Kevan Jones Portrait

Kevan Jones

Labour - North Durham

First elected: 7th June 2001


Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committees Bill
8th Mar 2023 - 15th Mar 2023
National Security Bill
29th Jun 2022 - 18th Oct 2022
Pension Schemes (Conversion of Guaranteed Minimum Pensions) Bill
26th Jan 2022 - 2nd Feb 2022
Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill
7th Sep 2021 - 22nd Sep 2021
Regulatory Reform
2nd Mar 2020 - 20th May 2021
Select Committee on the Armed Forces Bill
22nd Feb 2021 - 22nd Feb 2021
Armed Forces Bill Select Committee
22nd Feb 2021 - 22nd Feb 2021
Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament
16th Nov 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Regulatory Reform
6th Nov 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Shadow Minister (Defence)
8th Oct 2010 - 6th Jan 2016
Armed Forces Bill Committee
26th Oct 2015 - 24th Nov 2015
Administration Committee
2nd Nov 2010 - 1st Jul 2013
Armed Forces Bill Committee
17th Jan 2011 - 8th Mar 2011
Shadow Minister (Veterans)
12th May 2010 - 8th Oct 2010
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence) (Veterans)
5th Oct 2008 - 6th May 2010
Administration Committee
12th Jul 2005 - 26th Jan 2009
Defence Committee
16th Jul 2001 - 19th Jan 2009
Armed Forces Bill Committee
19th Dec 2005 - 9th May 2006
Draft Civil Contingencies Bill (Joint Committee)
10th Jul 2003 - 28th Nov 2003


Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 19th March 2024
14:00
Defence Sub-Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Developing AI capacity and expertise in UK Defence
19 Mar 2024, 2 p.m. View calendar
Department Event
Monday 25th March 2024
14:30
Ministry of Defence
Oral questions - Main Chamber
25 Mar 2024, 2:30 p.m.
Defence (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 31st January 2024
Political Parties, Elections and Referendums
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 131 Labour No votes vs 0 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 273 Noes - 190
Speeches
Thursday 22nd February 2024
Post Office Horizon Scandal
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for granting the urgent question. I draw the attention of the House to my interest as …
Written Answers
Monday 19th February 2024
Export Credit Guarantees
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, how many loan facilities under the Export Development Guarantee Scheme …
Early Day Motions
Wednesday 2nd November 2022
Fleet Solid Support ship contract
That this house believes that the Fleet Solid Support Ship is a warship; contends that UK warships should be designed, …
Bills
Wednesday 19th October 2016
Cosmetic Surgery (Standards of Practice) Bill 2016-17
A bill to make provision about the training, qualifications and certification of medical practitioners conducting cosmetic surgical procedures; to establish …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 30th October 2023
8. Miscellaneous
From 12 July 2023, Executive Committee Member of the British American Parliamentary Group. This is an unpaid role.
EDM signed
Tuesday 7th March 2023
Intimidation at community, parish and town councils
That this House expresses its support and appreciation for local community, parish and town councils which are the first tier …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 13th October 2020
School Breakfast Bill 2019-21
A Bill to require schools to provide breakfast club facilities; and for connected purposes.

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Kevan Jones has voted in 648 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Kevan Jones 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
Johnny Mercer (Conservative)
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
(148 debate interactions)
Tom Tugendhat (Conservative)
Minister of State (Home Office) (Security)
(77 debate interactions)
Chris Evans (Labour (Co-op))
Shadow Minister (Tech and Digital Economy)
(59 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(407 debate contributions)
Home Office
(164 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(115 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
National Security Act 2023
(20,694 words contributed)
Telecommunications (Security) Act 2021
(18,511 words contributed)
Armed Forces Act 2021
(5,684 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Kevan Jones's debates

North Durham 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).

Petitions with highest North Durham signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Latest EDMs signed by Kevan Jones

23rd November 2022
Kevan Jones signed this EDM on Tuesday 7th March 2023

Intimidation at community, parish and town councils

Tabled by: Julian Lewis (Conservative - New Forest East)
That this House expresses its support and appreciation for local community, parish and town councils which are the first tier of local government in England and Wales and play a vital role in our communities; notes with concern that whilst the vast majority of local councils are well run, there …
27 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Mar 2023)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 8
Labour: 7
Liberal Democrat: 4
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Scottish National Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
24th February 2023
Kevan Jones signed this EDM on Tuesday 28th February 2023

World Book Day 2023

Tabled by: Valerie Vaz (Labour - Walsall South)
That this House supports World Book Day in its mission to promote reading for pleasure; commends tis success in distributing 50 million book tokens annually to children; with a further 101,000 books donated to children by publishers, the Arts Council and others; notes reading for pleasure is the single biggest …
42 signatures
(Most recent: 26 Oct 2023)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 19
Scottish National Party: 7
Liberal Democrat: 4
Independent: 3
Conservative: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Green Party: 1
View All Kevan Jones's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Kevan Jones, 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.


3 Urgent Questions tabled by Kevan Jones

3 Adjournment Debates led by Kevan Jones

Wednesday 21st June 2023
Tuesday 9th November 2021
Tuesday 4th February 2020

1 Bill introduced by Kevan Jones


A bill to make provision about the training, qualifications and certification of medical practitioners conducting cosmetic surgical procedures; to establish a code of practice for the provision of information to patients on the options and risks in relation to such procedures; to make provision about permissible treatments and the advertising of such treatments; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 19th October 2016
(Read Debate)

2323 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
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Attorney General, how many employees of the Serious Fraud Office were deployed to combat money laundering created through waste crime as of 15 June 2022.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) does not structure its employees around particular categories of financial crime and therefore does not hold data on the number of employees deployed to combat money laundering created through waste crime.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Attorney General, what the average turnaround time has been for inquest applications by the Attorney General to the High Court under the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 in each of the last 10 years.

Section 13 of the Coroners Act 1988 permits an application to be made to the High Court for either an order for a fresh inquest into a death, or an order to hold an inquest if one has not already been held. An application under section 13 cannot be brought unless the Attorney General’s authority – referred to as her ‘fiat’ – has been obtained. Once the Attorney General has granted or refused her fiat, the Attorney General’s Office does not usually have any further role in the process.

An applicant has six weeks from the grant of the Attorney General’s fiat to make an application to the High Court. The High Court will then decide whether to order an investigation to be carried out in accordance with Part 1 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009.

Neither the Attorney General’s Office nor the Ministry of Justice hold data on how long it takes between the Attorney’s fiat being granted and the High Court disposing of an application made under section 13.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Attorney General, with reference to the report of the Independent review of gross negligence manslaughter and culpable homicide, commissioned by the General Medical Council, published in June 2019, whether the CPS has taken steps to implement the recommendation on enhancing the transparency and understanding of its decision-making process.

The CPS published updated legal guidance on gross negligence manslaughter in May 2019, to help make decision-making in these cases more transparent and to provide comprehensive and up-to-date guidance on the offence of gross negligence manslaughter in a medical setting, incorporating the recent relevant case law.

Evidence of medical experts will be required in all cases of medical manslaughter. Experts have to be suitably qualified and are selected on the basis of having recent and relevant expertise on the area of medicine concerned. Experts are provided with terms of reference on the elements of the offence before providing their advice. For cases where a charging decision of gross negligence manslaughter is under consideration, the prosecutor and counsel will meet with the expert to discuss the report and the evidential test. Any information which meets the disclosure test will be provided to the defence if a prosecution is commenced.

Since April 2019, all case decisions relating to charges of gross negligence manslaughter are made by specialist prosecutors or senior specialist prosecutors within the CPS Special Crime Division, and are taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

7th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether a contract has been awarded for facilities management at the Darlington Economic Campus.

The Darlington Economic Campus (DEC) receives facilities management (FM) services via the "Provision of TFM Services to GPA Sites", and this contract was awarded to ISS Mediclean Ltd under the RM3830 framework.

The Government Property Agency (GPA) ensures that their supply chain is compliant with the relevant employment legislation, including the relevant statutory staff pay rate.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the employment terms and conditions were for subcontracted employees working on the facilities management contract at the Darlington Economic Campus as of 7 February 2024.

The Darlington Economic Campus (DEC) receives facilities management (FM) services via the "Provision of TFM Services to GPA Sites", and this contract was awarded to ISS Mediclean Ltd under the RM3830 framework.

The Government Property Agency (GPA) ensures that their supply chain is compliant with the relevant employment legislation, including the relevant statutory staff pay rate.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether paying a minimum wage equal to that recommended by the Living Wage Foundation is a stipulation in the tendering process for facilities management contracts at the Darlington Economic Campus.

The Darlington Economic Campus (DEC) receives facilities management (FM) services via the "Provision of TFM Services to GPA Sites", and this contract was awarded to ISS Mediclean Ltd under the RM3830 framework.

The Government Property Agency (GPA) ensures that their supply chain is compliant with the relevant employment legislation, including the relevant statutory staff pay rate.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
29th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many and what proportion of clearances were processed by United Kingdom Security Vetting within 95 days in the latest period for which data is available.

In December 2023, United Kingdom Security Vetting (UKSV) processed 91.22% of routine initial Developed Vetting cases in 95 days and 8.62% of Developed Vetting review cases. For routine Security Check (SC)/Counter Terrorism Check (CTC) clearances UKSV completed 95.1% of routine cases within 25 days.

In 2023, UKSV implemented a stabilisation programme which included an increase in headcount. Under Ministerial direction, UKSV prioritised the recovery of initial Developed Vetting turnaround times, followed by Security Check and Counter Terrorist Check turnaround times. These first two targets were met on time. UKSV is currently focussing efforts to maintain the performance of these and is making good progress to meet the third target to recover the turnaround times of Developed Vetting review cases by the end of March 2024.

In line with the practice followed by successive administrations, the Government does not otherwise comment on security matters.



John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
22nd Jan 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Answer of 3 October 2023 to Question 197591 on Defence: Buildings, what progress the Office for Government Property has made on collating information on the Defence Estate.

The Office for Government Property (OGP) conducted a data capture exercise to bring together the information we hold about the Government estate into one place, which we have since used in conjunction with individual departments to encourage them to conclude their identification stage. This has aided in identifying a list of confirmed Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete across individual department’s estates.

Each department owns the data relating to specific locations, identification and remediation plans within their estate.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
19th Sep 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to reduce homelessness amongst the veteran population.

As part of the Government’s efforts to end veteran rough sleeping, we recently launched Op FORTITUDE. This is a first of its kind, central referral pathway which links veterans experiencing or facing homelessness with Local Authorities, housing providers and charities across the country.

This is supported by up to £8 million in the ‘Reducing Veterans Homelessness Programme’ which has made funding available to organisations across the UK. Providers are making available dedicated wrap-around support on health & wellbeing, recovery and employability in veteran supported housing.

An additional £20 million will go towards providing extra housing for veterans through the development of new builds and the refurbishment of existing social and charitable housing. An initial £2 million refurbishment and development grant has now been opened for applications via the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust.

Veterans and anyone else facing homelessness or rough sleeping, are also supported by the Government's ‘Ending Rough Sleeping for Good’ strategy which is backed by £2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping across the country.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
29th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 26 June 2023 to Question 190517 on Cabinet Office: Official Hospitality, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of publishing the hospitality expenditure of business units in his Department.

We do not routinely publish this data, as has been the case under successive administrations. All Business Units within the Cabinet Office have a responsibility to keep official hospitality costs as low as possible and demonstrate good value for money.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
28th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the proposed border target operating model will apply to the movement of (a) pet reptiles, (b) amphibians and (c) invertebrates from the EU to the UK.

The draft Border Target Operating Model covers the commercial import of live animals. It would apply to these species if they were commercially imported, for example for onward sale. However, non-commercial imports of these species as pets are out of scope and the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs will confirm the policy in due course.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
27th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 19 June 2023 to Question 189511 on Office for Veterans' Affairs: Civil Servants, where the information on the number and grades of civil servants who were working in the private office of the Minister for Veterans' Affairs on 15 May 2023 is published.

Statistics on the composition of the Civil Service workforce, including regional, diversity and earnings data, are published every year on gov.uk, the last updated version was published in March 2023. On 15 May 2023, there were 4 members of private office staff to support the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
22nd Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 24 May 2023 to Question 185881 on Cabinet Office: Staff, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of employing two Digital Media Officers in financial year 2023-24.

The two digital media officers are full time civil servants and are currently employed at HEO grade.

Please see below for the salary bands for HEOs within the Cabinet Office.

  • London - £35,241 - £39,352

  • National - £32,640 - £36,510

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
22nd Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 18 May 2023 to Question 184899 on Office for Veterans' Affairs: Civil Servants, how many civil servants work in the Office for Veterans' Affairs as of 22 June 2023; and at what grades.

As of 22 June 2023 there were 23 Full Time Employees (FTE) in the Office of Veterans’ Affairs (OVA). In order to increase support to veterans, the Government is providing an additional £33 million to the OVA over the next three years.

It is optional for employees to disclose their ethnicity and sexual orientation and disclosing this data could breach the confidentiality of the individuals working in the OVA due to the size of the unit.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
22nd Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he has made an assessment of the number of (a) BAME and (b) LGBT+ staff working in the Office for Veterans' Affairs.

As of 22 June 2023 there were 23 Full Time Employees (FTE) in the Office of Veterans’ Affairs (OVA). In order to increase support to veterans, the Government is providing an additional £33 million to the OVA over the next three years.

It is optional for employees to disclose their ethnicity and sexual orientation and disclosing this data could breach the confidentiality of the individuals working in the OVA due to the size of the unit.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
21st Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with what organisations the Minister for Veterans' Affairs has met in the last six months.

Details of the Minister for Veterans' Affairs meetings with external organisations and individuals are published quarterly in arrears on GOV.UK. Details of meetings for the period of January - March 2023 will be available shortly.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
21st Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether digital content produced by Cabinet Office communications officers has been reproduced on Ministers' personal (a) social media channels and (b) websites in the last six months.

After digital content is published online it may be shared and reproduced by anyone.

All material produced by civil servants, ministers, government departments and agencies in the course of their work belongs to the Crown and is Crown copyright. The Cabinet Office digital team would not create bespoke content related to a Minister’s constituency work, their personal life or any party political events. In line with the civil service code, Cabinet Office officials do not work on Ministerial events that are deemed to be political or personal in nature.

We are now in a digital age, where social media and digital communications are an essential part of government, helping inform the public directly about matters which may affect their lives or interests.

It is often appropriate for content relating to Government policies, guidance and announcements, created by civil servants, to be amplified or posted on other channels including ministers' own social media accounts where this helps drive wider engagement from the public.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
21st Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 20 June 2023 to Question 189762, if he will provide a list of (a) all Business Units in the Cabinet Office and (b) the hospitality expenditure for each unit in the last four financial years.

a) The following list provides the business units that make up the Cabinet Office at the time of answering the question. This is limited to the core department and does not reflect any arms length bodies or executive agencies. The makeup of the department is subject to change following shifts in ministerial priorities and objectives. This has changed over the course of the four years in scope of this question.

  • Prime Minister's Office

  • Propriety and Constitution Group

  • Government in Parliament

  • Economic and Domestic Secretariat

  • Intelligence and Security Committee

  • National Security Secretariat

  • Joint Intelligence Organisation

  • Cabinet Secretary Group

  • Government Digital Service

  • Central Digital and Data Office

  • Government Communication Service

  • Office of Government Property

  • Infrastructure and Projects Authority

  • Civil Service Human Resources

  • Government Business Services

  • Government Commercial Function

  • Government Security Group (Includes UKSV)

  • Borders

  • Geospatial Commission (MOG Pending)

  • Public Sector Fraud Authority

  • Equality Hub

  • Commercial Models (GCF)

  • COP Presidency

  • Chief Operating Officer's Office

  • People and Places

  • Strategy, Finance, and Performance

  • Central Budgets

  • CO Commercial

  • CO Digital

  • Public Bodies and Priority Projects Unit

  • Public Inquiry Response Unit

  • Modernisation and Reform Unit

  • Office for Veterans' Affairs

  • Delivery Group

  • CO HMT Commercial

  • Infected Blood Inquiry

  • Grenfell Inquiry

  • Covid Inquiry

b) We do not routinely publish this financial data, as has been the case under successive administrations.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
21st Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many staff work in his Private Office.

My Private Office currently has six staff to support me in my role as Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, attending Cabinet.

15th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much the Office for Veterans' Affairs has spent on hospitality in each of the last four financial years.

In line with Cabinet Office policy, it is permissible for Business Units to provide hospitality for meetings with external partners such as industry or foreign governments.

All Business Units within the Cabinet Office have a responsibility to keep official hospitality costs as low as possible and demonstrate good value for money.

The Cabinet Office’s hospitality spend is published on GOV.UK in the usual way.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
14th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether a Cabinet Office digital media officer accompanied the Minister for Veterans' Affairs to an event in Parliament on 12 June 2023.

Digital officers' work is allocated in discussion between the Cabinet Office Communications team, policy teams and ministerial private offices. Allocation depends on a range of factors including subject, location and staff availability.

As a result, digital media officers attend various events with Ministers as and when needed.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
14th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 24 May 2023 to Question 185881 on Cabinet Office: Staff, how many engagements Cabinet Office digital media officers attended in the last 12 months; and how many of those were also attended by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs.

Digital officers' work is allocated in discussion between the Cabinet Office Communications team, policy teams and ministerial private offices. Allocation depends on a range of factors including subject, location and staff availability.

As a result, digital media officers attend various events with Ministers as and when needed.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
14th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 24 May 2023 to Question 185881 on Cabinet Office: Staff, how is work allocated to digital media officers within the Department; and who determines which events they attend.

Digital officers' work is allocated in discussion between the Cabinet Office Communications team, policy teams and ministerial private offices. Allocation depends on a range of factors including subject, location and staff availability.

As a result, digital media officers attend various events with Ministers as and when needed.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
14th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what guidance his Department issues on the use of civil servant-produced digital content on Ministers' personal social media.

Governments and ministers of all political parties have always used a wide variety of media to help inform the public about issues which may affect their lives.

We are now in a digital age, and social media channels are therefore an important part of government, ministers’ and parliamentarians’ communications.

In addition to the Civil Service Code, the Government Communications Service offers propriety in digital and social media guidance .

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
14th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 18 May 2023 to Question 184899 on Office for Veterans' Affairs: Civil Servants, how many civil servants worked in the private office of the Minister for Veterans' Affairs as of 15 May 2023; and at what grades..

Statistics on the composition of the Civil Service workforce, including regional, diversity and earnings data, are published in the usual way to ensure they meet the highest standards of trustworthiness, quality and public value.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
9th Jun 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 5 June 2023 to Question 186306 on Office for Veterans' Affairs: Photography, what was the budget for the Cabinet Office Communications team in each of the last five financial years.

Setting out the budget may lead to inaccurate figures due to in-year budget changes. Instead, I can provide the actual spend.

The Cabinet Office Communications team employs two Digital Media Officers who support all Ministers in the Department. This is an essential part of helping to explain the Department's policies and priorities to a wider audience, such budgets have existed under successive administrations.

The budget for Communications team staff, including the two Digital Media Officers, is held by the Director of Communications and is accounted for in line with Cabinet Office personnel budget management processes.

The total actual expenditure for the Cabinet Office Communications cost centre, for the periods in question is as follows:

FY

Total expenditure (£)

18/19

2,105,850.23

19/20

2,018,372.96

20/21

2,077,533.20

21/22

2,124,742.32

22/23

2,659,096.71

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
23rd May 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 18 May 2023 to Question 184900 on Office for Veterans' Affairs: Photography and Social Media, how the budget for cross-government photography services is accounted for.

The Cabinet Office Communications team employs two Digital Media Officers who support all Ministers in the Department. This is an essential part of helping to explain the Department's policies and priorities to a wider audience.

The budget for Communications team staff, including the two Digital Media Officers, is held by the Director of Communications and is accounted for in line with Cabinet Office personnel budget management processes.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
23rd May 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 18 May 2023 to Question 184900 on Office for Veterans' Affairs: Photography and Social Media, who is the budget holder for cross-government photography services.

The Cabinet Office Communications team employs two Digital Media Officers who support all Ministers in the Department. This is an essential part of helping to explain the Department's policies and priorities to a wider audience.

The budget for Communications team staff, including the two Digital Media Officers, is held by the Director of Communications and is accounted for in line with Cabinet Office personnel budget management processes.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
19th May 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 18 May 2023 to Question 184900 on Office for Veterans' Affairs: Photography and Social Media, whether the Office for Veterans’ Affairs has a dedicated photographer.

The Office for Veterans’ Affairs does not have a dedicated photographer and draws on resources from the Cabinet Office Communications team who support all Ministers in the Department.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
19th May 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 18 May 2023 to Question 184900 on Office for Veterans' Affairs: Photography and Social Media, how many photographers and videographers work in the Cabinet Office as of 18 May 2023.

The Cabinet Office Communications team employs two Digital Media Officers who support all Ministers in the Department. This is an essential part of helping to explain the Department's policies and priorities to a wider audience.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
15th May 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many civil servants work in the Office for Veterans' Affairs as of 15 May 2023; and at what grades.

The Office for Veterans’ Affairs is located in the Cabinet Office and works with all UK Government departments and a large range of other private, charity and public sector organisations who collectively deliver support and services to veterans.

The Office for Veterans’ Affairs is headed by a Director and has approximately 23 staff, in addition to receiving support from colleagues in the Cabinet Office communications and external affairs team, as well as the Minister’s private office.

As announced in the Chancellor’s Spring Budget 2023, the Government is providing an additional £33 million to the Office for Veterans’ affairs over the next three years. This will allow for a significant expansion of the team in order to increase the service provided to veterans.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
15th May 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much from the public purse the Office for Veterans' Affairs has spent on (a) photography, (b) videography and (c) social media promotion in each of the last 12 months.

We are in a digital age, where social media and digital communications are an essential part of government. Photographers are a cross-government resource, supporting departments and Ministers, and play a critical role in the support of the Government’s digital communications activity and in progressing key policy areas.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
29th Mar 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how long the major projects leadership academy for senior responsible owners is.

The Major Project Leadership Academy (MPLA) is an 18 month programme aimed at senior leaders, SCS1 and above, of the projects in the Government's Major Projects Portfolio (GMPP).

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
30th Jan 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when he plans to respond to the letter of 13 October 2022 from the hon. Member for North Durham on the If U Care Share Foundation.

The Cabinet Office has no record of receiving this correspondence. If the hon. Member would like to supply a further copy, a reply will be sent.

23rd Nov 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have met with Astra Asset Management UK in the last two years.

The Government is committed to publishing details of ministers’ and senior officials’ meetings with external organisations on gov.uk, and does so on a quarterly basis.

There is no record of any meetings taking place with Astra Asset Management UK in the past two years.

8th Nov 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether IX Wireless has been awarded a government contract in this financial year.

Details of Government contracts above £10,000, and £25,000 in the wider public sector, are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search.

8th Nov 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what his Department's policy is on the awarding of public procurement contracts to companies that have never declared a profit.

The driving principle behind public procurement policy is to award contracts on the basis of value for money, which means the optimum combination of cost and quality over the lifetime of the project, not just price alone. The best way to test for and to demonstrate this principle is via an open competition, as is required in most cases by public procurement legislation.

It is open to organisations to consider and bid for contract opportunities where appropriate. This Government is committed to ensuring procurement opportunities are accessible to a range of organisations, and in supporting start-ups, small businesses and Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises to participate in government procurement.

23rd Sep 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 21 September 2022 to Question 47378, whether steps were taken to assess whether communications were made by his Department to the BBC between 29 June 2022 and 3 July 2022 concerning the conduct of the Rt hon. Member for Tamworth.

The Cabinet Office has examined its official records and found no communication with the BBC regarding the Rt Hon. Member for Tamworth between 29th June and 3rd July.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
5th Sep 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what communications were made by his Department to the BBC between 29 June 2022 and 3 June 2022 concerning the conduct of the Rt Hon. Member for Tamworth.

There is no record of any communication from the Cabinet Office to the BBC regarding the Rt Hon. Member for Tamworth between 29 June and 3 July.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
27th Jun 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Prime Minister plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for North Durham of 16 August 2021 regarding Ultra Electronics.

The Prime Minister's office has no record of receiving this correspondence. If the hon. Member would like to supply a further copy, a reply will be sent.

23rd Mar 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many contracts IX Wireless Limited have been awarded by Government in the last 10 years.

This information is not held centrally.


Details of Government contracts above £10,000 and £25,000 in the wider public sector are published on Contracts Finder: https://www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Search.

27th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the public purse funded any of the party refreshments consumed within No.10 Downing Street on 20 May 2021.

The report undertaken by the Second Permanent Secretary - available in the Library of the House - did not identify any allegations relating to staff gatherings on this date.

For the avoidance of doubt, there was no such expenditure on 20 May 2020 either.

15th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Prime Minister last met the Chief Executive of the Premier League.

Details of Ministers’ official meetings with external organisations are published quarterly and can be found on GOV.UK.

25th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, on what date he last convened the Honours Forfeiture Committee.

The Forfeiture Committee last convened on 20th May 2021.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his Department's plans to collect new forms of data on veteran suicide, how coroners will be able to access information to confirm that the suicide victim was a former member of the UK's armed forces.

The OVA has looked at how the frequency of suicide within the veteran community can best be measured and has identifed a robust methodology which does not require the placing of new duties on coroners. The new approach utilises data collected through the 2021 England and Wales census to compare the health of the veteran population with the health of the general population, including looking at suicide related deaths of veterans.

This new approach does not prevent coroners from seeking information about veteran status where it is felt that this is relevant to the suicide being investigated and the coroner has previously been informed by family members that the person was a veteran. There is a single point of contact at the MOD for coroners to obtain information on whether the suicide victim was a former member of the UK’s armed forces.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether he plans to provide (a) new codes of practice and (b) training to coroners for coroners to be able to discern whether the suicide of a veteran is attributable to their service.

The OVA has looked at how the frequency of suicide within the veteran community can best be measured and has identifed a robust methodology which does not require the placing of new duties on coroners. The new approach utilises data collected through the 2021 England and Wales census to compare the health of the veteran population with the health of the general population, including looking at suicide related deaths of veterans.

This new approach does not prevent coroners from seeking information about veteran status where it is felt that this is relevant to the suicide being investigated and the coroner has previously been informed by family members that the person was a veteran. There is a single point of contact at the MOD for coroners to obtain information on whether the suicide victim was a former member of the UK’s armed forces.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he plans to place new duties on coroners to ensure that they accurately report on veteran suicide.

The OVA has looked at how the frequency of suicide within the veteran community can best be measured and has identifed a robust methodology which does not require the placing of new duties on coroners. The new approach utilises data collected through the 2021 England and Wales census to compare the health of the veteran population with the health of the general population, including looking at suicide related deaths of veterans.

This new approach does not prevent coroners from seeking information about veteran status where it is felt that this is relevant to the suicide being investigated and the coroner has previously been informed by family members that the person was a veteran. There is a single point of contact at the MOD for coroners to obtain information on whether the suicide victim was a former member of the UK’s armed forces.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his Department's plans to collect new forms of data on veteran suicide, what methodology the Government plans to use to collate those figures; and whether that will include a breakdown by service.

The new methodology to measure the frequency of suicide within the veteran community will utilise data gathered through the 2021 England and Wales census to compare the health of the veteran population with the health of the general population. This will include suicide related deaths of veterans and we intend to include a breakdown by service as part of this analysis. This analysis will be undertaken in 2023, and in the interim the OVA will be working with ONS and the MOD to conduct a 10 year look back at veteran deaths by suicide. This work will inform us how many veterans have died through suicide and other causes including drug and alcohol misuse from 2011-2021, and to estimate the number that died homeless. Through the new methodology and our broader research programme we will explore data linking opportunities to understand veterans’ wider experiences, support needs and interaction with public services.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his Department's plans to collect new forms of data on veteran suicide, whether that data will include information on what engagement veterans had with mental health services prior to their suicide.

The new methodology to measure the frequency of suicide within the veteran community will utilise data gathered through the 2021 England and Wales census to compare the health of the veteran population with the health of the general population. This will include suicide related deaths of veterans and we intend to include a breakdown by service as part of this analysis. This analysis will be undertaken in 2023, and in the interim the OVA will be working with ONS and the MOD to conduct a 10 year look back at veteran deaths by suicide. This work will inform us how many veterans have died through suicide and other causes including drug and alcohol misuse from 2011-2021, and to estimate the number that died homeless. Through the new methodology and our broader research programme we will explore data linking opportunities to understand veterans’ wider experiences, support needs and interaction with public services.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his Department's plans to collect new forms of data on veteran suicide, whether retrospective studies will be undertaken by the Office for National Statistics to assess whether veteran suicides are attributable to their service.

The new methodology to measure the frequency of suicide within the veteran community will utilise data gathered through the 2021 England and Wales census to compare the health of the veteran population with the health of the general population. This will include suicide related deaths of veterans and we intend to include a breakdown by service as part of this analysis. This analysis will be undertaken in 2023, and in the interim the OVA will be working with ONS and the MOD to conduct a 10 year look back at veteran deaths by suicide. This work will inform us how many veterans have died through suicide and other causes including drug and alcohol misuse from 2011-2021, and to estimate the number that died homeless. Through the new methodology and our broader research programme we will explore data linking opportunities to understand veterans’ wider experiences, support needs and interaction with public services.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many A321 aircraft chartered from CTM for use by the Government are to be painted in UK livery.

As has been the case under successive Administrations, non-scheduled air travel is necessary at times for undertaking Government and Royal Household official visits. This may be to the timing and flexibility needed, for security reasons, or due to the location being visited. It can also provide better value for money in the cases of larger delegations (which can include journalists).

The Government has procured a single A321 aircraft for use by Ministers and senior members of the Royal Family. The aircraft was procured through an existing Crown Commercial Framework (RM6016 PSTVS Lot 4) in order to achieve a timely, beneficial and cost-effective solution for the government. Early market engagement concluded that a wet lease was able to offer the best balance between value for money, availability and operational flexibility.

The Cabinet Office ran a competition through the Framework and the winning supplier then offered three best options to meet the requirement. Based on this, cost estimates for the procurement of the aircraft were considered against a range of options and it was assessed that an initial term of 2 years, with the opportunity for annual extensions to the full life of the contract, offered the best balance between value for money and flexibility.

The decision to procure an aircraft was based on a range of factors including guaranteed availability; a biosecure aircraft; UK branding; and an aircraft with a transatlantic range. Before the contract is extended beyond the initial 2 years, an assessment will be made on the most cost-effective option that will range from extending the contract to launching an open competition for a new contract.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reasons his Department took the decision not to place the contract to provide A321 aircraft for VIP purposes to a public tender.

As has been the case under successive Administrations, non-scheduled air travel is necessary at times for undertaking Government and Royal Household official visits. This may be to the timing and flexibility needed, for security reasons, or due to the location being visited. It can also provide better value for money in the cases of larger delegations (which can include journalists).

The Government has procured a single A321 aircraft for use by Ministers and senior members of the Royal Family. The aircraft was procured through an existing Crown Commercial Framework (RM6016 PSTVS Lot 4) in order to achieve a timely, beneficial and cost-effective solution for the government. Early market engagement concluded that a wet lease was able to offer the best balance between value for money, availability and operational flexibility.

The Cabinet Office ran a competition through the Framework and the winning supplier then offered three best options to meet the requirement. Based on this, cost estimates for the procurement of the aircraft were considered against a range of options and it was assessed that an initial term of 2 years, with the opportunity for annual extensions to the full life of the contract, offered the best balance between value for money and flexibility.

The decision to procure an aircraft was based on a range of factors including guaranteed availability; a biosecure aircraft; UK branding; and an aircraft with a transatlantic range. Before the contract is extended beyond the initial 2 years, an assessment will be made on the most cost-effective option that will range from extending the contract to launching an open competition for a new contract.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he made of the potential cost to the public purse of the VIP A321 aircraft only being able to be employed by Her Majesty's Government.

As has been the case under successive Administrations, non-scheduled air travel is necessary at times for undertaking Government and Royal Household official visits. This may be to the timing and flexibility needed, for security reasons, or due to the location being visited. It can also provide better value for money in the cases of larger delegations (which can include journalists).

The Government has procured a single A321 aircraft for use by Ministers and senior members of the Royal Family. The aircraft was procured through an existing Crown Commercial Framework (RM6016 PSTVS Lot 4) in order to achieve a timely, beneficial and cost-effective solution for the government. Early market engagement concluded that a wet lease was able to offer the best balance between value for money, availability and operational flexibility.

The Cabinet Office ran a competition through the Framework and the winning supplier then offered three best options to meet the requirement. Based on this, cost estimates for the procurement of the aircraft were considered against a range of options and it was assessed that an initial term of 2 years, with the opportunity for annual extensions to the full life of the contract, offered the best balance between value for money and flexibility.

The decision to procure an aircraft was based on a range of factors including guaranteed availability; a biosecure aircraft; UK branding; and an aircraft with a transatlantic range. Before the contract is extended beyond the initial 2 years, an assessment will be made on the most cost-effective option that will range from extending the contract to launching an open competition for a new contract.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department undertook a value for money assessment prior to the decision to lease the A321 aircraft for VIP travel for the next two years.

As has been the case under successive Administrations, non-scheduled air travel is necessary at times for undertaking Government and Royal Household official visits. This may be to the timing and flexibility needed, for security reasons, or due to the location being visited. It can also provide better value for money in the cases of larger delegations (which can include journalists).

The Government has procured a single A321 aircraft for use by Ministers and senior members of the Royal Family. The aircraft was procured through an existing Crown Commercial Framework (RM6016 PSTVS Lot 4) in order to achieve a timely, beneficial and cost-effective solution for the government. Early market engagement concluded that a wet lease was able to offer the best balance between value for money, availability and operational flexibility.

The Cabinet Office ran a competition through the Framework and the winning supplier then offered three best options to meet the requirement. Based on this, cost estimates for the procurement of the aircraft were considered against a range of options and it was assessed that an initial term of 2 years, with the opportunity for annual extensions to the full life of the contract, offered the best balance between value for money and flexibility.

The decision to procure an aircraft was based on a range of factors including guaranteed availability; a biosecure aircraft; UK branding; and an aircraft with a transatlantic range. Before the contract is extended beyond the initial 2 years, an assessment will be made on the most cost-effective option that will range from extending the contract to launching an open competition for a new contract.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the mortality rate for care home residents is in County Durham by month for each year since 2007.

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

10th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the Answer of 19 May 2021 to Question 91 on Veterans: Mental Health and with reference to the evidence submitted to the Defence Committee's recent inquiry on Armed Forces and veterans mental health, for what reasons the Minister for Defence, People and Veterans was advised not to discuss veterans' mental health provision on the Today programme.

Further to the answer given to PQ 91 on 19 May 2021, Government Ministers regularly comment on the mental health services available to veterans, both in Parliament and in the media, and will continue to do so because it is vital that those who do require support know what is available through Op Courage in the NHS and how to access it.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the his Department mandated the Infrastructure Projects Authority to report on Ajax.

The IPA’s Mandate requires the IPA to support the successful delivery of Government’s Major Programmes and Projects projects by providing independent reviews at key decision points in the life-cycle of a Project. These reviews advise and support the project delivery organisation in achieving delivery of the project.

IPA Reviews do not offer external commentary on progress of Programmes or Projects for publication. They are conducted by independent, qualified and accredited reviewers. The reports are confidential and are exempt from publication under sections 33, 35, 41 and 43 of the FOI Act. Transparent information about the delivery of Government's major projects can be accessed through The IPA’s Annual Report.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
24th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether people affected by contaminated blood products will have access to legal representation for the infected blood compensation framework review.

The compensation framework study will provide advice on potential compensation framework design and solutions to Government. It is important that Sir Robert Francis QC, the independent reviewer, is able to complete his work as quickly as thoroughness allows.


At the outset of the Infected Blood Inquiry, the then Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster decided that it was overwhelmingly in the public interest that legal representation for infected and affected core participants in the inquiry should be funded by Government, and without means testing. This funding will continue until the conclusion of the Inquiry. However, this study is quite separate from the Inquiry. Sir Robert will want to hear directly from infected and affected people and put them at the heart of the process. Legal representation will not be required in order to put forward views.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
11th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many full-time equivalent staff are employed by the Office for Veterans Affairs.

The Office for Veterans’ Affairs is currently established for 22 staff. Those numbers are kept under review to ensure it has sufficient capacity to lead the Government’s delivery of the Veterans Strategy, working in concert with the many Departments that contribute to this. The OVA has an office in the Cabinet Office estate. Staff are able to work from there, or other Cabinet Office buildings, in line with COVID safe working guidance.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of staffing levels at the Office for Veterans Affairs.

The Office for Veterans’ Affairs is currently established for 22 staff. Those numbers are kept under review to ensure it has sufficient capacity to lead the Government’s delivery of the Veterans Strategy, working in concert with the many Departments that contribute to this. The OVA has an office in the Cabinet Office estate. Staff are able to work from there, or other Cabinet Office buildings, in line with COVID safe working guidance.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he plans to offer the Office for Veterans Affairs a physical office in which to operate.

The Office for Veterans’ Affairs is currently established for 22 staff. Those numbers are kept under review to ensure it has sufficient capacity to lead the Government’s delivery of the Veterans Strategy, working in concert with the many Departments that contribute to this. The OVA has an office in the Cabinet Office estate. Staff are able to work from there, or other Cabinet Office buildings, in line with COVID safe working guidance.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to improve awareness of support for veterans.

The Government is committed to making access to support for veterans as easy as possible, including raising awareness of what support is available and how promoting it can be accessed. This support includes Veterans UK and NHS services, such as the recently launched Op Courage Mental Health pathway, as well as the charity sector and recently provided funding to the Veterans Gateway. HMG does this through the education and support the MOD provides to those leaving the Armed Forces, with enhanced support such as the Defence Transition Service for those with the most complex needs.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the evidence submitted to the Defence Committee, for what reasons the Minister for Defence People and Veterans was advised not to go on the Today programme to discuss veterans' mental health provision.

Ministers have and will continue to appear in the media and in Parliament outlining the range of mental health support available to veterans, as seen recently with the introduction of Op Courage, NHS England’s dedicated veterans mental health pathway.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
11th May 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Government plans to allow the Veterans Minister to attend Cabinet.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Secretary of State for Defence represent veterans in Cabinet, ensuring their interests are included in any relevant policy discussions. Attendance at Cabinet is the prerogative of the Prime Minister.

Michael Gove
Minister for Intergovernmental Relations
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Prime Minister, whether the Prime Minister or his officials have met the former Manchester United Chairman Ed Woodward in the last three months.

The meeting was to discuss the safe return of fans and Covid certification, as part of ongoing work on event pilots. The European Super League was not discussed. I did not join the meeting.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Government's agreement with Titan Airways for the lease of A321 transport aircraft was put out to tender.

Details of the contracts for the A321 will be published by the Government shortly. As always, the procurement decision was made with value for money for the taxpayer in mind. The A321 will be substantially cheaper, and “greener” to operate than current arrangements and also offers significant value for money compared to the ad-hoc hire of private planes.

The lease agreement was achieved through the use of existing travel contract frameworks. A tender competition was run using those frameworks following advice from the Crown Commercial and Government Legal Services.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the cost is to the public purse of the Government's leasing arrangement with Titan Airways.

Details of the contracts for the A321 will be published by the Government shortly. As always, the procurement decision was made with value for money for the taxpayer in mind. The A321 will be substantially cheaper, and “greener” to operate than current arrangements and also offers significant value for money compared to the ad-hoc hire of private planes.

The lease agreement was achieved through the use of existing travel contract frameworks. A tender competition was run using those frameworks following advice from the Crown Commercial and Government Legal Services.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
29th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to ensure that people who requested large print Census 2021 forms received them.

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

3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, which organisations will be allocated funding from the £10 million announced in Budget 2021 to support veterans.

This £10million fund will help deliver charitable projects and initiatives across the UK that support veterans with mental health needs. The Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, in addition to disbursing their regular funding of £10million per annum, will design and run an open grant competition to award the additional funding to organisations delivering in-scope programmes in support of veterans' mental health.

The £475,000 is new funding representing an opportunity to improve the ability of charities to work together and with government, enhancing the provision of support for veterans and the broader Armed Forces Community. Therefore the additional funds have been allocated to the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, within the Cabinet Office.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, by what mechanism his Department measures the suicide rate of former armed forces personnel.

I refer the Rt Hon member for North Durham to the answer I gave to the member for Easington on the 14th January, column 135901.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Government plans to designate the sale of baby clothes as essential retail during the covid-19 outbreak.

On 5 November, the Government acted swiftly in accordance with growing evidence of virus prevalence to put in place new national COVID-19 restrictions in England. Guidance on the closing of certain businesses and venues in England is available on the Government website. As stated in the guidance, businesses may continue offering delivery and click-and-collect services (where items are pre-ordered and collected without entering the premises).

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to the oral contribution of 22 January 2020 of the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Official Report column 289, what legislative proposals on procurement he plans to bring forward to enable the Government to (a) buy British and (b) support UK firms.

Leaving the EU presents a golden opportunity to reform our procurement rules by creating a brand new, bespoke system which works for British businesses and citizens, and complies with our international obligations. We intend to publish our proposals later this year.

21st Jan 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans the Government has to review the legal framework for arms-length bodies.

There is no single legal framework for arm's length bodies (ALBs). ALBs are sponsored by individual departments, and the legal framework pertaining to any particular ALB will depend on how it has been established.

19th Dec 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what budget has been allocated to the Office for Veterans Affairs since its inception.

The Government recognises the lifelong duty which the nation owes to those who serve in the Armed Forces. The Government created the Office for Veterans' Affairs (OVA) to ensure veterans are represented right at the heart of Government for the first time.

The OVA will be responsible for coordinating the Government's services and support for veterans. It will lead the delivery of the Strategy for our Veterans, to realise the Government's ambition of making the UK the best place to be a veteran anywhere in the world by 2028.

The OVA will shortly set out the first action plan containing targets for the OVA to deliver initiatives for veterans and the commitments by Departments to make improvements in the support they offer.

With regard to the OVA’s budget, I refer the Rt. Hon. member to the answer I gave him on 22 October 2019, to question 1606.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
19th Dec 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent steps the Office for Veterans Affairs has taken to provide lifelong support to military personnel.

The Government recognises the lifelong duty which the nation owes to those who serve in the Armed Forces. The Government created the Office for Veterans' Affairs (OVA) to ensure veterans are represented right at the heart of Government for the first time.

The OVA will be responsible for coordinating the Government's services and support for veterans. It will lead the delivery of the Strategy for our Veterans, to realise the Government's ambition of making the UK the best place to be a veteran anywhere in the world by 2028.

The OVA will shortly set out the first action plan containing targets for the OVA to deliver initiatives for veterans and the commitments by Departments to make improvements in the support they offer.

With regard to the OVA’s budget, I refer the Rt. Hon. member to the answer I gave him on 22 October 2019, to question 1606.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, for what reason UK Export Finance would provide a 100% guarantee on lending to company under the Export Development Guarantee.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has not previously 100% guaranteed any Export Development Guarantee (EDG) facilities.

In principle, consideration can be given to guarantee percentages above 80% where this is needed to ensure the success of the transaction, subject to ensuring that the guaranteed loan meets UKEF’s requirements including compliance with applicable subsidy control rules.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, how many loan facilities under the Export Development Guarantee Scheme have been guaranteed by UK Export Finance up to 100% in each of the last five financial years.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has not previously 100% guaranteed any Export Development Guarantee (EDG) facilities.

In principle, consideration can be given to guarantee percentages above 80% where this is needed to ensure the success of the transaction, subject to ensuring that the guaranteed loan meets UKEF’s requirements including compliance with applicable subsidy control rules.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
1st Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, when was ministerial approval granted to UK Export Finance to advance negotiations with Harland & Wolff in relation to a proposed £200 million guaranteed loan facility under the Export Development Guarantee Scheme.

Ministerial agreement for UK Export Finance to advance negotiations with Harland & Wolff was granted on 22 December 2023

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
15th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, how many GLO Scheme cases have received full and final payments as of 15 December 2023.

As of 15th December, the Department had paid 11 full and final settlements. A further 10 full and final settlements have been accepted, bringing the total number of accepted full and final settlements to 21.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
11th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, when her Department received a copy of the Post Office's financial statements for 2021-22.

The Department received Post Office Limited’s Annual Report and Consolidated Financial Statements 2021/22 on 25 January 2023 for laying in Parliament on 23 February 2023.

A clarification to the 2021/22 Annual Report and Accounts was published by Post Office on 5 May 2023. On 11 May 2023, Minister Hollinrake wrote to the Chair of the Business and Trade Committee enclosing Post Office’s statement regarding the clarification. A copy of Post Office’s statement will be placed in the Library of the House of Commons.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of publishing guidance for employers on promoting the health and wellbeing for night shift workers.

The Working Time Regulations provide specific protections to night workers. Before someone starts working at night, they must be offered a free health assessment to see if they are fit to work nights before they become a night worker and on a regular basis after that. A record of this must be kept by the employer. Employers must also make sure that night time workers do not work more than an average of 8 hours in a 24-hour period. Employers can make collective or workforce agreements to change or exclude this limit.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
18th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether his Department has plans to encourage the use of blockchain technologies by business to help decarbonise the economy.

Blockchain technologies may allow trading of low-carbon energy and account for emissions of greenhouse gases to facilitate decarbonisation. However, the concepts still need to demonstrate that they could offer advantages over technology using centralised ledgers in specific applications related to decarbonisation. Several companies have been funded by the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund Programme to innovate their blockchain decarbonisation concepts further and to demonstrate applications useful to achieving net zero.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what assessment she has made of the potential impact of (a) organ-on-a-chip technology and (b) other human-specific technologies on economic growth.

The Government has not made an assessment on the potential impact of organ-on-chip and other human-specific technologies on economic growth. It is actively supporting and funding the development and dissemination of techniques that replace, reduce and refine the use of animals in research (the 3Rs). UK Research and Innovation provides the core funding for the National Centre for 3Rs, which drives the uptake of 3Rs technologies. Since it was established, the NC3Rs has invested £77 million in research and almost £27 million in contracts through its CRACK IT Challenges innovation scheme.

19th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of a reduction in the Universal Service Obligation to five days with no Saturday deliveries on the Post Office and sub-postmasters.

The Government has no current plans to change the statutory minimum requirements of the universal postal service, set out in the Postal Services Act 2011, which requires letter deliveries to every UK address, six days a week at standard price.

There is a clear and transparent process for how changes to the universal postal service should be considered and any change would need to be made through secondary legislation and agreed by Parliament.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
19th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of a reduction of the Universal Service Obligation to five days with no Saturday deliveries on senders of non-USO mail.

The Government has no current plans to change the statutory minimum requirements of the universal postal service, set out in the Postal Services Act 2011, which requires letter deliveries to every UK address, six days a week at standard price.

There is a clear and transparent process for how changes to the universal postal service should be considered and any change would need to be made through secondary legislation and agreed by Parliament.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to respond to the correspondence from the hon. Member for North Durham of 16 August 2021 on Ultra Electronics.

My Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State wrote to the Rt hon. Member on 30 December 2022 about Ultra Electronics.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade) (jointly with the Cabinet Office)
28th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential of (a) artificial intelligence, (b) organ-on-a-chip technology and (c) other New Approach Methodologies to benefit the UK economy: and whether he considers the development of these technologies to be a particular area of strength for the UK.

Harnessing the potential of AI is predicted to grow the economy by £232bn or 10.3% of GDP by 2030. In 2021 the Government published its National AI Strategy – a 10 year plan to ensure the UK remains a leader in AI. We are behind only the US and China and home to a third of Europe’s AI companies – more than 1,300 with a turnover of $2B.

Through UK Research and Innovation, the National Centre for reduction, replacement and refinement of animal testing in medicine has committed £100 million in research to develop new approach methodologies, including organ-on-a-chip.

23rd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have met with Astra Asset Management UK in the past two years.

Ministers regularly meet with external stakeholders. Details of ministerial meetings with external organisations are published quarterly and can be found on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/beis-ministerial-gifts-hospitality-travel-and-meetings.

The latest published data covers April to June 2022, further data will be published in due course.

Details of meetings held by civil servants are not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he will hold discussions with maritime sector representatives on (a) the potential impact of trends in the level of energy costs on and (b) ensuring the supply of fuel to that sector.

My Hon. Friend the Minister of State for Science and Investment Security will be meeting with representatives from the maritime sector for a general introduction in the near future.

The recently announced Energy Bill Relief Scheme https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-outlines-plans-to-help-cut-energy-bills-for-businesses ensures that all businesses and other non-domestic customers are protected from excessively high energy bills over the winter period. A review of the scheme, to be published in three months, will identify the most vulnerable non-domestic customers and how the government will continue assisting them with energy costs after the initial six months.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to Answer of 13 July to Question 32496, with reference to the proposed undertakings offered by Cobham Ultra Acquisitions Limited in relation to its acquisition of Ultra Electronics Holdings plc, whether the Government will take a shareholding in Ultra Electronics.

The Government has no such plans.

7th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the proposed undertakings offered by Cobham Ultra Acquisitions Limited in relation to its acquisition of Ultra Electronics Holdings plc, whether the Government will maintain a shareholding in Ultra Electronics.

The Government does not have a shareholding in Ultra Electronics.

7th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the proposed undertakings offered by Cobham Ultra Acquisitions Limited in relation to its acquisition of Ultra Electronics Holdings plc, whether the non-executive Director appointed on the boards of the two SecureCos will be from UK Government Investments.

The agreed undertakings are available on GOV.UK. As set out in the undertakings, the boards of the SecureCos will be comprised solely of British nationals with the appropriate security clearance and the non-executive Director appointed to the boards of each SecureCo will be appointed by the Government. The size of the boards is a matter for Ultra.

7th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the proposed undertakings offered by Cobham Ultra Acquisitions Limited in relation to its acquisition of Ultra Electronics Holdings plc, how many (a) members will sit on the two SecureCos boards and (b) of those members will be UK nationals.

The agreed undertakings are available on GOV.UK. As set out in the undertakings, the boards of the SecureCos will be comprised solely of British nationals with the appropriate security clearance and the non-executive Director appointed to the boards of each SecureCo will be appointed by the Government. The size of the boards is a matter for Ultra.

7th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what funding his Department has allocated to the British Geological Survey for the establishment of the Critical Minerals Intelligence Centre (CMIC).

Up to £3.6 million of funding is available for the Critical Minerals Intelligence Centre over 3 years.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many full time equivalent staff from his Department were employed in the Critical Minerals Intelligence Centre as on 7 July 2022.

All full-time staff will be employed by the British Geological Survey, which is delivering the Critical Minerals Intelligence Centre.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on Government progress towards publishing a UK Critical Minerals Strategy; and whether that strategy will consider the resilience of critical mineral supply chains.

As my rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State said at the BEIS Select Committee in June 2022, the Government is preparing a Critical Minerals Strategy, that will be published soon.

Through the Strategy, the Government will mitigate risks and promote a more resilient global supply chain, through diversification, international partnerships and the circular economy

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Defence on the acquisition of Ultra Electronics by Cobham.

My rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State has regular meetings with Ministerial colleagues on a range of topics.

5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Defence on the acquisition of Meggit by a US company.

My rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State has regular meetings with Ministerial colleagues on a range of topics.

5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the statement of 27 June 2022 by the chair of the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry on the Department's application for a restriction order, for what reason the restriction order was requested.

We are fully committed to enabling the Inquiry to get to the bottom of the Horizon scandal so it can set out exactly what went wrong. Ministers and senior civil servants are responsible and accountable for policy, and we have therefore asked that the Inquiry redact the names of junior civil servants that appear in documents we provide if they have not had a decision-making role. This request is consistent with the approach adopted by the department when handling matters covered by the Data Protection Act and Freedom of Information Act.

The Department’s definition of a junior civil servant is those at Grades 6 and 7, Senior Executive Officer (“SEO”), Higher Executive Officer (“HEO”), Executive Officer (“EO”) or Administrative Officer/Assistant levels.

5th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the statement of 27 June 2022 by the chair of the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry on the Department's application for a restriction order, including the redaction of the names of junior civil servants from relevant documents, what the Department's definition of a junior civil servant is.

We are fully committed to enabling the Inquiry to get to the bottom of the Horizon scandal so it can set out exactly what went wrong. Ministers and senior civil servants are responsible and accountable for policy, and we have therefore asked that the Inquiry redact the names of junior civil servants that appear in documents we provide if they have not had a decision-making role. This request is consistent with the approach adopted by the department when handling matters covered by the Data Protection Act and Freedom of Information Act.

The Department’s definition of a junior civil servant is those at Grades 6 and 7, Senior Executive Officer (“SEO”), Higher Executive Officer (“HEO”), Executive Officer (“EO”) or Administrative Officer/Assistant levels.

24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what sanctions Trading Standards can impose on advertisers referred to them by the Advertising Standards Agency for consistently breaking advertising standards.

Buckinghamshire & Surrey Trading Standards Service (B&STSS) acts as the prosecuting authority for investigations carried out by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

B&STSS uses its own legal powers to assess, investigate and take action, where appropriate, on any matter ASA refers to it. Action available to B&STSS includes arranging undertakings with traders and prosecutions.

7th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has plans to provide relief payments on energy costs to people suffering from cold-related conditions.

As announced on 26 May, the Government will be providing a £150 one-off disability Cost of Living Payment to the 6 million people who receive disability benefits. The Government is also providing an additional one-off £300 payment for UK pensioners and £400 for all domestic electricity customers through the expansion of the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS). The Government will also continue to provide support through the Warm Home Discount Scheme and Cold Weather Payments, which help to ensure the most vulnerable are better able to heat their homes over the colder months.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department is taking steps to assess the possibility of criminal proceedings being brought against directors of companies that are subject to compulsory strike-off.

Where a Company has been subject to a compulsory strike off and there is a suspected breach of the Companies Act 2006 by a Director, Companies House may make a Criminal Referral to the Insolvency Service to consider whether to commence a criminal investigation.

26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the amount of public money expected to be paid out under the Historical Shortfall Scheme.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether money paid out under the Historical Shortfall Scheme comes directly from his Departmental budget.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Historical Shortfall Scheme: Information on Progress published by the Post Office, what assessment he has made of the reasons that 44 applications to the Historical Shortfall Scheme remain in the dispute process.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much money from the public purse has been paid out by the Historical Shortfall Scheme to date.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

26th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the entire cost to the public purse has been for the establishment of the Historical Shortfall Scheme.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.

8th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when his Department plans to respond to the consultation on Improving the energy performance of privately rented homes.

The Government committed in the Clean Growth Strategy to improve as many private rental homes as possible to EPC band C by 2030 where practical, affordable and cost effective and consulted on this commitment in the winter of 2020/2021. A response to this consultation will be published in due course.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
25th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when the Minister for the Post Office last met with the Justice For Sub-postmasters Alliance.

I am in regular email contact with Mr Alan Bates, founder of the Justice For Sub-postmasters Alliance (JFSA). The most recent exchange was on the 8 February 2022.

Officials from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) met with the JFSA on 26 January 2022.

20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2022 to Question 105377 on Northern Powergrid: Storms, how many compensation payments (a) have and (b) have not been processed by Northern Powergrid in relation to Storm Arwen and Storm Barra.

The Government has been informed that a significant proportion of compensation cases have been paid by Northern Powergrid. Any remaining cases remain under investigation or in progress.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many compensation payments (a) have been and (b) are yet to be processed by Northern Powergrid in relation to Storm Arwen and Storm Barra.

Under Ofgem’s rules, Northern Power Grid must compensate customers for the inconvenience caused by loss of supply if the level of required service is not met.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State wrote to Ofgem and network operators, including Northern Powergrid, on the 6th December 2021, setting out his expectations that Distribution Network Operators make every effort to deliver compensation to affected customers swiftly and without delay, considering the burden making a detailed application might place on impacted customers, and in line with the Guaranteed Standards expectations.

Northern Powergrid had paid a significant proportion of compensation cases by Christmas 2021. Any cases remaining unpaid to this date are still under investigation or in progress as required by Ofgem’s regulation.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of UK-built service operations vessels that are operating to offshore windfarm sites at Dogger Bank as of 4 January 2022.

The Government has not made an estimate of the number of UK-built service operations vessels that are operating to offshore windfarm sites at Dogger Bank.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether there will be an appeal system in the Alternative Disputes Resolution process for the Post Office Horizon scandal; and whether the Government has made an estimate of the cost of resolutions.

Alternative Dispute Resolution is a consensual process, through which those making claims (and their advisors) can question and challenge how their claims have been assessed. It is a fundamental tenet of Alternative Dispute Resolution that questions and challenges are addressed in good faith so as to obtain a comprehensive and consensual resolution of all claims. As participants in the process are not obliged to accept any offers made by Post Office, there is no need for an appeals process.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Post Office Horizon scandal, how those conducting the Alternative Dispute Resolution process will be advised to calculate quantum.

Claims will be assessed by applying the specific facts of the individual cases to established legal principles and any other factors which support reaching a fair outcome. Those making claims (and their advisors) can question and challenge those assessments, and it is a fundamental tenet of Alternative Dispute Resolution that questions and challenges are addressed in good faith so as to obtain a comprehensive and consensual resolution of the claims.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether friends, family and employees of subpostmasters will be permitted to take part in the Alternative Dispute Resolution process proposed in response to the Post Office Horizon scandal.

Alternative Dispute Resolution is a consensual process, through which those making claims (and their advisors) can question and challenge how their claims have been assessed. The Terms of Reference for the Historical Shortfall Scheme explain its Dispute Resolution procedure. Processes for those with quashed convictions will be agreed between the Post Office and a claimant’s legal representatives.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether consequential losses will be included in the Alternative Disputes Resolution process for the Post Office Horizon scandal; and what other disputes will be included.

Post Office will consider all claims for compensation made by a postmaster, branch manager and/or assistant whose conviction is quashed or who has submitted an eligible claim under the Historical Shortfalls Scheme, including claims made for consequential losses.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps will be taken to ensure consistency is maintained in the processing of disputes in response to the Post Office Horizon scandal.

Claims will be assessed by applying the specific facts of the individual cases to established legal principles and any other factors which support reaching a fair outcome. Those making claims (and their advisors) can question and challenge those assessments, and it is a fundamental tenet of Alternative Dispute Resolution that questions and challenges are addressed in good faith so as to obtain a comprehensive and consensual resolution of the claims.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Post Office Horizon scandal has altered the valuation of the Government's shareholder position in Post Office.

The Government’s role as shareholder is to ensure that the Post Office is delivering its social purpose alongside building a stable business. The Government continues to support the Post Office with subsidy. The Government, through my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State, holds 100% of the issued share capital. There is a special share in POL (nominal value of £1) which is held directly by the Secretary of State. The value of this investment is published annually in the BEIS accounts.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the proposed Alternative Dispute Resolution process is intended to reduce the need for malicious prosecution cases against the Post Office following the Post Office Horizon scandal.

The proposed Alternative Dispute Resolution is a consensual process which aims to resolve claims consensually at an early stage to avoid the cost and delay for claimants which comes with having to litigate matters through the courts.

4th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, who will determine the parameters for the disputes to be referred to the Alternative Dispute Resolution process proposed in response to the Post Office Horizon scandal.

Post Office will consider all claims for compensation made by a postmaster, branch manager and/or assistant whose conviction is quashed and will seek to resolve those claims swiftly, fairly and consensually with that individual. The founding principles, including dispute resolution procedure where a postmaster is not happy with the outcome they receive in the Historical Shortfall Scheme were endorsed by the legal representatives for the claimants’ steering group in the group litigation.

29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to respond to the letter dated 1 November 2021 from the Chair of JFSA.

I wrote to the Chair of Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance on 1 December about financial redress.

22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the reasons for the increase in petrol and diesel prices over the last six months.

The Department’s analysis shows that changes in retail prices of petroleum products, such as petrol and diesel, are primarily driven by changes in global market prices for crude oil and exchange rates.

Recognising that fuel is a major cost for households and businesses, the Government has kept fuel duty frozen. This is the twelfth consecutive freeze saving the average UK car driver a cumulative £1,900, compared to the plans the previous Government set out in 2010.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the ban on the sale of halogen lightbulbs that came into effect on 1 September 2021, whether that ban extends to the sale of halogen bulbs for ovens containing specialist compact halogen bulbs with a G9 fitting.

New ecodesign and energy labelling requirements for lighting products came into force in Great Britain on 1st October 2021; equivalent regulations came into force in Northern Ireland on 1st September.

There are limited exemptions built into the regulations in order to ensure that certain lighting technologies remain viable whilst the market for lighting products achieves higher levels of energy efficiency. These exemptions include G9 halogen light sources intended for use in high temperature applications such as ovens, provided that these light sources also meet further conditions which are set out in Schedule 4 of The Ecodesign for Energy-Related Products and Energy Information (Lighting Products) Regulations 2021.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will confirm that, as a core participant, Paula Vennells' cost of legal representation in relation to the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry has not been covered by the public purse under Section 40 of the Inquiry Act 2005.

In the progress update published in September, Sir Wyn Williams clearly outlines his approach towards legal representation and funding for Core Participants.

22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether (a) the Post Office, (b) Fujitsu, (c) his Department and (d) UKGI has refused any batch requests for documents from the Inquiry Team of the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry.

Sir Wyn Williams made it clear in his Statement of 19 May that all parties whose decision-making is under the spotlight are cooperating fully with the Inquiry.

22nd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of whether core participants to the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry have the right to refuse to give evidence.

As the Inquiry is now statutory, the Chair has the power to compel all witnesses to give evidence if necessary.

9th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make an assessment of the compatibility of the sale of over half of the value of Cobham by the US private equity firm, Advent, and the agreement between the Government and Advent.

The Government has worked with Advent to monitor compliance with the undertakings given at the time of their acquisition of Cobham, including commitments to give advanced notice of plans to sell parts of the business.

6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, from which country and location in that country each boat in the service of the Met Office was procured from.

The Met Office does not own any seagoing vessels. It works with partners to gather observations of meteorological and oceanographic conditions from third party voluntary observing ships, buoys or light vessels, both nationally and internationally, in collaboration with the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, from which country and location in that country each boat in the service of the Oil and Gas Authority was procured from.

The Oil and Gas Authority does not have any boats in its service at this point in time.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the steps required to ensure that intellectual property previously held by Cobham will remain in the UK.

Intellectual property previously held by Cobham within the UK has transferred to new ownership following Advent International’s sale of Cobham’s UK businesses.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State has met with the new owners to secure assurances on their continued investment in the UK businesses and security controls remain in place under the new owners to protect security sensitive information.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 24 June 2021 to Question 19503 on Post Office: ICT, what the average payment has been to sub-postmasters through the Historic Settlement Scheme.

Some 400 early payments have been made in respect of lower value claims from the Historical Shortfall Scheme. Since these are not representative of the scheme as a whole average data is not yet available. I have asked Post Office Limited to consider options for the publication of headline scheme data.

21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the length of time required for sub-postmasters who have not yet received payments under the Historic Shortfall Scheme to receive those payments.

The Historical Shortfall Scheme received over 2,450 claims. Around 400 compensation payments have been made through the scheme and other claims are progressing.

Post Office and the independent panel are focused on progressing claims as quickly as they can and the Department continues to monitor the Scheme’s progress closely. It is essential claims are assessed thoroughly and a number of the cases are complex and stretch back over a long period of time.

21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the average payment has been to subpostmasters receiving redress through the Historic Settlement Scheme.

The Historical Shortfall Scheme received over 2,450 claims. Around 400 compensation payments have been made through the scheme and other claims are progressing.

Post Office and the independent panel are focused on progressing claims as quickly as they can and the Department continues to monitor the Scheme’s progress closely. It is essential claims are assessed thoroughly and a number of the cases are complex and stretch back over a long period of time.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the scope of the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry will include investigation of those who took the decision to conduct private prosecutions against sub-postmasters.

I announced to the House on 19 May 2021 that the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry would be put on a statutory footing on 1 June 2021. At the same time, I made a written ministerial statement with the revised Terms of Reference for the Inquiry. That statement can be found at: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-statements/detail/2021-05-19/hcws40

The Inquiry’s revised Terms of Reference have been clarified to make clear that the Inquiry can investigate the Post Office’s decision-making in pursuing the prosecution of Postmasters in relation to Horizon.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish a comprehensive list of witnesses that have been asked to give evidence to the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry.

The Inquiry is independent of government, but I would expect the Inquiry will provide detail of the witnesses who are being called ahead of the hearings once these are scheduled.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what powers the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry has in the event that people refuse to come forward to give evidence.

I announced to the House on 19 May 2021 that, with the agreement of my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister, I will put the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry on to a statutory footing on 1 June 2021. This change will give Sir Wyn Williams powers to compel organisations to provide documents and witnesses to give evidence, under oath if necessary, to ensure the Inquiry can get to the bottom of what happened and get the postmasters the answers they are looking for.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what associated costs have accrued to the public purse as a result of the setting up of the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry.

The associated costs that have accrued as a result of the setting up of the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry are £459,000 as of April 30th 2021.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether a transcript of evidence will be (a) collated, (b) made available to hon. Members and (c) published after the conclusion of the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry.

On 19 May, I announced that the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry would be made a statutory inquiry from 1 June 2021. The Inquiry will set out its working procedures which will be issued in September 2021.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many people have been asked to give evidence to the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry.

The Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry is independent of the Department, and so BEIS does not have information on the number of people that have been asked to give evidence to the Inquiry.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the mechanisms are for publishing the report of the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry.

As per the revised Terms of Reference for the Inquiry that I made in the House in a Written Ministerial Statement on 19 May, the Inquiry will aim to submit its findings to my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy by Autumn 2022. The final report will be published by the Secretary of State and the Government will respond in due course.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether officials of UK Government Investments will be asked to give evidence to the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry.

The Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry is independent of the Department, and so BEIS does not have information on who will be called to appear before it to give evidence at the Inquiry hearings. This is for Sir Wyn Williams to decide as Chair of the Inquiry.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which former Ministers will be asked to give evidence to the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry.

The Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry is independent of the Department, and so BEIS does not have information on who will be called to appear before it to give evidence at the Inquiry hearings. This is for Sir Wyn Williams to decide as Chair of the Inquiry.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which retired and in-service civil servant post holders will be asked to give evidence to the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry.

The Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry is independent of the Department, and so BEIS does not have information on who will be called to appear before it to give evidence at the Inquiry hearings. This is for Sir Wyn Williams to decide as Chair of the Inquiry.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the former Chief Executive Officer of Post Office Limited in post from 2012 to 2019 will be asked to give evidence to the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry.

The Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry is independent of the Department, and so BEIS does not have information on who will be called to appear before it to give evidence at the Inquiry hearings. This is for Sir Wyn Williams to decide as Chair of the Inquiry.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Chairman of Post Office Limited will be asked to give evidence to the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry.

The Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry is independent of the Department, and so BEIS does not have information on who will be called to appear before it to give evidence at the Inquiry hearings. This is for Sir Wyn Williams to decide as Chair of the Inquiry.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Group Chief Executive of Post Office Limited will be asked to give evidence to the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry.

The Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry is independent of the Department, and so BEIS does not have information on who will be called to appear before it to give evidence at the Inquiry hearings. This is for Sir Wyn Williams to decide as Chair of the Inquiry.

17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the evidence given by witnesses to the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry will be taken under oath.

I announced to the House on 19 May that the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry will be established as a statutory public inquiry on 1 June. This will enable Sir Wyn Williams to take evidence from witnesses under oath should he wish to do so.

14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to bring forward proposals to amend the regulations on the purchase of fireworks.

There is a comprehensive regulatory framework already in place for fireworks that controls who can purchase them, their availability and use, curfews and their safety as a product.

We agree with the conclusion of the Petition Committee’s 2019 inquiry into fireworks, that any further restrictions on fireworks sold to the public by retail outlets could lead to more individuals buying products inappropriately, through online social media sources or from outside the UK. This could drive individuals to source fireworks from illegitimate or unsafe suppliers, where products may not meet the UK’s safety requirements.

The Government will continue to promote the safe and considerate use of fireworks.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Maritime Enterprise Working Group is a permanent structure.

The Maritime Enterprise Working Group (MEWG) was set up, following the publication of the National Shipbuilding Strategy in 2017, to provide a forum for the UK’s professional marine engineering, science, manufacturing and technology community for addressing issues of common concern to secure a truly competitive, sustainable and globally successful marine engineering and shipbuilding industry.

On 16 March 2021, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence and Shipbuilding Tsar announced that we are currently conducting a refresh of the National Shipbuilding Strategy which will be published this summer. As part of this, we will consider whether to adapt or strengthen the existing structures to enable strong partnership working between Government and industry going forward.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has any plans to restrict the use of fireworks.

There is a comprehensive regulatory framework already in place for fireworks that controls who can purchase them, their availability and use, curfews and their safety as a product.

We agree with the conclusion of the Petition Committee’s 2019 inquiry into fireworks, that any further restrictions on fireworks sold to the public by retail outlets could lead to more individuals buying products inappropriately, through online social media sources or from outside the UK. This could drive individuals to source fireworks from illegitimate or unsafe suppliers, where products may not meet the UK’s safety requirements.

The Government will continue to promote the safe and considerate use of fireworks.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the recent report in Computer Weekly on the extension of the Post Office Horizon contact with Fujitsu, whether representatives of the Government, in their roles as members of the Post Office Ltd (POL) Board or other POL committees or otherwise, were (a) in attendance at meetings with Fujitsu and (b) involved in the decision to extend the contract with that company to 2024.

Post Office Limited has extended its current contract with Fujitsu for a short period to allow sufficient time to develop its long-term IT strategy, including the approach to any IT system that it will use in the long-term. This was considered the appropriate commercial decision by Post Office Limited. Government representatives were not present at Post Office Limited’s meetings with Fujitsu to discuss the extension. The Government representative on the POL Board – UKGI’s Shareholder Non-Executive Director – was involved in the collective Board decision to extend the contract at the March 2021 Board meeting.

11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to Answer of 4 March 2021 to Question 160543 on Paula Vennells, for what reason his Department made a different judgement on whether the costs of publishing the correspondence were disproportionate for (a) January to June 2013 and (b) July to December 2013.

BEIS officials consider several factors when assessing whether a request can be obtained at proportionate cost. One such factor is the time a request is made. A request made close to the time it is requesting information from is easier to process and respond to. A request sent a significant time after an event is much more difficult to process in a timely way, as it involves a recall of historic records by the records team.

1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish all correspondence between Paula Vennels and his Department dated between July 2013 and December 2013.

BEIS officials have assessed that publication of the correspondence between Paula Vennells and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy dated between July 2013 and December 2013 can only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the Debt Relief Order limit to £50,000.

The Government has recently consulted on proposals to increase the eligibility criteria for Debt Relief Orders to help more people deal with their financial difficulties and to provide a fresh start. The consultation includes increasing the total amount of debt allowable in a Debt Relief Order. The consultation proposes an increase from the current debt limit of £20,000 to £30,000 but also seeks views on whether a different limit should be implemented. The consultation closed on 26 February 2021 and the Government is currently reviewing the responses.

24th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allowing additional pre-existing debts to be scheduled in Debt Relief Orders post-application in the event that the debt limit is not breached.

The Government’s consultation on the monetary eligibility requirements for Debt Relief Orders closed on 26 February 2021. The ability to add pre-existing debts to a Debt Relief Order after an application has already been made is outside the scope of the current consultation. However, the Government keeps the legislative framework under review.

3rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 1 February 2021 to Question 144626 on Post Office: Fujitsu, how that answer relates to paragraph 14.2 of the Post Office Limited: Shareholder Relationship Framework Document.

The litigation protocol agreed between the Government and Post Office Ltd is to enable the sharing and protection of legally privileged information between Post Office Limited and the Government. Its scope does not extend to commercial arrangements between Post Office Ltd and Fujitsu (or any other third party).

28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps Post Office Ltd have taken to recoup the costs from Fujitsu associated with the failure of the Fujitsu Horizon IT system.

While the Government sets the strategic direction for the Post Office, it allows the company the commercial freedom to deliver this strategy as an independent business. The details regarding contracts with Fujitsu and seeking to recoup costs, is an operational matter for Post Office Limited.

28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will extend Sir Wyn William’s Post Office Horizon IT inquiry to include the issue of potential perjury in each of the items listed under the scope of that inquiry.

The purpose of the Inquiry is to understand and acknowledge what went wrong in relation to Horizon and to ensure that there is a public summary of the failings that occurred at Post Office Ltd. At the Inquiry’s outset its Terms of Reference were published, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/post-office-horizon-it-inquiry-2020/terms-of-reference.

As such, the Inquiry will consider only those matters set out in its Terms of Reference.

28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the evidence base informing the decision to allow click and collect services to continue during the January 2021 covid-19 lockdown.

Click-and-collect services allow goods to be pre-ordered and collected without customers entering the premises. Customers thus remain in well ventilated spaces - which are, by definition, safer environments and where transmission is less likely to occur.

The safer workplaces guidance provides information to help employers make their workplaces COVID-Secure for their employees, visitors, and customers. The guidance does not replace existing employment, health and safety or equalities legislation. It provides information to employers on how best to meet these responsibilities in the context of COVID-19.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Post Office has to seek financial compensation from Fujitsu in response to the costs incurred in the civil litigation case Alan Bates and Others and Post Office Limited.

While the Government sets the strategic direction for the Post Office, it allows the company the commercial freedom to deliver this strategy as an independent business. The details regarding contracts with Fujitsu and seeking financial compensation, are an operational matter for Post Office Limited.

The Department has not taken, and has no plans to take, any legal action against Fujitsu.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether (a) Post Office or (b) his Department (i) has taken or (ii) plans to take, any legal action against Fujitsu following the civil litigation case Alan Bates and Others and Post Office Limited.

While the Government sets the strategic direction for the Post Office, it allows the company the commercial freedom to deliver this strategy as an independent business. The details regarding contracts with Fujitsu and seeking financial compensation, are an operational matter for Post Office Limited.

The Department has not taken, and has no plans to take, any legal action against Fujitsu.

19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the equity of non-essential retail being permitted in supermarkets whilst independent non-essential retail stores are not permitted to open during the national covid-19 lockdown that has been in place since January 2021.

The Government recognises how important it is for businesses to be able continue operating during these very challenging times, which is why all shops are able to operate click-and-collect (where goods are pre-ordered and collected off the premises) and delivery services.

For businesses remaining open, mixed retail principles set out in the guidance apply to all retailers, and businesses are expected to close sufficiently distinct sections.

19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether companies which lease children's party equipment through delivery of that equipment to customers are permitted to continue to operate during the period of the national covid-19 lockdown that has been in place since January 2021.

Any business or venue that provides goods for sale or hire that are not considered essential must close. Businesses may continue offering delivery and click-and-collect services (where items are pre-ordered and collected without entering the premises). People can also leave home to collect or return orders from these businesses.

12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government plans to advise furniture delivery companies to discourage delivery drivers from entering residences unless for specific purposes.

The other people’s home guidance was updated on 6 January to reflect the national lockdown. Where it is absolutely necessary for delivery drivers to enter someone’s home, they can do so by following the guidance, respecting social distancing and wearing a face mask.

14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the finding of interim analysis of data from Phase III trials that the Oxford covid-19 vaccine is 70 per cent effective, for what reason his Department has ordered 100 million doses of that vaccine.

The preliminary efficacy data is positive and indicates that the University of Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine is 70.4% effective across two different dosage regimens. One of these dose regimens could be up to 90% effective.

To beat this pandemic, it has always been likely that we would need more than one vaccine. We have now seen excellent results with multiple vaccine candidates. There will be variations between the vaccines in how well they work for different population subgroups and how long the protection lasts, alongside other factors.

The University of Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine has the distinct advantage that it can be stored at fridge temperature, making it easier to transport and distribute globally than other Covid-19 vaccines. The fact that the vaccine has been manufactured by AstraZeneca at cost also means it is affordable, potentially making this UK-developed vaccine a vaccine for the world.

The Vaccine TaskForce’s portfolio includes different types of vaccine and we continue to keep the portfolio under review.

19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the evidence for his decision that wedding venues cannot be made covid-secure in the same way as other hospitality venues.

The number of people who can attend a wedding or a wedding celebration is 15 people depending on local restrictions. Weddings remain exempt from the rule of six. We understand these guidelines may be difficult for couples and venues and are keeping them under constant review.

13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what support he plans to provide to mobile hairdressers, who cannot enter residences and therefore operate while the covid-19 restrictions are in place.

Mobile hairdressers and other close contact services can operate in other people’s homes as long as they apply the COVID-secure guidelines for working in other people’s homes and the specific guidance for close contact services. Both guides can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

As part of the Government’s response to the pandemic, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced a host of measures to help businesses, including loans, tax deferrals and cash grants.

There is particular support for smaller businesses and the self-employed to help bolster the existing package of support available. For example, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme enables small businesses quicker access to finance, where they can borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 with no repayments due for a year, and no interest charged during that time either.

12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to his oral contribution on 5 October 2020, Official Report, col 616, what mechanisms are available to the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry 2020 to secure disclosure in the event that documents are withheld by relevant parties.

Sir Wyn Williams has 28 years’ judicial experience, and the Government has full confidence in his ability to decide how to engage relevant parties. The Government, Post Office Limited and Fujitsu have already agreed to cooperate fully with the Inquiry, and Sir Wyn will keep the Government informed of what progress is being made.

30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many personnel make up the Post Office policy team within his Department.

The Post Office Policy team in BEIS has 4 full-time equivalent staff. The team works with the UKGI Post Office Shareholder team as well as experts from other functions within BEIS, including analysts, lawyers, and a correspondence team.

30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the oral contribution of Lord Callanan of 25 February 2020, Official Report, column 95GC, what plans he has to further expand the post office policy team.

In April 2019 the BEIS Post Office policy team was made up by 2 staff members and has doubled in size since then.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether any Government internal audit has identified the Post Office Limited or UKGI as entities which lacked a Framework Document or Memorandum of Understanding with his Department.

The Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA) issued a report on Post Office Sponsorship in October 2019, noting that a Framework Document and MOU were in the process of being finalised. A Framework Document outlining key activities, roles, responsibilities and accountabilities between BEIS, UKGI and Post Office Ltd has been agreed and was published on 25 March 2020. The document is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/post-office-limited-shareholder-relationship-framework-document.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department retained a copy of Second Sight’s final report into the Post Office Limited's Horizon IT system.

The Department has retained a copy of Second Sight’s final report into the Post Office Limited's Horizon IT system.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many Triennial Reviews there have been of Post Office Limited; and when those reviews were carried out.

At the time of triennial reviews, all non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) undergo a substantive review at least once every 3 years. As Post Office Ltd is classified as a Public Corporation, they are out of scope. The published guidance on the reviews can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/triennial-reviews-guidance-and-schedule.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the Partner Organisation Assessment made by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in 2011 of (a) Royal Mail Holdings and (b) Post Office Limited.

The Department has no plans to publish such assessments.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether a lawyer representing his Department attended meetings of the POL GLO sub-Committee from the time of its inauguration in March 2018 until the conclusion of the litigation in December 2019.

No legal advisor representing BEIS attended the Post Office Limited GLO Sub-Committee. Among the committee’s attendees were the UKGI Shareholder Representative and the UKGI General Counsel as an observer.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether a Ministerial Direction was ever sought by his Department's Accounting Officer on the regularity, propriety, value for money or feasibility in respect of spending incurred by Post Office Limited during its Horizon IT system litigation case.

No Ministerial Direction was sought on this matter. Post Office Limited (POL) handled the defence of the Group Litigation as operational matters are an exclusive responsibility for the Company, as outlined in the Framework Document.

All costs in doing so, including legal costs and the settlement in December 2019, were paid using funds from POL’s commercial revenue. BEIS sought and received assurance throughout the process that no public funding was used to contest the litigation.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the evidence from Paula Vennells to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee on 24 June 2020, what the identify is of the law firm involved on behalf of his Department with which the UKGI POL representative was fully engaged.

The legal defence of the litigation was handled solely by Post Office Ltd.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the legal costs incurred by his Department as a result of the Post Office Ltd Horizon IT system litigation case for each tax year.

The Post Office appointed Womble Bond Dickenson and Herbert Smith Freehills in the latter stages of the litigation. BEIS was not a party to the litigation and did not take part in the proceedings which were handled by Post Office Limited and their own legal team. Therefore, BEIS incurred no external legal costs.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will publish the legal costs incurred (a) within his Department as a result of the Post Office Ltd Horizon IT system litigation case and (b) as a result of his Department engaging external specialist advice on that case.

The Post Office appointed Womble Bond Dickenson and Herbert Smith Freehills in the latter stages of the litigation. BEIS was not a party to the litigation and did not take part in the proceedings which were handled by Post Office Limited and their own legal team. Therefore, BEIS incurred no external legal costs.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the (a) financial, (b) reputational and (c) strategic risks posed by the Post Office Limited’s Horizon IT system litigation case were escalated to his Department's Performance and Risk Challenge Panel.

The Post Office Limited’s Horizon IT system litigation has been considered by both the Performance and Risk Challenge Panel and the Performance and Risk Committee as part of the Committee’s considerations regarding its Performance and Risk report.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the (a) financial, (b) reputational and (c) strategic risks posed by the Post Office Limited’s Horizon IT system litigation case were escalated to his Department's Finance and Risk Committee.

The Post Office Limited’s Horizon IT system litigation has been considered by both the Performance and Risk Challenge Panel and the Performance and Risk Committee as part of the Committee’s considerations regarding its Performance and Risk report.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what remedial steps were taken by his Department in response to the Government Internal Audit Agency rating downgrade in 2017-18.

In the 2017-18 Annual Report and Accounts, the Group Chief Internal Auditor (GCIA) from the Government Internal Audit Agency (GIAA) provided an overall ‘moderate’ opinion on the framework of governance, risk management, and control within the Department for 2017-18. This was an increase from the ‘limited’ level of assurance received by the Department for 2016-17. The Report is published at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/beis-annual-report-and-accounts-2017-to-2018.

The strengthened assurance rating recognised the good progress made and initiatives taken across the Department to further develop the governance, risk management, and control environment. This included continuing the transformation to a single Department and the introduction of new risk management and contract management frameworks. New control measures were introduced, supported by a new internal controls team to strengthen the Department’s approach to assurance and to address control weaknesses identified by the GIAA, such as ensuring internal audit actions are implemented promptly.

Since 2017-18 the Department has continued to make improvements within its internal control environment, more detail on which is set out in subsequent Annual Reports and Accounts.

As noted by the GIIA, this has been achieved against the backdrop of a challenging scale of policy and programme work that the Department has been able to deliver concurrently.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether a Ministerial Direction was issued by his Department on the spending incurred by Post Office Limited during its Horizon IT system litigation case.

No Ministerial Direction was sought on this matter.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 6 July 2020 to Question HL5975 on Post Office: Accounting Officers, if he will publish the (a) correspondence and (b) papers relating to meetings that took place between Post Office Limited and his Department in which changes to the Post Office Limited's strategy and legal team were discussed.

Discussions between the Post Office and BEIS on this matter are legally privileged and therefore will not be subject to publication.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 6 July 2020 to Question HL5974 on Post Office: Accounting Officers, if he will publish the (a) correspondence and (b) papers relating to meetings that took place between UKGI and his Department in which changes to the Post Office Limited's strategy and legal team were discussed.

Discussions between the Post Office and BEIS on this matter are legally privileged and therefore will not be subject to publication.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, (a) when and (b) how regularly his Department's Audit and Risk Assurance Committee engaged directly with Post Office Limited (POL) or with UKGI to assess the control environments, risk management framework and escalation practices at POL with regard to its Horizon IT system issues.

As BEIS was not party to the litigation and the litigation was handled by Post Office Limited and their own legal team, it has not been included as a specific agenda item for ARAC in the last two years.

29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how regularly were reports from Post Office Limited's Group Litigation Subcommittee delivered directly or via UKGI to his Department's Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.

As BEIS was not party to the litigation and the litigation was handled by Post Office Limited and their own legal team, it has not been included as a specific agenda item for ARAC in the last two years.

23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether investigations into security breaches of URENCO employees are required to involve notification of Ultra-Centrifuge Nederland NV and Uranit GmbH.

URENCO operations in the UK are regulated by the Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR), with clear criteria for the reporting of security breaches. Security breaches are reported to the ONR and to the UK, Dutch, and German members of the Security Work Group. The Security Working Group is made up of regulators from the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, France, and the US, as well as representatives from the Enrichment Technology Company and URENCO. Severe breaches may also be reported to the board of URENCO, on which Directors appointed by Ultra-Centrifuge Nederland NV and Uranit GmbH sit.

8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, on what date HM Treasury was notified by UKGI that the Post Office was to use public money to contest the case Bates v the Post Office.

Post Office Ltd. (POL) handled the defence of the Group Litigation. All costs in doing so, including legal costs and the settlement in December 2019, were paid using funds from POL’s commercial revenue. BEIS sought and received assurance throughout the process that no public funding was used to contest the litigation.

8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what conditions were attached to the decision of HM Treasury to allow UKGI to use public funds to be used to contest the case Bates v the Post Office.

Post Office Ltd. (POL) handled the defence of the Group Litigation. All costs in doing so, including legal costs and the settlement in December 2019, were paid using funds from POL’s commercial revenue. BEIS sought and received assurance throughout the process that no public funding was used to contest the litigation.

8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support private investment in the UK maritime industry.

The Department is working to make the UK the best place in the world for all businesses to thrive and grow.

The UK maritime sector has strategic importance for our economy and we encourage private investment into the sector. We have recently supported the £33 million investment in Artemis in Belfast to develop an autonomous water taxi.

The maritime sector is also benefitting from the Government’s Covid-19 support, which includes access to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Covid-19 Business Interruption Loans.

3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the timeframe is for the reopening of beauty salons as the covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

We have now provided other close contact services like beauty salons in England, except Leicester, with the certainty they need to reopen from Monday 13 July, subject to them following the COVID-secure guidelines.

We need to be confident services are able to reopen in a COVID-secure way for the staff and customers. Our approach is guided by the scientific and medical advice, and our guidance has been developed with input from firms, unions, industry bodies and the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, and in consultation with Public Health England (PHE) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, whether workers that install electronic security systems are classified as key workers.

Government has issued guidance on maintaining educational provision for the children of critical workers during the Covid-19 outbreak. The guidance does not use the term ‘key workers’.

Critical workers are defined as those whose work is critical to the Covid-19 response, based on consultation across Government. This could include workers that install electronic security systems, for example in hospitals. However, within the guidance on critical workers, there is no blanket inclusion for workers in that particular occupation, or in any other construction occupation.

Government policy remains that construction work should continue, provided that it is undertaken in a manner consistent with the PHE guidance.

16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much has been paid from the public purse to individual sub-postmasters since the group litigation settlement on the Horizon IT system on 12 December 2019.

On 11 December 2019, Post Office Ltd reached a settlement of £57.75m to conclude the Horizon litigation claim. No government money was used to fund the settlement or the related litigation. These were fully funded by Post Office Ltd from its commercial revenues.

16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether officials in his Department have been notified of any payments to individual sub-postmasters following the settlement of the group litigation on the Horizon IT system on 12 December 2020.

It is impossible to ignore the financial and emotional suffering that the Horizon litigation process has caused for affected postmasters and their families. The Post Office has accepted – on the Horizon Accounting System – that it got things wrong in the past in its dealings with a number of postmasters and has apologised. This apology is only the start of a process of real change in the Post Office so that this situation is never repeated again.

The Post Office has notified the Department that they have settled two long-running and complex disputes with sub-postmasters who had declined to join the group litigation. As an operational matter for the Post Office, the Government was not party to the discussions.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps Post Office Ltd is taking to identify former subpostmasters that repaid monies in relation to unproven allegations of financial discrepancies.

Post Office Limited will announce a scheme in the near future which will address historic shortfalls for postmasters who were not part of the Group Litigation. Post Office Limited are actively considering how best to reach all relevant postmasters both past and present as part of this process.

5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 27 January 2020 to Question 6034 on the Post Office, if she will meet with representatives of the Communication Workers Union to discuss how that cultural change will be implemented.

The Government recognises that postmasters are the backbone of the Post Office network and it is committed to ensuring cultural change takes place regarding the Post Office's engagement and relationship with postmasters.

As such I am keen to hold discussions with representatives of the Communication Workers Union. My office has been in touch with the Communication Workers Union and are waiting for a response.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 28 January 2020 to Question 6029 on National Federation of Sub-Postmasters: Expenditure, what those specific projects established to support postmasters were; and what the £1.5 million per annum for the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters' annual operations is spent on.

The Government recognises the critical role that post offices and their postmasters play in communities and for small businesses across the UK. This is why the Government committed to safeguard the post office network and protect existing rural services. The overall number of post offices across the UK remains at its most stable in decades with over 11,500 branches thanks to significant Government investment of over £2 billion since 2010.

While the Government sets the strategic direction for the Post Office, it allows the company the commercial freedom to deliver this strategy as an independent business. Postmasters and specific projects that Post Office Limited have established to support is an operational matter for Post Office Limited.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to Answer of 28 January 2020 to Question 6031 on Post Office: Public Appointments, by which selection process was Tom Cooper offered the role of Shareholder Non-Executive Director on the Post Office Board.

The Government has had a Shareholder Non-Executive Director on the Board of Post Office Limited since the company was separated from the Royal Mail in April 2012. This right is provided for in POL’s Articles of Association. Tom Cooper was appointed as a Director of UK Government Investments through a competitive process and was proposed to BEIS as the department’s next representative on the POL Board. This was agreed by BEIS and Tom Cooper was appointed on 27 March 2018.

Tom Cooper does not receive a salary for being on the Post Office Board.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to Answer of 28 January 2020 to Question 6031 on Post Office: Public Appointments, what salary Tom Cooper receives as Non-Executive Director of the Post Office Board.

The Government has had a Shareholder Non-Executive Director on the Board of Post Office Limited since the company was separated from the Royal Mail in April 2012. This right is provided for in POL’s Articles of Association. Tom Cooper was appointed as a Director of UK Government Investments through a competitive process and was proposed to BEIS as the department’s next representative on the POL Board. This was agreed by BEIS and Tom Cooper was appointed on 27 March 2018.

Tom Cooper does not receive a salary for being on the Post Office Board.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to Answer of 28 January 2020 to Question 6031 on Post Office: Public Appointments, who occupied the role of Shareholder Non-Executive Director on the Post Office Board prior to the appointment of Tom Cooper.

The Government has had a Shareholder Non-Executive Director on the Post Office Board since the company was separated from the Royal Mail in April 2012. Susannah Storey occupied the role from 18 April 2012 until 26 March 2014, followed by Richard Callard from 26 March 2014 until 27 March 2018.

Tom Cooper has been the occupier of this role since 27 March 2018.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to Answer of 28 January 2020 to Question 6031 on Post Office: Public Appointments, on what date Tom Cooper began his duties as Non-Executive Director of the Post Office Board.

The Government has had a Shareholder Non-Executive Director on the Post Office Board since the company was separated from the Royal Mail in April 2012. Susannah Storey occupied the role from 18 April 2012 until 26 March 2014, followed by Richard Callard from 26 March 2014 until 27 March 2018.

Tom Cooper has been the occupier of this role since 27 March 2018.

4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 27 January 2020 to Question 6034 on Post Office, if she will hold discussions with representatives of the Communication Workers Union on how that cultural change will be implemented.

The Government recognises that postmasters are the backbone of the Post Office network and it is committed to ensuring cultural change takes place regarding the Post Office's engagement and relationship with postmasters.

As such, I am keen to hold discussions with representatives of the Communication Workers Union. My office has been in touch with the Communication Workers Union and are waiting for a response.

27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether it is the Government's policy to introduce a statutory compensation scheme for customers facing serious hardship as a result of injuries or loss of life suffered while on a Thomas Cook holiday.

As announced to the House by my rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 5 November, the Government intends to introduce a scheme to assist those facing serious hardship as a result of a life-changing injury, illness or loss of life for which UK-based Thomas Cook companies would have been liable, but for insolvency.

While the government cannot and will not step into the shoes of Thomas Cook, we are developing proposals to make payments to those in need, and who otherwise will receive nothing. Any scheme must strike a responsible balance between supporting those in the most serious financial need and our responsibility to the taxpayer. Accordingly, it will be a capped fund, sufficient to ensure there is support for those customers facing the most serious hardship.

Legislation to deliver the scheme will be introduced in due course.

21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the duties of the Government's non-executive representative on the board of Post Office Limited are; and whether she has any plans to review those duties.

The Secretary of State delegates the role of Shareholder Representative on the Post Office Board to UK Government Investments (UKGI). Tom Cooper (Director, UKGI) is the current Shareholder Non-Executive Director on the Post Office Board.

UKGI, as the Shareholder Representative, oversees corporate governance, strategy, and the stewardship of the Post Office’s financial and other resources on behalf of BEIS. As well as the seat on the Post Office Board, UKGI Shareholder NED also sits on the Audit and Risk Committee.

The shareholder team monitors financial and operational performance of the business against the long-term strategy, holding the business to account in delivering against its commercial and policy objectives. UKGI are also responsible for ensuring the business is provided with sufficient investment and subsidy funding to achieve its target of being commercially sustainable in the longer term, whilst meeting its social obligations, particularly around minimum network coverages requirements.

Finally, UKGI advises ministers on both commercial and policy issues, supporting them in Parliament and with the wider set of stakeholders who have an interest in Post Office matters.

There are no plans to review these duties.

21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Maritime Enterprise Working Group receives funding from the public purse.

The Maritime Enterprise Working Group does not receive continued funding from the public purse. In 2018 the Department for Business, Energy & industrial Strategy contributed £20,000 towards a study of the UK shipbuilding competitiveness and market focus.

21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Oral Contribution of the Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility on 21 January 2020, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that cultural change takes place in the Post Office; and if she will make a statement.

Postmasters are the backbone of the Post Office, and their branches are vital to communities across the country. That is why Government takes Post Office Limited’s (POL) relationship with its postmasters very seriously.

The Post Office's Chair acknowledges the criticism received in the Horizon litigation and has committed to applying the lessons learnt. BEIS Ministers and officials will continue to raise these matters and monitor these issues in their regular engagement with the Post Office.

Progress on this work and other issues of mutual interest will also continue to be discussed at the quarterly working group between the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters, Post Office and Government under my chairmanship.

21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 15 January 2020 to Question 3684, on Post Office: Compensation, when the Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility last met representatives from the Post Office.

Ministers and officials meet with Nick Read, CEO of Post Office Limited’s on a regular basis and meetings with Ministers are included on the regular transparency return.

21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 15 January 2020 to Question 3683, on Post Office: Compensation, when her Department plans to respond.

The letter received from the Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance is still being considered and a response will be provided in due course.

21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether any Government representative sits on the Maritime Enterprise Working Group.

Membership of the Maritime Enterprise Working Group includes representatives from industry, government and academia. The Group reviews and selects representatives on an ad hoc basis as necessary. Government representation includes: Ministry of Defence; Department for International Trade; Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy; and Department for Transport.

21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, who the non-Executive Member on the board of Post Office Limited from her Department is.

The Secretary of State delegates the role of Shareholder Representative on the Post Office Board to UK Government Investments (UKGI). Tom Cooper (Director, UKGI) is the current Shareholder Non-Executive Director on the Post Office Board.

UKGI, as the Shareholder Representative, oversees corporate governance, strategy, and the stewardship of the Post Office’s financial and other resources on behalf of BEIS. As well as the seat on the Post Office Board, UKGI Shareholder NED also sits on the Audit and Risk Committee.

The shareholder team monitors financial and operational performance of the business against the long-term strategy, holding the business to account in delivering against its commercial and policy objectives. UKGI are also responsible for ensuring the business is provided with sufficient investment and subsidy funding to achieve its target of being commercially sustainable in the longer term, whilst meeting its social obligations, particularly around minimum network coverages requirements.

Finally, UKGI advises ministers on both commercial and policy issues, supporting them in Parliament and with the wider set of stakeholders who have an interest in Post Office matters.

There are no plans to review these duties.

21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much has been spent from the public purse on supporting the National Federation of Sub-Postmasters in the last 10 years.

Postmasters are the backbone of the Post Office network and it is clearly vital they have a body that represents their interests.

Since 2015 National Federation of Sub-Postmasters have been funded by a grant provided by Post Office. This equates to £1.5 million per annum for its annual operations and £1 million per annum for specific projects established to support postmasters. The annual grant is paid on a quarterly basis. Individual project grants will be paid in line with the requirements of the specific projects. Any grant funding to the NFSP is paid from POL's own commercial revenues.

Prior to the Grant Agreement in 2015, NFSP received an annual payment of £175k from the Post Office along with occasional payments for specific projects. The rest of NSFP’s funding came from members’ subscription payments.

16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if she will publish the payment request of 3 January 2020 to her Department from the Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 20th January 2020 to Question 3683: the letter is being considered and a response will be provided in due course. In the meantime, is not appropriate for Government to publish the payment request.

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether her Department has received a payment request from the Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance regarding the settlement with sub-postmasters announced on 11 December 2019.

The Department has received a letter from the Justice for Subpostmasters Alliance. This is being considered and a response will be provided in due course.

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether she plans to introduce additional mechanisms for Government oversight of Post Office Ltd as a result of the settlement with sub-postmasters announced on 11 December 2019.

Ministers and officials are in regular contact with the Post Office.

Government has robust mechanisms in place to maintain oversight of the Post Office that are regularly reviewed. UKGI acts as Shareholder Representative for BEIS, overseeing POL’s corporate governance, strategy, and the stewardship of POL’s financial and other resources on behalf of the shareholder, as well as holding a non-executive seat on POL’s Board.

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions she has had with representatives from the Post Office following the settlement with sub-postmasters announced on 11 December 2019.

Ministers and officials are in regular contact with the Post Office.

Government has robust mechanisms in place to maintain oversight of the Post Office that are regularly reviewed. UKGI acts as Shareholder Representative for BEIS, overseeing POL’s corporate governance, strategy, and the stewardship of POL’s financial and other resources on behalf of the shareholder, as well as holding a non-executive seat on POL’s Board.

15th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether Ministers in her Department have met representatives of Fujitsu in the past five years.

Departments publish quarterly details of Ministers’ meetings with external organisations on GOV.UK. These can be found at the following links:

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) (from July 2016) - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/beis-ministerial-gifts-hospitality-travel-and-meetings

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) (to July 2016) - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/bis-quarterly-publications-april-to-june-2012

19th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department has made of the potential effect on the environment of placing restrictions on advertisements for high-carbon products or services.

The regulation of advertising content and placement in the UK is administered by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), and operates independently of the Government. The ASA have issued guidance to advertisers regarding environmental claims and the guidance was updated earlier this year, and it is for the ASA to consider how to address environmental claims made in adverts.

The Government continues to work towards Net Zero and transition away from fossil fuels. The Government also supports the efforts of the advertising industry to eliminate the negative environmental impacts of advertising production. This includes the ambition, set out in the Creative Industries Sector Vision, to maximise the positive impact of the creative industries, including advertising, on the environment and the UK’s global standing.

19th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps her Department is taking to tackle greenwashing in advertising.

The regulation of advertising content and placement in the UK is administered by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), and operates independently of the Government. The ASA have issued guidance to advertisers regarding environmental claims and the guidance was updated earlier this year, and it is for the ASA to consider how to address environmental claims made in adverts.

The Government continues to work towards Net Zero and transition away from fossil fuels. The Government also supports the efforts of the advertising industry to eliminate the negative environmental impacts of advertising production. This includes the ambition, set out in the Creative Industries Sector Vision, to maximise the positive impact of the creative industries, including advertising, on the environment and the UK’s global standing.

8th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether capital adequacy testing was undertaken on IX Wireless before it was awarded government contracts.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has not awarded any government contracts to IX Wireless.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
6th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether she plans to allow Ministry of Defence service personnel records to be accessioned as official records to The National Archives.

The MOD has selected service personnel records with a discharge date prior to 1963 as official records for permanent preservation at The National Archives.

24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what sanctions the Ofcom can impose on advertisers referred to them by the Advertising Standards Agency for consistently breaking advertising standards.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is responsible for writing and enforcing standards for advertisers through the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP Code) and the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing (CAP Code). In certain areas of these codes the ASA can refer cases to a number of different backstop regulators who have additional enforcement powers. The regulators that can be involved depend on the media in which advertising is published or the type of breach in question.

The ASA’s responsibility for the day-to-day regulation of broadcast advertising content is established under a co-regulatory arrangement with Ofcom. Ofcom can take enforcement action, such as sanctions, against broadcasters who do not comply with ASA decisions and/or where breaches are sufficiently serious.

For non-broadcast advertising, including newspapers, magazines, out of home and the majority of online advertising, the self-regulatory framework primarily applies to advertisers. Where further powers of enforcement have been deemed necessary, the ASA is able to refer certain cases to relevant statutory backstop regulators, such as to the Gambling Commission in the case of gambling advertising, the Competition and Markets Authority in relation to competition in digital markets, and to Trading Standards Services for misleading advertising. Those organisations are able to apply sanctions in line with their respective legislative powers.

Separately, as a result of the Health and Care Act, from 1 January 2024, Ofcom will have the power to sanction broadcasters and online advertisers that breach restrictions surrounding the advertising of products high in fat, sugar or salt on TV or via paid-for advertising online. Ofcom will have statutory responsibility for enforcing restrictions including powers to designate functions to a frontline regulator who will be responsible for the day to day enforcement of the policy. Ofcom will be able to take enforcement action, including the imposition of financial penalties on broadcasters and online advertisers.

The Government consultation on the Online Advertising Programme launched earlier this year and closed on 8 June. The Online Advertising Programme is examining the regulatory model for online advertising to ensure it protects consumers and minimises harm. This work includes looking at the role of platforms and intermediaries, as well as advertisers, to ensure the overarching system is coherent, supporting a sustainable, transparent and accountable online advertising market. We will be publishing a Government response to the consultation in due course.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department has made of effect of including certain forms of advertisements for non-surgical cosmetic procedures as content under Section 54 of the Online Safety Bill.

The Online Safety Bill has been designed to tackle user generated content. Some advertising which takes the form of organic, user generated content is in scope of the Bill. Companies in scope will have to prevent the proliferation of illegal content and ensure that children who use their services are not exposed to harmful or inappropriate content.

The Online Advertising Programme recently closed its consultation and will look at the entire advertising ecosystem in relation to harms caused by paid-for online advertising.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
20th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, and Media what steps her Department takes to ensure that people teaching swimming lessons in swimming baths in the UK have adequate qualifications to do so.

The Government recognises the importance of ensuring public access to indoor and outdoor pools. Swimming is a great way for people of all ages to stay fit and healthy as well as being a crucial life skill in terms of water safety.

Sport England continues to invest in access to swimming, awarding £7,111,146 in grassroots swimming and diving, including £3,099,500 directly to Swim England, since the start of 2020. This supports Swim England’s work to develop the swimming workforce, including the Institute of Swimming which delivers training for swimming teachers.

Regulation of the wider sport and physical activity workforce is a key role of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMPSA). Sport England have invested £5 million into CIMSPA who are leading on the ‘Retrain to Retain’ programme which provides training to members of the sport workforce. This is currently being targeted at swimming teachers and potential swimming teachers to get them to return to work or join the industry.

On the Level 2 qualification, Sport England is funding CIMSPA to work with all governing bodies of sport to modernise their training for coaches and improve access to coaching qualifications, especially for people from underrepresented groups.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if her Department will support local authorities to ensure that only level two qualified teachers teach swimming lessons to children and adults.

The Government recognises the importance of ensuring public access to indoor and outdoor pools. Swimming is a great way for people of all ages to stay fit and healthy as well as being a crucial life skill in terms of water safety.

Sport England continues to invest in access to swimming, awarding £7,111,146 in grassroots swimming and diving, including £3,099,500 directly to Swim England, since the start of 2020. This supports Swim England’s work to develop the swimming workforce, including the Institute of Swimming which delivers training for swimming teachers.

Regulation of the wider sport and physical activity workforce is a key role of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMPSA). Sport England have invested £5 million into CIMSPA who are leading on the ‘Retrain to Retain’ programme which provides training to members of the sport workforce. This is currently being targeted at swimming teachers and potential swimming teachers to get them to return to work or join the industry.

On the Level 2 qualification, Sport England is funding CIMSPA to work with all governing bodies of sport to modernise their training for coaches and improve access to coaching qualifications, especially for people from underrepresented groups.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
24th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment has she made of the UK's current ability to protect undersea cables.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is the lead department for telecommunications policy, including the security and resilience of telecommunications subsea cables. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is the lead department for the energy sector, including subsea energy cables.

Cable operators have arrangements in place to ensure a prompt response to damage or disruption. These arrangements draw upon national and international cable laying and repair companies. The Government works with cable operators, energy infrastructure operators, regulators and others to provide advice and guidance, assess risks and ensure that the appropriate mitigation measures, including the provision of specialist capabilities, are in place to enable an effective response to actual or potentially disruptive incidents.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
5th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether she plans to include provisions to protect internet users from illegal advertisements in the Online Safety Bill.

Under the Online Safety Bill, companies will have duties with regard to user-generated content advertising, such as posts by influencers and posts by companies on their social media feeds. Companies will need to minimise the risk of illegal user-generated content appearing on their services, and take swift action to remove it once alerted to it.

The legislation will not cover adverts which are placed directly or indirectly through a contract between an advertiser and an advertising service. It is important to keep the scope of the Bill manageable, to ensure its success in regulating the most harmful forms of user-generated content. We are however awaiting the report from the Joint Committee scrutinising the Draft Bill and will carefully examine any recommendations in this area.

Harms associated with paid-for advertising will be addressed holistically via the Online Advertising Programme. In February 2019, we announced that we will consider how online advertising is regulated. In 2020 we launched a call for evidence and we will be launching a public consultation on the Online Advertising Programme in the coming months.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what speed copper broadband must accomplish to be legally defined as broadband.

‘Broadband’ is defined by the technology type and replaced older ‘narrowband’ technologies such as ‘dial-up’ as a method of connecting to the internet. There is therefore no speed threshold which a connection must reach in order to be considered ‘broadband’.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to remove all covid-19 restrictions for indoor music venues after 19 July 2021.

As announced by the Prime Minister, the Government will proceed cautiously to Step 4 of the Roadmap on 19 July. At Step 4, most of the legal restrictions imposed throughout the pandemic will be removed and all remaining businesses will be able to reopen.

The Government will provide guidance for Step 4 of the Roadmap to help businesses and the public to make informed decisions about how to manage risks from COVID-19.

7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department has plans to assess the use of third party cookies by online advertisers.

Following the Government’s call for evidence in 2020 we will be launching a public consultation by the end of this year as the next steps of our Online Advertising Programme.

Whilst online advertising presents benefits, it also presents new challenges for consumers, businesses and society as a whole. It raises questions over the collection, analysis and use of consumer data, as well as the appropriateness and accuracy of targeting. The scale and speed of advertising has also highlighted possible challenges around content standards and harmful advertisements.

We are currently working to shape the consultation and what it will consider. Ultimately we want to ensure standards about the placement and content of advertising can be effectively applied and enforced online so that consumers have limited exposure to harmful or misleading advertising.

18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to support the promotion of physical activity among young people.

The Government is committed to ensuring that all children and young people have the best opportunities to engage in sport and physical activity. Our Sporting Future strategy sets out how important it is for all children to have a good experience of sport and physical activity while they are young.

The Government’s arm’s-length body, Sport England, has invested over £190 million into physical activity for children and young people over 2016-2021, including programmes such as the £40 million Families Fund, which encourages low-income families with children to do sport and physical activity together. Initiatives such as the Studio You video platform, funded by Sport England and powered by This Girl Can, are also encouraging more teenage girls to be active.

The Government’s School Sport and Activity Action Plan (jointly published by the Department for Education, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and Department for Health and Social Care in July 2019) sets out a commitment to ongoing collaboration to support the delivery of high-quality PE lessons and to ensure that sport and physical activity are an integral part of both the school day and after-school activities. This is supported by £320 million per year through the PE and sport premium. More recently, the Government has hosted roundtables on how to take support for young people even further, and has committed to updating the Government sport strategy, with children and young people central to this.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department plans to bring forward legislative proposals to make it illegal for gambling companies to describe their product as an investment platform.

Gambling operators who advertise in the UK must comply with advertising codes of practice issued by the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP) and the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP), which are enforced by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). Failure to comply with the advertising codes is also a breach of the Gambling Commission’s social responsibility code and it can take appropriate action. These codes already require that gambling marketing is socially responsible and does not create the impression that gambling products are an investment opportunity when they are not.

22nd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to enable caravan owners to be refunded for services that they have not received from caravan park operators during the covid-19 outbreak.

Whether a consumer is due a refund will depend on the terms of their contract or agreement. The Citizens Advice consumer service offers consumers free advice on their rights and how to take their complaint forward. The helpline can be contacted on 0808 223 1133, and via www.citizensadvice.org.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many Ofcom employees have the security clearance necessary to advise industry on cyber attacks.

As the communications regulator, Ofcom’s role is to ensure communication providers’ comply with their legal duties on security under the Communications Act 2003. Ofcom is also the competent authority for the digital infrastructure sector under the Network and Information Systems Directive 2020.

It is the role of the NCSC to advise industry following cyber attacks.

The NCSC will continue to play this role working closely with Ofcom under the new regime introduced in the Telecoms Security Bill. Ofcom will work with NCSC to ensure that it always has access to the right level of information which can be accessed by those with the appropriate level of security clearance.

18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many jobs have been lost from Ofcom since 2010.

Below is headcount data from Ofcom’s Annual Reports since 2010, figures which are in the public domain:

Year

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

Average FTE

865

832

735

781

785

787

795

828

868

902

937

The reduction between 2010 and 2012 reflects headcount reductions in the wider public sector at the time. Since then, Ofcom has had a number of new duties conferred on them which account for subsequent headcount rises.

8th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to support sporting venues that are unable to open solely for the purposes of elite sport as a result of financial inviability.

The Government’s approach to reopening venues and events has been based on safety and wider public health concerns. We continue to work closely with sport governing bodies and venues across the country to fully assess what support is needed during this challenging time.

As a result of this work, on 19 November 2020 we announced a £300 million Sports Winter Survival Package which aims to protect their immediate futures over the winter period. Decisions on allocations are being undertaken by an Independent Board, whilst Sport England are responsible for administering the fund.

This support is in addition to the multi-billion pound package of business support from government that has enabled many sports clubs and leisure businesses to survive, including the furlough scheme and business interruption loan scheme. Sports have accessed many hundreds of millions of pounds of support through this.

The Government remains committed to engaging across the sector to maintain a complete picture of the financial impact of Covid-19 to ensure sports venues survive this difficult period wherever possible.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what his timeframe is for making available funding from the Youth Investment Fund; and what discussions he has had with the Prime Minister on that timeframe.

In the recently announced Spending Review £30m of capital investment was committed for 2021-22 as the first tranche of the Youth Investment Fund. This will provide a transformational investment in new and refurbished safe spaces for young people, so they can access support youth workers, and positive activities out of school, including sport and culture. Further details of the timetable for allocation will be announced in due course.

Government recognises the significant impact of Covid-19 on young people, particularly the most vulnerable, and the youth services that support them. A £16.5m Youth Covid-19 Support Fund has been announced which will protect the immediate future of grassroots and national youth organisations across the country.

The funding will be allocated from the Government’s unprecedented £750 million package of support which is benefiting tens of thousands of frontline charities, so they can continue their vital work. More than £60 million of this package has already been provided to organisations working with vulnerable children and young people.

19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the implications for (a) young people and (b) the youth sector of not allocating Youth Investment funding in the next three to six months.

In the recently announced Spending Review £30m of capital investment was committed for 2021-22 as the first tranche of the Youth Investment Fund. This will provide a transformational investment in new and refurbished safe spaces for young people, so they can access support youth workers, and positive activities out of school, including sport and culture. Further details of the timetable for allocation will be announced in due course.

Government recognises the significant impact of Covid-19 on young people, particularly the most vulnerable, and the youth services that support them. A £16.5m Youth Covid-19 Support Fund has been announced which will protect the immediate future of grassroots and national youth organisations across the country.

The funding will be allocated from the Government’s unprecedented £750 million package of support which is benefiting tens of thousands of frontline charities, so they can continue their vital work. More than £60 million of this package has already been provided to organisations working with vulnerable children and young people.

19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress he has made on the timeframe for allocating Youth Investment funding; and if he will publish that timeframe.

In the recently announced Spending Review £30m of capital investment was committed for 2021-22 as the first tranche of the Youth Investment Fund. This will provide a transformational investment in new and refurbished safe spaces for young people, so they can access support youth workers, and positive activities out of school, including sport and culture. Further details of the timetable for allocation will be announced in due course.

Government recognises the significant impact of Covid-19 on young people, particularly the most vulnerable, and the youth services that support them. A £16.5m Youth Covid-19 Support Fund has been announced which will protect the immediate future of grassroots and national youth organisations across the country.

The funding will be allocated from the Government’s unprecedented £750 million package of support which is benefiting tens of thousands of frontline charities, so they can continue their vital work. More than £60 million of this package has already been provided to organisations working with vulnerable children and young people.

19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Prime Minister on the approval and allocation of the £500 million Youth Investment Fund.

In the recently announced Spending Review £30m of capital investment was committed for 2021-22 as the first tranche of the Youth Investment Fund. This will provide a transformational investment in new and refurbished safe spaces for young people, so they can access support youth workers, and positive activities out of school, including sport and culture. Further details of the timetable for allocation will be announced in due course.

Government recognises the significant impact of Covid-19 on young people, particularly the most vulnerable, and the youth services that support them. A £16.5m Youth Covid-19 Support Fund has been announced which will protect the immediate future of grassroots and national youth organisations across the country.

The funding will be allocated from the Government’s unprecedented £750 million package of support which is benefiting tens of thousands of frontline charities, so they can continue their vital work. More than £60 million of this package has already been provided to organisations working with vulnerable children and young people.

19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make it his policy to include the Youth Investment Fund in his November 2020 spending review; and what assessment he has made of the potential effect on (a) young people and (b) the youth sector of excluding that fund from his spending plans.

In the recently announced Spending Review £30m of capital investment was committed for 2021-22 as the first tranche of the Youth Investment Fund. This will provide a transformational investment in new and refurbished safe spaces for young people, so they can access support youth workers, and positive activities out of school, including sport and culture. Further details of the timetable for allocation will be announced in due course.

Government recognises the significant impact of Covid-19 on young people, particularly the most vulnerable, and the youth services that support them. A £16.5m Youth Covid-19 Support Fund has been announced which will protect the immediate future of grassroots and national youth organisations across the country.

The funding will be allocated from the Government’s unprecedented £750 million package of support which is benefiting tens of thousands of frontline charities, so they can continue their vital work. More than £60 million of this package has already been provided to organisations working with vulnerable children and young people.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department plans to accelerate funding from the Youth Investment Fund to support youth organisations during the covid-19 outbreak.

Government recognises the significant impact of Covid-19 on young people, particularly the most vulnerable, and the important role of youth services in supporting them.

We are engaging regularly with key youth organisations and colleagues in other government departments to understand the impact of Covid-19 on the provision of vital services for young people, and options for addressing this.

We will keep engaging with the youth sector as plans for the Youth Investment Fund develop, and expect to publish further details in due course.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much money from the public purse has been spent through the Youth Investment Fund.

No money has been distributed through the Youth Investment Fund to date.

DCMS officials continue to assess how COVID-19 is impacting on young people and youth services. We will keep engaging with the youth sector as plans for the Youth Investment Fund develop, and expect to publish further details in due course.

4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment his Department has made of the legacy effect of the Great Exhibition of the North on the economy of the North East.

In February 2019, the evaluation of the Great Exhibition of the North was completed and a detailed final report was published by Newcastle Gateshead Initiative, the lead delivery partner, following sign off from local partners and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The final report identified that the exhibition received 3.8 million visits across 80 days of events, installations and activities, and that 90% of visitors felt that the exhibition had changed their perceptions of Newcastle Gateshead, 84% saying that they would recommend Newcastle Gateshead to friends and relatives and generated £126 million for the local economy in Newcastle Gateshead.

A copy of the final report can be found here

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what financial support is available to help stand-up comedy venues during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government appreciates that the Covid-19 pandemic presents a significant challenge to many of DCMS’ sectors, including the stand-up comedy sector, which is why we announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency.

On Sunday 5 July 2020, the Secretary of State announced a major £1.57 billion support package for key cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. Live comedy is a much loved part of the British cultural landscape. Comedy venues and organisations will be eligible to apply for support through the package.

The Live Comedy Association attends the regular ministerially-chaired roundtables that ensure we are assisting all our Creative Industries sectors as effectively as possible. In addition, officials are in regular contact with the Live Comedy Association, ensuring that the needs of the comedy industry are fully understood.

We will continue to work with the stand-up comedy sector to understand the difficulties the industry faces and help it access support through these challenging times and through recovery.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if the Government will publish the evidence which has informed its decision to keep ice rinks closed as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Sports and physical activity facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active.The Government has made it clear that it will adopt a phased approach based on scientific and medical advice, and that the primary goal is to protect public health.

Ice-skating rinks were able to reopen from 15 August. These facilities are able to offer on-site services to customers, provided they are COVID-secure and follow Government guidance. Elite athletes have been able to access specialist sports facilities for training purposes since mid-April.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department has made an estimate of the cost of removing Huawei components from the UK's 4G infrastructure network.

As part of its UK Telecoms Supply Chain Review, the Government set out its position on the stringent restrictions that should be applied to the presence of high risk vendors in the UK telecoms networks in January 2020.

The Review focused on 5G and full fibre networks. We have not estimated the specific costs associated with the removal of equipment from high risk vendors in the UK’s 4G mobile networks. Cost estimates produced for the review represented the aggregated view across all mobile technologies (2G,3G,4G,5G).

17th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure the adequacy of support after October 2020 for independent theatres that cannot operate under social distancing measures.

The performing arts industry is one the UK's greatest success stories and we are doing all we can to support the sector through the pandemic. We are providing unprecedented assistance including a years' business rates holiday, government loans, the recently-extended Self Employed Income Support Scheme, the Job Retention Scheme that hundreds of organisations have received support from.

Additionally, DCMS has worked closely with its arm’s-length bodies to deliver tailored support packages at speed, including the £160m Emergency Funding Package announced by Arts Council England, made possible by Government funding. This intervention complements the financial measures already announced to ensure immediate resilience of this vital sector.

The package includes £140 million of support for artistic organisations including independent theatres; and £20 million of financial support for individuals, including self-employed theatre practitioners, so they can better sustain themselves, and their work, in the coming months. To date more than 9000 individuals and organisations have been successful in applying for this emergency funding.

The Secretary of State, myself and officials continue to consult the Art sector extensively to ensure we fully understand the financial impact of the Covid-19 outbreak on the sector.

On the basis of that engagement, DCMS and ACE are continuing to work closely to consider the additional measures required to ensure the long-term recovery and growth of the cultural sector, including independent theatres, and we remain committed to opening up venues as soon as it is safe to do so and are working directly with the sector on detailed advice and guidance.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department plans to allow campsites and caravan parks to reopen that have been closed due to the covid-19 outbreak before the end of June 2020.

We will look at opening forms of holiday accommodation in Step 3 of the government’s recovery strategy, currently planned for 4 July at the earliest. This will be subject to the further scientific advice and the latest risk assessment at the time.

My Department has launched the Cultural Renewal Taskforce to help our sectors’ businesses prepare to reopen when it is safe to do so. To inform this Taskforce, we have set up a Visitor Economy Working Group to specifically focus on the practicalities and guidelines for restarting tourism activity during the recovery period. We remain in regular contact with holiday park stakeholders as part of this group and via the Tourism Industry Emergency Response Group.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
16th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans she has to convene a network of excellence for shipbuilding training providers.

The department has convened the UK Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce to explore the industry’s skills needs and make recommendations for how to resolve shortages. The Taskforce brings together a wealth of expertise. It is Chaired by the Hon. Captain Dr Paul Little, and its membership includes individuals from defence, leisure, commercial and workboat building, as well as trade unions, academics and educators.

The Taskforce has been working at pace since it first met in July 2022 and is currently drafting an independent report that will set out its recommendations. It plans to publish this in autumn. My right hon. Friends, the Secretary of State for Education and the Secretary of State for Defence, both met with the Taskforce in February to launch National Apprenticeships Week and discuss progress in identifying these recommendations. I also attended the Shipbuilding Inter-Ministerial Group meeting in April where I shared progress that had been made by the Taskforce to prioritise the most impactful recommendations.

One of the Taskforce’s recommendations is expected to call on the department to establish a network of excellence for shipbuilding training providers. The Taskforce has identified examples of best practice in shipbuilding skills provision, such as South Devon College and City of Glasgow College. It is considering how to encourage more providers to reach this standard.

To ensure its proposals are supported by wider industry, the Taskforce is currently testing its recommendations with stakeholders, including employers, industry bodies, and representatives of sectors with similar skills requirements.

The Taskforce’s report will be independent, and the department will collaborate across Whitehall and the devolved governments to consider its recommendations and develop a response. We recognise the expertise and world-leading practice that exists in institutions across the UK and are delighted that the Taskforce has highlighted this.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
3rd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she has made an assessment of the financial impact of the Student Loans Company's decision to change the overseas earnings thresholds for Poland for Plan 2 student loans from £16,380 in 2022-23 to £10,920 in 2023-24 on students.

The repayment of student loans is governed by the Education (Student Loans) (Repayment) Regulations 2009 (as amended) (the Regulations). The department calculates the overseas student loan repayment thresholds on behalf of the Student Loans Company, based on the cost of living of different countries relative to the UK. Countries are grouped in 'bands' with different levels of higher or lower costs of living, compared to the UK.

The Regulations set out the specific data and methodological approach to be used to determine the bandings repayment thresholds of different countries. Bandings are based on price level index (PLI) data published by the World Bank. The PLI is the average price of a given class of goods and services in a given region during a given period of time and is used as a proxy measure for the cost of living. Using a recognised measure of the relative cost of living in different countries ensures that borrowers residing in different countries are assessed in a fair, transparent and consistent way.

Bandings are reviewed annually based on the latest published PLI data. This means a country’s banding may change as a consequence of macroeconomic changes. The World Bank data shows that for the last few years, the PLI for Poland has been declining gradually, relative to the UK. At the last annual review, this caused Poland to move to a different band, which in turn resulted in a reduction in the repayment threshold for borrowers residing in Poland.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
22nd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of making elements of the national curriculum relating to organ donation compulsory; and of extending those requirements to primary schools.

The science National Curriculum allows opportunities to teach about organ donation and schools can choose to cover this topic through the biology curriculum at Key Stage 4. The National Curriculum is compulsory for Local Authority maintained schools and is often used as a benchmark for academies.

Whilst organ donation is not a compulsory subject at primary level, schools can talk about it more generally, in an age appropriate way, as part of the statutory relationships, sex and health education (RSHE) curriculum, which includes content on physical health and mental wellbeing.

As with other aspects of the curriculum, schools have flexibility over how they deliver important topics and should use their autonomy and local community knowledge to do this.

The Department is reviewing the content of the RSHE statutory guidance, looking at areas of the guidance that need to be strengthened and will consult publicly over proposals, with a view to publishing revised statutory guidance in 2024.

6th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many bursaries have been awarded under the Troops to Teachers scheme since January 2022.

Since January 2022, four trainees have been awarded a bursary under the Troops to Teachers undergraduate bursary scheme.

Veterans who have a degree are able to undertake postgraduate initial teacher training (ITT) courses, where they can access bursaries and scholarships of up to £29,000 available on these routes into teaching.

The Department is committed to further promoting opportunities for service leavers to get into teaching. Many veterans utilise these services to support service leavers into ITT each year. As part of the cross government Veterans Action Plan, the Department has committed to increase collaboration with the Ministry of Defence to promote opportunities for service leavers to get into teaching, increasing signposting, events, and communications tailored to veterans. The Department also encourages them to take up services such as ‘Get School Experience’ and the Teacher Training Adviser service to help them towards a career in teaching.

21st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she has plans to reintroduce the bursary for religious education teachers.

The bursaries the Department provides for initial teacher training (ITT) are intended to incentivise applications to ITT courses. The Department reviews the bursaries available each year to take account of factors including historic recruitment, forecast economic conditions, and teacher supply need in each subject. This provides flexibility to respond to the need to attract new teachers, and means the Department is spending money where it is needed most.

In the 2020/21 academic year, the Department exceeded the postgraduate ITT target for RE (129%), whilst in the 2021/22 academic year, the equivalent target was narrowly missed (99%). The Department will review the need for bursaries across all subjects before announcing what will be available for the 2024/25 academic year.

23rd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many members of the Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce were also members of the Maritime Enterprise Working Group.

There are twenty-one members of the UK Shipbuilding Skills Taskforce, three of whom were also part of the Maritime Enterprise Working Group. The lead for the skills work of the Working Group from BMT MarRI-UK is a member of the Taskforce, as well as representatives from Babcock International Group and UKNEST who were also members of the Maritime Enterprise Working Group. This will ensure that the reports and conclusions of the Working Group will be considered in the work of the Taskforce.

There are other members on the Taskforce representing the same organisations that were represented on the Working Group such as BAE Systems, Cammell Laird and A&P Group, the Royal Navy and the University of Strathclyde. The Taskforce also has members who represent organisations which were not part of the Working Group and so will bring different views and experience.

To ensure the Taskforce is connected to existing stakeholder groups working on shipbuilding, the Chair of the Taskforce will join the Maritime Skills Commission and the Shipbuilding Enterprise for Growth so that the work of these groups is aligned.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
18th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many civil servants are assigned to administer the Troops for Teachers scheme.

The administration of Troops to Teachers undergraduate bursaries is undertaken by the Initial Teacher Training (ITT) funding team, alongside other ITT funding. In academic year 2021/22 the team is administering funding for approximately 6,000 trainees in total. The ITT Funding team consists of 6 full-time equivalent staff members and the administration of this funding is undertaken collectively. No civil servants are working solely on administration of the Troops to Teachers scheme.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many people have completed initial teacher training through the Troops to Teachers scheme since January 2021.

Since January 2021, one trainee has been awarded a bursary under the Troops to Teachers undergraduate bursary scheme. As they commenced their course in the 2021/22 academic year, the bursary will be paid in the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years.

A further two trainees were in receipt of the bursary in the 2020/21 academic year, with one of these trainees receiving the remainder of their bursary in the 2021/22 academic year. The combined cost to the public purse of these two trainees since the 2020/21 academic year is £60,000. The department cannot disaggregate the exact amount paid since January 2021 because it makes payments to initial teacher training (ITT) providers as a proportion of their total funding spread from September to July, rather than an amount per trainee each month.

The department is currently planning to publish information on outcomes for ITT trainees in the 2020/21 academic year in July 2022 which will be available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-teacher-training. However, data is not routinely published on Troops to Teachers.

Veterans who have a degree can and do undertake postgraduate ITT courses, where they can access the bursaries and scholarships of up to £26,000 available on these routes into teaching.

The department is committed to further promoting opportunities for service leavers to get into teaching. Many veterans already utilise department services to support service leavers into ITT each year. As part of the cross-government Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan: 2022-2024, the department has committed to increase collaboration with the Ministry of Defence to promote opportunities for service leavers to get into teaching, increasing signposting, events and communications tailored to veterans. The department also encourages them to take up services we offer such as ‘get school experience’ and our ‘teacher training advisers’ service that will help them towards a career in teaching.

10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the cost to the public purse has been of the Troops to Teachers scheme since January 2021.

Since January 2021, one trainee has been awarded a bursary under the Troops to Teachers undergraduate bursary scheme. As they commenced their course in the 2021/22 academic year, the bursary will be paid in the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years.

A further two trainees were in receipt of the bursary in the 2020/21 academic year, with one of these trainees receiving the remainder of their bursary in the 2021/22 academic year. The combined cost to the public purse of these two trainees since the 2020/21 academic year is £60,000. The department cannot disaggregate the exact amount paid since January 2021 because it makes payments to initial teacher training (ITT) providers as a proportion of their total funding spread from September to July, rather than an amount per trainee each month.

The department is currently planning to publish information on outcomes for ITT trainees in the 2020/21 academic year in July 2022 which will be available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-teacher-training. However, data is not routinely published on Troops to Teachers.

Veterans who have a degree can and do undertake postgraduate ITT courses, where they can access the bursaries and scholarships of up to £26,000 available on these routes into teaching.

The department is committed to further promoting opportunities for service leavers to get into teaching. Many veterans already utilise department services to support service leavers into ITT each year. As part of the cross-government Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan: 2022-2024, the department has committed to increase collaboration with the Ministry of Defence to promote opportunities for service leavers to get into teaching, increasing signposting, events and communications tailored to veterans. The department also encourages them to take up services we offer such as ‘get school experience’ and our ‘teacher training advisers’ service that will help them towards a career in teaching.

10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many bursaries have been awarded under the Troops to Teachers scheme since January 2021.

Since January 2021, one trainee has been awarded a bursary under the Troops to Teachers undergraduate bursary scheme. As they commenced their course in the 2021/22 academic year, the bursary will be paid in the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years.

A further two trainees were in receipt of the bursary in the 2020/21 academic year, with one of these trainees receiving the remainder of their bursary in the 2021/22 academic year. The combined cost to the public purse of these two trainees since the 2020/21 academic year is £60,000. The department cannot disaggregate the exact amount paid since January 2021 because it makes payments to initial teacher training (ITT) providers as a proportion of their total funding spread from September to July, rather than an amount per trainee each month.

The department is currently planning to publish information on outcomes for ITT trainees in the 2020/21 academic year in July 2022 which will be available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-teacher-training. However, data is not routinely published on Troops to Teachers.

Veterans who have a degree can and do undertake postgraduate ITT courses, where they can access the bursaries and scholarships of up to £26,000 available on these routes into teaching.

The department is committed to further promoting opportunities for service leavers to get into teaching. Many veterans already utilise department services to support service leavers into ITT each year. As part of the cross-government Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan: 2022-2024, the department has committed to increase collaboration with the Ministry of Defence to promote opportunities for service leavers to get into teaching, increasing signposting, events and communications tailored to veterans. The department also encourages them to take up services we offer such as ‘get school experience’ and our ‘teacher training advisers’ service that will help them towards a career in teaching.

18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of allocating additional funding for physical education and school sport to account for the period during which those activities were restricted during the covid-19 lockdown.

PE and school sport play an important part in supporting pupils to recover from the effects of school closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Government has confirmed the overall funding for the Primary PE and sport premium will continue at £320 million for the 2021/22 academic year. Funding will be allocated according to a formula and details will be confirmed in the autumn as in previous years. Schools will be permitted to carry forward any unspent PE and sport premium funding from the current academic year to ensure that this is spent to benefit primary pupils’ physical education, school sport and physical activity recovery.


In June 2021, the Department announced £1.4 billion of additional funding for education recovery. This is in addition to the £1.7 billion already committed, bringing total investment announced for education recovery over the past year to over £3 billion. Schools have the flexibility to determine how they choose to spend some of this funding to support the needs of their pupils, including on activities to support health and wellbeing where needed. The Government has also provided £10.1 million of funding to support schools to reopen their sports facilities and increase the opportunity for children and young people to take part in extra-curricular and community sport.

18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of including physical education and school sport in the recovery plan for education following the covid-19 outbreak.

PE and school sport play an important part in supporting pupils to recover from the effects of school closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Government has confirmed the overall funding for the Primary PE and sport premium will continue at £320 million for the 2021/22 academic year. Funding will be allocated according to a formula and details will be confirmed in the autumn as in previous years. Schools will be permitted to carry forward any unspent PE and sport premium funding from the current academic year to ensure that this is spent to benefit primary pupils’ physical education, school sport and physical activity recovery.


In June 2021, the Department announced £1.4 billion of additional funding for education recovery. This is in addition to the £1.7 billion already committed, bringing total investment announced for education recovery over the past year to over £3 billion. Schools have the flexibility to determine how they choose to spend some of this funding to support the needs of their pupils, including on activities to support health and wellbeing where needed. The Government has also provided £10.1 million of funding to support schools to reopen their sports facilities and increase the opportunity for children and young people to take part in extra-curricular and community sport.

18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to maintain funding for physical education and sport in schools at the current level for the 2021-22 academic year.

PE and school sport play an important part in supporting pupils to recover from the effects of school closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Government has confirmed the overall funding for the Primary PE and sport premium will continue at £320 million for the 2021/22 academic year. Funding will be allocated according to a formula and details will be confirmed in the autumn as in previous years. Schools will be permitted to carry forward any unspent PE and sport premium funding from the current academic year to ensure that this is spent to benefit primary pupils’ physical education, school sport and physical activity recovery.


In June 2021, the Department announced £1.4 billion of additional funding for education recovery. This is in addition to the £1.7 billion already committed, bringing total investment announced for education recovery over the past year to over £3 billion. Schools have the flexibility to determine how they choose to spend some of this funding to support the needs of their pupils, including on activities to support health and wellbeing where needed. The Government has also provided £10.1 million of funding to support schools to reopen their sports facilities and increase the opportunity for children and young people to take part in extra-curricular and community sport.

18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the role that physical education and school sport can play in promoting mental wellbeing among children and young people.

The Department is working with the Department of Health and Social Care to regularly review the latest evidence on children and young people’s mental wellbeing, including the impact of physical activity and sport.

Evidence from a number of sources suggests that good quality sporting activity can have a positive impact on children and young people’s general wellbeing and mental health. Research by The National Centre for Social Research shows that participating in organised sports and joining after school clubs can help to improve primary school children’s academic performance and social skills.

There is also evidence that organised sporting activity can have a positive effect on personal development and contribute to wellbeing by increasing self-esteem and self-confidence, and improving social skills. Such activity can have a beneficial effect on mental health by reducing anxiety, emotional distress and depressive symptoms.

18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that children with disabilities can participate in physical activity at school.

The Department has provided £900,000 to the Inclusion 2020 programme since 2018, which supports 9,328 schools with continuing professional development to ensure that PE and school sport is inclusive of pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). This programme funded the development of new teacher resources such as the ‘All about Autism, All about Me’ digital toolkit, endorsed by the National Autistic Society, which provides support for making PE and sport inclusive to pupils with autism spectrum conditions.

The Department has committed to continue to fund a programme to support children and young people with SEND to take part in PE and school sport. It launched an open competition process last month to select a new programme.

18th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to help support local school sport organisers with (a) training, (b) quality assurance and (c) local coordination.

The Department for Education works with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department of Health and Social Care to deliver the School Sport and Activity Action Plan which aims to increase participation in sport and physical activity by children and young people.

The Government, through DCMS and Sport England, funds support for school sport through Active Partnerships and a contract with the Youth Sport Trust to provide training and coordination for School Games Organisers based in 450 host schools across the country. Over 95% of schools in England take part in The School Games, which provides an annual calendar of competition at local, regional, and national levels.

The Government has recently confirmed the continuation of £11 million funding for School Games Organisers until the end of this financial year.

10th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of allowing students, parents and carers the choice of retaking a school year due to the effects of the covid-19 pandemic.

The Government recognises that the national lockdown has had a huge impact on children and young people’s education, which will take more than a year to catch up. On 27 January 2021, the Government announced a further £300 million of new funding for high quality tutoring to help children and young people catch up. The Government will be working in collaboration with the education sector to develop specific initiatives for summer schools, and a COVID-19 premium to support catch up, alongside developing a long term plan to support pupils to catch up over the course of this Parliament. Further detail on this funding and support will be confirmed in due course.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect of delays in family court cases involving foster children on foster families.

The COVID-19 outbreak has had an impact on backlogs of cases in family courts. We are working closely with the judiciary, the Ministry of Justice and other key partners in the family justice system to make sure that we prioritise children’s welfare during this difficult and unprecedented time.

I recognise the additional support that foster families need at this time. That is why we have provided £125,000 in additional funding for Fosterline to deliver free-to-access and specialist one-to-one support to foster families. The service has focussed on reducing the risk of breakdown in fostering placements to ensure stability for looked-after children and increasing capacity by providing new or prospective carers with access to the specialist information they need.

22nd Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his Department's policy was on whether pupils without access to a computer or the internet were entitled to be in school during the covid-19 lockdown announced in March 2020.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave on 22 January 2021 to 136013.

Guidance is available: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision. The overall definition of vulnerable children has been in place since March 2020. It includes children who are assessed as being in need under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, children who have an education, health and care plan (EHCP) and children who have been identified by the school or local authority as otherwise vulnerable for any other reason. Therefore, since the outset, guidance has been clear that schools and local authorities have had full flexibility to allow children to attend school based on their assessment of the child’s needs.

A number of examples of the factors that schools may wish to consider under this third category of vulnerability (otherwise vulnerable category) have been provided throughout the outbreak. This is not an exhaustive or definitive list and the guidance states that these categories are given as examples that schools might wish to factor in when identifying otherwise vulnerable children. Schools should interpret this in light of the wide range of information they have available to them, such as the needs of the child and their family.

One specific example within this list includes the term “those who may have difficulty engaging with remote education at home (for example due to a lack of devices or quiet space to study)”. This was first cited in published guidance on 28 Aug 2020 to include reference to the fact that children having difficult engaging in remote education might be a factor that schools may wish to consider when identifying children who may be vulnerable.

19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to respond to the letter of 10 November 2020 from the hon. Member for North Durham on support for the school travel sector.

I can confirm that a response has been sent to the letter dated 9 November 2020, from the right hon. Member for North Durham.

18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that students returning to universities do not contribute to higher covid-19 transmission rates in the localities where their student accommodation is based.

Our top priority remains the welfare of students, staff, and the communities around higher education (HE) providers. To help providers make informed decisions about their provision, the government issued guidance on national restrictions and return of students in spring term for the sector based on the latest public health advice.

We are taking further steps to reduce transmission, including by significantly reducing the number of students returning to university from their winter break accommodation, and limiting the number of people travelling to and from university facilities. We are prioritising the return to face-to-face teaching for courses which are most important to be delivered in-person, predominately clinical based courses such as medicine and dentistry, in order to support the pipeline of future key workers. The guidance on which courses can return can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/950583/Students_returning_to_and_starting_higher_education_in_Spring_Term_2021_FINAL_v3.pdf.

As stated in the spring term 2021 student return guidance, all HE providers should offer asymptomatic mass testing to all students on their return. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses. NHS Test and Trace is working with providers to support the roll-out of mass asymptomatic testing via lateral flow devices for all students on their return. This support will be in the form of personal protective equipment, testing kits, and cost recovery for workforce. Local community testing is also now available in some areas. HE providers should work with their local authority to consider how the local mass asymptomatic testing might help their students.

All universities have plans for managing and controlling outbreaks. These have been agreed with local directors of public health and continue to be reviewed and updated based on emerging lessons and local situations. We expect universities and other HE providers to continue to prioritise the health and safety of their staff, students, and local community by putting in place measures that apply to their individual circumstances.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, on what date the Government decided not to pursue membership of the Erasmus Scheme as part of the UK's future relationship with the EU.

Agreement with the EU on all elements of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which includes programme participation, was concluded on the 24 December 2020. We said we would consider participation in elements of Erasmus+ on a time-limited basis, provided the terms were in the UK’s interests. The EU would not meet those terms and we did not consider participation would be in the interests of the UK taxpayer. Through the new Turing scheme we will provide UK students with the opportunity to study not only in Europe, but in countries across the world.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
4th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans the Government has to provide covid-19 tests for students returning to university in January 2020.

Following the end of term break, our top priority for January 2021 will be the welfare of students, staff, and the communities around higher education (HE) providers. As stated in the January 2021 student return guidance published on 2 December 2020, all higher education providers should offer asymptomatic mass testing to all students on their return. The guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses/students-returning-to-higher-education-from-spring-term.

The department has sent communications to all HE providers on 2 December detailing the roll-out plans for January tests on return. Providers must return their data capture forms, including lateral flow device (LFD) test kit orders, to the department by 8 December. Providers selecting LFD testing will receive their kits by 18 December, thus ensuring testing of returning students can commence on 4 January.

The department and the Department of Health and Social Care have been hosting a series of webinars in December 2020 to discuss roll-out plans for January 2021. These sessions are also being used to hear and address providers’ concerns about signing up to the testing programme.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the Government's covid-19 guidance has affected the legal obligations foster carers have to facilitate meetings with birth parents.

There are no legal obligations placed upon foster carers to facilitate birth family meetings. Arrangements for children to keep in touch with their family are set out by courts or in care plans. Foster parents will necessarily be involved in ensuring that the child in their care is able and supported to attend those meetings, and they may therefore have a role in facilitating or hosting birth families.

Ultimately, contact arrangements should be focused on, and shaped around, the child’s needs. Maintaining contact is crucial to help children and young people develop their identity and history, and to understand their lives and their sense of self. However, the child’s welfare is the paramount consideration at all times, and each child’s wishes and needs for contact should be individually considered and regularly assessed.

The department's guidance on vulnerable children describes how children living in care can stay in touch with their family during the COVID-19 outbreak. Contact arrangements should be assessed on a case by case basis taking into account a range of factors including the government’s social distancing guidance and the needs of the child. Additional information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-childrens-social-care-services/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-local-authorities-on-childrens-social-care.

12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to publish guidance for local authorities and foster carers on safe contact for foster children with their birth parents during the covid-19 outbreak.

The department has already produced guidance for children’s social care provision, which is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-childrens-social-care-services/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-local-authorities-on-childrens-social-care.

The guidance on new local restrictions includes exemptions for arrangements where children do not live in the same household as both their parents or guardians, and is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/local-restrictions-areas-with-an-outbreak-of-coronavirus-covid-19.

The department may review its guidance for children’s social care provision based on any new information that could impact this area.

25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to introduce grant funding for vocational education up to Level 3 for learners aged 19 and over.

The government is providing £2.5 billion (£3 billion when including Barnett funding for devolved administrations), for the National Skills Fund. The National Skills Fund will support adults to learn and reach their potential in the labour market.

My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, recently announced that for adults who do not currently have a level 3 qualification, the government will be fully funding their first full level 3 through the National Skills Fund.

Currently, adults who are between the ages of 19 – 23 are eligible for full funding for their first full level 3. We are now extending eligibility for a first full level 3 so adults who are above the age of 23 can also benefit from level 3 courses and qualifications with high economic value and strong alignment with government priorities.

This offer will focus on the valuable skills, including vocational skills, that will help adults get ahead in the labour market, ensuring the best possible returns for individuals, employers and the nation.

The government remains committed to consulting on aspects of the National Skills Fund to ensure that we develop a fund that helps adults learn valuable skills and prepare for the economy of the future.

We are continuing to review the ongoing implications of the COVID-19 outbreak and we are considering the most appropriate time and approach we can take to launch the consultation, ensuring we have meaningful discussions with employers, providers and users.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department plans to introduce maintenance loans for post-graduate education.

Postgraduate master’s and doctoral degree loans are intended as a contribution to the cost of postgraduate study. The loan can be used by students according to their personal circumstances to cover tuition fees, maintenance costs or any other costs associated with study. There are no plans to extend this further.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his Department's policy is on teachers wearing face masks when schools return during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will publish his Department's risk assessment on that matter.

The Department has published guidance for the full opening of schools from the beginning of the autumn term. The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools

The Department has worked closely with Public Health England (PHE) to develop this guidance based on a ‘system of controls’ which, when implemented in line with a revised risk assessment, create an inherently safer environment for children and staff where the risk of transmission of the infection is substantially reduced. This provides a framework for schools to put in place proportionate protective measures to manage risk effectively.

The majority of staff in schools will not require personal protective equipment (PPE) beyond what they would normally need for their work. PPE is only needed in a very small number of cases, which are set out clearly in the guidance.

On 26 August 2020, the Department revised its guidance on face coverings in schools and colleges following a new statement by the World Health Organisation on 21 August, which advised that children aged 12 and over should wear face coverings under the same condition as adults, particularly when they cannot guarantee at least a 1 metre distance from others and there is widespread transmission in the area. This guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-in-education/face-coverings-in-education.

As a result, from 1 September, in areas of national Government intervention, face coverings should be worn by staff, visitors and pupils in years 7 and above when moving around schools indoors, for example in corridors and communal areas, where social distancing cannot be safely managed. Nationwide, schools will have the discretion to require staff, visitors and pupils in years 7 and above to wear face coverings in indoor communal areas where social distancing cannot be safely managed, if they believe that it is right in their particular circumstances.

Primary school children will not need to wear a face covering and based on current evidence and the measures that schools are already putting in place, face coverings will not be necessary in the classroom even where social distancing is not possible. Face coverings would have a negative impact on teaching and their use in the classroom should be avoided.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the evidential basis is for the decision to not advise school staff to wear personal protective equipment when schools resume in September 2020.

The Department has published guidance for the full opening of schools from the beginning of the autumn term. The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools

The Department has worked closely with Public Health England (PHE) to develop this guidance based on a ‘system of controls’ which, when implemented in line with a revised risk assessment, create an inherently safer environment for children and staff where the risk of transmission of the infection is substantially reduced. This provides a framework for schools to put in place proportionate protective measures to manage risk effectively.

The majority of staff in schools will not require personal protective equipment (PPE) beyond what they would normally need for their work. PPE is only needed in a very small number of cases, which are set out clearly in the guidance.

On 26 August 2020, the Department revised its guidance on face coverings in schools and colleges following a new statement by the World Health Organisation on 21 August, which advised that children aged 12 and over should wear face coverings under the same condition as adults, particularly when they cannot guarantee at least a 1 metre distance from others and there is widespread transmission in the area. This guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-in-education/face-coverings-in-education.

As a result, from 1 September, in areas of national Government intervention, face coverings should be worn by staff, visitors and pupils in years 7 and above when moving around schools indoors, for example in corridors and communal areas, where social distancing cannot be safely managed. Nationwide, schools will have the discretion to require staff, visitors and pupils in years 7 and above to wear face coverings in indoor communal areas where social distancing cannot be safely managed, if they believe that it is right in their particular circumstances.

Primary school children will not need to wear a face covering and based on current evidence and the measures that schools are already putting in place, face coverings will not be necessary in the classroom even where social distancing is not possible. Face coverings would have a negative impact on teaching and their use in the classroom should be avoided.

20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to raise awareness for prospective applicants to student finance of the requirement to have legal status for three years.

To qualify for support from Student Finance England, a person must have settled status or a recognised connection to the United Kingdom and meet the relevant ordinary residence requirements. Most persons must have been ordinarily (lawfully) resident in the United Kingdom and Islands, or, in some cases, the European Economic Area or Switzerland, for the 3 years prior to the first day of the first academic year of their course, excluding periods of temporary absence. These are longstanding requirements.

Student Finance England publishes guidance for students about the eligibility criteria for student support, to include the ordinary residence requirements:
https://www.practitioners.slc.co.uk/supporting-materials/.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate the Government has made of the number of universities that have charged (a) full or (b) partial tuition fees during the covid-19 outbreak.

Higher education providers are autonomous institutions and responsible for setting their own fees. Higher education providers will of course want to ensure that they can continue to deliver courses that are fit for purpose and that help students progress their qualifications.

As of 11 June, no university had made a submission of changes in the level of chargeable fees for courses during the COVID-19 outbreak for the academic year 2019/20. It is possible that a higher education provider has submitted adjustments for an individual or sub-set of students on a course. However, these adjustments would have been processed on a student-by-student basis, and no information is recorded on the reason for a fee reduction being recorded.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to support external candidates unable to sit GCSE exams that have been cancelled due to the covid-19 outbreak but who must matriculate to sixth form education in 2020.

The Department anticipates that the vast majority of students will be able to use the calculated grades they receive in the summer to move on to their next steps.

There may be a relatively small number of students, including some private candidates, where there is not enough evidence to calculate a grade. The Department understands that 16 to 19 schools and colleges will consider a range of other evidence and information for these students to allow them to progress wherever possible.

Students who are unable to receive a calculated grade will also have the opportunity to sit exams in the autumn.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to respond to the email sent by the hon. Member for North Durham on 16 April 2020 on exam provisions for external candidates.

I can confirm that the letter, received into the Department on 16 April 2020, from the right hon. Member for North Durham has been responded to. A response was signed and sent via email to the right hon. Member on 10 June 2020.

24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what contingency planning his Department has undertaken on supporting teachers and students to learn remotely.

The Department is committed to ensuring that children can continue to learn at home in these very difficult circumstances. We recognise that many schools and colleges have already shared resources for children who are at home, and we are grateful for this.

The Department has issued guidance for schools which signposts to an initial list of free online resources identified by educational experts and teachers. Many other suppliers have also helpfully made their resources available for free. The guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources.

The Department has also issued information, guidance and support to parents and carers of children who are learning from home at:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/supporting-your-childrens-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

Leading state schools have collaborated to open The Oak National Academy, which was launched online on 20 April. This new initiative is led by 40 teachers who have assembled video lessons and resources for any teacher in the country to make use of if they wish to do so. 180 video lessons will be provided each week, across a broad range of subjects, for every year group from Reception through to Year 10. Additionally, the BBC has developed resources for families as part of a comprehensive new education package, which is now available on TV and online at BBC Bitesize.

The Government has also committed over £100 million to boost remote education. This includes, providing devices and internet access for those who need it most, ensuring every school that wants it has access to free, expert technical support to get set up on Google for Education or Microsoft’s Office 365 Education, and offering peer support from schools and colleges leading the way with the use of education technology. Further information can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/get-help-with-technology-for-remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to protect teachers from covid-19 infection whilst they look after the children of key workers during the covid-19 outbreak.

School leaders, teachers and support staff are central to the country’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19) and we thank them wholeheartedly for their support at this difficult time.

It is important to underline that schools remain safe places for children and staff. Fewer people making the journey to school and fewer people in educational settings will reduce the risks of spreading the virus.

The Government’s guidance on COVID-19 for educational settings is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19.

Advice on implementing social distancing in education and childcare settings can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

Public Health England’s advice about how to help stop the spread of the virus and stay safe is available here:
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19.

The Government is strongly advising people, including education staff, with serious underlying health conditions which put them at very high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 to follow shielding measures in order to keep themselves safe. Staff in this position must not attend work. More advice on shielding can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19.

25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether schools will remain open during school holidays for the children of key workers during the covid-19 outbreak.

Schools will remain closed until further notice, except for children of critical workers and vulnerable children. We will only re-open schools when the scientific advice indicates it is safe to do so, and will engage closely with the sector on our approach.

The Government encouraged schools to remain open in order to continue to look after critical workers’ children and vulnerable children throughout the Easter holidays and we are grateful to the many schools that did so.

No decision has been taken yet on arrangements for future school holidays.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals to make levels of maternity pay under the Burgundy Book scheme available for teachers working in all types of schools.

The Department has no jurisdiction over maternity arrangements as these are covered by the Conditions of Service for School Teachers in England and Wales (known as “the Burgundy Book”) which is widely incorporated into teachers' contracts and covers areas such as maternity pay, sick pay and resignation periods.?This is a national agreement between trade unions and teacher organisations.

11th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 4 December 2023 to Question 2393 on Dangerous Dogs: Veterinary Services, with which organisations within the veterinary sector his Department worked on the implementation of the ban on XL Bully type dogs.

Defra consulted with the British Veterinary Association, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and animal welfare organisations on the implementation of the ban on XL Bully dog types.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of vets who are able to provide a Certificate of Exemption for ownership of an American Bulldog XL by 1 February 2024.

Owners of XL Bully type dogs who want to keep their dogs after the end of the transition period should apply to Defra for a Certificate of Exemption before 31 January 2024. From 1 February 2024 it will be a criminal offence to own an XL Bully dog in England and Wales without a Certificate of Exemption. Vets are not responsible for providing the Certificate of Exemption but must confirm that the dog has been neutered by a certain date for the Certificate to remain valid. Defra has worked closely with stakeholders, including the veterinary sector, on the implementation of the ban on XL Bully type dogs. We will continue to work closely as the ban comes into effect.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she plans to bring forward legislative proposals on (a) livestock worrying, (b) puppy and kitten smuggling, (c) the import of dogs and cats with illegal mutilations and (d) cat and dog abduction.

We are committed to taking forward measures formerly in the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill individually through other means during the remainder of this Parliament. We have listened carefully to views expressed on these measures and this approach will enable us to take this feedback into further consideration when delivering these measures.

18th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the oral contribution by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park in the House of Lords on 20 June 2022, Official Report, column HL3, if she will publish the findings of work commissioned by her Department on the issue of pets being handed out as prizes in England.

In England and Wales, the Animal Welfare Act 2006 prohibits the sale of an animal, or the transfer of an animal as a prize, to anyone under the age of 16 years old. It also ensures that any person winning an animal as a prize is obliged to provide for its welfare. Our assessment is that these restrictions continue to be balanced and proportionate. Defra has not commissioned any additional external research into pets as prizes, but has commissioned other external research into the keeping of primates as pets, which is ongoing.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what legislation applies to the distribution of pets as prizes in England; and what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of that legislation.

In England and Wales, the Animal Welfare Act 2006 prohibits the sale of an animal or the transfer of an animal as a prize to anyone under the age of 16 years old and ensures that any person winning an animal as a prize is obliged to provide for its welfare. We consider these restrictions to be balanced and proportionate.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate she has made of when a mandatory digital waste tracking system will be operational in England.

We are working towards an operational digital waste tracking service from 2024 dependent on the development of the IT and the transition needs of businesses. We will be issuing a government response to our consultation on the implementation of mandatory digital waste tracking in the Spring.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with the (a) Scottish Government, (b) Welsh Government and (c) Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland on the development of a central digital waste tracking service.

The service we are developing will be UK wide and the project is a great example of joint working, with representatives from the devolved governments engaged in the development and decision making on a regular basis.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government is on track to eliminate waste crime by 2043.

HM Government is committed to tackling waste crime and we are preparing significant reforms to continue to increase the pressure on illegal waste operators.

Our planned electronic waste tracking reforms will make it harder than ever to misidentify waste or dispose of it inappropriately. Planned changes to the Carriers, Brokers and Dealers licensing regime will modernise licensing and make it harder still for rogue operators to escape detection. We have also consulted on reforming waste exemptions which are often used to hide criminal activity, and will publish our response later this year.

These will come in addition to measures in the Environment Act 2021 which gives agencies stronger powers of entry and access to evidence in prosecuting waste crime, and existing powers we have already given the regulator in recent years to tackle illegal waste sites, including the ability to lock sites and to force rogue operators to clean up all their waste

As per our commitment in our landmark Resources & Waste Strategy, the Joint Unit for Waste Crime has been set up to disrupt serious and organised waste crime and reduce its impact on the economy, the environment and local communities. Through shared intelligence and enforcement, the Joint Unit is identifying, disrupting and deterring criminals and making them pay for the damage they have done to communities and the environment. In the two years since the Joint Unit for Waste Crime launched it has worked with over 50 partner organisations and engaged in 74 multi-agency days of action, which have resulted in 52 associated arrests by other agencies.

29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 23 June 2022 to Question 18812 on Joint Unit for Waste Crime, how many and what proportion of those associated arrests led to (a) prosecutions and (b) successful prosecutions.

These arrests were carried out by other agencies for non-waste crime offences so this is not data held by the Joint Unit for Waste Crime.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 23 June 2022 to Question 18814 on Joint Unit for Waste Crime: Staff, what are the roles of the 14 staff who work at the Joint Unit on Waste Crime as on 29 June 2022.

1 x Manager

1 x Senior Team leader

1 x Technical officer

8 x Environmental Crime Officers

1 x Digital researcher

1 x Communications and engagement officer

1 x HMRC intelligence officer

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 22 June 2022 to Question 18820 on Waste Management, when he plans to implement reforms to the waste carrier, broker, dealer regime.

We expect to publish the response to the recent consultation in due course.

24th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 23 June 2022 to Question 18812, on Joint Unit for Waste Crime, what the meaning of associated arrests is.

'Associated arrests' relates to arrests carried out by other agencies during the investigation, but as a direct result of the activity either at the location of the intervention or as a result of intelligence gained during the intervention. For example, by the police for offences including theft, handling stolen goods, etc.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he is taking steps to ensure the safe export of e-waste.

There are a number of legal mechanisms in place to control the export of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), and to ensure that when WEEE is exported it is managed safely. These include:

  • A ban on exporting WEEE from the UK for disposal;
  • A ban on exporting hazardous WEEE from the UK to countries which are not members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development;
  • A requirement for those involved in the export of waste, including WEEE, to take all necessary steps to ensure the waste is managed in an environmentally sound manner throughout its shipment and during its recycling or recovery;
  • A requirement for businesses to obtain approval from the Environment Agency (EA) to export whole items of WEEE or WEEE derived materials.

The Basel Convention on the transboundary movement of hazardous waste, to which the UK is a Party, agreed changes on 15th June which will further tighten international controls on the export of WEEE. The UK Government supports these changes which, from 2025, will require exporters to obtain prior consent from the Competent Authority in both the country of dispatch and destination to export all types of WEEE for recycling.

The EA regulates the export of waste in England, including WEEE. EA officers carry out pro-active and intelligence led inspections to stop waste shipments that breach regulations before they leave ports. In 2020-21, 869 containers were stopped, of which 176 were returned to a waste site as they were unsuitable for export; 27 of those containers were found to contain WEEE.

Any UK operator found to be illegally exporting waste can face a two-year jail term and an unlimited fine.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has plans to create a fit and proper person test for people operating waste management companies.

The requirement to demonstrate competence for waste site permits is well established.

In 2019 the Government strengthened the regulators' assessment and enforcement of operator competence to raise the standard of competence across all permitted waste sites. This included expanding the list of convictions to be taken into account when assessing permit applications to include, for example, offences related to organised crime and violent or threatening behaviour as well offences relating to fraud and tax evasion.

The Government also recently consulted on reform of the waste carrier, broker, dealer regime and expect to publish the response in due course.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to assess the cost of waste crime to the UK economy.

The Environmental Services Association (ESA) estimates the cost of waste crime to the English economy in the 2018/19 financial year at £924 million. Scaled up to UK-level, the cost is estimated to be a little over £1 billion. The work done on behalf of ESA uses data produced by sources including HMRC, the Environment Agency (EA) and Defra, as well as EA analysis into costs and impacts of waste crime.

We have already taken action by introducing new powers to stop illegal waste sites posing a risk to the environment, including the ability to lock up sites and to force rogue operators to clean up all their waste. Building on this, measures in the Environment Act 2021 give agencies stronger powers of entry and access to evidence in prosecuting waste crimes. We have also set up the Joint Unit for Waste Crime to disrupt serious and organised waste crime and reduce its impact.

Our electronic waste tracking reforms will make it harder than ever to mis-identify waste or dispose of it inappropriately. Planned changes to the Carriers, Brokers and Dealers licensing regime will modernise licensing and make it even harder for rogue operators to escape detection. We will also soon publish our plans for reform of the exemptions regime, removing opportunities for criminals to abuse the system.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the performance of the Joint Unit on Waste Crime since its introduction in combatting (a) waste crime and (b) the increase in the involvement of organised crime in the waste industry.

In the two years since its launch in January 2020 the Joint Unit for Waste Crime has worked with over 50 partner organisations and engaged in 74 multi-agency days of action. These have resulted in 52 associated arrests. It is the lead responsible organisation for four organised criminal groups. There have been a number of multi-agency interventions against these groups, including refusal of permits, intelligence-targeted waste sampling and spray marking, and intelligence-led road stops.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many personnel are currently employed full-time to the Joint Unit on Waste Crime.

The Joint Waste Crime Team currently employs 14 staff.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reason the number of prosecutions undertaken by the Environment Agency has declined every year since 2007.

Taking cases forward to prosecution is only one part of the Environment Agency's (EA) overall enforcement activity. Other interventions such as Notices requiring action and civil sanctions are quicker and can be effective in securing good outcomes for the environment in different ways.

The Regulatory Enforcement & Sanctions (RES) Act 2008 made civil sanctions available to the EA to use from 2011. The number of enforcement undertakings accepted by the EA under the RES Act has nearly doubled from 2016 to 2020. This has included, for example, the compensation of £975,000 made by Wessex Water following sewage pollution at Swanage Harbour in November 2018.

The EA focuses prosecutions on the most serious and harmful pollution cases, allowing it to focus resources where the impact is greatest. We still take the most serious cases to court. The size of fines for environmental offences are at the highest they have ever been, and custodial sentences are now being imposed regularly for environmental offences.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the current funding model for the Joint Unit on Waste Crime.

The Government has ensured that recent additional funding to the Environment Agency (EA) to tackle waste crime is now part of its baseline, and so, the EA is able to prioritise funding for the Joint Unit for Waste Crime more effectively.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
28th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the extent of the rise of professional misconduct claims against veterinary practices in the UK.

The Department has made no assessment of the rise in professional misconduct claims made against veterinary practices in the UK. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is the regulatory body for the veterinary profession in the UK and at present can only hear cases against individual veterinary surgeons amounting to gross professional misconduct.

The RCVS has submitted proposals to Defra for reform of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966, including amendments to the disciplinary system including statutory regulation of veterinary practices, not just individual vets. These proposed changes are currently being considered.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to ban woodcock shooting.

The reasons for the declines in woodcock populations are likely to include disturbance and habitat loss because of land drainage and changes in woodland management. The Government is not currently persuaded that hunting has a significant detrimental impact on the woodcock, and there are no current plans for a ban. We continue to keep evidence regarding the impacts on species under review to inform policy decisions.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which (a) country and (b) location in that country each boat in the service of Marine Management Organisation was procured from.

The Marine Management Organisation currently charters two vessels under a framework agreement with Atlantic Services, a UK company based in Aberdeen.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, from which country and location in that country each boat in the service of the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science was procured from.

The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science owns one vessel, the RV Cefas Endeavour, which was constructed by and purchased from Ferguson Shipbuilders Ltd in Glasgow, Scotland.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, from each country and location in that country each boat in the service of the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency was procured from.

The Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency does not own any vessels.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, from which country and location in that country each boat in the service of Environment Agency was procured from.

The Environment Agency owns five vessels which were built in Pembroke, South Wales.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Environment Agency concluded its investigation into Niramax on the potential systematic abuse of the landfill tax system by that company prior to the inauguration of the Joint Unit for Waste Crime; and whether the Environment Agency passed over its investigation of that company to the Joint Unit for Waste Crime.

The investigation into Niramax and abuse of the landfill tax system was conducted by HM Revenue & Customs. The Environment Agency and the Joint Unit for Waste Crime only provided support to their investigation.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the Environment Agency's surveillance powers in respect of tackling waste crime.

No recent assessment has been made of the adequacy of the Environment Agency's surveillance powers in respect of tackling waste crime, nor is one planned. The Environment Agency considers its existing authority to conduct directed surveillance adequate.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Serious and organised waste crime: 2018 review published by his Department on 14 November 2018, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of the recommendation on the mandatory electronic tracking of waste.

The Government addressed the recommendations set out in the review into serious and organised waste crime through the Resources and Waste Strategy. This committed to mandating the electronic tracking of waste, subject to consultation. The Environment Bill includes powers to introduce mandatory waste tracking and a consultation is planned for later this year.

In parallel we asked five organisations to explore and develop ideas for waste tracking using the Government’s GovTech Catalyst Challenge Fund. The feasibility projects included research into tracking waste through electronic chips and sensors, the use of blockchain, and open data standards, as well as new data analytics and the use of artificial intelligence, to help users decide what to do with the waste they produce. We also conducted further user research to improve our understanding of the reporting requirements of businesses, local authorities, regulators and Government. This information has helped inform the development of the consultation and define the functionality of a future digital service.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether Government agencies in addition to the Joint Unit for Waste Crime conduct separate investigations into waste crime.

In England the Environment Agency is responsible for the regulation of the waste management sector. This includes the investigation of, and enforcement against, criminal activity in the sector.

Waste crime includes a broad spectrum of illegal activity, including large-scale illegal dumping of waste, avoidance of Landfill Tax, deliberate misdescription of waste, and fly-tipping. Bodies other than the Environment Agency may take responsibility for investigating and taking action against criminal activity as well. For example, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) undertakes investigations into illegal activity regarding Landfill Tax, while local authorities also have powers to tackle certain types of waste crime, such as fly-tipping.

The Joint Unit for Waste Crime (JUWC) brings agencies together in partnership, including HMRC, to investigate and take enforcement action against criminal activity in the waste management sector. The JUWC has developed intelligence links and sharing arrangements with a wide range of organisations in the public and private sectors including law enforcement agencies, infrastructure providers and the financial services sector.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what environmental enforcement his Department has taken against Niramax since the establishment of that company.

The Environment Agency has taken 19 actions against Niramax Group, including providing advice and guidance once, issuing six warning letters, five enforcement notices, one caution and three court proceedings. Fines totalling £26,000 and costs of £10,500 have been awarded.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many investigations were conducted by the Environment Agency as part of HMRC's investigation into the suspected systematic abuse of the landfill tax system, referred to as Operation Nosedive.

The Environment Agency did not conduct any investigations as part of Operation Nosedive. The Operation was led by HMRC and the Environment Agency acted in a supporting role only.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the cost to the public purse was of the Environment Agency's involvement in HMRC's investigation into the suspected systematic abuse of the landfill tax system, referred to as Operation Nosedive.

The Environment Agency recorded 109 hours against Operation Nosedive between May 2016- July 2018 for relevant Proceed of Crimes Act related activities. There is no related cost schedule.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 20 January 2021 to Question 136454, on Dogs: Imports, when her Department expects to have the figures for 2020.

Further to Question 136454, the number of commercial dogs from Russia into the United Kingdom for 2018 to 2020 are as follows;

Year

Number of commercial dogs

2018

60

2019

70

2020

713

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of trends in the number of dogs entering the UK from Russia.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency does not hold data on the country of origin for non-commercial pets moving into the United Kingdom, and therefore this answer relates solely to dogs imported from Russia commercially. The commercial importation requirements apply to dogs, cats and ferrets who:

  • Travel in groups of more than five (unless travelling with a specific exemption for sports shows or training)
  • Travel more than five days before or after their owner or authorised person
  • Are being moved for the transference of ownership (including rescue animals being rehomed) or for sale

In 2018, 60 dogs were imported commercially into the United Kingdom from Russia and in 2019, 70 dogs were moved in this way. We do not currently have figures for the number of dogs commercially imported from Russia to the United Kingdom in 2020.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ensure the preservation of bridleways and equestrian rights of way.

Local authorities are responsible for the management and maintenance of public rights of way. They are required to keep a Rights of Way Improvement Plan to plan improvements to the rights of way network in their area, which is usually available on the authority’s website. This must include an assessment of the local rights of way including the condition of the network.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department plans to ease restrictions on dog grooming parlours in the next three weeks.

The Government's message to the public is clear: stay alert, control the virus and save lives. Dog grooming businesses play a key role in ensuring the welfare of the nation's pets and have been allowed to operate since advice to businesses was first published, within the strict advice on social distancing and hygiene.

The Canine and Feline Sector Group, which advises both the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England and Defra Ministers, has issued its own guidance to pet businesses, including dog groomers, on how they can continue to operate under current restrictions and in line with guidance around social distancing and hygiene:

http://www.cfsg.org.uk/coronavirus/SiteAssets/SitePages/Home/29th%20May%202020%20Animal%20Business%20Guidance.pdf

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help mitigate the risk of wildfire.

We are working across Government with a wide range of stakeholders including land managers, conservation bodies and wildfire management groups to ensure that we promote better planning for wildfire locally and take measures to mitigate against the risk of wildfire.

We undertook a review of the impact of wildfire and upland environments in 2019 and will publish the findings in due course. We will also, through the forthcoming England Peat Strategy, set out measures to protect our peatlands, which includes making them more resilient to and mitigating the risk of wildfire.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 29 April 2020 to Question 39481 on Food Supply: Coronavirus, whether the Government has plans to enable members of the public to receive a priority supermarket slot, without the need to register for free food packages, in cases where free food packages are not necessary.

Members of the public who have received a letter advising that they are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) can register to say that they are unable to get essential supplies delivered, and those individuals’ details are shared with supermarkets to match them with priority delivery slots.

This system was designed with safety in mind to ensure that CEV individuals, who have been advised to stay at home at all times, could get essential supplies delivered to their homes if they had no alternative means of obtaining food. If an individual who is shielding obtains a priority supermarket slot, they can easily de-register from the system through the GOV.UK platform or by rejecting a box when delivery is attempted. The food package will be re-delivered to the next person in need.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether (a) professional dog walkers and (b) kennels are able to walk their dogs more than once a day under the social distancing measures announced by the Government on 23 March 2020.

The Government has issued guidance which sets out which businesses must close, and clarifies that “Other businesses can remain open, their employees can travel for work purposes if they cannot work from home”, and “it is important for other businesses to carry on”. Dog walking businesses and kennels are not required to close by the Government. These businesses should make every effort to comply with social distancing and hygiene guidelines; otherwise they should carry on with their normal day to day routines.

The Canine and Feline Sector Group, which advises both the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England and Defra Ministers, has issued its own guidance to pet businesses, including professional dog walkers and boarding kennels, on how they can continue to operate under current restrictions, including how to exercise dogs, and in line with guidance around social distancing and hygiene. http://www.cfsg.org.uk/coronavirus/SiteAssets/SitePages/Home/CFSG%20Animal%20Business%20Guidance%2007.0

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether (a) kennels and (b) dog walking businesses are able to operate outdoors under the guidance on covid-19 announced on 23 March 2020.

The Government’s message to the public is clear: stay at home, in order to protect the NHS and save lives. To reduce social contact, the Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. A full list of those businesses required to close, and exemptions, can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance#businesses-and-premises-that-must-remain-closed

Kennels and dog walking businesses are not explicitly referred to as businesses that are required to close. Indeed, kennels and dog walking businesses play a key role in ensuring the welfare of the nation’s pets and can operate within the strict advice on social distancing and hygiene.

The Canine and Feline Sector Group, which advises both the Animal Health and Welfare Board for England and Defra Ministers, has issued its own guidance to pet businesses on how they can continue to operate under current restrictions and in line with guidance around social distancing and hygiene.

http://www.cfsg.org.uk/coronavirus/SiteAssets/SitePages/Home/CFSG%20Animal%20Business%20Guidance%2007.04.20.pdf

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to provide support for the private waste collection sector to help ensure the safe disposal of waste from key sectors during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is continuing to work closely with the waste industry to understand the impact on the sector of COVID-19 and to provide the necessary and appropriate support.

The Chancellor has already announced unprecedented support for businesses in general including a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, deferral of VAT payments for firms until the end of June and £330 billion of Government-backed and guaranteed loans, including a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.

Defra has been working with the waste industry to develop an online platform to facilitate the sharing of resources between local authorities and commercial operators. The platform, Waste Support, was launched on 16 April. In addition, the Environment Agency is taking a proportionate approach to regulation and has published a number of COVID-19 Regulatory Position Statements to address specific concerns around compliance with permit conditions, for instance on exceeding waste storage limits at permitted sites. These can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/covid-19-regulatory-position-statements

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate she has made of (a) the number of UK fishing protection vessels in operation, (b) the type of vessel in operation (c) the number of square miles of ocean the vessels patrol; and if she has plans to increase the number of fishing protection vessels.

The Government has undertaken a thorough risk assessment of fisheries control and enforcement to ensure we have sufficient assets to meet all possible threats now that we have left the EU. These assets include, with respect to England via the Marine Management Organisation, core provision which is a scaleable, enduring patrol, surveillance and inspection capability based on two to three Offshore Patrol Vessels. In addition, the ten Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities in England have 22 inshore patrol vessels to undertake fisheries management and enforcement within the 0-6 nautical miles zone.

Fisheries control and enforcement is a devolved matter. It is for each Devolved Administration to decide how best to control its fishing waters. We work closely with the Devolved Administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to ensure a coordinated approach to fisheries control and enforcement across UK waters.

English waters comprise around 230,000km2 of the UK’s total Exclusive Economic Zone of approximately 683,000km2.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, where the proposed hospital ship will operate from.

DFID and the MoD already work closely together to respond to humanitarian emergencies. For example, following Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas last September, RFA Mounts Bay played a critical role in the UK response.

As set out in the UK Humanitarian Reform Plan, the UK Government is committed ensuring a bigger, better, faster response capability which is able to respond to a range of different natural disasters. This includes a continued commitment to use our military assets to deliver humanitarian aid whenever appropriate, in accordance with UN guidelines.

No decision has been made on the construction or operation of a UK hospital ship, and we will continue to ensure that UKaid is deployed in a way that maximises value for money for development and the UK taxpayer.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
3rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what capability gap has been identified to support the decision to construct a hospital ship.

DFID and the MoD already work closely together to respond to humanitarian emergencies. For example, following Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas last September, RFA Mounts Bay played a critical role in the UK response.

As set out in the UK Humanitarian Reform Plan, the UK Government is committed ensuring a bigger, better, faster response capability which is able to respond to a range of different natural disasters. This includes a continued commitment to use our military assets to deliver humanitarian aid whenever appropriate, in accordance with UN guidelines.

No decision has been made on the construction or operation of a UK hospital ship, and we will continue to ensure that UKaid is deployed in a way that maximises value for money for development and the UK taxpayer.

James Cleverly
Home Secretary
23rd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how many full-time staff are employed by the Maritime Capability Campaign Office.

The Maritime Capability Campaign Office (MCCO) was launched on 10 March 2022 to support maritime exports and investment opportunities. We are still in the process of recruiting to the MCCO but as of 27 June 2022 the MCCO employed 17 full-time staff and 5 part-time staff.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, how much money from the public purse has so far been allocated to the Maritime Capability Campaign Office.

The Maritime Capability Campaign Office (MCCO) was launched on 10 March 2022, to support maritime exports and investment opportunities. The MCCO's spend for 2021/22 financial year was £1.432m this was to carry out initial development work. The MCCO has been allocated an additional £10.569m for 2021/2025 subject to approval of a full business case. This business case is currently under review by HM Treasury.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
10th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what criteria her Department plans to use to assess the success of the Open General Export Licence with India for defence procurement.

We are continuing to work with relevant departments on the Open General Export Licence announced by my Rt Hon. Friend the Prime Minister, at the press conference with India’s Prime Minister Modi on 22nd April 2022.

24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her department is taking to increase trade between the UK and Israel.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister has committed to enhancing and improving the UK-Israel Free Trade Agreement. The United Kingdom published a Call for Input on February 1st to hear the views of businesses and wider society on how to improve our £4.8 billion trade relationship. Israel is one of the world’s most dynamic and innovative economies and this will be a first step in strengthening our trade relationship even further.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what estimate he has made of the export value of the Type 26 frigate in the latest period for which figures are available.

The Type 26/Global Combat Ship is a formidable design with significant potential for export. Australia and Canada have both selected a variant of the T26 for their anti-submarine frigate programmes, which is expected to result in substantial economic and security benefits. However, as the commercial arrangements are ongoing, the Department for International Trade is not yet able to provide the requested export value.

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the Government's accession to the WTO's Agreement on Government Procurement includes an exemption to UK shipbuilding.

The procurement of ships, boats and floating structures is covered under Annex 4 of the UK’s schedules of the World Trade Organization's Agreement on Government Procurement. This is provided no other exceptions apply.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what discussions her Department has held with relevant stakeholders on (a) the cessation of the Tradeshow Access Programme and (b) a replacement scheme for the Tradeshow Access Programme.

A range of trade associations were consulted last summer by Department for International Trade (DIT) officials on plans for a revised trade show support programme. DIT will announce further details when discussions with HM Treasury are concluded.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps her Department is taking to support UK maritime businesses to attend overseas trade shows.

The Department for International Trade (DIT) provides businesses with information on overseas trade shows and helps facilitate their attendance by organising DIT stands, leading targeted trade missions and linking potential buyers, investors and decision-makers to UK companies who attend these events. DIT can also cover the associated costs of setting up activities such as workshops, presentations, and networking dinners.

DIT remains in contact with other government departments and key stakeholders, such as Maritime UK, to discuss future arrangements to help UK businesses continue to attend international trade shows.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what support her Department is providing to maritime SMEs participating in international export activity.

The UK maritime sector is export intensive and contributed £12 billion to the UK’s total exports in 2017. The Department for International Trade (DIT) is supporting maritime small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to reach their exporting potential with a range of schemes. The Department recently launched the Internationalisation Fund. The fund, part of the Government’s Export Growth Plan and supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), offers eligible SMEs in England between £1,000 - £9,000 in matched funding to help overcome barriers to grow their overseas trading and strengthen their business. This is in addition to a suite of practical, promotional and financial initiatives from DIT to boost exports right across the economy including the Export Academy. DIT is also supporting maritime SMEs through engagement with industry stakeholders and events aimed at enabling companies to export more.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
20th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether the Government has fulfilled any export orders for the Type 31e Frigate to date.

There have been no export orders for the Arrowhead 140 (T31) yet. UK Defence and Security Exports is supporting Babcock in its campaigns to export UK built ships, as well as the sale of the design to overseas customers.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
19th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the successful bids to the Restoring Your Railway Fund as of 19 December 2023.

Under the Network North announcement, the Department confirmed that a further 11 RYR-originated schemes will progress to delivery, subject to successful business cases. We are in the early stages of planning next steps, including delivery timelines, for these schemes and are working closely with Network Rail and other delivery partners to develop and deliver on these Government priorities.

There are a number of RYR schemes awaiting feedback on next steps. The Department hopes to be able to provide further details in due course.

Huw Merriman
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Government has plans to legalise the use of private e-scooters.

It is our intention that the Transport Bill will create a Low-speed Zero Emission Vehicle category that is independent from the cycle and motor vehicle categories. New powers in the Bill would subsequently allow the Department to decide which vehicles will fall into this category, and how they should be regulated to ensure safe use. We intend to use these powers to legalise private and rental e-scooter use in the future, with robust technical requirements and clear expectations on users.

20th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department is taking steps to ensure that electric charging points are accessible for wheelchair users.

Government has committed £2.5 billion since 2020 to support the transition to zero emission vehicles, with funding to offset their higher upfront cost, and to accelerate the rollout of chargepoint infrastructure.

11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 29 June 2022 to Question 23730 on Maritime Skills Commission: Staff, whether the Commission's focus is to increase diversity in the maritime taskforce.

The Maritime Skills Commission was established with the purpose of assessing the current and future skills needs of the maritime sector. A separate body, the Diversity in Maritime Taskforce, with networks for Ethnicity, Mental Health, Pride and Women, was established to support increasing diversity in the sector. The two bodies, along with the Careers Taskforce, sit within Maritime UK and work closely together to support the ambitions of the Maritime 2050 Strategy and People Route Map, which included increasing diversity as a key objective for the UK maritime industry.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
11th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many Veterans Railcards have been issued since the inception of that scheme.

As of June 2022, 53,900 Veterans Railcards have been sold.

23rd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many full-time staff the Maritime Skills Commission has.

The Maritime Skills Commission has one member of staff shared with the Diversity in Maritime Taskforce. The post is funded on a two-year basis from the Department for Transport and they are employed by Maritime UK. The Chair and Commissioners are part-time volunteers.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
23rd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, who the members of the Clean Maritime Council were as at 23 June 2022.

As at 23 June 2022, the member organisations of the Clean Maritime Council were: British Ports Association; Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Affairs; Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Department for Transport; ENGIE; Environmental Defence Fund; ING Bank; Innovate UK; Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology; Lloyd’s Register; Maritime and Coastguard Agency; Maritime Enterprise Working Group; Maritime London; Maritime UK; Offshore Renewable Catapult; Red Funnel; Smart Green Shipping Alliance; Strathclyde University; UK Chamber of Shipping; UK Major Ports Group, UN Climate Change Champion; University College London; Wightlink and Workboat Association.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
16th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what biometric checks are undertaken to ensure people applying for Veterans Railcards are veterans.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) is responsible for the application and verification process of the Veterans Railcards. When applying for a Veterans Railcard, applicants must provide RDG with evidence of their eligibility.

A list of accepted documents is available on the Veterans Railcard website: https://www.veterans-railcard.co.uk/are-you-eligible/.

15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the current funding model for the Highways Agency in relation to fulfilling their functions in the clean-up of fly-tipping incidents.

As part of the second Road Investment Strategy, Government is providing £24 billion to fund infrastructure, maintenance and operations on the Strategic Road Network and that funding covers work towards performance targets including on litter. This focuses on parts of the Strategic Road Network that National Highways is responsible for cleansing and measures the percentage of network where litter is graded at B or above, according to the Code of Practice on litter and refuse.

This provides an incentive for National Highways to do more to combat litter and fly-tipping on the Strategic Road Network. National Highways is funded in five-year periods; we are currently developing the third Road Investment Strategy (2025-2030) which provides an opportunity to set out our performance requirements and the associated funding required.

20th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to reduce the waiting time for learner motorists wishing to take their tests.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) recognises the high demand for learners wanting to take their practical driving test following the suspension of routine driver training and testing during the pandemic.

The DVSA is working hard to provide as many practical driving test appointments as possible and has a number of measures in place to do this. These include offering a national recovery allowance and annual leave buy back to examiners, asking all those qualified to conduct tests, but who do not do so as part of their current day job, to return to conducting tests, and conducting out of hours testing (such as on public holidays and weekends).

The DVSA is also continuing with its campaign to recruit more driving examiners across Great Britain and further increase availability of driving test appointments.

6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, from which country and location in that country each boat in the service of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency was procured from.

The Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV) the Ievoli Black is the only vessel procured by MCA. This procurement was conducted under an 'Open Procedure' via the Official Journal to the European Union. The current vessel has been procured from an Italian organisation.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the international competitiveness of UK seafarer training.

The Department for Transport have established a Maritime Skills Commission (MSC) to lead the sector’s work in ensuring the maritime sector has a pipeline of talented people to serve all parts of the sector. The Commissions has recently completed and published a review of seafarer cadet training. Working with stakeholders the MSC and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency will look at taking forward these recommendations.

Refreshing the seafarer training system in the UK will allow the well-regarded UK maritime training sector to strengthen its position internationally and meet the future skills needs of the sector.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions officials of his Department have had with relevant stakeholders on investment in UK ports to develop shore power facilities.

Shore power has a role to play in immediately reducing emissions from vessels visiting port. I and my officials routinely engage with industry stakeholders such as port operators to discuss investment to develop lower emission infrastructure, including shore power facilities.

Shore-side low and zero carbon fuelling including bunkering of such fuels are in scope of the £20m Clean Maritime Demonstration Competition, which will fund feasibility studies and initial technology trials to support the transition to zero emission shipping and cleaner, greener ports.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
17th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether it is his Department's policy that car sharing is permitted in the context of the covid-19 outbreak.

In line with the easing on the rules of households mixing indoors at Step 3 of the roadmap, car sharing is now permitted. People may travel in a group of up to 6 people from any number of households, or a group of any size from no more than 2 households. Due to certain exemptions mean, these restrictions do not apply in all circumstances.

19th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Government has plans to release further vouchers under the Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme.

The Department plans to release a further batch of vouchers before Easter, providing lockdown restrictions still allow.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
26th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support his Department is providing to the maritime sector.

My officials and I work extensively with our maritime sector. We continue to support the sector on the operational, crew and financial challenges they face during the Covid-19 pandemic. We are working closely with stakeholders from across the sector as we look to restart domestic and international travel through the Global Travel Taskforce. My department continues to assist on critical issues such as decarbonisation, promoting global competitiveness and our future seafarer needs. We will work closely with the sector to seize the opportunities our departure from the EU creates and are fully committed to the long-term success of the sector which is so critical to the UK as a trading nation.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to improve the UK's network of motorhome stopover points.

The Department for Transport holds policy responsibility for on street parking facilities only. The Department has no plans in that context for the UK’s network of motorhome stopover points. This question may be relevant to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government who hold policy responsibility for off street parking facilities and planning decisions.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to support the development of the maritime energy efficiency sector.

The Government is committed to decarbonising the maritime sector both domestically, to meet our Net Zero target, and internationally to meet International Maritime Organisation targets.

In 2019, Government published the Clean Maritime Plan, which noted that by 2025 we expect that ‘all vessels operating in UK waters [should be] maximising the use of energy efficiency options’, to reduce emissions in the short-term before practical zero emission technologies are made deployable. Following publication of the Clean Maritime Plan, Government provided £1.5m for clean maritime projects including maritime energy efficiency projects, through the MarRI-UK Clean Maritime Call. The Department will soon publish the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, which will set out further details of the Government’s maritime decarbonisation measures.

Internationally, the UK was crucial to securing both the efficiency target in the IMO’s Initial Greenhouse Gas Strategy, and to the IMO’s adoption of the Energy Efficiency Design Index. The UK will continue to push for ambition on efficiency and decarbonisation measures at the IMO.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department plans to introduce a minimum proportion usage of UK steel in HS2.

The contractors involved in the delivery of HS2 have only recently commenced their procurement of steel for HS2 and therefore it is not possible to determine at this time what percentage of that steel will be British, but, the Government’s guidance on the procurement of steel was published in November 2015 and subsequently updated in December 2016. All major government projects are required to take cognisance of the Crown Commercial Service Procurement Policy Note 11/16: “Procuring Steel in Major Projects - Revised Guidance” (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-1116-procuring-steel-in-major-projects-revised-guidance ).

Whilst HS2 Ltd does not directly buy steel, it does apply a strategic and transparent approach to the sourcing of steel for the HS2 Programme through its Tier 1 contractors and their supply chains. HS2 Ltd is governed by the Utility Contract Regulations and ensures a fair procurement process which complies the with UK procurement law and the Government policy on the procurement of steel. I can confirm that the UK steel industry is already delivering for HS2 including 1,130 tonnes from Darlington-based Cleveland Bridge. Celsa Steel in Cardiff for 1,800 tonnes of loose steel and rebar. Caunton Engineering in Nottinghamshire for 2,400 tonnes of structural steel.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether seafarers working on private yachts that enter the UK are required to self-isolate.

The list of exemptions to the requirement to self-isolate includes an exemption for ‘Seamen and masters as defined in section 313(1) Merchant Shipping Act 1995, maritime pilots as defined in para 22(1) of schedule 3A of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, and inspectors and surveyors of ships appointed under section 256 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 or by a government of a relevant British possession as defined in section 313(1) of that Act.’

It is the responsibility of the individual, or their employer, to determine whether they may qualify for an exemption and, where they do, ensure they travel with the appropriate supporting documentation.

Robert Courts
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of setting a minimum threshold for the involvement of UK companies in the High Speed Two project.

The Department for Transport has not assessed the potential merits of setting a minimum threshold for the involvement of UK PLC in HS2. UK procurement law does not permit public sector bodies to set targets for goods and services based on country-specific locations. However, HS2 Ltd has an excellent track record of supporting British businesses; over 2,000 businesses have delivered work so far on HS2, of which 98% are UK-based, and 70% of which are SMEs.

The project already has 13,000 workers in the UK employed on it and the construction of Phase One will see HS2 create and sustain a further 22,000 jobs over the coming years, with many more in businesses and factories around the country through an estimated 400,000 supply chain contract opportunities. HS2 Ltd estimate that 95% of those contract opportunities will be won by UK based businesses, with around two thirds being SMEs.HS2 Ltd continues to undertake procurement activity in line with the established legal framework governed by the Utilities Contracts Regulations under which it operates.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether steel produced in the UK will be prioritised for High Speed Two.

The contractors involved in the delivery of HS2 have only recently commenced their procurement of steel for HS2 and therefore it is not possible to determine at this time what % of that steel be British, but, the Government’s guidance on the procurement of steel was published in November 2015 and subsequently updated in December 2016. All major government projects are required to take cognisance of the Crown Commercial Service Procurement Policy Note 11/16: “Procuring Steel in Major Projects - Revised Guidance” (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/procurement-policy-note-1116-procuring-steel-in-major-projects-revised-guidance ).

Whilst HS2 Ltd. does not directly buy steel, it does apply a strategic and transparent approach to the sourcing of steel for the HS2 Programme through its Tier 1 contractors and their supply chains. HS2 Ltd ensures a fair procurement process which complies with UK procurement law and the Government policy on the procurement of steel.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Treasury's Green Book provides scope for his Department to prioritise the UK supply chain in the High Speed Two project.

HS2 Ltd operates in line with current UK public procurement law, specifically the Utilities Contracts Regulations 2016. It is therefore a legal requirement that, across the project, it conducts all procurement activity on a fair, equal and transparent basis that does not discriminate by location. While complying to these principles, the High Speed Two project continues to provide significant opportunities for the UK supply chain with 97% of businesses in the supply chain being UK businesses.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that adequate personal protective equipment for driving test instructors is available at driving test centres.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’s (DVSA) makes personal protective equipment (PPE) available at driving test centres for every examiner, for every test. PPE includes face coverings, gloves and car seat covers.

28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what tailored support is available to the coaches industry during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has announced several measures available to UK businesses, including the coach sector, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19

On 8 August, the Government also announced a funding package of over £40 million for Local Transport Authorities to procure additional, dedicated home to education transport services, including the provision of additional coach services for the first autumn half term.

The Department for Transport has also provided a further exemption from Public Service Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR) until 31 July 2021. Whilst many coach operators are PSVAR-compliant, and we remain committed to ensuring that all vehicles meet the standards set out in PSVAR, we understand the COVID-19 outbreak may have constrained some operators’ ability to invest in PSVAR-compliant vehicles. This further exemption enables operators to redirect their revenue streams to those areas most needed for the immediate future.

8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has had with the maritime sector on decarbonising that sector as part of the transition towards reaching net zero by 2050.

The Department engages in regular discussions with the maritime sector in relation to decarbonisation and the transition towards net zero.

Officials attend standing industry meetings such as the Chamber of Shipping’s Carbon Working Group, and have regularly consulted over the summer period with industry and civil society on maritime decarbonisation issues, including net zero.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support the Government is providing to the maritime sector to help it decarbonise.

The Department for Transport is working actively with the maritime sector to support decarbonisation at both international and domestic level.

Internationally we are working with other high ambition states and the sector to develop and adopt pragmatic, effective short and medium term measures that will peak and reduce emissions from the sector.

Domestically we have published research exploring the opportunities and challenges arising from decarbonisation, to provide the sector with greater clarity on what is required to achieve decarbonisation, and in support of this the Department has provided £1.5m of grants through Maritime Research and Innovation UK, supporting clean maritime innovation in the UK

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has had with the maritime sector on the effect decarbonising that sector will have on improving (a) the environment and (b) air quality.

Officials have regularly engaged with industry on the issue of maritime decarbonisation, particularly since the launch of the Clean Maritime Council, in 2018. When discussing the need for rapid decarbonisation with the maritime sector the Department for Transport has been careful to consider and include the opportunities for wider environmental improvements, including to air quality.

Research carried out for the Department in support of the Clean Maritime Plan considered air quality elements alongside decarbonisation, and looked at options for decarbonisation that would also maximise the air quality benefits. This work has been published on Gov.UK, and was shared with the maritime sector as part of a wider dialogue on zero emissions shipping.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions the Government has had with the maritime sector on the potential effect of decarbonising that sector in securing a transition from jobs reliant on carbon industries to those in low and zero-carbon sectors.

In 2019, the Department published the Clean Maritime Plan, which identified the potential for clean economic growth in the UK as a result of the transition to zero emission shipping. In line with the Government’s vision for sustainable economic growth as set out in the Clean Growth Strategy and Industrial Strategy, the Clean Maritime Plan seeks to support the innovation already present in British manufacturing, technology, fuel production and services, encouraging the translation of this expertise to the potential new clean maritime market.

The Clean Maritime Plan has been developed in close partnership with the maritime industry. This has included an extensive programme of stakeholder engagement, including the establishment of a Clean Maritime Council, alongside workshops and ongoing dialogue.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
8th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what support his Department is providing to the maritime sector as part of the economic recovery from the covid-19 oubreak.

The maritime sector plays a vital role in the UK economy and continues to provide vital freight and key worker services throughout the pandemic. However, as with many parts of the economy, it has faced significant disruption and challenges. That is why the Chancellor announced a £330bn package of financial support to support businesses and employees during these unprecedented times. In addition, the Department provided bespoke financial support to ensure that critical lifeline and freight services continued to operate through the most challenging period.

My Department is now working closely across the maritime sector on their restart plans identifying the support that is needed to enable the safe resumption and continued increase of services and operations. We are also working with the sector on a longer-term Maritime Recovery Plan which will build on the Maritime 2050 launched by the Government last year. The Recovery Plan will draw on the plans the industry has already provided and consider both fiscal and non-fiscal opportunities.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has met with TravelUp to discuss the implications for his policies of their proposals for airlines to protect customers' money in trusts.

The Department has not met with Travelup to discuss their proposals. The department has been clear that airlines and travel agents should not deny consumers their legal right to a refund, if it is requested and this should be done in a timely manner. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) undertook a review of the refund policies of all UK airlines, as well as a number of international airlines that operate flights to and from the UK. The CAA has utilised this review to influence airlines to change their processes and practices in order to improve performance in providing refunds. The CAA’s actions have led to an improved quality of service and performance from most airlines. The CAA continues to work with carriers to drive down waiting times, but balancing the support businesses need during this unprecedented situation.

The department is keen to work with the regulator, industry and consumer groups to help the sector return to normal. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted a number of challenges and the department will be learning lessons from the pandemic, to make changes that are practicable and deliverable.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the Cycle to Work scheme is available to people on zero-hour contracts.

The Cycle to Work Scheme is a tax-efficient, salary-sacrifice employee benefit, which enables an employee to hire a cycle and safety equipment from their employer through a pre-tax salary sacrifice arrangement. It is for employers to decide whether to offer the Scheme to their staff, including those on zero-hours contracts, or to offer alternative provision through a loan or pooled cycle scheme.

The Government updated the Cycle to Work scheme guidance for employers in 2019 which made it easier for employers to provide cycles and equipment including e-bikes and adapted bikes worth over £1,000.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, when the DVA plans to issue guidance in respect of whether driving tests scheduled for July 2020 will take place.

As the health and safety of staff and customers is key, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency is currently working hard to prepare for a safe return to testing.

At present, its testing services are under review and it will announce details of resumption in due course.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the covid-19 outbreak, what plans the Government has to allow driving instructors to conduct their work safely.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) recommends that, currently, approved driving instructors (ADI) should only provide lessons to candidates who have an essential need. ADIs should ask pupils to bring appropriate identification to demonstrate the need for the lesson: a payslip, letter or identification badge should suffice.

When providing driving lessons, all ADIs should put in place appropriate measures, in line with the latest Public Heath England and Cabinet Office guidance, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. It is the responsibility of the ADI and the pupil to consider the risks to their health and to decide if the driving lesson is essential.

We are reviewing when driving tests and lessons may be able to resume and will announce details in due course.

6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the British Transport Police collects data on the number of horse-related incidents that occur on roads.

BTP does not collect this data as its remit is for the rail network only.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment his Department has made of the trends in the level of misuse of civilian drones; and whether he has plans to bring forward legislative proposals on civilian drone use.

In its Counter-Unmanned Aircraft Strategy, the Government has set out its ongoing commitment to building a comprehensive, up-to date risk picture, as well as horizon scanning to predict the future threat. The Government also introduced the Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bill in the House of Lords on 9th January, which will provide the police with greater powers to tackle drone misuse.

5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of whether rolling stock procurement regulations support UK manufacturers.

Rolling stock procurement in the UK is undertaken through a competitive process by franchised or open access train operators who must act without discrimination and in a transparent manner. The Government continues to remain supportive of a competitive UK rolling stock manufacturing market that delivers benefits for both the economy and passengers.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
5th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Williams Review will include consideration of ways in which manufacturing can support the UK economy.

The Williams Rail Review was tasked with bringing forward recommendations for root and branch change in the rail industry.

Keith Williams, its independent chair, and his team have been looking closely across the sector to ensure it works in the best interests of passengers and taxpayers. He has also been considering the railway’s wider social and economic benefits. A White Paper based on his recommendations will be published soon.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether reform of rolling stock procurement was a recommendation of the Williams Rail Review.

The Williams Rail Review is tasked with bringing forward recommendations for root and branch change in the rail industry.

Keith Williams, its independent chair, and his team are looking closely across the sector to it works in the best interests of passengers and taxpayers. He has not been asked to develop specific recommendations on rolling stock manufacturing or procurement. A White Paper based on his recommendations will be published soon.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
29th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to ensure that rolling stock procurement delivers economic benefits to (a) the North East and (b) the UK.

Rolling stock procurement in the UK is undertaken through a competitive process by franchised or open access train operators who must act without discrimination and in a transparent manner. The Government continues to remain supportive of a competitive UK rolling stock manufacturing market that delivers benefits for both the economy and passengers.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he has met with representatives of Hitachi Rail to discuss the sustainability of its factory in the North East.

Representatives from Hitachi rail were present at a meeting the Secretary of State held with TransPennine Express, and relevant stakeholders, to discuss TransPennine Express’ recent poor performance. The facility at Newton Aycliffe was not discussed as it was not part of the agenda. Officials from the Department regularly engage with representatives from Hitachi on a number of matters including current and future projects.

The Minister for Business & Industry met with the MP for Sedgefield, the constituency in which Hitachi Rail’s factory in Newton Aycliffe is situated, on 14th January.

At that meeting the Minister for Business & Industry was informed that a 45 day consultation period is currently underway, and while the exact numbers won’t be known until late February or early March, understands that some may be redeployed elsewhere in Hitachi Rail Limited (HRL). The Minister welcomed HRL’s decision to invest £8.5m in additional capability in Newton Aycliffe to make the plant more competitive and sustainable in the long term, as this demonstrates the company’s long term commitment to the North East.

BEIS officials have been in close contact with HRL senior management at Newton Aycliffe through the last year over investment in the plant to increase capability and, following the 14th January meeting, have fed back directly to HRL that the Minister would welcome a meeting with the company’s representatives.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
8th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has plans to allocate funding from the public purse to Maritime Research and Innovation UK.

To date the Department for Transport has provided £3.3m to Maritime Research and Innovation UK (MarRI-UK). This funding has supported the establishment of MarRI-UK and two rounds of innovation funding - a £1.5m Clean Maritime Innovation Call and a £1.5m Technology and Innovation in UK Maritime Call.

Both calls take forward our Maritime 2050 ambitions set out in the Clean Maritime Plan and in the Technology and Innovation in UK Maritime Roadmap. The Government continues to support MarRI-UK in coordinating UK maritime research and development. It is MarRI-UK’s intention to fund its core research programme through contributions from its members.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade) (jointly with the Cabinet Office)
6th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the implementation of health checks on a regular basis by employers of night workers in the context of the Working Time Regulations; and what guidance his Department holds on the interpretation of what a regular basis constitutes to in carrying out these checks.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is responsible for the Working Time Regulations (WTR) 1998 which place duties on employers in respect of health assessments for night workers. Regulation 7 requires employers to ensure that each night worker employed by them has the opportunity of a free health assessment at regular intervals. It is not mandatory for workers to take up this offer.

There is no prescribed procedure for conducting a health assessment, but as a minimum, employers should construct a screening questionnaire compiled with guidance from a qualified health care professional. HSE online guidance does not define the term “regular basis” but states that “the requirements in Regulation 7 complement the duty in the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 reg.3 to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of employees.” The frequency of the health assessment should therefore be guided by an assessment of the specific risks to each individual worker. HSE would review health assessments on a case-by-case basis as required.

HSE guidance on shift working supports employers by outlining their legal duties. Where workers are concerned about risks to their health and safety, they can raise this with HSE via its website.

Employers should seek specialist advice from a suitably qualified health care professional, when devising and assessing the results of health assessments. If a worker suffers from health problems that are caused or made worse by night work, the employer should, where possible, transfer the employee to day work.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether he has plans to means test Personal Independence Payments.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave on 14 November 2022 to Question UIN 80882.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
8th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when will he respond to the correspondence of 21 October 2022 from the hon. Member for North Durham.

The department issued a response to correspondence from the Hon. Member for North Durham on Wednesday 9th November 2022.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has plans to reduce the number of hours carers must undertake their care work in order to be eligible for Carer's Allowance.

There are no plans to change the eligibility conditions for Carer’s Allowance with respect to the number of hours that care is provided for.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she plans to increase the Carer's Allowance in line with trends in the level of the (a) Consumer Price Index and (b) Retail Price Index.

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has an annual statutory duty to review the rates of benefits and state pensions. The Social Security Administration Act 1992 sets out the requirements with respect to Carer’s Allowance. Her review will commence shortly and her decisions will be announced to Parliament by 25 November.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether the Government has plans to increase statutory maternity pay.

The standard rate of Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) is reviewed annually, alongside state benefits, and is generally increased in line with the Consumer Prices Index (CPI). From April 2022 the standard rate of SMP increased to £156.66, in line with the September 2021 CPI rate of 3.1%.

Government already spends approximately £3 billion a year on maternity payments. Any changes to the rate of SMP would have to take account of economic circumstances and affordability for taxpayers and could not be made without consultation with businesses and other stakeholders.

The Government has no plans to increase the rate of SMP outside of the annual review of uprating.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
8th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent discussions her Department has had with representatives of the Women Against State Pension Inequality group on the effectiveness of her Department's communication of changes to women's state pension age.

There have been no recent discussions with representatives of the Women Against State Pension Inequality group.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for what reason the money students receive through maintenance loans from Student Finance is being deducted from universal credit payments.

Students cannot normally satisfy the entitlement conditions for Universal Credit (UC). Exceptions are made where students have additional needs that are not met through the student support system. Primary financial support for students comes from this student support system which is designed for their needs, unlike the social security system. It is important that UC does not duplicate this support and UC broadly mirrors the treatment of most of the legacy benefits it replaces. This safeguards fairness whilst also ensuring simplification of the benefit system. Eligible claimants receiving legacy benefits whose circumstances remain the same will be considered for transitional protection to protect entitlement at the point of transition to UC.

Where UC is paid to a student, any student loan or grant paid to meet living costs is subject to a £110 disregard in each Assessment Period where student income is taken into account, equivalent to that provided under Legacy Benefits. Any reduction is only for living costs as loans or grants for other things, such as tuition fees or books, are fully disregarded. Any Special Support loan/grant is also fully disregarded as this specifically covers the costs of the course

Whilst it is acknowledged that maintenance loans are to be paid back, if they were not treated as income and were disregarded this would result in UC (and most legacy benefits) duplicating support already provided through the student finance system.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps the Government takes to ensure that face painters use paint that is compliant with the CE standards required under Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 on cosmetic products.

Cosmetic products, including face paints, must comply with Regulation (EC) No 1223/2009 on cosmetic products and must be safe before they can be placed on the market. Local Authority Trading Standards have responsibility for enforcement of these regulations.

In the workplace, health and safety laws apply only to those who offer face painting services commercially (employing organisations, those they employ and the self-employed). The requirements do not apply to members of the public or to those who carry out face painting on a voluntary, non-commercial basis e.g. at a community fete.

Employers and the self-employed have general responsibilities under Section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 (HSWA) to manage the risks presented by their business to ensure, so far as is reasonably practical, the safety and health of members of the public affected by their business. Whilst HSWA does not specify the standard of face paint to be used in meeting these legal duties, commercial face painters would be expected to ensure that the paints used on clients meet the relevant standards and are safe for use eg that they do not cause harmful skin reactions.

Whilst the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) holds the national policy lead for the leisure and beauty industries, responsibility for enforcing health and safety legislation at individual work premises in these sectors rests primarily with the Local Authority Environmental Health Department where the premises are located. HSE would enforce where a peripatetic commercial face painter carries out their work in domestic premises e.g. at a children’s party.

Local Authorities and HSE take a risk-based approach to targeting their regulatory activities and in terms of occupational health and safety, face painting would generally be deemed as low risk. However, where there is evidence that risks are not being properly managed e.g. as a result of concerns being raised or incidents reported, the appropriate enforcing authority is able to intervene and take appropriate enforcement action to ensure that employees and customers are protected.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what support is available to people whose covid-19 symptoms have extended beyond two weeks and are unable to return to work as a result.

Individuals should tell their employer that symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) persist and that they must continue to self-isolate.

Individuals will be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they have tested positive for coronavirus and are staying at home and self-isolating for 10 days, or until they no longer have symptoms, and they are not able to work as a result. Other SSP eligibility criteria will apply. Individuals should continue to self-isolate beyond 10 days if they still have symptoms other than a cough or loss of sense of smell or taste.

Where an individual’s income is reduced while off work sick and they require further financial support, for example where they are not eligible for SSP, they may be able to claim Universal Credit and new style Employment and Support Allowance, depending on their individual circumstances.

25th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans she is putting in place during the covid-19 outbreak to support students in part-time work who are unable to claim universal credit.

Students who do not ordinarily have entitlement to Universal Credit (UC) and who receive a maintenance loan or grant through the student finance system, will continue to be able to draw upon this financial support until the end of this academic year.

Those who do not receive student finance and who would ordinarily not have entitlement to UC, such as those undertaking a part-time course which would otherwise not be considered as compatible with the requirements for them to look for and be available for work, will have entitlement to UC. We have disapplied UC and both legacy and new style JSA work preparation, work search and availability requirements and related sanctions. This will initially be for a three-month period. After three months, consideration will be given as to whether a further extension is required.

12th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to the Answer of 29 January 2020 to Question HL 457 on universal credit, whether her Department plans to evaluate in the Move to universal credit pilot the effect of the managed migration process on disabled people and people with health conditions.

The Department has already committed to undertaking an evaluation of the Move to UC pilot process. This will include an assessment of how the process works for groups of claimants including those with disabilities and health conditions.

We will be publishing the evaluation strategy for the Move To UC process in Spring 2020.

29th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if she will provide additional funding to replace the funding for suicide prevention allocated under the NHS Long Term Plan which ends in March 2024.

Funding beyond 2024/25 is subject to future spending decisions through which we will consider further opportunities to build upon our £57 million investment for suicide prevention under the NHS Long Term Plan. In addition, the Government’s £10 million Suicide Prevention Grant Fund will run to March 2025 to support voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations in meeting demand for their services supporting people experiencing suicidal thoughts or approaching a mental health crisis. We expect to start making this funding available to successful applicants as soon as possible in the New Year.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
28th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions the Government has had with Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers on the introduction of a generational ban on the sale of cigarettes.

Smoking is responsible for approximately 80,000 deaths a year in the United Kingdom and causes around one in four cancer deaths in the UK. It also costs our country £17 billion a year and puts a huge burden on the National Health Service.

This is why the Government is planning to create a smokefree generation by bringing forward legislation so that children turning 14 years old or younger this year will never be legally sold tobacco products. On 12 October 2023, we launched a UK-wide consultation to gather views on these proposals and their implementation.

Whilst we have not met specifically with the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, we have, and will continue to, speak to the retail sector and their associations to help develop our policies.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support she plans to provide to help retailer workers implement a generational ban on the sale of cigarettes.

Smoking is responsible for around 80,000 deaths a year in the United Kingdom and causes around one in four cancer deaths in the UK. It also costs our country £17 billion a year and puts a huge burden on the National Health Service.

This is why the Government is planning to create a smokefree generation by bringing forward legislation so that children turning 14 years old or younger this year will never be legally sold tobacco products. On 12 October 2023, we launched a UK-wide consultation to gather views on these proposals and their implementation. This, alongside regular engagement with the retail sector, will help to shape the proposals and ensure we provide support to retail workers to implement the future legislation.

We are also providing £5 million this year and £15 million thereafter to support new national marketing campaigns. These campaigns will help to explain the legal changes of the smokefree generation, and prepare the public, retailers, and other relevant stakeholders for the future changes.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of Government policies on ending cigarette sales to those born on or after 1 January 2009 on the sale of tobacco products in the black market.

No assessment has been made. History shows whenever we introduce new tobacco control legislation and regulations, illicit tobacco has decreased, due to strong enforcement. Consumption of illegal tobacco has gone from 17 billion cigarettes in 2000/1 to three billion cigarettes in 2022/23.

As part of the smokefree generation announcement on 4 October 2023, the Government is also providing £30 million additional funding per year to support enforcement agencies such as trading standards, Border Force, and HM Revenue & Customs.

13th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the unavailability of testing kits free of charge on the accuracy of national Covid-19 surveillance reports.

The data in the national COVID-19 and flu surveillance reports are accurate based on the data reported to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

The changes in the availability of free COVID-19 testing have not affected the accuracy of data presented within UKHSA’s national COVID-19 and flu surveillance reports. Changes to testing policies over time have changed the volume and breadth of data included in the reports, and this needs to be considered when interpreting that information.

However, there continues to be a range of useful and accurate data available within the national COVID-19 and flu surveillance reports taken from other sources, including our ongoing surveillance programmes.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
18th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential long-term financial merits of a move to hybrid closed loop technology for people with type one diabetes who are clinically eligible to access that therapy.

The National Health Service across the North East is dedicated to supporting patients in monitoring and managing their lifestyle with cutting edge technology. This has resulted in a high proportion of type 1 diabetic patients in the North East utilising the latest glucose monitors and insulin pumps to manage their condition. Local services are being redesigned to improve access to the latest technologies and reduce variation in care for vulnerable patients living with type 1 diabetes.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently developing technology appraisal guidance on hybrid closed loop systems for managing blood glucose levels in type 1 diabetes, which considers their clinical and cost effectiveness.

TARGET DATE 26/05/2023

Should NICE recommend Hybrid Closed Loop and issue eligibility criteria, NHS England will then work with integrated care boards (ICBs)to support meeting their commitments.

It is not possible to list the ICBs in England which do not have a formal commissioning policy for real-time continuous glucose monitoring for adults and children with type 1 diabetes as this information is not collected. ICBs must pay due regard to NICE guidance, however local decision making applies in terms of deciding whether to utilise their funding to implement the recommendation or not.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he is taking steps to ensure that Integrated Care Boards are able to implement the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence's appraisals on hybrid closed loop systems for managing blood glucose levels in type 1 diabetes.

The National Health Service across the North East is dedicated to supporting patients in monitoring and managing their lifestyle with cutting edge technology. This has resulted in a high proportion of type 1 diabetic patients in the North East utilising the latest glucose monitors and insulin pumps to manage their condition. Local services are being redesigned to improve access to the latest technologies and reduce variation in care for vulnerable patients living with type 1 diabetes.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently developing technology appraisal guidance on hybrid closed loop systems for managing blood glucose levels in type 1 diabetes, which considers their clinical and cost effectiveness.

TARGET DATE 26/05/2023

Should NICE recommend Hybrid Closed Loop and issue eligibility criteria, NHS England will then work with integrated care boards (ICBs)to support meeting their commitments.

It is not possible to list the ICBs in England which do not have a formal commissioning policy for real-time continuous glucose monitoring for adults and children with type 1 diabetes as this information is not collected. ICBs must pay due regard to NICE guidance, however local decision making applies in terms of deciding whether to utilise their funding to implement the recommendation or not.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to improve access to diabetes technologies across local diabetes services in the North East.

The National Health Service across the North East is dedicated to supporting patients in monitoring and managing their lifestyle with cutting edge technology. This has resulted in a high proportion of type 1 diabetic patients in the North East utilising the latest glucose monitors and insulin pumps to manage their condition. Local services are being redesigned to improve access to the latest technologies and reduce variation in care for vulnerable patients living with type 1 diabetes.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently developing technology appraisal guidance on hybrid closed loop systems for managing blood glucose levels in type 1 diabetes, which considers their clinical and cost effectiveness


Should NICE recommend Hybrid Closed Loop and issue eligibility criteria, NHS England will then work with integrated care boards (ICBs)to support meeting their commitments.

It is not possible to list the ICBs in England which do not have a formal commissioning policy for real-time continuous glucose monitoring for adults and children with type 1 diabetes as this information is not collected


ICBs must pay due regard to NICE guidance, however local decision making applies in terms of deciding whether to utilise their funding to implement the recommendation or not.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people are accessing type one diabetes services in each Integrated Care System; and how many specialist health and care workers are trained to onboard patients onto diabetes technology in each Integrated Care System in the latest period for which data is available.

The following table shows the number of people accessing type one diabetes services in each Integrated Care Board (ICB). It is not possible to provide data on how many specialist health and care workers are trained to onboard patients onto diabetes technology in each ICB.

ICB

Patients with Type 1 Diabetes who attended specialist services

NHS Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire ICB

1,815

NHS Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes ICB

1,870

NHS Birmingham and Solihull ICB

290

NHS Black Country ICB

1,475

NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire ICB

140

NHS Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West ICB

4,225

NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough ICB

2,340

NHS Cheshire and Merseyside ICB

5,275

NHS Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly ICB

60

NHS Coventry and Warwickshire ICB

1,470

NHS Derby and Derbyshire ICB

2,990

NHS Devon ICB

355

NHS Dorset ICB

1,990

NHS Frimley ICB

1,070

NHS Gloucestershire ICB

85

NHS Greater Manchester ICB

4,385

NHS Hampshire and the Isle of Wight ICB

2,740

NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire ICB

1,970

NHS Hertfordshire and West Essex ICB

3,385

NHS Humber and North Yorkshire ICB

3,555

NHS Kent and Medway ICB

3,540

NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB

1,250

NHS Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland ICB

2,620

NHS Lincolnshire ICB

2,125

NHS Mid and South Essex ICB

1,340

NHS Norfolk and Waveney ICB

3,335

NHS North Central London ICB

2,000

NHS North East and North Cumbria ICB

8,440

NHS North East London ICB

890

NHS North West London ICB

3,005

NHS Northamptonshire ICB

220

NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire ICB

1,975

NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin ICB

135

NHS Somerset ICB

1,100

NHS South East London ICB

3,930

NHS South West London ICB

2,095

NHS South Yorkshire ICB

2,445

NHS Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent ICB

795

NHS Suffolk and North East Essex ICB

3,320

NHS Surrey Heartlands ICB

2,155

NHS Sussex ICB

4,685

NHS West Yorkshire ICB

3,855

Notes:

  1. In line with The National Diabetes Audit disclosure control rules, all numbers are rounded to the nearest five, unless the number is one to seven, in which case it is rounded to five.
  2. People in the 2021/22 The National Diabetes Audit data collection have been mapped to an ICB through their general practitioner practice.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to take steps to ensure all NHS commissioners offer primary care optometrists the opportunity to provide Minor Eye Care Services across England.

In England, integrated care boards are responsible for the planning and commissioning of services to meet local needs. This includes decisions on whether to commission locally enhanced services from primary eye care providers, such as minor eye conditions services. NHS England’s transformation programme is also considering how eye care services could be commissioned for the future, this includes considering a greater role for primary eye care providers.

In the Autumn Statement, the Department committed to an additional £3.3 billion per year until 2024/25 to respond to significant pressures facing the National Health Service. This is on top of the £8 billion already committed until 2025 to reduce waiting times across specialisms, including for ophthalmology.

30th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to take steps to improve access to eye care services in (a) North Durham (b) all Integrated Health Board areas.

In England, integrated care boards are responsible for the planning and commissioning of services to meet local needs. This includes decisions on whether to commission locally enhanced services from primary eye care providers, such as minor eye conditions services. NHS England’s transformation programme is also considering how eye care services could be commissioned for the future, this includes considering a greater role for primary eye care providers.

In the Autumn Statement, the Department committed to an additional £3.3 billion per year until 2024/25 to respond to significant pressures facing the National Health Service. This is on top of the £8 billion already committed until 2025 to reduce waiting times across specialisms, including for ophthalmology.

30th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of implementing a national eye health strategy for England.

We recognise the challenges facing eye care services. In response, the Department and NHS England are already taking a strategic approach. Through the transformation programme, NHS England is considering how eye care services could be commissioned to ensure future sustainability. NHS England has appointed Louisa Wickham as a national clinical director for eyecare to oversee the recovery of eye care services and longer-term transformation. This sits alongside action already being taken to improve the prevention, detection and treatment of sight-threatening conditions.

16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department will published the findings of the call for evidence on the Mental Health and Wellbeing Plan, which closed on 7 July 2022.

We received submissions for the Call for Evidence on the Mental Health and Wellbeing Plan from over five thousand respondents representing a broad range of voices across England. We have processed each response and we will be publishing a summary of our findings this spring.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the oral contribution of 15 March by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Official Report column 326WH, what the time frame is for the roll out of up to 90 mental health ambulances: and in which regions these ambulances will be based.

The specialised National Health Service mental health ambulances will be delivered in a phased manner from late 2023/24 and into 2024/25, split almost evenly across financial years. All regions except one have bid for and will receive mental health ambulances.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when his Department will publish the Major Conditions Strategy.

An interim report of the Major Conditions Strategy will be published in the summer.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to the letter sent by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners and the British Beauty Council concerning regulations on non-surgical aesthetic procedures on 26 October 2022.

A response to the letter was sent on the 17 January 2023.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
15th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he is taking steps to implement the recommendations of the NHS Health Check programme review, Preventing illness and improving health for all: a review of the NHS Health Check programme and recommendations, updated on 9 December 2021.

The Department is modernising the NHS Health Check to deliver the recommendations made in the review. This includes an evaluation of digital NHS Health Checks trialled in Cornwall to inform the development of a national programme.

8th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to remove the requirement for care homes to recommend residents undergo PCR testing where more than two covid-19 cases inside a care setting have been confirmed.

The Government’s guidance on outbreak testing, where more than two COVID-19 cases inside a care setting have been confirmed, is informed by public health advice. This aims to ensure that positive cases of COVID-19 can be identified and to prevent transmission. We continue to keep this guidance under review.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 5 December to Question 99757, what the reason is for the delay in publishing the Department's response.