Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.
e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.
If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.
If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).
Tom’s Law - Give police the power to suspend driving licencesGov Responded - 11 Feb 2021 Debated on - 10 Jan 2022 View Paul Howell's petition debate contributions
We want Police Officers to be able to provide a suspension notice from the moment an offender is caught drink, drug or dangerous driving until they appear in court. It would then be for the Judge to decide whether a ban continues or they are able to continue to drive again.
These initiatives were driven by Paul Howell, 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.
Paul Howell has not been granted any Urgent Questions
Paul Howell has not been granted any Adjournment Debates
A Bill to transfer monies from the Dormant Assets Scheme into a new national endowment called the Community Wealth Fund, to be invested for the purposes of improving the local environments and quality of life of deprived communities, including through building social capital and social infrastructure; and for connected purposes.
Paul Howell has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting
We are investing £9 million through the Levelling Up Parks Fund to regenerate green spaces across the UK as part of our Levelling Up agenda. The scheme will be broader than earlier Pocket Parks programmes and further details will be announced shortly.
The Official Receiver investigated the failure of Carillion plc (“the Company”) and reported to the Secretary of State in relation to the conduct of the Company’s directors. Consequently, director disqualification proceedings were issued on 12 January 2021 against 8 directors and former directors of the Company. The proceedings are ongoing.
The Omicron Hospitality and Leisure Grant provides local councils with one-off grant funding to support hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses in England. Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-omicron-hospitality-and-leisure-grant.
The Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) provides local councils with grant funding to support businesses that are severely impacted by coronavirus and the rise of the Omicron variant, which are not eligible for other grant funding. Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-youre-eligible-for-the-coronavirus-additional-restrictions-grant.
As for previous schemes, data on the funding provided to councils to support their local businesses through the COVID-19 business support grants is published and available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-grant-funding-local-authority-payments-to-small-and-medium-businesses.
As for previous schemes, we will also monitor and publish data on funding spent per Local Authority as it becomes available. This will also depend on Local Authorities having the capacity to report back to Central Government.
We have commissioned an external evaluation of the Business Support Grant programme, for the effectiveness of its delivery.
The recently published National Space Strategy set out our commitment to supporting businesses across all parts of the UK, helping to develop clusters based on areas of local excellence and addressable market opportunities.
The UK Space Agency has co-funded a Centre of Excellence for Satellite applications in the North-east, in partnership with the Satellite Applications Catapult, since 2014. This has helped to forge collaborative partnerships across the region’s space sector.
This has provided a strong platform and evidence base for the Northeast Space Hub and the region clearly has an important role to play to achieve our ambitions of making the UK one of the most innovative and attractive space economies in the world.
The Government is determined to deliver great connectivity to every community in the UK and is working to close the digital divide between rural, suburban, and urban areas. We are creating a competition-friendly environment to promote deployment in areas where this is commercially viable and we are investing £5 billion through Project Gigabit to support roll-out in less commercial locations, including rural areas. In three years national coverage has rocketed from six per cent to over 66 per cent and we have already upgraded 600,000 premises in hard-to-reach areas.
Our Project Gigabit procurements are prioritising delivery to rural, hard-to-reach premises and to those with the lowest broadband speeds. Broadband providers have so far been invited to bid for contracts worth up to £292 million to upgrade up to 187,000 premises across Cumbria, Durham, Northumberland, Cambridgeshire, North Dorset and West Cornwall - with initial deployment expected to commence later this year.
As part of Project Gigabit the government is also investing up to £210 million in the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme to support rural communities with the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections. The scheme provides a micro-grant of up to £1,500 for residents and up to £3,500 for businesses towards the cost of installing gigabit-capable broadband. Further information is available on the gigabit voucher website including eligibility criteria and how to apply for the scheme.
The Government is committed to delivering nationwide gigabit capable connectivity as soon as possible. Much progress has already been made, with full fibre coverage doubling in the past year to reach 10% of UK premises, according to the latest Ofcom figures.
This Government will continue to take action to remove barriers to network rollout and to ensure that those in the hardest to reach areas are not left behind. We have introduced legislation to make it easier for operators to deploy broadband in blocks of flats, will be legislating to mandate gigabit connectivity in new builds and will invest £5 billion of funding to support gigabit rollout in hard to reach areas.
As the birthplace of our modern railway system, the Stockton and Darlington Railway is an important part of our nation’s heritage and I fully support efforts aimed at celebrating its bicentenary in 2025.
Through their Heritage Action Zones, Historic England is funding a £700,000 programme aimed at rejuvenating and restoring the 26 mile stretch of historic railway.
This programme will help realise the railway’s potential to become a major heritage attraction and international visitor destination.
The Department is aware of the importance of giving schools as much notice as possible of future funding and has confirmed that the Primary physical education (PE) and sport premium will continue at £320 million for the 2021/22 academic year. Schools will also be permitted to carry forward any unspent PE and sport premium funding from the current academic year to ensure that this is spent to benefit primary pupils’ physical education, school sport, and physical activity recovery.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has confirmed that School Games Organisers are now fully funded for the 2021/22 financial year. Funding beyond that point will be subject to future Government Spending Review decisions.
The Government has committed to provide an update to the School Sport and Activity Action Plan this year. It is working closely with sport organisations through the school sport and activity sector forum which represents over 50 organisations. The Department for Education and DCMS ministers recently hosted a roundtable with representatives of the forum to discuss the Government’s long-term approach to PE and school sport and the role they can play in supporting education recovery.
Schools have flexibility to work with organisations to support the delivery of high-quality PE and sport to their pupils. It is up to schools to decide whether to use their Primary PE and sport premium to pay for the sort of support offered by Go Well.
The National Funding Formula commits extra funding to pupils with additional needs, including deprivation, low prior attainment, English as an additional language and mobility. This is because evidence shows that pupils with these characteristics are more likely to fall behind and need extra support to reach their full potential. In 2020-21, £6.3 billion will be allocated to 5-16 year olds with additional needs in England. Areas with high levels of additional needs will attract more funding and as a result Sedgefield receives higher than average per pupil funding. Next year, primary schools and secondary schools in Sedgefield will, on average, attract £4,496 and £5,609 per pupil respectively. This is above the national average of £4,352 for primary schools and of £5,578 for secondary schools.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has increased the number of vocational driving tests available per week to 3,000. This is a 50% increase from before the pandemic, achieved through the use of overtime and moving additional staff into testing.
DVSA has recruited 300 new car examiners to ease demand on vocational examiners, who conduct HGV driving tests, and is also recruiting 40 more vocational examiners. In addition, the delegation of the reversing manoeuvres in the HGV driving test to approved trainers, announced on 10 September 2021, will allow vocational examiners to complete more driving tests per day.
The forthcoming regulatory change to remove the requirement to take a test to tow a trailer with a car, also announced on 10 September, will result in around an additional 30,000 vocational tests a year being made available, as most of the examiners who conducted car and trailer tests are also qualified to conduct HGV and HGV and trailer tests. A further 20,000 vocational tests will be made available through removing the requirement to take a rigid lorry (Cat C) test before an articulated vehicle (Cat C+E) test.
General practitioners (GPs) have been asked to prioritise COVID-19 booster vaccinations and emergency care. While appointments may be postponed, NHS 111 and community pharmacy teams are available to provide health advice.
We have agreed temporary changes to increase capacity in general practice. This includes extending the period of self-certification to access Statutory Sick Pay, suspending requests for medical information from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (excluding bus and lorry drivers) and suspending the re-certification requirement for existing prescription charge medical exemptions.
Travellers who have received a positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test in the last 90 days will be required to take a PCR test on their return from international travel. There is no exemption to the testing or isolation requirements for entering England on the basis of natural immunity.
Novavax trial participants who are part of a priority group, such as health and social care workers, older people and people with certain medical conditions, are able to receive a booster vaccine on top of their trial doses. Individuals will be offered a booster dose by either their clinical trial team or via the National Health Service.
NHS England and NHS Improvement have committed to midwifery-led continuity of carer, so that it becomes the default model of care for women using maternity services across England by March 2023. NHS England and NHS Improvement have provided local maternity systems with £90.05 million between 2018 to 2021 to fulfil transformational objectives, including implementing continuity of carer models. An additional £96 million was announced earlier this year, the majority of which will be invested in additional midwives and obstetric capacity.
Upcoming guidance on midwifery-led continuity of carer will include advice on the implementation of maternal medicine-focused continuity of carer teams, which could be used to accommodate women deemed higher risk due to previous loss, whilst still offering continuity of the midwife caring for them.
Work is ongoing to determine which non-United Kingdom vaccines, including but not limited to those recognised by the World Health Organization, could be recognised in this country.
The Government of Ukraine has confirmed that foreign nationals fighting as members of their armed forces are Prisoners of War (PoW). This includes British Nationals captured by Russian forces or proxies and detained in non-government controlled areas of Ukraine. All PoWs must be treated in accordance with International Humanitarian Law, including the Geneva Conventions. HMG is working with the Government of Ukraine on British Nationals detainees, PoWs and potential breaches of International Humanitarian Law and liaising closely with other international partners.
We remain committed to securing the immediate and permanent release of unfairly detained British nationals in Iran, including Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Anoosheh Ashoori and Morad Tahbaz. The Foreign Secretary and I continue to raise Iran's practice of detaining British dual nationals with our Iranian counterparts. Our Ambassador in Tehran also continues to raise these cases with the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The IMS debt is a longstanding issue and we have been consistently clear that we continue to explore options to resolve this 40-year old case. We will not comment further as discussions are ongoing.
At last year’s Spending Round, the Chancellor announced a £7.1 billion increase in schools funding by 2022-23 compared to this year.
This will level up funding across the country and ensure at least £5,000 a year for every secondary school pupil next year, and £4,000 a year for every primary school pupil by 2021-22.
The official statistics on crime and fire do not have a comparable definition of arson which is why the two sets of figures may appear inconsistent.
When a victim reports arson to the police, it will be recorded by them in line with the legal definition set out in the Criminal Damage Act of 1971 which is ‘an act of attempting to destroy or damage property, and/or in doing so, to endanger life’.
In contrast, the official statistics on fire publish information on the number of deliberate fires attended by the fire service where the motive for the fire was ‘thought to be’ or ‘suspected to be’ deliberate. This is a broader definition than the criminal offence of arson and will include fires that have not been reported to the police.
We have announced a sales, fees and charges co-payment scheme to compensate for irrecoverable losses in 2020/21 where those are above the level they could have been expected to plan for. We will also extend the period over which councils must manage shortfalls in local tax income relating to 2020-21. Further details of how we will support councils to manage tax losses will be announced at the spending review.