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Written Question
Nature Conservation: Investment
Thursday 18th April 2024

Asked by: Kerry McCarthy (Labour - Bristol East)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the level of private investment in (a) terrestrial and (b) marine nature recovery in the last year for which figures are available.

Answered by Rebecca Pow - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

As set out in Mobilising Green Investment: 2023 Green Finance Strategy, we are committed to monitoring progress against our target to raise £1bn in private finance into nature’s recovery in England every year by 2030.

The government has not produced an official annual estimate of private finance into nature’s recovery, as no reliable measures are yet in place. My department is developing a methodology for tracking this private finance. We will publish our first annual estimate, using this methodology, once data is available.


Written Question
Nature Conservation: Finance
Thursday 18th April 2024

Asked by: Kerry McCarthy (Labour - Bristol East)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the target set in the Autumn Statement 2021 for private finance to support nature’s recovery, what proportion of the £1 billion relates to the marine environment.

Answered by Rebecca Pow - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

The Government is committed to mobilising private finance into nature’s recovery in England against our target, both on land and at sea.

We have not set specific targets for the terrestrial and marine environment respectively.


Written Question
Business Premises: Carbon Emissions
Wednesday 17th April 2024

Asked by: Kerry McCarthy (Labour - Bristol East)

Question to the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero:

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, when she plans to publish a response to the consultation on Introducing a performance-based policy framework in large commercial and industrial buildings, which closed on 9 June 2021.

Answered by Amanda Solloway - Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury

Government paused the rollout of the operational energy rating pilot scheme but remains interested in exploring the role that operational ratings can play in supporting energy reduction within the wider landscape for decarbonising commercial and industrial buildings.

We continue to engage with stakeholders to understand more about potential options for moving the dial on reducing carbon emissions and Government’s role in this.


Written Question
Business Premises: Energy Performance Certificates
Wednesday 17th April 2024

Asked by: Kerry McCarthy (Labour - Bristol East)

Question to the Department for Energy Security & Net Zero:

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, when she plans to respond to the consultation entitled Non-domestic Private Rented Sector minimum energy efficiency standards: EPC B implementation, published on 17 March 2021.

Answered by Amanda Solloway - Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury

We have reviewed the responses to our consultation on minimum energy efficiency standards in the non-domestic private rented sector. We are working hard to ensure the policy design remains fair and proportionate for landlords and tenants within the current economic climate and to help realise the benefits of energy efficiency, including reduced energy bills, more comfortable and healthier workplaces and greater energy security. We are continuing to engage with commercial building owners and representative groups to understand the different pathways to support decarbonisation and give certainty to the energy efficiency supply chain. We plan to publish the response in due course.


Written Question
Bus Services: Public Service Obligations
Tuesday 16th April 2024

Asked by: Kerry McCarthy (Labour - Bristol East)

Question to the Department for Transport:

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Answer of 20th July 2023 to Question 194351 on Bus Services: Public Service Obligations, when his Department plans to issue new guidance on socially and economically necessary bus services.

Answered by Guy Opperman - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Department remains committed to publishing this guidance within this Parliament.


Written Question
Genetics: Diseases
Tuesday 16th April 2024

Asked by: Kerry McCarthy (Labour - Bristol East)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many patients in the South West have been eligible for pre-implantation genetic testing for monogenic disorders in each of the last five years.

Answered by Andrew Stephenson - Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Pre-implantation Genetic Testing (PGT) is used to identify genetic anomalies in embryos created through in-vitro fertilisation. Over 600 genetic conditions can currently be tested for using this technique, as licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority. NHS England has commissioned five centres to provide PGT to patients in England. The number of PGT cycles undertaken has increased from 223 patients in 2009 to 620 in 2019, but NHS England does not have access to data that describes the geographical profile of the people that have used the National Health Service or privately commissioned PGT services.


Written Question
Research: Palestinians
Monday 15th April 2024

Asked by: Kerry McCarthy (Labour - Bristol East)

Question to the Department for Science, Innovation & Technology:

To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, whether her Department has has made an assessment of the potential merits of providing further funding for Researchers at Risk Fellowships to be made available to Palestinian researchers.

Answered by Andrew Griffith - Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)

The current Researchers at Risk Fellowship Programme aims to respond to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has exposed Ukraine-based researchers and their dependents to direct threats. My Department is keeping the programme, which is delivered by the British Academy, under close review.


Written Question
Microplastics: Washing Machines
Monday 15th April 2024

Asked by: Kerry McCarthy (Labour - Bristol East)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help prevent microplastics entering waterways from washing machines.

Answered by Robbie Moore - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

Government recently funded an external rapid evidence assessment to better understand the costs, benefits, and efficiencies of installing filters in washing machines. The filters aim to trap textile microplastic fibres during the laundry cycle and before discharge to sewer networks and wastewater treatment works. The assessment concluded further evidence was needed to determine how to avert additional costs incurred by consumers of new washing machines with filters, and the consumer’s sustainable disposal of used filters. Industry are currently conducting research and developing proposals to develop filters that meet this criteria, and Government are happy to review any research in this area.

A water industry investigation of the levels and types of microplastics entering a range of UK wastewater treatment works reported that conventional treatment can remove 99% of microplastics by number and 99.5% by mass.


Written Question
Immigration: EU Nationals
Monday 15th April 2024

Asked by: Kerry McCarthy (Labour - Bristol East)

Question to the Home Office:

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of issuing physical back-up copies of immigration documents for people on the EU Settlement Scheme.

Answered by Tom Pursglove - Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)

As part of our move to a “digital by default” border and immigration system, physical immigration documents are being replaced by fully digital eVisas (an online record of the person’s immigration status).

All EU, EEA and Swiss citizens granted pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) are now able to prove their rights in the UK digitally, by using the View and Prove service on GOV.UK, instead of using physical documents. Non-EU, EEA or Swiss citizen family members who have a UKVI account can also use the View and Prove service.

Successful applicants continue to receive written notice of their immigration status by email or letter, which they can keep for their personal records if they wish. However, due to the possibility of fraud and abuse this document cannot be used to evidence an individual’s immigration status to external organisations.

There are no plans to provide EU citizens granted status under the EUSS with physical back-up copies of immigration documents.


Written Question
Sewage: Microplastics
Tuesday 2nd April 2024

Asked by: Kerry McCarthy (Labour - Bristol East)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the average amount of microplastics present in sewage sludge.

Answered by Robbie Moore - Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

Research has been performed to improve the understanding of microplastics in sewage sludge. Defra has contributed to the design and development of the UK Water Industry Research funded and led Chemicals Investigation Programme (CIP) in this area. While the third CIP phase, reported in 2022, estimated an average mass of microplastics in final sludge products (generated from the sewage treatment processes), it was noted there could be large differences in the estimated values, and in sludge products from different works, and between sludge product samples taken at different occasions from the same treatment works.