Luke Pollard Portrait

Luke Pollard

Labour (Co-op) - Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport

First elected: 8th June 2017

Shadow Minister (Defence)

(since February 2022)

Electronic Trade Documents Bill [HL]
14th Jun 2023 - 19th Jun 2023
Firearms Bill
8th Mar 2023 - 15th Mar 2023
Veterans Advisory and Pensions Committees Bill
8th Mar 2023 - 15th Mar 2023
Animals (Low-Welfare Activities Abroad) Bill
1st Mar 2023 - 8th Mar 2023
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
7th Jan 2020 - 29th Nov 2021
Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Fisheries, Flooding and Water)
30th Jul 2018 - 7th Jan 2020
Transport Committee
11th Sep 2017 - 29th Oct 2018


Department Event
Thursday 22nd February 2024
Ministry of Defence
Ministerial statement - Main Chamber
Ukraine Update
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Department Event
Monday 26th February 2024
18:00
Department for Business and Trade
Second Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
26 Feb 2024, 6 p.m.
The draft Limited Liability Partnerships (Application of Company Law) Regulations 2024
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Department Event
Monday 26th February 2024
18:00
Department for Business and Trade
Second Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - Select & Joint Committees
26 Feb 2024, 6 p.m.
The draft Limited Liability Partnerships (Application of Company Law) Regulations 2024
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Department Event
Tuesday 27th February 2024
09:25
Department for Business and Trade
Third Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
27 Feb 2024, 9:25 a.m.
The draft Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024
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Department Event
Tuesday 27th February 2024
09:25
Department for Business and Trade
Third Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - Select & Joint Committees
27 Feb 2024, 9:25 a.m.
The draft Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Thursday 7th March 2024
09:30
Department for Business and Trade
Oral questions - Main Chamber
7 Mar 2024, 9:30 a.m.
Business and Trade (including Topical Questions)
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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.
Department Event
Thursday 2nd May 2024
09:30
Department for Business and Trade
Oral questions - Main Chamber
2 May 2024, 9:30 a.m.
Business and Trade (including Topical Questions)
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Division Votes
Wednesday 21st February 2024
Ceasefire in Gaza
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 173 Labour No votes vs 0 Labour Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 20 Noes - 212
Speeches
Monday 19th February 2024
Oral Answers to Questions
We have 24,000 fewer troops, 4,000 fewer sailors, 200 fewer aircraft and the removal of one in five ships. The …
Written Answers
Thursday 8th February 2024
UK-Africa Investment Summit
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, for what reason the UK-Africa investment summit due to …
Early Day Motions
Tuesday 7th May 2019
FAIR PAY FOR THE ROYAL FLEET AUXILIARY'S MERCHANT SEAFARERS
That this House recognises the strategic significance to the UK of the near 2000 merchant seafarers employed on the Royal …
Bills
Wednesday 20th July 2022
Firearms and Hate Crime Bill 2022-23
A Bill to prohibit the keeping of pump action firearms in homes, with exemptions for professional pest controllers and farmers; …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 30th October 2023
4. Visits outside the UK
Name of donor: Casimir Pulaski Foundation
Address of donor: 6 Oleandrow, 00-629 Warsaw, Poland
Estimate of the probable value (or …
EDM signed
Thursday 9th December 2021
Food insecurity
That this House recognises the horrific levels of food insecurity in the UK being experienced by approximately 11 million people; …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 19th April 2023
Dartmoor National Park (Access) Bill 2022-23
A Bill to require the Secretary of State to publish proposals for a scheme to incentivise owners of land within …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Luke Pollard has voted in 688 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Luke Pollard 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
Victoria Prentis (Conservative)
Attorney General
(116 debate interactions)
George Eustice (Conservative)
(39 debate interactions)
Robert Goodwill (Conservative)
(25 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Ministry of Defence
(80 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(25 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Fisheries Act 2020
(28,078 words contributed)
Environment Act 2021
(8,170 words contributed)
Agriculture Act 2020
(8,019 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Luke Pollard's debates

Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport 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 Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport signature proportion
Petitions with most Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

The Government must exercise its power under s.23 of the Gender Recognition Act to modify the operation of the Equality Act 2010 by specifying the terms sex, male, female, man & woman, in the operation of that law, mean biological sex and not "sex as modified by a Gender Recognition Certificate"

It has been reported that the Government may amend the Equality Act to "make it clear that sex means biological sex rather than gender." The Government has previously committed to not remove legal protections for trans people, an already marginalised group, but this change would do so.

Ensure any ban fully includes trans people and all forms of conversion therapy.

Reform the GRA to allow transgender people to self-identify without the need for a medical diagnosis, to streamline the administrative process, and to allow non-binary identities to be legally recognised.

The Government needs to change the law so laboratory animals are included in the Animal Welfare Act. Laboratory animals are currently not protected by the Act and are therefore victims of 'unnecessary suffering' (see section 4 of the Act: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2006/45/section/4).

We want Police Officers to be able to provide a suspension notice from the moment an offender is caught drink, drug or dangerous driving until they appear in court. It would then be for the Judge to decide whether a ban continues or they are able to continue to drive again.

Ensure Water companies treat the sewage they are responsible for. Not discharge it into rivers and water courses. After all what goes into the ocean comes back as the fish we eat.

Many missing microchipped pets are never reunited as it’s optional to scan & check microchip registration. It’s time veterinary professionals, authorities and rescues checked pet & keeper match on the original database at a pets 1st consultation or yearly checkup. It’s their only chance to get home

A healthy young dog with RBU was euthanised. The person who requested euthanasia was not the registered keeper.

Now that we have left the EU, the UK has the ability to finally stop the importation of Shark Fins. They had previously stated that 'Whilst in the EU, it is not possible to unilaterally ban the import of shark fins into the UK.'

Plenty of dogs from UK breeders & rescues need homes. Transporting young pups long distances is often stressful, before being sold for ridiculous prices to unsuspecting dog-lovers. Government must adjust current laws, ban this unethical activity on welfare grounds & protect these poor animals ASAP.

Leading veterinary and welfare bodies are concerned by the alarming rise in ear-cropped dogs in the UK. Ear cropping is illegal in the UK and an unnecessary, painful mutilation with no welfare benefit. The practice involves cutting off part of the ear flap, often without anaesthesia or pain relief.

We propose to amend the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to make pet theft a specific offence, distinct from that of inanimate objects; and in sentencing, the courts must consider the fear, alarm or distress to the pet and owners and not monetary value.

Pet Theft Reform 2020: Revise the sentencing guidelines in the Theft Act 1968 to reclassify pet theft as a specific crime. Ensure that monetary value is irrelevant for the categorisation of dog and cat theft crime for sentencing purposes. Recognise pet theft as a category 2 offence or above.

EU law recognises animals as sentient beings, aware of their feelings and emotions. Animals are at risk of losing these vital legal protections, post-Brexit. We want a BetterDealForAnimals: a law that creates a duty for all Ministers in the UK to fully regard animal welfare in policy making.


Latest EDMs signed by Luke Pollard

6th December 2021
Luke Pollard signed this EDM on Thursday 9th December 2021

Food insecurity

Tabled by: Ian Byrne (Labour - Liverpool, West Derby)
That this House recognises the horrific levels of food insecurity in the UK being experienced by approximately 11 million people; acknowledges the profound and devastating consequences of food insecurity on the health, wellbeing and livelihoods of people in our communities; notes with concern that the need for emergency food parcels …
49 signatures
(Most recent: 19 Apr 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 31
Scottish National Party: 5
Liberal Democrat: 4
Independent: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
Green Party: 1
6th December 2021
Luke Pollard signed this EDM on Wednesday 8th December 2021

Recognising the service of House of Commons staff member Will Conway

Tabled by: Charlotte Nichols (Labour - Warrington North)
That this House wholeheartedly thanks Will Conway for his 28 years of service as a member of House of Commons staff; offers gratitude for his over two decades of service as the Branch Secretary of the GMB Union representing House of Commons staff; thanks him for his support and assistance …
21 signatures
(Most recent: 24 Jan 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 15
Scottish National Party: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
Alba Party: 1
Green Party: 1
View All Luke Pollard's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Luke Pollard, 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.


2 Urgent Questions tabled by Luke Pollard

Thursday 1st February 2024
Monday 11th December 2023

1 Adjournment Debate led by Luke Pollard

Wednesday 22nd September 2021

3 Bills introduced by Luke Pollard


A Bill to prohibit the keeping of pump action firearms in homes, with exemptions for professional pest controllers and farmers; to make provision about medical requirements for holders of firearms certificates; to make provision about the disclosure of mental health concerns relating to holders of firearms certificates; to extend offences of stirring up hatred to cover hatred on the basis of sex or gender; to make motivation by misogyny an aggravating factor in sentencing for violent crimes; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 6th May 2022

A Bill to prohibit the keeping of pump action firearms in homes, with exemptions for professional pest controllers and farmers; to make provision about medical requirements for holders of firearms certificates; to make provision about the disclosure of mental health concerns relating to holders of firearms certificates; to extend offences of stirring up hatred to cover hatred on the basis of sex or gender; to make motivation by misogyny an aggravating factor in sentencing for violent crimes; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 20th July 2022

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to require the Government to prepare a strategy for recycling out-of-service Royal Navy nuclear submarines and to report annually on progress, to consult on extending decommissioning powers in Part 1 of the Energy Act 2004 to include the recycling of Royal Navy nuclear submarines, and to publish estimates of the taxpayer liability associated with such submarines; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 19th June 2019
(Read Debate)

1671 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
5 Other Department Questions
26th Oct 2022
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what her timescale is for bringing forward legislative proposals to ban conversion therapy.

The Government remains committed to protecting everyone from these conversion practices.


It is important that we get this right. As the newly appointed Minister, I will give careful consideration to our public consultation on the issue and respond in due course.


In the meantime, we have launched a support service open to all victims or those at risk of conversion practices.

Kemi Badenoch
President of the Board of Trade
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, how many plastic straws Parliament has bought for use in catering outlets in the last 12 months.

Parliament has not bought any plastic straws in the last 12 months.

25th Oct 2021
To ask the President of COP26, how much was spent on the seal mascot for COP26.

The seal mascot is owned by Glasgow City Council. The seal is an existing mascot that has been in use since the Glasgow 2018 European Championships. The cost of the COP26 uniform came from the volunteering programme budget; this will be laid out along with other costs for COP26 after the event.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, what estimate the Commission has made of the number of ivory items owned by or collated in the Houses of Parliament.

In total, there are 21 documented items made of ivory or containing ivory that are owned by the Houses of Parliament.

There are 18 accessioned objects documented within the Parliamentary Heritage Collections. Of these 12 are small objects from the Parliamentary Art Collection made between the 17th and 19th centuries. The remaining six are items of 19th century historic furniture or fabric which contain small amounts of ivory decoration.

There are two accessioned items documented in the Parliamentary Archives which contain ivory. These are a Book of Common Prayer containing decorative ivory crosses and a set of ink stamps with ivory handles. There are no accessioned items documented in either the House of Lords Library or House of Commons Library made of, or containing, ivory.

A non-accessioned First World War book of remembrance in the House of Lords includes an ivory Tudor rose in the binding. There may be other non-accessioned items containing ivory in the Houses that have not yet been identified.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of suspending licences for trail hunting on land owned by the Church; and if he will make a statement.

In 2020 the Church Commissioners reviewed their policy on trail hunting and suspended any directly issued licences which previously permitted trail hunting. Where trail hunting continues to take place across Commissioners’ tenanted land (and which is beyond our direct control owing to the tenant’s security of tenure) we are seeking to assist farm tenants with the regularisation of any informal trail hunting arrangements.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Attorney General, what estimate she has made of the number of ivory items owned by or collated by her office.

The Attorney General’s Office has not made any estimates of the number of ivory items owned or collated by the Department.

Alex Chalk
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department takes to resolve complaints about unsatisfactory responses to subject access requests.

The Cabinet Office endeavours to respond to all Subject Access Requests (SARs) received within the Statutory timescales listed within the DPA2018 and UK GDPR legislation which is within one month. This commitment is reflected in our performance data for SARs responses: in the last fiscal year (2022-2023) we received 686 requests, of which 678 requests (over 98%) were responded to within the legal deadline of one calendar month. We extended the deadline for the remaining 8 requests due to their complexity and responded to these requests within the 3 month extension period.

The Cabinet Office Data Protection Officer (DPO) is responsible for investigating any SAR complaints. The DPO’s investigation provides independent oversight to resolve complaints. In all of our responses to subject requestors, we proactively emphasise that there is a complaints process, and advise anyone who has concerns about how their personal data has been handled to contact the department's DPO directly. We also inform the subject requester of their legal right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the independent regulatory body, should further resolution be required. We, in the Cabinet Office, fully cooperate with any subsequent investigations by the ICO.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how long on average it takes his Department to respond to a subject access request; and what proportion of such requests are answered after 20 days.

The Cabinet Office endeavours to respond to all Subject Access Requests (SARs) received within the Statutory timescales listed within the DPA2018 and UK GDPR legislation which is within one month. This commitment is reflected in our performance data for SARs responses: in the last fiscal year (2022-2023) we received 686 requests, of which 678 requests (over 98%) were responded to within the legal deadline of one calendar month. We extended the deadline for the remaining 8 requests due to their complexity and responded to these requests within the 3 month extension period.

The Cabinet Office Data Protection Officer (DPO) is responsible for investigating any SAR complaints. The DPO’s investigation provides independent oversight to resolve complaints. In all of our responses to subject requestors, we proactively emphasise that there is a complaints process, and advise anyone who has concerns about how their personal data has been handled to contact the department's DPO directly. We also inform the subject requester of their legal right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the independent regulatory body, should further resolution be required. We, in the Cabinet Office, fully cooperate with any subsequent investigations by the ICO.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Secretary (Cabinet Office)
6th Dec 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make an assessment of the potential financial impact of the proposed sale of Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions on the veterans that live there.

Officials from the Office for Veterans’ Affairs continue to engage with Stoll regarding the sale of Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions and the support being provided to residents during the transition period.

This Government has dedicated nearly £30m towards the provision of veteran housing. This includes £8.55m through the Reducing Veteran Homelessness Programme for veteran supported housing; the launch of Op FORTITUDE as the single referral pathway for homeless veterans and the £20m Capital Housing Fund which will increase the stock of veteran housing through the refurbishment of existing properties and the construction of new builds.

We remain committed to upholding the Armed Forces Covenant and ensuring that the UK becomes the best place in the world to be a veteran.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
6th Dec 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will take steps to provide (a) financial and (b) other support to veterans impacted by the proposed sale of Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions.

Officials from the Office for Veterans’ Affairs continue to engage with Stoll regarding the sale of Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions and the support being provided to residents during the transition period.

This Government has dedicated nearly £30m towards the provision of veteran housing. This includes £8.55m through the Reducing Veteran Homelessness Programme for veteran supported housing; the launch of Op FORTITUDE as the single referral pathway for homeless veterans and the £20m Capital Housing Fund which will increase the stock of veteran housing through the refurbishment of existing properties and the construction of new builds.

We remain committed to upholding the Armed Forces Covenant and ensuring that the UK becomes the best place in the world to be a veteran.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
6th Dec 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if his Department has made an assessment of the potential impact of refusing any housing support funding requests made by the veterans’ charity Stoll.

Officials from the Office for Veterans’ Affairs continue to engage with Stoll regarding the sale of Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions and the support being provided to residents during the transition period.

This Government has dedicated nearly £30m towards the provision of veteran housing. This includes £8.55m through the Reducing Veteran Homelessness Programme for veteran supported housing; the launch of Op FORTITUDE as the single referral pathway for homeless veterans and the £20m Capital Housing Fund which will increase the stock of veteran housing through the refurbishment of existing properties and the construction of new builds.

We remain committed to upholding the Armed Forces Covenant and ensuring that the UK becomes the best place in the world to be a veteran.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
5th Dec 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he has had discussions with Stoll on the sale of Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions to Chelsea Football Club.

Officials from the Office for Veterans’ Affairs continue to engage with Stoll regarding the sale of Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions and the support being provided to residents during the transition period.

This Government has dedicated nearly £30m towards the provision of veteran housing. This includes £8.55m through the Reducing Veteran Homelessness Programme for veteran supported housing; the launch of Op FORTITUDE as the single referral pathway for homeless veterans and the £20m Capital Housing Fund which will increase the stock of veteran housing through the refurbishment of existing properties and the construction of new builds.

We remain committed to upholding the Armed Forces Covenant and ensuring that the UK becomes the best place in the world to be a veteran.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
5th Dec 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department has provided advice to military housing charity Stoll on the proposed majority sale of Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions.

Officials from the Office for Veterans’ Affairs continue to engage with Stoll regarding the sale of Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions and the support being provided to residents during the transition period.

This Government has dedicated nearly £30m towards the provision of veteran housing. This includes £8.55m through the Reducing Veteran Homelessness Programme for veteran supported housing; the launch of Op FORTITUDE as the single referral pathway for homeless veterans and the £20m Capital Housing Fund which will increase the stock of veteran housing through the refurbishment of existing properties and the construction of new builds.

We remain committed to upholding the Armed Forces Covenant and ensuring that the UK becomes the best place in the world to be a veteran.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
5th Dec 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have met representatives of the veterans charity Stoll to discuss its financial situation since 2018.

Officials from the Office for Veterans’ Affairs continue to engage with Stoll regarding the sale of Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions and the support being provided to residents during the transition period.

This Government has dedicated nearly £30m towards the provision of veteran housing. This includes £8.55m through the Reducing Veteran Homelessness Programme for veteran supported housing; the launch of Op FORTITUDE as the single referral pathway for homeless veterans and the £20m Capital Housing Fund which will increase the stock of veteran housing through the refurbishment of existing properties and the construction of new builds.

We remain committed to upholding the Armed Forces Covenant and ensuring that the UK becomes the best place in the world to be a veteran.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
5th Dec 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential impact of the sale of Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions property and land on the health of veterans.

Officials from the Office for Veterans’ Affairs continue to engage with Stoll regarding the sale of Sir Oswald Stoll Mansions and the support being provided to residents during the transition period.

This Government has dedicated nearly £30m towards the provision of veteran housing. This includes £8.55m through the Reducing Veteran Homelessness Programme for veteran supported housing; the launch of Op FORTITUDE as the single referral pathway for homeless veterans and the £20m Capital Housing Fund which will increase the stock of veteran housing through the refurbishment of existing properties and the construction of new builds.

We remain committed to upholding the Armed Forces Covenant and ensuring that the UK becomes the best place in the world to be a veteran.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
27th Nov 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the value of UK exports to Kyrgyzstan was in each of the last five years.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority.

A response to the Hon gentleman’s Parliamentary Question of 27 November is attached.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the Answer of 8 November 2023 to an Urgent Question on Pakistan: Evacuation of Afghans by the Minister for Veterans Affairs, Official Report, column 117, on what date he visited each hotel housing Afghans.

From April 2023, my team of advisors and I travelled extensively across the country to visit bridging hotels to meet Afghan families and officials from across Central and Local Government who supported this cohort, ahead of their move into long-term settled accommodation. That effort continues to this day.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, when the Prime Minister asked him to review the Afghan resettlement schemes. .

Since asking me to lead on convening departments to increase our support to Afghans who have been resettled in the UK to access independent accommodation in February 2023, in October this year the Prime Minister further tasked me with coordinating cross government support for departments responsible for relocating eligible Afghans and their families under the ARAP and ACRS schemes.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
13th Jul 2023
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the oral contribution by the Minister for Veterans' Affairs of 22 June 2023, Official Report, column 929, what the goals of the care leavers strategy are; when he plans to publish the strategy; what engagement he has had with stakeholders; and whether the strategy is distinct from the Government's response to the consultation on Children’s Social Care National Framework announced by the Department for Education on 2 February 2023.

I am proud to be taking on the role of Cross-Government Care Leaver Lead, championing the interests of care leavers across Government, as I have, and continue to do, for veterans across the country.

I shall be working closely with my hon. Friend, the member for East Surrey, to secure improved care leaver outcomes, achieving the missions set out in the Stable Homes, Built on Love implementation strategy.

I will have more to say in due course about our work to improve outcomes for this vulnerable cohort of young people.

Johnny Mercer
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister for Veterans' Affairs)
21st Sep 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether he will publish a full list of former Ministers who resigned in July 2022 who (a) accepted, (b) rejected or (c) donated to charity their Ministerial severance pay.

Individual departments are responsible for the payment of salaries and severance payments to current and former Ministers and, as such, the information you have requested is not held centrally. Departments are required to publish compensation payments paid to former Ministers as part of their Annual Report & Accounts.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
21st Sep 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether any former Ministers in his Department accepted Ministerial severance pay after resigning in July 2022.

No ministers in the Cabinet Office resigned from the Government in July 2022 and therefore no severance pay was issued.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
18th Jul 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what the cost was of the Typhoon fighter jet demonstration the Prime Minister received at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire in July 2022.

The Prime Minister accompanied pilots on a routine training flight and, therefore, no extra cost was incurred.

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many death records listed air pollution as a cause of death in (a) Plymouth, (b) the South West and (c) England in each of the last five years.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority.

A response to the hon. Member’s Parliamentary Question of 18 February is attached.

3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the number of ivory items owned by or collated by his Department.

We have not made any estimates of the number of ivory items owned by or collated in this Department, or by any institutions owned or managed by the Government.

11th Jun 2021
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, for what reasons he travelled to Cornwall by air rather than by train to attend the G7 summit.

I am responding on behalf of the Prime Minister’s Office. Ministers are required to make essential visits across the country for official government business. The security authorities allow for a wide variety of transport in order for this to be done safely and efficiently.

The Prime Minister set out the target for the G7 Summit to be sustainable and carbon neutral. The Summit has now received independent ISO20121 certification, the highest international standard for sustainable event management.

The Summit Carbon Management Plan includes offsetting all Leaders’ travel, investing in sustainability projects in developing countries which are independently verified by the Gold Standard Impact Registry. The plan is being updated as we continue to assess the full output from the Summit.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether a train had been booked for his travel to Cornwall for the G7.

I am responding on behalf of the Prime Minister’s Office. Ministers are required to make essential visits across the country for official government business. The security authorities allow for a wide variety of transport in order for this to be done safely and efficiently.

The Prime Minister set out the target for the G7 Summit to be sustainable and carbon neutral. The Summit has now received independent ISO20121 certification, the highest international standard for sustainable event management.

The Summit Carbon Management Plan includes offsetting all Leaders’ travel, investing in sustainability projects in developing countries which are independently verified by the Gold Standard Impact Registry. The plan is being updated as we continue to assess the full output from the Summit.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much additional funding he has allocated to (a) Cornwall County Council, (b) Devon and Cornwall Police and (c) the NHS in Cornwall in response to the decision to host the G7 summit in Cornwall in June 2021.

The Cabinet Office is working closely with local partners to agree their roles and plans to support the Summit. Details will be set out in due course.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the education of school children in St Ives of the decision to host the G7 summit in Cornwall in June 2021.

We are working with community partners, including the police, St Ives Town Council and Cornwall Council, to minimise local disruption in and around St Ives.

The G7 Summit presents a huge opportunity for the local area, supporting local businesses and creating a lasting legacy. We are looking at ways that we can engage local schoolchildren as a part of that legacy, using the Summit to educate and inspire.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Prime Minister, whether he plans to appoint a Minister to oversee preparations for the G7 Summit in Cornwall in June 2021.

I am ultimately responsible for leading the G7 Presidency and discussions with other G7 leaders. There are no current plans for a separate Ministerial appointment.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he plans to communicate to (a) overseas Governments, (b) Commonwealth Governments and (c) international media in respect of covid-19 precautions before they attend the G7 summit in Cornwall in June 2021.

Further to the answer given to PQ143093, there will be some limited local transport disruption as a result of essential security measures.

We are discussing necessary health and safety measures for delegates with G7 partners and others.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of hosting the G7 summit in Cornwall in June 2021 on travel (a) to, (b) from and (c) within the South West during that period.

Further to the answer given to PQ143093, there will be some limited local transport disruption as a result of essential security measures.

We are discussing necessary health and safety measures for delegates with G7 partners and others.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many members of the UK’s team in the negotiations on the UK's future relationship with the EU in December 2020 were subject specialists in fisheries.

Further to the answer given to PQ48377, negotiations with the EU were led by Task Force Europe, a small central unit led by the Chief Negotiator Lord Frost. By December, there were 38 civil servants working in this team. Negotiations were a cross-departmental effort and accordingly involved a larger number of staff overall, including subject specialists in all key negotiating areas.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he will take to ensure that everyone will be able to vote in the local council elections in May 2021; and what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing postal voting capacity.

The UK Government is of the view that it would not be appropriate to impose an all-postal vote for the local and mayoral elections in England, and the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales, in May 2021. All-postal voting increases fraud risks, and removes choice from voters who wish to cast their vote in person.

Postal voting on demand already allows any registered elector to apply for a vote by post.

The Government is working with the electoral administrators and Public Health England to identify and resolve challenges involved in delivering the May 2021 elections, including ensuring polling stations are safe and covid-secure places to vote. People will be able participate in the polls safely, and in a way of their choice, whether by post, proxy or in-person.

This work is outlined in my recent letter to Electoral Returning Officers, which can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/letter-from-chloe-smith-mp-to-returning-officers

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether a meeting of the covid-19 operations ministerial committee was scheduled for 12 September 2020.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ66203 on 2 July 2020.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the minutes of the most recent meeting of the Covid-19 Operations Committee.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ66203 on 2 July 2020.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether a meeting of the Covid-19 Operations Ministerial committee was scheduled for 12 September 2020.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ66203 on 2 July 2020.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, which Ministers he consulted on those outdoor activities that are exempt from the rule of six covid-19 regulations.

As has been the case under successive administrations, details of internal discussions are not usually disclosed.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many primary schools were closed on 12 December 2019 and used as polling stations.

The information requested is not held centrally.

9th Mar 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many children could not attend their school on 12 December 2019 as a result of their school building being used as a polling station.

The information requested is not held centrally.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, which Government Minister has responsibility for hunger.

This issue cuts across multiple departmental responsibilities, as is the case for many complex concerns, and therefore engages various Ministers including in DHSC and DWP.

Details of Ministerial responsibilities can be found on GOV.UK.

12th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Business and Trade, what steps his Department is taking to (a) promote and (b) support aspiring entrepreneurs in (i) Plymouth and (ii) the UK.

The Government continues to support small businesses and entrepreneurs through a range of ways including:

  • Start Up Loans which provide early-stage entrepreneurs with funding and intensive support including a year of free business mentoring for new entrepreneurs.
  • Provision of information, advice and guidance through the Business Support Helpline, Growth Hubs and the Help to Grow campaign website - a digital one-stop shop set up to help businesses find the support they need to start, scale and grow.

Over 200 businesses have taken up Start Up Loans in Plymouth.

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to adopt similar proposals to the European Union on introducing a common charging cable for mobile phones by 2024 and laptops by 2026.

The Government is aware of the EU’s proposal for a single charging solution for certain electronic devices. We are not currently considering replicating this requirement in domestic law.

5th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he will take steps to prevent the sale of low rating banded white goods to help cut energy consumption in households.

In 2021 the Government introduced a new package of measures setting out standards to remove the worst performing fridges, washing machines, washer dryers and dishwashers from the market, as well as improvements to the energy labelling scheme to allow consumers to better identify the most efficient appliances.

The Government also published the Energy-Related Products Framework in November 2021, which set out our plans for developing further standards and improvements to labelling.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make assessment of the potential merits of the creation a new ministerial role with specific responsibility for leading the replacement of animal experiments with human relevant science.

The Government continues to actively support and fund the development and dissemination of the 3Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement) for the use of animals in scientific procedures. This is achieved through UK Research and Innovation’s funding of the National Centre for the 3Rs, which works nationally and internationally to drive the uptake of non-animal technologies, and through research into the development of alternatives by Innovate UK, the Medical Research Council, and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

The Government is committed to the development of alternatives to using animals in scientific procedures and to avoiding unnecessary suffering. As laid out in the List of Ministerial responsibilities, I am the Minister with lead responsibility in this area.

25th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 17 May 2022 to Question 960, if he will place a copy of the equality impact assessment carried out by the Insolvency Service on its plan to close offices including in Plymouth in the Library.

The overarching Equality Impact Assessment which has been completed for all offices, including Plymouth, affected by the plan to restructure the Insolvency Service’s estate to eleven regional offices will be placed in the House Library.

25th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will place a copy of the full business case for the Insolvency Service Future Estate Strategy in the Library.

It would not be appropriate to place a copy of the business case for the Insolvency Service’s move to regional centres in the Library as it contains commercially sensitive information.

This strategy involves closing 10 smaller sites and developing regional centres in the 11 locations in which the Insolvency Service currently has offices. These centres will enable it to provide services more efficiently, with greater flexibility to respond to future changes in demand for services. The Insolvency Service has put in place measures to support staff in affected offices to transfer to their nearest regional centre.

29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which Minister is responsible for decisions relating to the movement of the UK’s time zone from Greenwich Meantime to British Summer Time.

The Government has no plans to change the daylight-saving arrangements. The Government believes that the current daylight-saving arrangements represent the optimal use of the available daylight across the UK.

29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made a recent assessment of the potential merits of moving the UK to a single time zone instead of British Summer Time/GMT.

The Government has no plans to change the daylight-saving arrangements. The Government believes that the current daylight-saving arrangements represent the optimal use of the available daylight across the UK.

7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many (a) primary residences, (b) second homes and (c) uninhabited properties in the UK are owned by Russian nationals.

HM Land Registry (HMLR) registers legal ownership, interests, mortgages and other secured loans against land and property in England and Wales. Land Registration is a devolved matter in Scotland and in Northern Ireland.

The Register of Title held by HMLR does not record the nationality of individuals who own land or property, or whether that property is a primary residence, second home or uninhabited property.

Further details about the information that HM Land Registry holds, what is publicly available, and how it can be obtained, is set out online via the GOV.UK website.

7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he classes fuel meal generated from fallen animal stock as renewable energy.

The Renewable Obligation defines biomass to be any material, other than fossil fuel, which is, or is derived directly or indirectly from, plant matter, animal matter, fungi, algae or bacteria. The Government only supports renewable energy generation from biomass that complies with strict sustainability criteria.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress his Department has made on implementing proposals to introduce a Home shipbuilding credit guarantee scheme to support the development of UK shipbuilding.

The Department has consulted upon the reintroduction of a Home Shipbuilding Credit Guarantee Scheme as a potential contribution to a refreshed National Shipbuilding Strategy. The case for the scheme is currently under consideration and a final decision will be announced in due course.

The Government already offers a range of financial support instruments to businesses through the British Business Bank and through UK Export Finance.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the number of ivory items owned by or collated by his Department.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is not aware of any items of ivory owned by or collated by the Department.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency on his proposals for Net Zero Plus.

The UK is already leading the fight against climate change as we work to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In setting our carbon emission ambitions, we take advice from the Climate Change Committee, an independent, statutory body which provides expert advice to Government on climate change mitigation and adaptation. Adapting to, as well as mitigating, the inevitable changes in our climate is vital. That is why, we are taking robust action to improve the resilience of our people, economy and environment.

We work closely with Defra on net zero and support their work on adaptation. My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State engages regularly with his DEFRA counterpart, including through the Climate Action Committees.

The Environment Agency plays an important role in helping to achieve net zero, for example, as part of the Nature for Climate Fund, it is planting over 850,000 trees, providing carbon savings that will help us to achieve our carbon budgets, while also helping to improve flood resilience and air quality and provide habitat for wildlife.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect on levels of employment and investment in the South West of the Met Office locating part of its new super-computer overseas.

The location of the new Met Office supercomputer is subject to an ongoing procurement exercise. The Met Office Statement of Requirements stated that at least 50% of the solutions capability must be in the UK. The Met Office left the Prime Bidders to propose locations and work with their supply chains on suitable bids. While the procurement is ongoing the integrity of the process must be maintained, in strict accordance with Government procurement rules. It is not possible to comment further at this stage due to the commercial sensitivity of the procurement process. Nevertheless, the capability sustained by the new supercomputer will support many high tech and skilled jobs through Met Office staff, suppliers and partners, primarily in the South West related to the Met Office Headquarters in Exeter.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has had discussions with the Met Office on its plan to locate part of its new super-computer abroad.

The location of the new Met Office supercomputer is subject to an ongoing procurement exercise. The Met Office Statement of Requirements stated that at least 50% of the solutions capability must be in the UK. The Met Office left the Prime Bidders to propose locations and work with their supply chains on suitable bids. While the procurement is ongoing the integrity of the process must be maintained, in strict accordance with Government procurement rules. It is not possible to comment further at this stage due to the commercial sensitivity of the procurement process.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when the net zero strategy will be published; and whether it will include the emissions reductions required to meet the UK’s 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution of reducing emissions by 68 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

The Government will publish a comprehensive Net Zero Strategy this year, ahead of COP26. The strategy will set out our vision for transitioning to a net zero economy so we can make the most of new growth and employment opportunities across the UK.

We have a robust legislative framework in place to ensure that the government is meeting its climate targets. The Climate Change Act 2008 introduced our innovative framework of carbon budgets to ensure continued progress towards our climate targets. The carbon budgets currently set in legislation cover the period between 2008 to 2032 and are among the most stringent in the world, requiring the equivalent of a 57% cut in emissions by 2030 from a 1990 baseline. We will set the sixth carbon budget this year and will set out our plans on continuing to meet our climate targets.

Through my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan and our Energy White Paper, we have set out concrete steps we will take to build back greener from the pandemic and reach net zero emissions by 2050. Over the coming months, in addition to the Net Zero Strategy, we will bring forward further bold proposals to cut emissions and create new jobs and industries across the whole country.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the three-month expiry date on the Green House Grant scheme vouchers.

Homeowners are able to request, at any time before their Green Homes Grant voucher has expired, an extension to their voucher. Several factors such as winter weather conditions, COVID-19 and Christmas may have an impact on the speed at which certain measures may be installed. In order to take account of this, we have instructed the scheme administrator to, on request, extend vouchers by an additional 3 months, or until 31 March 2021 (whichever is earlier).

9th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to introduce legislative proposals to require all households to have smart meters by June 2021.

Smart meters are replacing traditional gas and electricity meters in Great Britain as part of an essential infrastructure upgrade to make the energy system more efficient and flexible, enabling the cost-effective delivery of net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy suppliers are required by licence conditions to take all reasonable steps to install smart meters in homes and small businesses. This obligation will expire at the end of June 2021 and will be replaced with a new four-year policy framework from 1 July 2021 with fixed annual installation targets for energy suppliers to drive the consistent, long-term investment needed to ensure that everyone can benefit from smart meters.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the chemical industry on potential chemicals stockpiling before the end of the transition period.

Ministers and officials are engaging regularly with representatives across the chemicals industry on all areas relating to the end of the transition period.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what advice he has given to local authorities on providing financial support for fox hunts from covid-19 funding schemes during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government put forward an unprecedented package of support, including loan schemes, grant funding and wage packages, to help as many individuals and business as possible during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This support package included the?Small Business Grants Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund (RHLGF) which was provided via local authorities to support small businesses and businesses in some of the sectors?hardest hit by the measures taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The Government also created a Local Authority Discretionary Grants Scheme to ensure that local authorities could use their knowledge and discretion to direct funds to businesses not covered by the SBGF or the RHLGF. In recognition that economic need varied across the country, government set some national criteria for this fund but allowed local authorities to determine which cases to support within those criteria.

The guidance provided to local authorities on all three of these schemes are available on gov.uk. No specific advice in respect of fox hunts was provided to local authorities as part of the guidance around these schemes.

17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to expand the powers of the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate to include workers employed by umbrella bodies in enforcing the provisions of the Employment Agencies Act 1973.

We have already made significant progress in improving the rights of agency workers, in particular by increasing the information they receive about pay rates, including when they are employed by umbrella companies.

The Government has committed to expand the remit of the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate to include umbrella companies. In the Queen’s Speech we announced our intention to bring forward an Employment Bill. We will bring forward detailed proposals on future legislation in due course.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, for what reasons the £2 billion of funding to help homeowners and landlords make their homes more energy-efficient in 2020-21 announced in the Chancellor's Plan for Jobs does not include water efficiency measures.

In his Summer Economic Update, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a £2bn Green Home Grant scheme that will support homeowners and landlords in England to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, reducing energy bills and carbon emissions, and supporting a green economic recovery.

The funding will be spent on paying for accredited tradespeople to install a range of measures, for example insulation, to improve the energy performance of their homes. Further detail on the range of measures will be announced in the coming days, before the full launch.

14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what differences were identified between physiotherapists and sport therapists which led to the Government issuing guidance for those businesses to reopen on separate dates as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased.

Close contact services – which includes sports and massage therapy – in England, except Leicester, were able to reopen from Monday 13 July, subject to them following the COVID-secure guidelines.

2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the evidential basis is for the decision to delay the reopening of sports therapists in England; and what comparative assessment he has made between that evidence and that used by the devolved Administrations to reopen sports therapists in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

We’ve now provided close contact services, including sports therapists in England except Leicester, with the certainty they need to reopen from Monday 13 July, subject to them following the Government’s 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).

Hairdressers were the initial phase of safely reopening close contact services, and we are now assured that the necessary steps can be taken to reopen the rest of the sector.

11th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to bring forward legislative proposals on allergen labelling for (a) toothpaste and (b) other non food items that can contain milk protein.

The Government has no plans to bring forward legislative proposals on allergen labelling for toothpaste and other non-food items that contain milk protein.

19th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make it her policy only to back bids for major sporting events from nations which uphold LGBT+ rights.

Sport operates independently of the government, therefore the government does not back bids from other nations for major sporting events.

The Government has frank conversations at international level with our counterparts around the world on human rights issues, including LGBT rights, and we will continue to have those conversations.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the provisions included in Paragraph 74 of the Electronic Communications Code, what assessment she has made of telecoms operators’ ability to (a) fly lines between BT poles on private land and (b) install the necessary apparatus on BT poles on private land.

The Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill includes measures that are intended to make it easier for operators to deploy, upgrade and share telecommunications infrastructure, while protecting the rights and interests of individual landowners.

The De Minimis Impact Assessment (which can be accessed here) sets out the overall potential benefits that the Bill will deliver. Access to robust and reliable connectivity is critical to our future economic prosperity. The reforms we are bringing forward through the Bill will help achieve that goal.

The measures in the Bill were carefully developed to balance the public benefits they can deliver and any interference with individual property rights.

However, since the Bill was introduced, stakeholders have indicated that additional, substantial public benefit may be achieved if upgrading and sharing is more readily available, particularly in relation to telegraph poles installed on private land before 2017.

My officials are discussing this point with stakeholders to test the impact of the present proposals and to understand whether the correct balance has been achieved. If appropriate, changes will be considered.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential effect on full fibre rollout of the provisions included in the Product Security & Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill to allow operators to access existing infrastructure under private land without the need to agree a new wayleave.

The Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill includes measures that are intended to make it easier for operators to deploy, upgrade and share telecommunications infrastructure, while protecting the rights and interests of individual landowners.

The De Minimis Impact Assessment (which can be accessed here) sets out the overall potential benefits that the Bill will deliver. Access to robust and reliable connectivity is critical to our future economic prosperity. The reforms we are bringing forward through the Bill will help achieve that goal.

The measures in the Bill were carefully developed to balance the public benefits they can deliver and any interference with individual property rights.

However, since the Bill was introduced, stakeholders have indicated that additional, substantial public benefit may be achieved if upgrading and sharing is more readily available, particularly in relation to telegraph poles installed on private land before 2017.

My officials are discussing this point with stakeholders to test the impact of the present proposals and to understand whether the correct balance has been achieved. If appropriate, changes will be considered.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether she plans to amend the Electronic Communications Code to allow fixed line telecoms operators to install apparatus on poles erected before 2017 without the need for a new wayleave agreement.

The Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill includes measures that are intended to make it easier for operators to deploy, upgrade and share telecommunications infrastructure, while protecting the rights and interests of individual landowners.

The De Minimis Impact Assessment (which can be accessed here) sets out the overall potential benefits that the Bill will deliver. Access to robust and reliable connectivity is critical to our future economic prosperity. The reforms we are bringing forward through the Bill will help achieve that goal.

The measures in the Bill were carefully developed to balance the public benefits they can deliver and any interference with individual property rights.

However, since the Bill was introduced, stakeholders have indicated that additional, substantial public benefit may be achieved if upgrading and sharing is more readily available, particularly in relation to telegraph poles installed on private land before 2017.

My officials are discussing this point with stakeholders to test the impact of the present proposals and to understand whether the correct balance has been achieved. If appropriate, changes will be considered.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the number of ivory items owned by or collated by her Department.

We have not made any estimates of the number of ivory items owned by or collated in this Department or institutions owned or managed by the Government.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what support the Government is providing to help ensure that museum curatorial staff are able to continue scientific work during the period of new national covid-19 lockdown from 5 November 2020.

Museums and galleries have been ordered to close under the national restrictions. In line with the regulations, curatorial staff are still able to undertake their work on site where it is not reasonably possible for them to do so from home.

Museums and galleries have made their workplaces Covid secure, in line with the guidance produced by the National Museums Directors’ Council with support from DCMS.

The Government has provided substantial financial support for museums through the Culture Recovery Fund, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, and other measures, which will help museums, and other cultural organisations, continue their important work.

4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans he has to provide additional financial support for outdoor archery clubs during the period of new national covid-19 lockdown restrictions from 5 November 2020.

Sports and physical activity providers and facilities are at the heart of our communities, and play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active.

Government has provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, which many sport clubs have benefited from. On 22 October, the Government announced a £100m support fund for local authority leisure centres. In addition, Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund has also provided £210 million directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic.

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

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Sep 2020
5G
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to create a nationwide 5G network.

The Government is committed to the delivery of world-class digital infrastructure, including 5G, across the UK. Our ambition is for the majority of the population to have access to a 5G signal by 2027.

All four mobile network operators have launched 5G networks, with 5G services now available in over 100 towns and cities across the UK. Whilst the vast majority of investment in 5G will be made by industry, the department is funding the research and trials of 5G networks through the £200m 5G Testbeds and Trials Programme which invests in targeted projects across the UK to build the commercial case for 5G.

The Government is also committed to reducing the barriers to the deployment of mobile infrastructure. As part of this, the Government has announced that, subject to a technical consultation, it intends to take forward reforms to the planning system to support the deployment of 5G and extend mobile coverage. The Government also intends to consult on whether changes to the Electronic Communications Code are needed to support these aims.

30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to ensure that Huawei is removed from the UK 5G network.

The Government has set out a clear timetable for the removal of Huawei equipment from 5G networks by 2027. To go further and faster beyond a 2027 target would add considerable - and unnecessary - further costs and delays. And the shorter we make the timetable for removal, the greater the risk of actual disruption to mobile telecoms networks.

Not all operators use Huawei. For those operators that do use Huawei, individual pathways to comply with the 2027 deadline will be a commercial decision for the individual operators.

The forthcoming Telecommunications (Security) Bill will provide the powers to place this timetable on a clear legal footing. In the meantime Ministers and senior officials are working with affected operators to ensure long term compliance.

30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what estimate he has made of the length of time it will take to remove Huawei from the UK 5G network.

The Government has set out a clear timetable for the removal of Huawei equipment from 5G networks by 2027. To go further and faster beyond a 2027 target would add considerable - and unnecessary - further costs and delays. And the shorter we make the timetable for removal, the greater the risk of actual disruption to mobile telecoms networks.

Not all operators use Huawei. For those operators that do use Huawei, individual pathways to comply with the 2027 deadline will be a commercial decision for the individual operators.

The forthcoming Telecommunications (Security) Bill will provide the powers to place this timetable on a clear legal footing. In the meantime Ministers and senior officials are working with affected operators to ensure long term compliance.

30th Sep 2020
5G
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what progress he has made in appointing another company to replace Huawei as a 5G supplier.

Ultimately it is the responsibility of the mobile network operators to appoint suppliers to replace Huawei in their 5G networks. This will be based on their specific commercial and technical requirements.

The Government’s work on telecoms security will ensure that security and resilience are also primary considerations for operators as they make those decisions.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals on the regulation of loot boxes in computer games.

On 8 June 2020 in its response to the DCMS Select Committee Immersive and Addictive Technologies inquiry, the government announced its intention to run a call for evidence on loot boxes. This will launch shortly and will seek detailed information on the impact of loot boxes on players, particularly children and young people.

The government takes concerns around potential harms from loot boxes very seriously and stands ready to take action should the outcomes of the call for evidence support taking a new approach to ensure users are better protected.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the level of transmission of covid-19 between individuals in (a) professional and (b) amateur choirs that requires them to be dealt with differently in guidance.

DCMS has always been clear that the Performing Arts guidance would be updated on the basis of the latest science and public health context.

The PERFORM study (published 20 August) has indicated that it is the cumulative aerosol transmission from both those performing in and attending events that is likely to create the risk of transmission. As a result of these findings we have updated the Performing Arts guidance to confirm that non-professionals can now engage in all activities, including singing, wind and brass and confirmed that where non-professional groups plan to meet, there are no set limits on the numbers who can be involved when taking place outside and/or in a Covid-secure venue. This is in line with rules on meeting people outside your household for clubs and groups and gatherings in Covid-secure venues.

Organisations must ensure that they carry out an appropriate COVID-19 risk assessment and that individuals are socially distanced at all times. Organisations will want to minimise risk as far as possible and the Performing Arts guidance sets out a number of mitigations that should be considered to minimise risk including operating outside where possible, limiting the numbers involved in and duration of activity and considering how ventilation can be improved.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he expects to issue guidance on when amateur choirs can (a) rehearse together and (b) perform in person as covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

DCMS has always been clear that the Performing Arts guidance would be updated on the basis of the latest science and public health context.

The PERFORM study (published 20 August) has indicated that it is the cumulative aerosol transmission from both those performing in and attending events that is likely to create the risk of transmission. As a result of these findings we have updated the Performing Arts guidance to confirm that non-professionals can now engage in all activities, including singing, wind and brass and confirmed that where non-professional groups plan to meet, there are no set limits on the numbers who can be involved when taking place outside and/or in a Covid-secure venue. This is in line with rules on meeting people outside your household for clubs and groups and gatherings in Covid-secure venues.

Organisations must ensure that they carry out an appropriate COVID-19 risk assessment and that individuals are socially distanced at all times. Organisations will want to minimise risk as far as possible and the Performing Arts guidance sets out a number of mitigations that should be considered to minimise risk including operating outside where possible, limiting the numbers involved in and duration of activity and considering how ventilation can be improved.

13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what financial support the Government provides to local authorities for the purposes of investing in early intervention services.

In 2021/22, local authority gross expenditure on children's and young people's services was £11.9 billion. For 2023/24, the Local Government Finance Settlement has made available up to £59.7 billion for all local government services in England, including spending on early intervention. This is an increase in Core Spending Power of 9.4% in cash terms on 2022/23. How local authorities choose to target that funding across services is down to the discretion of local leaders.

In terms of ongoing funding, the department needs to ensure children’s services are sustainable in the long term. That is key to proposals in the ‘Stable Homes, Built on Love’ strategy, where we are focusing on early, preventative help which can reduce the need for crisis intervention later.

In the lead up to the next Spending Review, the Government will work to ensure the right level of funding for all Children’s Services, including early intervention.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that local authorities have adequate funding to invest in early intervention services.

In 2021/22, local authority gross expenditure on children's and young people's services was £11.9 billion. For 2023/24, the Local Government Finance Settlement has made available up to £59.7 billion for all local government services in England, including spending on early intervention. This is an increase in Core Spending Power of 9.4% in cash terms on 2022/23. How local authorities choose to target that funding across services is down to the discretion of local leaders.

In terms of ongoing funding, the department needs to ensure children’s services are sustainable in the long term. That is key to proposals in the ‘Stable Homes, Built on Love’ strategy, where we are focusing on early, preventative help which can reduce the need for crisis intervention later.

In the lead up to the next Spending Review, the Government will work to ensure the right level of funding for all Children’s Services, including early intervention.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Oct 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to reduce the number of children in residential care.

The government published its plans to reform children’s social care on 2 February 2023 through an implementation strategy and consultation, entitled ‘Stable Homes, Built on Love’. This can be found at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1147317/Children_s_social_care_stable_homes_consultation_February_2023.pdf. A central aim of the strategy is to keep children safely with their families, or extended family, where this is in the best interests of the child.

The department is investing more than £45 million over the next two years through ‘Families First for Children Pathfinders’ to design and test complex reforms in a number of local areas, across family help, child protection and family network policies. Additionally, we will also be publishing the first ever national Kinship Care Strategy by the end of 2023, which will explore how to better support kinship carers financially and practically.

Whilst the government recognises the importance of reducing the number of residential care placements for children and young people, residential care can be the right option for some children. Therefore, the department is also supporting local authorities to expand their own provision, which will reduce reliance on the private sector, without reducing the number of placements. We have announced £259 million of capital funding up to 2025 to address concerns in the children’s homes market, and create a market that is more attuned to the needs of local children.

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
13th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which Ministers sit on the cross-government ministerial board for care leavers; how many times the board has met in the last 12 months; and if she will publish the board's minutes for the last 12 months.

The Care Leavers Inter-Ministerial Board is co-chaired by the Secretary of State for Education, and the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. Ministers that sit on the Board include:

  • Minister for Children, Families and Wellbeing
  • Minister for Veterans’ Affairs (and Cross-Government lead for Care Leavers)
  • Chief Secretary to the Treasury
  • Minister of State for Justice
  • Minister for Safeguarding
  • Minister for Social Mobility, Youth and Progression
  • Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business
  • Minister for Primary Care and Public Health
  • Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport, Gambling and Civil Society
  • Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Roads and Local Transport
  • Minister for Energy Consumers and Affordability
  • Minister for Defence People, Veterans and Service Families

The Ministerial Board has met twice in the last year. Minutes of meetings are not published.

Claire Coutinho
Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero
15th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she has made an assessment of the potential impact of universities deducting wages of staff that engage in industrial action on levels of participation in industrial action in that sector.

The full impact of the marking and assessment boycotts will not be known until the end of June 2023, which is after the exam boards are due to have convened. This is because some institutions will not know until then whether their staff are participating in the boycotts.

The Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) has surveyed its members to gain an estimate of the impact of the marking boycott. 58% of its members responded, to outline that:

  • Half of the institutions who responded were confident that less than 5% of academic staff would partake in the marking boycott. 22% reported that between 5% and 10% of academics were likely to be taking part.
  • 38% of institutions who responded were unsure of the level of impact.
  • Half of the institutions who responded expected that less than 10% of students would be impacted.

Universities are taking a variety of measures to mitigate the impact of the marking boycott and minimise the disruption, including by reallocating marking to other staff members and hiring external markers. The specific mitigating actions will be different for every institution, as each institution will be impacted in different ways.

Robert Halfon
Minister of State (Education)
8th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has plans to introduce a Ukrainian language GCSE.

Awarding Organisations (AOs) can produce a GCSE in any modern language. This decision would be informed by several factors, including the level of demand from schools and the proportion of the population in the UK speaking the language. There is no reason why a GCSE in Ukrainian could not be introduced, but it would be at the discretion of AOs to determine whether there was a strong case to do so.

There are currently 18 GCSEs in different modern languages produced and offered by AOs in England. The specification for these qualifications must meet the Department’s GCSE subject content requirements for modern languages, and be accredited by the independent qualifications regulator, Ofqual. The development and accreditation of a new GCSE would take at least two years.

Departmental officials have been working with AOs on creating an Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in Ukrainian. Person Edexcel recently published new guidance on using the Level 3 (EPQ) in Ukrainian to help Ukrainian students work towards a qualification that can complement their studies in the UK.

31st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the process is for recovering a Multiple Academy Trust who declares bankruptcy or insolvency.

The financial health of the academies sector is strong. The Department recognises that, in the current climate, some trusts may be facing financial difficulty, including those in Plymouth and across the country. Where that is the case, the Education and Skills Funding Agency will work with the trust and offer practical forms of support, including additional financial support, to protect the education of their pupils where necessary. This forms part of the wider Departmental oversight of financial, educational and governance delivery in the sector.

The primary responsibility for the oversight of an academy trust rests with its trustees who must deliver strong governance, monitor the financial health of their trust, and ensure they remain as a going concern. The requirements and responsibilities for trustees on managing a going concern are set out in the Financial Reporting Council's Guidance on the Going Concern in the Academy Accounts Direction and the Academy Trust Handbook.

The Department supports all schools through the School Resource Management (SRM) suite of tools and services, which help ensure that every school and academy trust can obtain the best value from their resources.

31st Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of schools that are at risk of declaring bankruptcy or insolvency in 2023 in (a) England and (b) Plymouth.

The financial health of the academies sector is strong. The Department recognises that, in the current climate, some trusts may be facing financial difficulty, including those in Plymouth and across the country. Where that is the case, the Education and Skills Funding Agency will work with the trust and offer practical forms of support, including additional financial support, to protect the education of their pupils where necessary. This forms part of the wider Departmental oversight of financial, educational and governance delivery in the sector.

The primary responsibility for the oversight of an academy trust rests with its trustees who must deliver strong governance, monitor the financial health of their trust, and ensure they remain as a going concern. The requirements and responsibilities for trustees on managing a going concern are set out in the Financial Reporting Council's Guidance on the Going Concern in the Academy Accounts Direction and the Academy Trust Handbook.

The Department supports all schools through the School Resource Management (SRM) suite of tools and services, which help ensure that every school and academy trust can obtain the best value from their resources.

18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Adoption strategy, published in July 2021, what recent progress his Department has made on working with the regional adoption agencies Leaders Group to (a) trial and develop good practice and (b) set national standards in (i) supporting birth families and (ii) contact arrangements.

The government is determined to respond to the challenges set by the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care and will consider the recommendations carefully. As set out in our adoption strategy paper, improving contact for children, birth families, and adoptive parents is a key priority.

The adoption strategy commits us to working with regional adoption agencies to develop and trial what good practice around contact looks like, with a view to setting national standards in this area. This includes investigating what support is needed for children, birth parents, and adoptive parents. Regional adoption agencies are currently trialling a programme called ‘Letterswap’, which is a new digital platform to improve the current ‘Letterbox’ system.

In addition, the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board has established a ‘Maintaining relationships for children’ sub-group. It has a remit to improve children’s understanding of their identity to improve their ability to reach their potential as adults. This group’s work will complement that of regional adoption agency leaders to help develop good practice around contact which can be shared with adoption agencies across the country.

18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the independent review of children’s social care: Final report, published in May 2022, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of implementing that report's recommendations regarding (a) contact in general and (b) letterbox contact.

The government is determined to respond to the challenges set by the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care and will consider the recommendations carefully. As set out in our adoption strategy paper, improving contact for children, birth families, and adoptive parents is a key priority.

The adoption strategy commits us to working with regional adoption agencies to develop and trial what good practice around contact looks like, with a view to setting national standards in this area. This includes investigating what support is needed for children, birth parents, and adoptive parents. Regional adoption agencies are currently trialling a programme called ‘Letterswap’, which is a new digital platform to improve the current ‘Letterbox’ system.

In addition, the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board has established a ‘Maintaining relationships for children’ sub-group. It has a remit to improve children’s understanding of their identity to improve their ability to reach their potential as adults. This group’s work will complement that of regional adoption agency leaders to help develop good practice around contact which can be shared with adoption agencies across the country.

18th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to The independent review of children’s social care, published in May 2022, and the Government's commitment in response that it will set up a National Implementation Board of sector experts, published on 23 May 2022, whether his Department has plans to (a) engage with birth parents through and (b) include representation of birth parents in that Board.

The National Implementation Board will support and challenge the department’s delivery of the children’s social care reform programme. It will be attended by those with expertise in leading transformational change, but also individuals with direct experience of the care system, which can include birth parents. The department will be working with charities over the summer on an application process for appointing these members to the Board. We are committed to ensuring those with lived experience are at the heart of our agenda.

30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to to help ensure that the recruitment target for religious education teachers in secondary schools is met. .

Legislation does not specify that teachers must have a post-A level qualification in a particular subject or discipline. It is the Teachers’ Standards that specify the subject knowledge required for the award of qualified teacher status. All trainee teachers must meet these by the time they complete their training.

25.2% of religious education (RE) hours taught were by a teacher with no relevant post-A level qualification in that subject in the 2019/20 academic year. This compares with 12.2% across English Baccalaureate subjects.

Information on subjects taught and teacher post-A level qualifications is published in the annual ‘school workforce in England’ statistical publication at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england/2019.

To reduce the burden on schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, schools were not required to provide information on teacher qualifications in the November 2020 school workforce census. Therefore, the information provided relates to the 2019 school workforce census. Figures for the 2021/22 academic year will be published in June 2022.

The bursaries that the department offers for initial teacher training (ITT) are intended to incentivise applications to ITT courses. The department reviews the bursaries on offer 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 in RE (129% of target). In the 2021/22 academic year, the equivalent target for RE was extremely close to being met (99% of target). As a result, the department has focused the bursaries on subjects where it is hardest to attract sufficient applicants. The department will review the need for financial incentives across all subjects again, using the latest available data, before announcing the bursaries for the 2023/24 academic year.

RE trainee teachers can apply for student finance. This includes a tuition fee loan, maintenance loan and additional means-tested funding for trainees in particular circumstances, including those with children, adult dependants, or a disability. Trainees on employment-based courses are ineligible for student finance as they earn a salary whilst they train instead.

The department continues to support RE trainee teacher recruitment through subject knowledge enhancement courses. These are available for applicants who have the potential to become outstanding teachers, but who need to increase their subject knowledge before the Teachers’ Standards can be met.

30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Schools White Paper, what estimate he has made of the proportion of hours of religious education hours taught by teachers with no post A level qualification in that subject in comparison to other subjects in the curriculum.

Legislation does not specify that teachers must have a post-A level qualification in a particular subject or discipline. It is the Teachers’ Standards that specify the subject knowledge required for the award of qualified teacher status. All trainee teachers must meet these by the time they complete their training.

25.2% of religious education (RE) hours taught were by a teacher with no relevant post-A level qualification in that subject in the 2019/20 academic year. This compares with 12.2% across English Baccalaureate subjects.

Information on subjects taught and teacher post-A level qualifications is published in the annual ‘school workforce in England’ statistical publication at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england/2019.

To reduce the burden on schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, schools were not required to provide information on teacher qualifications in the November 2020 school workforce census. Therefore, the information provided relates to the 2019 school workforce census. Figures for the 2021/22 academic year will be published in June 2022.

The bursaries that the department offers for initial teacher training (ITT) are intended to incentivise applications to ITT courses. The department reviews the bursaries on offer 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 in RE (129% of target). In the 2021/22 academic year, the equivalent target for RE was extremely close to being met (99% of target). As a result, the department has focused the bursaries on subjects where it is hardest to attract sufficient applicants. The department will review the need for financial incentives across all subjects again, using the latest available data, before announcing the bursaries for the 2023/24 academic year.

RE trainee teachers can apply for student finance. This includes a tuition fee loan, maintenance loan and additional means-tested funding for trainees in particular circumstances, including those with children, adult dependants, or a disability. Trainees on employment-based courses are ineligible for student finance as they earn a salary whilst they train instead.

The department continues to support RE trainee teacher recruitment through subject knowledge enhancement courses. These are available for applicants who have the potential to become outstanding teachers, but who need to increase their subject knowledge before the Teachers’ Standards can be met.

30th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Schools White Paper, what plans he has to help ensure there is (a) adequate funding for and (b) uptake of ITT bursaries for religious education; and if he will make a statement.

Legislation does not specify that teachers must have a post-A level qualification in a particular subject or discipline. It is the Teachers’ Standards that specify the subject knowledge required for the award of qualified teacher status. All trainee teachers must meet these by the time they complete their training.

25.2% of religious education (RE) hours taught were by a teacher with no relevant post-A level qualification in that subject in the 2019/20 academic year. This compares with 12.2% across English Baccalaureate subjects.

Information on subjects taught and teacher post-A level qualifications is published in the annual ‘school workforce in England’ statistical publication at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/school-workforce-in-england/2019.

To reduce the burden on schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, schools were not required to provide information on teacher qualifications in the November 2020 school workforce census. Therefore, the information provided relates to the 2019 school workforce census. Figures for the 2021/22 academic year will be published in June 2022.

The bursaries that the department offers for initial teacher training (ITT) are intended to incentivise applications to ITT courses. The department reviews the bursaries on offer 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 in RE (129% of target). In the 2021/22 academic year, the equivalent target for RE was extremely close to being met (99% of target). As a result, the department has focused the bursaries on subjects where it is hardest to attract sufficient applicants. The department will review the need for financial incentives across all subjects again, using the latest available data, before announcing the bursaries for the 2023/24 academic year.

RE trainee teachers can apply for student finance. This includes a tuition fee loan, maintenance loan and additional means-tested funding for trainees in particular circumstances, including those with children, adult dependants, or a disability. Trainees on employment-based courses are ineligible for student finance as they earn a salary whilst they train instead.

The department continues to support RE trainee teacher recruitment through subject knowledge enhancement courses. These are available for applicants who have the potential to become outstanding teachers, but who need to increase their subject knowledge before the Teachers’ Standards can be met.

25th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much funding he plans to release to schools for improving ventilation to reduce covid-19 infection rates in the next 12 months.

We have provided CO2 monitors to state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education providers, backed by £25 million in government funding. As of 11 February 2022, we have delivered 361,999 CO2 monitors to over 99% of eligible education providers, exceeding our public commitment. Final deliveries to a small number of providers will be completed by mid-March.

Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in the majority of education providers, existing ventilation measures are sufficient. Where any issues are identified, in most cases, we expect this to be resolved by opening windows and doors, or, in some cases, minor estate repairs may be needed. Day to day maintenance and minor repairs, including those to improve ventilation, should typically be funded from school revenue budgets. Schools also receive an annual devolved formula capital allocation to spend on small capital projects or capital purchases. For more substantial capital works, schools and those responsible for school buildings have access to funding to improve the condition of buildings through different routes depending on their size and type.

For the very few cases where maintaining good ventilation is not possible, we are supplying up to a total of 9,000 air cleaning units in response to this feedback to education providers. As of 24 January 2022, 1,265 providers were eligible to receive air cleaning units. These were allocated to providers based on need, using the eligibility criteria we have set out in our guidance. The majority of eligible education providers have now received their deliveries of air cleaning units.

The case for additional support for education providers will be kept under review as part of our overall response to the COVID-19 outbreak and we will continue to work with the sector to understand ventilation needs across the education estate.

25th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department is still issuing CO2 monitors to schools to help tackle the spread of covid-19.

We have provided CO2 monitors to state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education providers, backed by £25 million in government funding. As of 11 February 2022, we have delivered 361,999 CO2 monitors to over 99% of eligible education providers, exceeding our public commitment. Final deliveries to a small number of providers will be completed by mid-March.

Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in the majority of education providers, existing ventilation measures are sufficient. Where any issues are identified, in most cases, we expect this to be resolved by opening windows and doors, or, in some cases, minor estate repairs may be needed. Day to day maintenance and minor repairs, including those to improve ventilation, should typically be funded from school revenue budgets. Schools also receive an annual devolved formula capital allocation to spend on small capital projects or capital purchases. For more substantial capital works, schools and those responsible for school buildings have access to funding to improve the condition of buildings through different routes depending on their size and type.

For the very few cases where maintaining good ventilation is not possible, we are supplying up to a total of 9,000 air cleaning units in response to this feedback to education providers. As of 24 January 2022, 1,265 providers were eligible to receive air cleaning units. These were allocated to providers based on need, using the eligibility criteria we have set out in our guidance. The majority of eligible education providers have now received their deliveries of air cleaning units.

The case for additional support for education providers will be kept under review as part of our overall response to the COVID-19 outbreak and we will continue to work with the sector to understand ventilation needs across the education estate.

25th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many CO2 monitors his Department has issued to schools in the last 12 months.

We have provided CO2 monitors to state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education providers, backed by £25 million in government funding. As of 11 February 2022, we have delivered 361,999 CO2 monitors to over 99% of eligible education providers, exceeding our public commitment. Final deliveries to a small number of providers will be completed by mid-March.

Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in the majority of education providers, existing ventilation measures are sufficient. Where any issues are identified, in most cases, we expect this to be resolved by opening windows and doors, or, in some cases, minor estate repairs may be needed. Day to day maintenance and minor repairs, including those to improve ventilation, should typically be funded from school revenue budgets. Schools also receive an annual devolved formula capital allocation to spend on small capital projects or capital purchases. For more substantial capital works, schools and those responsible for school buildings have access to funding to improve the condition of buildings through different routes depending on their size and type.

For the very few cases where maintaining good ventilation is not possible, we are supplying up to a total of 9,000 air cleaning units in response to this feedback to education providers. As of 24 January 2022, 1,265 providers were eligible to receive air cleaning units. These were allocated to providers based on need, using the eligibility criteria we have set out in our guidance. The majority of eligible education providers have now received their deliveries of air cleaning units.

The case for additional support for education providers will be kept under review as part of our overall response to the COVID-19 outbreak and we will continue to work with the sector to understand ventilation needs across the education estate.

24th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the command paper entitled Higher Education Policy Statement & Reform Consultation, CP 617, published on 24 February 2022, what plans the Government has to ensure that those who take maternity leave are not penalised with higher-than-average increases in lifetime student loan repayments.

We want a sustainable student finance system that is fair to students and taxpayers – and which continues to enable anyone with the ability and the ambition to benefit from higher education to do so. The student finance system will continue to protect borrowers, including women on maternity leave, or any person on any form of parental leave, if they see a reduction in their income.

Student loan repayments are made based on a borrower’s monthly or weekly income, not the interest rate or amount borrowed, and no repayments are made for earnings below the relevant repayment threshold. Repayments are calculated as a fixed percentage of earnings above the relevant repayment threshold - if a borrower’s income drops, so do their repayments. Any outstanding debt, including interest accrued, is written off at the end of the loan term with no detriment to the borrower. No commercial loans offer this level of borrower protection.

If, at the end of the year, the borrower’s total income is below the relevant annual threshold, they may reclaim any repayments from the Student Loans Company made during that year.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, following the publication of the Adoption strategy, what steps his Department has taken to improve the Letterbox contact system.

Local authorities have a legal duty to provide a comprehensive adoption service. This specifically includes, ‘Assistance, including mediation services, in relation to arrangements for contact between an adoptive child and a natural parent, natural sibling, former guardian or a related person of the adoptive child’.

As set out in our published ‘Adoption Strategy: achieving excellence everywhere’ we are working with local authorities and Regional Adoption Agencies to improve support around contact with birth relatives, including letterbox contact. This will include working closely with birth parents and those with lived experiences. The strategy can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/adoption-strategy-achieving-excellence-everywhere.

More details on actions to improve contact will be confirmed in due course.

18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools have signed-up to receive support from the National School Breakfast Programme in the 2021-22 academic year.

The government is committed to continuing support for school breakfast clubs and we are investing up to £24 million to continue our national programme until July 2023. This funding will support up to 2,500 schools in disadvantaged areas, meaning that thousands of children from low-income families will be offered free nutritious breakfasts to better support their attainment, wellbeing and readiness to learn.

The enrolment process is still underway for schools that wish to sign up to the programme. As of 22 December 2021, 1,245 schools had signed up and 847 schools had placed food orders. We will work with our supplier Family Action to monitor the data and consider suitable opportunities to share more information on the programme as it progresses.

The government recognises the contribution school breakfasts can make to children's wellbeing and learning. Alongside our national programme, there are also a number of organisations providing valuable support to schools with a breakfast provision.

31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which subjects have (a) met their teacher recruitment targets and (b) received funding for initial teacher training bursaries in each of last five years.

The attached tables show whether subjects met postgraduate initial teacher training (ITT) recruitment targets (Table 1), and/or received postgraduate ITT bursaries (Table 2) for academic years 2017/18 to 2021/22.

We publish the ITT census detailing the numbers of new entrants to ITT in England in each academic year annually. This data is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-teacher-training#census-data. We also publish the ITT bursaries on an annual basis and previous bursaries can be accessed in ITT funding publications. This information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/funding-initial-teacher-training-itt.

24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 13 January 2022 to Question 99046 on Schools: Air Conditioning, how many of the additional 7,000 air purifiers to increase classroom ventilation, announced on 2 January 2022, will be allocated to schools in (a) Plymouth, (b) Devon and Cornwall and (c) the South West.

Air cleaning units were allocated to settings based on need, using the eligibility criteria we have set out in our guidance: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/12cU_I5q0v1_my97yPMpb87RsSL5d5lpj.

As of 24 January, 1,265 providers that applied for department-funded air cleaning units were eligible for air cleaning units, including 2 providers in Plymouth and 25 providers in Devon and Cornwall. Please note that we do not hold information by geographical region. We are currently finalising the total number of units allocated to providers. This will depend on the needs identified by eligible providers, including the number of people using the room(s).

The total number of eligible providers mirrors published summary findings from the department’s survey of the use of CO2 monitors, which show that only 3% of providers using carbon dioxide monitors reported sustained high carbon dioxide readings that couldn’t otherwise be addressed. This is available to view here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/co2-monitor-survey-and-applications-for-air-cleaning-units.

The total number of air cleaning units that providers have applied for was just over 8,000. Up to an additional 1,000 units have now been ordered, bringing the total number of units available up to 9,000, allowing all eligible applications to be fulfilled.

6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the date by which every classroom in Plymouth will have upgraded ventilation to tackle covid-19 concerns.

During the autumn term, the department provided over 353,000 CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding. Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in the majority of schools, colleges and nurseries, existing ventilation measures are sufficient.

Maintaining adequate ventilation remains the responsibility of individual providers. Where an area of poor ventilation has been identified that cannot be resolved through simple measures such as opening doors and windows, schools are advised to explore what remedial works may be required to improve ventilation. Where it is not possible to maintain adequate ventilation, it may be appropriate to consider the use of an air cleaning unit while the underlying ventilation issue is addressed.

When used properly, air cleaning units can help reduce airborne contaminants in a poorly ventilated space, including viruses like COVID-19. Air cleaning units are not a substitute for ventilation and should never be used as a reason to reduce ventilation. They are not necessary in spaces that are adequately ventilated.

The department will also make up to 8,000 air cleaning units available for poorly ventilated teaching spaces in state-funded education providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible. These department-funded units are only available to state-funded schools, colleges and nurseries. The private sector is autonomous and it is up to independent schools to decide on whether they want to purchase air cleaning units.

Deliveries of air cleaning units will start from this week to special educational needs and disabilities and alternative provision providers. These were allocated in the first application round announced in November 2021. The second round of applications is open until 9am on 17 January. All state funded schools, colleges and nurseries can apply.Special and alternative provision providers that were not successful or did not apply in the first round are also eligible to apply in this round. Once applications have closed, all applications will be assessed against strict criteria and allocated to providers based on need. Providers with successful applications will be contacted individually to arrange delivery, with deliveries expected from February 2022.

For those providers that are not eligible for funded units, the online marketplace provides a route to purchasing air cleaning units directly from suppliers at a suitable specification and competitive price. The marketplace can be accessed here: https://s107t01-webapp-v2-01.azurewebsites.net/list/air-cleaning.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have emphasised the importance of ventilation and provided guidance to providers on ventilation requirements. In addition to our existing guidance on ventilation we have provided schools, colleges and nurseries with guidance on how to use the air cleaning units as well as how to order a unit via the marketplace. The application process has been communicated to providers via our Daily Bulletin and we continue to support settings with their queries via the Coronavirus Helpline.

6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the provision of an additional 7,000 air purifiers for increased classroom ventilation announced by his Department on 2 January 2022, whether independent and private schools will receive any of those units.

During the autumn term, the department provided over 353,000 CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding. Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in the majority of schools, colleges and nurseries, existing ventilation measures are sufficient.

Maintaining adequate ventilation remains the responsibility of individual providers. Where an area of poor ventilation has been identified that cannot be resolved through simple measures such as opening doors and windows, schools are advised to explore what remedial works may be required to improve ventilation. Where it is not possible to maintain adequate ventilation, it may be appropriate to consider the use of an air cleaning unit while the underlying ventilation issue is addressed.

When used properly, air cleaning units can help reduce airborne contaminants in a poorly ventilated space, including viruses like COVID-19. Air cleaning units are not a substitute for ventilation and should never be used as a reason to reduce ventilation. They are not necessary in spaces that are adequately ventilated.

The department will also make up to 8,000 air cleaning units available for poorly ventilated teaching spaces in state-funded education providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible. These department-funded units are only available to state-funded schools, colleges and nurseries. The private sector is autonomous and it is up to independent schools to decide on whether they want to purchase air cleaning units.

Deliveries of air cleaning units will start from this week to special educational needs and disabilities and alternative provision providers. These were allocated in the first application round announced in November 2021. The second round of applications is open until 9am on 17 January. All state funded schools, colleges and nurseries can apply.Special and alternative provision providers that were not successful or did not apply in the first round are also eligible to apply in this round. Once applications have closed, all applications will be assessed against strict criteria and allocated to providers based on need. Providers with successful applications will be contacted individually to arrange delivery, with deliveries expected from February 2022.

For those providers that are not eligible for funded units, the online marketplace provides a route to purchasing air cleaning units directly from suppliers at a suitable specification and competitive price. The marketplace can be accessed here: https://s107t01-webapp-v2-01.azurewebsites.net/list/air-cleaning.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have emphasised the importance of ventilation and provided guidance to providers on ventilation requirements. In addition to our existing guidance on ventilation we have provided schools, colleges and nurseries with guidance on how to use the air cleaning units as well as how to order a unit via the marketplace. The application process has been communicated to providers via our Daily Bulletin and we continue to support settings with their queries via the Coronavirus Helpline.

6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to his announcement of the provision of an additional 7,000 air purifiers for increase classroom ventilation on 2 January 2022, how many of those units will be allocated to schools in (a) Plymouth, (b) Devon and Cornwall and (c) the south west region.

During the autumn term, the department provided over 353,000 CO2 monitors to all state-funded education providers, including early years, schools and further education colleges, backed by £25 million in government funding. Feedback suggests that schools are finding the monitors helpful to manage ventilation and, in the majority of schools, colleges and nurseries, existing ventilation measures are sufficient.

Maintaining adequate ventilation remains the responsibility of individual providers. Where an area of poor ventilation has been identified that cannot be resolved through simple measures such as opening doors and windows, schools are advised to explore what remedial works may be required to improve ventilation. Where it is not possible to maintain adequate ventilation, it may be appropriate to consider the use of an air cleaning unit while the underlying ventilation issue is addressed.

When used properly, air cleaning units can help reduce airborne contaminants in a poorly ventilated space, including viruses like COVID-19. Air cleaning units are not a substitute for ventilation and should never be used as a reason to reduce ventilation. They are not necessary in spaces that are adequately ventilated.

The department will also make up to 8,000 air cleaning units available for poorly ventilated teaching spaces in state-funded education providers, where quick fixes to improve ventilation are not possible. These department-funded units are only available to state-funded schools, colleges and nurseries. The private sector is autonomous and it is up to independent schools to decide on whether they want to purchase air cleaning units.

Deliveries of air cleaning units will start from this week to special educational needs and disabilities and alternative provision providers. These were allocated in the first application round announced in November 2021. The second round of applications is open until 9am on 17 January. All state funded schools, colleges and nurseries can apply.Special and alternative provision providers that were not successful or did not apply in the first round are also eligible to apply in this round. Once applications have closed, all applications will be assessed against strict criteria and allocated to providers based on need. Providers with successful applications will be contacted individually to arrange delivery, with deliveries expected from February 2022.

For those providers that are not eligible for funded units, the online marketplace provides a route to purchasing air cleaning units directly from suppliers at a suitable specification and competitive price. The marketplace can be accessed here: https://s107t01-webapp-v2-01.azurewebsites.net/list/air-cleaning.

Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we have emphasised the importance of ventilation and provided guidance to providers on ventilation requirements. In addition to our existing guidance on ventilation we have provided schools, colleges and nurseries with guidance on how to use the air cleaning units as well as how to order a unit via the marketplace. The application process has been communicated to providers via our Daily Bulletin and we continue to support settings with their queries via the Coronavirus Helpline.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what advice his Department has given to Teaching School Hubs on working with subject teacher associations such as the National Association of Teaches of Religious Education in making links with their local teacher network groups and offering wider training for serving teachers.

The key priorities of teaching school hubs are delivery of the early career framework, national professional qualifications, initial teacher training, the appropriate body role, and wider continuing professional development (CPD), in that order. The department has not provided specific advice to teaching school hubs on working with subject teacher associations in developing their wider CPD. Any subject-specific CPD must be aligned with relevant subject-specific programmes funded by the department, such as mathematics hubs.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he made of the potential effect on levels of recruitment of the introduction of initial teacher training bursaries for religious education teachers when developing that policy; and if he will make a statement.

The department offers bursaries for initial teacher training (ITT) to incentivise applications for ITT courses. The bursaries on offer are reviewed each year to take account of factors including historic recruitment, forecasted economic conditions, and teacher supply need in each subject. This provides flexibility in responding to the need to attract new teachers, meaning money is spent where it is most needed.

In the 2020/21 academic year, the department exceeded the postgraduate ITT target in religious education at 129% of the original target. In the 2021/22 academic year, the equivalent target was extremely close to being met, at 99% of the target. As a result, we have focused the bursaries on subjects where it is hardest to attract sufficient applicants. We will review the need for financial incentives across all subjects again, using the latest available data, before announcing the bursaries for the 2023/24 academic year.

16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what representations his Department has received on the introduction of initial teacher training bursaries for religious education teachers; and if he will make a statement.

The department offers bursaries for initial teacher training (ITT) to incentivise applications for ITT courses. The bursaries on offer are reviewed each year to take account of factors including historic recruitment, forecasted economic conditions, and teacher supply need in each subject. This provides flexibility in responding to the need to attract new teachers, meaning money is spent where it is most needed.

In the 2020/21 academic year, the department exceeded the postgraduate ITT target in religious education at 129% of the original target. In the 2021/22 academic year, the equivalent target was extremely close to being met, at 99% of the target. As a result, we have focused the bursaries on subjects where it is hardest to attract sufficient applicants. We will review the need for financial incentives across all subjects again, using the latest available data, before announcing the bursaries for the 2023/24 academic year.

29th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the inclusion of sustainability in The National Standard for early years learning and childcare providers in Scotland, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of including sustainability in the inspection criteria for early year settings.

This is a matter for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to the hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of ivory items owned by or collated by his Department.

We have not made any estimates of the number of ivory items owned by or collated in the Department for Education or institutions owned or managed by the government.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 14 June 2021 to Question on Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education: Finance, what recent discussions officials in his Department have had with their counterparts in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on the appropriate and equitable level of funding via the central school services block for local authorities to support their responsibilities in the delivery of the statutory obligations of their local Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education; and if he will make a statement.

The ‘Religious education in English schools: non-statutory guidance’, published in 2010, sets out advice to support the provision of high quality religious education in maintained schools in England. It also provides local authorities with information about their roles and responsibilities, particularly in relation to their local Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education. The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010.

In the 2021/22 financial year, the central school services block (CSSB) continues to fund local authorities for the ongoing responsibilities that they have a statutory duty to deliver for all pupils in maintained schools and academies. The total funding for ongoing responsibilities is £257 million in the 2021/22 financial year and is a 3.8% increase compared to the 2020/21 financial year, in order to keep up with inflation and pupil numbers. The Department will confirm funding allocations for the CSSB in the 2022/23 financial year shortly. We do not specify what proportion of their CSSB funding local authorities should spend on specific central services - this is for local authorities' own discretion.

The introduction of the CSSB in the 2018/19 financial year followed extensive consultation with local authorities, schools, and other stakeholders. A total of 87 local authorities saw a gain in funding, as a result of the introduction of the CSSB, with local authorities also protected against losses of more than 2.5% per pupil in funding for ongoing responsibilities.

The Department’s officials regularly meet with Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government officials to discuss cost pressures on local authorities. The decision on the level of funding for the CSSB each year is then taken by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education.

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 14 June 2021 to Question 10631 on Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education: Finance, what assessment his Department has made of the appropriate and equitable level of funding via the central school services block for local authorities to support their responsibilities in the delivery of the statutory obligations of their local Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education; and if he will make a statement.

The ‘Religious education in English schools: non-statutory guidance’, published in 2010, sets out advice to support the provision of high quality religious education in maintained schools in England. It also provides local authorities with information about their roles and responsibilities, particularly in relation to their local Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education. The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010.

In the 2021/22 financial year, the central school services block (CSSB) continues to fund local authorities for the ongoing responsibilities that they have a statutory duty to deliver for all pupils in maintained schools and academies. The total funding for ongoing responsibilities is £257 million in the 2021/22 financial year and is a 3.8% increase compared to the 2020/21 financial year, in order to keep up with inflation and pupil numbers. The Department will confirm funding allocations for the CSSB in the 2022/23 financial year shortly. We do not specify what proportion of their CSSB funding local authorities should spend on specific central services - this is for local authorities' own discretion.

The introduction of the CSSB in the 2018/19 financial year followed extensive consultation with local authorities, schools, and other stakeholders. A total of 87 local authorities saw a gain in funding, as a result of the introduction of the CSSB, with local authorities also protected against losses of more than 2.5% per pupil in funding for ongoing responsibilities.

The Department’s officials regularly meet with Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government officials to discuss cost pressures on local authorities. The decision on the level of funding for the CSSB each year is then taken by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education.

12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to Answer of 14 June 2021 to Question 10631 on Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education: Finance, what guidance his Department has issued to local authorities to support their responsibilities in the delivery of the statutory obligations of their local Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education; and if he will make a statement.

The ‘Religious education in English schools: non-statutory guidance’, published in 2010, sets out advice to support the provision of high quality religious education in maintained schools in England. It also provides local authorities with information about their roles and responsibilities, particularly in relation to their local Standing Advisory Council for Religious Education. The guidance can be found here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010.

In the 2021/22 financial year, the central school services block (CSSB) continues to fund local authorities for the ongoing responsibilities that they have a statutory duty to deliver for all pupils in maintained schools and academies. The total funding for ongoing responsibilities is £257 million in the 2021/22 financial year and is a 3.8% increase compared to the 2020/21 financial year, in order to keep up with inflation and pupil numbers. The Department will confirm funding allocations for the CSSB in the 2022/23 financial year shortly. We do not specify what proportion of their CSSB funding local authorities should spend on specific central services - this is for local authorities' own discretion.

The introduction of the CSSB in the 2018/19 financial year followed extensive consultation with local authorities, schools, and other stakeholders. A total of 87 local authorities saw a gain in funding, as a result of the introduction of the CSSB, with local authorities also protected against losses of more than 2.5% per pupil in funding for ongoing responsibilities.

The Department’s officials regularly meet with Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government officials to discuss cost pressures on local authorities. The decision on the level of funding for the CSSB each year is then taken by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has received representations on the adequacy of funding for Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education; and if he will make a statement.

The Department has received a copy of a report produced by the National Association of Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education (NASACRE). The report presents a summary of responses received from local authorities to Freedom of Information requests relating to funding of Standing Advisory Councils on Religious Education (SACREs).

Local authorities are allocated funding through the central school services block (CSSB) for a range of duties that they must meet for all pupils in maintained schools and academies, such as establishing and maintaining a SACRE. In financial year 2021/22, the total funding for ongoing responsibilities in the CSSB is £257 million, a 3.8% increase compared to 2020/21, to keep up with inflation and pupil numbers.

The Department does not specify what proportion of this money should be attributed to different services or duties. It is up to each local authority to decide this for itself. We expect that a SACRE should be sufficiently resourced to meet its statutory duties. If a SACRE is unable to do this, it should first raise a complaint locally about the issue. If it has done this unsuccessfully, the issue can be escalated to the Department’s School Complaints Unit.

27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether schools are required to include the teaching of RE in the education recovery plans of pupils that have lost learning during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Religious education (RE) is not an optional subject for state funded schools. They must teach RE to all pupils throughout all Key Stages up to age 18. Teaching a broad and balanced curriculum is important to the academic, social, and personal development of young people. These requirements have not changed because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department is working with a broad range of stakeholders to develop a range of short, medium, and long term options to ensure all young people recover their education over the term of this Government.

24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the most recently published School Workforce Census, how many schools with an outstanding Ofsted rating reported zero hours of religious education teaching in year 11; and if he will make a statement.

In November 2019, 2,958 state funded secondary schools returned full curriculum information to the Department via the School Workforce Census. This represents 86% of all state funded secondary schools in England.

Of these 2,958 schools, 984 reported no teaching of religious education (RE) or philosophy teaching to Year 11 pupils during the week of the workforce census. One school reported teaching RE or philosophy in mixed year groups, which may include Year 11 pupils.

Of the 984 schools, 144 were judged outstanding in their last Ofsted full inspection. The last full inspection may have been several years prior to 2019. It is therefore not possible to draw any meaningful correlation between information about teaching time on these subjects during the census week and a school’s Ofsted rating.

The information above is based on the number of hours of dedicated RE or philosophy teaching recorded by each school for Year 11 pupils. It is possible that other general teaching within the school may include elements of RE, ethics, or philosophy.

State funded schools in England have a duty to teach RE to all pupils aged 5 to 18 years. While academies, free schools and most maintained schools designated as having a religious character may design and follow their own curriculum, all other maintained schools must follow their area’s locally agreed syllabus for RE.

Any concerns that a school may not be complying with the requirement to teach RE should, in the first instance, be raised via the school’s complaints procedure. If the complaint is not resolved, then the issue can be escalated to the Department’s School Complaints Unit.

20th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps the Government is taking to improve ventilation in schools.

In 2018, the Department published Building Bulletin 101, which is guidance for school design on ventilation, thermal comfort and indoor air quality. This guidance sets out the World Health Organisation’s air quality guidelines and Air Quality Standards Regulation 2010 for indoor air quality.

The Department has worked closely with other Government departments, including Public Health England (PHE) and the Department of Health and Social Care, as well as stakeholders across the sector, to ensure that our policy is based on the latest scientific and medical advice, to continue to develop comprehensive guidance based on the PHE-endorsed ‘system of controls’ and to understand the impact of these measures on staff, pupils and parents.

The PHE-endorsed ‘system of controls’ have been in use throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and continue to be the right measures to take. Current evidence suggests that the way to control COVID-19 is the same, even with the new variants. These measures create a safer environment for children, young people, and staff where the risk of transmission of infection is substantially reduced. PHE keeps all these controls under review, based on the latest evidence. Schools therefore need to continue to implement these controls to the fullest extent. The guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.

The Department's guidance signposts further advice from the Health and Safety Executive on air conditioning and ventilation during the COVID-19 outbreak. The guidance can be found here: https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/equipment-and-machinery/air-conditioning-and-ventilation.htm.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, from what date all university students will be able to return to campus and resume in-person teaching.

Following the review into when the remaining higher education students can return to in-person teaching and learning, the government has announced that the remaining students should return to in-person teaching no earlier than 17 May 2021, alongside Step 3 of the roadmap. Students and institutions will be given at least a week’s notice of any further return in accordance with the timing of Step 3 of the roadmap.

The government roadmap is designed to maintain a cautious approach to the easing of restrictions to reduce public health risks and ensure that we can maintain progress towards full reopening. However, the government recognises the difficulties and disruption that this may cause for many students and their families and that is why the government is making a further £15 million of additional student hardship funding available for this academic year 2020/21. In total we have made an additional £85 million of funding available for student hardship.

We are supporting universities to provide regular twice weekly asymptomatic testing for all students and staff on-site and, from May, at home. This will help break chains of transmission of the virus.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to provide asymptomatic testing in early years settings, in line with the current roll-out in primary schools.

The Department is continuing to work closely with colleagues across Government and local authorities to secure the most effective approach to asymptomatic testing for the whole of the early years sector.

The Department is rolling out our asymptomatic testing programme to primary schools with deliveries of test kits which started from the week commencing 18 January 2021.

The asymptomatic testing programme will offer all primary school, schools-based nursery, and maintained nursery school staff home lateral flow device test kits for twice weekly testing. This will help to break the chains of transmission of COVID-19 in education settings by identifying asymptomatic positive cases. Those who test positive will then self-isolate, helping to reduce transmission of the virus.

Community testing programmes are currently being rolled out across the country. They are led by local authorities and provide asymptomatic testing through testing sites based in the local community. This testing is primarily focused on those who have to leave home to work during lockdown, with local authorities able to focus on the right people in their areas and decide how the testing is best delivered.

Early years staff, as critical workers, continue to have priority access to Department of Health and Social Care led symptomatic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing via the online portal: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested.

The Department is having ongoing discussions about providing testing via the education testing programme as well as encouraging local authorities to consider prioritising appropriate testing for staff in private, voluntary and independent settings and childminders via the Community Testing Programme, which is being rolled out to all local authorities.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he has taken to reduce bureaucracy in the adoption system, since his speech for National Adoption Week on 14 October 2020.

In his speech during National Adoption Week my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, reaffirmed his commitment to finding a stable, loving home for all children. Since then, this government has continued to support the development of Regional Adoption Agencies (RAAs), which are designed to improve adopter recruitment, speed up matching and improve adoption support. There are now 30 RAAs covering 141 local authorities.

In the same week that the Secretary of State for Education gave his speech, the RAA and sector led national recruitment campaign, #youcanadopt, launched its Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) specific outreach work, including piloting a triage service for BAME prospective adopters. By encouraging people of all backgrounds to come forward to adopt, and supporting them through that process, we aim to reduce waiting times for BAME children, who normally wait the longest to be found a new adoptive family.

In December 2020, Krish Kandiah was announced as the new chair of the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board (ASGLB). Krish will work with the ASGLB to provide leadership to the sector and improve services for children and families.

On 15 January 2021, the Secretary of State for Education announced that funding for the Adoption Support Fund will continue for the next financial year ensuring that adopted children and families will continue to receive much needed support until March 2022. We are working closely with adoption stakeholders, including regional and voluntary adoption agencies, to identify delays and barriers in accessing the Adoption Support Fund and actions needed to overcome these: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/education-secretary-launches-review-of-childrens-social-care.

25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he has taken to improve access to the Child’s Adoption Fund since his speech for National Adoption Week on 14 October 2020.

In his speech during National Adoption Week my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, reaffirmed his commitment to finding a stable, loving home for all children. Since then, this government has continued to support the development of Regional Adoption Agencies (RAAs), which are designed to improve adopter recruitment, speed up matching and improve adoption support. There are now 30 RAAs covering 141 local authorities.

In the same week that the Secretary of State for Education gave his speech, the RAA and sector led national recruitment campaign, #youcanadopt, launched its Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) specific outreach work, including piloting a triage service for BAME prospective adopters. By encouraging people of all backgrounds to come forward to adopt, and supporting them through that process, we aim to reduce waiting times for BAME children, who normally wait the longest to be found a new adoptive family.

In December 2020, Krish Kandiah was announced as the new chair of the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board (ASGLB). Krish will work with the ASGLB to provide leadership to the sector and improve services for children and families.

On 15 January 2021, the Secretary of State for Education announced that funding for the Adoption Support Fund will continue for the next financial year ensuring that adopted children and families will continue to receive much needed support until March 2022. We are working closely with adoption stakeholders, including regional and voluntary adoption agencies, to identify delays and barriers in accessing the Adoption Support Fund and actions needed to overcome these: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/education-secretary-launches-review-of-childrens-social-care.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what advice he is giving to English language schools at risk of closure which are not eligible for covid-19 financial support.

We support English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses as part of our wider effort to improve adult literacy in England. Funding is available through the Adult Education Budget for courses and qualifications at pre-entry, entry level 1 to 3, level 1 and level 2. In 2018/19, the department supported 120,500 adult learners to improve their levels of English through ESOL classes.

However, English Language Teaching Centres are private language schools, and as such are not in receipt of any funding from the department. We have therefore made no assessment of the adequacy of support for them during the COVID-19 outbreak. My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has announced an extensive and unprecedented package of support measures for businesses across the country and as such we have delivered one of the most generous and comprehensive packages of support globally, with a total fiscal response of close to £200 billion.

The measures introduced, including loan schemes, grant funding, tax deferrals and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), have been designed to be accessible to businesses in most sectors and across the UK.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has also announced an extension to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and other loan schemes until 31 January, ensuring there is further support in place for firms who need it during this ongoing period of difficulty.

On 31 October, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, announced that the CJRS will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. Under the extended scheme, the cost for employers of retaining workers will be reduced compared to the previous version of the scheme, which was due to end on 31 October. This means the extended furlough scheme is more generous for employers than it was in October.

In addition, business premises forced to close in England are to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant. A further £1.1 billion is being given to local authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses more broadly.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of English language schools at risk of closure as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

We support English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses as part of our wider effort to improve adult literacy in England. Funding is available through the Adult Education Budget for courses and qualifications at pre-entry, entry level 1 to 3, level 1 and level 2. In 2018/19, the department supported 120,500 adult learners to improve their levels of English through ESOL classes.

However, English Language Teaching Centres are private language schools, and as such are not in receipt of any funding from the department. We have therefore made no assessment of the adequacy of support for them during the COVID-19 outbreak. My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has announced an extensive and unprecedented package of support measures for businesses across the country and as such we have delivered one of the most generous and comprehensive packages of support globally, with a total fiscal response of close to £200 billion.

The measures introduced, including loan schemes, grant funding, tax deferrals and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), have been designed to be accessible to businesses in most sectors and across the UK.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has also announced an extension to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and other loan schemes until 31 January, ensuring there is further support in place for firms who need it during this ongoing period of difficulty.

On 31 October, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, announced that the CJRS will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. Under the extended scheme, the cost for employers of retaining workers will be reduced compared to the previous version of the scheme, which was due to end on 31 October. This means the extended furlough scheme is more generous for employers than it was in October.

In addition, business premises forced to close in England are to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant. A further £1.1 billion is being given to local authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses more broadly.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has allocated additional funding to ensure the financial viability of English language schools during the covid-19 outbreak.

We support English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses as part of our wider effort to improve adult literacy in England. Funding is available through the Adult Education Budget for courses and qualifications at pre-entry, entry level 1 to 3, level 1 and level 2. In 2018/19, the department supported 120,500 adult learners to improve their levels of English through ESOL classes.

However, English Language Teaching Centres are private language schools, and as such are not in receipt of any funding from the department. We have therefore made no assessment of the adequacy of support for them during the COVID-19 outbreak. My right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has announced an extensive and unprecedented package of support measures for businesses across the country and as such we have delivered one of the most generous and comprehensive packages of support globally, with a total fiscal response of close to £200 billion.

The measures introduced, including loan schemes, grant funding, tax deferrals and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), have been designed to be accessible to businesses in most sectors and across the UK.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has also announced an extension to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Scheme, the Bounce Back Loan Scheme and other loan schemes until 31 January, ensuring there is further support in place for firms who need it during this ongoing period of difficulty.

On 31 October, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, announced that the CJRS will remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. Under the extended scheme, the cost for employers of retaining workers will be reduced compared to the previous version of the scheme, which was due to end on 31 October. This means the extended furlough scheme is more generous for employers than it was in October.

In addition, business premises forced to close in England are to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant. A further £1.1 billion is being given to local authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses more broadly.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
3rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the number of schools providing care before and after the start of the school day on reopening as the covid-19 restrictions are eased.

As of 4 July, providers offering before or after-school care and other out-of-school activities to children have been able to open, both on or away from school premises, with protective measures in place.

The department does not hold a central register of all wraparound provision and so does not routinely collect data on the number of providers in operation. However, newly established REACT teams, comprising education and social care staff from both this department and Ofsted, are working closely with local authorities and will be a valuable source of intelligence on the sufficiency of wraparound care places in local areas.

We are also encouraging schools to resume their breakfast and after-school club provision, where possible, from the start of the autumn term; and, as part of our guidance to schools on full opening, have provided them with guidance to support them in reopening this valuable provision, which is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#wraparound-provision-and-extra-curricular-activity.

Schools should also be working closely with any external wraparound providers which their pupils may use, to ensure as far as possible, children can be kept in a group with other children from the same bubble they are in during the school day; and we have published further updated guidance for providers who run before and after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school settings for children on the protective measures that should be put in place from the start of the autumn term, to ensure they are operating as safely as possible when all children return to school. This guidance is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/protective-measures-for-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance he has provided to academy schools on after-school provision during the covid-19 outbreak following their reopening in September 2020.

We have published guidance for schools to outline the protective measures they should have in place to minimise the risk of infection and transmission of COVID-19 when all children return to school in the autumn term. The guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

The guidance highlights that schools should work to resume any breakfast and after-school provision, where possible, from the start of the autumn term. Additionally, the guidance highlights that schools should work closely with any external wraparound providers which their pupils may use, to ensure as far as possible, that children can be kept in a group with other children from the same bubble they are in during the school day.

Schools can also consult the guidance produced for providers who run community activities, holiday clubs, after-school clubs, tuition and other out-of-school provision for children, as much of this will be useful in planning extra-curricular provision. The guidance is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/protective-measures-for-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak.

17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department plans to publish on the provision of Religious Education in the curriculum after the full reopening of schools during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

State-funded schools in England have a duty to teach religious education to all pupils aged 5 to 18 years. While academies, free schools and most maintained schools designated as having a religious character may design and follow their own curriculum, all other state schools must follow their area’s locally agreed syllabus for religious education. Unless stipulated in a locally agreed syllabus, pupils do not have to be taught an accredited Religious Studies qualification. However, where pupils do not choose it as an examination subject, the requirement to teach religious education still applies.

The Department’s guidance on full opening of schools sets the expectation that schools teach an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn, but that they use their existing curriculum flexibilities within subjects to create time to cover the most important missed content. Religious education is explicitly stated as one of the subjects that should be taught. The guidance was published on 2 July and can be found at:
www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools

The Department’s guidance on religious education is already available for both maintained schools and for academies and free schools. The guidance for maintained schools is at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010 ; and the guidance for academies and free schools at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/re-and-collective-worship-in-academies-and-free-schools/religious-education-re-and-collective-worship-in-academies-and-free-schools . No additional guidance on this subject is therefore needed.

17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance his Department plans to publish on the provision of Religious Education teaching for pupils who choose not to opt for that subject as an examination subject at Key Stage Four after the full reopening of schools during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

State-funded schools in England have a duty to teach religious education to all pupils aged 5 to 18 years. While academies, free schools and most maintained schools designated as having a religious character may design and follow their own curriculum, all other state schools must follow their area’s locally agreed syllabus for religious education. Unless stipulated in a locally agreed syllabus, pupils do not have to be taught an accredited Religious Studies qualification. However, where pupils do not choose it as an examination subject, the requirement to teach religious education still applies.

The Department’s guidance on full opening of schools sets the expectation that schools teach an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn, but that they use their existing curriculum flexibilities within subjects to create time to cover the most important missed content. Religious education is explicitly stated as one of the subjects that should be taught. The guidance was published on 2 July and can be found at:
www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools

The Department’s guidance on religious education is already available for both maintained schools and for academies and free schools. The guidance for maintained schools is at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010 ; and the guidance for academies and free schools at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/re-and-collective-worship-in-academies-and-free-schools/religious-education-re-and-collective-worship-in-academies-and-free-schools . No additional guidance on this subject is therefore needed.

17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to ensure that all pupils receive their entitlement to religious education after schools are reopened as covid-19 lockdown restrictions are eased; and if he will make a statement.

State-funded schools in England have a duty to teach religious education to all pupils aged 5 to 18 years. While academies, free schools and most maintained schools designated as having a religious character may design and follow their own curriculum, all other state schools must follow their area’s locally agreed syllabus for religious education. Unless stipulated in a locally agreed syllabus, pupils do not have to be taught an accredited Religious Studies qualification. However, where pupils do not choose it as an examination subject, the requirement to teach religious education still applies.

The Department’s guidance on full opening of schools sets the expectation that schools teach an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn, but that they use their existing curriculum flexibilities within subjects to create time to cover the most important missed content. Religious education is explicitly stated as one of the subjects that should be taught. The guidance was published on 2 July and can be found at:
www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools

The Department’s guidance on religious education is already available for both maintained schools and for academies and free schools. The guidance for maintained schools is at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/religious-education-guidance-in-english-schools-non-statutory-guidance-2010 ; and the guidance for academies and free schools at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/re-and-collective-worship-in-academies-and-free-schools/religious-education-re-and-collective-worship-in-academies-and-free-schools . No additional guidance on this subject is therefore needed.

6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to ensure gender balance on school governing bodies.

It is the responsibility of governing boards, members (in academy trusts) and religious authorities (in schools designated with a religious character) to appoint governors and trustees. The Department is clear in the Governance Handbook that boards, when appointing new governors or trustees, should focus on the skills, experience, characteristics and diversity the board needs to be effective and to provide a sufficient range of perspectives to enable robust decision making.

Governing boards are responsible for compliance with the Equality Act 2010 and for ensuring that schools and trusts comply with all applicable aspects of discrimination law and this includes compliance with the public sector equality duty.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has issued new guidance to schools and multi-academy trusts on the (a) design and (b) layout of (i) building, (ii) rebuilding and (iii) refurbishment projects as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has not issued such guidance to schools and multi-academy trusts as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

However, to help nurseries and schools to plan, prepare and adapt existing spaces for the return of more children, the Department published a range of detailed guidance on how to implement protective measures. The guidance can be found at the following GOV.UK link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

This includes the main protective measures guidance, which can be found directly here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings.

24th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to publish the storm overflow action plans.

As part of our drive for better water quality, the Government has asked every water and sewerage company to present a clear assessment and action plan on every storm overflow they operate, prioritising those that are spilling into bathing waters and high-priority nature sites.

The action plans will be published in due course, subject to assurance of the data provided.

Robbie Moore
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the burdens funding announced in his Department's consultation outcome on consistency in household and business recycling in England, last updated on 21 November 2023, what assessment he has made of whether the level of funding proposed will be adequate to meet the cost of (a) electric vehicles and (b) related charging infrastructure.

Any new financial burdens introduced through new statutory duties on local authorities will be assessed in accordance with the New Burdens Doctrine and the net reasonable cost covered by the government.

We are working to assess net additional costs to local authorities and will be engaging with local authorities on funding to be provided in due course.

Robbie Moore
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many bathing waters have been de-designated in each region since 2010.

Since 2010, there have been de-designations of bathing waters in the following Environment Agency (EA) areas in England:

Area

De-designated bathing waters since 2010

Cumbria and Lancashire

8

Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly

3

East Anglia

1

Solent and South Downs

1

Wessex

3

Yorkshire

3

Several bathing waters were also de-designated before 2010 in the following EA areas: Alnmouth in the North East; Flamborough North Landing and Earls Dyke in Yorkshire; Lowestoft Gunton Denes in East Anglia; Poole Harbour Sandbanks in Wessex; Redgate and Gunwalloe Cove in Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Most of these sites were de-designated due to low numbers of bathers and following an application to Defra, usually by the local authority. In some cases, sites were de-designated because the bathing water quality was classified as ‘Poor’ for five consecutive years. The Bathing Water Regulations 2013 (regulation 13) require sites to be de-designated in this circumstance and for permanent advice against bathing, in relation to at least one whole bathing season, to be issued. There can be many reasons for a ‘Poor’ bathing water classification, including run-off from agricultural land, sewage impacts and local activities. An application can be made to Defra to redesignate a site that has been de-designated as bathing water should the site meet the eligibility criteria set out in the bathing waters application guidance on GOV.UK.

Robbie Moore
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what her policy is on reform of gun laws.

Reform of gun laws is a matter for the Home Office.

Robbie Moore
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions she has had with groups representing (a) the shooting industry and (b) people who shoot since 25 October 2022.

The Secretary of State has met regularly with the shooting industry and people who shoot.

External ministerial meetings are published on a quarterly basis here.

Robbie Moore
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on firearm reforms, in the context of the shooting in Keyham, Plymouth.

The Secretary of State has regular discussions with Cabinet colleagues on a wide range of issues, and Cabinet discussions are considered confidential.

Robbie Moore
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what data her Department holds on the number of dog-on-dog attacks in the last 12 months.

Any information on the number of dog-on-dog attacks will be held by individual local authorities and police forces.  We are currently working in partnership with the police, local authorities and animal welfare organisations to ensure that the full range of existing dog control powers are effectively applied to encourage responsible dog ownership and reduce the risk of dog attacks. As part of this, we are considering ways in which the collection and reporting of data relating to dog control incidents could be improved to inform prevention strategies. Conclusions from this work are expected later this year.

29th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she has considered the potential merits of including more water efficiency measures in the Greening Government Commitments.

The Greening Government Commitments set out water efficiency measures that UK Government departments and their agencies will take to reduce impacts on the environment in the period 2021-25.

The current commitment is to reduce water consumption by at least 8% by 2025 from the 2017 to 2018 baseline. In 2021, the Government achieved reductions of 14% water usage (against a 2014 to 2015 baseline) saving an estimated £10.4 million in 2020 to 2021.

We will review this commitment and how it will deliver our water demand target under the Environment Act 2021 to reduce the use of public water supply by 20% per person by 2038.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether it is her policy to implement a ban on cigarette filter tips that contain plastic.

Cigarette butts continue to be the most littered item according to a survey commissioned by Defra. On our behalf, WRAP have recently explored options for tackling littering of cigarette butts. We are now considering next steps.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of Plymouth City Council removing 100 trees from Armada Way on her Department's tree planting policies.

We want to see more trees in our urban spaces, not less, and that is why we have legislated a statutory tree and woodland target to increase tree canopy and woodland cover of England to 16.5% by 2050. This includes individual trees outside woodlands. The Environment Act requires new developments and infrastructure projects to achieve at least a 10% measurable biodiversity net gain ensuring that nature will be retained and enhanced in the built environment. This year (2022/23) £5.4 million has been made available through the Local Authority Treescapes Fund to support the planting and maintenance of trees in urban areas. It is for the local planning authority to consider any development proposals on their individual merits and to decide on the appropriate route to granting planning permission where that is required.

21st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she provides guidance to local councils on large-scale tree felling projects.

The government is committed to protecting our valuable street trees. The government requirement for local authorities to consult the public when they fell street trees will come into force later this year. We will be issuing guidance on the duty to consult later this year. The consultation process will increase transparency in decision making and allow the public to be consulted before a street tree is felled. In December 2022 we published best practice guidance for local authorities to produce their own local tree and woodland strategies, supporting local authorities to expand, manage and protect local treescapes. The Local Authority Tree and Woodland Strategy Toolkit provides step-by-step guidance to develop an effective trees and woodland strategy to realise the multiple benefits trees can deliver to communities. We want to see more trees close to where people live. Defra supports LAs tree planting activity through access to several of the Nature for Climate Fund Grant schemes, such as the Local Authority Treescape Fund, Urban Tree Challenge Fund, Woodland Creation Accelerator Fund and the England Woodland Creation Offer.

21st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions she has had with Plymouth City Council on the felling of over 100 trees in Plymouth City Centre.

It is for the local planning authority to consider any development proposals on their individual merits and to decide the appropriate route to granting planning permission where that is required. I have written to Plymouth City Council. We want to see more trees and green spaces close to where people live, not fewer and it is a disappointment when we lose mature trees in the urban environment. However, I understand that the council has a more ambitious plan in place, including planting more trees than felled and that many of the trees may have been in bad shape. Our ambitions outlined in the England Tree Action Plan (ETAP) and the launch of the Nature for Climate Fund Tree Programme make it ever easier to plant new trees and protect those in the existing landscape. We have committed in the ETAP to ensure future planning reforms will lead to more trees being planted and strong protections for existing trees. We offer a suite of technical guidance and funding streams to support local authorities enhance their treescapes.

3rd Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to designate Highly Protected Marine Areas in the South West of England.

Defra recently announced that it intends to designate the first three Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) in English waters. These HPMAs would be designated through the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 before 6 July 2023. Defra will continue to explore additional candidate sites this year, and any future sites will also be subject to consultation.

17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to help encourage the use of alternatives to neonicotinoid pesticides which do not harm pollinators.

Neonicotinoids are not generally permitted for use on crops. Time-limited emergency authorisations have been given to protect sugar beet crops from Yellows Viruses. This is not a permanent solution and the development of alternative, sustainable approaches to protect sugar beet crops is paramount. Work under way includes the development of resistant plant varieties, measures to improve crop hygiene and husbandry and alternative pesticides. British Sugar, seed companies and the British Beet Research Organisation are undertaking a programme of work developing these alternatives – which include Yellows Virus specific Integrated Pest Management techniques. The Government is monitoring the progress of this.


Integrated Pest Management (IPM) lies at the heart of our approach to minimise the environmental impact of pesticides and is a key tool for businesses facing the challenges of pesticide resistance and changing pest pressures due to climate change. To support this, we are introducing new paid IPM actions within the Sustainable Farming Incentive scheme this year. Increased support for IPM approaches will also be a feature of the upcoming National Action Plan for the Sustainable Use of pesticides.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will publish the Environmental Impact Assessment for the Environment Agency's proposed remedial works to the Sutton Harbour lock gates in Plymouth.

The Environment Agency considers that the maintenance works are like for like replacement on the existing concrete footprint of the lock structure and are not likely to have significant effects on the environment and does not intend to prepare an Environmental Statement in respect of them.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many at sea inspections were conducted in fishing areas (a) Area 7D and (b) Area 7E of (i) UK vessels under 10m, (ii) UK vessels over 10m and (iii) EU vessels.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) employs a risk and intelligence based operational model to deliver surveillance and assurance capability at sea. At-sea inspections are just one of a range of tools deployed by the MMO as part of its strategy to prevent fisheries infringements in English waters.

The breakdown of inspections by MMO in fishing areas 7D and 7E during 2021 and 2022 was:

2021

Area 7D

Area 7E

UK vessels under 10m

30

14

UK vessels over 10m

34

82

EU vessels

80

74

2022

Area 7D

Area 7E

UK vessels under 10m

16

56

UK vessels over 10m

48

89

EU vessels

75

71

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the fishing industry in Plymouth was notified of the (a) planned works by the Environment Agency on Sutton Harbour lock gates and (b) expected restrictions on their operations.

The Environment Agency (EA) has been in direct and regular liaison with Sutton Harbour Group (SHG) about the work required to repair the lock. This involved reviewing the proposed methodology and understanding the implications of the planned work, before SHG were able to engage directly with their customers.

The Sutton Harbour Group invited the fishing industry (through their mailing list of 96 fishers and vessel owners) to attend the Sutton Harbour Group quarterly meeting on 13 July 2022. The EA was invited to give a presentation at this meeting, which set out:

  1. The need for the works, the nature of the works, and methodology
  2. The consideration, in discussion with SHG, given on the access to the harbour, based on the arrangements used successfully during the gate replacement project in 2008.

A question-and-answer session followed the presentation, during which the EA gathered feedback to input to the planning process. Following this, a website was created to publish the latest updates for SHG’s customers: www.lockgates.info and work continues to develop mitigation plans both the fishing fleet and leisure berth holders.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of appropriate levels of compensation for lost fishing time due to the planned works by the Environment Agency on Sutton Harbour lock gates in Plymouth.

The calculation and assessment of compensation is dealt with on a case by case basis and would be based on the information submitted in support of the request. It is not commonplace for compensation to be assessed ahead of an event, as it is dependent on losses actually incurred.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with how many (a) fishermen, (b) vessel owners and (c) quayside support businesses the Environment Agency has had direct contact on the planned timings of that Agency's proposed remedial works to the Sutton Harbour lock gates in Plymouth.

Engagement with Sutton Harbour Group’s (SHG’s) customers and tenants has been carried out through their engagement channels, including their quarterly meetings, distribution lists (96 for fishing industry, 446 leisure berth holders), radio channels and through the Harbour Master.

The Environment Agency (EA) has provided support on the technical and programme aspects and attended meetings to enable stakeholders to ask questions on the proposed works. After the initial meeting, representatives from the fishing industry and the berth holders formed working groups to attend meetings and cascade information amongst stakeholder groups.

In addition to the main stakeholder engagement and communications carried out by SHG, the EA has had direct contact with:

  1. 3 Fishermen (96 fishers and vessel owners contacted through SHG mailing list)
  2. 4 Vessel Owners (96 fishers and vessel owners contacted through SHG mailing list)
  3. 13 Quayside Support Businesses
  4. 16 Leisure berth holders (446 contacted through SHG mailing list)

An engagement plan has been created by SHG, the EA and Kier to ensure that communication leading up to and during construction is timely and efficient.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will publish the Habitats Regulations Assessment for the Environment Agency's proposed remedial works to the Sutton Harbour lock gates in Plymouth.

Having considered the advice from the Environment Agency’s National Environmental Assessment Service, we are satisfied no Habitats Regulations Assessment is required. This included consideration of the works location within the existing concrete structure and minimal risk of pollution.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many game bird eggs have been imported into the UK by country in each of the last five years.

Year and Country of Origin

Total number of Game Bird Eggs

2018

Czech Republic

12,960

Denmark

38,160

France

21,520,679

Germany

19,000

Ireland

118,400

Poland

1,211,480

Portugal

15,000

Spain

943,620

Canada

1,585,600

USA

322,960

2019

Czech Republic

360

Denmark

1,400

France

27,433,916

Germany

1,200

Hungary

427,680

Poland

1,263,560

Portugal

142,630

Spain

825,720

USA

283,380

2020

France

22,493,288

Germany

4,000

Hungary

99,000

Poland

1,140,180

Portugal

94,000

Spain

757,620

The Netherlands

42,000

USA

260,840

2021

USA

16,800

Austria

420

France

21,967,898

Poland

102,340

Spain

1,257,400

2022

USA

19,200

Denmark

22,000

France

3,459,766

Germany

1,400

Hungary

78,840

Poland

113,000

Spain

204,080

This information is drawn from external TRACES and IPAFF systems not directly controlled by the department.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the level of risk of avian flu from the importation of game bird eggs.

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) carries out routine surveillance of disease risks around the world to help the Government anticipate future threats to animal health. APHA continues to closely monitor the global situation of avian influenza as part of this work.

Gamebird hatching egg imports to Great Britain (GB) must come from a disease-free territory within an approved country and be accompanied by appropriate animal health certification.

Hatching egg imports from non-EU countries must also enter GB through a Border Control Post, where controls are carried out to ensure that import conditions mitigating the risk of avian influenza have been met, while hatching egg imports from the EU may be subject to checks at destination based on an assessment of the biosecurity and public health risks.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much his Department provided in funding for Dartmoor National Park Authority in each year since 2010.

We recognise the challenges presented by sharply rising inflation, and are aware that National Park Authorities are considering options to manage current inflationary pressures. Defra has contributed more than £44m in grant funding to support the operation of Dartmoor National Park Authority since 2010. The Government remains committed to supporting our National Park Authorities and are working with them to generate more income from commercial revenue. We understand that this would be alongside the ongoing need for public funding to support essential local public services. Officials are in regular dialogue with the Chief Executive of the National Park Authorities on all of these issues.

19th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she has had recent discussions with the Dartmoor National Park Authority on the closure of the Princetown visitors centre.

We recognise the challenges presented by sharply rising inflation, and are aware that National Park Authorities are considering options to manage current inflationary pressures. Defra has contributed more than £44m in grant funding to support the operation of Dartmoor National Park Authority since 2010. The Government remains committed to supporting our National Park Authorities and are working with them to generate more income from commercial revenue. We understand that this would be alongside the ongoing need for public funding to support essential local public services. Officials are in regular dialogue with the Chief Executive of the National Park Authorities on all of these issues.

19th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she plans to take steps to help support national park authorities to generate more income from commercial revenue.

We recognise the challenges presented by sharply rising inflation, and are aware that National Park Authorities are considering options to manage current inflationary pressures. Defra has contributed more than £44m in grant funding to support the operation of Dartmoor National Park Authority since 2010. The Government remains committed to supporting our National Park Authorities and are working with them to generate more income from commercial revenue. We understand that this would be alongside the ongoing need for public funding to support essential local public services. Officials are in regular dialogue with the Chief Executive of the National Park Authorities on all of these issues.

14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether her Department (a) has had and (b) plans to have discussions with South West Water on the (i) ownership of and (ii) liability for sewage pipes from the former MOD-owned Admiralty Cottages in Stonehouse in Plymouth.

The Environment Agency have investigated this matter and are working with South West Water and the local authority.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with regard to his Department's temporary suspension of the commercial import of dogs, cats and ferrets if they originate from or have been dispatched from Belarus, Poland, Romania or Ukraine until 29 October 2022, whether he plans to end that suspension after that date.

HM Government made the difficult decision to extend the temporary suspension of commercial cats, dogs, and ferrets (including rescue animals) dispatched or originating from Ukraine, Belarus, Romania, and Poland to the 29th October 2022.

We understand the fluid situation at present due to the crisis and are aware that Romania, Belarus and Poland are currently experiencing high volumes of animal movements from Ukraine. Movements from these countries into Great Britain therefore present a higher risk at the current time due to the flow of animals from Ukraine.

In particular, there is evidence to suggest that commercial consignments of pet animals from Ukraine are being moved into Poland, Romania and Belarus, including strays, rescue and abandoned animals.

Unlike non-commercial pets accompanying Ukrainian refugees, these animals often have unknown history and disease status which increases the risk of disease spread.

Our standards of biosecurity are among the highest in the world. HM Government takes the importation of pets seriously and is committed to preserving our high standards of biosecurity. The movement of commercial pets from Belarus, Poland, Romania and Ukraine represents a clear and serious enough biosecurity risk at the current time that we therefore consider the suspension of these movements necessary to protect the health of people and pets in Great Britain.

This risk has been exacerbated further by serious cases of non-compliance. There is a history of non-compliant movements of rescue animals into Great Britain from this region, which further increases the biosecurity risk.

We continue to engage with competent authorities in impacted countries, the European Commission, and external partners (including rescue and rehoming charities) to gather data and information to enable us to keep the biosecurity risks in relation to the introduction of rabies or the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis to Great Britain under review and to assess the impact of the suspension. The measure is under constant review based on the evidence provided to ensure it is targeted and proportionate to the risks posed.

HM Government appreciates the work of rescue and rehoming organisations who work to ensure that unwanted and abandoned animals are given the opportunity to find a forever home whilst complying with our animal health and welfare legislation.

That is why this is only a temporary measure, to ensure that we protect our biosecurity at this challenging time. Given the consequences of getting this wrong, I hope you will understand why we are being cautious.

Scott Mann
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the potential impact of the ban placed on the import of rescue animals from (a) Romania, (b) Ukraine, (c) Belarus and (d) Poland on animal rescue charities in the UK.

HM Government made the difficult decision to extend the temporary suspension of commercial cats, dogs, and ferrets (including rescue animals) dispatched or originating from Ukraine, Belarus, Romania, and Poland to the 29th October 2022.

We understand the fluid situation at present due to the crisis and are aware that Romania, Belarus and Poland are currently experiencing high volumes of animal movements from Ukraine. Movements from these countries into Great Britain therefore present a higher risk at the current time due to the flow of animals from Ukraine.

In particular, there is evidence to suggest that commercial consignments of pet animals from Ukraine are being moved into Poland, Romania and Belarus, including strays, rescue and abandoned animals.

Unlike non-commercial pets accompanying Ukrainian refugees, these animals often have unknown history and disease status which increases the risk of disease spread.

Our standards of biosecurity are among the highest in the world. HM Government takes the importation of pets seriously and is committed to preserving our high standards of biosecurity. The movement of commercial pets from Belarus, Poland, Romania and Ukraine represents a clear and serious enough biosecurity risk at the current time that we therefore consider the suspension of these movements necessary to protect the health of people and pets in Great Britain.

This risk has been exacerbated further by serious cases of non-compliance. There is a history of non-compliant movements of rescue animals into Great Britain from this region, which further increases the biosecurity risk.

We continue to engage with competent authorities in impacted countries, the European Commission, and external partners (including rescue and rehoming charities) to gather data and information to enable us to keep the biosecurity risks in relation to the introduction of rabies or the tapeworm Echinococcus multilocularis to Great Britain under review and to assess the impact of the suspension. The measure is under constant review based on the evidence provided to ensure it is targeted and proportionate to the risks posed.

HM Government appreciates the work of rescue and rehoming organisations who work to ensure that unwanted and abandoned animals are given the opportunity to find a forever home whilst complying with our animal health and welfare legislation.

That is why this is only a temporary measure, to ensure that we protect our biosecurity at this challenging time. Given the consequences of getting this wrong, I hope you will understand why we are being cautious.

Scott Mann
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to publish the 2020-21 review of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme by the end of 2022.

The Government keeps the performance of the Seasonal Worker route under ongoing review. We currently have no plans to publish performance information for the period covering the 2020-21 season.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of seasonal agricultural workers who are paying agencies or companies an introductory fee for arranging employment on UK farms.

As part of Defra’s Request for Information (RFI) process for the selection of the Seasonal Workers Scheme operators, the participants must confirm that they will not place any additional charges on participating migrants, beyond the administration of the Extended Pilot, and that they (and their agents) will not charge work-finding fees.

The Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) assess overseas labour providers when they apply for a licence to be a part of the Seasonal Workers Scheme. Charging recruitment fees would be a breach of the licensing standards. Any labour provider found to be in breach of the licensing standards is not provided with a licence or would have their licence revoked. To date, no licence holder part of the Seasonal Workers Scheme has been found to be in breach of the standards related to recruitment fees.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many enforcement actions his Department has taken against breaches of the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme as of 4 July 2022.

Defra does not take enforcement action against breaches of the Seasonal Workers visa scheme and does not hold any details of the number of such breaches. Enforcement action is undertaken by the Home Office or the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA).

The operators of the Seasonal Worker Scheme are licensed by the GLAA who will ensure that all workers are placed with farms who adhere to all relevant legislation. Should a scheme operator lose their GLAA licencing at any point, their sponsor licence will be revoked with immediate effect.

A key objective of the Seasonal Workers Scheme is to ensure that migrant workers are protected against modern slavery and other labour abuses, including the charging of recruitment fees and ensuring effective enforcement of UK employment laws. The safety and wellbeing of workers is considered paramount.

The GLAA is undertaking work in partnership to prevent exploitation of workers. For example, the GLAA and Seasonal Worker Scheme operators are jointly developing an informative video, specifically addressing issues related to recruitment fees. The video is due to be launched in the coming weeks. The GLAA is also developing specific guidance aimed for overseas businesses which will also be published shortly. Finally, the GLAA is working with UK embassies to engage more closely with in-country government agencies and ensure local laws and regulations are always met.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
13th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to cease the £50 Government contribution to water bills for South West Water customers in 2022-23.

As confirmed with South West Water in December 2021, we have extended the water rebate for those in the South West until 31 March 2023.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will mark World Oceans Day by committing that the Government will ban bottom-towed fishing gear and other destructive fishing activities from all offshore marine protected areas to ensure their proper and meaningful protection.

This is a devolved matter and the information provided therefore relates to England only.


We have designated over 100 Marine Protected Areas since 2010, so that now 40% of English waters are within the protected area network. We have already committed that the next step is to ensure all of our MPAs are properly protected, supported by our proposed legally binding target under the Environment Act which we are consulting on at present. We have already introduced byelaws in the first four sites which ban bottom towed gear over sensitive habitats and published a call for evidence relating to the next thirteen sites. We are aiming to have all Marine Protected Areas in English offshore waters protected from damaging fishing activity by 2024.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will mark World Oceans Day by committing that the Government will not set future fishing quotas in excess of scientific advice.

The UK's approach is that Total Allowable Catches for all species should be based on the best available scientific advice. The goal is to seek to maintain fish stocks and fisheries at sustainable levels in the long term or to rebuild them to such levels, where necessary.

The objectives in the Fisheries Act 2020, the draft Joint Fisheries Statement and proposed Fisheries Management Plans collectively reaffirm our commitment to achieving sustainable fishing and protecting the marine environment. The Act enshrines in law the Government’s commitments for sustainable fishing, restating our commitment to fishing at maximum sustainable yield through the ‘sustainability objective’ and ‘precautionary objective’.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he (a) is taking and (b) plans to take to support people in food poverty (i) in Plymouth and (ii) across the country.

Departments across government are working collectively to tackle poverty in all forms with a sustainable, long-term approach and to support people on lower incomes.  We know people are facing pressures with the increasing cost of living and recognise that some need extra support with essentials like food shopping and other day-to-day costs. These are global challenges, but the Government has taken action to support families worth over £22 billion in 2022-23. This includes an additional £500 million to help households with the cost of essentials, on top of what has already been provided since October 2021, bringing the total funding for this support to £1 billion. In England, £421 million of this £500 million will be provided to extend the existing Household Support Fund, while the devolved administrations will receive £79 million through the Barnett formula. Plymouth Council was awarded £2,294,796.82 for the Household Support Fund between October 2021 and March 2022. The indicative allocations for the current Household Support Fund (April -September 2022) remain the same.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate his Department has made of the projected wheat price changes for the remainder of 2022 as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Data published by the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board show that average ex-farm spot prices for feed and milling wheat have risen 53% since April 2021, and 32% in the weeks from February 17 to March 10, 2022. This is closely matched by near-dated London feed wheat futures prices, which have risen 53% and 34% in the same timeframe.

Price developments for the remainder of the year will depend on how the situation in Ukraine develops, and on the responses of major wheat importers and exporters. The department continues to monitor price movements and volatility, and continues to engage with international partners in the G20 Agricultural Market Information System to facilitate smooth functioning of the global food trade.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the NFU and food businesses on potential (a) increases in wheat costs and (b) shortage of availability as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain which has coped well in responding to unprecedented challenges. Our food import dependency on the Eastern European region, including for wheat, is very low, so Defra does not expect any significant direct impact of this conflict on UK food supply. The UK produced 14m tonnes of wheat in 2021, close to the volume of wheat the UK consumes, and has stocks of 1.7m tonnes. We can also import cereals from alternative sources.

While the price of wheat may go up due to global market disruptions, the primary effect for UK farmers is likely to be an increase in the cost of a range of inputs including red diesel, animal feed, fertiliser, and energy.

It is not Government policy to determine which crops farmers should prioritise to include in their crop rotation. In 2021 we permanently removed Basic Payment Scheme ‘greening measures’ on crop diversification and ecological focus areas, meaning when growers are making crop planting decisions, they are free to react to market signals.

We are in regular contact with the NFU, major grain traders, manufacturers, and food retailers to understand the impacts of global events on supply chains. We are also working with the industry to identify where mitigations are available and continue to keep the situation under review.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to encourage an increase in UK wheat production in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain which has coped well in responding to unprecedented challenges. Our food import dependency on the Eastern European region, including for wheat, is very low, so Defra does not expect any significant direct impact of this conflict on UK food supply. The UK produced 14m tonnes of wheat in 2021, close to the volume of wheat the UK consumes, and has stocks of 1.7m tonnes. We can also import cereals from alternative sources.

While the price of wheat may go up due to global market disruptions, the primary effect for UK farmers is likely to be an increase in the cost of a range of inputs including red diesel, animal feed, fertiliser, and energy.

It is not Government policy to determine which crops farmers should prioritise to include in their crop rotation. In 2021 we permanently removed Basic Payment Scheme ‘greening measures’ on crop diversification and ecological focus areas, meaning when growers are making crop planting decisions, they are free to react to market signals.

We are in regular contact with the NFU, major grain traders, manufacturers, and food retailers to understand the impacts of global events on supply chains. We are also working with the industry to identify where mitigations are available and continue to keep the situation under review.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of moving the enforcement of the pet travel legislation from carriers to a qualified animal professional from a government agency.

Carriers work closely with operational colleagues at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and Border Force and are committed to preventing illegal imports of pet animals. Authorised pet checkers are trained by APHA prior to being granted approval and receive annual audits of their checking and processing to ensure they uphold our requirements. APHA regularly reviews its border enforcement work against known travel trends of those that seek to illegally import puppies to the UK, to keep pace with this rapidly evolving criminal activity. Part of this work includes intelligence-led targeting of suspected smugglers, alongside partner agencies, including Border Force. Border Force operates a 24-hour service seven days per week and alerts APHA to suspected non-compliant dogs and puppies. Targeted intelligence-led work often takes place outside of normal working hours as needed. The Government is satisfied with the workings of these current arrangements.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when his Department plans to publish its response to the findings of the Commercial and Non-Commercial Movements of Pets into Great Britain consultation.

In August 2021, the Government launched an eight-week consultation on our proposed restrictions to the commercial and non-commercial movement of pets into Great Britain. We are currently analysing the responses to the consultation and will publish a summary in due course. This will allow us to take on board the views of the public and interested groups on puppy smuggling and low welfare imports in order to shape our future policy.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
14th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to introduce visual checks on dogs which enter the country via ports and the Eurotunnel.

We operate one of the most rigorous and robust pet travel checking regimes in Europe. All non-commercial dogs, cats and ferrets entering Great Britain on approved routes (every route other than Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and the Crown Dependencies) under the Pet Travel rules undergo 100% documentary and identity checks by authorised pet checkers.

Authorised pet checkers are trained by the Animal and Plant Health Agency prior to being granted approval and receive annual audits of their checking and processing to ensure they uphold our requirements. They also receive refresher training and are encouraged to liaise with their Animal and Plant Health Agency contacts to identify non-compliance trends and additional training requirements.

The Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill was introduced in Parliament on 8 June 2021 and completed committee on 18 November 2021. The Bill allows us to further protect the welfare of pets by introducing restrictions to crack down on the low welfare movements of pets into Great Britain and includes powers to introduce new restrictions on pet travel and the commercial import of pets on welfare grounds, via secondary legislation.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
25th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what percentage of seasonal agricultural workers come from Ukraine; and if he will make a statement.

The Home Office managed migration datasets indicate that in 2021, visas issued to Ukrainian nationals accounted for 67% (19,920) of all visas issued under the seasonal worker route, including those issued under the temporary visa schemes for poultry, food sector HGVs, and pork butchers.

Defra is engaging with the operators of the seasonal worker visa route to prepare and advance contingency plans in response to the situation in Ukraine. Operators can recruit from any country they choose for the seasonal workers visa route and operators recruited seasonal workers from almost 50 countries in 2021.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether those fishers who invested in the now withdrawn IVMS product will face enforcement action if they put to sea without any other IVMS product on board.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) will not be taking any enforcement action with respect to IVMS until a Statutory Instrument is laid and comes into force. That SI is scheduled to be laid in November 2022. Any enforcement after that date will be in line with the MMO’s Compliance and Enforcement Strategy.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to move more civil servants out of London.

Defra group is proud of our already dispersed workforce with 85% of our staff based outside London. Defra has three of its four core “hubs” outside London (Bristol, York and Newcastle). In December 2021 Defra had 9,383 civil servants outside London, including 2,886 from the core department. Our Bristol hub, Horizon House, is our largest office outside London with 8% of Defra group and 15% of the core department’s staff based there.

Defra is committed to continuing to build vibrant staff communities across the country, with a talented, diverse and inclusive workforce with a genuine connection to the local community and area. The publication of the Levelling Up White Paper provides a major step towards the transformation of the UK, spreading opportunity and prosperity for all.

It also reinforces this Government’s, and Defra’s, commitment to increasing significantly the geographic spread of civil servants across the UK. Defra will move 550 roles in the core department out of London by 2025 and a further 550 by 2030. We will also increase the proportion of our senior civil servants who are based outside London from one-third to one-half by 2030.

As we relocate more staff out of London we will make use of our existing properties. Initially we are focused on building our policy presence in our Newcastle hub (announced in November), opening small office spaces in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and working to expand other, non-London policy hubs. Moving forward, increasing the opportunities for staff in the South West remains one of our priorities, with our large group office in Exeter housing around 350 Rural Payments Agency staff.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many healthy pigs were slaughtered in (a) 2020, (b) 2021 and (c) since January 1 2022 due to (i) problems in supply chains and (ii) availability of veterinary and slaughterhouse staff.

Defra does not collect data on the number of pigs culled on farms. Producers, who are responsible for the welfare of animals on farm, are also not required to submit such data to us. We therefore have no data on the culling of pigs in 2020. However, from our engagement with the pig sector, we understand that around 29,800 pigs were culled on farms between 1 September and 31 December 2021 and around 6,200 pigs have been culled on farm since 1 January 2022. We are very aware of the impact the culling of pigs is having on the individual farmers involved.

We continue to monitor the evolving situation and to work closely with the pig industry. On 10 February I chaired a roundtable with pig industry representatives from across the UK to discuss the challenges that the sector has been facing in recent months caused by the pandemic, including the loss of exports to the Chinese market for certain pig processors, disruption to CO2 supplies, and a temporary shortage of labour in the processing sector. We have provided a package of measures to help address these unique circumstances, which includes temporary work visas for up to 800 pork butchers, and Private Storage Aid and Slaughter Incentive Payment schemes to facilitate an increase in the throughput of pigs through abattoirs.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the sugar industry since his decision to authorise the use of neonicotinoid pesticides for sugar beet crop.

The Government announced on 14 January that it would issue, with strict conditions, an emergency authorisation to use a neonicotinoid seed treatment for sugar beet crops in England. Since then, Defra Ministers have met with representatives of the sugar industry at a Parliamentary reception and at the NFU conference. Discussions included work to end the sector’s reliance on neonicotinoids.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
21st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what guidance his Department and the Marine Management Office have given to fishers on the recent type withdrawal of an IVMS product.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) received information indicating that the MS44 Inshore Vessel Monitoring System (IVMS) device that has been marketed by Maritime Systems Ltd was different to the device that was type-approved by the MMO in November 2021 and may not meet the required specification set out in the published approval process. Concern was centred around transmission strengths of the MS44 IVMS device, specifically in regard to its 4G capability.

So that the MMO could provide individuals with the reassurance needed to move forward with installation, type approval was temporally suspended to allow for a review to take place. Additional supporting information was requested regarding the functionality of the device and assurances were sought that the actual device that will be offered to industry moving forward is the MS44 device as approved within the original type approval programme.

The additional information provided by Maritime Systems Ltd confirms that the MS44 device continues to meet the required specification criteria, including 4G functionality. As a result of the review, this device remains one of the approved IVMS devices available for purchase.

On 7 March 2022, the MMO communicated the outcome to industry and also published an update online. In addition to the outcome of the review, this confirmed that the deadline for Tranche 1 (vessels 10m to 11.9m in length) device installation has been extended by seven weeks to 16 May 2022 and the grant claim window to 17 June 2022 to align with the Tranche 2 deadline.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the levels of toxic air pollutants in Plymouth.

An annual assessment based on both monitoring and supplementary modelling is undertaken annually. Plymouth is covered by the South West zone and the latest assessment can be found here:

https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/library/annualreport/viewonline?year=2020_issue_1#report_pdf

Defra's national network, the Automatic Urban and Rural Network (AURN) provides measurements of air pollutant concentrations throughout the UK for a range of pollutants, which includes 3 monitoring sites in Plymouth. These sites form part of a network of 171 sites across the UK, used to monitor compliance with the Air Quality Standards Regulations (2010). An interactive map showing the location of monitoring sites forming part of the AURN in Plymouth can be found at the following URL: https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/interactive-map

The AURN network provides high resolution hourly information, communicated rapidly to the public, using a wide range of electronic, media and web platforms. Data from monitoring sites in Plymouth is accessible through the following URL: https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/data/

Defra's Pollution Climate Mapping model estimates concentrations of air pollutants at 1km2 grid squares across the UK. An interactive map to display these concentrations can be found through the following URL:

https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/data/gis-mapping/

Plymouth City Council also carries out air quality monitoring as part of the Local Air Quality Management process and provides Defra with annual reports on the status of air quality within its Local Authority boundary. These reports detail strategies employed to improve air quality and any progress that has been made. Plymouth has a single city-wide Air Quality Management Area, which is due to levels of nitrogen dioxide exceeding national objectives. Summary statistics for all its Air Quality measurements can be found in its annual status reports, available through the following URL: https://www.plymouth.gov.uk/environmentandpollution/airquality

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill, whether he plans to undertake a further consultation on potential merits of a ban on e-collars.

One of the key reforms in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare is to ban hand-held remote-controlled electronic training collars (“e-collars”), given their scope to harm the welfare of dogs, including those deemed reactive. We continue to work closely with the animal welfare sector, enforcement agencies and Governments across the four nations on this ban.

We have listened carefully to a range of views from pet owners and respondents, as well as consulting key stakeholders including animal welfare charities, e-collar manufacturers, and trainers who use e-collars. Defra ran a public consultation in 2018 on the proposed ban on e-collars for cats and dogs in England. A summary of the responses received can be found here; Animal welfare: banning the use of electronic training collars for cats and dogs - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

With reference to the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill there are currently no plans to undertake a further consultation on a ban on e-collars.

Powers already exist to ban e-collars under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The secondary legislation needed to ban remote controlled electronic training collars will be laid before Parliament as soon as Parliamentary time allows.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the extent of trail hunting on privately-owned land; and if he will make a statement.

Defra has made no assessment of trail hunting on private land. Giving permission for trail hunting is a matter for the landowner.

The Hunting Act 2004 makes it an offence to hunt a wild mammal with dogs except where it is carried out in accordance with the exemptions in the Act. Those found guilty under the Act are subject to the full force of the law.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with fox hunts about fallen stock in the last five years.

Local authorities have the statutory duty to prosecute for offences under the Animal Health Act 1981 and provide information of any successful prosecutions annually. It is presented in a parliamentary report which is available on gov.uk.

A summary of that data shows that the following number of prosecutions were made under the Animal By-Products (Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2013, although the data does not specify whether the prosecutions relate to fallen stock; such information would have to be sought from the local authorities themselves.

2016 – 22

2017 – 18

2018 – 30

2019 – 38

2020 – 15

2020 – Data not yet available

The Secretary of State has not recently met any organisations running hunts to discuss this issue.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many prosecutions there have been for breach of regulations in relation to fallen stock in each of the last five years.

Local authorities have the statutory duty to prosecute for offences under the Animal Health Act 1981 and provide information of any successful prosecutions annually. It is presented in a parliamentary report which is available on gov.uk.

A summary of that data shows that the following number of prosecutions were made under the Animal By-Products (Enforcement) (England) Regulations 2013, although the data does not specify whether the prosecutions relate to fallen stock; such information would have to be sought from the local authorities themselves.

2016 – 22

2017 – 18

2018 – 30

2019 – 38

2020 – 15

2020 – Data not yet available

The Secretary of State has not recently met any organisations running hunts to discuss this issue.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that water in English rivers, lakes and seas does not pose a serious risk to human health.

Improving water quality is a Government priority and we are taking significant action in this area for people and nature. The Environment Act sets a duty on the Government to publish a storm overflow discharge reduction plan by September 2022. This plan will address reducing the adverse impacts on public health of sewage discharges from storm overflows.

Where rivers are designated as Bathing Waters, the Environment Agency monitors water quality and classifies bathing waters in line with the health protective standards of the Bathing Water Regulations (2013) and publishes an annual classification of Poor, Sufficient, Good or Excellent. It must also exercise its pollution control powers to achieve at least Sufficient status. Currently there is one river with designated Bathing Water Status, the River Wharfe at Ilkley. This was monitored for the first time during the 2021 Bathing Water Season (15th May - 30th September). The classification result will be published in January 2022.

The Environment Agency publishes a profile for each designated Bathing Water on its Swimfo website (https://environment.data.gov.uk/bwq/profiles/), which provides water quality testing results, the annual classification and information on pollution sources affecting each Bathing Water.

The Environment Agency and the UK Health Security Agency (formerly Public Health England) have published Swim Healthy guidance on Gov.UK

(https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/swim-healthy-leaflet).

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the accuracy of the recent finding by Surfers Against Sewage that there has been an increase of 87.6 per cent in sewage discharge notifications over the last 12 months.

The Environment Agency (EA) does not have access to the Surfers Against Sewage notification dataset and therefore cannot comment on the accuracy of spill notifications made by Water and Sewerage Companies (WaSCs) to third party organisations. We expect that, as this data is provided in near real time to Surfers Against Sewage, there will have been limited opportunity for WaSCs to quality assure the raw data to confirm that all the alerts have resulted in spills.

The number of Event Duration Monitors has increased substantially over the last few years to cover over 80% of overflows, and will provide complete coverage by 2023. For that reason, the number of spill notifications has gone up. However, the Government has been clear that the number of spills is unacceptable and has made tackling this a priority. We are therefore the first Government to take concerted action to tackle this historic infrastructure issue, including through the Environment Act.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent estimate he has made of the potential number of rivers that will achieve good ecological status in each of the next five years.

The Environment Agency sets objectives for the ecological status of England’s water bodies, including rivers, and sets out the programmes of measures to achieve those objectives in our river basin management plans. These plans are updated on a six-yearly cycle. The objectives for water bodies over the next six-year cycle (2021-2027) are contained in the updated draft river basin management plans which are currently available for statutory public consultation:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/draft-river-basin-management-plans-2021

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the financial impact on small and local business of rivers, lakes and seas being unswimmable as a result of sewage pollution.

The Government has not made an assessment of the impact on riverside SMEs of local sewage pollution.

However, the Government has been clear that the water industry’s levels of sewage discharges from storm overflows are unacceptable and has made tackling this a priority. We are the first Government to take concerted action to tackle this historic infrastructure issue, including through the Environment Act. The provisions in the Environment Act place a duty on the water industry to achieve a progressive reduction in the adverse impacts caused by storm overflows. These include adverse impacts on public health.

The Government will publish a report before 1 September 2022 on the actions necessary, including the costs and benefits of the elimination of storm overflows. The report will consider a range of benefits, including those to business.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of requirements under the Environment Act 2021 on the customers water bills.

Defra published an impact assessment on 20 March 2020 (Environment Act 2021 publications - Parliamentary Bills - UK Parliament) setting out the cost / benefit assessment of the Environment Act 2021 measures as were laid out in the then-draft Bill introduced in January 2020.

Several provisions in the Act will, however, be commenced by Regulations and detailed impact assessments will be undertaken as part of the development of those Regulations. These will include consideration of the impacts on customers.

The Defra-led Storm Overflows Taskforce has published a Storm Overflows Evidence Project on the costs, benefits and feasibility of different options for eliminating harm from storm overflows. The independent research conducted by Stantec presents a detailed overview of potential approaches that will act as an important evidence base for Government action. This is the first comprehensive analysis of its kind and the Government will take account of its findings in future impact assessments.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much raw sewage has been discharged into chalk streams in the last 12 months.

The Environment Agency does not hold the data for the volume of sewage released by storm overflows.

Working with water companies, the Environment Agency has concluded a programme to install Event Duration Monitors (EDM) on the vast majority of storm overflows, just over 80% of overflows in England, by the end of 2020. These monitors provide a robust and consistent way of monitoring how often and for how long storm overflows are used but do not measures volume. By the end of 2023, the remaining number will be monitored.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the timescale is for water companies to publish information on progressive reduction of raw sewage discharges under the Environment Act 2021.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 1 December 2021, PQ 82067.

The Government has made tackling sewage overflows a priority and we are the first Government to take concerted action to tackle this historic infrastructure issue.

Earlier this year the Government published a new draft set of strategic priorities for the water industry's financial regulator Ofwat. In this publication Government set out its expectation that water companies must take steps to "significantly reduce the frequency and volume of sewage discharges from storm overflows."

The Environment Act then placed this direction on a statutory footing, setting a duty for water companies to achieve a progressive reduction in the adverse impacts of discharges from storm overflows. Defra intends to set out the level of ambition expected by this in due course.

The Water Industry Act, as amended by the Environment Act, will include a duty on water companies to publish near real time information (within one hour) of the commencement of an overflow, its location and when it ceases, and to monitor the water quality upstream and downstream of a storm overflow or a sewage disposal works. These requirements will be part of the way we measure and evaluate the reduction in harm caused by storm overflows and the Government will bring forward implementing legislation in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the requirements in the Environment Act 2021 for water companies to reduce the impact of sewage discharges from storm overflows and show a reduction in sewage overspills, (a) in what format and (b) with what frequency will data on progressive reduction in sewage discharges from combined sewer overflows.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 1 December 2021, PQ 82067.

The Government has made tackling sewage overflows a priority and we are the first Government to take concerted action to tackle this historic infrastructure issue.

Earlier this year the Government published a new draft set of strategic priorities for the water industry's financial regulator Ofwat. In this publication Government set out its expectation that water companies must take steps to "significantly reduce the frequency and volume of sewage discharges from storm overflows."

The Environment Act then placed this direction on a statutory footing, setting a duty for water companies to achieve a progressive reduction in the adverse impacts of discharges from storm overflows. Defra intends to set out the level of ambition expected by this in due course.

The Water Industry Act, as amended by the Environment Act, will include a duty on water companies to publish near real time information (within one hour) of the commencement of an overflow, its location and when it ceases, and to monitor the water quality upstream and downstream of a storm overflow or a sewage disposal works. These requirements will be part of the way we measure and evaluate the reduction in harm caused by storm overflows and the Government will bring forward implementing legislation in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what baseline his Department will use to determine progressive reductions in sewage discharges from combined sewer overflows.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 1 December 2021, PQ 82067.

The Government has made tackling sewage overflows a priority and we are the first Government to take concerted action to tackle this historic infrastructure issue.

Earlier this year the Government published a new draft set of strategic priorities for the water industry's financial regulator Ofwat. In this publication Government set out its expectation that water companies must take steps to "significantly reduce the frequency and volume of sewage discharges from storm overflows."

The Environment Act then placed this direction on a statutory footing, setting a duty for water companies to achieve a progressive reduction in the adverse impacts of discharges from storm overflows. Defra intends to set out the level of ambition expected by this in due course.

The Water Industry Act, as amended by the Environment Act, will include a duty on water companies to publish near real time information (within one hour) of the commencement of an overflow, its location and when it ceases, and to monitor the water quality upstream and downstream of a storm overflow or a sewage disposal works. These requirements will be part of the way we measure and evaluate the reduction in harm caused by storm overflows and the Government will bring forward implementing legislation in due course.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has conducted or commissioned research on levels of public support for (a) action to stop raw sewage discharge and (b) potential increases in water bills arising from that action.

As part of the Storm Overflows Evidence Project commissioned by the Storm Overflows Taskforce, the consultants undertook a public attitudes survey on the issue of sewage discharges. This independent research project assessed the potential impact on rivers of reducing storm overflows and the related costs. The report, conducted by Stantec, has now been published on gov.uk and is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/storm-overflows-evidence-project. The report is the first assessment of its kind ever conducted. The Government, together with the Storm Overflows Taskforce, will take account of its findings in future impact assessments.

Ofwat, the independent economic regulator, is responsible for ensuring that water companies charge fair prices and deliver quality services through the Price Review. As part of this process, water companies must engage with their customers and obtain broad customer support when developing their plans and making decisions around future investments.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to his departments consultation entitled Water industry: government’s strategic policy statement for Ofwat, which closed on 15 October 2021, if he will take steps to consult with hon. Members before the publication of the strategic policy statement.

A draft of the Strategic Policy Statement for Ofwat (SPS) was published for consultation on 22 July 2021. The consultation was open to the public until 15 October 2021. The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) provided a response to the consultation. I gave oral evidence to the EAC's Water Quality in Rivers inquiry on 15 September 2021, where the SPS was discussed. A draft of the strategic policy statement will be laid in Parliament in the New Year for a 40 day period, where it will then directly inform the Price Review process, including Ofwat’s draft methodology due to be published in summer 2022.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much the Exchequer has received in fines from water companies since 2010.

In the period from 2010 to date, the Treasury has received about £143 million from imposed fines on water companies. These have been the result of Environment Agency prosecutions and Ofwat enforcement investigations.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of requiring water companies to review their business plans in the control period to increase investment in reducing raw sewage

I have been clear that the current level of sewage discharges is unacceptable.

Water companies are committed in the current 5-year business planning period to a significant programme of improvements to monitoring and management of sewer overflows. Water company investment in this area currently totals £3.1 billion, including £1.9 billion of investment in the Thames Tideway Tunnel and £1.2 billion elsewhere delivering over 800 improvement schemes in response to Event Duration Monitoring insights. Water companies must also certify to Ofwat each year that they have the funding, management resources and systems and controls in place to fulfil their regulated activities, including to meet their environmental obligations and should be investing accordingly in order to fulfil their regulatory requirements.

Companies have also already re-opened their business plans as part of our efforts to build back greener from the pandemic. Ofwat approved a draft package of over £2.7 billion and as part of this new package of investment, companies committed an additional £144 million to help eliminate the harm caused by Storm Overflows and trial the creation of two bathing rivers.

The Government has made tackling this a priority and we are the first Government to take concerted action to tackle this historic infrastructure issue.

Earlier this year the Government published a new draft set of strategic priorities for the water industry's financial regulator Ofwat. In this publication Government set out its expectation that water companies must take steps to "significantly reduce the frequency and volume of sewage discharges from storm overflows."

The Environment Act then placed this direction on a statutory footing, setting a duty for water companies to achieve a progressive reduction in the adverse impacts of discharges from Storm Overflows. Defra intends to set out the level of ambition expected by this in due course.

The Government will take the necessary action to ensure that water companies perform against existing, and new, statutory obligations.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will release the minutes of the meeting between Coller Capital and Lord Goldsmith on 24 May 2021.

As published in Defra’s transparency data for April-June 2021, Lord Goldsmith met Coller Capital and Lord Sarfraz on 24 May to discuss sustainable, plant-based protein and the alignment of agricultural finance with climate and nature. We do not routinely publish the minutes of meetings.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has for phasing out Avgas 100.

Tetraethyllead (TEL) is a chemical used in AVGAS 100 and is listed on the UK REACH Candidate list as a substance of very high concern (SVHC). This places certain obligations on companies or individuals that use or place TEL on the market in GB.

SVHC identification is the first step in the Authorisation process, which is used to control the use of substances with specific hazards. Once a substance has been identified as an SVHC, it can then be prioritised for inclusion in Annex 14 of UK REACH (the authorisation list). In its recent draft recommendation on substances that are a priority for adding to Annex 14, the HSE concluded whilst no action should be taken at present, it might be appropriate to revisit the regulatory approach to tetraethyllead when technical evaluations of potential alternatives for use in aviation fuel are completed.

The Department for Transport is working to encourage industry to transfer to cleaner aviation fuels as soon as possible. In December 2020, the Secretary of State for Transport asked officials to explore ways to encourage the aviation sector to use UL91 fuel, an unleaded aviation fuel which it is believed a significant proportion of the piston engine aviation fleet can use.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reason AVGAS 100 was not placed on the very high concern substance list.

The aviation fuel AVGAS 100 is not listed on the UK REACH Candidate list as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) because it is a mixture of substances. One of these substances is tetraethyllead (TEL), which is listed on the UK REACH Candidate list as an SVHC. This places certain obligations on companies or individuals that use or place TEL on the market in GB. This includes its use in aviation fuel.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answers of 2 July 2021 to Question 22019 on Animal Products: Imports and 17 November 2021 to Question 68441 on Polar Bears, in what capacity the four polar bear trophies were imported in 2019 and 2020 if they were not issued with a licence.

No polar bear hunting trophies were imported under CITES in 2019 or 2020. The reply I gave to the hon. Member on 2 July 2021, PQ 22019, was based on inaccurately reported data which conflated information on commercial and hunting trophy trade in polar bear parts. We will publish a correction to PQ 22019.

CITES permits can be issued for a range of purposes, for example commercial, scientific or personal use. Four polar bear items were imported for commercial purposes, with permits, in 2019 and 2020.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 15 November 2021 to Question 71453 on Members: Correspondence, what his Department's target date is for the hon. Member for Cambridge to receive a reply to his letter dated 1 September 2021.

A reply was sent to the hon. Member on 17 November 2021.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has in place to support the UK fishing industry in the event that the EU activate provisions of Article 506 in the Trade and Co-operation Agreement applying tariffs to British fish exports.

Our approach to fisheries licensing under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement has been reasonable and fully in line with our commitments. Technical discussions continue with the European Commission and French administration to determine whether there is further information available that would support vessels to qualify for a licence. Vessels that provide the required evidence will receive a licence.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 15 November 2021 to Question 71453 on Members: Correspondence, what steps he is taking to reduce response times to letters sent to his Department from hon. Members.

There were 1322 letters from hon. Members awaiting responses from Ministers as of 15 November 2021. This year to date Defra has responded to over 9,700 letters from hon. Members.

The target for correspondence sent to the Secretary of State is for 85% to be completed within 20 working days. The monthly average response time for letters sent to him by hon. Members as of 15 November 2021 is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs. We can advise that in the month up until 15 November, 50% of letters sent to Ministers had been responded to within 20 working days.

We are unable to advise what the longest response time has been for a letter sent to the Secretary of State by an hon. Member since January 2021, as this information is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 15 November 2021 to Question 71453 on Members: Correspondence, what the longest response time has been for a letter sent to him by an hon. Member since January 2021.

There were 1322 letters from hon. Members awaiting responses from Ministers as of 15 November 2021. This year to date Defra has responded to over 9,700 letters from hon. Members.

The target for correspondence sent to the Secretary of State is for 85% to be completed within 20 working days. The monthly average response time for letters sent to him by hon. Members as of 15 November 2021 is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs. We can advise that in the month up until 15 November, 50% of letters sent to Ministers had been responded to within 20 working days.

We are unable to advise what the longest response time has been for a letter sent to the Secretary of State by an hon. Member since January 2021, as this information is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 15 November 2021 to Question 71453 on Members: Correspondence, what the (a) target and (b) monthly average response time is for letters sent to him by hon. Members as of 15 November 2021.

There were 1322 letters from hon. Members awaiting responses from Ministers as of 15 November 2021. This year to date Defra has responded to over 9,700 letters from hon. Members.

The target for correspondence sent to the Secretary of State is for 85% to be completed within 20 working days. The monthly average response time for letters sent to him by hon. Members as of 15 November 2021 is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs. We can advise that in the month up until 15 November, 50% of letters sent to Ministers had been responded to within 20 working days.

We are unable to advise what the longest response time has been for a letter sent to the Secretary of State by an hon. Member since January 2021, as this information is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 15 November 2021 to Question 71453 on Members: Correspondence, how many letters from hon. Members are awaiting responses from Ministers in his Department as of 15 November 2021.

There were 1322 letters from hon. Members awaiting responses from Ministers as of 15 November 2021. This year to date Defra has responded to over 9,700 letters from hon. Members.

The target for correspondence sent to the Secretary of State is for 85% to be completed within 20 working days. The monthly average response time for letters sent to him by hon. Members as of 15 November 2021 is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs. We can advise that in the month up until 15 November, 50% of letters sent to Ministers had been responded to within 20 working days.

We are unable to advise what the longest response time has been for a letter sent to the Secretary of State by an hon. Member since January 2021, as this information is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the oral contribution of the Minister for Nature Recovery and the Domestic Environment of 20 October 2021, Official Report, Column 843, if he will publish the methodology used in calculating that ending sewage outflows would cost up to £660 billion.

The figures referred to were from draft findings of the Storm Overflows Evidence Project, which was commissioned by the Storm Overflows Taskforce (made up of a range of active stakeholders in this sector). The final report considers a wide range of policies and scenarios with their respective cost and impact on customer bills, including the upper bound figure of £600 billion to separate the combined sewer network. This research was an independent report, conducted by Stantec, and is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/storm-overflows-evidence-project

The report contains detailed methodology of how it arrived at its initial conclusions and the government will consider its findings carefully, alongside other recommendations from the Storm Overflows Taskforce.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Cambridge on Inshore Vessel Monitoring dated 1 September 2021.

A reply will be sent to the hon Member in due course.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
5th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to prevent advertising of dogs for sale through (a) Snapchat and (b) Instagram stories where content is temporarily held online.

This Government takes the issue of low-welfare and illegal supply of puppies very seriously. Significant steps have already been taken to improve and update the laws on dog breeding in England to crack down on unscrupulous breeders who breed dogs purely for financial greed at the expense of animal welfare.

My department supports the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG) which was created to combat growing concerns about the irresponsible advertising of pets for sale, rehoming and exchange, including through social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram. We have backed a set of Minimum Standards that PAAG developed which several of the UK’s largest classified websites have agreed to meet. Meanwhile my department maintains a national communications campaign (Petfished) to raise awareness of issues associated with low-welfare and illegal supply of pets. This includes providing clear signposting on where responsible breeders and rehoming centres can be found and encouraging prospective buyers to research the seller thoroughly before they visit and decide to purchase. The campaign provides a list of red flags for buyers to look out for when searching for a pet online. More information can be found here: https://getyourpetsafely.campaign.gov.uk/

Under The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 anyone in the business of breeding and selling dogs and/or who breeds three or more litters in a twelve-month period needs to have a valid licence from their local authority. Licencees must meet strict statutory minimum welfare standards, including provisions to protect dogs from being bred from too often or at an early age, which are enforced by local authorities who have powers to issue, refuse or revoke licences. Any licensee advertising dogs for sale will need to include their licence number in the advert and specify the local authority who issued the licence. Additional requirements placed on advertisements include that the age of the dog for sale must be displayed along with a recognisable photograph.

We banned the commercial third-party sales of puppies and kittens in England from 6 April 2020. This ban aims to disrupt the low-welfare trade that supports puppy farming by preventing pet shops, pet dealers and other commercial outlets from selling these animals in England unless they themselves have bred them. It means anyone looking to get a puppy must buy direct from a breeder or consider adopting from a rescue centre instead.

Furthermore, the Government has a manifesto commitment to crack down on puppy smuggling and one of our key reforms in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare is to end this abhorrent, cruel practice and low-welfare pet imports. We continue to maintain a close working relationship with the animal welfare sector, enforcement agencies and Governments across the four nations regarding the regulation of dog breeding and pet sales. This will allow us to explore a more consistent approach to addressing any cross-border issues associated with illegal or low-welfare supply.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
4th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the number of ivory items owned by or collated by his Department.

We have not made any estimates of the number of ivory items owned by, or collated in this Department, or institutions owned or managed by the Government.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will take steps to ban trail hunting and remove exemptions from the Hunting Act 2004 that have been used as a cover for illegal hunting, in response to the judgment of 15 October 2021 in the case of R v Mark Hankinson.

The Hunting Act 2004 makes it an offence to hunt a wild mammal with dogs except where it is carried out in accordance with the exemptions in the Act, and completely bans hare coursing.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the merits of prohibiting trail hunting on land owned by his Department to prevent its use as a cover for illegal hunting, following the judgment in the case of R v Mark Hankinson; and if he will make a statement.

The Hunting Act 2004 makes it an offence to hunt a wild mammal with dogs except where it is carried out in accordance with the exemptions in the Act, and completely bans hare coursing.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many licences he has issued for the import of hunting trophies of polar bears in (a) 2019, (b) 2020 and (c) 2021.

No licences have been issued for the import of hunting trophies of polar bears in 2019, 2020 or 2021.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 1 November 2021 to Question 64729, on Rivers: Sewage, what the hourly pay for staff in the Digital Engagement and Creative Content team is; and how many hours it took to produce the video.

The information is not available in the form requested. Individual staff costs cannot be easily identified to provide a precise figure for the production of that specific video alongside their other creative content commitments that day.

The video was produced alongside other creative content commitments that day. It is not possible to break down the exact production hours.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the cost was of producing the video, published 26 October 2021 used to promote the Government's proposed new sewage and rivers policy.

The video published 26 October 2021 was made in-house by the Defra group communications Digital Engagement and Creative Content team and did not incur a cost.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' oral contribution on 20 October 2021, Official Report, c. 843, whether he will publish the assessment behind the cost range of ending raw sewage discharges into rivers as cited by the Minister during that debate.

The age of our Victorian sewerage system means a complete elimination of discharges from storm overflows would be extremely challenging and initial assessments suggest it could cost over £150 billion according to the Storm Overflows Evidence Project, commissioned by the Storm Overflows Taskforce. The full research report will be published shortly.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what guidance he has issued to Ofwat on accelerating the ending of routine discharge of raw sewage into English rivers by water companies.

Earlier this year the Government consulted on a set of strategic priorities for Ofwat, the independent economic regulator for the water industry. The draft strategic policy statement (SPS) sets out the direction from the Government that water companies must take steps to "significantly reduce sewage discharges from storm overflows". This is the first time any government has set out this expectation for water companies to prioritise their reliance on storm overflows to discharge sewage. The SPS strongly influences investment decisions and is one of the Government's key tools in driving action from water companies. The Government expects to publish the final SPS in early 2022.

Government has also announced that it will put the direction set out in the SPS on a statutory footing with a new duty on water companies to progressively reduce impacts of sewage discharges.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he expects water companies to end the routine discharge of raw sewage into English rivers.

Eliminating harm from storm overflows is a Government priority, but we know that it will involve significant change and take time to achieve. The age of our Victorian sewerage system means a complete elimination of discharges from storm overflows would be extremely challenging and require full separation of pipes across the country, alongside other additional infrastructure. Initial assessments suggest this would cost over £150 billion according to the Storm Overflows Evidence Project, commissioned by the Storm Overflows Taskforce. The full research report will be published shortly.

However, this does not mean that things cannot improve significantly. We are continuing to work with the industry to make sure that storm overflows are properly controlled and to reduce the harm caused by their discharges. This Government has been clear that the current failure of water companies to reduce adequately sewage discharges is unacceptable.

Between 2020 and 2025 water companies will invest £7.1 billion to protect and improve the environment. This includes the £5.2 billion invested through the Water Industry National Environment Programme. Of this, £3.1 billion will be invested in in storm overflow improvements.

However, we have made it crystal clear to water companies that they must take further action to significantly reduce sewage discharges from storm overflows as a priority. Our draft Strategic Policy Statement to Ofwat sets out for the first time that we expect water companies to take the steps required to "significantly reduce…. storm overflows." We have also announced that we will put that instruction on a statutory footing with a new duty on water companies to progressively reduce the impact of sewage discharges.

Our Environment Bill also includes the following new duties directly on water companies to:

  • publish statutory Drainage and Sewerage Management Plans, for the first time, setting out how they will reduce overflows, as well as detailing other improvements, and provides the power for government to direct companies if these plans are inadequate;
  • monitor water quality up and downstream of areas potentially affected by discharges;
  • publish data on storm overflow operation on an annual basis;
  • publish near real time information - within one hour- on the operation of storm overflows.

We will not hesitate to use our powers to hold companies to account. Earlier this year Southern Water was handed a record-breaking £90 million fine, and Thames Water was fined £4 million and £2.3 million for separate incidents.

New amendments have been tabled that place duties on the Government to publish a plan by September 2022 to reduce sewage discharges from storm overflows and reduce their impact. There is also a duty to report to Parliament on progress on implementing the plan. We will also produce a report outlining further evidence regarding elimination of Storm Overflows by September 2022. We expect this to drive action to tackle this issue in a shorter timeframe.

Truly reducing harm from storm overflows will require a collaborative approach between many actors. To this end, in August 2020 I established the Storm Overflows Taskforce to bring together key stakeholders from the water industry, regulators, and environmental NGOs, with a long-term goal to eliminate harm from storm overflows. The Taskforce has already taken steps to improve monitoring and transparency and has commissioned research to gather evidence on the costs, benefits and feasibility of different options.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on increases in aluminium prices and the effect of those increases on the food industry.

Defra has well established ways of working with the industry and across Government to monitor risks that may arise. These include extensive, regular and ongoing engagement in preparedness for, and response to, issues with the potential to cause disruption to food supply chains.

Additionally, David Lewis has been appointed to co-chair the new Supply Chain Advisory Group and the new Industry Taskforce, providing a link between business and government to identify causes of supply chain issues and pre-empt future issues. He has been appointed until the end of the year.

The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain, as demonstrated throughout the Covid-19 response. Our high degree of food security is built on access to a range of sources, including robust supply chains domestically, and from a diverse range of other stable countries.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what representations his Department has received on the maximum number of dogs that a professional dog walker should walk at any one time.

Professional dog walkers should comply with all relevant legislation, including the Animal Welfare Act 2006, Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and others. They should also comply with any relevant local authority requirements, not walk more dogs at any one time than their insurance policy allows, and ensure that the dogs are kept under control at all times.

The Canine and Feline Sector Group, which includes in its members the UK’s most significant animal welfare organisations, has published guidance to assist professional dog walkers in ensuring the welfare of animals in their care. Their guidance has formed the basis for guidance owned and issued by several local authorities and recommends that no more than four dogs are walked at any one time.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the British pie industry on shortages of aluminium for pie foil casings.

Defra has well established ways of working with the industry and across Government to monitor risks that may arise. These include extensive, regular and ongoing engagement in preparedness for, and response to, issues with the potential to cause disruption to food supply chains, including those for food packaging.

British pie manufacturers have not raised concerns with Defra about aluminium packaging availability for pie foil casings, but we are aware of issues raised more generally by the food and drink industry due to packaging shortages. We will continue those conversations to explore further impacts and discuss potential solutions.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the likely date of exhaustion of sewage treatment chemical stockpiles in the event that they are not replenished.

There is currently an adequate supply of water and wastewater treatment chemicals throughout the UK. A temporary Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) was introduced to enable water and wastewater treatment sites to apply to the Environment Agency (EA) to reduce chemical dosing levels and mitigate any delays resulting the shortage of haulier drivers. This will expire at the end of the year unless the EA chooses to extend it. It has not been necessary for any wastewater companies to use the RPS.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he plans to take to help ensure that Ofwat’s strategic decisions align with the Government’s 25 year environment plan.

The Government has consulted on the draft strategic policy statement (SPS) for Ofwat, the independent economic regulator. Government expects to publish the final strategic policy statement in early 2022.

The draft SPS includes a strategic priority on ‘Protecting and enhancing the environment’:

  • Ofwat should drive water companies to be more ambitious in their environmental planning and delivery to contribute towards the priorities set out in the 25 Year Environment Plan. Ofwat should drive water companies to improve their day to day environmental performance to enhance quality of the water environment.
Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with industry representatives on the potential merits of strengthening Parliamentary oversight of Ofwat and its performance.

The Secretary of State has not had any recent discussions with industry representatives on strengthening Parliamentary oversight of Ofwat and its performance.

Ofwat is directly accountable to Parliament for the performance of its functions and duties through the Water Industry Act 1991.

In the National Infrastructure Strategy published in November 2020, the Government committed to produce a cross-sectoral review of economic regulation.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effectiveness of using military drivers to deliver sewage treatment chemicals that are stuck in transit as a result of driver shortages.

There is currently an adequate supply of water and wastewater treatment chemicals throughout the UK. The Government and industry have worked together to put in place effective mitigations to increase driver numbers. It has not been necessary to use military drivers to transport wastewater treatment chemicals.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing extra funds to water companies for the purposes of mitigating the risks posed by the sewage treatment chemical supply challenges.

There is currently no disruption to the supply of water, its treatment, or the treatment of wastewater.

The Government continues to work closely with water companies and regulators to reduce the likelihood and mitigate any future supply challenges.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential to stockpile sewage treatment chemicals at regional centres in an emergency.

There is currently an adequate supply of wastewater treatment chemicals throughout the UK. Water companies have robust plans in place to deal with a variety of emergencies that may arise. Companies retain stockpiles of critical chemicals as a contingency measure.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make it his policy to prioritise the distribution of sewage treatment chemicals to waste water treatment works in England.

There is currently no disruption to the supply of chemicals used in the treatment of wastewater.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many powers have been (a) implemented or commenced and (b) used by prosecuting authorities under the Ivory Act 2018.

Once commenced, the Ivory Act will introduce one of the toughest bans on elephant ivory sales in the world by banning the dealing in items made of or containing elephant ivory, regardless of their age, unless they fall within one of the narrow and carefully defined exemptions.


We plan to implement the Ivory Act this winter and for the ban to come into force in spring 2022.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has set an emissions reductions plan.

On 19 October, the Government's Net Zero Strategy was published, setting the UK on the path to deliver on its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The Net Zero Strategy sets out Government's vision for transitioning to a net zero economy and covers a wide range of actions across different sectors. The Natural Resources, Waste and Fluorinated-Gases (F-Gases) chapter covers Defra related sectors and their emission reductions including agriculture, peat and tree planting.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in the context of the Environment Agency permitting the removal of the third stage of sewage treatment in the event that the appropriate chemicals are not available as a result of supply chain challenges or the lorry driver shortages, if he will take steps to ensure that people in England do not experience environmental and public health ill-effects from that activity.

A temporary Regulatory Position Statement (RPS) was introduced to enable water and wastewater treatment sites to apply to the Environment Agency (EA) to reduce chemical dosing levels and mitigate any delays resulting from the shortage of haulier drivers. This will expire at the end of the year unless the EA chooses to extend it. It has not been necessary for any water or wastewater company to use the RPS.

Any company planning to make use of this short-term measure must first agree its use with the EA, which will thoroughly check compliance. The EA will continue to monitor discharges and water quality as normal. Compliance with permit limits will also continue to be assessed.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the projected resulting emissions for Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use are over the period of the (a) fourth, (b) fifth and (c) sixth carbon budget periods.

The Government’s Net Zero Strategy sets the UK on the path to deliver on its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The Net Zero Strategy sets out the Government’s vision for transitioning to a net zero economy and covers a wide range of actions across different sectors.

Sectoral emissions for Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) over forthcoming carbon budget periods are set out in Table 8 of the technical annex to the Net Zero Strategy. These are Carbon Budget (CB) 4; 51-57 MtCO2e; Nationally Determined Contribution 44-52 MtCo2e and CB6 38-48 MtCO2e.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to announce a water demand target.

Protecting our water resources remains a priority for this government, which is why we are working to support the delivery of the ambitions set out in the Environment Agency’s national framework to reduce personal water consumption to 110 litres per person per day by 2050, without affecting the quality of life and enjoyment of water used by households.

We are also considering the potential for a statutory target on overall demand for public water supply under the target framework set out in the Environment Bill, alongside other target options which we intend to consult on in early 2022.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he plans to take to help ensure that water company employees are safeguarded from being ascribed fault for incidents occurring as a result of the shortage of sewage treatment chemicals.

There is no shortage of sewage treatment chemicals, and precautionary mitigation measures have been put in place to reduce the risk of any such shortage.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the projected emissions resulting from waste are over the (a) fourth, (b) fifth and (c) sixth carbon budget periods.

The Government's Net Zero Strategy sets the UK on the path to deliver on its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The Net Zero Strategy sets out Government's vision for transitioning to a net zero economy and covers a wide range of actions across different sectors.

Sectoral emissions for Waste and F-gases over forthcoming carbon budget periods are set out in Table 8 of the technical annex to the net zero strategy. These are: Carbon Budget (CB) 4 24-27 MtCO2e; Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) 17-20 MtCO2e and CB6 12-15 MtCO2e.

n.b. NDC is the midpoint of CB5

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what emissions reductions his Department’s (a) existing and (b) proposed policies deliver in the (i) fourth, (ii) fifth and (iii) sixth carbon budget periods.

The Government's Net Zero Strategy sets the UK on the path to deliver on its commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2050. The Net Zero Strategy sets out the Government's vision for transitioning to a net zero economy and covers a wide range of actions across different sectors.

The Natural Resources, Waste and Fluorinated-Gases (F-Gases) chapter collates wide-ranging commitments, incorporating nature-based solutions into our approach to reach net zero, ensuring the pathway delivers multiple benefits for climate, biodiversity, and people. This brings together and builds on commitments and policies made in the 25 Year Environment Plan, the Agriculture Act and the Environment Act. We have committed to support the agriculture sector to reduce emissions, restore huge swathes of peat, create vast woodlands, and take action to reduce harmful waste and gases.

Table 8 in the technical annex of the Net Zero Strategy sets out sector emissions in future carbon budgets compared with current emissions levels.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Aug 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Ministerial departmental office (a) has been and (b) is currently covered by CCTV cameras.

It is not Government policy to comment on security procedures in Government buildings.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of mandating the display of the Unified Water Label at the point of sale of terminal water fittings.

The Government published a Written Ministerial Statement on Reducing Demand for Water on 1 July 2021, which announced plans to introduce a mandatory water efficiency label to inform consumers and encourage the purchase of more water efficient products for both domestic and business use. We are currently exploring options for the label, including the potential to achieve energy savings, as well as further water savings.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many meetings he has had with representatives of organisations (a) in favour of and (b) opposed to the Government's proposed ban on trophy hunting in the last 24 months.

The Government made a manifesto commitment to ban the import of hunting trophies from endangered animals, and Ministers and officials have engaged with a range of stakeholders throughout policy development on this issue. This, together with the outcomes of the recent consultation and call for evidence, will inform our next steps. Our approach on hunting trophies will be comprehensive, robust and effective and will deliver the change we promised to help protect thousands of species worldwide. We will set out our plans soon.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Defence on (a) the Government's proposals for Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) and (b) proposed locations for HPMAs.

On 8 June 2021, the Government published its response to the Benyon Review into Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs). The Government accepted the central recommendation to take forward pilot sites with the purpose of biodiversity recovery.

The response to the Benyon Review was agreed across Government. Defra officials met with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) during the Benyon Review and when preparing the Government response. The response states that HPMAs will be outside of routine defence exercise areas, and the selection of sites will consider the ability of an activity or sector to adapt to the location of a HPMA.

The Government is developing ecological, social and economic criteria for HPMA identification to create a list of potential sites this year, followed by a consultation and designation of sites in 2022. Defra will engage the MoD and other Government departments on the potential list of sites when it becomes available.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has declared a climate and ecological emergency.

The UK has adopted some of the most ambitious climate change and environment policies and commitments in the world.

Our Nationally Determined Contribution to cut emissions by 78% by 2035 is the most ambitious in the world. We became the first major economy to set a net zero target in law in 2019. We have doubled our International Climate Finance, and are investing nearly a third of it in nature-based solutions to climate change. We are leading coalitions of ambitious countries to protect at least 30% of the world’s land and water by 2030, to redirect land use subsidies globally to support sustainability and renewal, and to breaking the link between commodity production and illegal deforestation.

Among numerous world-first interventions, the Environment Bill is being amended to create a duty to set a historic target on species abundance for 2030, aiming to halt the decline in nature.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to publish his proposals for a catch and release pilot for blue fin tuna.

A catch, tag and release (CHART) programme to conduct scientific research into Atlantic Bluefin Tuna abundance in English waters will run from 16 August until 14 November 2021.

Details of the programme were published on the website of the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) on 23 April 2021: CHART Programme for Atlantic Bluefin Tuna - CEFAS.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions his Department has had with the Ministry of Defence on their proposals to release untreated radioactive rainwater from HM Naval Base Devonport into the river Tamar.

The Environment Agency (EA) was in discussions with HM Naval Base (HMNB) Devonport on their proposals for the disposal of rainwater containing tritium (a radioactive isotope of hydrogen) between December 2020 and June 2021. At that point HMNB Devonport formally submitted an application to vary its Approval for the receipt and disposal of radioactive waste.

At present this low level contaminated rainwater passes through the effluent treatment plant operated by the neighbouring nuclear site, Devonport Royal Dockyard Ltd. HMNB Devonport now wants to release the rainwater directly into the River Tamar/Hamoaze. This would result in a very minor increase in dose to the public – equal to less than five minutes of the average annual background radiation dose in the UK. The total dose from all pathways and sources of radiation from the Dockyard was less than 0.005 mSv in 2019, which was less than 0.5 percent of the dose limit. Overall this is a very low level of radioactivity that will be discharged to the environment. The environmental impact of the tritium discharge is therefore minimal.

Discussions included the EA giving pre-application advice to the dockyard to ensure that the application would contain sufficient information to allow the EA to assess the application in a timely manner. The EA consulted with the public until 27 July about this application and will now work to determine the application. The consultation can be found here: https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/nuclear/application-to-vary-the-radioactive-substances-app/

The radioactive substances provisions of the Environmental Permitting Regulations do not apply to the Ministry of Defence (MoD). However, there is a Memorandum of Understanding between the EA and the MoD which provides for equivalent administrative arrangements. The Approval held by the MoD for HMNB Devonport is the equivalent of a Permit that would be held by a civilian operator.

The EA will continue to monitor pollution in the River Tamar/Hamoaze and the potential impact of the HMNB discharge if the application is approved.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 21 June 2021 to Question 14214 on Climate Change and Ecology, whether the Government plans to declare a climate and ecological emergency.

This Government was the first of any major economy to set a net zero target in law, building on the legal framework to prevent and adapt to the effects of climate change in the Climate Change Act. The Environment Bill now requires a new, historic legally binding target to be set to halt the decline in species abundance by 2030.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to issue a consultation on the future management structure for national landscapes.

My Rt Hon Friend the Environment Secretary regularly discusses a wide range of issues with Cabinet colleagues.

Julian Glover and his team set out a compelling vision for more beautiful, more biodiverse and more accessible National Parks and AONBs.

Our Written Ministerial Statement published on 24 June shows our support for some of the main themes of the review.

We are working with partner organisations to inform and develop our response to the review, and expect to consult on draft proposals later this year.

In regards to the reviews recommendation on a potential National Landscapes Service; we have not made any final decisions on whether and how this proposal should be implemented, and the review did not specify what structure a National Landscapes Service should take. This is just one of the recommendations and we will consult on various areas of the review and respond to the review as a whole in due course.

While we cannot pre-empt the spending review, we have recently launched Farming in Protected Landscapes, a three-year programme announced in the Defra’s Agricultural Transition Programme and as part of the Spending Review 2020 commitment to National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our Protected Landscape organisations will receive approximately £20m in funding in the current financial year to provide to farmers and land managers in their areas, delivering projects focusing on the environment, people and place.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has plans to merge and centralise the management of national parks and areas of outstanding national beauty.

My Rt Hon Friend the Environment Secretary regularly discusses a wide range of issues with Cabinet colleagues.

Julian Glover and his team set out a compelling vision for more beautiful, more biodiverse and more accessible National Parks and AONBs.

Our Written Ministerial Statement published on 24 June shows our support for some of the main themes of the review.

We are working with partner organisations to inform and develop our response to the review, and expect to consult on draft proposals later this year.

In regards to the reviews recommendation on a potential National Landscapes Service; we have not made any final decisions on whether and how this proposal should be implemented, and the review did not specify what structure a National Landscapes Service should take. This is just one of the recommendations and we will consult on various areas of the review and respond to the review as a whole in due course.

While we cannot pre-empt the spending review, we have recently launched Farming in Protected Landscapes, a three-year programme announced in the Defra’s Agricultural Transition Programme and as part of the Spending Review 2020 commitment to National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our Protected Landscape organisations will receive approximately £20m in funding in the current financial year to provide to farmers and land managers in their areas, delivering projects focusing on the environment, people and place.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has held with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the increase in funding for national landscapes proposed in the Landscapes review published in September 2019.

My Rt Hon Friend the Environment Secretary regularly discusses a wide range of issues with Cabinet colleagues.

Julian Glover and his team set out a compelling vision for more beautiful, more biodiverse and more accessible National Parks and AONBs.

Our Written Ministerial Statement published on 24 June shows our support for some of the main themes of the review.

We are working with partner organisations to inform and develop our response to the review, and expect to consult on draft proposals later this year.

In regards to the reviews recommendation on a potential National Landscapes Service; we have not made any final decisions on whether and how this proposal should be implemented, and the review did not specify what structure a National Landscapes Service should take. This is just one of the recommendations and we will consult on various areas of the review and respond to the review as a whole in due course.

While we cannot pre-empt the spending review, we have recently launched Farming in Protected Landscapes, a three-year programme announced in the Defra’s Agricultural Transition Programme and as part of the Spending Review 2020 commitment to National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our Protected Landscape organisations will receive approximately £20m in funding in the current financial year to provide to farmers and land managers in their areas, delivering projects focusing on the environment, people and place.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has held with Cabinet colleagues on each of the 27 proposals in the Landscapes review published in September 2019.

My Rt Hon Friend the Environment Secretary regularly discusses a wide range of issues with Cabinet colleagues.

Julian Glover and his team set out a compelling vision for more beautiful, more biodiverse and more accessible National Parks and AONBs.

Our Written Ministerial Statement published on 24 June shows our support for some of the main themes of the review.

We are working with partner organisations to inform and develop our response to the review, and expect to consult on draft proposals later this year.

In regards to the reviews recommendation on a potential National Landscapes Service; we have not made any final decisions on whether and how this proposal should be implemented, and the review did not specify what structure a National Landscapes Service should take. This is just one of the recommendations and we will consult on various areas of the review and respond to the review as a whole in due course.

While we cannot pre-empt the spending review, we have recently launched Farming in Protected Landscapes, a three-year programme announced in the Defra’s Agricultural Transition Programme and as part of the Spending Review 2020 commitment to National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our Protected Landscape organisations will receive approximately £20m in funding in the current financial year to provide to farmers and land managers in their areas, delivering projects focusing on the environment, people and place.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the proposals of the Landscapes review published in September 2019 on (a) the planning system, (b) a night under the stars in a national landscape for every child, (c) increasing the ethnic diversity of visitors to national landscapes, (d) landscapes that cater for and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, (e) expanding volunteering in national landscapes, (f) sustainable tourism, (g) joining up national trails with national landscapes, (h) expanding open access rights in national landscapes, (i) affordable homes in national landscapes, (j) public transport, (k) a city park competition, (l) a better designations process, (m) reformed governance and (n) more funding and a new financial model.

My Rt Hon Friend the Environment Secretary regularly discusses a wide range of issues with Cabinet colleagues.

Julian Glover and his team set out a compelling vision for more beautiful, more biodiverse and more accessible National Parks and AONBs.

Our Written Ministerial Statement published on 24 June shows our support for some of the main themes of the review.

We are working with partner organisations to inform and develop our response to the review, and expect to consult on draft proposals later this year.

In regards to the reviews recommendation on a potential National Landscapes Service; we have not made any final decisions on whether and how this proposal should be implemented, and the review did not specify what structure a National Landscapes Service should take. This is just one of the recommendations and we will consult on various areas of the review and respond to the review as a whole in due course.

While we cannot pre-empt the spending review, we have recently launched Farming in Protected Landscapes, a three-year programme announced in the Defra’s Agricultural Transition Programme and as part of the Spending Review 2020 commitment to National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our Protected Landscape organisations will receive approximately £20m in funding in the current financial year to provide to farmers and land managers in their areas, delivering projects focusing on the environment, people and place.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to respond in full to the 27 proposals of the Landscapes review published in September 2019.

My Rt Hon Friend the Environment Secretary regularly discusses a wide range of issues with Cabinet colleagues.

Julian Glover and his team set out a compelling vision for more beautiful, more biodiverse and more accessible National Parks and AONBs.

Our Written Ministerial Statement published on 24 June shows our support for some of the main themes of the review.

We are working with partner organisations to inform and develop our response to the review, and expect to consult on draft proposals later this year.

In regards to the reviews recommendation on a potential National Landscapes Service; we have not made any final decisions on whether and how this proposal should be implemented, and the review did not specify what structure a National Landscapes Service should take. This is just one of the recommendations and we will consult on various areas of the review and respond to the review as a whole in due course.

While we cannot pre-empt the spending review, we have recently launched Farming in Protected Landscapes, a three-year programme announced in the Defra’s Agricultural Transition Programme and as part of the Spending Review 2020 commitment to National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Our Protected Landscape organisations will receive approximately £20m in funding in the current financial year to provide to farmers and land managers in their areas, delivering projects focusing on the environment, people and place.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what funding allocation he plans to make to Dartmoor under the Farming in Protected Landscapes programme for (a) 2022-23 and (b) 2023-24.

The funding allocation for Dartmoor National Park Authority under the Farming in Protected Landscape programme for 2022-23 and 23-24 has not yet been confirmed. Future allocation figures will follow the next Spending Review announcement.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the EU Commission and the French Government on the cross-Channel movement of racing pigeons between the UK and EU member states.

Now that the transition period has come to an end, Great Britain is treated as a third country by the EU and vice versa. The EU has different requirements for animals entering the EU from third countries than for those moving between Member States, including the requirement for the animals to be accompanied by a health certificate and/or quarantine periods where appropriate. The European Commission has recently stated its intention to allow movements of racing pigeons (for racing purposes) from GB to continue to enter the EU (and Northern Ireland) until 20 October under national rules applicable prior to 21 April 2021. After this period, these movements must meet the new requirements set out in the EU Animal Health Regulation and be accompanied by the appropriate EU Export Health Certificate.

We continue to encourage the EU, through our regular engagement, to act pragmatically as part of our new trading relationship.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when restrictions on the cross-Channel movement of racing pigeons between the UK and EU member states will be lifted.

Now that the transition period has come to an end, Great Britain is treated as a third country by the EU and vice versa. The EU has different requirements for animals entering the EU from third countries than for those moving between Member States, including the requirement for the animals to be accompanied by a health certificate and/or quarantine periods where appropriate. The European Commission has recently stated its intention to allow movements of racing pigeons (for racing purposes) from GB to continue to enter the EU (and Northern Ireland) until 20 October under national rules applicable prior to 21 April 2021. After this period, these movements must meet the new requirements set out in the EU Animal Health Regulation and be accompanied by the appropriate EU Export Health Certificate.

We continue to encourage the EU, through our regular engagement, to act pragmatically as part of our new trading relationship.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what restrictions apply to the cross-Channel movement of racing pigeons from EU member states to the UK.

Now that the transition period has come to an end, Great Britain is treated as a third country by the EU and vice versa. The EU has different requirements for animals entering the EU from third countries than for those moving between Member States, including the requirement for the animals to be accompanied by a health certificate and/or quarantine periods where appropriate. The European Commission has recently stated its intention to allow movements of racing pigeons (for racing purposes) from GB to continue to enter the EU (and Northern Ireland) until 20 October under national rules applicable prior to 21 April 2021. After this period, these movements must meet the new requirements set out in the EU Animal Health Regulation and be accompanied by the appropriate EU Export Health Certificate.

We continue to encourage the EU, through our regular engagement, to act pragmatically as part of our new trading relationship.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he has taken to ensure the cross-Channel free movement of racing pigeons between the UK and EU member states.

Now that the transition period has come to an end, Great Britain is treated as a third country by the EU and vice versa. The EU has different requirements for animals entering the EU from third countries than for those moving between Member States, including the requirement for the animals to be accompanied by a health certificate and/or quarantine periods where appropriate. The European Commission has recently stated its intention to allow movements of racing pigeons (for racing purposes) from GB to continue to enter the EU (and Northern Ireland) until 20 October under national rules applicable prior to 21 April 2021. After this period, these movements must meet the new requirements set out in the EU Animal Health Regulation and be accompanied by the appropriate EU Export Health Certificate.

We continue to encourage the EU, through our regular engagement, to act pragmatically as part of our new trading relationship.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether any departmental business has been conducted on private email addresses; and what mechanisms are in place to ensure that full records are kept of that business.

I refer the Hon. Member to the Cabinet Office guidance to departments on use of private emails.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether any official business has been conducted on private email addresses within the (a) Environment Agency, (b) Rural Payments Agency and (c) other agencies or public bodies that support his Department; and what mechanisms are in place within each agency to ensure that full records are kept of that business.

I refer the Hon. Member to the Cabinet Office guidance to departments on use of private emails.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his departmental IT systems routinely allow officials, advisers and ministers to access private email accounts from their office desktop computers and department-issue laptop computers and mobile phone devices.

I refer the Hon. Member to the Cabinet Office guidance to departments on use of private emails.

It is Government policy not to comment on specific technical security controls; however, the incidental personal use of private email accounts from departmental systems is subject to our Acceptable Use policy, in spare time.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether a risk assessment has been carried out on the secure holding of CCTV footage within his Department.

As has been the case under successive Administrations, it is not Government policy to comment on security procedures in Government buildings.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many imports of hunting trophies from (a) African Lion, Panthera leo, (b) Tiger, Panthera tigris, (c) African elephant, Loxodonta africana, (d) Cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus, and (e) Polar bear, Ursus maritimus were recorded under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, in the UK in (a) 2016, (b) 2017, (c) 2018, (d) 2019, and (d) 2020.

The table below shows how many imports of hunting trophies from African lion (Panthera leo), Tiger (Panthera tigris), African elephant (Loxodonta africana), Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus), and Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) were recorded under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, in the UK in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

African lion, Panthera leo

9

15

6

4

5

Tiger, Panthera tigris

0

0

0

0

0

African elephant, Loxodonta africana

56

30

9

3

4

Cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus

0

0

0

0

0

Polar bear, Ursus maritimus

0

2

0

0

0

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many imports of hunting trophies from species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species were recorded in the UK in 2020.

26 imports of hunting trophies from species listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species were recorded in the UK in 2020.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many (a) R (ranched animal), (b) D (Captive-bred animal),(c) C (Bred in captivity) and (d) F (Born in captivity) hunting trophies were recorded under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) entering the UK in (a) 2016, (b) 2017, (c) 2018, (d) 2019, and (e) 2020.

The table below illustrates how many R (ranched animal), D (Captive-bred animal), C (Bred in captivity) and F (Born in captivity) hunting trophies were recorded under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) entering the UK in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

2016

2017

2018

2019

2020

R (ranched animal)

0

0

0

0

0

D (Captive-bred animal)

0

0

0

0

0

C (Bred in captivity)

9

7

5

3

4

F (Born in captivity)

0

0

1

6

1

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to fisheries patrol vessels patrolling English waters, how many hours were those vessels deployed for in each month of 2021; what was the total cost of those deployments; and how many at-sea inspections took place (a) inside and (b) outside 12 nautical miles of (i) EU fishing vessels and (ii) UK fishing vessels.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) employs a risk-based, intelligence-led operational model to deliver surveillance and assurance capability at sea. At-sea inspections are just one of a range of tools deployed by the MMO as part of its presence and deterrence strategy to prevent illegal fishing activities in English waters. Close surveillance at sea, hailing vessels to assure their activities as well as maintaining high visibility in areas where the risk of illegal fishing was highest has been effective in deterring unauthorised vessels fishing in English waters.

Between 1 January and 24 June 2021, a total of 228 vessels have been inspected at sea in English waters by MMO, the Royal Navy and Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities. Of the 228 inspections, 131 EU vessels were inspected, of which 15 took place inside the 12 nautical mile limit and 116 took place outside the limit. Of the 97 UK vessels that were inspected, 51 took place inside the 12 nautical mile limit and 46 took place outside the limit.

The monthly breakdown including the volume of inspections, hours deployed and the total cost for at sea surveillance presence was:

Month

Patrol duration (days)

Cost (£)

At-sea inspections

January 2021

114

1,111,811

0: due to Covid lockdown restrictions

February 2021

93

1,050,312

0: due to Covid lockdown restrictions

March 2021

89

888,525

62 vessels inspected: 21 UK vessels & 41 Non-UK Vessels

April 2021

71

704,960

55 vessels inspected: 24 UK vessels & 31 Non-UK Vessels

May 2021

79

704,679

68 vessels inspected: 34 UK vessels & 34 Non-UK vessels

1-24 June 2021

43

Data not yet available

43 vessels inspected: 18 UK vessels & 25 Non-UK vessels

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for how many hours were at-sea fisheries patrols deployed in English waters in each month of 2021; and what was the total cost of those deployments.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) employs a risk-based, intelligence-led operational model to deliver surveillance and assurance capability at sea. At-sea inspections are just one of a range of tools deployed by the MMO as part of its presence and deterrence strategy to prevent illegal fishing activities in English waters. Close surveillance at sea, hailing vessels to assure their activities as well as maintaining high visibility in areas where the risk of illegal fishing was highest has been effective in deterring unauthorised vessels fishing in English waters.

Between 1 January and 24 June 2021, a total of 228 vessels have been inspected at sea in English waters by MMO, the Royal Navy and Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities. Of the 228 inspections, 131 EU vessels were inspected, of which 15 took place inside the 12 nautical mile limit and 116 took place outside the limit. Of the 97 UK vessels that were inspected, 51 took place inside the 12 nautical mile limit and 46 took place outside the limit.

The monthly breakdown including the volume of inspections, hours deployed and the total cost for at sea surveillance presence was:

Month

Patrol duration (days)

Cost (£)

At-sea inspections

January 2021

114

1,111,811

0: due to Covid lockdown restrictions

February 2021

93

1,050,312

0: due to Covid lockdown restrictions

March 2021

89

888,525

62 vessels inspected: 21 UK vessels & 41 Non-UK Vessels

April 2021

71

704,960

55 vessels inspected: 24 UK vessels & 31 Non-UK Vessels

May 2021

79

704,679

68 vessels inspected: 34 UK vessels & 34 Non-UK vessels

1-24 June 2021

43

Data not yet available

43 vessels inspected: 18 UK vessels & 25 Non-UK vessels

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to EU fishing vessels licensed by the Government to fish in UK waters, how many have been inspected (a) inside and (b) outside 12 nautical miles in the English sea area in each month of 2021.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) employs a risk-based, intelligence-led operational model to deliver surveillance and assurance capability at sea. At-sea inspections are just one of a range of tools deployed by the MMO as part of its presence and deterrence strategy to prevent illegal fishing activities in English waters. Close surveillance at sea, hailing vessels to assure their activities as well as maintaining high visibility in areas where the risk of illegal fishing was highest has been effective in deterring unauthorised vessels fishing in English waters.

Between 1 January and 24 June 2021, a total of 228 vessels have been inspected at sea in English waters by MMO, the Royal Navy and Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities. Of the 228 inspections, 131 EU vessels were inspected, of which 15 took place inside the 12 nautical mile limit and 116 took place outside the limit. Of the 97 UK vessels that were inspected, 51 took place inside the 12 nautical mile limit and 46 took place outside the limit.

The monthly breakdown including the volume of inspections, hours deployed and the total cost for at sea surveillance presence was:

Month

Patrol duration (days)

Cost (£)

At-sea inspections

January 2021

114

1,111,811

0: due to Covid lockdown restrictions

February 2021

93

1,050,312

0: due to Covid lockdown restrictions

March 2021

89

888,525

62 vessels inspected: 21 UK vessels & 41 Non-UK Vessels

April 2021

71

704,960

55 vessels inspected: 24 UK vessels & 31 Non-UK Vessels

May 2021

79

704,679

68 vessels inspected: 34 UK vessels & 34 Non-UK vessels

1-24 June 2021

43

Data not yet available

43 vessels inspected: 18 UK vessels & 25 Non-UK vessels

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to EU fishing vessels licensed to fish in UK waters, how many kilograms of each non-quota stock have been caught in each month from January to May 2021 inclusive.

Under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, the UK and the EU have committed to sharing the information necessary to implement the fisheries heading, including data on access to fish non-quota stocks in each party's waters. The written record for the 2021 fisheries consultations with the EU sets out the detailed data that will be exchanged.

We are working with the Commission to agree this exchange as soon as possible. The UK and the EU have both committed to agreeing what catch data should be exchanged in the longer term to support sustainable management by 31 July 2021.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Government has direct access to real-time data from the EU fishing vessel monitoring data systems for EU fishing vessels licensed by the Government to fish in UK waters.

It is a legal requirement for all registered fishing vessels over 12 meters in length present within UK waters, including EU vessels, to be fitted with a Vessel Monitoring System satellite tracking system. Data from this system is relayed via the flag member states providing the UK Fisheries Authorities with live positional data.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
21st Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 14 June 2021 to Question 10641 on Ivory, how much funding has been allocated to the awareness raising campaign for the ownership, sale and donation of ivory items.

The awareness raising campaign for the commencement of the Ivory Act will include information about the implementation of the ban, the exemptions, and how individuals and businesses can ensure they comply with the law. A budgetary provision of up to £30,000 has been made.

Defra will also be providing guidance on a number of matters to assist with compliance with the Act. Views on several specific matters to be included in that guidance were sought in the consultation on implementing the Ivory Act that closed on 4 May.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will lift the restrictions on universal metering outside water stressed areas.

While good progress has been made in water efficiency policy development, we had to delay publication of the response to the 2019 public consultation on Water conservation: measures to reduce personal water use to prioritise work on the response to covid-19. Defra plans to publish the consultation response, which will set out our ambition and a package of policies to reduce household water consumption, in summer 2021.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a mandatory water efficiency label for all water-using products.

While good progress has been made in water efficiency policy development, we had to delay publication of the response to the 2019 public consultation on Water conservation: measures to reduce personal water use to prioritise work on the response to covid-19. Defra plans to publish the consultation response, which will set out our ambition and a package of policies to reduce household water consumption, in summer 2021.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what his timetable is for publishing the results of his Department's consultation on measures to reduce personal water use that closed in October 2019.

While good progress has been made in water efficiency policy development, we had to delay publication of the response to the 2019 public consultation on Water conservation: measures to reduce personal water use to prioritise work on the response to covid-19. Defra plans to publish the consultation response, which will set out our ambition and a package of policies to reduce household water consumption, in summer 2021.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has referred any Freedom of Information requests received by his Department to the central Cabinet Office Clearing House on Freedom of Information requests for advice on handling, in the last two years.

FOI requests are referred to the Clearing House in line with the published criteria available on gov.uk. The Clearing House, which has been in existence since 2004, provides advice to ensure a consistent approach across government to requests for information.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
11th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, on what date the Government declared a climate and ecological emergency.

The House of Commons voted for a motion on 1 May 2019 to declare an environment and climate emergency.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 7 June to Question 1390 on Environment Agency: Finance, whether she has had discussions with trade union representatives on Environment Agency funding and enforcement capacity.

My Rt Hon Friend the Environment Secretary has not engaged directly with the Environment Agency’s (EA) recognised trade unions. The EA has an established infrastructure in place to ensure it engages on a regular basis with its collective recognised trade unions (GMB, Unison, Unite and Prospect). The EA provides regular updates on finance and funding impacts as well as engaging on changes to ways of working, policies and impacts to its staff.

The EA will always seek to deliver the best outcomes for people and the environment and prioritise its enforcement work in line with the funding available, focusing on the cases that pose the greatest threat, risk and harm to the environment and communities.

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 plans he has to support fishers who are experiencing losses over the (a) short, (b) medium and (c) longer term.

The Government is committed to ensuring that the seafood sector receives the support it needs to build resilience, recover from the pandemic and adapt to new trading conditions as an independent coastal state. This is why we have announced a range of support to the sector aimed at addressing short, medium, and long-term funding needs. The funding package of up to £23 million, which earlier this year was used to deliver temporary support schemes to seafood businesses affected by Covid-19 and new trading conditions, demonstrates the Government's ability to act decisively and address short-term funding needs where necessary.

£32.7 million has been made available to support the seafood sector this financial year. This meets the Government's manifesto commitment to maintain funding for the sector and enables each of the four administrations of the UK to deliver their own domestic funding schemes The new domestic funding scheme in England, the Fisheries and Seafood Scheme will support the long-term sustainable growth of the seafood sector and initially focuses on helping businesses adapt to new conditions and opportunities arising from leaving the EU and supporting their on-going recovery from the impacts of Covid-19.

The Prime Minister has announced that an additional £100 million will be made available across the UK for transformative seafood projects that will rejuvenate the industry and our coastal communities. It will be used to invest in: modernising and expanding infrastructure; the science and data needed to ensure a sustainable sector; and the training required to ensure the workforce has the capacity, skills and expertise required for a thriving and prosperous industry. More detail on this funding will be made available in due course.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to his Department's consultation on Implementing the Ivory Act, which closed on 4 May 2021, if he will take steps to help ensure that members of the public can securely donate or surrender items of ivory that they own.

The Ivory Act will not affect the ownership of ivory items and as such we have no plans for a government surrender scheme at this time. We recognise that, for some low value items, owners may decide it is not cost-effective to register them for sale. This will be a decision for individual owners. Such items may of course be gifted, donated or bequeathed rather than discarded. We will explain to owners what options are available to them as part of our awareness raising campaign.

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 his Departments consultation on controls on the import and export of hunting trophies, which closed on 25 February 2021, what plans he has to include the trophies of (a) lions, (b) tigers, (c) cheetahs and (d) other big cats bred in captivity in a future ban on import and export of those trophies.

The Government takes the conservation of endangered species very seriously, which is why we are banning the import of hunting trophies from endangered species, as set out in the Government’s manifesto.

The COVID-19 pandemic has delayed the publication of the Government response to the consultation and call for evidence. However, our approach will be comprehensive, robust and effective and will deliver the change we promised to help protect thousands of species worldwide.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent estimate his Department has made of the number of ivory items (a) owned and (b) collated in (i) Government Departments and (ii) other Government owned or managed institutions.

The Department has not made any estimates of the number of ivory items owned by, or collated in, Government departments, or institutions owned or managed by the Government.

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 discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on providing guidance to local authorities on the allocation to wholesale food distributors of funding under the Rating (Coronavirus) and Directors Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Bill.

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has had no recent discussions with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government regarding guidance to local authorities on the allocation of funding to wholesale food distributors.

The Government will ensure that local authorities have the guidance they need to deliver the additional £1.5 billion business rates support package once primary legislation is passed, in line with the announcement on 25 March. As with other business rates reliefs, officials will work closely with local government on the development of the relief scheme and guidance for local authorities will be published in due course.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Prime Minister's statement on EU negotiations: 24 December 2020, to whom the £100 million funding for the British fishing fleet has been allocated.

The Government has announced that £100 million will be made available across the UK for the best transformative seafood projects that will rejuvenate the industry and our coastal communities.

Options for the funding are currently being explored, but key areas for investment are likely to be infrastructure projects that support the development and modernisation of ports, harbours, and landing sites across the UK; the development and roll out of science and innovation across the catching and processing sectors; and the training required to ensure the workforce has the right skills, capacity, and expertise, alongside initiatives to encourage new entrants into the sector. More detail on this funding will be made available in due course.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on the potential effect of the reported shortfall in available freight delivery drivers on the (a) supply and (b) cost of supply of food to the (i) hospitality and (ii) convenience retail sectors.

My Rt Hon Friend the Environment Secretary has discussed with the Secretary of State for Transport the logistical challenges for the food industry caused by a shortfall of lorry drivers. These discussions focused on a potential time-limited exemption from the points-based immigration system to enable UK employers to continue to recruit EU/EEA Heavy Goods Vehicles drivers.

Officials from the two departments continue to meet regularly to discuss the issue of driver shortfalls and the potential impact on the UK food supply chain. Intelligence from the industry, gathered from ongoing engagement with the sectors of the food chain, forms part of these discussions. Some acute problems have been identified, particularly in wholesale distribution.

Solutions that are being discussed include: extending driver delivery hours; the Department for Transport’s Large Goods Vehicles apprenticeship scheme; the Department for Work and Pensions’ action to encourage more job seekers into the profession; and increased Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency testing capacity.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of restarting international quota swaps between producer organisations, in addition to providing direct financial support, on the British fishing fleet.

Exchanges of quota within the UK are available as normal.

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides for exchanges of quota both at annual negotiations and in-year via a mechanism developed by the Specialised Committee on Fisheries. The UK and EU have also agreed to establish transfers on an interim basis before the in-year mechanism is developed.

No recent assessment has been made in relation to the effect of introducing an international quota exchange mechanism between the UK and EU.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to make it his policy that fishing quota swaps will continue to be available between producer organisations.

Exchanges of quota within the UK are available as normal.

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement provides for exchanges of quota both at annual negotiations and in-year via a mechanism developed by the Specialised Committee on Fisheries. The UK and EU have also agreed to establish transfers on an interim basis before the in-year mechanism is developed.

No recent assessment has been made in relation to the effect of introducing an international quota exchange mechanism between the UK and EU.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential market effect of small quotas on demersal fisheries that rely on catching prawns to make trips commercially viable.

The UK’s approach in annual negotiations has been to seek solutions that are sustainable, and which support our fishing industries and local communities. Following the ICES advice for zero catches for quota stocks taken within mixed fisheries would, if applied, close economically important UK fisheries and have a significant impact on the associated coastal communities such as the Irish Sea Nephrops fishery where whiting is an unavoidable bycatch. In this situation, a total allowable catch (TAC) has been set at a level to allow a bycatch of whiting which seeks to prevent closing the Nephrops fishery while still allowing whiting to recover.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of pet theft on the welfare of the animals that have been stolen.

This Government is committed to ensuring the welfare of animals and will act to protect them further in all circumstances. The Government's Pet Theft Taskforce has been set up to gather evidence to understand the factors that may be contributing to any rise in pets being stolen and will consider the issue from end to end, with the impact on the welfare of the animals being fully considered as one aspect.

In addition, the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Act 2021 (the Act) was granted Royal Assent on the 29 April 2021. This realises the Government's manifesto commitment to increase the sentences available to our courts for cases of animal cruelty. The Act will come into force on the 29 June 2021 providing one of the toughest sanctions in Europe and strengthening the UK's position as a global leader on animal welfare.

The Act's new maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine will apply to animal cruelty offences, including causing unnecessary suffering to an animal in the process of stealing it.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
26th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to ban (a) the routine use of antibiotics and (b) all preventative use of antibiotics in groups of animals from January 2022 in line with Regulation (EU) 2019/6 and Regulation (EU) 2019/4.

The UK Government and Devolved Administrations are committed to reducing unnecessary use of antibiotics in animals, and this includes routine preventative use.

The UK played a significant role during the negotiations on EU Regulations 2019/4 (medicated feed) and 2019/6 (veterinary medicinal products) and many changes in the EU law on veterinary medicines and medicated feed are desirable from a UK policy perspective. The Veterinary Medicines Directorate is currently in the process of amending and supplementing the Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2013 as they have an effect in Great Britain. This involves consideration of provisions corresponding or similar to those in the EU regulations referred to, as proscribed in the Medicines and Medical Devices Act 2021.

Any changes to the Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2013 will be subject to formal public consultation to allow stakeholders to give their views on the proposed changes.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what advice his Department has provided to the Department for International Trade on the methodology for the assessment of whether the measures in trade agreements negotiated before the requirements of section 42 of the Agriculture Act 2020 come into force are consistent with minimising antibiotic use in animals.

In all of our trade negotiations, we will not compromise on our high animal welfare, environmental protection and food standards.

Prior to negotiations commencing, the Government will publish a scoping assessment of the broad impacts of new FTAs. Following the conclusion of all negotiations, a full impact assessment will be published prior to implementation. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will feed into this where appropriate.

This commitment is in addition to the usual parliamentary scrutiny process under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act (CRaG) which will ensure the House has sufficient time to scrutinise the detail of any deal.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what advice his Department has provided to the Department for International Trade on the methodology for the assessment of whether the measures in trade agreements negotiated before the requirements of section 42 of the Agriculture Act 2020 come into force are consistent with the maintenance of UK levels of statutory protection for (a) human, animal or plant life or health, (b) animal welfare and (c) the environment.

In all of our trade negotiations, we will not compromise on our high animal welfare, environmental protection and food standards.

Prior to negotiations commencing, the Government will publish a scoping assessment of the broad impacts of new FTAs. Following the conclusion of all negotiations, a full impact assessment will be published prior to implementation. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will feed into this where appropriate.

This commitment is in addition to the usual parliamentary scrutiny process under the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act (CRaG) which will ensure the House has sufficient time to scrutinise the detail of any deal.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for International Trade on his Department's assessment of the (a) animal welfare and (b) environmental standards that apply in Australia.

All levels of my department, including the Secretary of State and I, have regular discussions with our colleagues at DIT on the UK’s approach to different trade negotiations, including the ongoing negotiations with Australia. Discussions cover a range of issues including animal welfare and environmental considerations.

Our discussions are grounded in our commitment that the Government will not compromise on our high environmental protection, animal welfare and food standards in our trade deals, including with Australia. We have laid our negotiating objectives setting this out before the House and we will uphold these. Moreover, we have retained in law our existing standards of protection across these areas and our deal with Australia will not alter these.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing the post-rabies vaccination wait time from the three to 12 weeks before which a puppy can enter the UK, to further reduce puppy smuggling.

The Government takes the issue of puppy smuggling and other illegal importations of pets very seriously. It is an abhorrent trade which causes suffering to animals and puts the health of pets and people in the United Kingdom at risk.

On 12 May 2021 the Government published its Action Plan for Animal Welfare (APAW). This is a wide-reaching and ambitious plan to set out our current and future work on animal welfare and conservation.

The Government has a manifesto commitment to crack down on puppy smuggling and one of our key reforms in the plan is to end the abhorrent, cruel practice of puppy smuggling and low-welfare pet imports.

We are planning to bring in powers which enable us to that will allow us to prohibit the importation and non-commercial movement of dogs into Great Britain that have been subject to low welfare practices. This could include increasing the minimum age that dogs can be non-commercially moved or commercially imported into Great Britain.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he will publish the findings of the consultation on the compulsory microchipping of cats.

The Consultation on Cat and Dog Microchipping and Scanning in England received over 33,000 responses. We are currently analysing these and will publish our findings later this year alongside our proposed actions.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Animal Sentience Committee announced in the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill will be independent of Government.

The Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill creates an expert committee, the Animal Sentience Committee. The Animal Sentience Committee will have the power to scrutinise individual Ministerial policy formulation and implementation decisions. The Committee will set its own priorities and be supported by a secretariat. The Committee can publish reports on how Ministers have paid ‘all due regard’ to the welfare needs of animals as sentient beings, alongside other considerations. Ministers will need to respond to these reports within three months by means of a written statement to Parliament.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he expects the Pet Theft Task Force to report their findings.

The Government launched the Pet Theft Taskforce on 8 May 2021 and the taskforce expects to report its findings this summer. The taskforce’s terms of reference were published when it was launched and are available here:

www.gov.uk/government/publications/pet-theft-taskforce-terms-of-reference. The terms of reference detail the background to the taskforce’s establishment as well as information on its objectives.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
21st May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, further to plans announced in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare, what animal cruelty offences could be penalised with a Fixed Penalty Notice.

This is a devolved matter and the information provided therefore relates to England only.

As set out in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare and as part of an effort to promote high welfare standards, we want to ensure that proportional, targeted, transparent and consistent penalties are available to complement other existing sanctions; such as warnings, improvement notices and prosecution already established by the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and other animal welfare related legislation.

Penalty Notices (PNs) would cover a wide range of offences included in the Animal Health Act, Animal Welfare Act and the parts of the European Communities Act covered by the Withdrawal Act. For the worst cases of harm and suffering experienced by animals – criminal prosecutions would still be the correct course of action. In other cases, PNs would be the proportionate response.

An example of where Penalty Notices (PNs) could be used is in the case of overstocking in laying hens, which impacts the welfare of hens. Criminal prosecution is often disproportionate, so beyond an improvement notice - this offence is often unchallenged. In such an example, PNs could be used as an effective deterrent.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the membership of the Pet Theft Task Force.

The Government recognises the emotional trauma which the theft of a much-loved pet can cause, and the impact the issue is having on pet owners and families. As with all other crime, we believe that pet theft must be taken seriously, investigated and, where appropriate, taken through the courts and met with tough sentences.

The Government launched the pet theft taskforce on 8 May 2021. As part of that launch the taskforce’s terms of reference were published and are available here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/pet-theft-taskforce-terms-of-reference. The terms of reference lay out the background to the taskforce’s establishment as well as information on its objectives, or remit, and outcomes.

Membership of the Pet Theft Taskforce (Ministers) comprises the Lord Chancellor, Home Secretary, and Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. This group steers, and is informed by, the Pet Theft Taskforce (Officials) comprising officials from the three departments along with operational partners.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the remit and terms of reference of the Pet Theft Task Force announced on 8 May 2021.

The Government recognises the emotional trauma which the theft of a much-loved pet can cause, and the impact the issue is having on pet owners and families. As with all other crime, we believe that pet theft must be taken seriously, investigated and, where appropriate, taken through the courts and met with tough sentences.

The Government launched the pet theft taskforce on 8 May 2021. As part of that launch the taskforce’s terms of reference were published and are available here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/pet-theft-taskforce-terms-of-reference. The terms of reference lay out the background to the taskforce’s establishment as well as information on its objectives, or remit, and outcomes.

Membership of the Pet Theft Taskforce (Ministers) comprises the Lord Chancellor, Home Secretary, and Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. This group steers, and is informed by, the Pet Theft Taskforce (Officials) comprising officials from the three departments along with operational partners.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of the volume of crops that went unpicked in fields in 2020.

Defra produces annual estimates of horticultural crop production. These estimates include tonnage, value and imports/exports which allow the Government to monitor productivity and competitiveness within the industry, including supply and self-sufficiency. The latest data we have is 2019. These are available on gov.uk

There are a number of reasons why crops may be unharvested, for example weather, pest and disease or drop in demand. No estimates are made for the tonnage of crops left unharvested. As a result, no data is available to answer this question.

We have regular contact with stakeholders to understand live issues as they develop.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what revenue the Environment Agency received from permit fees in the financial year 2020-21.

The Environment Agency (EA) billed £346 million of permit and licence income in 2019/20.

In 2020/21 the EA billed £365 million of permit and licence income.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what revenue the Environment Agency received from permit fees in the financial year 2019-20.

The Environment Agency (EA) billed £346 million of permit and licence income in 2019/20.

In 2020/21 the EA billed £365 million of permit and licence income.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many permit fees were paid to the Environment Agency in the financial year 2020-21.

In 2019/20 the Environment Agency (EA) issued approximately 80,000 permit or licence fee invoices.

In 2020/21 the EA issued approximately 78,000 permit or licence fee invoices.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many permit fees were paid to the Environment Agency in the financial year 2019-20.

In 2019/20 the Environment Agency (EA) issued approximately 80,000 permit or licence fee invoices.

In 2020/21 the EA issued approximately 78,000 permit or licence fee invoices.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consultation meetings relating to the Comprehensive Spending Review his Department (a) has held and (b) plans to hold with the Environment Agency.

Departmental budgets for future years beyond 2021-22 will be set by HM Treasury (HMT) through the Spending Review later this year. HMT will set out further details, including the envelopes for the Spending Review, in due course.

Defra’s Spending Review proposals will be developed in line with the outcomes we seek to achieve over the next Spending Review period. We will work closely together with our arm’s length bodies, including the Environment Agency, in developing our Spending Review plans.

Prior to Ministerial submission, Defra’s response to the Spending Review will also be approved by the department’s Executive Committee, of which the Environment Agency CEO is a member.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has plans to provide funding to mitigate changes in the level of income of the Environment Agency in the fiscal year 2021-22.

The Environment Agency’s budget for 2021-22 has now been delegated and there are no current plans to provide additional funding.

The Environment Agency is every year exposed to some credit risk, and we note the Agency was successful in achieving its expected income collection in 2020-21.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of reductions in funding allocated to the Environment Agency in the financial year 2021-22 on its ability to undertake enforcement work.

For enforcement, monitoring and incident response, the Environment Agency (EA) receives the majority of its funding via Grant in Aid from the Government.

The funding directly allocated for enforcement has not reduced for the year 2021/22.

The EA will always seek to deliver the best outcomes for people and the environment and prioritise its enforcement work in line with the funding available, focusing on the cases that pose the greatest threat, risk and harm to the environment and communities.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many applications per job available were received through the Pick for Britain scheme.

The Pick for Britain website did not actively register or recruit workers. It was a platform which advertised the websites of growers who were recruiting, as well as other resources such as official and industry-led guidance.

The ‘Jobs’ page on the Pick for Britain website had a significant number of hits after its launch on 17 April, but this does not indicate the number of job seekers with an interest in taking up these roles.

We are not able to share any information about specific vacancies, applications, interviews or people in jobs as that information is commercially sensitive and is not held by Defra. As such, we are unable to provide a figure on the number of British workers who were recruited to agricultural jobs via of the Pick for Britain campaign, or the number of applications that were received through the Pick for Britain campaign.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many British workers were recruited to agricultural jobs via the Pick for Britain scheme.

The Pick for Britain website did not actively register or recruit workers. It was a platform which advertised the websites of growers who were recruiting, as well as other resources such as official and industry-led guidance.

The ‘Jobs’ page on the Pick for Britain website had a significant number of hits after its launch on 17 April, but this does not indicate the number of job seekers with an interest in taking up these roles.

We are not able to share any information about specific vacancies, applications, interviews or people in jobs as that information is commercially sensitive and is not held by Defra. As such, we are unable to provide a figure on the number of British workers who were recruited to agricultural jobs via of the Pick for Britain campaign, or the number of applications that were received through the Pick for Britain campaign.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many and what proportion of officials employed by his Department receive remuneration as a result of working for an organisation or company outside of government.

On 23 April, the Cabinet Secretary wrote to the Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee on the management of outside interests in the Civil Service.

The Committee published this letter on 26 April. It can be found here: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/5623/documents/55584/default/

The Cabinet Secretary’s letter sets out a series of steps to improve processes. This programme of work will also take account of any recommendations that emerge from Nigel Boardman’s review.

The Civil Service Management Code sets out, at paragraph 4.3.4, the requirement that civil servants must seek permission before accepting any outside employment which might affect their work either directly or indirectly. The applicable principles are those set out in the Business Appointment Rules. The Civil Service Management Code is published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-servants-terms-and-conditions.

Where the civil servant is a member of the departmental board, any outside employment as well as other relevant interests will be published as part of the Annual Report and Accounts or other transparency publication.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of UK supermarkets on increasing their purchasing of UK-caught fish.

Evidence shows that UK consumers prefer a relatively narrow range of species which limits the market for UK caught seafood. As a result, we are working in partnership with industry and retailers to build greater consumer awareness of the wide range of species that can be found in UK waters, with the aim of increasing domestic consumption of seafood.

One example is the ‘Sea for Yourself’ campaign run by Defra and Seafish in 2020, as part of which we secured a retail partnership with Morrisons and campaign branding featured on 60,000 fish boxes in Morrisons UK stores.

We are strongly committed to encouraging consumers to buy and eat more locally caught fish and shellfish from UK waters.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
12th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to support limiting industrial activities with the greatest environmental impact taking place in international waters.

The UK is a global leader on marine protection. Through leading the Global Ocean Alliance and co-chairing the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People, the UK is championing a target under the Convention on Biological Diversity to protect at least 30% of the global ocean in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Other Effective area-based Conservation Measures by 2030 (‘the 30by30 target’).

The UK believes that the whole ocean should be sustainably managed to allow both the marine environment and sustainable marine economies to thrive. In line with this, we support a global network of MPAs that includes both highly protected sites and those that deliver conservation outcomes alongside sustainable economic activities (i.e. the sustainable use of resources).

The UK also supports the conclusion of negotiations on a new implementing Agreement under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (‘BBNJ Agreement’). This will have provisions that allow for the creation of MPAs in international waters, a key mechanism to deliver the ‘30by30’ target. The UK is in favour of a strong obligation on Parties to the BBNJ Agreement to work within relevant bodies to deliver measures for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

As part of our work to ensure the sustainable use of the ocean, the UK has agreed not to sponsor or support the issuing of any exploitation licences for deep sea mining projects until there is sufficient scientific evidence about the potential impact on deep sea ecosystems, and strong and enforceable environmental standards have been developed by the International Seabed Authority and are in place.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he has taken to help (a) ensure that crops are picked and (b) reduce crop wastage in 2021.

Defra is working closely with industry and other Government departments to understand labour supply and demand, and to help our world-leading growers access the labour they need to ensure our crops are picked and not wasted.

The Seasonal Workers Pilot has been expanded for one year, with 30,000 visas granted for workers to come to the UK, from EU or non-EU countries, for a period of up to six months to pick and package fruit and vegetables on our farms.

In 2021 and beyond, food and farming businesses will continue to be able to rely on EU nationals living in the UK with settled or pre-settled status – almost 4.8 million EU citizens and their families have been granted settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme and the application deadline is 30 June 2021. EU nationals who have settled status can continue to travel to the UK to do seasonal work in 2021.

The Government is encouraging the horticulture sector to make employment more attractive to UK domestic workers through offering training, careers options, wage increases and to invest in automation technology.

To help with these efforts, Defra will build on the success of last year’s domestic recruitment campaign and work with industry and DWP to raise awareness of career opportunities within the horticulture sector to help attract domestic workers, and we will explore the potential for automation to meet future labour demands of the sector.

Defra is leading a Government review of automation in horticulture to understand what is required to accelerate the development and uptake of automation technologies in both the edible and ornamental sectors, in England, with the view to reducing the sector’s long-term dependency on seasonal migrant labour. The review’s final report will be published in the summer of 2021 and inform a range of policy decisions regarding automation and seasonal labour from 2022 onwards.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many workers in total were recruited as a result of the Pick for Britain campaign.

Defra does not hold any information on the investment made, or any funding contributed to the budget, by industry stakeholders to the Pick for Britain campaign.

The Pick for Britain campaign was a joint industry-Government initiative with

co-investment from partners, which ensured that the successful campaign was at little direct cost to the Government. £29,830 was spent by Defra on the Pick for Britain campaign in 2020.

The Pick for Britain website did not actively register or recruit workers. It was a platform to advertise the websites of growers who were recruiting, as well as other resources such as official/industry-led guidance.

We are not able to share any information about specific vacancies, interviews or people in jobs as that information is commercially sensitive and is not held by Defra. As such, we are unable to provide a figure on the number of people who were recruited as a result of the Pick for Britain campaign.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the total budget was of the Pick for Britain campaign; and how much in funding (a) industry stakeholders and (b) the Government contributed to that total budget.

Defra does not hold any information on the investment made, or any funding contributed to the budget, by industry stakeholders to the Pick for Britain campaign.

The Pick for Britain campaign was a joint industry-Government initiative with

co-investment from partners, which ensured that the successful campaign was at little direct cost to the Government. £29,830 was spent by Defra on the Pick for Britain campaign in 2020.

The Pick for Britain website did not actively register or recruit workers. It was a platform to advertise the websites of growers who were recruiting, as well as other resources such as official/industry-led guidance.

We are not able to share any information about specific vacancies, interviews or people in jobs as that information is commercially sensitive and is not held by Defra. As such, we are unable to provide a figure on the number of people who were recruited as a result of the Pick for Britain campaign.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what total investment industry stakeholders have contributed to the Pick for Britain campaign.

Defra does not hold any information on the investment made, or any funding contributed to the budget, by industry stakeholders to the Pick for Britain campaign.

The Pick for Britain campaign was a joint industry-Government initiative with

co-investment from partners, which ensured that the successful campaign was at little direct cost to the Government. £29,830 was spent by Defra on the Pick for Britain campaign in 2020.

The Pick for Britain website did not actively register or recruit workers. It was a platform to advertise the websites of growers who were recruiting, as well as other resources such as official/industry-led guidance.

We are not able to share any information about specific vacancies, interviews or people in jobs as that information is commercially sensitive and is not held by Defra. As such, we are unable to provide a figure on the number of people who were recruited as a result of the Pick for Britain campaign.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the (a) levels of light pollution across the UK and (b) effect that pollution has on (i) people and (ii) wildlife.

a) Defra’s last major review of light pollution was the January 2014 publication of a policy update on artificial light in the environment. Since then we have worked with the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to ensure that the National Planning Policy Framework policies include consideration of the impact of light pollution on local amenity, intrinsically dark landscapes and nature conservation.

Defra has also contributed to the development of the MHCLG Planning Policy Guidance on light pollution published in November 2019.

b) (i) Public Health England carried out a study in 2016 for the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers and the Society of Light and Lighting, which included an assessment of light-emitting diode (LED) streetlights on health. The study concluded that some LED streetlight luminaires emitted more blue light than was necessary, but that there was no evidence of direct adverse health effects on people.

(ii) Defra has published or contributed to a range of assessments of the impact of artificial light on insects, and wider biodiversity, as well as global and national assessments of the drivers of biodiversity loss more generally.

There have been a number of externally funded studies which have highlighted potential impacts of artificial light pollution on insects and invertebrates, which Defra keeps under review, for example, with our academic partners on the National Pollinator Strategy for England.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the Pick for Britain campaign on the agriculture sector.

The 'Pick for Britain' campaign was launched in April 2020 in response to the emerging risks that the COVID-19 pandemic posed to the UK's food supply chain. It was a joint initiative between Defra and industry stakeholders, aimed at promoting picking roles to British workers, particularly those unemployed or on furlough.

This campaign, alongside other measures introduced by Defra, helped to ensure that British growers had access to the labour they needed last year. The harvest was brought home without issue in extraordinary circumstances, and with unprecedented interest from UK workers. We know the 'Pick for Britain' website was central to this uptake in interest - it received around 2 million unique page views following its launch, and recruiters featured on the site received significant numbers of enquiries about roles as a result. We are not able to share specific information about jobs, vacancies or recruitment, as this information is commercially sensitive and not held by Defra.

Defra has collected feedback and lessons from stakeholders and partners to the 'Pick for Britain' campaign, and will use this to inform future work to promote domestic recruitment across the horticulture sectors.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
22nd Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much (a) funding and (b) other resources he allocated to the Pick for Britain campaign.

Last year’s ‘Pick for Britain’ campaign was launched in April 2020 in response to the emerging risks that the COVID-19 pandemic posed to the UK’s food supply chain. It was a joint initiative between Defra and industry stakeholders, aimed at promoting horticultural picking roles to British workers, particularly those unemployed or on furlough.

Defra secured co-investment from our industry project partners to deliver the campaign. This ensured that the wide-reaching campaign had a relatively small cost for the Government. Approximately £29,800 was spent by Defra on the ‘Pick for Britain’ campaign in 2020.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the reclassification of coastal waters as Class A waters from Class B waters was explicitly requested by Government Ministers or reclassified as a result of a routine review.

Defra has worked at pace with the Food Standards Agency (FSA) over the past few months to explore the potential for re-classification of harvesting areas on a seasonal basis where supported by the testing data, to enable more businesses to export live bivalve molluscs to the EU from Class A waters. Existing procedures allow local authorities and harvesters to request a review of shellfish waters. The FSA has additionally revised its procedures so that it will proactively consider seasonal classifications. The outcome of this review was reflected in the classifications listing published on 31 March 2021 on the FSA’s website at:

https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/media/document/classification-list-1-april-2021_0.pdf.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
21st Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which coastal waters have been re-designated as Class A waters from Class B waters.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has recently undertaken a review of E.coli testing data for Class B shellfish harvesting areas in England and Wales, which identified eleven new areas that meet the requirements for seasonal Class A classification for at least five months of the year. This includes shellfish waters in Kent, Essex, Dorset, Cornwall and Northumberland. Further details of the locations of these waters can be found on the FSA’s website at:

https://www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/media/document/classification-list-1-april-2021_0.pdf

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 15 April 2021 to Question 179538 on Seals, what (a) funding and (b) other Government resources have been allocated to the Give Seals Space campaign.

The Seal Alliance received a grant of £75,700 from Defra’s £40m Green Recovery Challenge Fund which has been used to support the ‘Give Seals Space’ campaign.

Government officials have also been working with the Seal Alliance to help increase the reach of this government-backed campaign to ensure the impact of human disturbance on these vulnerable marine mammals is minimised.

Further information on the campaign can be found on the Seal Alliance website.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many and what proportion of officials employed by his Department receive remuneration as a result of working for an organisation or company outside of government.

On 23 April, the Cabinet Secretary wrote to the Chair of the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee on the management of outside interests in the Civil Service.

The Committee published this letter on 26 April. It can be found here: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/5623/documents/55584/default/

The Cabinet Secretary’s letter sets out a series of steps to improve processes. This programme of work will also take account of any recommendations that emerge from Nigel Boardman’s review.

The Civil Service Management Code sets out, at paragraph 4.3.4, the requirement that civil servants must seek permission before accepting any outside employment which might affect their work either directly or indirectly. The applicable principles are those set out in the Business Appointment Rules. The Civil Service Management Code is published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-servants-terms-and-conditions.

Where the civil servant is a member of the departmental board, any outside employment as well as other relevant interests will be published as part of the Annual Report and Accounts or other transparency publication.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish the Environment Agency's impact assessment of the Sevington Inland Border Facility in Ashford, Kent.

We do not intend to publish the impact assessment. The Environment Agency has consulted the Department for Transport (DfT) and concluded that disclosure of information relating to the construction, design, layout and operation of the Sevington Inland Border Facility is confidential and would adversely affect both public safety and commercial confidentiality.

The Environment Agency is a statutory consultee for this DfT project and has provided advice relating to the environmental sensitivities, such as flood risk and risk of pollution to surface and groundwater. The Environment Agency’s advice to the DfT was taken into consideration during the development process and the Environment Agency is confident that the site has been designed and is being operated in line with it.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Home Affairs on the effect on ambulance, flood and other emergency service response times in rural areas with inadequate 4G coverage of delays to the roll out of the Emergency Services Network.

The emergency services currently use the Airwave system which is not run on 4G. This will eventually be replaced by the Emergency Services Network when it is safe to do so. The Home Office is responsible for roll-out of the Emergency Services Network.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the effect on ambulance, flood and other emergency response times of the time taken to roll out the Emergency Services Network in rural areas with poor 4G coverage.

The emergency services currently use the Airwave system which is not run on 4G. This will eventually be replaced by the Emergency Services Network when it is safe to do so. The Home Office is responsible for roll-out of the Emergency Services Network.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he plans to take to reduce the number of horses being allowed by their owners to stray.

Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, animal owners and keepers are under a legal duty of care for the animals for which they are responsible on a permanent or temporary basis. It is an offence to cause any animal unnecessary suffering or to fail to provide for its welfare. The 2006 Act is backed up by the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Horses, Ponies, Donkeys and Their Hybrids which provides owners with information on how to meet the welfare needs of their equines, as required by the 2006 Act. That includes ensuring the animal has a suitable environment to live in and is protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

The Control of Horses Act 2015 introduced more flexible options for the management of fly-grazing, straying or abandoned horses which present numerous difficulties for landowners, the public and the horses themselves. The 2015 Act allows landowners and occupiers to seize and, if necessary, remove horses unlawfully left on their land and take them immediately to a place of safety. In all cases, the person seizing the horse must notify the local police force within 24 hours of doing so, and if the horses' owners can be identified, the person must also notify them. If no owner can be identified within four working days, landowners, occupiers and local authorities may then decide what to do with the horses, including rehoming, either privately or via charities, or offering them for sale.

The Government considers that the relevant legislation and guidance in place provides the right safeguards and powers in respect of protecting equine welfare and addressing the issue of straying horses. We remain committed to working with enforcement agencies and other interested parties to ensure issues of horse abandonments or neglect are effectively addressed.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the risks posed by stray horses.

Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, animal owners and keepers are under a legal duty of care for the animals for which they are responsible on a permanent or temporary basis. It is an offence to cause any animal unnecessary suffering or to fail to provide for its welfare. The 2006 Act is backed up by the Code of Practice for the Welfare of Horses, Ponies, Donkeys and Their Hybrids which provides owners with information on how to meet the welfare needs of their equines, as required by the 2006 Act. That includes ensuring the animal has a suitable environment to live in and is protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

The Control of Horses Act 2015 introduced more flexible options for the management of fly-grazing, straying or abandoned horses which present numerous difficulties for landowners, the public and the horses themselves. The 2015 Act allows landowners and occupiers to seize and, if necessary, remove horses unlawfully left on their land and take them immediately to a place of safety. In all cases, the person seizing the horse must notify the local police force within 24 hours of doing so, and if the horses' owners can be identified, the person must also notify them. If no owner can be identified within four working days, landowners, occupiers and local authorities may then decide what to do with the horses, including rehoming, either privately or via charities, or offering them for sale.

The Government considers that the relevant legislation and guidance in place provides the right safeguards and powers in respect of protecting equine welfare and addressing the issue of straying horses. We remain committed to working with enforcement agencies and other interested parties to ensure issues of horse abandonments or neglect are effectively addressed.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure seals are protected.

Both native grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) and common seal (Phoca vitulina) species are protected in the UK under relevant wildlife legislation. Please refer to the following link for details:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protected-marine-species/seals

In addition, recent Government amendments to the Fisheries Act 2020 offer stronger protection for seals. The amendments prevent the intentional or reckless killing of seals in English, Welsh and Northern Irish waters as a result of commercial fishing.

Together with Seal Alliance we launched a new government-backed campaign ‘Give Seals Space’ on 2 April to reduce the impact that human disturbance can have on these vulnerable marine mammals.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 19 March 2021 to Question 167317, what assessment he has made of the (a) adequacy and (b) accuracy of the population level assessments of porpoise and dolphins upon which the assessments he refers to in his Answer are made.

The UK Government funds a comprehensive and well-respected bycatch monitoring programme which provides essential observer data on incidents of cetacean (dolphins, porpoises and whales) bycatch. Information on bycatch rates, broken down by gear type and area are publicly available:

2011 – 2016:

http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=18535&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=ME6004&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description

2017 & 2018:

http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=19943&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=ME6004&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description

In addition, we also fund the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP), which annually reports upon threats facing cetaceans through carrying out post-mortems on stranded animals:

2011-2017: http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=17835&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=ME6008&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description

& 2018:

http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=20101&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=ME6008&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description)

As of 1 April 2021, we let a new 10-year contract for this programme, which demonstrates our long-term commitment to monitoring and mitigating such threats, including bycatch.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 19 March 2021 given to Question 167317, which 10 fisheries have had the highest rates of (a) dolphin, (b) porpoise and (c) whale bycatch in each year since 2010 to date.

The UK Government funds a comprehensive and well-respected bycatch monitoring programme which provides essential observer data on incidents of cetacean (dolphins, porpoises and whales) bycatch. Information on bycatch rates, broken down by gear type and area are publicly available:

2011 – 2016:

http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=18535&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=ME6004&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description

2017 & 2018:

http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=19943&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=ME6004&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description

In addition, we also fund the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme (CSIP), which annually reports upon threats facing cetaceans through carrying out post-mortems on stranded animals:

2011-2017: http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=17835&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=ME6008&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description

& 2018:

http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=20101&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=ME6008&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description)

As of 1 April 2021, we let a new 10-year contract for this programme, which demonstrates our long-term commitment to monitoring and mitigating such threats, including bycatch.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the date beyond 5 April 2021 on which Avian flu restrictions end for farmers and smallholders.

The rules of the Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) in England have been amended. The part requiring all birds to be housed was revoked at 23:59 on the 31 March 2021.

All other biosecurity measures set out in the AIPZ remain a legal requirement until further notice. Bird gatherings also remain prohibited.

Similar steps have been taken in Scotland and Wales.

Our disease control and prevention decisions are based on risk assessments containing the latest scientific and ornithological evidence and veterinary advice and can be found on the gov.uk link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/avian-influenza-bird-flu-in-europe

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the extent of trail hunting on privately-owned land; and if he will make a statement.

This Government has not made any assessment of the extent of trail hunting on privately owned land. The Hunting Act 2004 bans hunting of wild mammals with dogs, except where it is carried out in accordance with the exemptions in the Act.

This Government will not amend the Hunting Act. Trail hunting should not involve the pursuit of a live mammal, and if hounds do pick up the scent of a live fox during a trail hunt, it is the responsibility of the hunt staff to control the hounds and if necessary to stop them.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to introduce a personal water consumption target for consumers based on (a) the amount abstracted for supply or (b) per capita consumption.

Protecting our water resources is a priority for this Government, which is why we have proposed setting a statutory target on overall demand for public water supply in our Environment Bill. This could encompass household use, non-household use and leakage.

As the 2017 Abstraction plan is currently being refreshed, we do not think it is appropriate to set a target on wider abstraction. Water companies are already making changes (both voluntary and at the request of the Environment Agency) to their abstraction licences in order to benefit the environment.

The 2019 Water conservation: measures to reduce personal water use consultation, is expected to be published this Spring. The consultation included a call for evidence on setting an ambitious target for personal water consumption, known as per capita consumption (PCC). We sought views on the policy options required to support a personal water consumption target. This included the labelling of water-using products, and the future role of metering.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to publish the results of his Department's Water conservation: measures to reduce personal water use consultation that concluded in October 2019.

Whilst good progress has been made in water efficiency policy development, we paused work in this area due to the Covid-19 pandemic and end of the transition period. We have recently recommenced our efficiency work and are committed to publishing the Government response this spring, which sets out our ambition and a package of policies to reduce household water consumption.

Protecting our water resources remains a priority for this Government, which is why we have proposed setting a statutory target on overall demand for public water supply in our Environment Bill. This could encompass household use, non-household use and leakage.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing a mandatory water efficiency label on all water consuming products.

Defra is committed to publishing the Government response to the 2019 public consultation on Water conservation: measures to reduce personal water use consultation, this spring. The response sets out our ambition and a package of policies to reduce household water consumption.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will remove restrictions to permit water companies to roll out universal water metering to areas beyond those designated as areas of serious water stress.

Defra is committed to publishing the Government response to the 2019 public consultation on Water conservation: measures to reduce personal water use consultation, this spring. The response sets out our ambition and a package of policies to reduce household water consumption.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reason his Department drafted the fisheries support scheme conditions to exclude sail-powered fisheries from being eligible for financial support.

The Government is delivering support to catching and shellfish aquaculture businesses affected by the impact of Covid-19 or new trading conditions via the Seafood Response Fund.

In order to ensure that funding is targeted only at businesses which are dependent on fishing as their main source of income, the criteria for the scheme specify that all beneficiaries must have at least £10,000 in seafood catch sales. In order to verify that businesses meet the criteria and that the scheme represents value for money for the taxpayer, we must rely on a combination of sales data, vessel licensing data and reference data for calculating average fixed costs for that class of vessel.

Businesses, including sail-powered fisheries businesses, whose vessel is not licensed or registered for the commercial activity of fisheries, and for whom we do not hold sales data to demonstrate they meet the sales threshold, are not eligible for the scheme. Such businesses, however, may still be eligible for wider Government support for organisations impacted by Covid-19.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
23rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to use the arbitration mechanism in the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement to resolve issues exporting live bivalve molluscs to European markets.

Defra is working to find a resolution on this issue and we have been discussing with the EU and key partners. We have offered to provide reasonable additional reassurances to demonstrate shellfish health, on the understanding that the Commission recognises the existing high standards and history of UK-EU trade.

Until we get this issue resolved, we will do all we can to help businesses adapt to the new trading conditions and access alternative markets.

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement is still awaiting ratification by the European Parliament.

The Agreement contains robust mechanisms that can be used by both parties to ensure that the trade and cooperation arrangements are implemented effectively. As a matter of course we will be monitoring such implementation and will use such mechanisms where appropriate.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the £100 million fund for fishing industry upgrades, whether his Department plans to make allocations to the nations of the UK based on the Barnet formula or national share of fishing opportunities.

We will make an announcement on the £100 million fund shortly. The money will modernise and rejuvenate the industry, support economic growth for our coastal communities and strengthen the long-term sustainability of the sector. It is our intention to ensure the sector benefits from this investment in all parts of the UK.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to adopt the concept of Net Zero Plus as advocated by the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency.

The Secretary of State has regular, productive conversations with Sir James Bevan, the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, about a range of operational and policy issues. This includes net zero. Sir James’ speech on More than Net Zero reflects the government’s commitment to leave the environment in a better state than we found it. Both mitigating and adapting to climate change is essential if we are to meet this goal and government is taking action to deliver on this. This is why mitigating and adapting to climate change is one of the ten goals in the 25 Year Environment Plan. Mitigation and adaptation are also both embedded into other goals, such as air quality and thriving plants and wildlife.

The UK is already leading the fight against climate change by delivering on our world-leading target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Whilst we continue to reduce our contribution to climate change, we are also taking robust action to improve the resilience of our people, economy and environment.

Our second National Adaptation Programme (NAP) (a five-yearly requirement under the UK Climate Change Act 2008) was published in 2018 setting out how we will address climate change risks in the following five years. It follows from the second Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) published in 2017. The NAP includes actions in a broad range of areas, including the natural environment, infrastructure, people and the built environment, business and industry, and local government.

The UK co-convened December’s Climate Ambition Summit to galvanise global action towards a resilient, net zero emissions future. Alongside our updated Nationally Determined Contribution, the UK became one of the first countries in the world to fulfil a key commitment of the Paris Agreement by publishing our first Adaptation Communication. The Adaptation Communication sets out what we are doing to prepare for the effects of climate change at home and support those facing impacts overseas.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency on his proposals for Net Zero Plus.

The Secretary of State has regular, productive conversations with Sir James Bevan, the Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, about a range of operational and policy issues. This includes net zero. Sir James’ speech on More than Net Zero reflects the government’s commitment to leave the environment in a better state than we found it. Both mitigating and adapting to climate change is essential if we are to meet this goal and government is taking action to deliver on this. This is why mitigating and adapting to climate change is one of the ten goals in the 25 Year Environment Plan. Mitigation and adaptation are also both embedded into other goals, such as air quality and thriving plants and wildlife.

The UK is already leading the fight against climate change by delivering on our world-leading target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Whilst we continue to reduce our contribution to climate change, we are also taking robust action to improve the resilience of our people, economy and environment.

Our second National Adaptation Programme (NAP) (a five-yearly requirement under the UK Climate Change Act 2008) was published in 2018 setting out how we will address climate change risks in the following five years. It follows from the second Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) published in 2017. The NAP includes actions in a broad range of areas, including the natural environment, infrastructure, people and the built environment, business and industry, and local government.

The UK co-convened December’s Climate Ambition Summit to galvanise global action towards a resilient, net zero emissions future. Alongside our updated Nationally Determined Contribution, the UK became one of the first countries in the world to fulfil a key commitment of the Paris Agreement by publishing our first Adaptation Communication. The Adaptation Communication sets out what we are doing to prepare for the effects of climate change at home and support those facing impacts overseas.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure the continued enforcement of restrictions on chickens and other birds in response to avian flu concerns.

Effective animal disease control is one of Defra's key priorities.

In response to the increasing risk of avian influenza incursion into poultry and other captive birds in GB, Avian Influenza Prevention Zones (AIPZ) were put in place in each of the GB administrations on the 11 November 2020. These require people who keep birds to ensure they have enhanced biosecurity measures in place. In response to a further increase in the risk additional measures requiring all the birds to be housed indoors came into force across GB on the 14 December 2020. Following a reduction in the risk of avian influenza incursion in both wild and kept birds to medium, the 31 March 2021 will be the last day birds in GB will be required to be housed as part of the AIPZ, however the AIPZs will remain in force across GB and all other biosecurity measures set out in the AIPZs will remain a legal requirement until further notice. Biosecurity guidance and a biosecurity self-assessment checklist to assist all bird keepers in complying with the new rules are available on GOV.UK at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu.

Local Authorities have the responsibility to ensure compliance with the AIPZ and other avian influenza controls. We have established an enforcement working group with representatives from local authorities, the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and GB policy leads. This Group has met regularly throughout the current avian influenza outbreak to share knowledge and expertise.

Defra Ministers and officials talk regularly to representative organisations. We post the latest advice, key messages and situational updates on our gov.uk guidance page, social media channels, issue national, local and trade press releases and have a rolling gov.uk news story. The UK's Chief Veterinary Officer and others have given media interviews to raise awareness of the disease control measures that have come into force.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, at what stage of development is the Catch App catch monitoring system.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) led catch recording application currently remains in a ‘public beta’ phase, which includes a rollout of the service to the fishing sector. During this phase the MMO has published information, advice and guidance to provide support to all users. Current figures indicate over 80% of the active under 10 metre fleet have adopted the new recording method with over 80,000 catch records successfully submitted.

The MMO remains committed to continuous improvement based on feedback from stakeholders to improve the app’s functionality and since launching the app this feedback has helped inform additional system improvements. This has included increasing the number of ports available within the app and the ability to record weights of fish lower than 1kg.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of bycatch on populations of (a) porpoises, (b) dolphins, (c) whales and (d) other sensitive species.

The UK government funds a comprehensive and well-respected bycatch monitoring programme which helps to protect sensitive marine species and to monitor and reduce any potential fisheries impacts on these species. The UK has an additional observer programme which collects data on fisheries catch and bycatch for scientific advice and management.

The government also funds Clean Catch UK which is a collaborative research programme dedicated to better monitoring, reducing, and, where possible, eliminating the bycatch of sensitive marine species in UK fisheries.

In addition, we also fund the Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme, which conducts research on threats facing cetaceans (dolphins, porpoises and whales) through carrying out post-mortems on stranded animals. We are about to let a new 10-year contract for this programme, which demonstrates our long-term commitment to monitoring and mitigating such threats, including bycatch.

These programmes all contribute to the assessment of bycatch on populations of sensitive marine species.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many UK vessels are permitted to fish using fly-shooting fishing gear.

From a total of 5,331 UK licensed fishing vessels, during 2021 so far 19 UK vessels have landed fish using Scottish seine gear (also known as fly-shooting gear).

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what support he will make available to Plymouth fishing fleets to implement new measures to reduce porpoise and dolphin bycatch.

The Government funds Clean Catch UK which is a collaborative research programme dedicated to better monitoring, reducing, and, where possible, eliminating bycatch of sensitive species in UK fisheries. We are taking a risk-based approach to implementing this, focussing on fisheries which experience the highest rates of bycatch in the first instance.

Clean Catch UK is supported by a National Steering Group which provides advice to Defra on bycatch monitoring and mitigation. We would encourage representatives from Plymouth fishing fleets to engage in this group and to use the resources which can be found at https://www.cleancatchuk.com/.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of fishing with fly-shooting fishing gear in UK waters.

Defra is considering the potential effects of fly-shooting fishing gear used by vessels in UK waters. Discussions with industry are taking place and any assessment of these activities will be based on evidence.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to section 1(4) of the Fisheries Act 2020, what funding he has allocated from the public purse to deliver the (a) ecosystem objective on sensitive species bycatch and (b) Cetacean Bycatch Plan of Action.

This year we have spent £1,195,226 on activities which support more effective bycatch monitoring and mitigation, with a further £1,414,330 allocated for next year. These activities include projects and monitoring programmes which support delivery of the ecosystem objective on sensitive species bycatch and the Cetacean Bycatch Plan of Action.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many EU vessels are permitted to fish in UK waters with fly-shooting fishing gear.

From a total of 1,643 EU-27 vessels licensed to fish in UK waters, 25 EU vessels have Scottish seine gear (also known as fly-shooting gear) listed on the public EC fleet register. However, as vessels are not required to have a Scottish seine permit, there may be more vessels that use this type of gear in UK waters.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many trucks carrying fresh seafood products to the EU left Great Britain in each month from January 2020 to February 2021.

Data on the number of lorries exporting seafood from the UK is not collected: freight flow data cannot be fully broken down by commodities carried for all routes of UK exports. We are, however, monitoring the number of vehicles who designate in their application for a Kent Access Permit (KAP), that they are transporting prioritised goods such as single loads of live and fresh seafood for human consumption, mixed consignments are not in scope for prioritisation. This only indicates the volumes travelling via the short straights. Although there are caveats to this data, primarily that all those transporting live or fresh seafood for human consumption have confirmed this in their application for a KAP, data indicates that there have been a higher weekly volume of vehicles transporting live or fresh seafood for human consumption from the UK in February than there was in January 2021.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the ecosystem objective under section 1(4) of the Fisheries Act 2020, what target is in place to minimise and eliminate bycatch of (i) porpoises, (ii) dolphins, (iii) whales and (iv) other sensitive species; what the timeframe is for meeting that target; and what steps the Government plans to take to reduce that bycatch.

We will set out policies that will help to achieve this objective in the Joint Fisheries Statement (JFS, which is a UK-wide policy document.

The JFS will be published 24 months after the Fisheries Act received Royal Assent, in late 2022. We have also included provisions to report on the JFS policies every 3 years, and to review the JFS at least every 6 years, therefore ensuring the policies within it continue to deliver the objectives within the Fisheries Act.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many hours of at sea surveillance for fisheries protection was deployed in English waters in January and February 2021; and what did the sea surveillance cost.

In January and February 2021, the Marine Management Organisation deployed 3372 hours of at-sea surveillance.

The total cost of surface surveillance was £1,111,977 in January and £1,050,472 in February.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many tonnes of non-quota stocks were caught by EU vessels in England’s exclusive economic zone waters by species in each year between 2000 and 2020.

The MMO uses data published by the EU Commission to estimate EU landings from UK waters as part of the annual MMO EEZA report. The report is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-commercial-sea-fisheries-landings-by-exclusive-economic-zone-of-capture-report-2019 along with the underlying data. These reports are available for the period 2012-2019, covering UK quota and non-quota landings. EU Data for 2021 is not yet available.

The MMO does not hold comprehensive, historical records of activities by EU vessels, as these are held by their flag state. Table 1 provides an estimate of landings of non-quota species taken from English waters (EEZ and territorial waters) in the period 2012-2016 only.

Estimates of the quantity (t) of non-quota species landed from English waters* by EU vessels (2012-16)

Species name

Average annual tonnage

Great Atlantic scallop

2,521

European pilchard(=Sardine)

2,116

Cuttlefish, bobtail squids nei

1,536

Pouting(=Bib)

1,435

Edible crab

1,286

Tub gurnard

1,208

Lemon sole

929

Catsharks, etc. nei

897

European anchovy

833

Small-spotted catshark

782

Common squids nei

748

European seabass

712

Gurnards, searobins nei

672

Various squids nei

581

Red gurnard

563

Other non-quota species

8,174

All non-quota species

24,995

*English Territorial waters and EEZ.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many tonnes of non-quota stocks, by species, were caught by EU fishing vessels in England’s territorial waters in each year between 2000 to 2020.

The MMO uses data published by the EU Commission to estimate EU landings from UK waters as part of the annual MMO EEZA report. The report is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-commercial-sea-fisheries-landings-by-exclusive-economic-zone-of-capture-report-2019 along with the underlying data. These reports are available for the period 2012-2019, covering UK quota and non-quota landings. EU Data for 2021 is not yet available.

The MMO does not hold comprehensive, historical records of activities by EU vessels, as these are held by their flag state. Table 1 provides an estimate of landings of non-quota species taken from English waters (EEZ and territorial waters) in the period 2012-2016 only.

Estimates of the quantity (t) of non-quota species landed from English waters* by EU vessels (2012-16)

Species name

Average annual tonnage

Great Atlantic scallop

2,521

European pilchard(=Sardine)

2,116

Cuttlefish, bobtail squids nei

1,536

Pouting(=Bib)

1,435

Edible crab

1,286

Tub gurnard

1,208

Lemon sole

929

Catsharks, etc. nei

897

European anchovy

833

Small-spotted catshark

782

Common squids nei

748

European seabass

712

Gurnards, searobins nei

672

Various squids nei

581

Red gurnard

563

Other non-quota species

8,174

All non-quota species

24,995

*English Territorial waters and EEZ.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
11th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many tonnes of fish were caught in England’s EEZ waters by EU vessels in (a) January and (b) February 2021.

The MMO uses data published by the EU Commission to estimate EU landings from UK waters as part of the annual MMO EEZA report. The report is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-commercial-sea-fisheries-landings-by-exclusive-economic-zone-of-capture-report-2019 along with the underlying data. These reports are available for the period 2012-2019, covering UK quota and non-quota landings. EU Data for 2021 is not yet available.

The MMO does not hold comprehensive, historical records of activities by EU vessels, as these are held by their flag state. Table 1 provides an estimate of landings of non-quota species taken from English waters (EEZ and territorial waters) in the period 2012-2016 only.

Estimates of the quantity (t) of non-quota species landed from English waters* by EU vessels (2012-16)

Species name

Average annual tonnage

Great Atlantic scallop

2,521

European pilchard(=Sardine)

2,116

Cuttlefish, bobtail squids nei

1,536

Pouting(=Bib)

1,435

Edible crab

1,286

Tub gurnard

1,208

Lemon sole

929

Catsharks, etc. nei

897

European anchovy

833

Small-spotted catshark

782

Common squids nei

748

European seabass

712

Gurnards, searobins nei

672

Various squids nei

581

Red gurnard

563

Other non-quota species

8,174

All non-quota species

24,995

*English Territorial waters and EEZ.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many at sea inspections his Department conducted on (a) British and (b) overseas fishing boats in each month in 2020.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 5 February 2021, PQ UIN 145144.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department plans to include the growing of bioenergy feedstocks such as woodland and energy crops as recognised activities for farmers and landowners under the Environment Land Management Scheme.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has made a commitment to develop and publish a new cross-government Biomass Strategy by 2022. Defra is working closely with BEIS on this. The strategy will consider how biomass should be sourced and used across the economy to best contribute to our net zero target. There is evidence and widespread acceptance that biomass, including bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, has a key role to play in achieving net zero. We are looking carefully at how to ensure any potential future policy to increase the supply of domestically sourced biomass, such as woody biomass or energy crops such as miscanthus, minimises any potential impacts on food security and the environment, as well as taking advantage of any co-benefits. We will also consider whether our future schemes that pay farmers to improve the environment, improve animal health and welfare, and reduce carbon emissions can play a role in supporting the delivery of the strategy.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
4th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether Environment Land Management scheme pilots will feed directly into his Department’s preparation of a Biomass Strategy.

The pilots for schemes that reward environmental land management will build on the excellent work of our ongoing 'Tests and Trials', which involve around 3000 farmers and land managers across England.

The pilots will assemble the concepts explored in the tests and trials into fully functioning prototype schemes, and work with farmers to see what works and what doesn't, fixing problems as we go. The pilots will run for three years, with applications opening in the spring and the first pilot, of the Sustainable Farming Incentive, commencing in October.

We report the evidence and learning from tests and trials in real time to inform the pilots and wider Defra policy. Evidence from the pilots will start to come through during 2022.

The Government has made a commitment to develop and publish a new cross-government Biomass Strategy by 2022. Defra is working closely with BEIS on this. The strategy will consider how biomass should be sourced and used across the economy to best contribute to our net zero target. We are looking carefully at how to ensure any push to biomass minimises impacts on food security and the environment.

The Government will set out more details of its thinking in the forthcoming Energy White Paper and issue a call for evidence. This will be used to inform the Biomass Strategy development in the context of net zero.

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