produce both overarching guidance for all outdoor events and guidance for different spectator environments such as non-elite sports which will be available as we progress along the roadmap.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will publish all meeting minutes from all meetings between his Department and the National League, in relation to funding support for National League football clubs.

I am content to share copies of all my written correspondence with the National League with the Hon Member’s office which detail my discussions with them on this issue.

On 19 November 2020 I gave a statement to the House on the principles of the Sports Winter Survival Package, which was open to National League clubs.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much each sport has received from the £50 million fund as part of Sport England's 10 year plan announced on 26 January 2021.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus.

The Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support. On 22 October 2020, the Government also announced a £100million support fund for local authority leisure centres.

Sport England has also provided £220million directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic, via a range of funds including their £35million Community Emergency Fund. This sector support was recently boosted by an extra £50million to help grassroots sports clubs and organisations as part of Sport England’s new strategy Uniting the Movement. This funding is yet to be allocated and Sport England will provide further information in due course.

We are continuing to work with organisations to understand what they need and how we may be able to support them.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which (a) sports and (b) institutions have received funding from Sport England's £220 million Covid-19 grassroots sport support fund; and how much each (i) sport and (ii) institution has received.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus.

The Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support. The Treasury estimates that around £1.5 billion of public money has gone into sports.

As part of this, Sport England has committed £220m of National Lottery and Exchequer funding since March 2020 to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic. Up to 27 January 2021, £162m of this funding has been distributed to a range of sports activities. This sector support was recently boosted by an extra £50million to help grassroots sports clubs and organisations as part of Sport England’s new strategy Uniting the Movement. Further details of Sport England funding including the organisations that have benefited can be found at: https://www.sportengland.org/why-were-here.

The £300m Sports Winter Survival Package also aims to protect the immediate futures of major spectator sports in England over the winter period. On 22 October 2020, the Government also announced a £100m support fund for local authority leisure centres.

We are continuing to work with organisations to understand what they need and how we may be able to support them. We will also continue to promote exercise throughout the pandemic and encourage the usage of sports facilities when they are able to open again.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many youth centres there were in the Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

Youth services are provided by local authorities and the data concerning the number of youth centres there were in the Yorkshire and Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020 is not held by my department.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what funding he has provided to investigate the link between football and the risk of dementia.

My department has not provided funding to football for the specific purpose of investigating the link between football and dementia. Sports have a responsibility to understand the potential risks to the health and wellbeing of their participants, and put in place measures to ensure their safety.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many libraries there were in the Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

The Libraries Taskforce published the public libraries in England extended dataset on 11 January 2018 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/public-libraries-in-england-basic-dataset#history This provides details of static libraries (statutory and non-statutory) in England as at 1 April 2010 and 1 July 2016. Data on mobile libraries was inconsistent and incomplete, and therefore was not included in this dataset.

Details of the number of libraries as at 31 December 2019 has been collected by Arts Council England and will be published shortly.

The following table lists the number of static libraries in each local authority within the Yorkshire and Humber region.

Local Authority

1 April 2010

1 July 2016

Barnsley

17

15

Bradford

35

33

Calderdale

22

22

Doncaster

26

25

East Riding of Yorkshire

23

23

Kingston upon Hull

14

14

Kirklees

26

24

Leeds

50

35

North East Lincolnshire

10

8

North Lincolnshire

15

15

North Yorkshire

42

42

Rotherham

15

15

Sheffield

29

28

Wakefield

27

19

York

15

15

Total

366

333


Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
3rd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the average broadband speed is in the Hemsworth constituency.

Officials have checked the Ofcom Connected Nations performance data at constituency level, and it reports that as at May 2019, the average download speed in Hemsworth is 37.7 Mbit/s. This is the most recent performance data available - unlike coverage data it's only published once a year.

Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what his policy is on the role of (a) Government and (b) professional football governing bodies in examining the potential link between football and risk of dementia.

The safety, wellbeing and welfare of everyone taking part in sport is absolutely paramount. National Governing Bodies are responsible for the regulation of their sports and for ensuring that appropriate measures are in place to protect participants from harm, including serious injuries. With that in mind, we expect sports to do all they can to protect their players.

It is clear that further examination of the links between health, dementia and football is needed to better understand this issue. I welcome the Professional Footballers' Association’s recent move to set up a dedicated task force to further investigate the issue of brain injury diseases in football.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what the average broadband speed is in England.

Ofcom’s latest UK Home Broadband report found that the average download speed in the UK was 72 megabits per second. The report did not break this down by nation.

In terms of access, ThinkBroadband estimates that a third of premises in England are now connected to gigabit-capable networks, while superfast broadband is available to 97% of English premises.


Matt Warman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many people have cancelled their TV licence since 2010.

The BBC is responsible for administration of TV licences and, therefore, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport does not hold this information.

The TV Licensing website has some information on the number of cancelled licences for 2018/19 and 2019/20: https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/about/foi-licences-facts-and-figures-AB18

More information may be held by the BBC.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of financial support available to freelance musicians during the covid-19 outbreak.

We recognise the crucial role that freelance individuals play in making our arts and creative industries world-leading.

We recognise the crucial role that individuals play in making our arts and creative industries world-leading. As a result of these grants and loans, organisations will be more able to resume cultural activity, albeit in a socially distanced way, which will increase employment opportunities for freelancers. Each organisation that receives money will know what best they can do to support their workforce, including their freelance workforce.

And the culture recovery fund will benefit freelancers, because it will invest in organisations and help them to reopen, and restart performances. It will help many put on cultural activity within this Financial Year which wouldn’t have been possible without this funding.

The government has taken active steps to support the self-employed. Over three quarters of eligible people in the cultural sectors have benefitted from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

The Arts Council England has made £119 million available to individuals, with £23.1 million already distributed and £95.9 million currently available to apply for via open funds. This includes:

  • £17.1 million distributed through the Emergency Response Fund for individuals;

  • £6 million distributed by a series of Benevolent Funds focused on the self employed.

  • £18 million available through their Developing Your Creative Practice fund;

  • £77.9 million available through National Lottery Project Grants (available to both individuals and organisations).

And the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund will benefit freelancers, because it will invest in organisations and help them to reopen, and restart performances. It will help many put on cultural activity within this Financial Year which wouldn’t have been possible without this funding.

The 1,385 successful arts recipients that were announced on Monday 12 October set out in their applications that this support would enable them to deliver over £150million of cultural activity before the end of March 2021. As organisations prepare for this activity, they will likely increase their employment of cultural freelancers.

We continue to engage with the sector to discuss the on-going challenges facing the industry.

Caroline Dinenage
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what his policy is on the role of (a) Government and (b) professional sporting governing bodies in providing financial support to financially stricken sports clubs during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses throughout the pandemic, including a comprehensive and sizable package of direct fiscal support for business through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support. Many sports clubs have benefited from these measures.

Where it can, we will expect the top tiers of professional sport to look at ways in which it can support itself, with government focusing on those most in need. I also welcomed the Premier League announcement to advance funds of £125 million to the EFL and National League to help clubs throughout the football pyramid and encourage the ongoing discussions

The Government recognises the impact that Covid-19 is having on the sporting sector, and has supported elite sports to return to "behind closed doors" competition, which enabled vital broadcast revenue, retained competitive integrity and brought joy to millions of sports fans.

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is working with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what can be done to provide further support. The Department will also continue to work with colleagues across Whitehall to support the sector.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will develop an action plan to support the response to the (a) community, (b) amateur and (c) professional sports funding crisis as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, which many sport clubs have benefited from. Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund has also provided £210 million directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic.

We have also supported elite sports to return to "behind closed doors" competition, which enabled vital broadcast revenue, retained competitive integrity and brought joy to millions of sports fans. The Government recognises the implications for elite and professional sports clubs of not being able to admit spectators to stadia from 1 October, and are working urgently on what we can do now to support them.

The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is working with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what can be done to provide further support to the sector.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will allocate adequate financial support to ensure that no professional sports club goes out of business during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises the impact that Covid-19 is having on the sporting sector, and has supported elite sports to return to "behind closed doors" competition, which enabled vital broadcast revenue, retained competitive integrity and brought joy to millions of sports fans. The government also ensured Project Restart was shared with everyone by getting Premier League football on the BBC for the first time ever.

We have been clear that we expect those in sport with the broadest shoulders - where they can at the top tiers - to support itself. The Government is focusing its support on those in the sector most in need as a result of the decision not to readmit spectators to stadia from 1 October.

The safety and security of players and spectators remains of paramount importance.

The government recognises that fans will be disappointed that sports pilot events were paused and that spectators were not able to be admitted to stadia from 1 October. The Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is working with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what can be done to provide further support. The Department will also continue to work with colleagues across Whitehall to support the sector.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what criteria need to be met for the resumption of pilot events with 1,000 spectators in sports stadiums.

The Government fully understands the decision not to reopen stadia on October 1 is frustrating for sports fans. But in the face of rising infections and further restrictions it would not have been possible. The decision was taken on advice from the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and the Chief Scientific Officer (CSA) and takes into account travelling to and from games held in stadia, where there may be further social interaction and the risk of virus spread. The safety and security of players and spectators remains of paramount importance.

I am grateful to those clubs who have piloted the return of spectators so far. Work continues at pace to find solutions that will allow crowds safely back into stadia as soon as possible. The Government will continue to work closely with the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) and a whole range of sports to understand the latest thinking that might allow spectators to return. This includes the creation of a new Sports Technology Innovation Working Group of sporting bodies and health experts to analyse new technologies which might support this. Spectators will return to stadia when it is safe to do so.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what criteria need to be met for the phased return of spectators to sporting stadiums to be resumed.

The Government fully understands the decision not to reopen stadia on October 1 is frustrating for sports fans. But in the face of rising infections and further restrictions it would not have been possible. The decision was taken on advice from the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and the Chief Scientific Officer (CSA) and takes into account travelling to and from games held in stadia, where there may be further social interaction and the risk of virus spread. The safety and security of players and spectators remains of paramount importance.

I am grateful to those clubs who have piloted the return of spectators so far. Work continues at pace to find solutions that will allow crowds safely back into stadia as soon as possible. The Government will continue to work closely with the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) and a whole range of sports to understand the latest thinking that might allow spectators to return. This includes the creation of a new Sports Technology Innovation Working Group of sporting bodies and health experts to analyse new technologies which might support this. Spectators will return to stadia when it is safe to do so.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, for what reason a maximum of 300 spectators are allowed to attend football matches at Step 7 of the pyramid but not in steps 5 and 6 during the covid-19 outbreak.

The safety and security of players and spectators is of paramount importance.

On Tuesday 22 September it was announced that all sports pilot events currently ongoing would be paused with immediate effect, due to the sharp upward trajectory of Covid-19 cases. As set out in our Roadmap, sports events pilots, and the full return of fans to stadia would only ever take place when it was safe to do so.

Under government guidance non-elite sport clubs are able to admit spectators, whilst adhering to COVID-19 guidance. It is up to the respective governing bodies to determine what constitutes the boundary between elite and non-elite within their sports, and consider any appropriate additional regulation including total spectator numbers should that be appropriate within their sport.

Nigel Huddleston
Assistant Whip
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with representatives from the BBC on that organisation reversing its forthcoming changes to the free over-75s television licence allowance.

The government meets with the BBC on regular occasions to discuss a wide range of issues, including the over 75 concession. The Government has consistently made clear its disappointment with the BBC's decision to restrict the over 75 licence fee concession to only those in receipt of pension credit. We recognise the value of free TV licences for over-75s and believe they should be funded by the BBC.

The BBC remains responsible for the administration of the concession and it will be responsible for setting out what those affected will need to do. It must look urgently at how it can use its substantial licence fee income to support older people and deliver for UK audiences of all ages.

John Whittingdale
Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the number of schools in England containing asbestos.

The Department follows expert advice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which states that as long as asbestos-containing materials are in good condition, well protected either by their position or physical protection, and are unlikely to be worked on, it is usually safer to manage them in place. Where that is not the case, the duty holder should have it removed, and the Department provides significant condition funding which can be used for this purpose.

Since 2015, the Department has allocated £11.3 billion to those responsible for school buildings for essential maintenance and improvements, including removal or encapsulation of asbestos when such is the safest course of action. This includes £1.8 billion committed for financial year 2021-22.

Through the Priority School Building Programme, the Department has been rebuilding or refurbishing buildings in the worst condition at over 500 schools across the country. My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, announced a new 10-year rebuilding programme for schools, which will replace poor condition buildings with modern, energy efficient designs. The Department has announced the first 50 schools to benefit from the programme, as part of a commitment to 500 projects over the next decade.

In July 2019, the Department published information from the Asbestos Management Assurance Process (AMAP) designed to understand the prevalence of asbestos in schools and how well it is managed. Of the 19,522 (88.4%) state-funded schools in England which participated, a total of 15,796 (80.9%) of participating schools stated some asbestos was present on their estate. The responses also suggested that there were no systemic failures in the management of asbestos in schools.

The Department takes the issue of asbestos in schools seriously, and is committed to supporting schools, local authorities and academy trusts to fulfil their duty to manage asbestos safely. We have taken significant steps in recent years to strengthen schools’ approach to managing asbestos. In addition to conducting the AMAP, the Department published updated guidance on effectively managing asbestos in schools in October 2020, working closely with HSE experts, union representatives and other sector representatives to do so.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he has taken to remove asbestos from schools.

The Department follows expert advice from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which states that as long as asbestos-containing materials are in good condition, well protected either by their position or physical protection, and are unlikely to be worked on, it is usually safer to manage them in place. Where that is not the case, the duty holder should have it removed, and the Department provides significant condition funding which can be used for this purpose.

Since 2015, the Department has allocated £11.3 billion to those responsible for school buildings for essential maintenance and improvements, including removal or encapsulation of asbestos when such is the safest course of action. This includes £1.8 billion committed for financial year 2021-22.

Through the Priority School Building Programme, the Department has been rebuilding or refurbishing buildings in the worst condition at over 500 schools across the country. My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, announced a new 10-year rebuilding programme for schools, which will replace poor condition buildings with modern, energy efficient designs. The Department has announced the first 50 schools to benefit from the programme, as part of a commitment to 500 projects over the next decade.

In July 2019, the Department published information from the Asbestos Management Assurance Process (AMAP) designed to understand the prevalence of asbestos in schools and how well it is managed. Of the 19,522 (88.4%) state-funded schools in England which participated, a total of 15,796 (80.9%) of participating schools stated some asbestos was present on their estate. The responses also suggested that there were no systemic failures in the management of asbestos in schools.

The Department takes the issue of asbestos in schools seriously, and is committed to supporting schools, local authorities and academy trusts to fulfil their duty to manage asbestos safely. We have taken significant steps in recent years to strengthen schools’ approach to managing asbestos. In addition to conducting the AMAP, the Department published updated guidance on effectively managing asbestos in schools in October 2020, working closely with HSE experts, union representatives and other sector representatives to do so.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance has been provided to Primary Schools on the wearing of facemasks by teaching staff within a classroom setting.

As new evidence or data emerges, the Government updates its advice accordingly to ensure that all our schools and colleges have the right safety measures in place.

The Department recently published updated guidance for schools to support the return to full attendance from 8 March 2021, which includes updated advice on face coverings. The guidance can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/schools-coronavirus-covid-19-operational-guidance.

As our updated guidance outlines, in primary schools, face coverings should be worn by staff and adult visitors in situations where social distancing between adults is not possible, for example, when moving around in corridors and communal areas. Children in primary school do not need to wear a face covering.

Some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings. This applies to those who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability, or if you are speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate. The same exemptions should be applied in schools, and we would expect teachers and other staff to be sensitive to those needs.

We continue to work closely with Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care and stakeholders across the sector to ensure that our policy is based on the latest scientific and medical advice.

These measures will be in place until Easter. We will keep this under review and update guidance at that point.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of people (a) applying for and (b) securing places at higher education institutions were from (i) working class and (ii) disadvantaged backgrounds for the academic year 2019-20.

It is more crucial than ever before that we tap into the brilliant talent that our country has to offer, and make sure that university places are available to all who are qualified by ability and attainment to pursue them and who wish to do so.

In the 2019/20 applications cycle, 11.4% of English 18 year olds applying for higher education were from disadvantaged backgrounds (POLAR4 Q1), and 11.3% of English 18 year olds accepted onto higher education places, were from disadvantaged backgrounds. This compares to 10.4% of English 18 year old applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds, and 9.7% of accepted English 18 year old applicants, in the 2011/12 applications cycle.

It is vital that students applying to university in 2021 have extra time to carefully consider their applications and make the best choices for their future. As such, for students applying to enter university in 2021, the UCAS deadline for most courses has been pushed back to 29 January 2021. We are encouraging universities to be flexible when making offers to individual students whose education has been disproportionally and adversely impacted from the COVID-19 outbreak, to ensure that these students are able to receive fair offers for 2021.

All higher education providers wanting to charge higher level fees must also have an Access and Participation Plan agreed by the Office for Students in which they set out the measures they intend to take to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds and under-represented groups can access and succeed in higher education.

We have just launched a consultation on options for reforming the higher education admissions system in favour of post-qualification admissions. We are asking respondents to work with us to identify ways in which the system can be made to work better for disadvantaged students, particularly in terms of being able to access the most selective universities.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to increase the number of people from (a) working class and (b) disadvantaged backgrounds (i) applying for and (ii) securing places at higher education institutions.

It is more crucial than ever before that we tap into the brilliant talent that our country has to offer, and make sure that university places are available to all who are qualified by ability and attainment to pursue them and who wish to do so.

In the 2019/20 applications cycle, 11.4% of English 18 year olds applying for higher education were from disadvantaged backgrounds (POLAR4 Q1), and 11.3% of English 18 year olds accepted onto higher education places, were from disadvantaged backgrounds. This compares to 10.4% of English 18 year old applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds, and 9.7% of accepted English 18 year old applicants, in the 2011/12 applications cycle.

It is vital that students applying to university in 2021 have extra time to carefully consider their applications and make the best choices for their future. As such, for students applying to enter university in 2021, the UCAS deadline for most courses has been pushed back to 29 January 2021. We are encouraging universities to be flexible when making offers to individual students whose education has been disproportionally and adversely impacted from the COVID-19 outbreak, to ensure that these students are able to receive fair offers for 2021.

All higher education providers wanting to charge higher level fees must also have an Access and Participation Plan agreed by the Office for Students in which they set out the measures they intend to take to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds and under-represented groups can access and succeed in higher education.

We have just launched a consultation on options for reforming the higher education admissions system in favour of post-qualification admissions. We are asking respondents to work with us to identify ways in which the system can be made to work better for disadvantaged students, particularly in terms of being able to access the most selective universities.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many laptops have been (a) requested by schools for home learning and (b) delivered as of 14 January 2021.

The Government is investing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care services securing 1.3 million laptops and tablets for disadvantaged children and young people. As of Monday 18 January, over 800,000 laptops and tablets had been delivered to schools, trusts and local authorities.

The number of devices available for each school, trust or local authority is based on children eligible for free school meals and takes into account existing devices available in schools. Schools, trusts and local authorities are responsible for distributing the laptops and tablets and are best placed to know which disadvantaged children and young people need access to a device.

The Government is providing this significant injection of devices on top of an estimated 2.9 million laptops and tablets already owned by schools before the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. On 12 January, we announced that we will be providing a further 300,000 devices over the course of this term.

Figures on the number of devices delivered, including by local authority, are available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/laptops-and-tablets-data/2021-week-3. These figures are broken down by local authority and academy trust.

We have also partnered with the UK’s leading mobile operators to provide free data to help disadvantaged children get online as well as delivering 4G wireless routers for pupils without connection at home.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many sure start centres there were in Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

Based on the information supplied by local authorities, the table attached shows the number of Sure Start children’s centres in the Yorkshire and Humber region in 2010 and 2020.[1]

[1] Source: Downloaded from Get Information about Schools database https://www.get-information-schools.service.gov.uk. Based on information supplied by local authorities as at 11 January 2020. These figures may be different to previous answers, and could change again in future, since local authorities may update their data at any time.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will publish the (a) advice and (b) guidance provided by (i) the Chief Medical Officer and (ii) Public Health England which informed the decision to allow nurseries to remain open during national lockdown restrictions from 6 January 2020.

Schools have been restricted since 6 January 2021, not because they are unsafe but because additional measures are needed to contain the spread of the virus. The wider significant restrictions in place as part of the national lockdown to contain the spread of the virus in the community enable us to continue prioritising keeping nurseries and childminders open, supporting parents and delivering the crucial care and education needed for our youngest children.

Early years settings remain low risk environments for children and staff. Current evidence suggests that pre-school children (0 to 5 years) are less susceptible to infection and are unlikely to be playing a driving role in transmission which is referred to in the 65th SAGE meeting, available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/935102/sage-65-meeting-covid-19-s0863.pdf.

There is no evidence the new strain of the virus causes more serious illness in either children or adults and there is no evidence that the new variant of coronavirus disproportionately affects young children.

Public Health England (PHE) advice remains that the system of controls are the right measures for early years settings, which reduce risks and create inherently safer environments.

Early years settings have been open to all children since 1 June 2020 and there is no evidence that the early years sector has contributed to a significant rise in virus cases within the community. Early modelling evidence from SAGE evidenced in the report Modelling and behavioural science responses to scenarios for relaxing school closures’ showed that early years provision had a smaller relative impact on transmission rate when modelled with both primary schools and secondary schools. The report is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/886994/s0257-sage-sub-group-modelling-behavioural-science-relaxing-school-closures-sage30.pdf.

We continue to prioritise keeping early years settings open in full because of the clear benefits to children’s education and wellbeing and to support working parents. Caring for the youngest age group is not something that can be done remotely.

PHE have endorsed a ‘system of controls’ which are the set of actions all early years settings must take. They are outlined in more detail in the ‘Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak’ guidance, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures.

These build on the hierarchy of protective measures that have been in use throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. When implemented in line with a revised risk assessment, these measures create an inherently safer environment for children and staff where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced for children and staff.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to address regional inequalities in the UK for A-Level attainment.

The Department is committed to levelling up school standards and opportunities for all children, including those studying A levels. The Department does this through a mixture of policies that support disadvantaged pupils wherever they live in the country, as well as through extra support for places that fall behind.

Through the 16-19 funding formula, we provide additional funding to support disadvantaged students from economically deprived areas as well as students who have low prior attainment in maths and English. In the 2020/21 academic year, we allocated over £500 million of disadvantage funding (almost 10% of core programme funding).

For the 2020/21 academic year, we have also made up to £96 million available specifically for colleges, sixth forms and other 16-19 providers, to provide small group tutoring activity for disadvantaged 16-19 students whose studies have been disrupted through the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The evidence is clear that early intervention is the best way to address educational inequalities that appear at A level and beyond. The Department is spending £2.4 billion this year through the pupil premium to tackle educational inequality in the school system, as well as investing in a number of reforms to improve the quality of teaching. The Early Career Framework reforms and support for newly qualified teachers is the biggest teaching reform in a generation. In autumn 2020, the Department launched the early roll-out of the Early Career Framework reforms for eligible schools in the North East, Greater Manchester, Bradford and Doncaster. Meanwhile, the Department’s Opportunity Areas and One North East programmes are helping to raise standards in areas of the country that face particular challenges.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the change in the percentage gap from 2018 to 2019 between local authority areas with the highest proportion of A-Level results achieved at AAB or higher, and local authority areas with the lowest proportion of A-Level results achieved at AAB or higher.

The published data available from the Department’s most recent release showed a narrowing of the percentage gap between the local authorities with the highest and lowest AAB proportions between 2017/18 and 2018/19 academic years. The gap fell from 48.4ppts to 38.8ppts; the difference in 2017/18 and 2018/19 respectively in the proportion of students achieving AAB or higher, where Reading and Knowsley local authorities recorded the highest and lowest proportions in both years. This information is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/a-level-and-other-16-to-18-results/2019-20.

However, it is important to note that data for the worst performing and best performing local authorities sit at the extremes of the data, and as such naturally fluctuate from year to year. It would not be prudent for the Department to draw out significant policy implications from the change in the gap in just one year.

The Department remains committed to high attainment for all students across the UK. Since 2011, we have reformed the national curriculum, GCSEs and A levels to set world-class standards across all subjects and invested heavily in improving the quality of teaching.

UCAS sector-level data on higher education entry rates by English region shows that in 2020, 18 year olds from disadvantaged backgrounds were proportionally 80% more likely to enter full time higher education than in 2009. This data is available here: https://www.ucas.com/data-and-analysis/undergraduate-statistics-and-reports/ucas-undergraduate-sector-level-end-cycle-data-resources-2020.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of UNICEF ranking the UK 27 out of 38 OECD and EU countries for mental wellbeing, physical health and academic and social skills.

The government has made the attainment, health and wellbeing of children and young people a priority. Many of the challenges set out require a cross-government approach.

School standards in England have improved overall since 2010. 86% of schools are now rated good or outstanding – up from 68% in 2010. Over the last 9 years, the percentage of children meeting expectations in the phonics screening check has gone up from 58% to 82%. We achieved our highest ever score in an international assessment of reading in 2016. There has been a 9-percentage point rise in key stage 2 maths results since new tests were introduced in 2016, and a significant improvement in maths scores for 15 year olds in the latest Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) international test results, driven by a decrease in the number of low attainers. Results from the Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) 2019 international test results show our year 5 and year 9 pupils continue to perform strongly on the international stage - we particularly welcome the significant improvement in attainment for our year 5 pupils since 2015.

We are reforming the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and over 3,000 schools are early adopters this year. We have strengthened the high-level curriculum summaries and early learning goals, including a focus on areas we know are key predictors of later success: communication and language, literacy and mathematics.

The government plans to invest over £7 billion during 2020/21 academic year, to ensure there is a place in education or training for every 16 to 19-year-old who wants one (this includes spending on apprenticeships). Provision is funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, which works with local authorities to ensure that provision meets the needs of young people in their area.

Under Raising the Participation Age (RPA) requirements, all young people in England are now required to continue in education or training until at least their 18th birthday. In practice most young people continue until the end of the academic year in which they turn 18. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/raising-the-participation-age.

The Department for Education (DfE) works closely with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to support the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people. There is a joint programme overseeing the implementation of the Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision green paper. This includes the provision of mental health support teams linked to groups of schools and colleges and part of a wider NHS England investment in children and young people’s mental health, which is transforming how specialist services are provided and make links to other services.

DfE also works closely with DHSC and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) on physical health, contributing to the government’s childhood obesity plan. The healthy schools rating scheme celebrates the positive actions that schools are delivering in terms of healthy living, healthy eating and physical activity, and supports schools in identifying further actions that they can take in this area.

The School sport and activity action plan sets out how we are working to support the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendation that all children and young people should have access to 60 minutes a day of physical activity. We have also introduced a new curriculum covering relationships, sex and health education, which became mandatory from September 2020 and means that all pupils will be taught about ways to be physically and mentally healthy and about healthy relationships with their peers.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of pupils classed as vulnerable were attending school as at 1 December 2020.

The Department does not collect attendance information for all pupil characteristics, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). We do collect attendance data for vulnerable children with an education health and care plan (EHCP) and/or social worker on a daily basis. This data is published at a national level as part of the official statistics series. The publication can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. Data covering the period including 1 December will be published on 8 December.

We estimate that on 26 November 78% of all pupils with an EHCP on roll in all state funded schools were in attendance, and 78% of all pupils with a social worker on roll in all state funded schools were in attendance.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of pupils classed as SEND were attending school as at 1 December 2020.

The Department does not collect attendance information for all pupil characteristics, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). We do collect attendance data for vulnerable children with an education health and care plan (EHCP) and/or social worker on a daily basis. This data is published at a national level as part of the official statistics series. The publication can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. Data covering the period including 1 December will be published on 8 December.

We estimate that on 26 November 78% of all pupils with an EHCP on roll in all state funded schools were in attendance, and 78% of all pupils with a social worker on roll in all state funded schools were in attendance.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many child protection referrals were made to Children's Services in each month of 2020.

The monthly figures on the number of child protection referrals that were made to children’s social care services in England, up to March 2020, are published in the ‘Characteristics of children in need’ statistical release: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/characteristics-of-children-in-need.

The Vulnerable Children and Young People Survey collects fortnightly data from local authorities in England on the number of referrals made to children’s social care services. The data for the full month is not collected.

The attached tables show the number of referrals to children’s social care services, where the data is available for 2020.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that recently unemployed individuals are able to acquire new skills.

The department wants to ensure that a wide range of opportunities are available to people of all ages to meet their future skills needs.

The department has introduced a number of additional measures this year as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, such as through the Plan for Jobs announced by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in July 2020, and the Lifetime Skills Guarantee announced by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, in September.

The Lifetime Skills Guarantee is aimed at eligible adults, including those that have become unemployed. As part of this, adults who do not currently have a level 3 qualification will be fully funded for their first full level 3 course, enabling participants to access the valuable courses that will help them get ahead in the labour market. This offer will be funded from the National Skills Funding, established to help people learn new skills and prepare for the economy of the future.

The Prime Minister has also announced skills bootcamps, which will be available in 6 areas across the country. The bootcamp training courses will provide valuable skills based on employer demand and are linked to real job opportunities, helping participants to find jobs, and employers to fill much-needed vacancies. We are planning to expand the bootcamps to more of the country from spring 2021, and we want to extend this model to include other technical skills training.

In addition, the government launched The Skills Toolkit in April 2020. This offers a wide range of digital and numeracy courses for all skills levels. Courses are available for free to the public, offering an opportunity for individuals to upskill and build on their CV. We have recently expanded The Skills Toolkit to increase the range of courses so that people can now choose from over 70 courses, covering digital, adult numeracy, employability and work readiness skills, which have been identified as the skills employers need the most. These courses will help people stay in work or take up new jobs and opportunities.

We are also investing £17 million in the sector-based work academy programme (SWAP) to triple the number of SWAP placements in 2020/21, enough funding to support an extra 40,000 job seekers with additional training opportunities and the chance of a job.

We are continuing to invest in education and skills training for adults through the Adult Education Budget (AEB), worth £1.34 billion in the 2020/21 financial year. The AEB fully funds or co-funds skills provision for eligible adults aged 19 and above from pre-entry to level 3, to support adults to gain the skills they need for work, an apprenticeship, or further learning.

Our apprenticeship reforms are driving up quality and delivering the skills that employers need. As an incentive to employers to take on new apprentices we are providing a new payment of £2,000 to employers (in England) for each new apprentice they hire aged under 25, and a payment of £1,500 for each new apprentice an employer hires aged 25 and over, before 31 January 2021. We have also introduced incentive payments, enabling employers to apply for £1000 per learner, for employers who offer traineeship work placement opportunities between 1 September 2020 and 31 July 2021.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the value was of the block grant to England’s higher education institutions in 2019-20.

In the academic year 2019/20, the Office for Students distributed £1.3 billion of funding to higher education providers via the teaching grant. The majority of this was allocated via the recurrent teaching grant to fund high-cost courses and specialist providers and to support student access and success for particular student groups. A further £100 million was provided as capital funding in the academic year 2019/20.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Education)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason the Union Learning Fund is due to end in April 2021.

The decision was taken to increase the scale and reach of our offer in response to the challenges facing our changing economy, by consolidating our support in larger, more comprehensive offers.

The Unionlearn model has its limitations. It is reliant on a trade union presence in the workplace, which is more focused on larger employers and does not necessarily reach the unemployed, self-employed, start-ups, and many more small and medium-sized businesses that do not have union representation. The 2018 evaluation by Exeter University found only 2% of people supported through Unionlearn were unemployed and 5% were self-employed.

We are focussing on a much larger and more comprehensive package of training support, including the establishment of a £2.5 billion National Skills Fund to help adults get the skills they need, including the Lifetime Skills Guarantee – to support any adult who does not yet have an A-level equivalent qualification to obtain one. This is in addition to the existing entitlement for adults without English and maths level 2 qualifications or Basic Digital Skills level 1 to get fully funded support to gain these essential qualifications.

As a result, it was decided not to continue to fund the smaller Unionlearn offer. All the money will be invested in skills and retraining that will be fully accessible to everyone.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many people have obtained qualifications using the Union Learning Fund since 1998.

Unionlearn and the Union Learning Fund provides very little training and education itself, but instead supports, encourages and mentors individuals to undertake learning. In most cases, the actual learning is funded through the Adult Education Budget.

In the financial year 2019/20, our grant to the Union Learning Fund allowed Unionlearn to support 189,094 people in learning. The learning itself is provided by a range of providers including colleges, independent training providers and others. The type of learning is very wide and covers informal Adult Community Learning, basic skills, continuing professional development, as well as learning which leads to a formal qualification. We do not keep records on the actual qualifications gained.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many people obtained qualifications using the Union Learning Fund in 2019.

Unionlearn and the Union Learning Fund provides very little training and education itself, but instead supports, encourages and mentors individuals to undertake learning. In most cases, the actual learning is funded through the Adult Education Budget.

In the financial year 2019/20, our grant to the Union Learning Fund allowed Unionlearn to support 189,094 people in learning. The learning itself is provided by a range of providers including colleges, independent training providers and others. The type of learning is very wide and covers informal Adult Community Learning, basic skills, continuing professional development, as well as learning which leads to a formal qualification. We do not keep records on the actual qualifications gained.

Gillian Keegan
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many Sure Start centres are (a) open and (b) operational as at 25 November 2020.

Based on information supplied by local authorities, there were 2302 Sure Start children’s centres and 699 linked sites open as at 25 November 2020.[1]

The decision to keep children’s centres operational in response to the COVID-19 outbreak is one for local authorities. Data on the number of children’s centres that are currently operational is held at a local level.[2]

[1] Source: Downloaded from ‘Get Information about Schools’ (GIAS) database: https://www.get-information-schools.service.gov.uk on 26 November 2020.

[2] Local authorities are required to update their children’s centre records on a regular basis to reflect any permanent changes that they make to their children’s centre provision. However, the GIAS does not provide a facility to report temporary closures.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many school pupils have tested positive for covid-19 since 1 September 2020.

The Department does not hold COVID-19 testing data.

We collect data on the open status of schools, the number of schools that have indicated they have sent children home due to COVID-19 containment, and the total number of pupils reported absent due to a confirmed COVID-19 case. The data is published from this collection at a national level as part of the official statistics series. The publication can be found here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

On 19 November 2020, 18,000 pupils in state-funded schools were reported absent due to a confirmed case of COVID-19. This data is collected at school level, not pupil level. Therefore, we cannot estimate a total for the number of pupils absent since the beginning of term.

Please note that Public Health England (PHE) leads in holding data on infection, incidence, and COVID-19 cases overall. PHE publishes data on COVID-19 incidents by institution, including educational settings, which can be found through the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-covid-19-surveillance-report.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to improve social mobility for children from working class backgrounds.

Social mobility is a top priority across the department. Every child should have the same opportunity to express their talents and make the most of their lives.

Evidence shows that what happens in children’s earliest years, before they start school, can have a huge influence on later outcomes. That is why the department has committed over £60 million to programmes to improve early language and literacy. Over 1 million disadvantaged two-year olds have taken up an early education place since the entitlement began in September 2013. Results show that the proportion of children achieving a ‘good level of development’ at age 5 is improving year on year. The percentage of children receiving free school meals (FSM) and achieving a good level of development was 57% in 2019, compared 36% in 2013.

A world-class education system that works for everyone is the surest way to spread opportunity across the country. That is why we are investing over £7 billion more in our schools by the 2022-23 financial year, compared to the 2019-20 financial year. This means schools around the country can continue to raise standards to give all children the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Schools continue to receive the pupil premium, worth £2.4 billion again this year, to enable them to arrange extra personalised support for disadvantaged pupils.

Our technical education reforms will also offer a real choice of high-quality training that has parity of esteem with traditional academic routes, so that all young people can follow the path that’s right for them and benefit from more choice in their education journey. The new T Levels will offer young people a high-quality alternative to A Levels. We are providing extensive support for their implementation, particularly around building capacity for industry placements and capital funding for high quality facilities and equipment.

We are making progress on spreading opportunity, with disadvantaged 18-year-olds entering full time higher education at record rates. The latest data shows that there were 24,900 placed English 18-year-old applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds, constituting an entry rate of 23.1%. Both are the highest on record.

Opportunity Areas (OAs) are working to improve outcomes for children and young people in 12 areas with low social mobility. This is at the heart of our work to level up and learn what works best in areas with entrenched social mobility barriers, so that we can roll out successful approaches across the country.

We are investing £90 million in the 12 OAs to tackle barriers preventing children and young people from achieving their potential. The OAs have also benefitted from £22 million through the “Essential Life Skills” programme, focused on developing resilience, wellbeing, and employability.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to provide continued support to children leaving care upon turning 18 years of age.

I am committed to doing all I can to support our young people leaving care and ensure that turning 18 years old isn’t the ‘cliff edge’ it can be seen as.

Since 2014, local authorities have been under a duty to provide financial support to enable young people in foster care to remain living with their former foster family to age 21 in a Staying Put arrangement. The department is providing funding of over £33 million in the 2020/21 financial year to support implementation, an increase of approximately £10 million (40%) on the 2019/20 financial year.

Since 2018, we have funded 8 Staying Close pilots (£5.8 million over two years) to test an enhanced offer of support, with accommodation and well-being, for young people leaving residential care. In the 2020/21 financial year we are continuing the pilots and have announced our intention to begin national roll-out.

During National Care Leavers’ Week in October 2020, my hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Universities, and I contributed to sector-led events, including the ‘Empathy Summit’ staged by Spectra and the Care Leaver Covenant. We now have 155 organisations signed up to the Care Leaver Covenant, businesses, charities, public bodies, and 85 in the process of developing their offer of practical help. I urge others to follow suit and identify what opportunities they can offer to care leavers.

Policies across government impact on care leavers’ lives, such as housing, employment and health. That is why my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, has set up a cross-government ministerial care leavers board, to focus on issues facing care leavers.

In summer this year, I launched the latest intake to the Civil Service care leaver internship scheme, which this year has received over 700 applicants to work in a range of paid roles across government. We are now working, with the cross-government ministerial care leavers’ board, to identify similar opportunities in other large public sector employers, such as the NHS, police and the fire service.

Since 2018/19, as part the government’s rough sleeping strategy, we have provided nearly £6 million funding to 47 local authorities with the highest number of care leavers at risk of homelessness/rough sleeping. The funding allows them to employ specialist Personal Advisers to provide intensive support to small caseloads of care leavers most at risk.

During National Care Leavers Week 2020, this department and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government published joint guidance to local authorities on establishing positive accommodation pathways for care leavers, including developing joint protocols between local authorities Children’s and Housing Services.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to provide young care leavers with educational opportunities.

Providing care leavers with the support they need to access educational opportunities that will allow them to reach their potential is one of my main priorities. We have already:

  • Launched 3 care leaver social impact bonds (£5 million over 4 years), which use ‘payment by results’ contracts to support care leavers into education, employment or training.
  • In August 2018, introduced a £1,000 bursary for care leavers starting an apprenticeship. Local authorities are required to provide a £2,000 bursary for care leavers who go to university; and care leavers are a priority group for the 16-19 bursary (£1,200 a year) if they are studying in further education.
  • In 2019, published the care leaver higher education (HE) principles guidance, which identify the areas where care leavers need extra support to access and succeed in HE, with examples of best practice from across the sector.
  • In September, my hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Universities, wrote to local authority virtual school heads encouraging them to arrange workshops for care leavers, using free resources designed to help young adults prepare for independent student living.
  • Launched the care leaver covenant, which provides a way for organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors to show their commitment to care leavers through providing concrete offers of support. There are now 155 organisations and around 60 HE institutions who have signed the care leaver covenant and published their ‘offer’ to care leavers.

At the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, my hon. Friend, the Minister of state for Universities, wrote to universities and other HE providers, to highlight the vulnerability of care leavers and estranged students, and asked them to prioritise these groups for additional support. In addition:

  • Care leavers were a priority group for the 220,000 laptops that the department provided to local authorities, for disadvantaged children and young people, so they can access education and social care services remotely. This included care leavers who are studying at university.
  • The government has worked closely with the Office for Students (OfS) to clarify that providers can draw upon existing funding to increase hardship funds and support disadvantaged students impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Providers were able to use OfS Student Premium funding worth around £23 million per month for April to July this year and £256 million, for the academic year 2020/21 starting from August, towards student hardship funds, including the purchase of IT equipment and mental health support, as well as to support providers’ access and participation plans.
Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the financial support available to the 900,000 children eligible for Free School Meal vouchers living in areas of the UK under enhanced covid-19 lockdown restrictions throughout the school holidays.

The provision of free school meals (FSM) to children from out-of-work families or those on low incomes is of the utmost importance to this government. The most recent statistical publication shows that there are around 1.4 million children eligible for and claiming a nutritious FSM, based on the January school census, saving families more than £400 per year. The 2020 publication is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/schools-pupils-and-their-characteristics-january-2020. Take-up may currently be higher due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and current economic circumstances.

We are grateful for the hard work that school staff undertake throughout the school year to deliver this provision locally for the families that are eligible for FSM. During the COVID-19 outbreak, we are especially appreciative of the actions that schools have taken to continue FSM provisions during such challenging circumstances. We want to make sure that as many eligible pupils as possible are claiming their FSM, and schools continue to accept applications from pupils who are newly eligible. To support this, the department provides an Eligibility Checking System to make the checking process as quick and straightforward as possible for schools and local authorities.

We have put additional guidance in place to ensure we support pupils eligible for FSM who are having to self-isolate during term-time, asking schools to work with their caterers to provide food parcels. Given the increased uncertainty of the COVID-19 outbreak we are taking steps to make sure that children and families get the extra support they need over the winter. Building on the significant financial support given throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, a new £170 million Covid Winter Grant Scheme will be run by councils in England. The funding will be ring-fenced, with at least 80% earmarked to support with food and bills, and will cover the period to the end of March.

We are also investing up to £220 million in the Holiday Activities and Food programme which will be expanded across England next year. Children eligible for FSM will have the option to join a holiday-time programme that provides healthy food and enriching activities during the summer, Christmas and Easter holidays, giving disadvantaged young people opportunities they might otherwise lose out on.

Additionally, we are increasing the value of Healthy Start Vouchers from £3.10 to £4.25 from next April. This scheme supports pregnant women or those with children under four who have a low income and are in receipt of benefits to buy fresh fruit and vegetables. This will help those on lower incomes to boost the long-term health of their children.

Finally, we have also pledged additional funding of £16 million for food distribution charities, conversations are ongoing as to how this is allocated. This is further to the £16 million distributed to food aid charities earlier in the COVID-19 outbreak.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children were eligible for Free School Meals in (a) Wakefield, (b) Leeds, (c) Kirklees, (d) Bradford and (e) Calderdale Local Authority areas on 1 January 2020.

The number of children that were eligible for Free School Meals in England and (a) Wakefield, (b) Leeds, (c) Kirklees, (d) Bradford and (e) Calderdale Local Authority areas in January 2020 is given in the table below.

Area

Headcount

Per cent

England

1,440,788

17.3

Wakefield

9,285

17.2

Leeds

25,488

20.1

Kirklees

14,215

21.0

Bradford

20,938

20.7

Calderdale

7,014

19.1

Source: School census, January 2020 - https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/96abea42-23cf-4412-910b-85d104f9be9d.

Data for October 2020 is currently being collected through the autumn term school census and is not yet available.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children were eligible for Free School Meals in (a) Wakefield, (b) Leeds, (c) Kirklees, (d) Bradford and (e) Calderdale Local Authority areas on 1 October 2020.

The number of children that were eligible for Free School Meals in England and (a) Wakefield, (b) Leeds, (c) Kirklees, (d) Bradford and (e) Calderdale Local Authority areas in January 2020 is given in the table below.

Area

Headcount

Per cent

England

1,440,788

17.3

Wakefield

9,285

17.2

Leeds

25,488

20.1

Kirklees

14,215

21.0

Bradford

20,938

20.7

Calderdale

7,014

19.1

Source: School census, January 2020 - https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/96abea42-23cf-4412-910b-85d104f9be9d.

Data for October 2020 is currently being collected through the autumn term school census and is not yet available.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children were eligible for Free School Meals on (a) 1 January 2020 and (b) 1 October 2020.

The number of children that were eligible for Free School Meals in England and (a) Wakefield, (b) Leeds, (c) Kirklees, (d) Bradford and (e) Calderdale Local Authority areas in January 2020 is given in the table below.

Area

Headcount

Per cent

England

1,440,788

17.3

Wakefield

9,285

17.2

Leeds

25,488

20.1

Kirklees

14,215

21.0

Bradford

20,938

20.7

Calderdale

7,014

19.1

Source: School census, January 2020 - https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/96abea42-23cf-4412-910b-85d104f9be9d.

Data for October 2020 is currently being collected through the autumn term school census and is not yet available.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the monthly cost to the public purse of the provision of £15 weekly food vouchers for pupils eligible for Free School Meals.

Our national voucher scheme supplier, Edenred, has reported that over £380 million worth of voucher codes have been redeemed into supermarket eGift cards by families through the scheme as of 19 August 2020. The scheme was launched on 31 March 2020. Over 20,350 schools have placed orders for the scheme as of 28 July. The free school meal (FSM) voucher scheme has now closed. Now schools and their kitchens are open, normal free school meal provision has resumed, enabling children to have a nutritious healthy meal at school.

Our latest FSM guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance-for-schools.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the prevalence of state schools paying for externally provided mental health support for students.

The department does not collect central information on the details of school expenditure, including whether they pay for externally provided mental health support for students. Schools and colleges have the freedom to decide what support to offer pupils based on their particular needs, drawing on evidence available on effective practice.

We are currently providing the biggest increase to schools funding in a decade. School budgets are rising by £2.6 billion in the 2020-21 financial year, £4.8 billion in the 2021-22 financial year and £7.1 billion in the 2022-23 financial year, compared to the 2019-20 financial year. We recognise that local authorities’ costs in providing for those with the most complex special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have increased. We have increased high needs funding for children and young people with the most complex SEND, from £5 billion in 2013 to over £7 billion in 2020-21 financial year, and it will continue to rise to £8 billion in the 2021-22 financial year. This increase means that in the 2021-22 financial year, every local authority will attract an increase of at least 8% per head of population, with some authorities seeing increases of up to 12%.

Schools are best placed to make decisions on how best to spend their funding to support their pupils, and we do not set restrictions on how much is spent on mental health provision. We know that there has been an increased need to focus on mental health and wellbeing as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Getting children and young people back into school and college is key to their wellbeing. We have worked hard to ensure that all pupils and learners were able to return to a full high-quality education programme in September. Our £1 billion COVID-19 catch-up package, with £650 million shared across schools over the 2020/21 academic year, is supporting education settings to put the right catch-up and pastoral support in place.

To ensure that staff were equipped to support wellbeing as children and young people returned to schools and colleges, we made it a central part of our guidance both on remote education and on the return to school. We supported this with a range of training and materials, including webinars which have been accessed by thousands of education staff and accelerating training on how to teach about mental health as part of the new relationships, sex and health curriculum, so that all pupils can benefit from this long-term requirement.

To continue this support we have invested in £8 million in the Wellbeing for Education Return programme, which will provide schools and colleges all over England with the knowledge and practical skills they need to support teachers, students and parents, to help improve how they respond to the emotional impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The programme is funding expert advisers in every area of England to train and support schools and colleges during the autumn and spring terms. More information about the programme is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wellbeing-for-education-return-grant-s31-grant-determination-letter.

Of course, schools and colleges are not mental health professionals, so access to specialist mental health support is more important than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak. All NHS mental health trusts have ensured that there are 24/7 open access telephone lines to support people of all ages. We have also provided £9.2 million of additional funding for mental health charities, including charities such as Young Minds to support adults and children struggling with their mental wellbeing during this time.

To increase support further in the long term, we remain committed to our joint green paper delivery programme with the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England, including introducing new mental health support teams linked to schools and colleges, providing training for senior mental health leads in schools and colleges, and testing approaches to faster access to NHS specialist support.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the capacity of schools to meet demand for students mental health support through internal resources.

The department does not collect central information on the details of school expenditure, including whether they pay for externally provided mental health support for students. Schools and colleges have the freedom to decide what support to offer pupils based on their particular needs, drawing on evidence available on effective practice.

We are currently providing the biggest increase to schools funding in a decade. School budgets are rising by £2.6 billion in the 2020-21 financial year, £4.8 billion in the 2021-22 financial year and £7.1 billion in the 2022-23 financial year, compared to the 2019-20 financial year. We recognise that local authorities’ costs in providing for those with the most complex special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have increased. We have increased high needs funding for children and young people with the most complex SEND, from £5 billion in 2013 to over £7 billion in 2020-21 financial year, and it will continue to rise to £8 billion in the 2021-22 financial year. This increase means that in the 2021-22 financial year, every local authority will attract an increase of at least 8% per head of population, with some authorities seeing increases of up to 12%.

Schools are best placed to make decisions on how best to spend their funding to support their pupils, and we do not set restrictions on how much is spent on mental health provision. We know that there has been an increased need to focus on mental health and wellbeing as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Getting children and young people back into school and college is key to their wellbeing. We have worked hard to ensure that all pupils and learners were able to return to a full high-quality education programme in September. Our £1 billion COVID-19 catch-up package, with £650 million shared across schools over the 2020/21 academic year, is supporting education settings to put the right catch-up and pastoral support in place.

To ensure that staff were equipped to support wellbeing as children and young people returned to schools and colleges, we made it a central part of our guidance both on remote education and on the return to school. We supported this with a range of training and materials, including webinars which have been accessed by thousands of education staff and accelerating training on how to teach about mental health as part of the new relationships, sex and health curriculum, so that all pupils can benefit from this long-term requirement.

To continue this support we have invested in £8 million in the Wellbeing for Education Return programme, which will provide schools and colleges all over England with the knowledge and practical skills they need to support teachers, students and parents, to help improve how they respond to the emotional impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The programme is funding expert advisers in every area of England to train and support schools and colleges during the autumn and spring terms. More information about the programme is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wellbeing-for-education-return-grant-s31-grant-determination-letter.

Of course, schools and colleges are not mental health professionals, so access to specialist mental health support is more important than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak. All NHS mental health trusts have ensured that there are 24/7 open access telephone lines to support people of all ages. We have also provided £9.2 million of additional funding for mental health charities, including charities such as Young Minds to support adults and children struggling with their mental wellbeing during this time.

To increase support further in the long term, we remain committed to our joint green paper delivery programme with the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England, including introducing new mental health support teams linked to schools and colleges, providing training for senior mental health leads in schools and colleges, and testing approaches to faster access to NHS specialist support.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the finding of research by Outwood Academy in Hemsworth constituency that states that between September 2019 and September 2020 the number of pupils requiring mental health safeguarding in that Academy had increased by 85 per cent as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

We know that, across society, the COVID-19 outbreak has had an impact on wellbeing and mental health, but it has had a particular impact on children and young people. Due to this, the government has made children’s wellbeing and mental health a central part of our response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The department has taken action to ensure schools and colleges are equipped to support children and young people.

To ensure that staff were equipped to support the wellbeing of children and young people as they returned to school, we made available a range of training and materials, including webinars which have been accessed by thousands of education staff and by accelerating training on how to teach about mental health as part of the new relationships, sex and health curriculum.

We have worked hard to ensure that all pupils and learners were able to return to a full high-quality education programme in September. Our £1 billion COVID-19 catch-up package, with £650 million shared across schools over the 2020-21 academic year, is supporting education settings to put the right catch-up and pastoral support in place. We are also?investing £8 million in the new Wellbeing for Education Return programme which is funding expert advisers who will be able to train and support schools and colleges in every area of England and can make links to available local authority provision.

Of course, schools and colleges are not mental health professionals, so access to specialist mental health support is more important than ever during the COVID-19 outbreak. All NHS mental health trusts have ensured that there are 24/7 open access telephone lines to support people of all ages. We have also provided £9.2 million of additional funding for mental health charities, including charities such as Young Minds, to support adults and children struggling with their mental wellbeing during this time.

The government published its second annual ‘State of the Nation: Children and Young People’s Wellbeing’ report on 10 October 2020. This year, the report focuses on publicly available data on children and young people’s experiences associated with wellbeing during the COVID-19 outbreak. The findings in the report show that many elements of wellbeing have remained stable. However, there have been impacts in a range of areas, including friendships, worries about the future and personal finance, as well as differential impacts for some groups.

To increase support further in the long term, we remain committed to our joint green paper delivery programme with the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England. This includes introducing new mental health support teams linked to schools and colleges, providing training for senior mental health leads in schools and colleges, and testing approaches to faster access to NHS specialist support.

The NHS Long Term Plan, published in January 2019, set out an ambition that all children and young people who need specialist support are able to access it within a decade, with a commitment to follow up the green paper 4-week waiting time pilots with a new national waiting time for specialist services. Mental health services will continue to receive an increased share of the NHS budget, growing by at least £2.3 billion a year by the 2023-24 financial year. Funding for children and young people's mental health services will grow faster than both overall NHS funding and total mental health spending. More details on the NHS Long Term Plan are available here:
https://www.longtermplan.nhs.uk/publication/nhs-long-term-plan/.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans the Government has to introduce a mandatory provision of counselling services in secondary schools and colleges across England.

It is important for schools and colleges to have the freedom to decide what support to offer pupils based on their particular needs and to draw on an evidence base of effective practice. This support can come from a number of sources, including counselling.

The department has published guidance on how to put in place effective school-based counselling, which schools can use to identify where further counselling support is appropriate for their pupils. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/counselling-in-schools.

Our most recent survey of mental health provision in schools and colleges in 2016 and 2017 found that 61% of schools and colleges (56% of primary schools, 84% of secondary schools and 93% of colleges) reported offering access to a counselling service for their pupils.

The government is investing £8 million in the new Wellbeing for Education Return Programme, which is funding expert advisers who will be able to train and support schools and colleges in every area of England and can make links to available local authority provision, including counselling.

To increase support further in the long term, we remain committed to our joint green paper delivery programme with the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England, including introducing new mental health support teams linked to schools and colleges, providing training for senior mental health leads in schools and colleges, and testing approaches to faster access to NHS specialist support.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to tackle the imbalance in education funding between the most deprived and least deprived areas of the country.

This Government is delivering the biggest funding boost for schools in a decade, which will give every school more money for every child.

The Department has increased core school funding by £2.6 billion this financial year, then £4.8 billion and £7.1 billion by 2021/22 and 2022/23 respectively, compared to the financial year 2019/20, including additional funding for children with special educational needs and disabilities. This investment has enabled us to increase school funding by 5% in 2020/21 alone.

Areas with high proportions of students from a disadvantaged background will continue to receive the highest levels of funding and the gap between disadvantaged pupils and their peers has narrowed considerably in both primary and secondary schools since 2011. Through the National Funding Formula, we provide a total of £6.3 billion targeted at schools with higher numbers of pupils with additional needs, including deprivation. On top of that the pupil premium, worth £2.4 billion this financial year, provides additional support for disadvantaged pupils – those currently or formerly claiming free school meals and currently or formerly looked after – to tackle educational inequality.

The Department has also announced a new £350 million National Tutoring Programme for disadvantaged pupils, as part of the COVID-19 catch-up package. This will increase access to high-quality tuition for disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people, helping to accelerate their academic progress and tackling the attainment gap between them and their peers.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including teaching of British Sign Language in the curriculum of Key Stages one, two and three.

The Department recognises and acknowledges that British Sign Language (BSL) can be a beneficial subject for children to be taught. However, the Department does not have plans to introduce any new subjects to the National Curriculum.

Although BSL is not part of the National Curriculum, schools may choose to offer BSL in their school curriculum or include it as part of their extra curricular activities programme.

The Department is working with subject experts to develop draft subject content for a potential BSL GCSE. The Department is engaging with Ofqual, the independent qualifications regulator, to ensure that the subject content can be assessed appropriately and will be working with stakeholders to ensure that a wide range of views are reflected. Subject to being able to develop subject content, which meets the rigorous requirements which applies to all GCSEs, we are aiming to consult publicly on draft content early in 2021. The precise timings of this may be subject to change.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of schools were classed as not fully open on (a) 1 September 2020, (b) 8 September 2020, (c) 15 September 2020 and (d) 22 September 2020.

The Department is currently collecting data from schools on a daily basis and publishes data from this collection, including the number and percentage of state funded schools that are fully open, as part of the official statistics series. The publication can be found here:
https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Data has been published from 9 September. Data collected between 1 and 8 September has not been published because many schools had not started term or had inset days during this time.

Schools are considered fully open if they are able to provide face to face teaching for all pupils on roll for the whole school day and they have not asked a group of pupils to self-isolate. The number and proportion of state funded schools not fully open[1] [2] [3] on 15 and 22 September was as follows:

Number of state-funded

Percentage of state-funded

schools not fully open

schools not fully open

15/09/2020

1,200

6

22/09/2020

1,300

6

[1] All figures are adjusted for non-response.

[2] State-funded schools are state-funded primary schools, secondary schools, special schools and alternative provision.

[3] Schools can be not fully open for non-COVID-19 related reasons, such as staggering entry for nursery and reception pupils. Where schools are not fully open, most pupils are still attending. When pupils are unable to attend school because they are complying with clinical or public health advice, schools are expected to immediately offer them access to remote education.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many school (a) staff and (b) pupils have received positive covid-19 tests since 1 September 2020.

Keeping a close track of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases in schools is a priority for the Government. Public Health England (PHE) leads in holding data on infection, incidence and COVID-19 cases overall. PHE have published data on COVID-19 incidents by institution, including educational settings. This data can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-covid-19-surveillance-reports.

The Department is currently collecting data from schools on a daily basis, as well as gathering information from local areas and following up with individual settings. This is to confirm that procedures for requiring pupils to isolate are well understood and that necessary decisions are made on the basis of public health advice.

The Department collects data on the number of schools that have indicated that they have sent children home due to COVID-19 containment measures. The Department is currently looking at the quality of that data with a view to publishing it as part of the official statistics series. The series includes published data on school openings and attendance, which shows that at a national level approximately 93 per cent of state funded schools were fully open on 24 September. Of all schools that responded to the survey, 6 per cent said they were not fully open due to suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 on 24 September. Approximately 88 per cent of all children on roll in all state funded schools were in attendance on 24 September. More information is available at:
https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment has he made of the trends in the level educational attainment of children in care at (a) GCSE, (b) A level or equivalent and (c) undergraduate degree level.

Children in care generally have lower educational attainment than other pupils.

63% of looked-after children enter care due to abuse or neglect. They often have a disrupted experience of education and this pre-care experience can have a significant impact on their attainment. Looked-after children are almost four times more likely to have a special educational need (SEN) than all children and this in part can also explain the gap in attainment compared to non-looked after children.

We expect looked-after children to be placed in good or outstanding schools. Schools must appoint a designated teacher for looked-after children and local authorities must have a Virtual School Head who is accountable for the educational attainment of all children looked-after by the local authority. We have introduced the pupil premium plus for looked-after children (£2,345 per eligible pupil and is managed by the Virtual School Head) to deliver the outcomes in each looked-after child’s personal education plan. The department’s exclusions statutory guidance is clear that the headteacher should, as far as possible, avoid permanently excluding a looked after child. The rate of permanent exclusion for looked after children was 0.14% in 2014–15. That has reduced in recent years; in 2017-2018, the rate was 0.05%. The local authority must have regard to the relevant statutory guidance when carrying out its duties in relation to the education of looked after children.

Information on the performance of children who had been looked after continuously for at least 12 months at Key Stage 4 is published in a statistical release. Due to the introduction of reformed GCSEs and the 9-1 grading scale, comparisons over a long timeframe are difficult. Table 5a shows that the percentage of children who had been looked after continuously for at least 12 months achieving the threshold in English and mathematics at grade 5 or above decreased slightly from 7.4% in 2017 to 7.2% in 2019. The publication is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/outcomes-for-children-looked-after-by-local-authorities-31-march-2019.

Equivalent figures are not available for A levels as we do not match data collected for looked-after children with Key Stage 5 attainment data on the national pupil database.

Information on the degree qualifications of children who have been looked after is not held centrally within the department.

The Office for Students published a report that looked at the effects of different characteristics on students’ degree attainment. Annex B describes how care-experienced students have lower rates of achieving a first or upper-second class degree when compared to students who have not been in care. For qualifiers in 2018-19, the attainment rate of care experienced students was 12.1% lower than the attainment rate of students who have not been in care. The report is available here:
https://www.officeforstudents.org.uk/publications/differences-in-student-outcomes-further-characteristics/.

Since 2018, we have been working with universities to encourage them to sign up to the Care Leaver Covenant and publish their offer to care leavers. The website is available here:
https://mycovenant.org.uk/offers/educational/.

We continue to work with the sector to better understand the needs of care leavers and increase their attendance and attainment.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many looked-after children in England there have been place in (a) foster care, (b) residential children’s homes and (c) other residential settings in each year since 2010.

The number of looked after children placed in foster care, residential homes and other residential settings since 2010 are shown in the attached table.

The latest figures nationally on children looked-after by placement are published in Table A2 of the statistical release ‘Children looked after in England including adoption: 2018 to 2019’, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-looked-after-in-england-including-adoption-2018-to-2019.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what is the average weekly cost to the public purse is for a child in (a) residential care, (b) foster care and (c) other residential care settings.

The department publishes data about children and young people’s services, including weekly costs, which is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-authority-interactive-tool-lait.

The approximate average weekly cost in England in 2018-19 for a child in residential care was £3,945 and for foster care was £580.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many pupils have been attending a (a) primary and (b) secondary school in (i) Hemsworth parliamentary constituency (ii) the Wakefield Council area on a daily basis since 1 June 2020.

The Department does not hold the information in the format required. National data on pupil attendance in educational establishments since 23 March was last published on Tuesday 7 July at the following link, covering data up to Thursday 2 July:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak-23-march-to-1-july-2020.

The publication includes breakdowns of attendance statistics for both primary and secondary schools and colleges from 1 June.

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

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether (a) one or (b) both parents are required to be classed as key workers for a child to attend school during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department has recently published guidance for parents and carers in relation to the closure of educational settings, and this is available from:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers.

The current guidance confirms that children with at least one parent or carer who is critical to the COVID-19 response can attend an education or childcare setting if necessary. However, many families with a parent or carer working in critical sectors will be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.

Nick Gibb
Minister of State (Education)
20th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people with specific dietary needs as a result of a medical condition can obtain the food they need from supermarkets.

The Government has well-established ways of working with the food industry during disruption to supply situations. We are aware of the additional availability issues faced by people who have particular dietary requirements and are working with the food industry to ensure that everybody is able to get the food that they need. We will continue to work closely with the industry over the coming days and months.

Our retailers already have highly resilient supply chains and they are working around the clock to adapt quickly to these changes in demands. Food supply into and across the UK is resilient.

To help industry respond to this unprecedented demand we have introduced new measures to keep food supply flowing. We have issued guidance to local authorities to allow extended delivery hours to supermarkets so that shelves can be filled up more quickly, and we have implemented extensions to drivers’ hours. We are also temporarily relaxing certain elements of competition law to ensure retailers are able to collaborate effectively in the national interest.

Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, whether his Department has made an assessment of the International Finance Corporation decision to support the Amulsar gold mining project in Armenia.

The UK is a shareholder of the International Financial Cooperation (IFC) and has a single seat on its Board. Our membership and support for international financial institutions like the IFC helps to advance sustainable and inclusive growth in developing economies. The IFC has robust environmental, social and governance safeguards, which it assesses all projects and investments against. The UK uses its seat on the IFC Board to ensure these standards are met and will take this into consideration when deciding whether or not to vote in favour of a particular project. The IFC has not been involved in the Amulsar gold mining project since 2017

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, with reference to paragraph 9.1 of the Crown Commercial Service's document, Publication of Central Government Tenders and Contracts, for what reasons her Department's contract with Quintessentially (UK) Limited was not published on Contracts Finder until April 2019 when that contract began in May 2016.

The contract was procured prior to the formation of the Department for International Trade (DIT) by UK Shared Business Services who at the time managed UK Trade and Investment’s (UKTI) procurement activity. DIT took ownership of UKTI’s contracts on formation. UK Shared Business Services is a shared services provider and is jointly owned by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and UK Research and Innovation. UK Shared Business Services was responsible for adding the contract to Contracts Finder before responsibility for the contract was transferred to DIT. After DIT staff noticed the contract was not on Contracts Finder, in early 2019, the contract was added.

The Department are currently running a competitive procurement for a partner for inward investment services. This will replace the current contract with Quintessentially when it expires in May 2020. A notice was published on Contracts Finder and the Official Journal of the EU in January 2020 to inform the market of this opportunity.

Quintessentially won a competitive tender in 2016 which was carried out by UK Shared Business Service who at the time managed UKTI’s procurement activity.

Key performance indicators are designed to reflect the service required and are determined on a case-by-case basis.

DIT does not hold any other contracts with Quintessentially (UK) Limited in addition to the contract for the GREAT Investors Programme.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether her Department plans to renew its contract with Quintessentially (UK) Limited after that contract expires in May 2020.

The contract was procured prior to the formation of the Department for International Trade (DIT) by UK Shared Business Services who at the time managed UK Trade and Investment’s (UKTI) procurement activity. DIT took ownership of UKTI’s contracts on formation. UK Shared Business Services is a shared services provider and is jointly owned by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and UK Research and Innovation. UK Shared Business Services was responsible for adding the contract to Contracts Finder before responsibility for the contract was transferred to DIT. After DIT staff noticed the contract was not on Contracts Finder, in early 2019, the contract was added.

The Department are currently running a competitive procurement for a partner for inward investment services. This will replace the current contract with Quintessentially when it expires in May 2020. A notice was published on Contracts Finder and the Official Journal of the EU in January 2020 to inform the market of this opportunity.

Quintessentially won a competitive tender in 2016 which was carried out by UK Shared Business Service who at the time managed UKTI’s procurement activity.

Key performance indicators are designed to reflect the service required and are determined on a case-by-case basis.

DIT does not hold any other contracts with Quintessentially (UK) Limited in addition to the contract for the GREAT Investors Programme.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the tendering process for the contract held with her Department by Quintessentially (UK) Limited was competitive and open to rival bids.

The contract was procured prior to the formation of the Department for International Trade (DIT) by UK Shared Business Services who at the time managed UK Trade and Investment’s (UKTI) procurement activity. DIT took ownership of UKTI’s contracts on formation. UK Shared Business Services is a shared services provider and is jointly owned by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and UK Research and Innovation. UK Shared Business Services was responsible for adding the contract to Contracts Finder before responsibility for the contract was transferred to DIT. After DIT staff noticed the contract was not on Contracts Finder, in early 2019, the contract was added.

The Department are currently running a competitive procurement for a partner for inward investment services. This will replace the current contract with Quintessentially when it expires in May 2020. A notice was published on Contracts Finder and the Official Journal of the EU in January 2020 to inform the market of this opportunity.

Quintessentially won a competitive tender in 2016 which was carried out by UK Shared Business Service who at the time managed UKTI’s procurement activity.

Key performance indicators are designed to reflect the service required and are determined on a case-by-case basis.

DIT does not hold any other contracts with Quintessentially (UK) Limited in addition to the contract for the GREAT Investors Programme.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether it is standard practice for her Department to include in its contracts with suppliers a key performance indicator that specifies that the contractor does not offer services that are not in line with government offering and reputational agreement.

The contract was procured prior to the formation of the Department for International Trade (DIT) by UK Shared Business Services who at the time managed UK Trade and Investment’s (UKTI) procurement activity. DIT took ownership of UKTI’s contracts on formation. UK Shared Business Services is a shared services provider and is jointly owned by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and UK Research and Innovation. UK Shared Business Services was responsible for adding the contract to Contracts Finder before responsibility for the contract was transferred to DIT. After DIT staff noticed the contract was not on Contracts Finder, in early 2019, the contract was added.

The Department are currently running a competitive procurement for a partner for inward investment services. This will replace the current contract with Quintessentially when it expires in May 2020. A notice was published on Contracts Finder and the Official Journal of the EU in January 2020 to inform the market of this opportunity.

Quintessentially won a competitive tender in 2016 which was carried out by UK Shared Business Service who at the time managed UKTI’s procurement activity.

Key performance indicators are designed to reflect the service required and are determined on a case-by-case basis.

DIT does not hold any other contracts with Quintessentially (UK) Limited in addition to the contract for the GREAT Investors Programme.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
4th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether her Department holds any other contracts with Quintessentially (UK) Limited in addition to the contract for the Great Investors Programme.

The contract was procured prior to the formation of the Department for International Trade (DIT) by UK Shared Business Services who at the time managed UK Trade and Investment’s (UKTI) procurement activity. DIT took ownership of UKTI’s contracts on formation. UK Shared Business Services is a shared services provider and is jointly owned by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and UK Research and Innovation. UK Shared Business Services was responsible for adding the contract to Contracts Finder before responsibility for the contract was transferred to DIT. After DIT staff noticed the contract was not on Contracts Finder, in early 2019, the contract was added.

The Department are currently running a competitive procurement for a partner for inward investment services. This will replace the current contract with Quintessentially when it expires in May 2020. A notice was published on Contracts Finder and the Official Journal of the EU in January 2020 to inform the market of this opportunity.

Quintessentially won a competitive tender in 2016 which was carried out by UK Shared Business Service who at the time managed UKTI’s procurement activity.

Key performance indicators are designed to reflect the service required and are determined on a case-by-case basis.

DIT does not hold any other contracts with Quintessentially (UK) Limited in addition to the contract for the GREAT Investors Programme.

Graham Stuart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the average length of delay at each UK port in January 2021.

As yet, it is too early to use observed information to predict whether any disruption may occur later in January and if so to what degree. However, alongside the Border and Protocol Delivery Group we shall continue to monitor the situation.

We have always been clear that some change is to be expected now that we have left the EU’s custom union and single market. Full compliance with the new rules is vital to avoid disruption, and the best way to ensure readiness is to follow the guidance on gov.uk and use the ‘Check an HGV’ service.

We stand ready to help keep goods flowing smoothly as we adjust to our new relationship with the EU and ensure we take advantage of the opportunities it brings.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that plans are in place to enforce social distancing measures on public transport between 23 and 27 December 2020.

Travel restrictions across the UK and between tiers will be lifted over the Christmas period, allowing up to three households to come together between 23 and 27 of December in Great Britain and between the 22 and 28 for those travelling to and from Northern Ireland.

The pandemic will undoubtedly make journeys more challenging, longer and busier than usual over the Christmas period. We have therefore been working closely with delivery partners to devise a series of measures focused on supporting passenger and staff safety, reducing disruption wherever possible and helping people travel with confidence. Sir Peter Hendy has also been asked to scrutinise the plans of all rail, road, coach, maritime and aviation operators to ensure a collective focus across the transport industry on minimising disruption and supporting passengers.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has in place to ensure that public transport networks can cope safely and in adherence to social distancing measures with a potential increase in passengers on services between 23 and 27 December 2020.

Travel restrictions across the UK and between tiers will be lifted over the Christmas period, allowing up to three households to come together between 23 and 27 of December in Great Britain and between the 22 and 28 for those travelling to and from Northern Ireland.

The pandemic will undoubtedly make journeys more challenging, longer and busier than usual over the Christmas period. We have therefore been working closely with delivery partners to devise a series of measures focused on supporting passenger and staff safety, reducing disruption wherever possible and helping people travel with confidence. Sir Peter Hendy has also been asked to scrutinise the plans of all rail, road, coach, maritime and aviation operators to ensure a collective focus across the transport industry on minimising disruption and supporting passengers.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of the High Speed Two rail project.

In April, the Government approved the Full Business Case for Phase One and set the funding envelope at £44.6bn (2019 prices), including Euston. The overall Phase 2a estimated cost is ranged between £5-7bn (2019 prices). Updated cost estimates will be provided for the Phase 2b links to Manchester and Leeds once the Integrated Rail Plan is concluded. The Government has committed to keeping Parliament regularly updated on the latest cost estimates of the scheme via twice yearly reporting. The first of these was published in October and can be accessed below: https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/hs2-6-monthly-report-to-parliament.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department is taking steps to (a) restructure and (b) reassess the viability of the High Speed Two project as a result of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority issuing a red Delivery Confidence Assessment rating in its Annual Report on Major Projects 2019-20.

The IPA’s report refers to the status of the HS2 project in September 2019. This was before the project was comprehensively reset in February 2020 with a revised budget and schedule, and provision of adequate contingency. Steps have also been taken to ensure the project is delivered in a more disciplined and transparent manner with, for example, a dedicated HS2 Minister appointed and bi-annual updates to be provided to Parliament.

In line with the findings of the Oakervee Review, published in February 2020, we will also be creating new delivery arrangements for Euston, and have committed to drawing up an Integrated Rail Plan for the Midlands and the North by the end of this year.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the purpose was of the visit by Mark Thurston, Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd, to Beijing in April 2018.

Mark Thurston did not visit Beijing in April 2018. In April 2019 Mark Thurston visited Japan, China and Hong Kong to meet with companies responsible for developing and operating high speed networks. He also visited high speed stations in Tokyo, Beijing and Kowloon. The purpose of the visit was to gather international best practice of core elements of High Speed Rail projects, such as station design, maintenance and operational processes.

At the advice of the previous Chairman, Sir David Higgins, Mark Thurston also undertook two other short, 48hr, overseas visits - to Italy and Spain - in March 2018 to learn from their experiences of delivering High Speed Rail. Spain has the largest high speed network outside of China.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether funding from the public purse was allocated to the visit to Beijing in April 2018 by Mark Thurston, Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd.

Mark Thurston did not visit Beijing in April 2018. In April 2019 Mark Thurston visited Japan, China and Hong Kong to meet with companies responsible for developing and operating high speed networks, hosted by the British Embassy and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and supported by HM Trade Commissioner to China and the Department for International Trade. The purpose of the visit was to gather international best practice of core elements of High Speed Rail projects, such as station design, maintenance and operational processes. The only business expense claimed was Mark Thurston’s international flights. Where travel is for business purposes it is reasonable for it to be covered by HS2 Ltd in line with its published policies. Mark Thurston covered his own internal travel expenses, accommodation, and expenditure for this trip.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the implications for her policies of the findings of research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation which states that 56% of people in poverty are in a working family, compared to 39% 20 years ago.

No assessment has been made.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the total cost per month, of extending the £20 weekly uplift in Universal Credit until September 2021.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer delivered his Budget to Parliament on 3 March 2021. The Budget in full and supporting documents are published and available here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/budget-2021-documents

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reasons 118,000 places in the Kickstart scheme are yet to be filled; and what the planned timescale is for filling those places.

We are pleased that over 2,000 young people have started in jobs created by the Department for Work and Pensions’ Kickstart Scheme since November.

After being approved and the grant agreement with the employer or Gateway is signed, a job placement becomes available once the employer has provided the job details and confirmed when they want to fill it. A Kickstart job does not have to start right away but anytime within the life time of the scheme. It is then advertised via Job Centre Plus for referrals of eligible young people.

Employers are taking appropriate care to help young people start their jobs safely and we are pleased that so many young people have been able to benefit from the scheme.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 11 December 2020 to Question 124122, if she will publish an anti-poverty strategy.

I refer the Hon (or Rt Hon) Member to the answer I gave on 11 December 2020 to question number 124122

This Government champions the principle of work as the best route out of poverty and towards financial independence. Getting people back to work and supporting them to progress is at the heart of our approach and our new £30 billion Plan for Jobs is the first step on the ladder to achieving this.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many food banks there were in Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

There are no official statistics on the number of food banks, which are independent, charitable organisations

Throughout this pandemic, this Government has delivered an unprecedented package of support to protect jobs and businesses and, for those in most need, injected billions into the welfare system. The new Covid Winter Grant Scheme builds on that support with an additional £170m for local authorities in England, to support families with children and other vulnerable people with the cost of food and essential utilities this winter and beyond.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policy on universal credit of recent Trussell Trust research which found that individuals using food banks are more likely to owe money to the Government through monthly deductions from universal credit payments than they are to owe family, friends and payday loan companies.

Tackling poverty will always be a priority for this Government. Our recent focus has rightly been on supporting people financially during these unprecedented times, with an injection of billions of pounds to strengthen the welfare system in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including a temporary increase in the Universal Credit Standard Allowance to support those facing the most financial disruption. Through the Covid Winter Grant Scheme, announced on 9 November, we are extending that support with an additional £170m for local authorities in England so that they can support families with children and other vulnerable people with the cost of food and essential utilities this winter.

From October 2019, the overall maximum level for standard deductions is normally limited to 30% of a claimant’s Standard Allowance except for last-resort deductions. From October 2021, this is being reduced to 25% of the claimant’s standard allowance except for last-resort deductions. Claimants can ask for New Claims and Change of Circumstances Advance repayments to be delayed for up to 3 months in exceptional circumstances.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will bring forward an anti-poverty strategy.

Tackling child poverty is a key priority for this Government. We have provided an unprecedented package of support throughout the pandemic, injecting billions into the welfare system for those most in need, including increases to the Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit standard allowances of up to £1040 this financial year, and uplifts to the Local Housing Allowance rates to cover the lowest 30% of market rents. The Covid Winter Grant Scheme builds on that support with an additional £170m for local authorities in England, to support families with children and other vulnerable people, with the cost of food and essential utilities this winter.

Our long-term ambition is to level up across the country and to continue to tackle child poverty, through our reformed welfare system that works with the labour market to encourage parents to move into, and progress in work, wherever possible. This approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of parental employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risks of poverty and in improving long-term outcomes for children.

Our £30bn Plan for Jobs is another step on the ladder to achieving this and will support economic recovery through new schemes including Kickstart and Job Entry Targeted Support. We are also doubling the number of work coaches who, through our Jobcentre network, will provide more people with the tailored support they need to move back into work and towards financial independence.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policies of recent Legatum Institute research which found that 700,000 people in the UK including 120,000 children have been pushed into poverty as a result of the economic effect of the covid-19 outbreak.

Tackling child poverty is a key priority for this Government. We have provided an unprecedented package of support throughout the pandemic, injecting billions into the welfare system for those most in need, including increases to the Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit standard allowances of up to £1040 this financial year, and uplifts to the Local Housing Allowance rates to cover the lowest 30% of market rents. The Covid Winter Grant Scheme builds on that support with an additional £170m for local authorities in England, to support families with children and other vulnerable people, with the cost of food and essential utilities this winter.

Our long-term ambition is to level up across the country and to continue to tackle child poverty, through our reformed welfare system that works with the labour market to encourage parents to move into, and progress in work, wherever possible. This approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of parental employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risks of poverty and in improving long-term outcomes for children.

Our £30bn Plan for Jobs is another step on the ladder to achieving this and will support economic recovery through new schemes including Kickstart and Job Entry Targeted Support. We are also doubling the number of work coaches who, through our Jobcentre network, will provide more people with the tailored support they need to move back into work and towards financial independence.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policies of the findings of the Royal British Legion in its report entitled Making the benefits system fit for service, improving support for veterans with military compensation, published in November 2020, that 8 per cent of survey respondents claiming personal independence payments and 6 per cent claiming employment support allowance felt that the assessor had knowledge of the Armed Forces and Service-related conditions.

We are currently giving this report the careful consideration it deserves. However, our early analysis finds some of the themes highlighted in the report – such as, effectively identifying veterans; making best use of data and evidence; and improving staff awareness and training - are areas where DWP has already taken action to improve the service we offer to veterans, or have future plans to do so. For example, where possible the healthcare professionals undertaking assessments will use paper based evidence alone, this will include Service Medical Board reports, where available.

For Personal Independence Payment, assessors have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder guidance which was developed with the help of the Royal British Legion.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many food banks there were in (a) March 2020 and (b) November 2020.

There are no official statistics on the number of food banks, which are independent, charitable organisations.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on making the £20 a week uplift in universal credit permanent.

The £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit was announced by the Chancellor as a temporary measure in March 2020 to support those facing the most financial disruption as a result of the public health emergency. This measure remains in place until April 2021. As the Government has done throughout this crisis, it will continue to assess how best to support low-income families, which is why we will look at the economic and health context in the new year.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make an assessment of the implications for her policies of the finding by the End Child Poverty Campaign that eight out of the 10 local authorities in which child poverty increased between 2014 and 2019 are in the North of England.

We have examined, from what has been published, Loughborough University’s methodology for estimating housing costs by constituency. We are unable to assess how robust the method for modelling local housing costs is and we do not know the process used for calibrating the local measures with regional level statistics on child poverty from Households Below Average Income.

National Statistics on the number and percentage of children in low income are published annually in the “Households Below Average Income” publication. These remain the most accurate published measurements of low income. The latest HBAI statistics (2018/19) show that since 2009/10, 100,000 children have been lifted out of absolute poverty (both before and after housing costs) and levels of combined material deprivation and low income for children are at their joint lowest level.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support the Government is providing to self-employed people who are ineligible for the £500 support payment and have to self-isolate due to having covid-19 symptoms.

We have relaxed the application of the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) for all self-employed UC claimants affected by the impact of COVID-19. This means that that a drop in earnings due to sickness or self-isolation, or as a result of the impact of the outbreak, will now be reflected in a claimant’s award. It ensures that the self-employed are supported by the benefit system so that they can follow the Public Health England guidance on social distancing and self-isolation.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 21 April 2020 to Question 33416 on Universal Credit: Coronavirus, what the average processing time was for a universal credit claim in (a) February, (b) March, (c) April, (d) May, (e) June, (f) July and (g) August 2020.

The latest available information on Universal Credit payment timeliness is published and can be found at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many children were living in poverty in (a) Hemsworth constituency, (b) Wakefield Council area and (c) West Yorkshire Combined Authority area as at (i) 15 July 2010 and (ii) 15 July 2020.

National Statistics on the number and percentage of children in low income are published annually in the “Households Below Average Income” publication. The rates of children in absolute poverty in the Yorkshire and the Humber region in the three years to 18/19 has decreased, both before and after housing costs, compared to the three years to 09/10.

Latest statistics for the number of children who are in low income for England and the Yorkshire and the Humber region can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/households-below-average-income-199495-to-201819, “children-hbai-timeseries-1994-95-2018-19-tables” in table 4.17ts (relative low income, before and after housing costs) and 4.23ts (absolute low income, before and after housing costs).

The Department now publishes supplementary official statistics on the number of children in low income families at constituency level. Children in Low Income Families data is published annually.

The latest figures from 2014/15 to 2018/19 can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/children-in-low-income-families-local-area-statistics-201415-to-201819

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many unemployment young people there are in (a) Hemsworth constituency, (b) Wakefield Council area and (c) West Yorkshire Combined Authority area.

Estimates of the number of people who are unemployed are compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) using the Annual Population Survey (APS), a large household survey.

Estimates are based on a sample of cases and therefore subject to sampling uncertainty. Estimates at sub-regional geographies such as local authorities and parliamentary constituencies or sub-groups such as unemployed young people are especially uncertain.

New figures were released on 16 July 2020 for the April 2019 - March 2020 survey period on the NOMIS website.

(https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/)

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many in-work households were living in poverty in (a) Hemsworth constituency, (b) Wakefield Council area and (c) West Yorkshire Combined Authority area as at (i) 15 July 2010 and (ii) 15 July 2020.

This information is not held.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average waiting time was for an application for universal credit to be processed in each of the last three years.

The latest available information on Universal Credit payment timeliness is published and can be found at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of pensioners in Hemsworth constituency are in receipt of pension credit.

As of November 2019, there were 2,626 Pension Credit claimants in Hemsworth.

The department does not hold information on the number of pensioners in Hemsworth constituency.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of the effect of the covid-19 oubreak on the level of unemployment in Hemsworth consistency.

Estimates of the number of people who are unemployed for sub-regional geographies in the UK are compiled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). At parliamentary constituency level these estimates are subject to a high degree of statistical uncertainty. This is because the sample of the Annual Population Survey, upon which the estimates are based, includes small numbers of people matching this description at this level.

The latest available data is available on the NOMIS website (https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/) and covers the period January to December 2019.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants of universal credit there were in Hemsworth consistency in each month since January 2020.

The available information on the number of people on Universal Credit, by Parliamentary Constituency, is published and can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the general public is aware that statutory sick pay is payable from the first day of sickness.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) guidance is available for the general public to access at https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay.

The guidance states that employees may get SSP for every day they are off work if they cannot work because of coronavirus (COVID-19). The SSP guidance can also be accessed through the coronavirus (COVID-19) hub on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Justin Tomlinson
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how long after first applying can claimants for universal credit receive their first advance.

Universal Credit new claim advance payments have long been an integral part of the UC system, allowing claimants to access up to 100% of their total expected monthly award at the start of their claim, which can be paid back over a period of up to 12 months, which will be extended to 24 months from October 2021.

Applications are accepted by phone or online and payments can be issued on the same day.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent assessment she has made of trends in the level of time taken to speak to a call handler on the universal credit helpline.

Since mid-March we have seen a huge volume of calls to the Universal Credit helpline, with over 2 million calls on a single day at one point. We are aware that this demand has meant that some claimants were not able to get through.

People making new claims for Universal Credit no longer need to call the Department as part of the process. Once they have completed their online application we will call them if we need to check any of the information they have given us. We have also introduced new processes to ease pressure on waiting times for identity verification over the phone and other processes.

The Department’s priority is to continue to ensure those who are entitled to benefit receive the support they need at a time when new claims for Universal Credit are at an unprecedented level.

Since 16 March 2020, we have received more than 1.5 million new claims for Universal Credit. 10,000 members of staff from other parts of DWP are being redeployed to support work on new claims and we are urgently recruiting additional people to assist with the processing of claims.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she has taken to manage an increase in claims for universal credit as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Since mid-March we have seen a huge volume of calls to the Universal Credit helpline, with over 2 million calls on a single day at one point. We are aware that this demand has meant that some claimants were not able to get through.

People making new claims for Universal Credit no longer need to call the Department as part of the process. Once they have completed their online application we will call them if we need to check any of the information they have given us. We have also introduced new processes to ease pressure on waiting times for identity verification over the phone and other processes.

The Department’s priority is to continue to ensure those who are entitled to benefit receive the support they need at a time when new claims for Universal Credit are at an unprecedented level.

Since 16 March 2020, we have received more than 1.5 million new claims for Universal Credit. 10,000 members of staff from other parts of DWP are being redeployed to support work on new claims and we are urgently recruiting additional people to assist with the processing of claims.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the increase in universal credit claims as a result of the covid-19 outbreak has affected claim processing times.

Since mid-March we have seen a huge volume of calls to the Universal Credit helpline, with over 2 million calls on a single day at one point. We are aware that this demand has meant that some claimants were not able to get through.

People making new claims for Universal Credit no longer need to call the Department as part of the process. Once they have completed their online application we will call them if we need to check any of the information they have given us. We have also introduced new processes to ease pressure on waiting times for identity verification over the phone and other processes.

The Department’s priority is to continue to ensure those who are entitled to benefit receive the support they need at a time when new claims for Universal Credit are at an unprecedented level.

Since 16 March 2020, we have received more than 1.5 million new claims for Universal Credit. 10,000 members of staff from other parts of DWP are being redeployed to support work on new claims and we are urgently recruiting additional people to assist with the processing of claims.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support the Government is providing to self-employed people who have to self-isolate as a result of covid-19 symptoms.

The Chancellor has announced a Self-Employed Income Support Scheme that will help millions of people across the UK, with those eligible receiving a cash grant worth 80% of their average monthly trading profit over the last three years. This covers 95% of people who receive the majority of their income from self-employment.

The government has also announced a package of temporary welfare measures to support those on low incomes through the outbreak, including relaxing the Minimum Income Floor for all self-employed claimants affected by the economic impact of COVID-19. Taken together, these measures provide over £6.5bn of additional support through the welfare system.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what are the average waiting times for (a) accident and emergency and (b) planned operations in each region of the UK.

The average waiting times for accident and emergency (A&E) in each region of the United Kingdom is not available in the format requested. Data collections for A&E and planned operations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is a devolved matter.

The average median waiting times in weeks for planned operations and other elective care listed as incomplete referral to treatment pathways in each region of England in March 2021 is shown in the following table.

Region

Median time in weeks

NHS England East of England

12.6

NHS England London

11.1

NHS England Midlands

12.9

NHS England North East and Yorkshire

9.4

NHS England North West

11.3

NHS England South East

11.3

NHS England South West

11.7

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of referrals of patients to NHS Long Covid clinics in (a) October 2020, (b) November 2020, (c) December 2020, (d) January 2021, (e) February 2021 and (f) March 2021.

This information is not currently held as referral data for NHS England and NHS Improvement ‘long’ COVID-19 assessment service centres is experimental and has not yet been validated.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of NHS staff living in each parliamentary constituency, broken down by geographic region.

The Department does not hold the data requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the location of all NHS Long Covid clinics within the UK.

NHS England has published a list of its post COVID-19 syndrome or ‘long’ COVID-19 assessment services in England only at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/post-covid-syndrome-long-covid/

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish (a) advice and (b) guidance provided by the (i) Chief Medical Officer and (ii) Public Health England on the reopening of nightclubs and staging of large scale events from 21 June as outlined in Step 4 of the roadmap of exiting lockdown restrictions.

The Chief Medical Officer and Public Health England did not provide specific advice on the reopening of nightclubs and the staging of large events.

It is not possible to say what the restrictions on 21 June will be as they will be subject to a further review of the data.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many delayed discharges from hospital there were in Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

Data from January 2020 to February 2020 and from August 2010 to December 2010 is not available in the format requested.

Due to COVID-19 and the need to release capacity across the National Health Service to support the response, NHS England and NHS Improvement have suspended the collection and publication of some of the official statistics. This includes data for delayed discharges which has not been collected since February 2020.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many operations were cancelled in Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

Data is only collected for those cancelled at the last minute for non-clinical reasons. Last minute means on the day the patient was due to arrive, after the patient has arrived in hospital or on the day of the operation or surgery. In 2010 there were 6,983 operations cancelled at the last minute for non-clinical reasons in the Yorkshire and Humber region, and 216 of these were not treated within a further 28 days from the cancellation.

Information is not available for 2020 because the collection of data on cancelled operations has been paused due to COVID-19 and the need to release capacity across the National Health Service to support the response.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much the NHS spent on purchasing healthcare from non-NHS providers in Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS Direct calls were unanswered in Yorkshire and the Humber region in 2010; and how many NHS 111 calls were unanswered in Yorkshire and the Humber region in 2020.

The information is not held in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many GP surgeries with opening hours after 6pm there were in Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

This information is not held in the format requested. Data is collected at clinical commissioning group, sustainability and transformation partnership and National Health Service commissioning region level.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many GPs per 1,000 patients there were in Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

This information is not held in the format requested. Data is collected at clinical commissioning group, sustainability and transformation partnership and National Health Service commissioning region level.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many cancer treatment referrals were made (a) from 1 October 2019 to 31 December 2019 and (b) from 1 October 2020 to 31 December 2020.

The information requested is shown in the following table:

Period

Number of two week wait From general practitioner urgent referral to first consultant appointments

1 October 2019 to 31 December 2019

609,613

1 October 2020 to 31 December 2020

609,826

Source: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/cancer-waiting-times/

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many cases of (a) covid-19, (b) influenza and (b) other respiratory pathogens were reported by each education setting among (i) pupils and (ii) staff in the 2020-21 academic year to date.

Data on the number of cases of COVID-19, influenza and other respiratory disease are not available in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many mental health beds there were in Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

The information is not held centrally in the format requested. NHS England and NHS Improvement hold information on only the mental health beds classified as consultant-led – this does not include beds run by multi-disciplinary teams. In addition, data for Yorkshire and Humber in 2010 is not available due to changes in how the National Health Service regions are defined.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many out of area placements for children accessing mental health beds there were in Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

This information is not held in the format requested.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients were held under the Mental Health Act 1983 in Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

The information is not available in the format requested.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many Mental Health Nurses there were in Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

NHS Digital publishes Hospital and Community Health Services workforce statistics. These include staff working in hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), but not staff working in primary care, local authorities or private sector providers commissioned by the National Health Service.

In the Yorkshire and the Humber region, there were 3,983 full-time equivalent mental health nurses employed in October 2010 and 3,291 in October 2020.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients were waiting longer that four hours at A&E in Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

The data is not available in the format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS workers have died from covid-19 (a) in total and (b) since 1 January 2021.

The Office for National Statistics’ data for deaths involving COVID-19 for healthcare workers in England showed that there were 380 deaths registered between 9 March to 28 December 2020 in England, of those aged 20-64 years old, using their last known occupation. The definition of healthcare workers used will include not only those employed in the National Health Service but also wider healthcare sector workers.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS overnight beds there were in Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

This information is not available in the format requested. Since 2010/11 data on overnight bed availability is published on a quarterly rather than annual basis. Data is available at trust level, for the seven regions and nationally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS walk-in centres there were in Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

This information is not collected centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the number of covid-19 vaccine doses delivered to each region of (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland in each week week since 1 January 2021.

Vaccination deployment programmes are managed by the health services in each nation.

The United Kingdom Government is working closely with the devolved administrations to ensure an aligned approach to COVID-19 vaccine deployment. We have procured vaccines on behalf of all parts of the country and the Government is working with the devolved administrations to ensure it is deployed fairly.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which GP surgeries were in operation in Yorkshire as of 2020.

The information is not held in the format requested. Data is collected by National Health Service region only.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many social care workers have died from covid-19 (a) in total and (b) since 1 January 2021.

Mortality data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that 446 deaths involving COVID-19 among social care workers were registered in England and 23 in Wales, between 9 March 2020 and 28 December 2020. This data was recently published on 25 January 2021.

There is currently no data published beyond 28 December 2020 relating to care worker deaths from COVID-19. The next analysis by the ONS on this topic has not yet been scheduled.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many A&E (a) type one, (b) type two and (c) type three units there were in Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

This information is not collected centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many midwifery-led units there were in Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

This information is not held centrally.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many ambulances there were in Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

In 2010, there were 274 emergency ambulances and 194 rapid response vehicles in operation within the Yorkshire and Humber region. The latest data for 2020 shows there are now 410 emergency ambulances and 106 rapid response vehicles in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the guidance that his Department has issued to clinical commissioning groups on releasing local covid-19 vaccination data.

No specific guidance has been issued to clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) on releasing local COVID-19 vaccination data. National Health Service vaccination services use the National Immunisation Management System (NIMS) for recording and reporting vaccination data. Data is drawn from NIMS to create the published daily and weekly vaccination numbers and updates which is available at the following links:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/vaccinations

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations/

The weekly data includes vaccinations at various local and regional levels, including by CCG and parliamentary constituency.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many cancer treatment referrals were made in each year from (a) 2016 to (b) 2020.

The following table shows the number of two week waits from general practitioner (GP) urgent referral to first consultant appointment from 2015/16.

Year

Number of two week waits from GP urgent referral to first consultant appointment

2015/16

1,714,017

2016/17

1,867,303

2017/18

1,935,054

2018/19

2,245,524

2019/20

2,386,815

2020/21 (April to November 2020)

1,299,524

Source: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/cancer-waiting-times/

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on involving local authorities in the rollout of covid-19 vaccines.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has discussions on a wide range of issues with his Ministerial counterparts, including the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

As key partners in integrated care systems and sustainability and transformation partnerships, local authorities are closely involved in supporting the vaccine deployment programme. This includes the selection of sites for vaccination centres; critical partnership working to manage vaccinating in care homes; local communications on vaccine messaging; and engaging with vulnerable or disproportionately impacted groups.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish proposals on reforming social care.

As set out in the 2020 Spending Review, the Government is committed to reform of the adult social care system and will bring forward proposals this year.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on what date SAGE first discussed covid variant B117; and what the outcome was of those discussions.

COVID-19 variant B117 was first mentioned at SAGE 74 on 22 December 2020. Public Health England was asked to share the information on the new variant B117 and South Africa variant with Ministers.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the (a) advice and (b) guidance provided by the (i) Chief Medical Officer and (ii) Public Health England on the decision to keeps nurseries open during the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

The Chief Medical Officer and Public Health England have not provided specific advice with regards to nurseries remaining open or allowing house viewings in the current lockdown.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the (a) advice and (b) guidance provided by the (i) Chief Medical Officer and (ii) Public Health England on the decision to allow house viewings to continue during the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

The Chief Medical Officer and Public Health England have not provided specific advice with regards to nurseries remaining open or allowing house viewings in the current lockdown.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will list the names and locations of the pharmacies in the Wakefield local authority area that are administering covid-19 vaccines.

There are five local vaccination sites within the NHS Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group area:

- Castleford Civic Centre in Castleford;

- King’s Medical Practice in Normanton;

- Sandal RUFC in Wakefield;

- Church View Health Centre in Pontefract; and

- St Swithun’s Community Centre in Wakefield.

More community pharmacies will begin to administer the COVID-19 vaccine from the weeks commencing 18 January and 25 January. There is now a list of vaccine sites on the NHS website regularly updated as they come on stream, including community pharmacy sites at the following link: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/hospital-hubs-and-local-vaccination-services/

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Jan 2021
What progress his Department has made on improving life expectancy levels.

Life expectancy in recent years has been at its highest ever level. However the rate of improvement has stalled and we expect to see the adverse impact of COVID-19 on life expectancy in future. COVID-19 has also highlighted differences in health outcomes between communities and we remain committed to levelling up health outcomes so everyone can enjoy a long, healthy life.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which companies are (a) delivering and (b) administering the (i) Pfizer-BioNTech covid -19 vaccine and (ii) Oxford-AstraZeneca covid-19 vaccine.

Due to the potential security risk, we are unable to provide details of companies delivering the vaccine.

There are no companies authorised to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. Only the National Health Service can offer and administer the vaccine.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many referrals there were to NHS psychological therapies services in (a) January 2020, (b) February 2020, (c) March 2020, (d) April 2020, (e) May 2020, (f) June 2020, (g) July 2020, (h) August 2020, (i) September 2020, (j) October 2020, (k) November 2020, (l) December 2020 and (m) January 2021.

The following table shows the number of referrals received by NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies services in each month from January to October 2020. Data for November 2020 to January 2021 is not yet available.

Month

Referrals received

January 2020

163,182

February 2020

149,713

March 2020

108,330

April 2020

57,814

May 2020

78,544

June 2020

111,752

July 2020

128,988

August 2020

116,102

September 2020

132,237

October 2020

135,566

Source: NHS Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Dataset, NHS Digital

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people were prescribed antidepressants in (a) 2010, (b) 2019 and (c) 2020.

The following table shows the number of unique patients prescribed antidepressants on a National Health Service prescription and dispensed in the community in England for the calendar years 2019 and 2020 to October, which is the latest data held. No patient level data is held for 2010.

Calendar year

Total number of unique identified patients

2019

7,800,136

2020 to October

7,473,047

Note:

NHS Business Services Authority holds patient identifiable data relating to drugs prescribed in England and dispensed within a community setting. No data is captured on the prescription form about the clinical indication for which a prescription is intended. The list of antidepressants which have been identified for this response is based on British National Formulary (BNF) chapter 04 section 03 (Antidepressant Drugs) using the classification system prior to BNF edition 70.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have received a covid-19 vaccination, by region.

NHS England and NHS Improvement publish daily data for vaccinations in England, showing the total first and second doses given to date, by region which is available at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-vaccinations

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many referrals to NHS psychological therapies services there were per year in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

The information is not available in the format requested.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the total number of people per 100,000 of the population who have received a covid-19 vaccination, by UK region.

Daily data on the total number of vaccination doses has been published for England since 11 January 2021. This publication supports the weekly data that was already published which provided information on age and first and second doses. From 11 January 2021, this data has also included a regional breakdown.
Since 18 January 2021, we will also publish monthly information with further detail, dependant on accuracy and availability of data.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of including unpaid carers for individuals classed as clinically extremely vulnerable in the top Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation vaccine priority groups.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has advised that for phase one of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, the vaccine first be given to care home residents and staff and those aged over 80 years old, followed by health and social workers, then to the rest of the population in order of age and clinical risk factors.

Priority group six includes individuals aged 16 to 64 years old with certain underlying health conditions, which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality. Also in this priority group are those who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person, whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill. These individuals should also be offered vaccination alongside those with underlying health conditions

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the maximum distance an individual will have to travel to their nearest covid-19 vaccination centre.

In England, more than 98% of the population is currently within 10 miles of a vaccine service. In a small number of highly rural areas, the vaccination centre will be a mobile unit.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many vaccination centres are located in each UK region.

As health is devolved across the United Kingdom, vaccination is managed by the health services in each nation.

As of 12 March 2021, the total numbers of vaccination sites excluding pharmacies in each English region are as follows:

- East of England - 24 hospital hubs, 133 general practitioner (GP) led sites and 43 vaccination centres;

- London - 54 hospital hubs, 109 GP-led sites and 23 vaccination centres;

- Midlands - 40 hospital hubs, 186 GP-led sites and 22 vaccination centres;

- North East and Yorkshire - 40 hospital hubs, 178 GP-led sites and 11 vaccination centres;

- North West - 44 hospital hubs, 136 GP-led sites and 11 vaccination centres;

- South East - 46 hospital hubs, 182 GP-led sites and 18 vaccination centres; and

- South West - 19 hospital hubs, 110 GP-led sites and 10 vaccination centres.

This excludes 237 pharmacy sites as NHS England data does not include their region A map showing the number of sites in each region is available at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/vaccination-sites/

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many A&E wards there were in hospitals in the Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

This information is not collected centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many GP Surgeries there were in Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

In the Yorkshire and the Humber region there were 863 practices active in 2010 and 668 in 2020.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many ambulance stations there were in Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

The Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust has confirmed that there were 62 stations in 2010 and in 2020.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many education staff have contracted covid-19.

Data on the number of COVID-19 cases are not available in the format requested. Data on the number of acute respiratory infection incidents, including COVID-19, influenza or other respiratory pathogens, are reported by education setting. These figures include pupils as well as staff.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the bed occupancy rate was at each of the Nightingale Hospitals on (a) 1 August, (b) 1 September, (c) 1 October, (d) 1 November and (e) 1 December 2020.

This information is not held in the format requested. NHS England and NHS Improvement are collating some data relating to patient activity in the Nightingale hospitals but this information has not been centrally validated.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance is in place for people with advanced dementia to gain consent for covid-19 vaccinations in (a) care homes and (b) the community.

Before giving a COVID-19 vaccine, vaccinators must ensure that they have obtained informed consent from the individual or a person legally able to act on the person’s behalf and that this has been recorded appropriately. Where a person lacks the capacity to consent at the time of vaccination, in accordance with the Mental Capacity Act 2005, a decision to vaccinate may be made in the individual’s best interests once all practical steps have been taken to support the person to make the decision for themselves. The decision-maker acting on an individual’s behalf must consider all the relevant circumstances, including the person’s wishes, beliefs and values, the views of their family and what the person would have wanted if they had the capacity to make the decision themselves.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the prevalence of the use of antipsychotics in care homes.

The information is not available in the format requested. NHS Digital receive information on the prescribing of antipsychotic medication for people with dementia and without a diagnosis of psychosis. However, it does not include the location of those receiving the prescription and, therefore cannot identify those in care homes.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of frontline NHS employees were born in the EU.

The information is not available in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress has been made against each of the commitments set out in the Prime Minister's Challenge on dementia 2020: Implementation plan.

In 2018 we undertook a review of the progress made in implementing the Challenge on Dementia 2020. Respondents told us that we were largely on track to meet our commitments. In a small number of areas, additional or refined actions were identified to help ensure that commitments could be met. The report of the review was published on 22 February 2019 and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dementia-2020-challenge-progress-review

The Challenge contained the commitment to spend £300 million on dementia research over the five years to March 2020. This commitment was delivered a year early with £341 million spent on dementia research over the four years to 31 March 2019.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which organisations have received funding to deliver commitments set out in the Prime Minister's Challenge on dementia 2020; and how much funding each organisation has received.

In 2018 we undertook a review of the progress made in implementing the Challenge on Dementia 2020. Respondents told us that we were largely on track to meet our commitments. In a small number of areas, additional or refined actions were identified to help ensure that commitments could be met. The report of the review was published on 22 February 2019 and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dementia-2020-challenge-progress-review

The Challenge contained the commitment to spend £300 million on dementia research over the five years to March 2020. This commitment was delivered a year early with £341 million spent on dementia research over the four years to 31 March 2019.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether funding provided to organisations to deliver commitments set out in the Prime Minister's Challenge on dementia 2020 plan was issued for tender.

In 2018 we undertook a review of the progress made in implementing the Challenge on Dementia 2020. Respondents told us that we were largely on track to meet our commitments. In a small number of areas, additional or refined actions were identified to help ensure that commitments could be met. The report of the review was published on 22 February 2019 and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dementia-2020-challenge-progress-review

The Challenge contained the commitment to spend £300 million on dementia research over the five years to March 2020. This commitment was delivered a year early with £341 million spent on dementia research over the four years to 31 March 2019.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what process was applied to awarding funding to organisations that are delivering the commitments set out in the Prime Minister's Challenge on dementia 2020 plan.

In 2018 we undertook a review of the progress made in implementing the Challenge on Dementia 2020. Respondents told us that we were largely on track to meet our commitments. In a small number of areas, additional or refined actions were identified to help ensure that commitments could be met. The report of the review was published on 22 February 2019 and is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/dementia-2020-challenge-progress-review

The Challenge contained the commitment to spend £300 million on dementia research over the five years to March 2020. This commitment was delivered a year early with £341 million spent on dementia research over the four years to 31 March 2019.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of hospital beds are currently occupied by people with dementia; and what the average length of stay for patients with dementia is for each NHS Hospital within West Yorkshire.

Information on what proportion of hospital beds are currently occupied by people with dementia is not available.

NHS Digital has provided the following table showing the mean and median length of stay for finished discharge episodes (FDEs) with any diagnosis of dementia from hospitals within Yorkshire and Humber Government Office Region for the year 2019/20. This data is a count of discharge episodes where the patient left hospital after a period of treatment. It is not a count of patients as an individual may have had more than one episode of care which ended in the period covered.

NHS Provider

Discharges (FDEs)

Discharges with valid length of stay

Mean length of stay (days)

Median length of stay (days)

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

3,110

3,110

6

1

York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

4,555

4,555

9

4

Harrogate And District NHS Foundation Trust

1,145

1,145

9

5

Airedale NHS Foundation Trust

1,560

1,560

10

6

Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

2,940

2,940

5

3

The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust

2,275

2,275

8

4

Leeds And York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

70

70

110

76

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

3,970

3,970

10

6

Northern Lincolnshire And Goole NHS Foundation Trust

2,585

2,585

8

6

Doncaster And Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

3,995

3,995

7

3

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

4,430

4,430

15

7

Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust

90

90

47

22

Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

3,505

3,505

7

4

Calderdale And Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust

3,155

3,155

8

3

Rotherham Doncaster And South Humber NHS Foundation Trust

115

115

52

27

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

4,010

4,010

9

5

South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

70

70

100

83

Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust

60

60

121

77

Source: Hospital Episode Statistics, NHS Digital

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress has been made on finding a cure to Alzheimer's disease.

The Government is committed to supporting dementia research. Researchers in the United Kingdom are at the forefront of global efforts to find a cure or a disease-modifying treatment by 2025. The 2020 Dementia Challenge commitment to spend £300 million on dementia research over five years was delivered a year early, with £344 million spent over the four years to 31 March 2019. Our dementia research capability includes the £190 million UK Dementia Research Institute, the £43 million Dementias Platform UK supporting experimental medicine studies and the National Institute for Health Research Translational Collaboration – Dementia, which brings together industry, academia and charities to deliver research from which patients will benefit.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the locations are of the GP surgeries that are administering the covid-19 vaccine.

As of 10 January 2021, 785 local vaccination services were available to administer the vaccine. The designated site names and regions of these services and their associated clinical commissioning groups can be found at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/hospital-hubs-and-local-vaccination-services/

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish a rolling breakdown by region of the number of people who have been vaccinated against covid-19.

The Department, the National Health Service and Public Health England are committed to providing accurate and timely data in order to improve the transparency of the COVID-19 vaccine programme.

Since 24 December 2020, we have published weekly data on the total number of vaccinations among those aged under 80 years old and over in England. From 11 January, daily data for the United Kingdom has been published showing the total number vaccinated to date, including first and second doses.

More detailed data of vaccinations by age group and region in England was published on 14 January. This will now be a weekly publication. As the programme develops it is hoped more reliable data will be able to be extracted and published.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to tackle falling life expectancy in a number of local authorities in the north of England.

The Government are committed to ensuring people can enjoy at least five extra years of healthy, independent living by 2035. The NHS Long Term Plan contains a number of commitments, all major national programmes and every local area across England is required to set out specific measurable goals and mechanisms by which they will contribute to narrowing health inequalities over the next five and ten years.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average case rate is per 100,000 that is required for a region to be moved from Tier 3 covid level restrictions to Tier 2.

Public Health England, the Joint Biosecurity Centre and NHS Test and Trace constantly monitor the levels of infection and other data on prevalence of the virus across the country to inform the local action committee decision-making process including allocation of tiers. Decisions on which area is allocated to which tier of COVID-19 level restrictions are primarily based on five key epidemiological indicators:

- case detection rates in all age groups;
- case detection rates in the over 60 year olds;
- the rate at which cases are rising or falling;
- positivity rate or the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken; and
- pressure on the National Health Service, including current and projected occupancy.


Whilst each metric is important in its own right, the interplay between each indicator for a given area is equally important. As a result, hard numerical thresholds on each metric are not set. The indicators are designed to provide a full picture of what is happening with the virus in any area so that suitable action can be taken. The Government will maintain an approach that continues to allow our decisions to be driven by the data and expert judgement.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many maternity wards there were in hospitals in the Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

The Department does not hold information requested.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether outsourced hospital workers will receive the same level of priority for covid-19 vaccinations as NHS workers.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) consists of independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine/s the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. The JCVI has advised that the first priorities for any COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of COVID-19 mortality and the protection of health and social care staff and systems.

The JCVI considers frontline health and social care workers who provide care to vulnerable people a high priority for vaccination. The definition of frontline healthcare staff includes those involved in direct patient care. This includes staff who have frequent face-to-face clinical contact with patients and who are directly involved in patient care in either secondary or primary care/community settings.

Nadhim Zahawi
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional support the Government will provide to local authorities in Tier 3 to allow for the (a) establishment and (b) staffing of extra covid-19 testing sites.

We are supporting local authorities in England to deliver a six-week community testing programme, to help reduce the spread of the virus and to ease the toughest restrictions more quickly.

We published ‘Community Testing: a guide for local delivery’, which sets out the extensive package of support available, including details of £14-per-test funding for those taking part. This funding per test has been calculated to cover all reasonable costs associated with implementing and operating a testing programme. The community testing guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/community-testing-explainer/community-testing-a-guide-for-local-delivery

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on and (b) assessment he has made of the potential merits of a more localised approach to tiered restrictions within specific regions within England.

The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care has regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues relating to all aspects of the COVID-19 response.

In December 2020, restrictions were applied to broad geographical areas where there are significant interconnected economic and social networks. This approach enabled the same restrictions to apply where people are likely to work and socialise.

The Government reviewed restrictions every two weeks against a range of indicators and every local authority was reviewed individually.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the Government's operational plans for the roll-out of mass testing throughout areas that are placed into Tier 3 covid-19 restrictions.

Our community testing programme will empower local authorities to offer a six week testing surge to drive down prevalence with the aim of moving to a lower tier. This will enable local authorities to offer tests to the general population as well as targeting high-risk workplaces and industries, hard-to-reach communities and schools in a coordinated effort to drive prevalence down. It will be delivered in partnership with local authorities to ensure it is tailored to local circumstances and need. The Government is also working with the devolved administrations to coordinate on testing plans and deliver additional testing capability in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with local authorities to help ensure a take-up of mass covid-19 testing in low income Tier 3 areas throughout England.

We are working intensively with local authorities to ensure their community testing programmes are appropriately targeted during lockdown to continue to identify more positive cases and break chains of transmission.

The community testing offer is being expanded across all 317 local authorities in England to test people without symptoms. Local authorities are encouraged to target testing at people who are unable to work from home during the national lockdown. We are providing an additional £7 billion for NHS Test and Trace to support increased testing, including community testing and ongoing improvements to contact tracing.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish (a) advice and (b) guidance provided by the (i) Chief Medical Officer and (ii) Public Health England on the introduction of lateral flow testing as a precautionary measure to enable family members to hug relatives in care homes.

The Department has published ‘Coronavirus (COVID-19) lateral flow testing of visitors in care homes’. This guidance has been informed by clinical and public health advice provided by Public Health England (PHE) and the Deputy Chief Medical Officer. PHE has provided specific advice on the use of lateral flow devices to enable safer visiting by loved ones to residents in care homes recognising a negative test result is not proof against incursion of infection and that all other appropriate infection prevention and control measures, including use of personal protective equipment, social distancing and use of space are considered by care home managers as part of their risk assessment.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the average annual cost to the public purse of managing NHS hospital car parking.

Data on the total pay and non-pay cost of car parking services, including leases, staffing, maintenance and external contracts is collected annually from the National Health Service through the Estates Return Information Collection. The method for collecting this data has changed and an average cannot be calculated. However, for 2018-19, the latest available period, the total annual cost to the NHS of car parking services was £71,170,922.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the (a) advice and (b) guidance issued by (i) the Chief Medical Officer and (ii) Public Health England which informed the decision to reopen gyms, pools and leisure centres across all covid-19 tiered areas from 3 December 2020.

The Government is committed to publishing data that has informed its decision making, including the tier allocations. The Department publishes a weekly watchlist giving epidemiological COVID-19 data for each lower tier local authority in England. This is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-cases-by-local-authority-epidemiological-data

Detailed data on hospital activity is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-hospital-activity/

Our public dashboard on the progress of the virus across a range of metrics is updated every day at the following link:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk

The Contain framework sets out how national and local partners work with the public at a local level to prevent, contain and manage outbreaks, this includes through allocation of areas to the appropriate tier which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/containing-and-managing-local-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreaks/covid-19-contain-framework-a-guide-for-local-decision-makers

Epidemiological data and projection models on local restriction tiers, including commentary on individual tier allocation decisions, which is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/938964/Coronavirus_England_briefing_26_November.pdf

This provides further information and context beyond the headline metrics as to why areas are in particular tiers currently. We have also published supporting documents, to accompany the most recent regulations laid before Parliament. These are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-health-economic-and-social-effects-of-covid-19-and-the-tiered-approach

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1374/contents/made

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the (a) advice and (b) guidance issued by (i) the Chief Medical Officer and (ii) Public Health England which informed the decision to keep pubs and restaurants closed in those parts of the UK placed in tier 3 covid-19 restrictions from 3 December 2020.

The Government is committed to publishing data that has informed its decision making, including the tier allocations. The Department publishes a weekly watchlist giving epidemiological COVID-19 data for each lower tier local authority in England. This is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-cases-by-local-authority-epidemiological-data

Detailed data on hospital activity is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-hospital-activity/

Our public dashboard on the progress of the virus across a range of metrics is updated every day at the following link:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk

The Contain framework sets out how national and local partners work with the public at a local level to prevent, contain and manage outbreaks, this includes through allocation of areas to the appropriate tier which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/containing-and-managing-local-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreaks/covid-19-contain-framework-a-guide-for-local-decision-makers

Epidemiological data and projection models on local restriction tiers, including commentary on individual tier allocation decisions, which is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/938964/Coronavirus_England_briefing_26_November.pdf

This provides further information and context beyond the headline metrics as to why areas are in particular tiers currently. We have also published supporting documents, to accompany the most recent regulations laid before Parliament. These are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-health-economic-and-social-effects-of-covid-19-and-the-tiered-approach

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1374/contents/made

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the (a) advice and (b) guidance issued by (i) the Chief Medical Officer and (ii) Public Health England which informed the decision to reopen all non-essential retail settings across all covid-19 tiered areas from 3 December 2020.

The Government is committed to publishing data that has informed its decision making, including the tier allocations. The Department publishes a weekly watchlist giving epidemiological COVID-19 data for each lower tier local authority in England. This is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-cases-by-local-authority-epidemiological-data

Detailed data on hospital activity is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-hospital-activity/

Our public dashboard on the progress of the virus across a range of metrics is updated every day at the following link:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk

The Contain framework sets out how national and local partners work with the public at a local level to prevent, contain and manage outbreaks, this includes through allocation of areas to the appropriate tier which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/containing-and-managing-local-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreaks/covid-19-contain-framework-a-guide-for-local-decision-makers

Epidemiological data and projection models on local restriction tiers, including commentary on individual tier allocation decisions, which is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/938964/Coronavirus_England_briefing_26_November.pdf

This provides further information and context beyond the headline metrics as to why areas are in particular tiers currently. We have also published supporting documents, to accompany the most recent regulations laid before Parliament. These are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-health-economic-and-social-effects-of-covid-19-and-the-tiered-approach

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1374/contents/made

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the (a) advice and (b) guidance issued by (i) the Chief Medical Officer and (ii) Public Health England which informed the decision to allow crowds of up to 4,000 and 2,000 in tier 1 and tier 2 areas respectively to return to sporting events from 3 December 2020.

The Government is committed to publishing data that has informed its decision making, including the tier allocations. The Department publishes a weekly watchlist giving epidemiological COVID-19 data for each lower tier local authority in England. This is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-cases-by-local-authority-epidemiological-data

Detailed data on hospital activity is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-hospital-activity/

Our public dashboard on the progress of the virus across a range of metrics is updated every day at the following link:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk

The Contain framework sets out how national and local partners work with the public at a local level to prevent, contain and manage outbreaks, this includes through allocation of areas to the appropriate tier which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/containing-and-managing-local-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreaks/covid-19-contain-framework-a-guide-for-local-decision-makers

Epidemiological data and projection models on local restriction tiers, including commentary on individual tier allocation decisions, which is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/938964/Coronavirus_England_briefing_26_November.pdf

This provides further information and context beyond the headline metrics as to why areas are in particular tiers currently. We have also published supporting documents, to accompany the most recent regulations laid before Parliament. These are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-health-economic-and-social-effects-of-covid-19-and-the-tiered-approach

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1374/contents/made

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the (a) advice and (b) guidance provided by (i) the Chief Medical Officer and (ii) Public Health England which informed the decision to allow pubs and restaurants to open only as a takeaway service under tier 2 covid-19 restrictions from 3 December 2020.

The Government is committed to publishing data that has informed its decision making, including the tier allocations. The Department publishes a weekly watchlist giving epidemiological COVID-19 data for each lower tier local authority in England. This is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-cases-by-local-authority-epidemiological-data

Detailed data on hospital activity is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-hospital-activity/

Our public dashboard on the progress of the virus across a range of metrics is updated every day at the following link:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk

The Contain framework sets out how national and local partners work with the public at a local level to prevent, contain and manage outbreaks, this includes through allocation of areas to the appropriate tier which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/containing-and-managing-local-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreaks/covid-19-contain-framework-a-guide-for-local-decision-makers

Epidemiological data and projection models on local restriction tiers, including commentary on individual tier allocation decisions, which is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/938964/Coronavirus_England_briefing_26_November.pdf

This provides further information and context beyond the headline metrics as to why areas are in particular tiers currently. We have also published supporting documents, to accompany the most recent regulations laid before Parliament. These are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-health-economic-and-social-effects-of-covid-19-and-the-tiered-approach

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/1374/contents/made

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to mitigate the effect of covid-19 on levels of period poverty.

The Government Equalities Office has responsibility for the period poverty taskforce. The Department, along with other Government departments, is committed to tackling period poverty. To support this, NHS England announced in March 2019 that it will offer period products to every hospital patient who needs them, this includes those suffering from COVID-19.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has in place to prioritise frontline workers along with the elderly and health care workers in the roll-out of safe and effective covid-19 vaccines.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine/s the United Kingdom should use and provide advice on prioritisation at a population level. The JCVI has advised that the first priorities for any COVID-19 vaccination programme should be the prevention of COVID-19 mortality and the protection of health and social care staff and systems.

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 in order of age and 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.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the value is contracts awarded to Virgin Care since 2010.

The Department does not collate the information centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many A&E wards have been closed in NHS hospitals in England since 2010.

Data is not available in format requested.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the value of NHS land sold since 2010.

The data held by the Department on the value of National Health Service land sold prior to 2015-16 is taken from relevant annual report and accounts. Since 2015-16, the NHS Surplus Land Collection has reported the value of land sold. The 2019-20 edition of this collection is due to be published on NHS Digital’s website on 10 December 2020. The available information since 2010 is shown in the following table.

Year

NBV1 of land and buildings sold (£ million)

Source

2010-11

69.8

Department of Health Annual Report and Accounts NHS (England) Summarised Accounts NHS Foundation Trusts: Consolidated Accounts

2011-12

76.7

Department of Health Annual Report and Accounts NHS (England) Summarised Accounts

2012-13

55.0

Department of Health Annual Report and Accounts

2013-14

62.5

Department of Health Annual Report and Accounts

2014-15

68.6

Department of Health Annual Report and Accounts

2015-16

172.0

NHS Surplus Land Collection 2015-16

2016-17

116.4

NHS Surplus Land Collection 2016-17

2017-18

163.3

NHS Surplus Land Collection 2017-18

2018-19

499.0

NHS Surplus Land Collection 2018-19

Total

1,283.3

Note:

1 the value of an asset, taking into account, diminutions, depreciations, and other accounting charges, as recorded in the accounts of its owner.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS staff have been made redundant since 2010; and how many of those staff have since been rehired by the NHS.

NHS Digital publishes Hospital and Community Health Services (HCHS) workforce statistics. These include staff working in hospital trusts and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and in support organisations and central bodies, but not staff working in primary care, local authorities or other providers.

The following table shows the number of redundancies since by financial year to 2019/20, headcount.

Year

Total redundancies

2010-11

5,521

2011-12

6,820

2012-13

6,750

2013-14

4,637

2014-15

3,690

2015-16

3,221

2016-17

2,405

2017-18

2,243

2018-19

1,576

2019-20

1,475

Source: NHS HCHS monthly workforce statistics, NHS Digital – June 2020 Reasons for Leaving

The Department does not hold the information requested on the number of employees who have since been rehired by the National Health Service.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many ambulance stations there are in England.

The information requested is not held centrally.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking in response to NSPCC research which found that counselling sessions for eating and body image disorders among children and young people increased since the introduction of a national covid-19 lockdown in March 2020.

We recognise just how important it is that people get the support they need with their mental health and we are aware of reports that demand for eating disorder services has increased since the COVID-19 lockdown in March.

Under the NHS Long Term Plan, an additional 345,000 children and young people will be able to access support through National Health Service-funded services or school- and college-based mental health support teams by 2023-24. We remain committed to delivering the core proposals of the children and young people’s mental health Green Paper, including the introduction of senior leads in mental health and mental health support teams in schools and colleges, as well as the piloting of a four-week waiting time for specialist NHS services.

We set up the first waiting times to improve access to eating disorders services for children and young people - so that by 2020/21 95% of children with an eating disorder will receive treatment within one week for urgent cases and within four weeks for routine cases. Latest figures show that in 2020/21 (Q2), 85.3% of urgent cases were seen within one week and 89.6% of routine cases were seen within four weeks.

In addition, NHS England has recently announced additional early intervention services for young people with eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia in 18 area across the country, which means teens or young adults coming forward with eating disorders could be contacted within 48 hours and begin treatment within two weeks.

The Government has also commissioned research into the causes and impact of body dissatisfaction and to explore how body image is experienced by different groups, including by different age groups such as young people.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish (a) advice and (b) guidance provided by the (i) Chief Medical Officer and (ii) Public Health England on the ban on communal worship during the November 2020 covid-19 national lockdown.

Public Health England had not been requested to research and publish detailed specific data on the numbers of COVID-19 cases related to place of worship and allied settings on outbreak investigation. This is now being performed.

Throughout the pandemic, the Government has listened carefully to the views of the scientific community, the information from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies and its sub-groups when taking decisions on the best way to tackle the pandemic.

It is known that confined spaces, multiple households, limited ventilation, and people raising their voices are all known to be risk factors when spreading COVID-19.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether local councils have the jurisdiction to issue self-isolation payments to people who have been instructed to self-isolate but do not possess a reference number from NHS Test and Trace.

The Test and Trace Support Payment is available to people who are required to self-isolate, are on a low income and will lose income because they are unable to work from home. A pre-requisite for applying for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment is an NHS Test and Trace Account ID. Those contacted by NHS Test and Trace local contact tracers will be provided with an account ID. Those contacted by the app will need to to request an account ID. Local authorities do not have the jurisdiction to issue self-isolation payments without this reference number.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish details of all contracts awarded to private companies relating to the Government's covid-19 response.

As part of the response to COVID-19, the Government has established partnerships with industry, academia, local government and others to its testing programme – from companies supplying testing kits and supplies, to logistics and processing partnerships. All the Departmental COVID-19 contracts are, or will be, published on the GOV.UK contract finder service.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason people on low incomes and eligible for self-isolation payments are unable to access financial support unless they are asked to isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

The Test and Trace Support Payment is available to people who are required to self-isolate, are on a low income and will lose income because they are unable to work from home.

In addition to those told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, there are now arrangements in place to allow people told to self-isolate on the advice of local public health officials to make a claim for a Test and Trace Support Payment.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to tackle (a) mental and (b emotional health issues among children caused by the covid-19 outbreak.

We have taken steps to protect children and young people’s mental wellbeing, and to support those children and young people who need specialist support now and in the future.

National Health Service mental health services have remained open throughout the pandemic and services have deployed digital tools to connect with people and provide ongoing support. NHS England has also asked all mental health trusts to ensure there are 24 hours, seven days a week open access telephone lines for urgent NHS mental health support, advice and triage for all ages through a single point of access.

Our £8 million ‘Wellbeing for Education Return’ programme is providing schools and colleges with the knowledge and access to resources to support children and young people, teachers and parents.

On 8 September, Public Health England (PHE) launched a mental wellbeing campaign for children and young people. It expands PHE’s Better Health-Every Mind Matters website with content specifically for children and young people and their parents and carers.


Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of covid-19 tests carried out since the 31 March 2020 were taken with a home testing kit.

We do not publish data in the format requested.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the criteria that a local area must meet in order to transfer (a) into and (b) out of a specific local covid alert level.

The COVID-19 Winter Plan set out how national restrictions would lift in England on 2 December. Decisions on which area goes into which tier are primarily based on five key epidemiological indicators as follows:

- Case detection rates in all age groups;

- Case detection rates in over 60 year olds;

- Rate at which cases are rising or falling;

- Positivity rate or the number of positive cases detected as a percentage of tests taken; and

- Pressure on the National Health Service, including current and projected occupancy.

The indicators are designed to provide a full picture of what is happening with the virus in any area so that suitable action can be taken.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on what dates local leaders in (a) Greater Manchester, (b) Liverpool City Region and (c) Sheffield City Region were informed of the Government's plans to place those regions under Tier 3 local covid alert level restrictions.

This information is not held centrally. While the Contain programme had a supporting role in the discussions with local leaders in October, it has no record of the specific date these regions were informed.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 test centres there are within the Wakefield Local Authority area; and what their locations are.

There is one testing site in Wakefield located at Waterfront Car Park, Barnsley Road, which has been operating since 18 November 2020.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many social care workers have died from covid-19 (a) in total and (b) since 1 August 2020.

Mortality data from the Office for National Statistics shows that 307 deaths involving COVID-19 among social care workers were registered in England, and 14 in Wales, between 9 March 2020 and 12 October 2020. This data was published on 27 October 2020.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS workers have died from covid-19 (a) in total and (b) since 1 August 2020.

The Office for National Statistics publish mortality data for deaths involving COVID-19 for healthcare workers and social care workers in England and Wales. The last iteration of this release showed that in England there were 305 deaths among healthcare workers and 307 deaths among social care workers registered between 9 March and 12 October 2020 in England, of those aged 20-64 years, using last known occupation. The definition of healthcare workers used will include not only those employed in the National Health Service but wider healthcare sector workers.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many and what proportion of people aged 50 and above are eligible for the flu vaccine in winter 2020-21.

This season, the flu vaccine programme will be extended to include the 50-64 year old age group, following prioritisation of those in at risk groups and frontline health and social care workers from 1st December.

Those 50-64 year olds who do not fall within an at-risk eligible cohort will be invited to receive a free vaccination later in the season.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 tests have been carried out in Wakefield Local Authority area through the use of home testing kits.

Weekly data for pillar 2 COVID-19 testing in England is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/nhs-test-and-trace-statistics-england-weekly-reports

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many covid-19 tests have taken place at covid-19 testing centres in (a) Wakefield, (b) Kirklees, (c) Leeds, (d) Bradford, (e) Calderdale, (f) Sheffield, (g) Rotherham, (h) Doncaster and (i) Barnsley Local Authority areas to date.

Weekly data for pillar 2 COVID-19 testing in England is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/nhs-test-and-trace-statistics-england-weekly-reports

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of covid-19 home test kits have produced a result.

The Government does not publish data in the format requested. However, we are currently creating a digital solution to capture all home tests not returned by post within seven days.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average time from referral to appointment was for a CAMHS appointment to be provided in each clinical commissioning group area of England in each of the last three years.

The information is not collected in the format requested.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the (a) advice and (b) guidance provided by (i) the Chief Medical Officer and (ii) Public Health England that informed the decision that sporting arenas cannot currently accommodate spectators during the covid-19 outbreak.

As the Prime Minister set out in his statement to the House on 22 September (Official Report, col. 798), the spread of the virus is now affecting our ability to reopen large sporting events. If we open sporting arenas this will result in increased social contact in and around the arena and on public transport.

The evidence considered by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies and used to support the Government response to COVID-19 is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/scientific-evidence-supporting-the-government-response-to-coronavirus-covid-19

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the compatibility of public procurement policy and Serco sub-contracting to Concentrix to provide staff for the contact tracing scheme.

Serco are required to appoint sub-contractors in line with the terms and conditions for the primary contract awarded under the CCS framework. The CCS guidance states that if a prime contractor wishes to enter into subcontracts or replace them, they must obtain the prior consent of the contracting authority. Serco have worked with the Cabinet Office and the Department to engage a spread of regional and national providers, including small and medium sized enterprises, who have been integrated, trained and supported by Serco to meet the Department’s required delivery model.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on and (b) assessment he has made of the potential merits of devolving Public Health covid-19 responsibilities to city-region areas in England.

Local government has a vital role in delivering most of the strands of our plan for controlling the virus and returning to normality including:

- rapidly upscaling community testing and using local knowledge to trace the hardest to reach contacts;

- playing a key role in the deployment of the vaccine; and

- co-ordinating multi-agency outbreak management response including through local resilience forums.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 25 August 2020 to Question 69437 on Dental Services, how many urgent dental care centres remain fully operational as at 6 September 2020.

Over 600 urgent dental centres remain open across England to support dental patients with their urgent dental care needs through face to face treatment.

All dental practices with an NHS dental contract have been able to open for face to face National Health Service care, including routine care, from 8 June. There are over 6,000 dental practices holding an NHS contract in England. The guidance from NHS England and NHS Improvement to NHS dental contract holders states that the reopening of dental practices must take place in a safe manner and follow the Public Health England and NHS England and NHS Improvement infection prevention and control guidance.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 6 September 2020 to Question 74439 on Social Services: Reform, what the Government's timetable is for publishing its proposals on reforms to the social care system.

The Government’s current one priority for adult social care is for everyone who relies on care to get the care they need throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are committed to bringing forward a plan for social care to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect and to find long term solutions for one of the biggest challenges we face as a society.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 1 September 2020 to Question 78516 on Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Independent Review, what the Government's timetable is for providing an update on its consideration of the recommendations of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, published on 8 July 2020.

All recommendations of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review are being considered carefully.

We do not consider it appropriate to commit to a specific timeframe for a response while these recommendations are being considered. While this report was published on 8 July, it took over two years to compile and we therefore consider it vitally important that it is given full consideration.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish the advice the Government received from (a) the Chief Medical Officer and (b) Public Health England on whether people who are clinically extremely vulnerable should be required to shield at present.

Shielding advice is challenging to follow and prolonged shielding may have negative mental and physical health consequences, so it is not an intervention that we advise lightly. It is important that guidance and support to the clinically extremely vulnerable balances the risk of exposure to the virus with the potential negative consequences of shielding for a prolonged period.

As we have learned more about the virus, we have improved our understanding of its transmission, and about how best to control it in all environments. Many individuals and settings are now taking measures to reduce the risk of transmission, such as wearing face masks and implementing social distancing. We also have a much more detailed understanding of local outbreaks and can intervene quickly when case numbers rise.

The updated guidance can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support the Government is providing to people who are clinically extremely vulnerable who are unable to work from home and feel unsafe in their workplace.

Shielding was paused on 1 August 2020 in England and clinically extremely vulnerable people are now required to follow the Local COVID Alert Level arrangements in place in their area. Advice has also been provided to the clinically extremely vulnerable to follow in addition to these measures.

Currently, everyone is advised to work from home if they are able. If not, they should return to the workplace. Employers are required to take steps to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19, ensuring the workplace is COVID-secure. Where employers are not manging this risk, the Health and Safety Executive and local authorities will take action. If an individual has concerns about their health and safety at work they should raise them with their workplace union, the Health and Safety Executive or local authority.

If the Government reintroduces shielding advice then individuals will be advised not to attend the workplace. If they are unable to work from home they may be eligible for statutory sick pay.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons the Government has not advised clinically vulnerable people to shield at this stage in the covid-19 outbreak.

Shielding advice is only applicable to people who those who have been identified as being clinically extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.

Previous shielding advice helped protect those most at risk from COVID-19 at the start of the pandemic, but many people told us they found this advice very restrictive. The current guidance is designed to offer practical and proportionate advice to help people protect themselves and minimise the need to introduce the most restrictive forms of shielding. This reflects the latest advice from senior clinicians, based on our current understanding of the virus. During the current period of national restrictions (4 November to 1 December) those who are clinically extremely vulnerable have been advised to stay at home where possible, and to avoid going to work or the shops. They have received a letter outlining the guidance and the support that is available to them. This letter can be used as evidence to an employer or the Department for Work and Pensions for Statutory Sick Pay or other benefit purposes.

It is important that guidance and support to the clinically extremely vulnerable balances the risk of exposure to the virus with the potential negative consequences of shielding for a prolonged period. The guidance to clinically extremely vulnerable people is regularly reviewed and the Government will not hesitate to make necessary changes.

Individuals who are clinically vulnerable are advised to be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise contact with others as well as washing their hands carefully and more frequently than usual.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to Question 69448, for what reason the contract awarded to Serco for contact tracing training has not been published on Contracts Finder; and when that contract is planned to be published on Contracts Finder.

The contract awarded to Serco to provide call handling services for the contact track and trace initiative has been published and can be found at the following link:

https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/c23fdfaf-d1f2-4d8c-a0cd-6b6f35793ccd

This includes requirements on staff training.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the letter of 24 March 2020 from NHS England and NHS Improvement entitled COVID-19: Partnership working with the Independent Sector Providers and the Independent Healthcare Providers Network, what the cost to the public purse has been of NHS agreements with Independent Sector Providers to secure all available inpatient capacity and resource; and what estimate he has made of the (a) cost to the public purse and (b) size of the unused capacity and resource secured.

National Health Service patients are benefitting from an unprecedented partnership with private hospitals as we battle the COVID-19 outbreak. The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement have worked with the independent sector to secure all appropriate inpatient capacity and other resource across England.

The addition of around 6,500 additional beds has increased NHS capacity and ensured that facilities are available for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 whilst ensuring continuity of service for non-COVID-19 patients requiring elective activity, including cancer and other urgent treatment.

Under the agreement, latest figures show that from 30 March until 30 August 2020 over 967,000 NHS patient appointments have taken place within independent facilities at an estimated cost of approximately £1billion.

It is not possible to estimate the cost to the public purse and size of the unused capacity and resource secured.


Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will list the (a) location and (b) main contractor for each of the covid-19 drive through testing centres.

The Government does not publish this data in the format requested. All the Departmental COVID-19 contracts are, or will be, published on GOV.UK’s Contract Finder.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many officials in his Department monitor the contracts for the covid-19 drive through testing centres to ensure all contractual obligations are met.

Currently 47 officials monitor the contracts for the COVID-19 drive through testing centres to ensure all contractual obligations are met. This figure is based on commercial and operational personnel.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which companies hold contracts with the Government for the management of covid-19 drive through testing centres; and whether they employ any subcontractors.

The Government does not publish this data in the format requested. All the Departmental COVID-19 contracts are, or will be, published on the GOV.UK’s Contract Finder.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the (a) combined value and (b) duration is of the contracts the Government has with private contractors to run covid-19 drive through testing centres.

The Government has established a multitude of partnerships with industry, academia, local government and others to deliver its testing programme and many of the contracts span multiple disciplines, making a total cost for providing testing services difficult to articulate. Many are subject to confidential commercial agreements that would preclude the Department from disclosing them publicly

All the Department’s contracts are, or will be, published on GOV.UK’s Contract Finder service.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which Government Department holds the contracts for the management of covid-19 drive through testing centres.

The Department holds the contracts for the management of COVID-19 drive through testing centres.

All the Departmental contracts are, or will be, published on GOV.UK’s Contract Finder service.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the recommendations outlined in the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review.

The Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review published its report on the 8 July and all of its recommendations will be considered carefully. The Government will provide an update in due course.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is working with stakeholders to improve compliance with the valproate Pregnancy Prevention Programme which aims to rapidly reduce and eventually eliminate pregnancies exposed to valproate. The MHRA is also working on developing a valproate registry, the main aims of which would be to monitor the use of valproate in girls and women in the United Kingdom and compliance with the current regulatory position, and to identify and monitor any children born to women on valproate.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he will take steps to implement the recommendations in the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review.

The Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review published its report on the 8 July and all of its recommendations will be considered carefully. The Government will provide an update in due course.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is working with stakeholders to improve compliance with the valproate Pregnancy Prevention Programme which aims to rapidly reduce and eventually eliminate pregnancies exposed to valproate. The MHRA is also working on developing a valproate registry, the main aims of which would be to monitor the use of valproate in girls and women in the United Kingdom and compliance with the current regulatory position, and to identify and monitor any children born to women on valproate.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will implement the recommendations in Chapter 4 of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review on the use of Sodium Valproate in pregnancy.

The Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review published its report on the 8 July and all of its recommendations will be considered carefully. The Government will provide an update in due course.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is working with stakeholders to improve compliance with the valproate Pregnancy Prevention Programme which aims to rapidly reduce and eventually eliminate pregnancies exposed to valproate. The MHRA is also working on developing a valproate registry, the main aims of which would be to monitor the use of valproate in girls and women in the United Kingdom and compliance with the current regulatory position, and to identify and monitor any children born to women on valproate.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when covid-19 risk assessments were undertaken for his Department's offices in (a) Victoria Street and (b) Quarry House; who carried out those risk assessments; what proportion of staff will be able to return to work in those offices; what reduction in workplace capacity those risk assessments identified; how decisions on which staff will be required return to his Department's offices are made; and if he will place a copy of those risk assessments in the Library.

A COVID-19 risk assessment was carried out for the whole of the Departmental estate, including 39 Victoria Street and Quarry House, and the assessment was published to staff on 10 June 2020.

The risk assessment was carried out by the Deputy Director for Property and Smarter Working and signed off by the Department’s Executive Committee.

The COVID-safe capacity at 39 Victoria Street is 380 and at Quarry House it is 300. That represents approximately a 60% reduction in workplace capacity.

The Department worked with directors to identify individuals who needed to return to the office. These staff members have had discussions with line managers and been provided with access to a desk booking system as well as updates on the COVID-safety measures within Departmental buildings.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what consultation he has had with staff of his Department's offices in (a) Victoria Street and (b) Quarry House on preferences for returning to the office as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Consultation has taken place with all Departmental staff, including surveys, polls and interactive team discussions.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when staff of his Department will be required to return to the office as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

39 Victoria Street and Quarry House have remained open throughout the pandemic. Provisions are already in place to safely support staff who do need to work in these offices for business or wellbeing reasons.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what (a) discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on and (b) assessment he has made of the potential merits of devolving health responsibilities to city-region areas in England.

Whilst we do not have a record of any specific discussions, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care regularly discusses a range of issues with Cabinet colleagues.

The Government is committed to local devolution, including in city regions, and is open to new proposals. The Prime Minister has personally championed devolution and has previously set out this Government’s commitment to supporting growth up and down the country.

The Department of Health and Social Care and other national partners, including the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and HM Treasury, are in contact with mayors and officials in combined authorities, such as Greater Manchester, West Midlands, Liverpool City Region and Cambridge and Peterborough around their plans for health and care integration, innovation, and addressing the wider determinants of health.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish legislative proposals to reform the social care system.

The Government’s priority for adult social care is for everyone who relies on care to get the care they need throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

This does not diminish the need for a long-term plan for social care. Putting social care on a sustainable footing, where everyone is treated with dignity and respect, is one of the biggest challenges that our society faces. There are complex questions to address, to which we want to give our full considerations in light of the current circumstances.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what funding his Department has allocated to support Black and Minority Ethnic NHS workers at risk of contracting covid-19; and what assessment has he made of the adequacy of the level of that expenditure.

Public safety is the Government’s top priority. The Chancellor has been clear that the National Health Service will get whatever funding it needs to respond to COVID-19. We do not, however, collect data on how much employers spend specifically to support black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) workers at risk of contracting COVID-19.

Employers across the NHS have a duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their staff in the workplace. In April, the Chief People Officer at NHS England and NHS Improvement launched a comprehensive programme to address the impact of COVID-19 on BAME staff in the NHS. As part of this work, NHS England and NHS Improvement wrote to all NHS organisations on 24 June requiring them to complete risk assessments for high risk staff.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will place in the Library a copy of the (a) Chief Medical Officer (b) Public Health England advice on reducing the social distancing guidance from two meters to one meter.

The Government commissioned a review into the two metre social distancing rule and took advice from a range of experts, including the Chief Medical Officer, Chief Scientific Advisor, and the Chief Economic Adviser to HM Treasury, to ensure that it comprehensively examined how the two metre rule works, the evidence around transmission of the virus in different environments and international comparisons.

The review findings were published on the GOV.UK website and can be accessed at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/review-of-two-metre-social-distancing-guidance/review-of-two-metre-social-distancing-guidance

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on what date was Pillar 2 data on covid-19 testing provided to Wakefield Council.

Since 11 June, the Test and Trace service has compiled a detailed local authority dashboard which is available for all local authorities.

On 24 June, the Government also provided access for all Directors of Public Health within upper tier local authorities such as Wakefield to secure postcode-level and individual case testing data. This is available to them at any time to access using their own unique authentication details.

On 9 July, a letter was sent to all local authorities from the Department outlining the various sources of information, available to enable and inform local responses.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the level of risk to the UK of the G4 EA H1N1 virus.

We continually assess the most significant threats that the United Kingdom and its citizens could face, including natural hazard risks such as a pandemic influenza.

In line with our standard practice, Public Health England is undertaking a risk assessment of the G4 influenza virus and we will take any appropriate action based on robust scientific and clinical advice.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish his Department’s action plan to respond to local covid-19 lock-downs.

The response to local COVID-19 outbreaks is being co-ordinated at a local level with support from the Department. £300 million in funding has been made available and we are working closely with local authorities to help develop their responses to outbreaks.

By their nature local outbreak control plans are dynamic documents that will need to be adjusted in line with local conditions. For this reason they will not be held centrally, but each county and metropolitan authority has published their plan. We are in regular communication with the public regarding the work that is being delivered to tackle COVID-19, including updates about the implementation of local outbreak control plans and the weekly COVID-19 surveillance plan which is available at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/906073/Weekly_COVID19_Surveillance_Report_week_31_FINAL_V2.pdf

Further information on how we are supporting partners at a local level is published in the COVID-19 Contain Framework and NHS Test and Trace Business Plan which are available at the following links:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/containing-and-managing-local-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreaks/covid-19-contain-framework-a-guide-for-local-decision-makers

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/developing-nhs-test-and-trace-business-plan

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate has he made of the number of social care job vacancies in each region of the UK.

The information is shown in the attached table.

This is the latest information available from the Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS), taken from local authorities as at September 2018 and from independent sector employees as at March 2019.

This data is published on Skills for Care’s website at the following link:

https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/adult-social-care-workforce-data/Workforce-intelligence/publications/Workforce-estimates.aspx

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the average (a) cost for a week of residential care and (b) weekly payment by local authorities to fund a week of residential care.

Decisions on the rates paid to providers are a matter for individual local authorities, who have a duty to ensure a sustainable, high-quality adult social care market in their areas.

We provided councils with an additional £1.5 billion for adults’ and children’s social care in 2020/21 on top of maintaining £2.5 billion of existing social care grants. It includes an additional £1 billion of grant funding for adults’ and children’s social care, and a 2% precept that enables councils to access a further £500 million for adult social care.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data the Government provides to local authorities on covid-19 infection rates; and what procedures his Department has put in place to help local authorities to respond to an increase in local infection rates.

All councils in England now have the ability to access testing data, right down to an individual and postcode level. They have been provided access to a dashboard by NHS Digital, with Test and Trace data. This means they know the numbers of people saying they had symptoms, as well as positive cases.

Public Health England, the Joint Biosecurity Centre and NHS Test and Trace are constantly monitoring the levels of infection across the country, and will work with local authorities to implement additional control measures as appropriate.

NHS Test and Trace is providing comprehensive guidance to assist local authorities in developing their own outbreak plans.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will publish (a) advice and (b) guidance provided by the (i) Chief Medical Officer and (ii) Public Health England on the introduction of temperature checks for passengers at airports during the covid-19 outbreak.

Throughout the outbreak, all of our decisions have been informed by the best scientific evidence. This includes expert advice from multiple sources, including the Chief Medical Officer and Public Health England. Temperature screening was considered and discounted as a border measure on the basis that it is not, at present, effective or reliable in accurately identifying or rapidly screening for COVID-19. For example, temperature screening would not detect those who are asymptomatic, nor those who are symptomatic but do not have a fever.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether a letter from an NHS Trust or GP advising an individual that they are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable is sufficient evidence to provide an employer with when explaining that they are currently unable to return to work.

Government advice asks employers to accept the letters sent to the clinically extremely vulnerable as evidence of their need to be absent from the work place.

Employers have the discretion to decide what is sufficient evidence and Government guidance asks that they avoid making requests for further medical evidence during the COVID-19 pandemic in order to relieve pressure on NHS services.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what advice his Department is providing to employers on whether individuals classed as extremely clinically vulnerable, whilst no longer shielding, should return to the workplace.

All employers have been asked to work with the Government to ease the transition back to a more normal way of life for their clinically extremely vulnerable employees. Employers and employees should start having these conversations as early as possible before the guidance is changed on 1 August.

At this time, the Government does not advise clinically extremely vulnerable individuals to attend their place of work if this requires them to leave their home. From 1 August those shielding who are unable to work from home but can work on site, should do so, provided the business is COVID-safe

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support people classed as clinically extremely vulnerable who have been unable to register for the Government's coronavirus support for the clinically vulnerable.

Any person that is classed as clinically extremely vulnerable can register online or by calling 0800 028 8327 for COVID-19 support.

An outbound call centre was established to proactively telephone clinically extremely vulnerable people who have received shielding letters but not yet registered via the shielding website or automated telephone line, to confirm their support needs. Up to 200,000 calls a day have been made at peak volumes.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that people classed as clinically extremely vulnerable are able to successfully register for coronavirus support as a clinically extremely vulnerable person.

Any person that is classed as clinically extremely vulnerable can register online or by calling 0800 028 8327 for COVID-19 support. Final registrations for food support closed on 17 July, to allow for support to reach individuals before the scheme is paused on 31 July in line with Government guidelines.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reasons Mesothelioma is not included in the Government’s guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically or extremely vulnerable from covid-19.

We understand how challenging this period is, especially for those with long-term conditions such as mesothelioma and are doing everything we can to support patients.

Expert doctors in England identified specific medical conditions that, based on what we knew about the virus so far, place someone at greatest risk of severe illness from COVID-19. These were signed off by the UK Senior Clinicians Group (including four United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers and clinical leadership at NHS England, NHS Digital, and Public Health England).

In addition, general practitioners (GPs) and hospital specialists have been asked to recommend other patients follow shielding guidance, based on clinical judgement and an assessment of each individual’s needs. GPs and hospital specialists have been provided with guidance to support these decisions. Anybody who is concerned should contact their GP or specialist to discuss further.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many urgent dental care hubs are (a) open and (b) fully operational as at 6 July 2020.

NHS England and NHS Improvement announced on 28 May that National Health Service dentistry outside urgent care centres would begin to gradually resume from 8 June with the aim of increasing levels of service as fast as is compatible with maximising safety. At the height of the pandemic NHS England and NHS Improvement set up urgent dental care centres (UDCs) to provide clinically necessary urgent treatment to patients. The over 600 UDCs remain open to ensure that dental treatment needed urgently can be accessed while practices make sure their own expansion of services is done as safely as possible.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many urgent dental care hubs have been set up during the covid-19 lockdown period.

NHS England and NHS Improvement announced on 28 May that National Health Service dentistry outside urgent care centres would begin to gradually resume from 8 June with the aim of increasing levels of service as fast as is compatible with maximising safety. At the height of the pandemic NHS England and NHS Improvement set up urgent dental care centres (UDCs) to provide clinically necessary urgent treatment to patients. The over 600 UDCs remain open to ensure that dental treatment needed urgently can be accessed while practices make sure their own expansion of services is done as safely as possible.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that all urgent dental care hubs receive supplies of personal protective equipment.

From Monday 8 June all National Health Service practices were able to start, at their own pace, seeing patients again once they have appropriate social distancing and other safety measures in place. Personal protective equipment (PPE) for dentists is being made available through their business as usual wholesalers. We have also set up new distribution routes for dentistry to ensure continuity of supply for all urgent dental care centres and have placed them on the list of priority areas to receive supplies from Local Resilience Forums. PPE for dental practices will include equipment necessary for aerosol generating procedures.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Serco's sharing of 296 email addresses belonging to covid-19 contract tracers, for what reasons Serco was not required to refer itself to the Information Commissioner’s Office for that matter.

We understand Serco did report the data breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Serco also alerted the NHS Test and Trace service immediately. The breach was caused by including email addresses of new contact tracing recruits in the carbon copy (cc) rather than blind carbon copy (bcc) field. Serco apologised to staff affected and reminded colleagues of the need to always use the ‘bcc’ feature rather than ‘cc’ feature in future.

Ensuring the privacy of users and security of their personal data is a priority for the National Health Service and the Government. We follow cyber security best practice to help protect this data and comply with the law around the use of data, including the Data Protection Act 2018.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to publish details of the contract awarded to Serco for contact tracing training.

The Department will publish all contracts in line with Public Contract Regulations 2015 and are publishing contract award notices as quickly as current resource will allow. The contract awarded to Serco for contact tracing training should be published on Contracts Finder by 31 July.

Nadine Dorries
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of covid-19 on former miners who have underlying health conditions.

Public Health England has conducted a review of disparities in risks and outcomes of COVID-19 by various indicators including occupation. No association has been identified with the mining profession. The review did not explore previous occupation among retirees.

The ‘Disparities in the risk and outcomes of COVID-19’ report can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-review-of-disparities-in-risks-and-outcomes

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason NHS England has stopped commissioning orthodontic services throughout the West Midlands.

NHS England is responsible for commissioning orthodontic services from specialist practitioners in primary care, to meet local need.

NHS England halted orthodontic services in the Midlands region due to concerns about the way the process was managed. Across the region NHS England has extended all existing providers contracts for a further two years, which will now expire in 2022.

NHS England will be working across its national team and Midlands region to undertake a lessons learned exercise. This exercise will inform the decision making around the next steps for orthodontic procurements across those regions.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he has taken to increase representation within the Diplomatic Service of people from (a) minority ethnic groups and (b) working class backgrounds.

  • With regard to race and ethnicity, the FCDO became a signatory to the Business in the Community (BITC) Race at Work Charter on day one of our merger, which will help guide our efforts to reflect the diversity of the UK population we serve. We launched the FCDO Summit Programme, a new leadership programme designed to support and develop talented Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff, which will help remove perceived and actual barriers to progression. Latest published diversity data, in 2019-20 Annual Report for the FCO (comprising the Diplomatic Service), shows that as of 31 March 2020 17% of UK-based staff identify as BAME, compared with 13% of the UK's economically active population, and that of the 68 Fast Stream entrants recruited, 23.5% identified as BAME.
  • With regard to socio-economic background, 100% of outreach work (undertaken by the FCDO's legacy departments, FCO and DFID, pre-Covid-19), was targeted at non-selective state schools with above average levels of Free School Meals/low levels of attainment. Further details of measures to promote socio-economic diversity are captured in the Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) Index for 2020, which ranked legacy FCO (comprising the Diplomatic Service) 37 out of the 119 participating employers, compared with 73 out of 106 participating employers in 2018.
Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he has taken to increase representation within the Diplomatic Service of people with a disability.

The FCDO is a Disability Confident Leader (DCL) - reflecting the DCL status of both legacy departments, FCO and DFID. This is reflected in the organisation's recruitment policies. For both external and internal appointments, an interview is guaranteed to anyone with a disability whose application meets the minimum criteria for the role outlined in the relevant job specification.

For the FCO (which comprises the Diplomatic Service), the most recent Annual Report provides information on:
- the representation of UK Based employees with disabilities at 31 March 2020 (11% total; 7% in the Senior Management Structure)
- how the FCO continued to increase the diversity of the workforce through targeted apprenticeship schemes, internships programmes and promoting the FCO as a great place to work at outreach events.
- disability policy and support in the organisation.

The FCDO's Disability Update: Progress against DFID's strategy for Disability Inclusive Development (November 2020) also has a section on 'living our values'. This details information that was happening across both legacy departments (FCO and DFID) and how we plan to build on this in our approach to attracting and recruiting employees with disabilities and making the most of their potential while working for FCDO.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether his Department has made representations to the Government of Armenia on the Amulsar gold mine.

British Embassy Yerevan officials regularly make representations to the Government of Armenia on a range of issues.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, whether his Department has received representations from the Government of Armenia on the Amulsar gold mine.

​The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has received no representations from the Government of Armenia on the Amulsar gold mine.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, how many visits to the British Embassy in Yerevan (a) employees and (b) representatives of the company Lydian International made in the last five years, including at official dinners.

Our Embassy in Yerevan does not hold comprehensive figures on visitors to the Embassy over the last five years. A key role of our Embassies around the world is to engage with businesses active in the local market.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether employers including employment agencies are permitted to backdate payments to 4 January 2021 as part of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

For claims from 1 November 2020, an employer can claim before, during or after they process their payroll as long as their claim is submitted by the relevant deadline.

Claims can be backdated where employees have already been furloughed from that date. A claim cannot start any earlier than the date the employee was furloughed. Employers must have confirmed in writing to their employee that they had been furloughed.

Claims for furlough days in January 2021 must be submitted by 15 February 2021.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what Government support is available for people classed as self-employed solely for the 2019-20 tax year who have experienced a loss of income and are ineligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

I refer the honourable Member to the answer given on 18 December 2020 to UIN 127482.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
11th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to make provision for employees who began their employment between 30 October 2020 and 4 January 2021 to receive assistance from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme furlough scheme.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was extended on 31 October, ahead of the national lockdown on 1 November. The 30 October cut-off date allows as many people as possible to be included by going right up to the day before the announcement, balancing the risk of fraud that existed as soon as the scheme became public.

The Government understands that the new restrictions are challenging for some businesses, and the Chancellor has announced further support measures. These are carefully designed to complement the existing ones so as to ensure jobs and livelihoods are protected. This support includes a new one-off grant of up to £9,000 to support businesses in England which are legally required to close. This comes in addition to the existing monthly grants for closed businesses of up to £3,000 per month. Local authorities will also receive an additional £500m, to a total of £1.6bn, of discretionary funding to allow them to support their local businesses.

The CJRS is not the only support available for employees. The Government has boosted the generosity of the welfare system by £7.4bn in 2020-21 including through a temporary £20 a week increase in Universal Credit standard allowance and Working Tax Credit basic element. This means that for a single Universal Credit claimant (25 or over), the standard allowance has increased from £317.82 to £409.89 per month. The £20 per week uplift is one part of a package of temporary welfare measures, which also includes the suspension of the Universal Credit Minimum Income Floor to support self-employed people on low incomes.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many branches of (a) banks and (b) building societies there were in the Yorkshire and the Humber region in (i) 2010 and (ii) 2020.

The Treasury does not make assessments of the bank and building society branch network. In 2018, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) undertook an analysis of branch closures as part of their Strategic Review of Retail Banking Business Models. This analysis can be found in Annex 1 of the final report.

The decision to close a branch is a commercial issue for the management team of the bank or building society. However, Government believes it is important the impact on communities must be understood, considered and mitigated where possible. That is why the Government continues to be very supportive of the Access to Banking Standard and the commitment it places on banks to minimise the impact of branch closures, including by ensuring that customers are aware of the alternative ways they can continue to access banking services. These include the Post Office, which allows 95% of business and 99% of personal banking customers to carry out their everyday banking at 11,500 Post Office branches across the UK.

In September 2020, the FCA published guidance setting out their expectation of firms when they are deciding to reduce their physical branches or the number of free-to-use ATMs. Firms are expected to carefully consider the impact of a planned closure on their customers’ everyday banking and cash access needs, and other relevant branch services and consider possible alternative access arrangements. This will ensure the implementation of closure decisions is done in a way that treats customers fairly.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
8th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what information his Department holds on the average level of household debt in households in (a) Hemsworth Parliamentary constituency and (b) Yorkshire and the Humber region in the most recent period for which figures are available.

The Government has delivered unprecedented support for living standards during this challenging time, protecting livelihoods with the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, temporary welfare measures, and other policy measures.

But the Government recognises that some people may be struggling with their finances at this difficult time. To help people in problem debt get their finances back on track, an extra £37.8 million support package is being made available to debt advice providers this financial year, bringing this year's budget for free debt advice in England to over £100 million.

Data on levels of over-indebtedness in Hemsworth and in Yorkshire and the Humber was last published in 2018 by the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS), who continue to fund the local delivery of free debt advice. MaPS will be publishing updated figures in 2021.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what the cost to the public purse is of introducing one-off payments of £1,000 to all wet pubs that are unable to open due to covid-19 restrictions.

The Government is providing additional funding to all local authorities in Tiers 2 and 3 to enable them to make one-off grants of £1,000 to all wet-led pubs in their areas. We will calculate the funding which local authorities receive for this scheme using a combination of Valuation Office Agency data and industry information. The cost to the public purse will be dependent on the take-up of the grants.

This additional support comes on top of existing support that is already available to wet-led pubs through the Local Restrictions Support Grant schemes under which these pubs will receive up to £3,000 per month for each month they are closed. The Government is continuing to collect evidence on the impact of the pandemic on the hospitality industry and work with businesses and representative groups to ensure that support provided is right for this industry and the economy as a whole.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reason the sum of £1,000 was decided on as a measure of one-off financial support for wet pubs that are unable to open due to covid-19 restrictions.

Given wet-led pubs in tiers 2 and 3 will be subject to significant measures under the new regional tiered system, and will miss out on business during the busy Christmas period, it is right for the Government to increase its support to these businesses.

The Government has announced an additional £1,000 Christmas grant for ‘wet-led pubs’ in tiers 2 and 3. The payment will be a one-off for December, and eligible wet-led pubs across these tiers are invited to apply through their local authority who will be responsible for distributing the grants.

This grant is just one part of the unprecedented package of support that is available for businesses. The Government has acted to deliver support to the hospitality sectors by extending the CJRS until March and provided cash grants of up to £3,000 per month to help businesses that are closed with their costs.

In addition, the Government has provided £1.1 billion of Discretionary Grant funding for local authorities to target support to the businesses that are most important to their local economy. Businesses are also still able to access wider support, including:

o Affordable, Government backed finance through loan schemes – extended until the end of January 2021 and ‘Pay as You Grow’ options for businesses which have taken out loans, to make repayments over the long-term;

o A VAT deferral for up to 12 months;

o A 12-month business rates holiday;

o A moratorium on evictions to protect commercial tenants;

o Targeted support through the temporarily reduced rate of VAT (5%)

The Government is continuing to collect evidence on the impact of the pandemic on the hospitality industry and work with businesses and representative groups to ensure that support provided is right for this industry and the economy as a whole.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend the business rates holiday for retail and hospitality businesses beyond March 2021.

The unprecedented full business rates holiday for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure properties for the financial year is worth £10 billion to business in 2020-21. The Government will continue to look at how to adjust its support in a way that ensures people can get back to work, protecting both the UK economy and the livelihoods of people across the country. In order to ensure that any decisions best meet the evolving challenges presented by COVID-19, the Government will outline plans for future reliefs in the New Year.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the revenue that will accrue to the public purse from reducing overseas aid expenditure from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent of gross national income in each year up to 2025.

The Spending Review 2020 allocated £10bn for Official Development Assistance to spend in the financial year 21/22.

On 25 November the Office for Budget Responsibility published its Economic and Fiscal Outlook. This forecasts Gross National Income (GNI) for the 2021 calendar year to be £2138.6bn. 0.7% of this GNI estimate is £14.97bn and 0.5% of this GNI estimate is £10.69bn.

Financial year allocations for subsequent years will be decided at future Spending Reviews. The Government intends to return to the 0.7% target when the fiscal situation allows.

Steve Barclay
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many HMRC tax offices there are in England.

At 31 October 2020 HMRC had 59 staffed offices in England. On 19 October 2020 an updated list of HMRC office closures and regional centre opening dates was committed to the House of Commons Library. This list is now deposited as paper reference DEP 2020-0609: https://depositedpapers.parliament.uk/depositedpaper/2282554/details.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will increase the level of financial support available to self-employed people to 70 per cent of their annual profits.

The Government recognises the impact that the changing path of the virus has had on self-employed individuals and has taken action to increase the level of assistance available through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) Grant Extension.

The overall level of the third SEISS grant has been increased to 80 per cent of average trading profits, meaning that the maximum grant available has now increased to £7,500. This provides equivalent support to the self-employed as is provided to employees through the Government contribution in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Government will also be paying out this grant more quickly by bringing forward the SEISS 3 claims window from 14 December to 30 November.

This will provide an estimated £7.3bn of support to the self-employed through November to January alone, with a further grant to follow covering February to April. This places the SEISS among the most generous schemes for the self-employed in the world.

The SEISS continues to be just one element of a comprehensive package of financial support for the self-employed. The Government has temporarily increased the Universal Credit standard allowance for 2020-21 and relaxed the Minimum Income Floor for the duration of the pandemic meaning that where self-employed claimants' earnings have significantly fallen, their Universal Credit award will have increased to reflect their lower earnings. In addition to this, the self-employed may also have access to other elements of the package, including tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, and other business support grants.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the monthly cost of providing self-employed people seeking financial support with 70 per cent of their annual profits.

The second SEISS grant was given at 70 per cent of three months of profits. Claims for this up to 30 September 2020 amounted to £5.7 billion in total, which is £1.9 billion per month.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reason self-employed individuals eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will receive 20 per cent of their average monthly trading profits as financial support.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension helps self-employed individuals who are actively trading but are experiencing reduced demand due to COVID-19, and is not a direct income replacement. It is a top-up, not intended to replace all lost profits. The SEISS Grant Extension covers three months' worth of average trading profits at 20%, meaning self-employed individuals affected for shorter periods will still be entitled to the full three months' worth of the grant. This strikes the right balance between ensuring support is granted to those who need it, while protecting value for the taxpayer.

Those who require further support may still be eligible for other elements of the unprecedented financial support available. The Government has temporarily increased the Universal Credit standard allowance for 2020-21 and relaxed the Minimum Income Floor for the duration of the crisis so that where self-employed claimants' earnings have significantly reduced, their Universal Credit award will have increased. In addition to this, the self-employed have access to other elements of the financial support package, including Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, and other business support grants.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to allocate funding when the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ends to sports clubs to support them in retaining non-playing staff whose services are temporarily surplus to requirements until those clubs can operate on the basis of fans in stadiums.

When the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) ends, employers will have access to the Job Support Scheme regardless of whether they previously used CJRS. The JSS, announced in September, is designed to protect jobs in businesses who are facing pressures over the winter months due to Covid-19. The JSS Open which was announced in September, provides a Government grant which covers a portion of all hours not worked by an employee on reduced hours.

The JSS Closed, an expansion to the JSS announced on the 9th October, provides a Government grant for 2/3 of the wages of all employees in businesses forced to close by local lockdowns. In this way, employees remain linked to businesses and employers can quickly scale up activity to any increase in demand.

We have also introduced the Job Retention Bonus. This provides a £1,000 grant for each previously furloughed employee retained in meaningful employment by January 31st.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many employees were on furlough under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as at 1st September 2020.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) published statistics about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on 18 September 2020 which include figures for jobs furloughed for the UK and by country and region as at 31 July. These are the latest figures available, and can be found on GOV.UK:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-september-2020

Information on the number of employees furloughed (rather than employments furloughed) is not available; a person may have multiple employments.

The next release of these statistics will provide data on employments furloughed for the UK and each country and region as at 31 August. This is due to be published on 22 October. More information on this release can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/announcements/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-october-2020

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what Government support is available for people classed as self-employed solely for the 2019-20 tax year who have experienced a loss of income and are ineligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) continues to be one of the most generous self-employed COVID-19 support schemes in the world. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to include those who began trading after the 2018-19 tax year in the SEISS. This was a very difficult decision and it was taken for practical reasons. The most reliable and up-to-date record of self-employed income is from 2018-19 tax returns. Individuals can submit Income Tax?Self-Assessment?returns for 2019-20 trading activity, but there would be significant risks for the public purse if the Government relied on these returns for the SEISS.

Those not eligible for the SEISS may still have access to other elements of the financial support package made available by the Government. This package includes Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support,?mortgage holidays, and other business support grants. The Government has also temporarily increased the Universal Credit standard allowance for 2020-21 by £20 per week and relaxed the Minimum Income Floor, so that where self-employed claimants' earnings have significantly fallen, their Universal Credit award will have increased to reflect their lower earnings.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people in each region of the UK were in receipt of the Coronavirus Retention Scheme as at 1 September 2020.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) published statistics about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on 18 September 2020 which include figures for jobs furloughed for the UK and by country and region as at 31 July. These are the latest figures available, and can be found on GOV.UK:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-september-2020

Information on the number of employees furloughed (rather than employments furloughed) is not available; a person may have multiple employments.

The next release of these statistics will provide data on employments furloughed for the UK and each country and region as at 31 August. This is due to be published on 22 October. More information on this release can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/announcements/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-october-2020

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to the Answer of 14 July 2020 to Question 69443 on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, if he will publish the names of those companies which submitted those claims totalling in excess of £1,000,000 through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

HMRC are unable to provide information on organisations which have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

Owing to HMRC’s duty of confidentiality, they cannot publish identifying information that relates to one of their functions.

The CJRS is one of HMRC’s functions and publishing a list of organisations would provide identifying information.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that organisations using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme do not use funding from that scheme as part of an employee’s notice period.

The CJRS is designed to protect jobs and keep people in employment. In cases where terminations of employment or redundancies are unavoidable, employers must abide by the rules. This includes giving a notice period and consulting staff before a final decision is reached.

Employers may continue to claim under the scheme for a furloughed employee who is serving a statutory notice period subject to eligibility based on contract of employment.

However, in the present difficult times, the Government would not expect an employer to take advantage of the CJRS, which has brought benefit to employers and employees alike, in order to make someone redundant on less favourable terms than they would otherwise have received.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will extend the business rate discount scheme to companies in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector until the end of financial year 2020-21.

On 17 March, the Chancellor announced a business rates holiday for eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sector, irrespective of rateable value. All eligible businesses will pay no business rates for the 2020-21 financial year.
Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people in each region of the UK are benefiting from the Coronavirus Retention Scheme.

HM Revenue and Customs published statistics on the total number of employments furloughed by region of the UK on 11 June 2020. A further release is due on 15 July 2020.

The information published covers the number of employments furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme since the start of the scheme. Within this figure one person could be furloughed from more than one job. The latest statistics and further information are available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-statistics-june-2020

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will introduce a sector specific job protection package for the aerospace industry in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government recognises the challenging times facing the aerospace sector as a result of COVID-19. Firms experiencing difficulties as a result of COVID-19 can draw upon the unprecedented package of measures announced by the Chancellor, including schemes to raise capital, flexibilities with tax bills, and financial support for employees.

As of midnight 28 June 2020, the CJRS has helped 1.1 million employers across the UK furlough 9.3 million jobs, protecting people’s livelihoods.

The furlough scheme will remain open until October.

It would be challenging to target the CJRS to specific sectors in a fair and deliverable way, and it may not be the case that this is the most effective or sensible way to provide longer term support for those sectors most affected by coronavirus.

It would also be difficult to target the CJRS at specific sectors without creating distortion, particularly as some firms work across multiple sectors. There are other schemes (including CBILS) that can provide support to specific firms.

The government will continue to engage with businesses and representative groups with the aim of ensuring that support provided is right for these sectors and for the economy as a whole.

Kemi Badenoch
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what information his Department holds on the number of people whose statutory sick pay was affected by the HMRC Statutory Sick Pay Calculator incorrectly calculating SSP as payable from the fourth day and not the first day of sickness in the most recent period for which figures are available.

The Chancellor announced at Budget on 11 March 2020 that employees would be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from day 1 in respect of COVID-19 related absences. The Chancellor also confirmed that the Government would refund the costs of up to two-weeks’ SSP for COVID-19 related absences to employers.

These changes had effect from 13 March 2020 and the new system for the SSP rebate launched on 26 May 2020. The Government has ensured that all the guidance available on GOV.UK is correct. The SSP calculator included a caveat to employers while it was being updated to reflect the latest position on SSP entitlement.

The Government is not aware of any employers having been adversely affected as a result of the updates to the guidance or the calculator and the new rebate service has a customer satisfaction score of above 90%.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that employers accessing the Coronavirus Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme are able to recoup money that they have paid out in sick pay from the first day of an employee’s sickness absence.

The Chancellor announced at Budget on 11 March 2020 that employees would be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from day 1 in respect of COVID-19 related absences. The Chancellor also confirmed that the Government would refund the costs of up to two-weeks’ SSP for COVID-19 related absences to employers.

These changes had effect from 13 March 2020 and the new system for the SSP rebate launched on 26 May 2020. The Government has ensured that all the guidance available on GOV.UK is correct. The SSP calculator included a caveat to employers while it was being updated to reflect the latest position on SSP entitlement.

The Government is not aware of any employers having been adversely affected as a result of the updates to the guidance or the calculator and the new rebate service has a customer satisfaction score of above 90%.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to support people classed as self-employed for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 tax years and not the 2019-20 tax year who are ineligible for support through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

Self-employed individuals, including members of partnerships, are eligible for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) if they have submitted their Income Tax Self Assessment tax return for the tax year 2018-19, continued to trade, and have been adversely affected by COVID-19. To qualify, their self-employed trading profits must be no more than £50,000 and at least equal to their non-trading income.

Individuals who are ineligible for the SEISS may benefit from other elements of the unprecedented financial support provided by the Government. This package includes Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support,?mortgage holidays, and other business support grants.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many companies (a) applied for and (b) received cash grants in excess of £1,000,000 through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as at 29 April 2020.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is administered through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system. Up to and including 29 April 2020, 322 PAYE schemes had each submitted claims totalling in excess of £1,000,000.

HM Revenue and Customs hold information on when payments were made under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme but not when the payments were received by PAYE schemes.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which companies (a) applied for and (b) received cash grants in excess of £1,000,000 through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as at 29 April 2020.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is administered through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system. Up to and including 29 April 2020, 322 PAYE schemes had each submitted claims totalling in excess of £1,000,000.

HM Revenue and Customs hold information on when payments were made under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme but not when the payments were received by PAYE schemes.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reasons people classed as self-employed for the 2019-20 tax year only are ineligible for the Self-employment Income Support Scheme.

In order to ensure that the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is deliverable, only those who submitted a tax return for 2018-19 are eligible to apply.

This was a difficult decision and it was taken for practical reasons.

Although the self-employed can file returns for the 2019-20 tax year, if HMRC were to rely on these returns for the SEISS there would be an opportunity for fraudulent activity through returns where no trading activity has taken place, where trading profits have been inflated to increase the size of the grant, or where trading profits have been reduced to below the £50,000 threshold in order to become eligible.

Unfortunately, HMRC would not be able to distinguish genuine self-employed individuals who started trading in 2019-20 from fake applications by fraudulent operators and organised criminal gangs seeking to exploit the SEISS.

The newly self-employed may still be eligible for other elements of the unprecedented financial support provided by the Government. This package includes Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support,?increased levels of Universal Credit, mortgage holidays, and other business support grants.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Mar 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that agency workers facing a loss of income as a result of the covid-19 outbreak receive a wage from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Government seeks, as far as possible, to protect people’s jobs and incomes. This is an unprecedented jobs retention scheme and the Government has been working hard to set out further details on the scheme. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is open to any individual who was on an employer’s PAYE payroll on 19 March 2020. Full details can be found in the guidance available at www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme and www.gov.uk/guidance/work-out-80-of-your-employees-wages-to-claim-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme, which provides answers to these questions.

Jesse Norman
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department has made an assessment of the International Finance Corporation decision to support the Amulsar gold mining project in Armenia.

I refer the Honourable Member to the response from the Department for International Development given to his question of 30 January (UIN10298).

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, which documents regulate the relationship between his Department and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The relationship between the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Her Majesty’s Government is regulated through the Agreement Establishing the EBRD, which entered into force on 28 March 1991. This document can be found here: https://www.ebrd.com/news/publications/institutional-documents/basic-documents-of-the-ebrd.html

The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the UK Governor for the EBRD. All prospective projects are reviewed and scrutinised by the EBRD in line with the Bank’s standard project process, and this analysis is provided to shareholders ahead of Board of Directors discussion and approval.

The UK assesses all projects to ensure that they meet the EBRD’s mandate and have the highest environmental and social standards. EBRD’s most recent assessment is that the project has the highest categorisation under the Bank’s Environmental and Social Policy.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what role his Department played in supporting the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s decision to invest in the Amulsar gold mine in Armenia.

The relationship between the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Her Majesty’s Government is regulated through the Agreement Establishing the EBRD, which entered into force on 28 March 1991. This document can be found here: https://www.ebrd.com/news/publications/institutional-documents/basic-documents-of-the-ebrd.html

The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the UK Governor for the EBRD. All prospective projects are reviewed and scrutinised by the EBRD in line with the Bank’s standard project process, and this analysis is provided to shareholders ahead of Board of Directors discussion and approval.

The UK assesses all projects to ensure that they meet the EBRD’s mandate and have the highest environmental and social standards. EBRD’s most recent assessment is that the project has the highest categorisation under the Bank’s Environmental and Social Policy.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department receives an analysis and evaluation of all the projects that the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development invests in.

The relationship between the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Her Majesty’s Government is regulated through the Agreement Establishing the EBRD, which entered into force on 28 March 1991. This document can be found here: https://www.ebrd.com/news/publications/institutional-documents/basic-documents-of-the-ebrd.html

The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the UK Governor for the EBRD. All prospective projects are reviewed and scrutinised by the EBRD in line with the Bank’s standard project process, and this analysis is provided to shareholders ahead of Board of Directors discussion and approval.

The UK assesses all projects to ensure that they meet the EBRD’s mandate and have the highest environmental and social standards. EBRD’s most recent assessment is that the project has the highest categorisation under the Bank’s Environmental and Social Policy.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many arrivals there were at UK airports in each week from 1 December 2020 to 25 January 2021.

The most recent immigration statistics were published on the 27th November 2020.

The links to the relevant information can be found below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/immigration-statistics-year-ending-september-2020#history

In addition, an ad hoc ‘Statistics relating to Covid-19 and the immigration system, was also published on the 27th November 2020.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statistics-relating-to-passenger-arrivals-since-the-covid-19-outbreak-november-2020

The next Immigration statistical release is due on the 24th February and future data relating to 2021 and beyond will be published in due course.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many police stations there were in the Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

The Home Office does not hold information centrally on police station numbers across England and Wales.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
6th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many fire stations there were in the Yorkshire and the Humber region in (a) 2010 and (b) 2020.

The number of fire stations in North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and Humberside, the four fire and rescue services that make up the Yorkshire and the Humber region, was a) 138 in 2010 b) 126 in 2019 (the latest year for which published statistics are available)

Further detail is available in table FIRE1403 here https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fire-statistics-datatables#other

Operational matters (including where to locate fire stations) and the response to them are for each individual fire and rescue service (FRS) to determine, along with their associated Fire and Rescue Authority (FRA). Every fire and rescue service is obliged to carry out its own risk assessments and identify appropriate control measures to protect its staff and communities. The Integrated Risk Management Plan for each FRS is published by the FRA. The National Fire Chiefs Council, through their Central Programme Office, provide operational guidance spanning a wide range of activity to assist fire and rescue services in their work.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the potential merits of commissioning an independent review of criminal convictions during the English and Welsh miners strikes of 1984-85, similar to the review commissioned by the Scottish Government in 2018.

There are no plans to undertake an assessment of the potential merits of establishing an independent review of criminal convictions during the English and Welsh miners strikes of 1984-85, similar to the review commissioned by the Scottish Government in 2018.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Home Office)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when staff of his Department will be required to return to the office as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

The department has continued to deliver priority activity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic using a combination of workplace and home working. Almost a quarter of Home Office staff have been attending their designated workplace over the course of the pandemic.

As the pandemic has progressed, the department has returned some staff to the workplace inline with Covid secure guidance. We will continue to return staff to our workplaces up to the building capacity our COVID secure risk assessments permit.

James Brokenshire
Minister of State (Home Office)
3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many ex-military personnel are registered as living in Hemsworth Constituency.

The number of veterans living in the Hemsworth constituency is not held.

However, the number of veterans in receipt of UK Armed Forces compensation or pensions by location can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/location-of-armed-forces-pension-and-compensation-recipients

Please note, individuals may be in receipt of more than one compensation and/or pension scheme. Therefore, subtotals cannot be summed.

In July 2020, Parliament approved the inclusion of a veteran question in the England and Wales 2021 census which, for the first time, will enable Government to identify the number of veterans by location.

25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent estimate he has made of the projected cost for the renewal of Trident.

The Ministry of Defence co-ordinates a range of interdependent programmes to support, maintain and renew the United Kingdom's nuclear deterrent, as detailed in the National Audit Office report 'The Defence Nuclear Enterprise: a landscape review', published in 2018.

In the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review, the Dreadnought Class submarine build programme was estimated to be likely to cost a total of £31 billion with an additional £10 billion contingency. The programme remains on track to deliver within this budget. It is too early to provide cost estimates for the Replacement Warhead Programme as much will depend on the eventual design requirements, and information relating to the programme may be subject to commercial and national security constraints.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of renters who in arrears in each region of the UK in the latest period for which figures are available.

Data from the English Housing Survey (EHS) Household Resilience Study November-December 2020 suggests that 9% of private rented households and 11% of social rented households are in arrears.

The regional distribution of renters (social and private) in arrears is provided in Table T16a of the Household Resilience Study Wave 2: Wave 2 tables, available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/household-resilience-study-wave-2

The UK Government has provided an unprecedented package of financial support which is available to tenants. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and £20 per week uplift in Universal Credit are in place until the end of September helping renters to continue paying their rent. Local housing allowance rates have been maintained at their increased level in cash terms in 2021/22, meaning claimants renting in the private rented sector continue to benefit from the significant increase in the local housing allowance rates applied in April 2020. For those who require additional support, Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) are available. For 2021-22 the Government has made £140 million available in DHP funding, building on the £180 million provided last year.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
10th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the criteria for allocation of funds to local authorities as part of the Towns Fund.

As part of the £3.6 billion Towns Fund, 101 towns were selected to develop proposals for Town Deals. Details of this selection process are available in the summary of accounting officer advice, published on gov.uk here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/towns-fund-selection-summary-of-accounting-officer-advice/towns-fund-selection-process-summary-of-accounting-officer-ao-advice.

Those 101 towns were asked to submit Town Investment Plans setting out their vision and strategy and detailing the projects they would like the Towns Fund to support.

In June 2020, the Department published further guidance detailing the process and assessment criteria for those Town Investment Plans. This guidance can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/926422/Towns_Fund_further_guidance.pdf

All towns have now submitted their proposals and 52 towns have so far been offered Town Deals. Assessment continues for the remaining towns, with further announcements expected in due course.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, which representatives were present at the 26 engagement events relating to the development of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The Government has been engaging with key stakeholders on the design and priorities of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund since 2016, including holding a series of engagement events.  Over 500 stakeholders attended these events across a variety of sectors, including businesses, public bodies (such as Local Enterprise Partnerships, Mayoral Combined Authorities, and local councils), higher education institutions, the voluntary and charity sector and rural partnership groups.

Our engagement events have taken place across the UK including in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. We will continue to work closely with interested parties as we develop the fund.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will publish the evidential basis on which the Government's decision to permit house viewings to continue during the third national covid-19 lockdown in England was reached.

We have worked with both the estate agency sector and Public Health England to develop our guidance and make sure that agents are operating in a COVID-secure way, as such businesses are required to do in order to remain open. Throughout the pandemic, the Government has listened carefully to the views of the scientific community, the information from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and its sub-groups when taking decisions on the best way to tackle the pandemic.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the Answer of 11 December 2020 to Question 124131, how many ex-military personnel were sleeping rough as at (a) 1 January 2020 and (b) 1 December 2020.

I refer the Hon Member to the previous answer to Question 124131 on 11 December 2020.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of recent research by Shelter which has found that 55 per cent of homeless families in England are in work.

This Government is committed to tackling homelessness and fully enforcing the Homelessness Reduction Act.

In 2020/21 we are providing over £700 million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping alone.

In April 2020 we increased the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants so that they are set at the 30th percentile of market rents.  This is an important policy that will benefit 1.5 million people and the average claimant will gain an additional £600 per year in increased housing support. Next year these rates will be maintained at their increased level.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to publish detailed plans on the pilot programme for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) will help to level up and create opportunity across the UK for places most in need, such as ex-industrial areas, deprived towns and rural and coastal communities, and for people who face labour market barriers.

In addition, to help local areas prepare over 2021/22 for the introduction of the UKSPF, we will provide additional UK funding to support our communities to pilot programmes and new approaches.

The November 2020 Spending Review set out the main strategic elements of the UKSPF in the Heads of Terms.  The Government will publish a UK-wide investment framework in Spring 2021 and confirm multi-year funding profiles at the next Spending Review. Further details on the operation of the additional funding in 2021/22 will be published soon.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps communities need to take to access the pilot scheme of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) will help to level up and create opportunity across the UK for places most in need, such as ex-industrial areas, deprived towns and rural and coastal communities, and for people who face labour market barriers.

The November 2020 Spending Review set out the main strategic elements of the UKSPF in the Heads of Terms. We will publish a UK-wide investment framework later this year and confirm multi-year funding profiles at the next Spending Review.

In addition, to help local areas prepare over 2021/22 for the introduction of the UKSPF, we will provide additional UK funding to support our communities to pilot programmes and new approaches. Further details will be published soon.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to launch the consultation on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The November 2020 Spending Review set out the main strategic elements of the UKSPF in the Heads of Terms. We will publish a UK-wide investment framework later this year and confirm multi-year funding profiles at the next Spending Review.

In addition, to help local areas prepare over 2021/22 for the introduction of the UKSPF, we will provide additional UK funding to support our communities to pilot programmes and new approaches. Further details will be published soon.

Government officials have been working closely with interested parties and will continue to do so as we develop the Fund.

Officials have held 26 engagement events in total, including 25 across the UK and one in Gibraltar. These were attended by over 500 representatives from a breadth of sectors and designed to aid the development of the Fund.

Luke Hall
Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when the prospectus for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund will be published.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) will help to level up and create opportunity across the UK for places most in need, such as ex-industrial areas, deprived towns and rural and coastal communities, and for people who face labour market barriers.

The November 2020 Spending Review set out the main strategic elements of the UKSPF in the Heads of Terms. We will