Mark Menzies Portrait

Mark Menzies

Conservative - Fylde

Draft Registration of Overseas Entities Bill (Joint)
19th Feb 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
International Development Committee
4th Jun 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
International Development Sub-Committee on the Work of the Independent Commission for Aid Impact
4th Jun 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Finance Committee (Commons)
30th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Regulatory Reform
6th Nov 2017 - 18th Dec 2017
Regulatory Reform
16th Jan 2017 - 3rd May 2017
Finance Committee (Commons)
19th Dec 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Transport Committee
8th Jul 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Scottish Affairs Committee
14th Jul 2014 - 30th Mar 2015
Draft Protection of Charities Bill (Joint Committee)
6th Nov 2014 - 3rd Feb 2015
Scottish Affairs Committee
12th Jul 2010 - 29th Nov 2010


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 25th May 2022
09:30
International Trade Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: UK trade negotiations: Agreement with New Zealand
25 May 2022, 9:30 a.m.
At 10.00am: Oral evidence
Peter Dawson - Policy and Sustainability Director at Dairy UK
Phil Stocker - Chief Executive at National Sheep Association
David Swales - Head of Strategic Insight at Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board
Miles Beale - CEO at Wine and Spirit Trade Association
At 11.00am: Oral evidence
Sue Davies - Head of Consumer Rights and Food Policy at Which?
Dr Barbara Allen - Senior Lecturer at School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington
Dr Jason Paul Mika - Associate Professor at School of Management, Massey University
Sir Lockwood Smith - New Zealand politician and former High Commissioner of New Zealand at New Zealand Parliament
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Monday 13th June 2022
14:30
Department Event
Thursday 16th June 2022
09:30
Department for International Trade
Oral questions - Main Chamber
16 Jun 2022, 9:30 a.m.
International Trade (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 18th May 2022
Achieving Economic Growth
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 304 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 229 Noes - 312
Speeches
Tuesday 15th March 2022
Oral Answers to Questions
T8. I thank my right hon. Friend the Chancellor for his swift actions to protect Fylde consumers from rising energy …
Written Answers
Friday 11th February 2022
Hospitality Industry and Tourism: Coronavirus
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to continue to support the hospitality and …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 6th July 2011
Sunday Trading (Amendment) Bill 2010-12
A Bill to require the Secretary of State to permit local authorities to vary restrictions on Sunday trading on a …
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 1st November 2021
4. Visits outside the UK
Name of donor: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Qatar
Address of donor: Qatar Embassy, 1 South Audley St, London W1K 1NB …
EDM signed
Thursday 19th May 2022
Iain MacNeil's global voyage
That this House notes that from the time of the great Magellan Expedition of 1518-1521, the first to circumnavigate the …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Mark Menzies has voted in 418 divisions, and 1 time against the majority of their Party.

24 Jun 2020 - Demonstrations (Abortion Clinics) - View Vote Context
Mark Menzies voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Conservative No votes vs 56 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 213 Noes - 47
View All Mark Menzies 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
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(7 debate interactions)
Rishi Sunak (Conservative)
Chancellor of the Exchequer
(7 debate interactions)
Robert Jenrick (Conservative)
(6 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(14 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(9 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Mark Menzies's debates

Fylde 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).

Mark Menzies has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Mark Menzies

19th May 2022
Mark Menzies signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 19th May 2022

Iain MacNeil's global voyage

Tabled by: Angus Brendan MacNeil (Scottish National Party - Na h-Eileanan an Iar)
That this House notes that from the time of the great Magellan Expedition of 1518-1521, the first to circumnavigate the world, that mankind has always been fascinated with nautical circumnavigations of the world; warmly congratulates Iain MacNeil from the Hebridean Island of Barra, following in those footsteps by completing the …
9 signatures
(Most recent: 20 May 2022)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 6
Liberal Democrat: 1
Conservative: 1
Labour: 1
19th December 2019
Mark Menzies signed this EDM as a sponsor on Friday 20th December 2019

Big Ben chiming on the day of Brexit

Tabled by: Mark Francois (Conservative - Rayleigh and Wickford)
That this House notes the ongoing refurbishment works on the Elizabeth Tower and the fact that during this period Big Ben currently only chimes for Remembrance Sunday and New Year's Eve; further notes that the United Kingdom will now leave the European Union at 11.00pm GMT on 31 January 2020; …
53 signatures
(Most recent: 7 Jan 2020)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 47
Democratic Unionist Party: 5
Labour: 1
View All Mark Menzies's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Mark Menzies, 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.


Mark Menzies has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Mark Menzies has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Mark Menzies


A Bill to require the Secretary of State to permit local authorities to vary restrictions on Sunday trading on a temporary basis; and for connected purposes


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 6th July 2011

Mark Menzies has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


78 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
1 Other Department Questions
3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps people can take to escalate a complaint where the Housing Ombudsman has (a) acknowledged but not provided further response to an individual initiating a formal complaints process and (b) not responded to an official complaint from an hon. Member on the lack of response to their constituent.

The Housing Ombudsman resolves disputes between social housing residents and their landlords. The service is free to residents, independent of Government and impartial. The Housing Ombudsman Service receives a high volume of cases and is working to deal with them as quickly as possible. In 2020-21, the average time taken to complete an investigation was 5.2 months, down from 5.8 months in 2019-20.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to support the Parliamentary and Health Services Ombudsman investigate the backlog of cases that are awaiting review.

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman (PHSO) is independent of the Government and reports directly to Parliament. The Ombudsman has informed ministers that he has already written to the hon. Member on this matter.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to help ensure that people who are exempt from wearing face coverings are able to use (a) shops and (b) indoor public facilities during the November 2020 covid-19 restrictions.

Social distancing, and other non pharmaceutical interventions, mitigate the risk of transmitting COVID-19 including for those exempt from wearing a face covering. Further information is available on GOV.UK.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential contribution of nuclear energy in (a) improving the UK’s energy security and (b) achieving net zero; and what steps he plans to take to raise awareness of that contribution.

Analysis published by BEIS with the Energy White Paper (EWP) [1] in 2020 shows that, alongside significant amounts of wind and solar, a stable, low-cost electricity system to meet net zero will also require other forms of low-carbon power, including nuclear, to complement the intermittency of those technologies.

As outlined in the Net Zero Strategy[2] published in October 2021, we need to continue to deploy all known low-carbon technologies at scale over the next decade to ensure optionality is maintained, whilst developing new options to mitigate delivery risk and reduce costs. The Government has confirmed that it aims to reach a Final Investment Decision on at least one large-scale nuclear project this Parliament and recently announced £210m for Rolls-Royce’s Small Modular Reactor design. We will also publish a roadmap for new nuclear in 2022. It will focus on what is needed to support the deployment of further new nuclear in the UK. I was proud to host an event about nuclear energy in the UK Pavilion at COP26 and my officials are working with industry to build on that momentum.

[1] https://www.govuk/government/publications/energy-white-paper-powering-our-net-zero-future.

[2] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/net-zero-strategy.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what policy framework his Department plans to implement to support the development of modular reactors to ensure that nuclear energy is part of a low-carbon hydrogen production mix.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution included a commitment of up to £385 million for an Advanced Nuclear Fund to develop a domestic Small Modular Reactor (SMR) design and to demonstrate innovative Advanced Modular Reactors (AMR) by the early 2030s. Both of these reactor technologies have the potential to produce low carbon hydrogen using electricity and/or heat via increasingly efficient electrolysis, or in the case of AMRs via higher temperature additional production routes.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to increase the production of green hydrogen from nuclear energy.

In the Hydrogen Strategy, the Government noted that both existing and future nuclear technologies have the potential to provide low-carbon hydrogen. The Government consulted in 2021 on a range of policies to support low-carbon hydrogen production and will publish relevant responses in 2022.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if his Department will commit to using UK fuel for reactors in the UK and provide certainty to organisations through the nuclear supply chain.

The UK is a world leader in the nuclear fuel cycle, and this is testament to the highly skilled workforce currently employed at the Springfields and Capenhurst sites, and the wider UK supply chain. Earlier this month, I visited Springfields to see first-hand the important work taking place, including at the Oxide Fuels Complex.

The Government recognises the importance of continued commercial operation of such facilities to deliver low carbon energy. In the recent Spending Review we confirmed up to £75 million, to be used alongside sector co-investment, to preserve and develop the UK’s nuclear fuel production capability. With this funding we will move a programme forward to address all our fuel-related priorities, helping to develop the UK fuel supply chain to power the reactors of today and advanced nuclear in the future.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to reduce the UK’s energy dependency on foreign states.

Great Britain has one of the most reliable electricity systems in the world. It benefits from a diverse electricity mix, which contributes to security of supply by ensuring no dependence on any single market participant for the power consumed.

Interconnection with overseas markets forms an important part of Great Britain’s electricity mix. However, the majority of power consumed in this country is still domestically produced.

Around half of Great Britain’s annual gas demand is met through domestic production and most imports come from close proximity suppliers such as Norway.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to create opportunities for young people in (a) the nuclear sector and (b) the wider green energy industry.

BEIS is a member of the industry-led Nuclear Skills Strategic Group (NSSG), which brings together employers, government, regulators, and trades unions to address the skills challenge and drives major skills developments in the nuclear sector. The NSSG has developed a long-term Nuclear Skills Strategic Plan which incorporates a variety of activities, including those to recruit more young people in the nuclear sector. As part of the Strategic Plan, the following are expected to be delivered.

  • Offer work experience placements for students in schools, further education, and higher education through industry collaboration.
  • Recruit 2,000 new starts every year through local apprenticeships.
  • Increase diversity, with expectation that female workforce should increase from 22%, to 40% by 2030.

We continue to engage and support as the plan is delivered.

We are determined to seize the once-in-a-generation economic opportunities of the net zero transition, delivering a green industrial revolution, by creating new business opportunities and supporting up to 2 million green jobs by 2030 across all regions of the UK. In order to ensure we have the skilled workforce to deliver net zero and our Ten Point Plan, we have launched the Green Jobs Taskforce, working in partnership with business, skills providers, and unions to advise on how we can deliver the green jobs of the future.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to help businesses in the construction sector tackle (a) supply chain issues and (b) the resulting increased costs.

The Government is aware that a range of building materials are in short supply nationally. This is driven by demand and increased global competition to secure supplies.

In light of this, and in view of more local disruptions in the supply of some products, the Construction Leadership Council’s Coronavirus Task Force has established a Product Availability Working Group, comprised of product manufacturers, builders’ merchants and suppliers, contractors of all sizes, and housebuilders. The Task Force continues to monitor the supply and demand of products, and identify those in short supply.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure that UK nuclear fuel needs are filled by UK produced fuels.

The UK is a world leader in the nuclear fuel cycle. As we transition from the needs of the current nuclear fleet, we are carefully considering with operators, fuel producers and the R&D community how best to meet the needs of future nuclear power stations, including opportunities provided by small and advanced modular reactors.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with Chancellor of the Exchequer on support for the (a) tourism and (b) hospitality sectors during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

This Department and our colleagues at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport are in regular contact with HM Treasury colleagues to discuss the impact of support measures on the tourism and hospitality sectors.

We recognise the difficulties faced by businesses in these sectors and will continue to engage with stakeholders and across Government to assess how we can most effectively support them.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support businesses seeking to hire new employees during the covid-19 outbreak.

This Government is committed to both protecting existing jobs as well as supporting job creation to ensure we build back better after this crisis. At the heart of these plans is a £30 billion investment in jobs. In his Summer Economic Update, the Chancellor – as part of his Plan for Jobs - announced a £3 billion investment in green infrastructure to create thousands of green jobs, a cut to Stamp Duty to support an industry that employs almost 750,000 people, a £2 billion investment in the Kickstart scheme to get our youth into work, as well as doubling the number of work coaches and tripling the number of traineeships.

Our investment includes:

  • Construction Talent Retention Scheme – Supports the redeployment of workers at risk of redundancy to opportunities across the UK.
  • Green Jobs Challenge Fund – The Government will invest up to £40 million in a Green Jobs Challenge Fund for environmental charities and public authorities to create and protect 5,000 jobs in England.
  • Kickstart Scheme - Provides funding to create new job placements for those aged 16-24 on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment. Employers of all sizes can apply for funding which covers National Minimum Wage, NICs and employer minimum automatic enrolment contributions.
Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what guidance he has issued to (a) businesses and (b) service providers on making social distancing measures accessible for blind and partially sighted people.

The Government has published guidance on safer working for a range of working environments, available on GOV.UK. The guidance does not change employers’ obligations to make reasonable adjustments for those with disabilities.

Our guidance also does not replace existing employment, health and safety or equalities legislation. It provides information to employers on how best to meet these responsibilities in the context of COVID-19.

The safer workplaces guidance provides some suggestions to help employers make their workplaces COVID-19 secure for their employees, visitors and customers. We expect all businesses to approach reopening in a sensible way, taking account of the Government’s guidance and discussing with neighbouring businesses and their local authorities where applicable.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that reforms to the Electronic Communications Code enable tenants in properties in Fylde to access full fibre broadband.

My department published a consultation in January 2021 asking whether further reforms to the Electronic Communications Code are needed in order to ensure the Code provides the right legislative framework to promote fast, cost effective network provision across the UK. The consultation covered a range of issues, including matters relating to negotiations and dispute resolution, rights to upgrade and share apparatus and problems relating to the renewal of expired agreements.

This consultation closed on 24 March 2021. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on the possible outcomes of the consultation at this stage, as responses are being considered. The consultation response will be published in due course and we will bring legislation forward as soon as parliamentary time allows.

The Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Act gained Royal Assent in March 2021. This Act aims to address one stated policy barrier: making it easier for telecoms companies to access multi-dwelling buildings (such as blocks of flats) where a tenant has requested a new connection, but the landlord has not responded to requests for access rights.

The Act inserts a new Part 4A to the Electronic Communication Code, which provides a process that telecommunications operators could use to gain code rights to multi-dwelling premises for a defined period. This only applies where:

  • a lessee in occupation in a multi-dwelling building has requested a telecommunications service from an operator

  • to connect the property the telecoms operator requires an access agreement with another person such as the landlord

  • the landlord has not responded to the telecoms operator’s request for access

My department has also recently launched a consultation, which seeks views on the terms that will accompany the interim Code rights provided to operators who have successfully applied for an order made under Part 4A of the Electronic Communications Code. This consultation closes on Wednesday 4 August. Responses will be considered and the consultation response will be published in due course.

7th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the need to reform the Electronic Communications Code to enable people in Fylde constituency to access full fibre broadband.

My department published a consultation in January 2021 asking whether further reforms to the Electronic Communications Code are needed in order to ensure the Code provides the right legislative framework to promote fast, cost effective network provision across the UK. The consultation covered a range of issues, including matters relating to negotiations and dispute resolution, rights to upgrade and share apparatus and problems relating to the renewal of expired agreements.

This consultation closed on 24 March 2021. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on the possible outcomes of the consultation at this stage, as responses are being considered. The consultation response will be published in due course and we will bring legislation forward as soon as parliamentary time allows.

The Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Act gained Royal Assent in March 2021. This Act aims to address one stated policy barrier: making it easier for telecoms companies to access multi-dwelling buildings (such as blocks of flats) where a tenant has requested a new connection, but the landlord has not responded to requests for access rights.

The Act inserts a new Part 4A to the Electronic Communication Code, which provides a process that telecommunications operators could use to gain code rights to multi-dwelling premises for a defined period. This only applies where:

  • a lessee in occupation in a multi-dwelling building has requested a telecommunications service from an operator

  • to connect the property the telecoms operator requires an access agreement with another person such as the landlord

  • the landlord has not responded to the telecoms operator’s request for access

My department has also recently launched a consultation, which seeks views on the terms that will accompany the interim Code rights provided to operators who have successfully applied for an order made under Part 4A of the Electronic Communications Code. This consultation closes on Wednesday 4 August. Responses will be considered and the consultation response will be published in due course.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to (a) promote the UK as a tourist destination abroad and (b) attract more foreign visitors to (i) smaller towns and (ii) coastal areas.

We are currently working with VisitBritain, VisitEngland and local partners to champion England’s diverse tourism offer through the Enjoy Summer Safely campaign. Last year the Government spent £19 million on domestic marketing activity, such as the Enjoy Summer Safely campaign, and much more is planned for this year. The Government will work with VisitBritain to welcome back international visitors as soon as it is safe to do so.

More broadly, the Tourism Recovery Plan will set out a long-term framework for how the Government will work with the sector to build back better from the pandemic and develop a more sustainable, innovative, and data-driven tourism industry, including in coastal areas. The Levelling Up Fund, the 83 Towns Deals and the City and Growth Deals in Scotland and Wales show that the Government is investing in tourism infrastructure across the Union, helping towns and coastal areas further develop their tourism offers.

In recent years, the £45m Discover England Fund has supported the development of multiple internationally marketed tourism products in Lancashire, such as VisitBritain’s Gateway Partnership with Manchester Airport.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to improve home broadband connections for people in (a) rural and (b) semi-rural locations who are continuing to work from home.

  • DCMS are working tirelessly to improve home broadband connections. £2.6bn public funding is committed to subsidising the roll-out of broadband infrastructure in harder-to-reach areas through the government's Superfast Broadband programme. The original programme target of 95% was achieved and we have continued beyond this to greater than 96%.

  • Over 96.6% of UK premises have access to superfast (30Mbps) broadband, with 5.3 million additional homes and businesses in both rural and semi-rural areas having superfast broadband available for the first time thanks to the government’s investment in the Superfast programme. (Source: ThinkBroadband)

  • Blackpool has recently completed an LFFN project, which has enabled the development of a full fibre broadband network throughout Blackpool comprising the re-use of existing Blackpool network assets, the build of an additional 20.678km underground duct infrastructure and the installation of 54.5km of fibre optic cables. The project has enabled business and consumers across the authority access to Gigabit services as part of the deployment of the network.

  • The Rural Gigabit Connectivity programme, launched in May 2019 acting as the first step towards piloting the “Outside-In” approach identified in the FTIR. The programme was set up to trial the LFFN PSBU delivery mechanism, to provide gigabit capable connectivity to public sector buildings (Hubs), along with vouchers to eligible residential and business premises in rural and remote areas. The RGC programme is combining both demand and supply-side interventions.

  • The programme focused on targeting Hubs located within the Final 10% & 20% of least commercially viable areas across the UK identified through DCMS modelling (This was originally only the F10%, however this was altered to the F20% following the Year 2 business case submission to HMT in March 2020).

  • The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme was a pilot which has enabled us to test different approaches to stimulate the broadband market and to support the installation of gigabit-capable broadband to homes and businesses; it has been very successful and we're going to build on this success with a new voucher in April, while also taking the opportunity to refine our approach to ensure that we focus support on the hardest to reach premises.

8th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to online hate speech posted on social media using country-specific language or tropes which might not be identifiable as such elsewhere or via an algorithm, whether the online harms Bill will include a requirement for social media companies to operate specific UK moderating teams which will be able to recognise country-specific language.

As part of the new online harms regulatory framework, Ofcom will set out how companies can fulfil their duty of care via codes of practice. The codes will outline the systems and processes companies must have in place to keep their users safe, including procedures on the training and support of human moderators.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to work with supermarket retailers to help ensure that elderly or disabled residents remain able to access (a) home delivery slots and (b) good quality produce with a suitable shelf life.

Central and local government have worked in partnership with supermarkets to enable vulnerable individuals to access prioritised supermarket delivery slots until 21 June, which has facilitated millions of deliveries. Defra continues to hold regular conversations with major supermarkets to raise awareness of issues related to food access for elderly and disabled people, including the availability of supermarket deliveries.

There are a number of options open to elderly or disabled individuals who want support to access food. Vulnerable individuals can contact their local authority, or request support from an NHS volunteer responder in gaining access to food, prescriptions and other essential items by calling the phone line or visiting the Royal Voluntary Service website.

The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain, with a food industry that is well versed in dealing with scenarios that can impact food supply. We remain in regular contact with the food industry and suppliers, who hold the expertise, capability and levers to ensure that all consumers continue to have access to a wide range of food products when they shop.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that products of animal or plant origin receive the correct certification in a timely manner from (a) vets, or (b) The Animal and Plant Health Authority to prevent unnecessary delays in exporting.

Export Health Certificates (EHC) for products of animal origin are authorised by Official Veterinarians (OVs) acting on behalf of the Competent Authority; the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Certificates are generated through the Export Health Certificates online service, managed by APHA. Phytosanitary certificates for plants and plant products are authorised by APHA inspectors.

Prior to the end of the transition period, APHA stress tested its services in order to prepare for an increase in demand of animal and plants products. As a result, mitigations, including the recruitment of additional Plant Health and Seeds Inspectors, were put in place to ensure there was sufficient capacity to accommodate an expected increase in phytosanitary certification. In addition, APHA officials facilitated an increase in EHC certification through targeted training of OVs and the creation of a Certifying Support Officer function to support OVs.

APHA regular monitors all its activities related to transition and looks to improve its services provided to exporters and other stakeholders continually.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent steps his Department has taken to prevent inland flooding in the North West.

Across the North West (NW), investment from the Environment Agency (EA) and local councils from April 2015 to March 2021 will better protect approximately 42,000 properties against inland and coastal flooding by April 2021. Around 5,000 of these will be better protected this financial year. Included in this programme was the £21 million investment at Lytham (Lancashire) that benefits 2,300 homes.

The EA carries out maintenance of critical flood defences and rivers that pose the greatest risk to communities. 600 miles of open channels are managed across the NW. For example, in Cumbria and Lancashire, 13 miles of culverts are regularly inspected to ensure water can flow freely.

The EA is investing approximately £4 million in natural flood management across the NW. This is in addition to further investment in natural flood management by the NW Regional Flood Coastal Committee’s local levy.

Planning, responding and recovering from flooding is a key aspect of the EA’s work in the NW. The EA works closely with all five local resilience forums to deliver a coordinated local response to flooding - ensuring they have a large number of trained and capable staff, temporary defences, pumps and other key equipment. They also help many local community groups develop emergency plans.

The EA warns and informs the public about flood risk. Across the NW, 147,669 properties at risk receive flood warnings. By March 2022 all properties at high risk of flooding from main rivers or the sea will be able to receive a flood warning.

The EA also works closely with local planning authorities to help ensure local plans appropriately account for current and future flood risk. The EA comments on strategically significant individual planning applications to ensure flood risk is appropriately accounted for in decision making. They also regulate work in or near main rivers to ensure that it doesn’t increase flood risk or cause environmental damage.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate he has made of inland flood defence spending in Lancashire in each of the last five years.

The table below shows the total amount of capital spend for inland and coastal flood defence projects in Lancashire since 2015.

Financial year

2015-2016

2016-2017

2017-2018

2018-2019

2019-2020

2020-2021

Lancashire County Total spend
(£m)

33.3

37.13

19.23

22.73

14.12

16.75

Lancashire County Government spend
(£m)

30.54

35.96

18.83

21.71

11.31

9.05

Lancashire County homes better protected

8,752

7,781

6,113

5,728

2,562

2,287

‘County Total Spend’ includes public and private contributions. ‘County Government Spend’ is Government Grant-in-Aid.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to prevent future inland flooding.

The Government’s recently published FCERM Policy Statement and the Environment Agency’s Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy set out the long term plans for managing inland flooding in England. In addition, at the March 2020 budget the Government announced a further £5.2 billion funding in flood defences in England over six years from April 2021. This will help deliver 2,000 schemes to better protect 336,000 properties and 550km of transport infrastructure from inland and coastal flooding by March 2027.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the number of people currently waiting more than the estimated 10 week turnaround for the renewal of their driving licence.

The quickest and easiest way to apply for a driving licence is by using the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online service. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their licence within a few days.

However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application and the DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail every day. To help reduce waiting times for paper applications, the DVLA has introduced additional online services, recruited more staff, increased overtime working and has secured extra office space in Swansea and Birmingham. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

On 4 February, there were 178,926 driving licence renewal applications that had taken ten weeks or more. The vast majority of these are applications where a medical condition must be investigated before a licence can be issued to ensure the required medical standards are met. In December, the Department for Health and Social Care asked the DVLA to stop sending medical questionnaires (excluding vocational applications) to NHS doctors in December and January to allow the NHS to focus all efforts on the vaccination booster programme. While referrals to doctors have now resumed, this has had an impact on turnaround times. It is important to note that the large majority of these drivers will be able to continue driving under Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act while they are waiting for their application to be processed.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what additional resources his Department has made available to the DVLA to help it clear the backlog of driving licence renewals and applications.

The quickest and easiest way to apply for a driving licence is by using the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online service. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their licence within a few days.

However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application and the DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail every day. To help reduce waiting times for paper applications, the DVLA has introduced additional online services, recruited more staff, increased overtime working and has secured extra office space in Swansea and Birmingham. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

On 4 February, there were 178,926 driving licence renewal applications that had taken ten weeks or more. The vast majority of these are applications where a medical condition must be investigated before a licence can be issued to ensure the required medical standards are met. In December, the Department for Health and Social Care asked the DVLA to stop sending medical questionnaires (excluding vocational applications) to NHS doctors in December and January to allow the NHS to focus all efforts on the vaccination booster programme. While referrals to doctors have now resumed, this has had an impact on turnaround times. It is important to note that the large majority of these drivers will be able to continue driving under Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act while they are waiting for their application to be processed.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he has taken to tackle the delays in the DVLA's handling of driving licence renewals and applications.

The quickest and easiest way to apply for a driving licence is by using the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online service. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their licence within a few days.

However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application and the DVLA receives around 60,000 items of mail every day. To help reduce waiting times for paper applications, the DVLA has introduced additional online services, recruited more staff, increased overtime working and has secured extra office space in Swansea and Birmingham. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

On 4 February, there were 178,926 driving licence renewal applications that had taken ten weeks or more. The vast majority of these are applications where a medical condition must be investigated before a licence can be issued to ensure the required medical standards are met. In December, the Department for Health and Social Care asked the DVLA to stop sending medical questionnaires (excluding vocational applications) to NHS doctors in December and January to allow the NHS to focus all efforts on the vaccination booster programme. While referrals to doctors have now resumed, this has had an impact on turnaround times. It is important to note that the large majority of these drivers will be able to continue driving under Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act while they are waiting for their application to be processed.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent steps his Department has taken to help improve the processing of driving licence (a) new and (b) renewal applications.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)’s online services are the quickest and easiest way to renew a driving licence. There are no delays in successful online applications and customers should receive their driving licence within a few days. However, many people still choose or have to make a paper application for a driving licence. The latest information on turnaround times for paper driving licence applications can be found here.

The DVLA has introduced additional online services, recruited more staff and has secured extra office space in Swansea and Birmingham to house more staff to help reduce waiting times while providing future resilience and business continuity.

The DVLA understands the impact that delays can have on people’s everyday lives and is working as quickly as possible to process paper applications and return people’s documentation to them.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department has taken to ensure the representation of aerospace manufacturers in the work of the Global Travel Taskforce.

The Government is working closely with the transport industry, the tourism sector, the aerospace industry and international partners to develop a roadmap to safely re-open international travel.

We are planning several round-table events with industry to encourage contributions to the work of the Global Travel Taskforce from a wide range of partners, including the aerospace industry. The Taskforce is due to report its recommendations to the Prime Minister by 12 April.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with his (a) US and European counterparts and the (b)(i) UK and (ii) international aerospace industry on establishing globally consistent plans for the resumption of flying.

The aviation sector is important to the UK economy and the government recognises the challenging times it is facing as a result of COVID-19. The Department for Transport has kept an open dialogue with the aviation sector including with the aerospace industry, through regular structured engagement at both ministerial and official level.

Additionally, the International Aviation Taskforce’s industry Expert Steering Group has been established to bring together all interested parties to co-produce solutions where possible through a cross-sector representative membership, including aerospace industry body ADS, airports, airlines and international representatives to ensure that the work of the UK is in sync with wider global efforts in the aviation sector.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the environmental effect of aeroplanes circling Heathrow airport while awaiting a landing slot.

We recognise that aircraft maintaining a holding pattern before landing at Heathrow wastes fuel, creates delays for airlines and their customers, and can increase aviation’s environmental impact.

A key objective of the UK’s plan for airspace modernisation is therefore to minimise the amount of airborne holding before landing at our major airports, which will help to reduce carbon emissions and noise impacts.

It may also be of interest to my hon. Friend the Member for Fylde, that following a request for urgent action from the Secretary of State for Transport, on 27 March the UK’s Airport Slot Coordinator, Airport Coordination Limited, announced it would grant alleviation to airlines from the 80:20 slot usage rules until October 2020. This will avoid ‘ghost planes’, and protect both airlines and the environment. The letters from the Secretary of State are publicly available to my hon. Friend the Member for Fylde.

22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reduce waiting times for cancer diagnostic tests at (a) Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and (b) Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

The Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust are part of the £160 million elective accelerator program, supporting them to increase activity levels to reduce waiting times.

Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is working to establish rapid diagnostic centres, to improve pathways and ensure more patients are seen sooner. The Trust has established a working group with local cancer alliances to improve waiting times for endoscopy. The Trust is also introducing new roles such as advanced clinical practitioners in upper gastrointestinal and colorectal services to triage and assess patients early on to reduce waiting times.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the number of people awaiting a routine invitation for (a) bowel screening, (b) breast screening and (c) cervical screening in England.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have advised that all National Health Service cancer screening programmes are operational and sending out screening invitations at, or above, pre-pandemic levels. There is no backlog for the cervical screening programme and NHS England and NHS Improvement continue to address backlogs in the breast and bowel screening programmes.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the 14-day isolation period remains mandatory for people discharged to care homes from (a) hospital and (b) other care settings; when he plans to replace the isolation period with regular PCR testing; and whether in the event of a negative test result relatives are able to visit care settings during that period to assist with essential tasks, such as eating, dressing, washing or other actions that may be difficult for residents with dementia or other health conditions.

Our guidance on admissions in to care homes states that those admitted to a care home should isolate for 14 days following admission. The 14-day isolation requirement was agreed by senior clinicians and reflects current understanding of clinical vulnerability and the potential for longer incubation periods in care home residents. All residents should be tested before admission into a care home and within 72 hours of arrival, whether admitted from hospital, other care settings or the community. Regardless of the test results, the 14-day isolation period should still be observed.

Whilst visitors are not permitted during isolation periods, an ‘essential care giver’ can visit in order to provide essential care and support, provided they comply with the same testing and personal protective equipment arrangements as care home staff. We continue to keep our guidance to care homes under review and any changes will be based on the latest data and clinical advice.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that people from priority cohorts who have missed vaccine appointments for reasons beyond their control receive a first dose at the earliest opportunity.

The top four priority groups have now all been offered the opportunity to be vaccinated. Cohorts one to nine can use the National Booking Service online or by calling 119 to book a vaccination appointment.

The system allows people to arrange an appointment at a vaccination centre or pharmacy service. Further follow-up contact is also being made to those individuals who have been invited to make an appointment but have not yet responded or received their vaccination.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of people receiving mental health support for online gambling related issues in the latest period for which data is available.

The information is not held in the format requested as we do not hold data on the number of people receiving mental health support specifically for online gambling related issues.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to (a) support local health services and (b) ensure that GP appointments are available and accessible for non-covid patients.

The Government is committed to supporting National Health Service capacity to protect it during surges in COVID-19 cases alongside the increased pressures on the system during winter. We have committed an additional £1 billion to address backlogs and tackle long waiting lists. This is separate from the £3 billion previously announced which has enabled the NHS to have ongoing access to independent sector capacity. As of 18 January, the NHS Nightingale Hospital Exeter is providing inpatient services to COVID-19 patients and the NHS Nightingale Hospital North West and the NHS Nightingale Hospital London are providing ‘step-down’ care to non-COVID-19 patients. Other Nightingale sites at Harrogate and Bristol are supporting NHS elective and diagnostic services but are not providing inpatient services.

General practice services remain accessible to non-COVID-19 patients. General practice is open and the NHS continues to urge the public to come forward with any health concerns they have. NHS England and NHS Improvement have issued guidance on the importance of continuing to offer face to face appointments, utilising remote triage and making use of online and telephone consultations where appropriate – whilst considering the needs of those unable to access or engage with digital services. On 7 January 2021 NHS England and NHS Improvement set out further details on the actions to release capacity in general practice as well as priorities for the next quarter. This includes maintaining routine appointments and supporting the clinically extremely vulnerable and those with ‘long’ COVID-19. In November 2020, the Government has committed an additional £150 million to support general practice through a General Practice Covid Capacity Expansion Fund, in addition to the previously announced COVID-19 support fund.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what additional support is being made available to help the (a) elderly and (b) people deemed clinically vulnerable who may opt to voluntarily self-shield following Lancashire's move into Tier 3 covid local alert level.

National restrictions began in England from 5 November, which superseded additional guidance linked to the local COVID alert levels. Everyone in England, including those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, is required to follow the national restrictions, which have been set out by the Government and apply to the whole population.

The new information includes additional guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people, to help protect them from COVID-19. We will also write to individuals with a version of this guidance. These new shielding measures will apply nationally for four weeks up to 2 December. At the end of the period, we will look to return to a regional approach and will issue further guidance at the time.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the Government is taking to (a) help reduce the mortality figures in care homes and (b) ensure that residents receive appropriate treatment and palliative care during the covid-19 outbreak.

We are working closely with local authorities, the care sector and NHS England to understand the impact of COVID-19 on care homes and ensure everyone has access to the right care, in the most appropriate setting for their needs. We have provided extensive support and guidance to care homes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every death from this virus is a tragedy and we are working around the clock to give the social care sector the equipment and support they need to tackle this outbreak. The safety of residents and staff is always a priority. On 15 May 2020 we published a care home support package which outlines the next phase of our response for care homes, using the latest domestic and international evidence brought together by Public Health England, and drawing on the insights of care providers. To support this, on 13 May we announced an additional £600 million to support providers through a new Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund.

The adult social care action plan states that end of life care must continue to be planned in a holistic way involving social care, community nursing, general practice, occupational therapy. Provision of end of life care should reflect the individual patient’s needs and preferences, and where and how these can best be met. The Government, with the NHS, has published a new Standard Operating Procedure for the re-use of medicines in care homes and hospices. This will enable easier access to critical the end of life medication in these settings.

This is an unprecedented global pandemic and we will continue to review our guidance and national support in line with the latest scientific advice.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to support South American countries to tackle their high rates of covid-19 infections.

As one of the largest donors to the international response to COVID-19, the UK has so far pledged up to £1.3 billion of UK aid to address the impacts of the pandemic, and to help end the pandemic as quickly as possible. With our strong support, COVAX has started to make progress on delivering vaccines across the world, and has delivered 77 million doses to 127 different economies to date. We believe that supporting COVAX is the best way to exit the acute phase of the pandemic.

In the Americas, the UK has co-hosted a series of regional workshops on COVAX and access to vaccines, bringing together government ministers and experts with the multilateral health system and development banks. Our embassies have regular engagement with their host countries, sharing lessons learned from the UK's experience. Much of our engagement in the coming months will be around economic recovery and building back greener and better. We work closely with partners throughout Latin America, including through high-level partnerships for sustainable growth with Mexico and Colombia.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
3rd Feb 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to continue to support the hospitality and tourism sector in its recovery from the Omicron covid-19 variant and related disruption.

In December 2021 the government announced a £1bn package of support for businesses impacted by the Omicron variant. This included cash grants of up to £6,000 to support eligible businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors, totaling nearly £700 million, open until the end of March 2022.

This is just the latest action taken, and adds to an already comprehensive package of measures intended to support the recovery of sectors most impacted, including:

  • A reduced rate of 12.5% VAT on hospitality and tourism services.
  • Business rates bills cut by 75% over 2021-22, and a further 50% relief in 2022-23, for over 90% of eligible businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors.
  • A freeze to the business rates multiplier in 2022-23, worth £4.6bn.
  • The Recovery Loan Scheme, which has been extended to 30 June 2022, providing SMEs with up to £2 million of government guaranteed finance.

It is thanks to the Government’s decisive action to implement balanced and proportionate measures in response to the Omicron variant, that Cabinet has decided to return to Plan A in England. This means the economy will get back to operating freely and businesses, including those in the hospitality and tourism sector, can recover more quickly.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that (a) PayPal and (b) other digital financial services providers have a clearly defined process for next of kin, should a customer pass away, and prevent the withholding of access from next of kin or organisations that the individual was previously involved with.

PayPal currently provides services in the UK through the Temporary Permissions Regime, and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The FCA’s handbook rules require payment service providers, which includes banks, payment institutions and electronic money institutions, to send a final response to complaints about rights and obligations arising under the Payment Services and Electronic Money Regulations within 15 business days after the day on which it received the complaint. In exceptional circumstances, such as where the respondent cannot send a final response within this period for reasons beyond the control of the firm, a response must be sent within 35 business days.

If a consumer complains to a relevant financial services firm and is unhappy with the response, they may be able to bring their complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The FOS provides consumers with a free, independent service that enables the proportionate, prompt and informal resolution of disputes with financial firms

With regards to next of kin procedures for banks, payment institutions, and electronic money institutions, the FCA expects firms to have an effective process for dealing with a deceased customer’s accounts from notification of death to the transfer of funds to those who are entitled to receive them. This process is set out in the FCA’s handbook rules.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to (a) increase accountability among digital financial service providers and (b) ensure that (i) PayPal and (ii) other providers of digital financial services process customers' complaints in a timely manner.

PayPal currently provides services in the UK through the Temporary Permissions Regime, and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

The FCA’s handbook rules require payment service providers, which includes banks, payment institutions and electronic money institutions, to send a final response to complaints about rights and obligations arising under the Payment Services and Electronic Money Regulations within 15 business days after the day on which it received the complaint. In exceptional circumstances, such as where the respondent cannot send a final response within this period for reasons beyond the control of the firm, a response must be sent within 35 business days.

If a consumer complains to a relevant financial services firm and is unhappy with the response, they may be able to bring their complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). The FOS provides consumers with a free, independent service that enables the proportionate, prompt and informal resolution of disputes with financial firms

With regards to next of kin procedures for banks, payment institutions, and electronic money institutions, the FCA expects firms to have an effective process for dealing with a deceased customer’s accounts from notification of death to the transfer of funds to those who are entitled to receive them. This process is set out in the FCA’s handbook rules.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the effect of the rate of Alcohol Duty on spirits on the growth of small distilleries.

The Government keeps alcohol duties under review and the impact of spirits duty is considered carefully at each fiscal event, including its effects on small producers. The Government is also reviewing small producer reliefs more generally through its alcohol duty review. Further information on the progress of the review will be provided in due course

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he has taken to extend the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme to (a) people who previously did not qualify and (b) people who have become self-employed within the last two years.

Throughout the crisis, the Government’s priority has been to protect lives and livelihoods. The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) was designed to target support at those who most need it, while protecting the Exchequer against error, fraud, and abuse.

The Government has sought to improve and extend the scheme where possible, for example by amending eligibility conditions to enable self-employed parents who did not submit a tax return for 2018-19, or whose trading profits in 2018-19 were less than their other income because they were pregnant or taking time out of their trade to care for their new-born child, to claim for a grant.

The Government does recognise that some of the rules, criteria and conditions that were vital to ensuring that the SEISS worked for the vast majority, meant that some people did not qualify. However, as the National Audit Office report acknowledged, the Government was right to introduce the SEISS, which has been successful in helping to support millions of self-employed individuals and is just one element of a wider £280 billion package of support.

Those ineligible for the SEISS may still be eligible for other elements of the support available, including increased levels of Universal Credit, Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, self-isolation support payments and other business support grants.

16th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to provide financial support to parents of school children unable to work as a result of a young child being required to self-isolate, but who have not themselves been asked to self-isolate.

The Government has committed to an unprecedented package to support individuals through this difficult time. This includes the introduction of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, as well as the injection of an additional £9.3bn into the welfare system according to Office for Budget Responsibility estimates.

If an employee earns average weekly earnings of at least £120 per week, they will be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they are self-isolating under Government guidance and cannot work from home. This includes parents living in the same households as children self-isolating with symptoms of Covid-19. The Government has changed the rules so that SSP is now payable from day 1, not day 4, for Covid-19 cases.

Parents of children who are self-isolating under government guidance may be eligible for “new style” Contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if they are ineligible for SSP and unable to work from home. We have made it easier for people to claim by removing the seven-day waiting period which means people can get support from day one.

In terms of wider support, the Chancellor has recently announced that the CJRS will be extended until the end of March 2021. We have strived to ensure that the CJRS can be accessed by as many people as possible. All employers with a UK bank account and a PAYE payroll scheme that was registered on or before 30th October can claim, whilst employees are required to have been employed and on an employer’s PAYE payroll on 30th October 2020. Any employee who meets this eligibility criteria can be furloughed by their employer.

Parents on lower incomes can also benefit from the Government’s wider changes to the welfare system to support the most vulnerable. According to the latest OBR estimates, we have injected over £9.3bn of support into the wider welfare system. These changes include: a £20 per week increase to the UC standard allowance and Working Tax Credit basic element, and a nearly £1bn increase in support for renters through increases to the Local Housing Allowance rates for UC and Housing Benefit claimants.

Steve Barclay
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending the business rates holiday for the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors to the manufacturing sector.

The Government has provided enhanced support through business rates relief to businesses occupying properties used for retail, hospitality and leisure given the direct and acute impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on those sectors.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published guidance for local authorities on eligible properties. As set out in the guidance, support is targeted at premises that are wholly or mainly being used as shops, restaurants, cafes, drinking establishments, cinemas and live music venues; for assembly and leisure; or as hotels, guest and boarding premises and self-catering accommodation. It is for local authorities to determine eligibility for reliefs, having regard to guidance issued by the Government.

A range of further measures to support all businesses, including those not eligible for the business rates holiday, such as manufacturers, has also been made available.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of establishing a dedicated long-term supply chain investment fund to support UK supply chain companies.

Ensuring that healthy businesses, especially SMEs, have enough working capital will be vital to our economic recovery. That is why the government has introduced a range of interventions to support firms directly. Including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan (CBILS) and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), both of which target SMEs specifically. As of 21 June, over 920,000 facilities with a value of around £26bn and over 50,000 facilities worth £10.5bn have been approved under BBLS and CBILS respectively.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
7th Jan 2020
What fiscal steps he is taking to improve broadband connections in rural communities.

We want to deliver gigabit-capable broadband across the country as soon as possible.

We have already committed over £1 billion to support the rollout of next-generation digital infrastructure, and, at Conference, the Chancellor announced an ambition to invest £5bn to support gigabit broadband rollout in the hardest to reach areas.

We will set out further details of our approach in our National Infrastructure Strategy later this year.

Rishi Sunak
Chancellor of the Exchequer
12th Jul 2021
What steps her Department is taking to reduce levels of burglary and theft.

This Government recognises the devastating impact crimes such as burglary and theft have on our communities and businesses.

That is why we are recruiting 20,000 extra police officers and why we have introduced the Safer Streets Fund to prevent these crimes from happening, supporting the deployment of solutions such as home security and increased street lighting in high crime areas.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support is being provided to local police forces to help the enforcement of changing and complex covid-19 restrictions.

The Government has been clear that it will provide police forces with the support they need to continue protecting the public and keeping communities safe through the coronavirus pandemic.

The Government has moved quickly to give the police the powers and guidance they need to support compliance with essential measures on social distancing. The department continues to work closely with our operational partners to ensure the new changes are understood by police forces around the country. The police have been kept updated on these changes as we act quickly to address the public health risk.

On 8 October the Government announced an additional £30m for police forces in England and Wales to step up their enforcement of COVID-19 restrictions through the autumn and winter months.

The department continues to work closely with the policing sector to monitor and make decisions on their current and future needs.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, when the Army's headquarters in the North West at Weeton Barracks will be (a) completed and (b) operational.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answers I gave him on 14 October 2020, to Questions 100945, 100946 and 100947 where I said that, on current plans, HQ North West is scheduled to be re-located from Fulwood Barracks, Preston to Weeton Barracks in the summer of 2025.

However, my hon. Friend will be aware that the Army is working to implement the outcomes of the Integrated Review, including designing a force that is fit to face future threats. The Secretary of State for Defence will be making an announcement in due course which will provide more detail, including how any changes required as part of this transformation may affect current planned relocations.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress has been made on the establishment of the Army's headquarters in the North West at Weeton Barracks.

I refer my hon. Friend to the answers I gave him on 14 October 2020, to Questions 100945, 100946 and 100947 where I said that, on current plans, HQ North West is scheduled to be re-located from Fulwood Barracks, Preston to Weeton Barracks in the summer of 2025.

However, my hon. Friend will be aware that the Army is working to implement the outcomes of the Integrated Review, including designing a force that is fit to face future threats. The Secretary of State for Defence will be making an announcement in due course which will provide more detail, including how any changes required as part of this transformation may affect current planned relocations.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the UK defence sector's contribution to the Government's objective to transition to net zero.

The Ministry of Defence published its Climate Change and Sustainability Strategic Approach, on 30 March.

The Strategic Approach sets out the ambition, the principles and initial action plan to ensure that Defence has adapted to operate in a climate changed world and will make a strong contribution to reducing its net carbon emissions.

One of the key principles is the need to work collaboratively across the Defence sector with other Departments, industry, academia and our allies and partners to ensure that Defence reduces its emissions and, as a Department, contributes to the UK reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the impact of the Integrated Review on employment in Lancashire.

Our spending review settlement will increase our defence budget by over £24 billion over the next four years. This investment will modernise our Armed Forces and support jobs across the UK.

In North West England, the Ministry of Defence spent over £ 2.2 billion with industry and commerce in 2019-20. This includes in our truly world-leading combat air sector, which employs thousands of workers across the UK, including in Lancashire.

Lancashire has long been a key part of our defence industrial footprint, particularly for Combat Air. BAE Systems has a large presence in the area, as well as MBDA through their premises in Lostock, Bolton.

The Integrated Review and Defence Command Paper announced that the UK will invest more than £2 billion into the Future Combat Air System programme over the next four years. This major investment will take us a step closer to realising the benefits of Tempest to our nation's security and prosperity.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the UK's continued sovereign ability to manufacture complete military jets.

The Ministry of Defence conducts periodic reviews of the industrial capability necessary to preserve operational advantage and freedom of action. It was those reviews that informed the Combat Air Strategy published in 2018.

Further to this, in March 2020 I launched the Defence Security and Industrial Strategy (DSIS). Through this ongoing cross-Government review into the UK's defence and security industrial sectors, we will identify how we can enhance our strategic approach to ensure we have competitive, innovative and world-class defence and security industries that underpin our national security and drive investment and prosperity across the Union now and in the future.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to retain the skills held by the UK workforce in manufacturing military equipment.

The UK defence sector supports many thousands of highly-skilled roles across the UK and many of our leading defence suppliers have programmes in place to ensure they have the right skills to deliver defence programmes. Through the Defence Suppliers' Forum, we maintain a close dialogue with industry to understand their approach to the skills the defence sector requires and as part of the Enterprise Approach we are working with industry on how best to maintain skills in the sector. In addition, the Defence Growth Partnership, a joint Government-industry initiative, considers skills in areas which enable exports and competitiveness and has developed a Systems Engineering Masters Apprenticeship, an export career pathway and a digital skills framework.

In March 2020, I launched a cross-Government review into the UK’s defence and security industrial sectors. These sectors are at the forefront of technology, creating new ways to defend against threats, and ensuring that we have the right mix of skills in the industrial base is a key part of that. Through this review we will ensure that the UK continues to have competitive, innovative and world-class defence and security industries that drive investment and prosperity across the Union, to underpin our national security now and in the future.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what progress is being made on plans to redevelop Weeton Barracks into HQ North West by 2022 as part of the 2016 Strategic Defence Estate Review; and if he will make a statement.

The move of HQ North West from Fulwood Barracks to Weeton Barracks forms part of the Defence Estate Optimisation Portfolio which will result in the disposal of Fulwood Barracks in 2027 - a delay in disposal which was announced in February 2019 in the House.

As part of Departmental assessment to enable this move, a capacity study and technical surveys have now been completed at Weeton Barracks to determine the development requirements and, subject to all required permissions, construction work is due to commence September 2023 to December 2024, assuming successful awarding of the contract.

On current plans therefore, HQ North West is scheduled to be re-located from Fulwood Barracks, Preston to Weeton in the summer of 2025.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the timetable is for works to commence at Weeton Barracks as part of its transformation into HQ North West.

The move of HQ North West from Fulwood Barracks to Weeton Barracks forms part of the Defence Estate Optimisation Portfolio which will result in the disposal of Fulwood Barracks in 2027 - a delay in disposal which was announced in February 2019 in the House.

As part of Departmental assessment to enable this move, a capacity study and technical surveys have now been completed at Weeton Barracks to determine the development requirements and, subject to all required permissions, construction work is due to commence September 2023 to December 2024, assuming successful awarding of the contract.

On current plans therefore, HQ North West is scheduled to be re-located from Fulwood Barracks, Preston to Weeton in the summer of 2025.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
8th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what estimate he has made of the date on which military personnel will move in to Weeton Barracks as part of HQ North West.

The move of HQ North West from Fulwood Barracks to Weeton Barracks forms part of the Defence Estate Optimisation Portfolio which will result in the disposal of Fulwood Barracks in 2027 - a delay in disposal which was announced in February 2019 in the House.

As part of Departmental assessment to enable this move, a capacity study and technical surveys have now been completed at Weeton Barracks to determine the development requirements and, subject to all required permissions, construction work is due to commence September 2023 to December 2024, assuming successful awarding of the contract.

On current plans therefore, HQ North West is scheduled to be re-located from Fulwood Barracks, Preston to Weeton in the summer of 2025.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has made an assessment of the long-term importance of Team Tempest to the British economy after the covid-19 outbreak.

An assessment of the long-term importance of Team Tempest to the British economy is part of the existing and ongoing work in the Combat Air Acquisition Programme Concept Phase. This will inform the Programme Outline Business Case, due in December 2020 to allow the Government to make informed decisions.

Jeremy Quin
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence)
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the long term economic impact of the Future High Streets Fund.

The Future High Street Fund has a robust monitoring and evaluation plan, published on 1 April, to ensure outputs are being delivered while maintaining value for public money; this strategy will ensure the fund delivers on its aims and spreads economic prosperity across the country.

As towns and high streets continue to open up this funding will provide a much-needed boost for towns as they safely welcome shoppers and visitors back to their high streets.

The Fund is being invested in transformational projects that will improve transport access, make use of vacant shops, buy and bring land forward to support new housing, workspaces and public realm, and help adapt high streets in response to changes in technology. This is part of our plan to protect and create thousands of jobs while delivering long term prosperity to communities across England.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the proportion of category two index towns expected to secure funding from the Levelling Up Fund.

Bids are currently being assessed in line with the published assessment process. We are not able to estimate of the proportion of category two index towns expected to secure funding during this period of competition. Outcomes from the first round of bids for the Levelling Up Fund will be announced later in the year and bidding authorities will be informed in due course.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether Levelling Up Fund bids from category two towns will be assessed in the same way as those in category one; and whether capacity funding will be available to support prospective bidders from category two.

All bids to the Levelling Up Fund (LUF) are being assessed against the published criteria. A place's category will be taken into account in the appraisal as part of the 'characteristics of place' criterion, as set out in the LUF prospectus and technical guidance. To support those areas measured as having the 'highest need', capacity funding will be allocated to those local authorities to assist them to develop high-quality bids for the Fund, as well as all local authorities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

21st Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans are in place for a second round of applications under the Levelling Up Fund; and whether the criteria and funding goals will remain the same as in the first round.

For future rounds of the Levelling Up Fund, the parameters set out in the prospectus will be kept under review, and any updates will reflect any operational feedback and wider changes in government policy.

Announcements about the future of the Fund will be made later this year.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of homes damaged by flooding issues in the last twelve months.

MHCLG does not hold estimates of the number of homes damaged by flooding over the past twelve months.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of properties completed by Homes England in the North West in each of the last three years.

The total number of homes that have been completed with support from Homes England in the North West over the last three years is 22,337. The specific breakdown over each of the three years is as follows; 6,365 between 1 April 2017 – 31 March 2018, 8,127 between 1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019, and 7,845 between 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020. Further details of Homes England’s starts on site and completions data can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/housing-statistics-1-april-2019-to-31-march-2020 .

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has put in place to ensure that (a) older and (b) clinically vulnerable people (i) have continued access to essentials and (ii) are not socially isolated at home during winter 2020-21.

The Government has committed an unprecedented multi-billion package of support, specifically for charities, social enterprises and the voluntary sector so that they can continue their vital work to support vulnerable people through the coronavirus outbreak. The NHS Volunteer Responders Programme - including the check in and chat service - will also continue to be available until at least March 2021.

MHCLG is providing councils with over £32 million to support Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) people for the 28-day period that the additional guidance is in place. It is designed to give councils flexibility in providing appropriate support to CEV individuals, such as access to food and to local support services, enabling them to stay as safe as possible over this period.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to support communal religious worship while churches, mosques and other premises are closed for services.

We know how important communal worship is within many of our faith communities, but to limit the spread of the virus, places of worship will be closed for communal prayer. However, they will be permitted to open for individual prayer and to record or livestream services so that worshippers can participate at home. In addition, funerals can be attended by a maximum of thirty people.

21st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to support landlords unable to evict problem tenants responsible for repeated anti-social behaviour during the covid-19 outbreak.

The suspension of possession proceedings ended on 20 September and landlords can now progress possession claims through the courts. The most egregious cases, such as those involving anti-social behaviour, will be prioritised by the courts.

Additionally, as of 29 August, Coronavirus legislation extending the minimum notice period that must be given before a possession claim can be lodged in court was amended so that in the most serious circumstances, minimum notice period requirements have returned to what they were before COVID. This means that for claims relating to anti-social behaviour, the minimum amount of notice that a landlord must give has returned to four weeks. And for some discretionary grounds relating to nuisance/immoral or illegal use of the property, cases may now be progressed to court as soon as notice is given.

However, in order to further protect renters over winter, the Government has asked bailiffs not to carry out evictions in areas where gatherings are not allowed in homes. Bailiffs should not carry out evictions in tier 2 (high) and tier 3 (very high) local COVID alert areas. The Government is keeping this approach under review. In addition, the Government has issued guidance to bailiffs that they should not carry out evictions in the weeks leading up to and over Christmas other than in the most serious circumstances.

In parts of the country where bailiffs will not be carrying out evictions due to the need for stricter distancing, the police, local authorities and other local agencies will still be able to rely on the range of flexible tools and powers at their disposal to tackle anti-social behaviour, notably through the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)