Michael Fallon Portrait

Michael Fallon

Conservative - Former Member for Sevenoaks

First elected: 1st May 1997


Michael Fallon is not a member of any APPGs
4 Former APPG memberships
British Museum, Craft, Lebanon, Ukraine
Secretary of State for Defence
15th Jul 2014 - 1st Nov 2017
Minister of State for Portsmouth
16th Jan 2014 - 15th Jul 2014
Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Jointly with Department of Energy and Climate Change)
28th Mar 2013 - 15th Jul 2014
Minister of State (Department of Energy and Climate Change) (Jointly with Department for Business, Innovation and Skills)
28th Mar 2013 - 15th Jul 2014
Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Business and Enterprise)
6th Sep 2012 - 28th Mar 2013
Treasury Committee
5th Jul 1999 - 5th Nov 2012
Deputy Chair, Conservative Party
4th Sep 2010 - 4th Sep 2012
Shadow Spokesperson (Treasury)
1st Dec 1997 - 1st Jun 1998
Shadow Spokesperson (Trade and Industry)
1st Jun 1997 - 1st Dec 1997
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Education and Science)
24th Jul 1990 - 14th Apr 1992
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
10th May 1990 - 22nd Jul 1990
Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)
26th Jul 1988 - 10th May 1990


Division Voting information

Michael Fallon has voted in 2137 divisions, and 17 times against the majority of their Party.

27 Mar 2019 - EU: Withdrawal and Future Relationship Votes - View Vote Context
Michael Fallon voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 94 Conservative No votes vs 157 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 160 Noes - 400
27 Mar 2019 - EU: Withdrawal and Future Relationship Votes - View Vote Context
Michael Fallon voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 59 Conservative Aye votes vs 200 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 65 Noes - 377
12 Mar 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal) Act - View Vote Context
Michael Fallon voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 75 Conservative No votes vs 235 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 242 Noes - 391
15 Jan 2019 - European Union (Withdrawal) Act - View Vote Context
Michael Fallon voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 118 Conservative No votes vs 196 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 202 Noes - 432
8 Jan 2019 - Finance (No. 3) Bill - View Vote Context
Michael Fallon voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 20 Conservative Aye votes vs 282 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 303 Noes - 296
4 Dec 2018 - Business of the House (European Union (Withdrawal) Act) - View Vote Context
Michael Fallon voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 25 Conservative Aye votes vs 282 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 321 Noes - 299
5 Mar 2014 - Judgments - View Vote Context
Michael Fallon voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 83 Conservative No votes vs 123 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 360 Noes - 104
5 Mar 2014 - Registration of births, deaths and marriages etc - View Vote Context
Michael Fallon voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 83 Conservative No votes vs 123 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 366 Noes - 103
10 Feb 2014 - Children and Families Bill - View Vote Context
Michael Fallon voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 99 Conservative No votes vs 127 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 376 Noes - 107
13 Oct 2011 - Procedure Committee Reports - View Vote Context
Michael Fallon voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 63 Noes - 206
30 Apr 2009 - Members’ Allowances - View Vote Context
Michael Fallon voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 22 Conservative Aye votes vs 55 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 96 Noes - 285
30 Apr 2009 - Members’ Allowances - View Vote Context
Michael Fallon voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 25 Conservative No votes vs 55 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 280 Noes - 100
1 Apr 2009 - Nick Cousins - View Vote Context
Michael Fallon voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 20 Conservative No votes vs 79 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 362 Noes - 21
16 Mar 2009 - Use of the Chamber (United Kingdom Youth Parliament) - View Vote Context
Michael Fallon voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 17 Conservative No votes vs 28 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 210 Noes - 22
3 Jul 2008 - Members’ Salaries - View Vote Context
Michael Fallon voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 35 Conservative No votes vs 46 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 155 Noes - 196
3 Jul 2008 - Members’ Salaries - View Vote Context
Michael Fallon voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 34 Conservative No votes vs 46 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 141 Noes - 216
3 Jul 2008 - Members’ Salaries - View Vote Context
Michael Fallon voted No - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 37 Conservative No votes vs 42 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 123 Noes - 224
View All Michael Fallon Division Votes

All Debates

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
John Bercow (Speaker)
(59 debate interactions)
Julian Lewis (Conservative)
(34 debate interactions)
Lord Walney (Crossbench)
(27 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Ministry of Defence
(1274 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(200 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(56 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(16 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Michael Fallon's debates

Latest EDMs signed by Michael Fallon

15th July 2019
Michael Fallon signed this EDM on Wednesday 25th September 2019

SHARED RURAL NETWORK

Tabled by: Alistair Carmichael (Liberal Democrat - Orkney and Shetland)
That this House notes the need to improve mobile digital connectivity, particularly in rural areas; welcomes the collaborative Shared Rural Network proposal developed by the UK’s four mobile operators, under which they would share infrastructure in rural areas to increase 4G coverage in all four nations of the UK; and …
40 signatures
(Most recent: 25 Sep 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 13
Conservative: 11
Scottish National Party: 5
Liberal Democrat: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 3
Independent: 2
1st May 2019
Michael Fallon signed this EDM on Tuesday 3rd September 2019

POLICE WIDOWS AND WIDOWERS PENSION EQUALITY

Tabled by: Holly Lynch (Labour - Halifax)
That this House recognises the invaluable contribution of all who have served, and continue to serve, in the police force, including those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the protection of others; acknowledges that the support provided by the spouse of a police officer is crucial both emotionally and practically; …
55 signatures
(Most recent: 3 Sep 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 24
Conservative: 16
Liberal Democrat: 5
Independent: 4
Plaid Cymru: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
Green Party: 1
View All Michael Fallon's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Michael Fallon, 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.


1 Urgent Question tabled by Michael Fallon

Tuesday 23rd April 2019

4 Adjournment Debates led by Michael Fallon

Thursday 1st May 2014
Wednesday 26th March 2014
Monday 11th November 2013
Thursday 9th September 2010

2 Bills introduced by Michael Fallon

Introduced: 5th June 2014

The Bill would improve and strengthen the Service Complaints system by transforming the existing Service Complaints Commissioner into a new Service Complaints Ombudsman. It also contains provisions relating to financial assistance for the armed forces community.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 26th March 2015 and was enacted into law.

Introduced: 16th September 2015

A Bill to continue the Armed Forces Act 2006; to make provision about service discipline; to make provision about war pensions committees established under section 25 of the Social Security Act 1989; to make provision about Ministry of Defence fire-fighters; and for connected purposes.

This Bill received Royal Assent on 12th May 2016 and was enacted into law.

Michael Fallon has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


159 Written Questions

(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
30th Oct 2019
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that (a) party manifestos, (b) voter registration information and (c) polling booths are made accessible to people with learning disabilities during the parliamentary general election.

The Government, through the Cabinet Office chaired Accessibility of Elections Working Group, has taken a number of steps to remove barriers that people with a learning disability face in registering to vote and voting at elections. These include:

(a) Facilitating direct engagement between the Royal Mencap Society and political parties through the Westminster Parliamentary Parties Panel on the benefits and timings of producing Easy Read versions of party manifestos, to assist people with a learning disability to make an informed decision when voting at elections.

(b) Introducing on the Register to Vote homepage an ‘Easy Read’ guide produced in partnership with the Royal Mencap Society, to enable people with learning difficulties to apply online without difficulty.

(c) Improving training materials for polling station staff, including the Electoral Commission and the Royal Mencap Society producing videos setting out the voting experience of people with a learning disability at the polling station. A disabled voter can be assisted to vote in the polling booth to mark their ballot paper by the presiding officer or their companion.

13th Jun 2019
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to safeguard the electoral process in respect of postal voting.

Electoral Fraud is unacceptable on any level. We have processes in place to defend against electoral fraud and there is ongoing work with electoral administrators and Royal Mail to implement these. In response to the Pickles report on electoral fraud, the Government accepted recommendations to strengthen the postal vote system and, in line with our manifesto commitment, we are working to reform postal voting to ensure our elections are secure.

Cabinet Office coordinates cross-Government work to protect and secure our democratic processes and ensure those involved in delivering our elections receive cyber, physical and personnel security advice from experts at the National Cyber Security Centre and the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure.

30th Jan 2018
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what plans his Department has to work with the devolved administrations on their proposed pilots of online voting.

The Government engages on a regular basis with the Scottish Government and Welsh Government on a range of matters relating to elections. The Government currently has no plans to pilot electronic voting at polls for which it is responsible, although we are interested to hear about the responses received by the Scottish Government and Welsh Government on this issue.

30th Jan 2018
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps would be required for a local council in England to initiate a pilot of online voting.

The Government currently has no plans to pilot online voting and is committed in its 2017 manifesto to retain the traditional method of voting by pencil and paper.
Section 10 of the Representation of the People Act 2000 enables electoral pilot schemes to be held at local level elections in England and Wales. Under section 10, a local authority that wishes to hold a pilot must submit proposals for a scheme to the Secretary of State who will decide whether or not to approve the scheme. If the proposals are approved, the Secretary of State will make an order making the necessary provision to implement the scheme.

18th Dec 2017
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent progress has been made on the inquiry into the contaminated blood scandal.

I refer the Honourable Member to the Prime Minister’s written statement of today’s date.

13th Dec 2017
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many new regulations were introduced in calendar years 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Cabinet Office does not maintain a central database of all regulations made and repealed. All secondary legislation is available at www.legislation.gov.uk . The regular business impact target reports available on gov.uk include details of the regulatory provisions that have come into force or ceased to be in force.

13th Dec 2017
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many regulations have been repealed since July 2014.

Cabinet Office does not maintain a central database of all regulations made and repealed. All secondary legislation is available at www.legislation.gov.uk . The regular business impact target reports available on gov.uk include details of the regulatory provisions that have come into force or ceased to be in force.

13th Dec 2017
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many meetings of the Reducing Regulation sub-Committee have taken place since June 2016.

Information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees, including when and how often they meet, is not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion. A full list of the Cabinet Committees and Implementation Task Forces, with their membership and terms of reference, can be found on the Cabinet Office's webpage:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-cabinet-committees-system-and-list-of-cabinet-committees

4th Dec 2017
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many people diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis under the age of 35 died in England in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11, (c) 2011-12, (d) 2012-13, (d) 2013-14, (e) 2014-15, (f) 2015-16 and (g) 2016-17.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

29th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many people aged under 40 die of undiagnosed heart conditions each week in England.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

11th Mar 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has made an assessment of the implications for his policies of the March 2019 UK Onshore Oil and Gas report entitled Home grown UK shale gas: a bigger opportunity; and whether he has made an estimate of the date on which the UK will become a net exporter of gas.

The Government is supportive of developing the shale gas industry in the UK in a safe and sustainable way. It is not yet known how much of the UK shale gas resource will ultimately be recoverable, or what rates of extraction, deliverability or reliability could be assumed if shale sources are found to be viable. Therefore the likely impact on UK natural gas imports and exports is not yet known.

The Government will continue to work with responsible companies prepared to invest in this industry as they proceed with the exploration process, to test the size and value of the potential reserves. We monitor the progress of the shale gas industry and will revise our estimates, as appropriate, as the industry develops.

13th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he expects the Government to achieve its target to cut £10 billion of red tape.

The target to deliver £10 billion of savings only applied in respect of the last Parliament, which was originally expected to run for five years from 2015 to 2020. The Government is currently considering its approach to setting a Business Impact Target in respect of the current Parliament.

13th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will estimate the savings to businesses of the repeal of regulations in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Details of the savings to business that were delivered through improvements to regulation during the 2010-15 Parliament are set out in The Ninth Statement of New Regulation, published in December 2014. It is available on www.gov.uk.

The Government has not yet published its final report on the savings to business delivered during the 2015-17 Parliament, but we will do so in due course.

13th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he next plans to publish a list of new UK and EU business regulations that will come into force in the next six months.

The Government no longer publishes a statement of new regulations every six months. Under the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Act 2015, the Government is required to publish an annual report that among other things lists all measures’ impact on business or voluntary bodies, which came into force in the preceding year. The final report for the 2015-17 Parliament will be published in due course.

28th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans he has to set targets for the UK to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit global warming.

The UK was the first country in the world to set legally binding greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, under the Climate Change Act 2008. The Act requires us to reduce emissions by at least 80% against 1990 levels by 2050, with carbon budgets (caps on emissions over a five year period) to take us on steps down towards this target. Since 1990, we have cut emissions by 42% while our economy has grown by two thirds.

The Fifth Carbon Budget (covering 2028-32) was passed into law on 21 July 2016. This budget is set in line with the recommendation of our independent advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, at 1,725 MtCO2e, equivalent to a 57% reduction on 1990 levels.

In October, the Government published the Clean Growth Strategy, which sets out our plans for cutting emissions, while keeping costs down for consumers, creating good jobs and growing the economy.

13th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect on Kent’s tourism industry of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

My Department has not made an assessment of the impact on Kent’s tourism industry of different scenarios related to leaving the EU. My officials are however in regular dialogue with the tourism sector to understand potential implications. This includes recently meeting with Visit Kent.

We have agreed in principle the terms of the UK’s smooth and orderly exit from the EU, as set out in the Withdrawal Agreement. We have also agreed the broad terms of our future relationship as set out in the outline Political Declaration. We do not want or expect a no deal scenario, however we continue to prepare for a range of potential outcomes.

29th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions she has had with BT on charges to landline customers who phone mobile numbers.

Ministers and officials hold regular discussions with BT on a range of issues including charges. The charges that BT makes to consumers for calling mobile telephones arise because BT has to pay the mobile company for the call. This is called the termination rate. Under Ofcom regulations, mobile termination rates have been capped by reference to a single flat rate since May 2015.

30th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has for future funding of the Adoption Support Fund; and if he will make a statement.

​We are currently finalising the department’s spending plans for 2020-21 and the Adoption Support Fund is being considered as part of this work. In March 2019, ahead of budgets being finalised, we put in place transitional funding for families whose recommended packages of support ran into 2020-21 so they could continue to access therapy for up to 9 months at a time. Funding for the Adoption Support Fund beyond 2021 will be considered as part of the full Spending Review planned in 2020.

Michelle Donelan
Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology
3rd Jun 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that pupils with acquired brain injuries are fully supported in mainstream education.

Teachers must be able to adapt teaching to the needs of all their pupils. Teachers must also have an understanding of the factors that can inhibit learning and how best to overcome them.

The 2015 Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) Code of Practice sets out high expectations of schools and colleges about how they identify and meet the needs of pupils with SEND. It covers both those who have Education, Health and Care plans with more complex needs and the much larger group of pupils whose needs can be met without a statutory plan, that is, those on SEND support.

20th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the funding per pupil at (a) primary and ( b) secondary school in Kent in (i) 2018-19 and (ii) 2019-20.

The table below shows the per pupil funding allocated to Kent from the schools block of the Dedicated Schools Grant (DSG) in 2018-19 and 2019-20:

Primary

Secondary

2018-19

£3,724

£4,781

2019-20

£3,793

£4,941

These figures do not include funding allocated through the growth, premises, or mobility factors of the national funding formula, which are not distributed on a per pupil basis but total £28.9 million in Kent in 2018-19, and £29.9 million in 2019-20.

Schools also receive funding through several other sources, such as the high needs block of the DSG, from which Kent was allocated £200.8 million in 2018-19; and the Pupil Premium, through which schools in Kent received £57.7 million in 2018-19.

To provide stability for schools, local authorities will continue to be responsible for designing the distribution of funding in their areas in 2018-19 through to 2020-21. Because of this, the actual per pupil amount that schools receive may be different from the amount they are attracting through the national funding formula.

8th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment her Department has made of the value of using recruitment agencies to recruit teachers.

It is for schools to decide how they recruit their staff but the government wants to help schools do so in the most efficient way possible.

In the manifesto we committed to creating a national teacher vacancy service for schools to publish vacancies, in order to reduce costs and help them find the best teachers. The aim is to reduce both the time schools currently spend on publishing vacancies and the cost of recruiting new teachers. The service will also make it easier for aspiring and current teachers to find jobs quickly and easily.

Dependent on the outcome of our current development phase, we could expect to start building this service in 2018.

4th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to increase the number of graduates taking up teaching positions in infant and primary schools in England.

The number of teachers is at an all-time high: there are now 457,300 full time equivalent teachers, up 15,500 from 2010, and 222,400 full time equivalent nursery and primary teachers, up 26,000 from 2010.

We have also recruited more than 32,000 new trainee teachers this year. We have successfully recruited more postgraduate primary trainees than last year – 12,905 up from 11,290 the year before – an increase of 1,615 (14%). In the same period, the primary target also increased by 6% to 12,121, meaning 106% of the primary target was achieved. In addition, we have recruited 595 new entrants to Early Years Initial Teacher Training in academic year 2017 to 2018.

The Government continues to offer a number of generous financial incentives to encourage recruitment of high quality teachers, including the Primary Maths bursary that is available for trainees on a Primary General with Maths or Primary Maths Specialist Initial Teacher Training course.

29th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether there is a formal mechanism by which educational organisations concerned about levels of funding can effectively communicate those concerns to the Department.

The Department maintains a formal process for individual institutions to share their school funding concerns.

Academies are able to raise concerns with their regional Education and Skills Funding Agency contacts.

Concerns about the finances of individual maintained schools should be raised with their maintaining local authority.

If individual academies or maintained schools have concerns over the local distribution of the funding they should discuss this with their school forum.

At a national level, officials convene regular meetings of the School and Academy Funding Group and its corresponding sub-groups, which have membership from a wide range of organisations representing schools and academies, local authorities, teachers and head teachers, to advise the Department on matters relating to all aspects of school and high needs funding.

29th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that children born prematurely are not disadvantaged by delays to the start their education.

The statutory School Admissions Code requires schools to provide for the admission of all children, including those born prematurely, in the September following their fourth birthday. A child reaches compulsory school age on the prescribed day following their fifth birthday, or on their fifth birthday if it falls on a prescribed day. The prescribed days are 31 December, 31 March and 31 August. Parents can defer their child’s admission to school until they reach compulsory school age, or may arrange for them to attend part time until this point, but all children must receive suitable full time education from the point at which they reach compulsory school age.

24th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what her assessment is of the adequacy of the funding delivered by the new funding formula for Amherst School, Seal Primary School, Weald Primary School, Riverhead Infants School and Dunton Green Primary School in Sevenoaks.

If the national funding formula were implemented in full, the schools in question would receive the following increases in the funding they attract compared to their baseline, based on 2017-18 data:

Amherst School – 9.7%, or £310 more per pupil

Seal CE Primary School – 8.3%, or £300 more per pupil

Weald Community Primary School – 3.8%, or £142 more per pupil

Riverhead Infants’ School – 3.1%, or £108 more per pupil

Dunton Green Primary School – 8.9%, or £339 more per pupil

For all but one of the above schools, their increases are greater than the national average for primary schools of 3.3%, or £135 per pupil.

Amherst School, Weald Community Primary School and Riverhead Infants’ School will attract their final formula allocation by 2019-20. Seal CE Primary School will attract an increase of 5.2% by 2019-20 and Dunton Green Primary School will attract an increase of 5.0% by 2019-20.

Individual schools’ actual budgets for 2018-19 and 2019-20 will be determined by the local authority, through the local school funding formula.

National funding formula allocations for local authorities and notional allocations for schools is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-funding-formula-tables-for-schools-and-high-needs.

24th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what (a) financial and (b) other support her Department provides to schools that do not fill pupil spaces in (i) England and (ii) Kent.

School budgets in England are set using actual pupil numbers from the previous October school census. This lagged approach to funding provides certainty and stability, and means that schools have more lead-time to adjust their plans for any reduced levels of funding caused by falling pupil numbers. Both maintained schools and academies have a responsibility to set a balanced budget. Where schools experience financial difficulties the Department, in respect of academies, and the local authority, in respect of maintained schools, support them to produce a recovery plan. A local authority that wants to operate a falling rolls fund to support good or outstanding maintained schools and academies with falling pupil numbers where numbers will grow again within the next three years can retain funding for that purpose.

23rd Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she takes to ensure enforcement of laws that prohibit exclusion of pupils on the grounds of academic ability.

The department’s legislation and statutory guidance on exclusion makes it clear that any decision to exclude a pupil from school should be lawful, reasonable and fair. Schools must have regard to the exclusion guidance and follow the formal exclusion process set out in it.

Schools can exclude pupils, either permanently or for a fixed period, for disciplinary reasons, and the department supports schools in using exclusion where this is warranted. Exclusion on any grounds other than discipline is unlawful. Where a pupil is asked to leave the school, the formal exclusions process set out in the statutory exclusion guidance must be followed. Schools may not exclude pupils because of their academic attainment or ability. In September the department wrote to all secondary schools and local authorities to remind them of these rules. The government recently announced an externally led review of the use of exclusions and implications for pupil groups disproportionately represented in the national statistics. Further details on the review will be made available in due course.

23rd Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps her Department takes to (a) identify and (b) reprimand schools and other educational institutions that fail to meet the requirements of section 52 of the Education Act 2002.

The department’s legislation and statutory guidance on exclusion makes it clear that any decision to exclude a pupil from school should be lawful, reasonable and fair. Schools must have regard to the exclusion guidance and follow the formal exclusion process set out in it.

Schools can exclude pupils, either permanently or for a fixed period, for disciplinary reasons, and the department supports schools in using exclusion where this is warranted. Exclusion on any grounds other than discipline is unlawful. Where a pupil is asked to leave the school, the formal exclusions process set out in the statutory exclusion guidance must be followed. Schools may not exclude pupils because of their academic attainment or ability. In September the department wrote to all secondary schools and local authorities to remind them of these rules. The government recently announced an externally led review of the use of exclusions and implications for pupil groups disproportionately represented in the national statistics. Further details on the review will be made available in due course.

23rd Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what powers Ofsted has to identify instances where pupils have been unfairly or illegally excluded from schools or other educational institutions.

This is a matter for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to you and a copy of her reply will be placed in the House library.

23rd Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether the new funding formula for 2018-19 will reflect the effect on schools of staff pay increases.

In July 2017 we announced an additional £1.3billion for schools and high needs across 2018-19 and 2019-20, in addition to the schools budget set at Spending Review 2015. This means funding per pupil for schools and high needs will be maintained in real terms for the next two years. Following our announcement in September 2017, under the national funding formula, school funding will be distributed based on the individual needs and characteristics of every school in the country.

We will publish evidence on the affordability and value for money of increases to teachers’ pay as part of the Department’s input to the School Teachers’ Review Body consideration on teachers’ pay for 2018/19.

23rd Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to secure sufficient recruitment and retention in the teaching profession.

The number of teachers is at an all-time high: there are now 457,300 full time equivalent teachers, up 15,500 from 2010. The number of new teachers entering our classrooms continues to outnumber those who retire or leave, and the number of teachers returning to the profession is 8% higher than in 2011.

We are continuing to offer generous bursaries to recruit the best graduates into the profession. From 2018 we are increasing funding across all high priority subjects. Our prestigious scholarship scheme will also continue, offering a package of tailored support and up to £28,000 tax-free for scholars in six subjects.

Teachers will benefit from the newly announced rise in the student loan repayment threshold and we will be piloting a new student loan reimbursement programme for science and Modern Foreign Language teachers in the early years of their career, targeted in the areas of the country that need them most.

We are taking action to address the factors that influence the decisions of those teachers who do decide to leave the profession. We recognised the problem of unnecessary workload when we launched the Workload Challenge in 2014. Our responses to this and the 2016 Teacher Workload Survey set out comprehensive programmes of action to be taken, including spreading best practice about workload reduction. We will continue our extensive work with the profession, teaching unions and Ofsted to support the retention of teachers.

23rd Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to help schools find the first £6,000 needed to secure SEND funding.

Pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in mainstream schools attract funding to their schools through the formula set by the school’s local authority. The funding formula is decided by each local authority in consultation with its schools, and local authorities are required to delegate funds through the formula to a level that enables schools to meet the additional cost of pupils with SEND up to £6,000 per annum. This constitutes each school’s notional SEND budget. Local authorities use various factors to give an estimate of the number of children with SEND a school is likely to have, and consequently the notional SEND budget that the school will receive. The introduction of a national funding formula for determining schools and local authorities’ funding from April 2018 will not change this arrangement.

The School and Early Years Finance (England) Regulations 2017 state that local authorities must identify each school’s notional SEND budget from which schools are expected to meet the additional costs of their pupils with SEND, up to £6,000 per annum. Schools should therefore discuss with their local authority how much is needed for this purpose.

23rd Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to prevent smaller schools from closing in (a) England and (b) Kent.

Most small schools are rural and the Government recognises the importance of these schools to their communities. That is why there is a presumption against the closure of rural primary schools. While the presumption does not mean that rural primary schools will never close, it does require decision makers to consider factors such as the likely effect of the closure of the school on the local community, educational standards at the school, the impact on standards at neighbouring schools, the availability of transport to other schools, and any alternatives to the closure of the school.

We recognise that some schools are necessarily small because they are remote and do not have the same opportunities to grow or make efficiency savings as other schools. These schools can be especially important to their local communities, and ensure children do not have to travel long distances to school. That is why we have included dedicated sparsity funding in our new national funding formula (NFF), which will target funding to 19 of the most remote schools in Kent. Under the NFF, Kent would see an increase of 7.4% for its schools compared to 3.5% nationally.

23rd Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what representations she has received from educational organisations in Kent on the effectiveness of SEND funding since 2015.

Pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in mainstream schools attract funding to their schools through the formula set by the school’s local authority. The funding formula is decided by each local authority in consultation with its schools, and local authorities are required to delegate funds through the formula to a level that enables schools to meet the additional cost of pupils with SEND up to £6,000 per annum. This constitutes each school’s notional SEND budget. Local authorities use various factors to give an estimate of the number of children with SEND a school is likely to have, and consequently the notional SEND budget that the school will receive. The introduction of a national funding formula for determining schools and local authorities’ funding from April 2018 will not change this arrangement.

The School and Early Years Finance (England) Regulations 2017 state that local authorities must identify each school’s notional SEND budget from which schools are expected to meet the additional costs of their pupils with SEND, up to £6,000 per annum. Schools should therefore discuss with their local authority how much is needed for this purpose.

23rd Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what schools she plans to visit in November 2017.

In November 2017, the Secretary of State visited Oasis Academy Media City (M50 3UQ), Putney High School (SW15 6BH), The Alton School (SW15 4PD), Swanlea School (E1 5DJ) and Broadford Primary School (RM3 8JS).

13th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many regulations were repealed by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in calendar years 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Defra introduced a total of 217 statutory instruments and revoked a total of 353 statutory instruments in calendar years 2014, 2015 and 2016; the breakdown is presented in the table below. The large number of revocations in 2015 were predominantly of already redundant regulation identified through the Red Tape Challenge programme.

Year

Introduced

Revoked or otherwise no longer in force

2014

70

79

2015

97

268

2016

50

6

Total

217

353

13th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many regulations were introduced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in calendar years 2014, 2015 and 2016.

Defra introduced a total of 217 statutory instruments and revoked a total of 353 statutory instruments in calendar years 2014, 2015 and 2016; the breakdown is presented in the table below. The large number of revocations in 2015 were predominantly of already redundant regulation identified through the Red Tape Challenge programme.

Year

Introduced

Revoked or otherwise no longer in force

2014

70

79

2015

97

268

2016

50

6

Total

217

353

28th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to supporting more sustainable, low emission agriculture.

In October 2017, the Government published its emissions reduction plan, the Clean Growth Strategy. The Strategy sets out the Government’s ambition for reducing greenhouse gas emissions whilst growing the economy. The land and agriculture sector plays a significant role in low carbon growth, supported by a system of incentives to increase efficiency and improve our natural environment.

The approach to mitigating emissions from agriculture currently focusses on industry voluntary initiatives brought together under the umbrella of the Greenhouse Gas Action Plan. The Plan has delivered a saving of around 1 Million Tonnes of CO2 per year, with a target to achieve a 3 Million Tonnes CO2 per year saving by 2022. As we leave the EU we will design a new system of future agricultural support to focus on delivering better environmental outcomes, including lower emissions.

20th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to tackle the effect of palm-oil production on endangered rainforests.

The UK is committed to supporting implementation of zero-deforestation supply chains for key commodities, including palm oil.

We are signatory to the Amsterdam Declarations; have endorsed the New York Declaration on Forests; and are a member of the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020. All of these support action to prevent deforestation and encourage the sustainable production of key commodities.

Through our international climate finance, the Government funds a number of programmes in Indonesia and West and Central Africa. These programmes support sustainable palm oil production through strengthening governance, promoting market-based solutions and putting in place the incentives, policies and actions that support sustainable production alongside forest protection.

20th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to strengthen animal welfare protection after the UK leaves the EU.

The UK already has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and our ambition as we leave the EU is not only to maintain but enhance these standards. We have already set out our plans to introduce mandatory CCTV in slaughterhouses, increase sentences for animal cruelty to five years, ban microbeads which damage marine life, and ban the ivory trade to help bring an end to elephant poaching.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what (a) financial and (b) other support the UK has provided to rainforest preservation efforts in each year since 2010.

The UK has pledged at least £5.8 billion of International Climate Finance (ICF) from 2016 until 2021 to support ambitious action by developing countries to mitigate and adapt to the worst impacts of climate change. This includes reducing emissions from deforestation and tackling poverty through the creation of sustainable livelihoods for forest dependent communities.

Since the start of the ICF in 2011, the UK has spent just over £800 million on forest and land use programmes, which includes projects that aim to preserve tropical rainforests and combat deforestation. The breakdown of funding each year is: £50 million in FY11-12, £64 million in FY12-13, £120 million in FY13-14, £248 million in FY14-15, £193 million in FY15-16, and £150 million in FY16-17.

The UK also undertakes long term research collaboration with tropical forest countries through the Newton Fund. For example, scientists in the UK and Latin America are working together on a new £1.5 million (2017-20) project to develop new biotechnologies through the region’s flora and fauna.

25th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential increase in HGV traffic at the port of Dover in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

DfT, alongside other government departments, continues to keep no deal planning assumptions up to date, including those relating to HGV traffic around the port of Dover. Planning assumptions have been shared with relevant stakeholders, such as the Kent Resilience Forum.

Our assessment considers the extent to which new border processes, and the readiness of businesses to comply with these, could constrain flow on crossings from the port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel to France, and the implications for queueing HGV traffic approaching the port and Channel Tunnel terminal.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
25th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department plans to review the affordability of the Dart Charge.

The Department for Transport has no plans to review the affordability of the Dart Charge. The current charges for the Dartford-Thurrock Crossing were set in 2014, following an impact assessment, which took account of benefits and disadvantages to business and personal users, prior to a public consultation. The charges exist to manage demand and congestion at the Crossing

The charge levels and concessions available take account of local people’s need to use the Crossing. Residents of the Boroughs of Dartford and Thurrock can pay £10 for 50 crossings, plus 20p for each additional crossing or £20 a year for unlimited use. Disabled users who are exempt from vehicle tax are also exempt from paying the Dart Charge, if they are using the same vehicle. Any Crossing user can set up an account that will allow automatic payment for each trip and a prepaid account also offers users a discount of up to 20 per cent.

20th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of infrastructure works on the (a) M20 contraflow and (b) M26 alterations in 2019.

Preparatory infrastructure works have been conducted by Highways England on the M20 and M26 in Kent as part of contingency traffic management measures, known as Operation Brock. Operation Brock has been designed to ensure that, unlike Operation Stack, the M20 will be kept open and traffic will continue to flow in both directions at times of cross-Channel disruption. As part of this, implementing the contraflow queuing system between Junctions 8 and 9 on the M20 will cost approximately £30 million to build and operate. The works to prepare the M26 for the potential use as a temporary HGV storage area are in the region of £5 million. The costs of these works will fall within the financial year 2018/19.

20th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the ability of GTR to introduce a fast train service from Maidstone East to London in December 2019.

The Department is committed to improving regular services between Maidstone and the City as soon as possible. The industry is currently finalising the May 2019 timetable before developing further changes, with the next being in December 2019. I will provide an update in advance of December 2019 once these changes have been finalised.

31st Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment his Department has made of the merits of extending Crossrail to Ebbsfleet.

At this crucial stage of the Crossrail project, it is essential that Government remains focused on the full delivery of the current agreed scheme as its priority.

The promoters of the Crossrail to Ebbsfleet scheme have recently submitted a Strategic Outline Business Case to Government which is being considered. Any extension to the Elizabeth line would require a strong business case with a detailed evidence base that demonstrates the scheme would be both technically feasible and offer value for money, and also include the identification of funding.

24th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent estimate he has made of the number of HGVs that can be accommodated on a temporary basis on the M26.

The Department is working with Highways England and other key stakeholders to finalise the Operation Brock plans. Operation Brock consists of three phases, involving a contraflow queuing system on the M20, and holding areas at Manston Airport and finally, and only if necessary, on the M26.

The initial assessment made by Highways England is that the M26 could potentially accommodate up to 2300 HGVs if all running lanes on both carriageways were utilised, subject to the necessary health and safety risk assessments.

18th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many Dart Charge payments were (a) late and (b) not paid since 2010.

The Dart Charge free flow system is a prepayment system, but with users given until midnight the day after the crossing was made to make a payment without penalty. 95% of users of the Dartford Crossing pay in compliance with these charging rules and the 5% who do not are sent a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). There is no category of ‘late payment’.

The number of UK PCNs issued since the introduction of the free flow charging scheme is as follows:

2015 - 2,106,748

2016 - 2,051,013

2017 - 1,869,800

2018 (up until 30/11/2018) - 2,014,737

Highways England pursue PCN cases vigorously, with 75 per cent of these paid following enforcement processes.

18th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what is the current average (a) waiting time and (b) crossing time for cars using the Dartford crossing.

Highways England do not hold data for average waiting times for cars using the Dartford Crossing. The Dartford Crossing was designed to be a Free Flow Crossing without toll booths.

With regard to average crossing times, the table below contains the available average all-day journey time data for the northbound route from M25 Junction 2 to M25 Junction 30 including the Dartford Thurrock Crossing. This data has been collected by Highways England and processed on a consistent and comparable basis since June 2018. With regard to data collected from 2014 to June 2018, I refer my Rt Hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 7 November 2018 to Commons Question 185533.

Average Journey Time, Dartford Crossing Northbound (M25 J2 - J30), July 2018 – Sept 2018

Time period (month-year)

Average journey time (minutes: seconds)

Jul-18

10.16

Aug-18

10.13

Sep-18

08:51

The table below contains the available average all-day journey time data for the southbound route from M25 Junction 29 to M25 Junction 1b including the Dartford Thurrock Crossing. This data has been collected and processed on a consistent and comparable basis since 2014.

Average Journey Time, Dartford Crossing Southbound (M25 J29 – J1b), 2014-18

Time period (month-year)

Average journey time
(minutes: seconds)

Time period (month-year)

Average journey time
(minutes: seconds)

Jan-14

11:32

Jan-17

10:58

Feb-14

13:25

Feb-17

11:33

Mar-14

12:47

Mar-17

10:52

Apr-14

17:04

Apr-17

10:19

May-14

17:08

May-17

10:31

Jun-14

17:04

Jun-17

11:00

Jul-14

21:53

Jul-17

10:53

Aug-14

21:44

Aug-17

11:13

Sep-14

15:36

Sep-17

10:57

Oct-14

19:21

Oct-17

11:38

Nov-14

17:26

Nov-17

11:45

Dec-14

10:47

Dec-17

11:22

Jan-15

10:17

Jan-18

10:58

Feb-15

10:25

Feb-18

11:41

Mar-15

10:54

Mar-18

12:18

Apr-15

10:34

Apr-18

10:42

May-15

11:11

May-18

10:46

Jun-15

11:20

Jun-18

10:41

Jul-15

11:28

Jul-18

11:32

Aug-15

10:25

Aug-18

11:20

Sep-15

10:16

Sep-18

10:48

Oct-15

10:54

Nov-15

11:11

Dec-15

11:23

Jan-16

11:59

Feb-16

13:16

Mar-16

12:27

Apr-16

12:31

May-16

12:21

Jun-16

11:32

Jul-16

12:08

Aug-16

12:33

Sep-16

11:37

Oct-16

12:15

Nov-16

13:09

Dec-16

11:29

18th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent assessment his Department has made of the environmental effect of the current volume of traffic at the Dartford crossing.

Along with Dartford Borough Council and Thurrock Council, Highways England maintains air quality monitoring units near the Dartford Crossing and monitors the effect of traffic volumes.

In response to concerns about air quality at the Crossing, Highways England are currently investigating options for improving air quality on the A282 approach to the Crossing.

18th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many vehicles used the Dartford crossing in each year since 2010; and how many vehicles his Department forecasts will use the Dartford crossing in 2027.

  • Highways England does not hold data for vehicles using the Dartford Crossing prior to 2014. The figures from Highways England for 2014 onwards are as follows:

During charging hours only

All Hours

2014

43,877,259

49,931,560

2015

46,658,806

53,396,502

2016

48,113,881

55,527,345

2017

49,498,775

57,341,717

2018 (up until 30/11/2018)

45,898,753

53,251,637

  • How many vehicles we forecast will use the Crossing in 2027:

Highways England does not hold forecast data for vehicles on the Dartford Crossing in 2027.

23rd Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reason the building of a footpath over the railway bridge in Crockenhill, reference SD341, has been delayed; and what the timetable is for Network Rail to complete that work.

The Department for Transport does not hold this detailed information. However, I understand from Network Rail (NR) that the Crockenhill footbridge was inspected and found to be in a dangerous and unsafe condition and has been closed since September 2017. NR has put together a plan to see this old bridge removed and a new one installed by the end of this financial year. However this schedule is dependent on agreement of third parties whose co-operation is required to carry out both the removal of the old bridge and the installation of the new one. Providing NR can resolve these matters successfully, they expect to be able to confirm the timescales for the replacement of the bridge before the end of 2018.

27th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to monitor variations in the water table in the area around Stonehenge to ensure that any new roads constructed near to that site do not have a destructive impact on the archaeological remains.

Previous surveys have provided an extensive understanding of the variations in the water table that can occur in the area around Stonehenge. Highways England are supplementing this knowledge through further groundwater monitoring, which is informing hydrological modelling being undertaken in collaboration with the Environment Agency.

The scheme is being designed to minimise effects on groundwater flows. The proposed use of a tunnel boring machine means the tunnel would be constructed in a sealed, watertight environment. This means water would not need to be pumped out of the ground during construction, ensuring no adverse effects on the water table.

27th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to Article 4 of the 1972 World Heritage Convention, what assessment he has made of whether plans for a new tunnel and flyover at Stonehenge are compliant with the terms of that Convention.

A key aim of the scheme is to remove the roads and heavy traffic, with their associated noise and disturbance, from the vicinity of the Stonehenge World Heritage Site – improving the presentation of the Site both for now and for future generations.

A full environmental impact assessment of the A303 Stonehenge scheme is under way. This will include a Heritage Impact Assessment, that has regard to Article 4 of the World Heritage Convention. This will be published as part of Highways England’s application for a Development Consent Order.

A historic environment assessment was undertaken in relation to the choice of preferred route for the A303 Stonehenge scheme. This is contained in Appendix E to the scheme assessment report published in September 2017 and is available at: https://highwaysengland.citizenspace.com/cip/a303-stonehenge/results/sar-volume-7.pdf

26th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect on the prehistoric landscape at Stonehenge of the proposals for a new flyover and tunnel.

A principal aim of the scheme is to remove the roads and heavy traffic, with their associated noise and disturbance from the vicinity of the stones and to reunite Stonehenge with its surrounding monuments in their natural chalk downland setting. This involves removing the road and its traffic completely from within sight of the stones, with the locations of the tunnel portals being beyond the visual horizons from Stonehenge.

Highways England is carrying out extensive Heritage Impact Assessments to ensure the scheme brings benefits without creating unacceptable effects on the important features of the World Heritage Site.

A programme of archaeological surveys has been developed with input from an independent Scientific Committee, which comprises some of the country’s most eminent archaeologists. The project also has a Heritage Monitoring and Advisory Group comprising Historic England, Wiltshire Council Archaeology Service, English Heritage and The National Trust. The Scientific Committee and Advisory Group will continue to have oversight of all the archaeological findings as the scheme develops. Further information about the Scientific Committee’s work can be found at: http://www.a303scientificcommittee.org.uk/

27th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what revenue has been raised by the Dart Charge in each year since 2015.

The revenue raised by Dart Charge for financial years 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17 can be found in the Dart Charge annual accounts which can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications?keywords=&publication_filter_option=corporate-reports&topics%5B%5D=all&departments%5B%5D=highways-england&official_document_status=all&world_locations%5B%5D=all&from_date=&to_date

14th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to pursue outstanding payments owed by the drivers of vehicles from non-UK EU Member States who have travelled through the Dartford tunnel.

Highways England are serious about tackling cases of evasion. They use an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) system which is capable of capturing non-UK vehicle registration marks and they apply effective penalty and recovery processes that have been proven elsewhere, such as London’s congestion charging and Dublin’s M50 toll schemes. Ultimately a European debt recovery agency is used to pursue and recover outstanding charges from non-UK vehicles that evade paying the Crossing charge.

8th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he plans take to reduce travel disruption caused by slow traffic through and around the Dartford Tunnel.

In April, the Government committed £10 million to improve the traffic flow at and around the Dartford crossing. This was as part of the preferred route announcement for the new Lower Thames Crossing (LTC) which will help reduce demand at the Dartford Crossing, while also improving links to London and the south coast.

Alongside this, a Dartford - Thurrock study will identify ideas to reduce congestion that could be delivered in advance of the construction of the LTC. In addition, improvement work to M25 Junction 2 is due to start in Spring 2018 to help reduce congestion south of the Dartford crossing.

27th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, for what reasons the new Thameslink twice-hourly fast service from Maidstone East, Otford and Swanley has been postponed until December 2019.

Learning lessons from previous major changes and to enable the industry to reduce the risk of disruption to passengers from too much change on the network at any one time, the Secretary of State for Transport asked Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) to propose options to reduce the risk of disruption to passengers from the introduction of the Thameslink timetable and operational changes. GTR’s proposal increases the number of services through central London more gradually than had been planned, beginning in May 2018 and ending in December 2019.

The changes have been selected as the best option to benefit the most passengers across the wider south east network. The new Thameslink services from Maidstone East will now be delivered in December 2019.

Paul Maynard
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what representations his Department has made to Thameslink and Network Rail on the postponement of the new Thameslink service from Maidstone East, Otford and Swanley that was originally due from December 2018.

Learning lessons from previous major changes and to enable the industry to reduce the risk of disruption to passengers from too much change on the network at any one time, the Secretary of State for Transport asked Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) to propose options to reduce the risk of disruption to passengers from the introduction of the Thameslink timetable and operational changes. GTR’s proposal increases the number of services through central London more gradually than had been planned, beginning in May 2018 and ending in December 2019.

The changes have been selected as the best option to benefit the most passengers across the wider south east network. The new Thameslink services from Maidstone East will now be delivered in December 2019.

Paul Maynard
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how he plans to ensure that rail operators achieve the planned full capacity on Thameslink services from Maidstone East, Otford and Swanley.

Learning lessons from previous major changes and to enable the industry to reduce the risk of disruption to passengers from too much change on the network at any one time, the Secretary of State for Transport asked Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) to propose options to reduce the risk of disruption to passengers from the introduction of the Thameslink timetable and operational changes. GTR’s proposal increases the number of services through central London more gradually than had been planned, beginning in May 2018 and ending in December 2019.

The changes have been selected as the best option to benefit the most passengers across the wider south east network. The new Thameslink services from Maidstone East will now be delivered in December 2019.

Paul Maynard
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
21st Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps he is taking to reduce the time unemployed people spend out of work.

The number of unemployed is currently 1.42m, down 59,000 this quarter, down 182,000 on the year, down over 1.08 million since 2010.

Jobcentre Plus has a flexible support model to provide support and District Managers have discretion on how to target interventions. The model has three elements: a core regime of regular face-to-face meetings; flexible work coach support; and a flexible menu of support options.

Where Jobcentre Plus District Managers identify gaps in skills or other provision they have discretion to purchase extra support to meet particular needs using the Flexible Support Fund.

Jobcentre Plus work coaches can advise claimants on the localised provision and support available, either by employment sector or skills/employability.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
21st Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will work with the Secretary of State for Transport to create travel concessions helping school-leavers find their first job.

A scheme already exists for jobseekers of all ages to access help with their travel costs. This is called the Jobcentre Plus Travel Scheme.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
21st Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department is taking to help young people into work.

The number of young unemployed claimants is continuing to fall. The proportion of young people (aged 16-24) who are unemployed and not in full time education is at a record low of 4.8%. In April 2017 we introduced further intensive support for 18-21 year olds making a new claim to Universal Credit Full Service as it is rolled out. We also believe that early intervention is particularly important, which is why we have introduced Jobcentre Plus Support for Schools, which helps young people make a smooth and effective transition from school to work, training or further study. This support includes advice on the local labour market, ‘soft skills’ employers expect such as team-working and resilience, job search skills such as CV writing and interview techniques, and the promotion of vocational routes into employment.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
30th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans the Government has to review the eligibility criteria for NHS patient transport.

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

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has included the drug Dornase Alfa in the priority stockpiling list in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The Department is doing everything appropriate to prepare for leaving the European Union. We want to reassure patients that our plans should ensure the uninterrupted supply of medicines and medical products, including dornase alfa, once we have left the EU.

The Department, as part of our EU exit preparations, is implementing a multi-layered approach to mitigate potential disruption to supply, which consists of stockpiling where possible, securing freight capacity, changing or clarifying regulatory requirements, procuring additional warehousing, working closely with industry to improve trader readiness and putting in place the National Supply Disruption Response to manage potential shortages. Further details can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/medicines-and-medical-products-supply-government-updates-no-deal-brexit-plans

All prescription only medicines and pharmacy medicines imported from or via the EU/European Economic Area are within scope of the continuity of supply programme. All suppliers of these medicines, including suppliers of dornase alfa, have been asked to stockpile medicines and make other preparations as set out in our communications to suppliers.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
25th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to (a) raise awareness and (b) decrease the number of misdiagnoses of Lipoedema.

The National Health Service website provides information for patients and the public on a wide range of conditions, including lipoedema.

To support clinicians in identifying and treating lipoedema, in May 2014, the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) worked in partnership with the charity Lipoedema UK to develop and publish an e-learning module for GPs on the diagnosis and management of lipoedema. The module was endorsed by the Royal College of Nursing and updated in 2018.

In May 2017 Wounds UK, an organisation that provides guidance, education and training in wound and skin management, published best practice guidance on diagnosing and treating lipoedema. The guidance can be found at the following link:

www.lipoedema.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/WUK_Lipoedema-BPS_Web.pdf

31st Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of waiting times in mental health services for initial treatment for children at the North-East London Foundation Trust.

The Department has introduced two waiting time standards for children and young people and are on track to meet both of these standards. The first aims for 95% of children (up to 19 years old) with eating disorders to receive treatment within a week for urgent cases and four weeks for routine cases by 2020/21. 81.3% of children and young people’s eating disorder patients started urgent treatment within one week and 80.2% of patients started routine treatment within four weeks in April to June 2018. The second aims for 50% of patients of all ages experiencing a first episode of psychosis to receive treatment within two weeks of referral. Nationally, the National Health Service is exceeding the target, with 76.2% of patients started treatment within two weeks in November 2018.

West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group, working with North East London Foundation Trust, continues to embed new service modelling and transform services for children and young people in Kent. The new model provides a Single Point of Access along with clear and seamless pathways to support ranging from Universal ‘Early Help’ through to highly specialist care with better transition between services. During the initial six months the service underwent significant changes designed to address access and treatment waiting times. This included the provision of a Crisis Service with additional capacity, digital therapy access offers and national and local recruitment campaigns to increase capacity and resource.

31st Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reduce waiting times for children receiving initial mental health treatment in West Kent.

The Department has introduced two waiting time standards for children and young people and are on track to meet both of these standards. The first aims for 95% of children (up to 19 years old) with eating disorders to receive treatment within a week for urgent cases and four weeks for routine cases by 2020/21. 81.3% of children and young people’s eating disorder patients started urgent treatment within one week and 80.2% of patients started routine treatment within four weeks in April to June 2018. The second aims for 50% of patients of all ages experiencing a first episode of psychosis to receive treatment within two weeks of referral. Nationally, the National Health Service is exceeding the target, with 76.2% of patients started treatment within two weeks in November 2018.

West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group, working with North East London Foundation Trust, continues to embed new service modelling and transform services for children and young people in Kent. The new model provides a Single Point of Access along with clear and seamless pathways to support ranging from Universal ‘Early Help’ through to highly specialist care with better transition between services. During the initial six months the service underwent significant changes designed to address access and treatment waiting times. This included the provision of a Crisis Service with additional capacity, digital therapy access offers and national and local recruitment campaigns to increase capacity and resource.

5th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many NHS emergency treatment centres are located inside the London congestion charge zone.

NHS Improvement has confirmed two hospitals with emergency treatment centres are located inside the London congestion charge zone. These are St Thomas’ Hospital, with accident and emergency (A&E) and Urgent Care Centre (UCC) facilities and Guy’s Hospital, which contains a standalone UCC but no A&E.

Steve Barclay
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
5th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many ambulance crew are based inside the London congestion charge zone.

This information is not collected centrally.

Steve Barclay
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
5th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will ban smoking on all NHS premises.

The Department supports the implementation of smokefree policies across all hospitals in England. The Government’s tobacco control plan for England published in July 2017 reiterates our ambition to achieve smokefree mental health services by the end of 2018 and to see all National Health Service estates becoming smoke-free by 2019/20, as set out in NHS England’s ‘Next steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View’ mandate.

19th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what work his Department is carrying out with the Department for Transport to help ensure that people with mobility issues and disabilities can access public transport.

The public consultation on the Department of Transport’s draft Transport Accessibility Action plan closed on the 22 November 2017 and the responses are currently being analysed. The Department of Health will work with the Department of Transport as appropriate in responding to the consultation.

13th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many regulations were repealed by the Department for Health in calendar years 2014, 2015 and 2016.

We do not keep a central record of all regulations introduced or repealed by the Department and to obtain that information would incur a disproportionate cost.

13th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many regulations were introduced by the Department for Health in calendar years 2014, 2015 and 2016.

We do not keep a central record of all regulations introduced or repealed by the Department and to obtain that information would incur a disproportionate cost.

8th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to support GP services in (a) Sevenoaks and (b) England.

It is the responsibility of local commissioners, overseen by NHS England, to ensure that general practitioner (GP) services meet the needs of local people.

In line with its strategic vision, Mapping the Future, that was approved by West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in July 2017 a Local Care Plan that describes the model of GP care, the infrastructure required and what will change for local people was published.

In this local care model, the system is organised at four different levels – general practice, cluster, local care hubs and west Kent-wide services. There are seven ‘clusters’ of general practices in West Kent. The cluster model is being implemented in three phases across the seven clusters. The Sevenoaks cluster lead GP, Dr Vicky O’Neill, is leading the development of a bid on behalf of local practices to secure GP Five-Year Forward View funding to help ensure that local GP care is sustainable.

Several practices in Sevenoaks are finalising practice premises development plans to allow them to expand their services. The Sevenoaks cluster is also working to prepare for delivering the enhanced access requirements for general practice and West Kent CCG expects the cluster to be compliant by the target date of March 2019.

In April 2016, the General Practice Forward View set out a package of investment in English general practice. This included a number of reforms which will support general practice through increased investment in general practice, recruitment and retention of GPs and the wider workforce, and investment in extended access to GP services.

By 2020 the Government has committed to supporting general practice by incrementally increasing investment up to £12 billion (an additional £2.4 billion compared to 2015/16); an additional 5,000 GPs and 5,000 other staff working in general practice; and by March 2019 everyone having access to GP services, including sufficient routine appointments at evenings and weekends to meet locally determined demand.

5th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, whether his Department has increased the level of funding allocated to A&E departments, maternity units and GP surgeries in (a) England and (b) Kent in each of the last five years.

NHS England and NHS Improvement advise that information on funding for accident and emergency departments and maternity units, at both a national and local level, is not held centrally. These services are commissioned locally.

Information on funding for general practice in Kent is not held centrally. Data published by NHS Digital shows that investment in general practice has increased nationally in real terms in each year since 2012-13, as set out in the following table.

England

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

2015-16

2016-17

Cash terms (£ million)

8,459.881

8,830.540

9,173.038

9,696.562

10,203.859

% Change

4.38%

3.88%

5.71%

5.23%

Real terms (£ million)

8,960.946

9,201.796

9,420.326

9,890.167

10,203.859

% Change

2.69%

2.37%

4.99%

3.17%

Source: NHS Digital

4th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Orkambi in treating people diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis.

In July 2016, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), the independent body that develops guidance on drugs and treatments for clinical / cost effectiveness for the National Health Service in England and Wales, did not recommend access to the Vertex drug Orkambi as although clinically significant for managing cystic fibrosis, the longer term outcomes and benefits were not sufficient to justify its considerable costs.

Since then there has been a constructive dialogue underway between the company, NHS England and NICE, including discussion hosted through NICE’s confidential ‘Office for Market Access’. Both NHS England and NICE have been consistent in advice to Vertex that progress can only be made by working through NICE appraisal processes and the existing commercial framework.

4th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to monitor the adequacy of health and social care service provision for disabled children in England.

Health and social care services for disabled children are monitored by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and Ofsted respectively. In May 2016, Ofsted and the CQC began a five-year programme of joint inspections of all local areas on their effectiveness in jointly commissioning services for children and young people with special educational needs and disability.

4th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how the proposed reorganisation of the NHS will affect GP surgeries in Sevenoaks constituency.

It is the responsibility of local commissioners, overseen by NHS England, to ensure that general practitioner (GP) services meet the needs of local people.

NHS England advises that, in line with its strategic vision, Mapping the Future, NHS West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) – which covers Sevenoaks – approved in July 2017 a Local Care Plan that describes the model of care, the infrastructure required to deliver this and what will change for people who live in west Kent. In the local care model, the system is organised at four different levels – general practice, cluster, local care hubs and west Kent-wide services. NHS England advises that there are seven ‘clusters’ of general practice in west Kent. Eight general practices form the Sevenoaks cluster; the third largest cluster in west Kent covering a registered population of 79,745.

During 2017, the CCG has, working with health and care partners, developed and started the implementation of the service specification for a core cluster level team, focusing on prevention and planned care covering four main areas: frailty, end-of-life, dementia and mental health. In line with NHS England’s GP Five Year Forward View, the CCG is also working with clusters and practices to implement local programmes to help struggling practices, reduce workload, expand the workforce and also invest in technology and estates where needed.

The cluster model is being implemented in three phases across the seven clusters. Phase 1 went live in October 2017, Phase 2 went live in November 2017 and Phase 3 is planned for April 2018. The practices in the Sevenoaks cluster were in Phase 2. More detailed information on the Local Care Plan can be found at:

http://www.westkentccg.nhs.uk/about-us/local-care-plan/

27th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to reduce the prevalence of young sudden cardiac death in England.

The Cardiovascular Disease Outcomes Strategy was published in 2013. This highlighted the importance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and availability of Public Access Defibrillators (PADs).

The Community Resuscitation Steering Group, chaired by the National Clinical Director for Heart Disease at NHS England, has since encouraged campaigns to increase awareness of CPR and availability of PADs.

In order to further support the National Health Service and local communities, the Government provided £2 million to make public access defibrillators more widely available and to increase the numbers of people trained in CPR.

27th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to promote and develop heart-screening programmes in England, and what research his Department is funding on reduction of the prevalence of young sudden cardiac death.

Both the Fetal Anomaly and the Newborn and Infant Physical Examination screening programme offer heart screening to detect abnormalities early, however not all abnormalities can be identified.

In 2015 the UK National Screening Committee reviewed the evidence for screening for major causes of sudden cardiac death in young people between the ages of 12 to 39 and recommended that screening should not be offered.

The Department’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including young sudden cardiac death; it is not usual practice to ring-fence funds for particular topics or conditions. Applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality. In all disease areas, the amount of NIHR funding depends on the volume and quality of scientific activity. The NIHR does not currently fund any research on reducing the prevalence of young sudden cardiac death.

27th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what contact his Department has made with the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young; and how his Department is supporting that charity.

The Department is in regular dialogue with organisations concerned with the health and wellbeing of those with, and at risk of, heart conditions. Cardiac Risk in the Young is a registered stakeholder of the UK National Screening Committee and has actively taken part in consultations as well as stakeholder events. The Department is aware of the important work that the charity does to reduce the frequency of young sudden cardiac deaths, particularly in their funding of clinical and pathology research.

27th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what representations his Department has received on animal modellers’ use of reductionism for medicinal tests.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the competent authority responsible for issuing marketing authorisations (product licences) and approving clinical trial authorisation applications for medicinal products in the United Kingdom, already encourages the development and use of newer tests and alternatives to animal tests. There are ongoing discussions about newer technologies involving alternatives to animals and these are being embraced by industry and regulators. However, it does take time for these methods to become adequately validated, established and accepted worldwide.

24th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what percentage of patients who are the responsibility of Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley clinical commissioning group are contacted within seven days after being discharged from hospital on the Care Programme Approach.

Latest available information from NHS England showed that for NHS Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group, 90.5% of patients on the Care Programme Approach were followed up within seven days after discharge from psychiatric inpatient care.

NHS England publishes this information on a quarterly basis at:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/mental-health-community-teams-activity/

23rd Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many and what proportion of patients who are discharged on a Care Programme Approach from hospitals in (a) Kent and (b) England are contacted within seven days.

The data requested is published. All of the numbers are for Q2 2017/18:-

Area

Numbers

Percentage

Kent1

150 out of 155

96.8%

England

15,814 out of 16,347

96.7%

West Kent

83 out of 84

98.8%

Note:

1Total of NHS South Kent Coast Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS West Kent CCG

23rd Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many and what proportion of patients discharged on a Care Programme Approach from hospitals in the West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group are contacted within seven days.

The data requested is published. All of the numbers are for Q2 2017/18:-

Area

Numbers

Percentage

Kent1

150 out of 155

96.8%

England

15,814 out of 16,347

96.7%

West Kent

83 out of 84

98.8%

Note:

1Total of NHS South Kent Coast Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS West Kent CCG

22nd Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the average number of hospital bed days is for children and young people under 18 in tier 4 wards in (a) 2010, (b)2015 and (c) 2017 in i) England, ii) West Kent and iii) Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley.

The information is not available in the format requested. Data is only available for England in 2016/17, in which the number of bed days for children and young people under 18 in tier 4 wards was 458,145, and the average length of stay was 99 days.

22nd Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many and what proportion of people in the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme received their first treatment appointment within six weeks of referral under Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group in (a) 2015-16 and (b) 2016-17.

The table below provides the information requested for 2015 – 2016. The data for 2016-2017 is due to be published on 30 November.

Number and proportion of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) referrals who waited less than six weeks for treatment and entered treatment in 2015/16 for the requested Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

Total number of referrals entering treatment

Of which waited less than six weeks to enter treatment

Proportion who waited less than six weeks

NHS West Kent CCG

6,315

6,020

95%

NHS Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley CCG

3,415

2,750

81%


Source: IAPT dataset, NHS Digital

Note:

Waiting time to enter treatment is calculated as the number of days between the referral received date and the first attended treatment appointment.

22nd Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many and what proportion of people in the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme received their first treatment appointment within six weeks of referral under West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group in (a) 2015-16 and (b) 2016-17.

The table below provides the information requested for 2015 – 2016. The data for 2016-2017 is due to be published on 30 November.

Number and proportion of Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) referrals who waited less than six weeks for treatment and entered treatment in 2015/16 for the requested Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

Total number of referrals entering treatment

Of which waited less than six weeks to enter treatment

Proportion who waited less than six weeks

NHS West Kent CCG

6,315

6,020

95%

NHS Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley CCG

3,415

2,750

81%


Source: IAPT dataset, NHS Digital

Note:

Waiting time to enter treatment is calculated as the number of days between the referral received date and the first attended treatment appointment.

22nd Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what steps he is taking to help clinical commissioning groups in Kent meet the targets set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View for mental health care.

The Kent Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and their partners’ success in delivering ambitions for mental health as set out in the NHS Five Year Forward View are monitored through NHS England assurance processes, this is included in the NHS England guidance to CCGs.

20th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the rates of (a) suicide and (b) self-harm in West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group in each (i) 2005, (ii) 2009, (iii) 2010, (iv) 2015 and (v) 2017.

The information is not available in the format requested.

20th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he as made of the rates of (a) suicide and (b) self-harm in Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group in (i) 2005, (ii) 2009, (iii) 2010, (iv) 2015 and (v) 2017.

The information is not available in the format requested.

20th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the rates of (a) suicide and (b) self-harm rates in West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group for people aged (i) 11 to 18, (ii) 19 to 24 years old, and (iii) over 25 years old.

The information is not available in the format requested.

20th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of rates of (a) suicide and (b) self-harm rates in Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group for people aged (i) 11 to 18, (ii) 19 to 24, and (iii) over 25 years old.

The information is not available in the format requested.

20th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the rates of (a) suicide and (b) self-harm for people aged 11 to 18 years old in (i) England and (ii) Kent in (A) 2005, (B) 2009, (C) 2010 and (D) 2015.

The information is not available in the format requested. Data is not collected on rates of self-harm either nationally or by local area.

20th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the rates of (a) suicide and (b) self-harm for people aged 19 to 24 years old in (i) England and (ii) Kent in (A) 2005, (B) 2009, (C) 2010 and (D) 2015.

The information is not available in the format requested. Data is not collected on rates of self-harm either nationally or by local area.

20th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate he has made of the rates of (a) suicide and (b) self-harm for people over 25 years old in (i) England and (ii) Kent in (A) 2005, (B) 2009, (C) 2010 and (D) 2015.

The information is not available in the format requested. Data is not collected on rates of self-harm either nationally or by local area.

15th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the success of mental health care outcomes in the West Kent and Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley areas since 2015.

NHS England inform us that the vision of the West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group and Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is to provide high quality mental health care now, and for future generations. This means enabling everyone who requires interventions to have timely access to the best available treatment. The mental health care pathway spans commissioning organisations including the CCGs and Kent County Council, and includes provision for universal reach, resilience, early intervention, specialist and crisis support.

Currently the CCGs and their partners are on track to meet all ambitions set out in the National Health Service Five Year Forward View for Mental Health. This is monitored through NHS England assurance processes.

15th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, if his Department will review waiting times in paediatric services for autism diagnosis.

Diagnosing autism in children can involve a range of observations over time and a number of different professionals. The time taken to formulate a diagnosis will not be the same in all cases.

There are concerns in some local areas that the length of time some children have had to wait for an assessment for autism to begin is longer than the three months recommended by the National Institute for Care and Health Excellence (NICE) guidelines from a referral to a first appointment. Whilst local clinical commissioning groups have been working to bring down the waits in line with the NICE guidelines, to date there has been no national collection of waiting times data.

The Government is taking steps to rectify this and NHS Digital have confirmed they will be collecting and recording waiting times from referral for suspected autism to a first appointment within the Mental Health Services Data Set from April 2018. This will mean that each area can be held to account in real time and action can be taken to support them when waiting times are increasing.

An indicative timeline for the development of care pathways was set out in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health. The precise timetable for the establishment of a care pathway for autism will be confirmed by NHS England in due course.

15th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what assessment he has made of the length of waiting times in paediatric services for diagnosis of suspected autism since 2015.

Diagnosing autism in children can involve a range of observations over time and a number of different professionals. The time taken to formulate a diagnosis will not be the same in all cases.

There are concerns in some local areas that the length of time some children have had to wait for an assessment for autism to begin is longer than the three months recommended by the National Institute for Care and Health Excellence (NICE) guidelines from a referral to a first appointment. Whilst local clinical commissioning groups have been working to bring down the waits in line with the NICE guidelines, to date there has been no national collection of waiting times data.

The Government is taking steps to rectify this and NHS Digital have confirmed they will be collecting and recording waiting times from referral for suspected autism to a first appointment within the Mental Health Services Data Set from April 2018. This will mean that each area can be held to account in real time and action can be taken to support them when waiting times are increasing.

An indicative timeline for the development of care pathways was set out in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health. The precise timetable for the establishment of a care pathway for autism will be confirmed by NHS England in due course.

15th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what change there has been in spending on mental health as a proportion to overall spending since 2016 by the (a) West Kent and (b) Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley clinical commissioning groups.

Changes to overall spending for the West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Dartford, Gravesend and Swanley CCG since 2016 are set out in the tables below:

West Kent Clinical Commissioning Group

2016/17

2017/18

% Mental Health Spend

9.32%

9.75%

Dartford, Gravesend and Swanley CCG

2016/17

2017/18

% Mental Health Spend

6.16%

6.49%

20th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions (a) he and (b) officials in his Department have had with counterparts in the EU to support improvements to the (a) road, (b) rail and (c) ports infrastructure in south eastern Ukraine.

FCO Ministers have discussed support for south eastern Ukraine with EU counterparts on a number of occasions. I did so most recently at the EU Foreign Affairs Council on 18 February. My officials have also discussed the provision of such support with the European External Action Service and European Commission in Brussels, and with the EU Delegation in Kyiv. In January, the EU led a scoping visit to south eastern Ukraine, including the city of Mariupol, to assess what further actions might be required, including to improve infrastructure. As part of on-going donor coordination efforts, UK officials frequently discuss with other international donors and the Ukrainian government how best to support Ukraine's infrastructure needs.

20th Feb 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what financial assistance the Government plans to allocate to Ukraine in each of the next three years.

The UK is a major donor to Ukraine. In 2019/20 the British Government will provide more than £35 million in support for Ukraine, which includes assistance to combat corruption and support reform as well as vital humanitarian support and peacebuilding activities. The allocations are made on an annual funding cycle.

15th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will make representations to his Chilean counterpart on Martin Pickett, a constituent of the Rt hon Member for Sevenoaks, to help him re-establish contact with his children who are living in Chile.

We have advised Mr Pickett that we cannot interfere in the Chilean judicial process and have encouraged him to seek the advice of a local lawyer on what other legal recourse may be open to him to re-establish contact with his children.

24th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to assist conjoined twins born to Palestinian parents at the Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza to access specialist treatment in Israel.

​While we have no plans to assist with this specific issue, officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv and Consulate General in Jerusalem have raised our concerns recently with the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority (PA) respectively over the situation in Gaza. Israeli hospitals do treat Palestinian patients following referrals from the PA. Where referrals have been made, we continue to encourage the Israeli authorities to grant permits to allow greater Gazan access to critical healthcare.

13th Nov 2018
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on SMEs in Kent of making customs declarations for the first time in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The Government remains confident of agreeing a mutually advantageous deal with the EU. However, we understand that if in the unlikely event that the UK leaves without a deal, customs declarations will become a new obligation for UK-EU trade which could affect many small and medium sized businesses.

HMRC continues to engage with businesses and their representative trade bodies and undertakes further specific engagement to understand how they will be affected by these new obligations. HMRC has written to 145,000 traders over the VAT threshold who currently only trade with the EU to help them plan for a no deal scenario. Alongside this, HMT and HMRC are supporting the intermediaries sector to expand ahead of March 19, so that they can provide services to SMEs.

Mel Stride
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
13th Apr 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the proportion of the UK commemorative coin market held by the Royal Mint.

Her Majesty’s Treasury have not estimated the size or value of The Royal Mint’s share of the UK commemorative coin market.

13th Apr 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Royal Mint supplies wholesalers outside the UK, including other EU nations.

Her Majesty’s Treasury can confirm that The Royal Mint does supply several wholesalers outside the UK, including in other EU countries.

27th Feb 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the planned increase to the contributions holiday for SAYE schemes will apply to new SAYE contracts only or also cover pre-existing SAYE contracts.

The government announced at Autumn Budget that it would extend the Save As You Earn (SAYE) contributions holiday from 6 to 12 months for those on maternity and parental leave from 6 April 2018. After receiving representations from the share plan industry, the government is delaying the implementation of this change until 1 September 2018 to allow for software changes and testing.

The government will, from the same date, extend the SAYE contributions holiday to 12 months for all SAYE plans. This change will extend the benefit to all SAYE participants, including those with pre-existing contracts.

Mel Stride
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
27th Feb 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his planned increase to contributions holidays for SAYE schemes will apply to those (a) on maternity leave, (b) on shared parental leave, (c) on adoption leave and (d) who miss payment contributions.

The government announced at Autumn Budget that it would extend the Save As You Earn (SAYE) contributions holiday from 6 to 12 months for those on maternity and parental leave from 6 April 2018. After receiving representations from the share plan industry, the government is delaying the implementation of this change until 1 September 2018 to allow for software changes and testing.

The government will, from the same date, extend the SAYE contributions holiday to 12 months for all SAYE plans. This change will extend the benefit to all SAYE participants, including those with pre-existing contracts.

Mel Stride
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
8th Feb 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what plans he has to seek EU State Aid approval to renew the Enterprise Management Incentive scheme; and whether he plans to undertake a review of the limits of that scheme.

It is the government's intention that the Enterprise Management Incentive scheme should continue. An update will be provided in due course. The government keeps all tax policy under review.

Mel Stride
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
8th Feb 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to simplify save as you earn schemes and share incentive plans to encourage more people to save.

The government offers four tax advantaged share schemes, Company Share Option Plan, Share Incentive Plan, Enterprise Management Incentives and Save As You Earn. These enable employers and their employees to mutually benefit from generous Income Tax, National Insurance, and Capital Gains Tax reliefs when they participate. At Autumn Budget 2017 the government announced that employees on the Save As You Earn scheme who take maternity or parental leave will be able to pause their contributions for up to 12 months, extended from the previous limit of 6 months. There are currently no other plans to make changes to the schemes. The government keeps all areas of the tax system under review.

The government is also committed to supporting savers of all incomes and at all stages of life. We have introduced a range of measures, including the Personal Savings Allowance, which mean that over 95% of people pay no tax on their savings income. We have also introduced the Lifetime ISA, which supports younger people to save for the long term by offering them a 25% bonus from the government on savings of up to £4,000 annually.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
7th Feb 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to simplify share plans and reduce disincentives to save for people aged 18-30.

The government offers four tax advantaged share schemes, Company Share Option Plan, Share Incentive Plan, Enterprise Management Incentives and Save As You Earn. These enable employers and their employees to mutually benefit from generous Income Tax, National Insurance, and Capital Gains Tax reliefs when they participate. At Autumn Budget 2017 the government announced that employees on the Save As You Earn scheme who take maternity or parental leave will be able to pause their contributions for up to 12 months, extended from the previous limit of 6 months. There are currently no other plans to make changes to the schemes. The government keeps all areas of the tax system under review.

The government is also committed to supporting savers of all incomes and at all stages of life. We have introduced a range of measures, including the Personal Savings Allowance, which mean that over 95% of people pay no tax on their savings income. We have also introduced the Lifetime ISA, which supports younger people to save for the long term by offering them a 25% bonus from the government on savings of up to £4,000 annually.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
7th Feb 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the potential cost to the public purse of reducing the period for which employee participants must hold their shares within share incentives plans from five years to three years.

Share Incentive Plans allow employees to receive shares in their employer and benefit from Income Tax, National Insurance, and Capital Gains Tax reliefs. There are no current plans to make changes to Share Incentive Plans. The government keeps all areas of the tax system under review.

The dormant assets scheme enables a portion of funds from dormant accounts held by participating bank and building societies to be distributed to good causes via a central reclaim fund. The Government recently issued its response to the independent Commission of Dormant Assets, and is working with industry to consider how the scheme could be expanded to include a broader range of financial assets.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
7th Feb 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make it his policy to increase charitable giving by allowing small residual share incentive plan balances to be donated to charity.

Share Incentive Plans allow employees to receive shares in their employer and benefit from Income Tax, National Insurance, and Capital Gains Tax reliefs. There are no current plans to make changes to Share Incentive Plans. The government keeps all areas of the tax system under review.

The dormant assets scheme enables a portion of funds from dormant accounts held by participating bank and building societies to be distributed to good causes via a central reclaim fund. The Government recently issued its response to the independent Commission of Dormant Assets, and is working with industry to consider how the scheme could be expanded to include a broader range of financial assets.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
7th Feb 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what barriers his Department has identified to lower earners’ participation in tax-advantaged share schemes.

The government offers four tax advantaged share schemes, Company Share Option Plan, Share Incentive Plan, Enterprise Management Incentives and Save As You Earn. These enable employers and their employees to mutually benefit from generous Income Tax, National Insurance, and Capital Gains Tax reliefs when they participate. At Autumn Budget 2017 the government announced that employees on the Save As You Earn scheme who take maternity or parental leave will be able to pause their contributions for up to 12 months, extended from the previous limit of 6 months. There are currently no other plans to make changes to the schemes. The government keeps all areas of the tax system under review.

The government is also committed to supporting savers of all incomes and at all stages of life. We have introduced a range of measures, including the Personal Savings Allowance, which mean that over 95% of people pay no tax on their savings income. We have also introduced the Lifetime ISA, which supports younger people to save for the long term by offering them a 25% bonus from the government on savings of up to £4,000 annually.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
17th Jan 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to establish an independent tribunal to act as a mandatory first dispute resolution mechanism between banks and small and medium-sized enterprises; and what representations he has received on such a tribunal since 2015.

The Government receives representations on a number of issues from both MPs, organisations and individuals.

The Financial Conduct Authority recently published its consultation on widening the remit of the Financial Ombudsman Service, and its feedback statement on its 2015 SME paper. The Government is considering those findings closely, and considering wider options being put forward on dispute resolution between small and medium-sized enterprises and banks.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
17th Jan 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to progress the RBS Global Restructuring Group redress scheme.

In November 2016 the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) announced, with the agreement of the Financial Conduct Authority, a Global Restructuring Group (GRG) complaints process overseen by an Independent Third Party, and an automatic refund of complex fees paid by relevant customers in GRG between 2008 and 2013. This scheme is a commercial matter for RBS, and the Government has played no role in the establishment or operation of this scheme.

The Government’s shareholding in RBS is managed commercially and at arm’s length by UK Financial Investments (UKFI). RBS retains its own board which is responsible for commercial and operational decisions.

John Glen
Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office
17th Jan 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what information his Department holds on the number of UK companies which operated employee share schemes in (a) 1988, (b) 1990, (c) 2000, (d) 2010 and (e) 2017.

The number of UK companies that operated each of the four tax-advantaged Employee Share Schemes from 2000-01 to 2015-16 can be found on the gov.uk website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/companies-with-tax-advantaged-employee-share-schemes

Information for earlier years is not available.

Information for 2017-18 is due to be published in June 2019.

Mel Stride
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
17th Jan 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what information his Department holds on the number of UK employees who held shares in the company they worked for in (a) 1988, (b) 1990, (c) 2000, (d) 2010 and (e) 2017.

Complete information on the number of UK employees who hold shares in the company they work for is not held by HMRC.

HMRC publishes information on the number of employees who have acquired shares in their employer company through tax-advantaged share schemes in any particular year at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/employee-share-schemes-statistics

HMRC will not have information on shares acquired by employees in their employer company outside of these share schemes.

Mel Stride
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
17th Jan 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many UK companies benefited from the Save As You Earn scheme in (a) 1981, (b) 1990, (c) 2000, (d) 2010 and (e) 2017.

The number of UK companies that operated each of the four tax-advantaged Employee Share Schemes from 2000-01 to 2015-16 can be found on the gov.uk website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/companies-with-tax-advantaged-employee-share-schemes

Information for earlier years is not available.

Information for 2017-18 is due to be published in June 2019.

Mel Stride
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
17th Jan 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many UK companies benefited from a company share option plan in (a) 1981, (b) 1990, (c) 2000, (d) 2010 and (e) 2017.

The number of UK companies that operated each of the four tax-advantaged Employee Share Schemes from 2000-01 to 2015-16 can be found on the gov.uk website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/companies-with-tax-advantaged-employee-share-schemes

Information for earlier years is not available.

Information for 2017-18 is due to be published in June 2019.

Mel Stride
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
17th Jan 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many UK companies received Enterprise Management Incentives in (a) 2000, (b) 2010 and (c) 2017.

The number of UK companies that operated each of the four tax-advantaged Employee Share Schemes from 2000-01 to 2015-16 can be found on the gov.uk website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/companies-with-tax-advantaged-employee-share-schemes

Information for earlier years is not available.

Information for 2017-18 is due to be published in June 2019.

Mel Stride
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
17th Jan 2018
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many UK companies benefited from a share incentive plan in (a) 2000, (b) 2010 and (c) 2017.

The number of UK companies that operated each of the four tax-advantaged Employee Share Schemes from 2000-01 to 2015-16 can be found on the gov.uk website at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/companies-with-tax-advantaged-employee-share-schemes

Information for earlier years is not available.

Information for 2017-18 is due to be published in June 2019.

Mel Stride
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
14th Dec 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of Equitable Life policyholders who have received payments (a) of less than a quarter of their relative losses, (b) more than a quarter of their relative losses and (c) totalling their relative losses.

I refer the right honourable member to my answer of 7 November 2017 (PQ 110748).

Steve Barclay
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
8th Dec 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that no parents, particularly those on low incomes, will receive less financial support with tax-free childcare than they would with childcare vouchers.

The Government is committed to supporting working families with the cost of childcare. We are doubling the free childcare available to working parents of 3&4 year olds to 30 hours a week, saving them around £5,000 a year per child. In 2019/20 we will be spending around £6bn on childcare support – a record amount.

Childcare vouchers are only offered by a minority of employers and are unavailable to self-employed parents, or those who do not earn enough to participate in salary sacrifice schemes.

Tax-Free Childcare is designed to be fairer and better targeted. It will have a far wider reach than vouchers and is expected to benefit over 1 million working households. The minimum income level of just over £120 a week will support those parents earning the National Living Wage who are unable to use childcare vouchers. Under Tax Free Childcare many self-employed parents can get help with childcare costs for the first time.

Parents currently using vouchers will be able to continue using them, if they prefer, while they continue to work for the same employer and that employer continues to offer them.

29th Nov 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the Hartz Reforms on employment in Germany, what support his Department provides to people in marginal employment in the UK.

A key purpose of the Hartz reforms was to increase flexibility in the German labour market and reduce tax pressures on low-paid and temporary workers. It helped Germany stop a long-term increase in unemployment.

The UK unemployment rate currently stands at 4.3%, a 42 year low. The UK ranks very well internationally on labour market flexibility. It is a key strength of our economy and has played an important role in achieving the near record employment levels that we currently enjoy.

We also exempt many low-paid jobs from income tax. This government has increased the personal allowance, and as a result, 1.2m individuals will be taken out of income tax altogether by 2018-19 compared to 2015-16.

We are also introducing Universal Credit, a long overdue and necessary reform. It responds dynamically to changes in income and ensures that it always pays to work more.

28th Nov 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps his Department is taking to encourage the Financial Conduct Authority to regulate the rent-to-own sector by capping the total cost of goods bought through rent-to-own.

Treasury ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. This includes regular meetings with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to discuss relevant regulatory issues.

The government transferred the regulation of consumer credit, including rent-to-own, to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in 2014.

The government has given the FCA strong powers to protect consumers, including the power to cap all forms of credit, and the FCA can do so if it thinks it is necessary to protect consumers. In 2015, the FCA capped the cost of payday lending, and the FCA has said that it will keep the issue of capping the cost of credit in other markets under review.

The government welcomes the ongoing work of the FCA to review the high-cost credit market, including the rent-to-own sector. The FCA published a feedback statement in July 2017, noting concerns with rent-to-own, catalogue credit, home-collected credit, and overdrafts. The FCA aims to consult on proposed remedies in Spring 2018.

Steve Barclay
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
28th Nov 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to promote better access to affordable credit; and whether his Department has plans to create a national interest-free credit scheme available to people eligible for universal credit.

The government is committed to facilitating sustainable financial services that give consumers greater choice in accessing credit. This includes support for the credit union sector, which provides an accessible alternative to high-cost credit.

The government announced at Autumn Statement 2016 that under the Proceeds of Crime Act, from 2018 a greater proportion of funds recovered from illegal money lenders will be allocated to incentivize vulnerable people to join, save and borrow with a credit union instead of turning to loan sharks. In the Autumn Budget 2017, the government announced its intention to help the sector expand by increasing the number of potential members of credit unions from two million to three million.

New Universal Credit claimants can apply for advance payments, and claimants who have been in receipt of Universal Credit for six months are eligible to apply for an interest-free budgeting advance to cover unexpected expenses.

Mel Stride
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
24th Nov 2017
To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to introduce an independent NHS Pay Review Body.

The independent NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) exists and advises on the pay of NHS staff (this includes nurses, midwives, paramedics and all other staff on the national Agenda for Change pay system).

There is also an independent pay review body that advises on the pay of doctors and dentists, the Doctors and Dentists Remuneration Body (DDRB).

13th Nov 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what financial assistance he plans to provide to Kent Police in the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The Government is confident that we will secure the right deal for the UK’s exit from the European Union. We are working with the police to make appropriate plans should they be required. Any force which faces significant unexpected costs may apply for additional funding through the Police Special Grant in the first instance. Kent Police has made a request for funding through Special Grant in respect of planning costs, which is being considered.

18th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of current firearms legislation in controlling the risk to the public from the legal ownership of firearms.

The firearms licensing system is kept under review to safeguard against abuse and to maintain public safety. We have taken forward a range of measures to strengthen the controls including:

- two new offences to tighten controls on deactivated firearms and imitation firearms in the Policing and Crime Act 2017;

- a consultation on defining antique firearms in statute, to provide legal
clarity and prevent them falling into criminal hands. Responses to the consultation are currently being considered;

- a consultation on proposals to prohibit two types of firearm of particular concern: large calibre rifles and certain rapid firing rifles. Responses to the consultation are currently being considered; and,

- we have commenced a review of the regulation of air weapons.

The Government will continue to keep firearms legislation under review to
ensure it remains effective in preventing misuse, while ensuring lawful owners can continue to use their firearms safely.

18th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on changes to police pay in 2018-19.

The Home Secretary wrote to the Chair of the Police Remuneration Review Body on 7 December asking them to conduct their annual review of police pay for the 2018-19 pay round. Discussions with the Chancellor on the pay round for 2018-19 will be held in due course.

14th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment he has made of the effect of the proposals in the consultation on offensive and dangerous weapons, published in October 2017, to prohibit the private ownership of items on the offensive weapons list on people who currently possess such items; and what guidance her Department plans to issue to people on the legality of continued possession of such items.

The Government’s consultation on new legislation on offensive and dangerous weapons closed on 9 December 2017. We are currently considering the responses and the Government will publish its response to the consultation in early 2018.

Victoria Atkins
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
5th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will take steps to maintain police officer numbers in England in 2018-19; and if she will make a statement.

The Government has protected police spending since 2015. Since then, Po-lice and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) have received broadly flat cash direct resource funding and we are increasing investment in transformation and improved communications and technology capabilities.

We know that crime is changing, and we are sensitive to current pressures on policing. That is why I have undertaken a programme of engagement with the sector to understand the impact of changing demands, and to hear how the police are managing this. That includes what more can be done to improve productivity and efficiency, reduce bureaucracy, and make prudent use of financial reserves.

Decisions about the allocation of police resources and deployment of officers are for Chief Constables and democratically accountable PCCs. They are responsible for ensuring the needs of the local community are met.

24th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether an EU citizen who is the spouse of a UK citizen will require a visa or sponsor after the UK leaves the EU when that spouse has been absent from the UK for two years.

In future, an EU citizen spouse applying to join a UK citizen will be subject to either the same rules that apply to non-EU citizens joining UK citizens, or alternatively, to any post-exit immigration arrangements for EU citizens.

However, in her Florence speech, the Prime Minister proposed an implementation period of around two years after the UK leaves the EU. The framework for this period, which can be agreed under Article 50, would be the existing structure of EU rules and regulations.

24th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the absence of the Royal Air Force aerobatic team during part of the 2019 UK air display season, what steps his Department is taking to promote the Royal Air Force to a domestic audience in the next calendar year.

The tour of North America in 2019 by the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team is a large-scale tour which will support the UK prosperity agenda through the GREAT Britain campaign. The RAF will continue to engage with the domestic audience in the air and on the ground, and will build on the success of the RAF 100 campaign. In particular, other air display assets including Typhoon, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Falcons Parachute Team will be available to support a variety of events and their participation will be carefully prioritised to deliver maximum impact.

7th Feb 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to ensure that freeholders have equivalent rights to leaseholders to challenge unfair service charges.

The Government is committed to promoting fairness and transparency for leaseholders and freeholders.

On 21 December 2017, the Government set out a package of measures to tackle abuses and unfair practices in the leasehold market.

This includes bringing forward legislation as soon as Parliamentary time allows to ensure that freeholders who pay charges for the maintenance of communal areas and facilities on a private or mixed use estate, can access equivalent rights as leaseholders to challenge the reasonableness of service charges.

17th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the implications of the snap-back clauses in the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations for private individuals who are self-building.

Self builders are able to obtain an exemption from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) if they are building, or have commissioned the building of, a home for their own use. There are necessary and proportionate 'claw-back' provisions to help guard against any 'gaming' of CIL liabilities following the granting of an exemption. These provisions require the self builder benefitting from the exemption to occupy the dwelling as their main home for a minimum of three years, and not to otherwise sell or let the property during that period.

The exemptions process has to fit within the legislative process within which CIL operates. CIL is, by law, a set charge on new development and the regulations incorporate a series of standard trigger points. These are intended to provide consistency, reduce complexity and aid local authorities and developers in administering CIL. The Commencement Notice is one of these trigger points. The Commencement Notice marks the start of the time period which, for most of the available exemptions from CIL, exempted developments need to comply with in terms of the 'claw-back' requirements. Failure to submit a Commencement Notice can result in an exemption being lost.

The Government have announced an ambitious package of reforms to CIL and will be consulting on these in due course.

17th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to offer guidance to self-builders on serving a commencement notice within a timeframe that allows them a waiver from the Community Infrastructure Levy.

Self builders are able to obtain an exemption from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) if they are building, or have commissioned the building of, a home for their own use. There are necessary and proportionate 'claw-back' provisions to help guard against any 'gaming' of CIL liabilities following the granting of an exemption. These provisions require the self builder benefitting from the exemption to occupy the dwelling as their main home for a minimum of three years, and not to otherwise sell or let the property during that period.

The exemptions process has to fit within the legislative process within which CIL operates. CIL is, by law, a set charge on new development and the regulations incorporate a series of standard trigger points. These are intended to provide consistency, reduce complexity and aid local authorities and developers in administering CIL. The Commencement Notice is one of these trigger points. The Commencement Notice marks the start of the time period which, for most of the available exemptions from CIL, exempted developments need to comply with in terms of the 'claw-back' requirements. Failure to submit a Commencement Notice can result in an exemption being lost.

The Government have announced an ambitious package of reforms to CIL and will be consulting on these in due course.

17th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when the Government last reviewed its planning practice guidance relating to community infrastructure levy exemptions.

Self builders are able to obtain an exemption from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) if they are building, or have commissioned the building of, a home for their own use. There are necessary and proportionate 'claw-back' provisions to help guard against any 'gaming' of CIL liabilities following the granting of an exemption. These provisions require the self builder benefitting from the exemption to occupy the dwelling as their main home for a minimum of three years, and not to otherwise sell or let the property during that period.

The exemptions process has to fit within the legislative process within which CIL operates. CIL is, by law, a set charge on new development and the regulations incorporate a series of standard trigger points. These are intended to provide consistency, reduce complexity and aid local authorities and developers in administering CIL. The Commencement Notice is one of these trigger points. The Commencement Notice marks the start of the time period which, for most of the available exemptions from CIL, exempted developments need to comply with in terms of the 'claw-back' requirements. Failure to submit a Commencement Notice can result in an exemption being lost.

The Government have announced an ambitious package of reforms to CIL and will be consulting on these in due course.

18th Dec 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether it is compulsory for local authorities to offer residents a choice of how they wish to receive communications.

It is not compulsory for local authorities to offer residents such a choice. The Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity provides a series of principles which they should have regard to. Ultimately, it is up to local authorities how they make best use of communications channels to ensure residents are appropriately informed.


Marcus Jones
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
21st Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will introduce measures to prioritise all brownfield sites for development in (a) Kent and (b) England.

The redevelopment of brownfield land, if not of high environmental value, is already strongly encouraged in our National Planning Policy Framework. The Framework also asks local authorities to consider including policies in their Local Plans to support the reuse of brownfield land. However, each brownfield site is different, and local authorities need to consider whether the land is available, viable and suitable to build on, taking into account the specific features of each site.

Government has introduced a number of measures to increase the uptake of brownfield land, including accelerating disposal of public sector brownfield sites for housing, extending permitted development to give new life to thousands of under-used buildings, reforming the Community Infrastructure Levy arrangements to incentivise building reuse, and launching the £3 billion Home Building Fund to help unblock more brownfield land for new homes. Each local authority is also required to publish an easy-to-access local Brownfield Register by the end of 2017. This will enable house builders, custom builders and investors to identify sites suitable for new homes.

Our Housing White Paper consultation included proposals for further increasing housing on suitable brownfield land. We will publish our conclusions and propose any revisions to the Framework as soon as possible in 2018.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
21st Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, if he will introduce measures to ensure that developers meet existing commitments before further public land is released to those developers.

The Government is clear that where sites have planning permission they should move ahead as quickly as possible. The most important step is for developers and authorities to work closely together, at a local level, to ensure that, once planning permission is granted, building on those sites is taken forward as quickly as possible.

The Public Land for Housing Programmes was designed to specifically address the shortage of land for housing and we want to ensure that homes are built on that land. We are now monitoring the progress of sites sold through both the 2011-15 and 2015-20 Public Land for Housing Programmes, in order to estimate the number of homes under construction and completed.

At Autumn Budget, the Government announced that a review panel will be set up, chaired by Sir Oliver Letwin MP. This review will explain the significant gap between housing completions and the amount of land allocated or permissioned and make recommendations for closing the gap. The Review will provide an interim report in time for Spring Statement 2018 and a final report at Budget 2018.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
17th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of adequacy and timeliness of Sevenoaks District Council's new Housing Strategy.

We have not made any assessment of Sevenoaks District Council's housing strategy. There is no specific requirement for my Department to assess the housing strategy of each Local Authority, however, the Secretary of State appoints the Planning Inspectorate to independently assess each Local Plan to ensure it is sound prior to their adoption.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
17th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to protect green belt land.

The National Planning Policy Framework sets out strong protections for the Green Belt and states that inappropriate development there should be refused planning permission unless in very special circumstances. The Framework also makes clear that a local authority may alter the shape of its Green Belt only in exceptional circumstances, using the Local Plan process. The Framework does not define these ‘exceptional circumstances’. However, in the Housing White Paper, Fixing our broken housing market, we proposed that a local authority should be able to alter a Green Belt boundary only when it demonstrates that it has examined all other reasonable options for meeting its identified development needs, including:

  • effective use of suitable brownfield and estate regeneration;
  • the potential offered by under-used land (including surplus public sector land);
  • optimising the density of development; and
  • exploring whether other authorities can help to meet some of the identified development requirement.

We have been analysing the consultation responses on this proposed clarification, and will announce our conclusions as soon as possible in 2018.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
16th Nov 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to ensure that developers build properties based on community need and make use of brownfield sites.

Our consultation Planning for the right homes in the right places, which closed on 9 November 2017, proposed a new, transparent and consistent method for calculating each community’s housing need.

The redevelopment of brownfield land, if not of high environmental value, is strongly encouraged in our National Planning Policy Framework. To support this policy, the Government has accelerated disposal of public sector brownfield for housing; extended permitted development to give new life to under-used buildings; reformed Community Infrastructure Levy arrangements to incentivise building re-use; and launched the £3 billion Home Building Fund which will help to make more brownfield available for new homes. Moreover, each local authority is required to publish, by the end of December, an easy-to-access local Brownfield Register. This will bring many more sites suitable for new homes to the attention of house-builders and custom builders. Our earlier consultation on the Housing White Paper included further proposals for increasing housing on suitable brownfield land.

We are carefully studying the response to both these consultations, and will announce our conclusions as soon as possible in 2018.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
8th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the potential effect on the ‎legal profession of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

The Government recognises its responsibility to fully consider all possible outcomes of the negotiations. The professional and business services technical notice published by the Government on 12 October sets out the implications of no deal for legal professionals and business owners, and directs them to relevant regulatory bodies for detailed information.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport
30th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the Law Commission’s 2001 report on Cohabitation.

The Law Commission’s proposals on cohabitation are contained in its 2007 report.

The Government will be considering how to proceed in relation to the Law Commission’s proposals in the context of any further reforms to the family justice system.

Lucy Frazer
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport