Richard Foord Portrait

Richard Foord

Liberal Democrat - Tiverton and Honiton

First elected: 23rd June 2022

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Defence)

(since July 2022)

6 APPG memberships (as of 24 Jan 2024)
Farming, Future Generations, Kosovo, Modern Conflict, Ukraine, Whistleblowing
1 Former APPG membership
Armed Forces Covenant
Electricity and Gas Transmission (Compensation) Bill
18th Jan 2023 - 23rd Jan 2023


Department Event
Monday 25th March 2024
14:30
Ministry of Defence
Oral questions - Main Chamber
25 Mar 2024, 2:30 p.m.
Defence (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 31st January 2024
Political Parties, Elections and Referendums
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 12 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 0 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 273 Noes - 190
Speeches
Friday 23rd February 2024
NHS Property Services
I understand the Minister’s point about reinvesting the proceeds from selling what might have been regarded as excess NHS property, …
Written Answers
Monday 19th February 2024
Insulin
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure …
Early Day Motions
Wednesday 10th January 2024
Occupied Palestinian Territories and arms exports to Israel
That this House notes with deep concern the number of lives lost in the Israel-Gaza conflict; recognises tensions involving other …
Bills
Tuesday 16th January 2024
Military Action (Parliamentary Approval) Bill 2023-24
A Bill to require parliamentary approval for the deployment of UK armed forces for armed conflict; to provide for exemptions …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 12th June 2023
8. Miscellaneous
From 23 May 2023, a member of the Advisory Council for the Council on Geostrategy, an independent non-profit organisation that …
EDM signed
Thursday 22nd February 2024
Bus services
That this House recognises the dire state of bus services throughout the country and is concerned that bus provision has …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 9th January 2024
Schools (Mental Health Professionals) (No. 2) Bill 2023-24
A Bill to make provision to require every school to have access to a qualified mental health professional; and for …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Richard Foord has voted in 282 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

7 Mar 2023 - Public Order Bill - View Vote Context
Richard Foord voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 2 Liberal Democrat Aye votes vs 9 Liberal Democrat No votes
Tally: Ayes - 116 Noes - 299
27 Mar 2023 - Illegal Migration Bill - View Vote Context
Richard Foord voted No - against a party majority - in line with the party majority and in line with the House
One of 1 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 13 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 244 Noes - 308
View All Richard Foord Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

Speeches made during Parliamentary debates are recorded in Hansard. For ease of browsing we have grouped debates into individual, departmental and legislative categories.

Sparring Partners
James Heappey (Conservative)
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
(23 debate interactions)
Ben Wallace (Conservative)
(20 debate interactions)
Andrew Mitchell (Conservative)
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) (Minister for Development)
(16 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Ministry of Defence
(47 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(37 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Richard Foord's debates

Tiverton and Honiton Petitions

e-Petitions are administered by Parliament and allow members of the public to express support for a particular issue.

If an e-petition reaches 10,000 signatures the Government will issue a written response.

If an e-petition reaches 100,000 signatures the petition becomes eligible for a Parliamentary debate (usually Monday 4.30pm in Westminster Hall).

Petitions with highest Tiverton and Honiton signature proportion
Petitions with most Tiverton and Honiton signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

We want the Government to amend the Grocery Supply Code of Practice (GSCP) to require retailers, without exception, to:

- Buy what they agreed to buy
- Pay what they agreed to pay
- Pay on time

We believe the current GSCP is inadequate and doesn't protect farmers from unfair behaviour.

We want the UK to be neutral in the conflict between Israel and Palestine, and withdraw offers of support for Israel.

We want the Government to seek a ceasefire and also seek to address the root cause of the current conflict by promoting dialogue and advocating for the end of Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The UK Government should urge the Israeli Government to stop the blockade of Food, Fuel and Electricity to the already impoverished city of Gaza

A new offence should be created and legal sanctions should be introduced to stop MPs intentionally or recklessly misleading the public. This could restore a degree of trust in the UK's political system.

The Government should introduce legislation to make lying in the House of Commons a criminal offence. This would mean that all MPs, including Ministers, would face a serious penalty for knowingly making false statements in the House of Commons, as is the case in a court of law.

Swifts have declined by over 50% in the UK. Adult swifts, known for site-fidelity, return to the same nests. We want swift bricks to be required in all new housing, to provide homes for these birds. Surveys show these are used by red-listed swifts, house martins, starlings and house sparrows.

Make it illegal for retailers and services to decline cash payments.

All businesses (excepting internet-based ones) and public services in which monetary transactions take place should be required by law to accept cash as a method of payment


Latest EDMs signed by Richard Foord

21st February 2024
Richard Foord signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 22nd February 2024

Bus services

Tabled by: Sarah Dyke (Liberal Democrat - Somerton and Frome)
That this House recognises the dire state of bus services throughout the country and is concerned that bus provision has decreased by 28% since 2011; understands the important role buses have to play in the fight against climate change; acknowledges the growing isolation of vulnerable and elderly people in rural …
6 signatures
(Most recent: 23 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Liberal Democrat: 3
Independent: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
19th February 2024
Richard Foord signed this EDM as a sponsor on Wednesday 21st February 2024

Death of Alexei Navalny

Tabled by: Jim Shannon (Democratic Unionist Party - Strangford)
That this House deeply regrets the death of Alexei Navalny; notes that he was a Russian opposition leader, lawyer, anti-corruption activist and political prisoner; highlights the sad news that his family have been denied access to his body and expresses sincere condolences and sympathies to them at this time; urges …
9 signatures
(Most recent: 22 Feb 2024)
Signatures by party:
Liberal Democrat: 4
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Scottish National Party: 2
Independent: 1
View All Richard Foord's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Richard Foord, 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.


Richard Foord has not been granted any Urgent Questions

3 Adjournment Debates led by Richard Foord

Friday 23rd February 2024
Tuesday 19th December 2023
Monday 13th November 2023

4 Bills introduced by Richard Foord


A Bill to require parliamentary approval for the deployment of UK armed forces for armed conflict; to provide for exemptions from that requirement in cases of emergency or in respect of compliance with treaty obligations; to make provision for retrospective parliamentary approval in certain circumstances; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 40%

Last Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 23rd February 2024

A Bill to confer powers on and place duties on the Environment Agency in respect of the monitoring of water quality; to make provision about environmental permits for water discharge activities; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Monday 11th December 2023

A Bill to require the Secretary of State to establish a task force to produce a strategy for tackling rural crime; to require the Secretary of State to implement the strategy; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 11th July 2023

A Bill to provide for a right to camp in National Parks; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 25th January 2023

72 Written Questions in the current parliament

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
1 Other Department Questions
8th Mar 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps the Government is taking to help ensure companies make reasonable adjustments for customers with a disability.

The Equality Act 2010 places a duty on businesses and service providers to make reasonable adjustments to improve disabled people’s access to goods and services, so they are not placed at a substantial disadvantage compared to non-disabled people. This reasonable adjustment duty is an anticipatory duty, meaning that those who provide goods, facilities and services to members of the public are expected to anticipate the reasonable adjustments that disabled customers may require, including auxiliary aids. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has produced guidance for service providers on reasonable adjustments and its Statutory Codes of Practice provide more detailed information on the legal responsibilities of service providers and employers to make such adjustments.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
4th Jul 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many times the Prime Minister has used the VIP RAF Voyager or equivalent aircraft to fly internally in the UK since 1 January 2022; and what the (a) locations of departure and arrival were and (b) cost was for each of those journeys.

Information on air travel for 2021-22 will be published alongside the audited Cabinet Office annual report and accounts.

31st Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what assessment she has made of the impact of the withdrawal of the Warm Homes Discount on (a) people in receipt of disability benefits and (b) other vulnerable people.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Energy Efficiency and Green Finance gave on 17 April 2023 to Question HL7050.

In addition, the Government produced impact assessments for the consultation in 2021 on expanding and reforming the Warm Home Discount scheme in England and Wales and for the publication of the Government Response in 2022, which are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/warm-home-discount-better-targeted-support-from-2022

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, whether she is taking steps to provide support for for households who no longer qualify for the Warm Homes Discount due to changing eligibility criteria.

Following public consultation in the summer of 2021, the Government expanded and reformed the Warm Home Discount in England and Wales from 2022.

We reformed the scheme to standardise the criteria, provide the majority of rebates automatically, and focus the support on households in fuel poverty. We recognise the cost-of-living challenges families are facing, which is why we are spending £104 billion supporting households with bills.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, how many people qualified for the Warm Homes Discount in winter (a) 2022-23 and (b) 2023-24.

For 2022/23, I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave on 7 September 2023 to Question UIN 195896.

For 2023/24, the Government will publish statistics on eligibility for a rebate under the core group of the Warm Home Discount scheme in the summer. The final figures on the support provided in the 2023/24 scheme year will be confirmed in Ofgem’s annual report in late 2024 or early 2025.

Amanda Solloway
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
28th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many high street businesses are currently at risk of financial insolvency in each region of England.

While there is no established definition of a business at risk of financial insolvency, the most recent Monthly Insolvency Statistics produced by the Insolvency Service show that in September 2022 there were 143 registered companies operating in the retail industry in England and Wales that became insolvent. This represents 8 per cent of all insolvencies in September. The equivalent figures for September 2021 were 94 registered companies representing 6 per cent of insolvencies in that month. The Insolvency Service does not provide insolvency data for each region of England.

Source: Insolvency Service, Monthly Insolvency Statistics (October 2022).

Kevin Hollinrake
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade)
12th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he will take to ensure the energy bill discount reaches rural households off the gas and electricity grids.

The Alternative Fuel Payment will provide a one-off payment to UK households that use alternative fuels for heating. This will come in addition to the £400 provided by the Energy Bills Support Scheme, and a further £800 of one-off support provided to eight million of the most vulnerable households to help with the cost of living.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what financial support his Department provides to help (a) community organisations, (b) community projects and (c) self-funded charities that are not in receipt of funding from local government to deal with rising energy costs in winter 2022.

The details of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme were announced on 21 September 2022, initially running for 6 months, covering energy use from 1 October 2022 until 31 March 2023. The Government will provide a discount on energy bills for all eligible non-domestic customers, including businesses, the voluntary sector and public sector, whose current gas and electricity prices have been significantly inflated in light of global energy prices.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government is taking steps to provide financial support to (a) community organisations and (b) self-funding charities to help them become more energy efficient.

Charities and non-profit organisations may be entitled to a reduction in VAT, and exclusion from the main rates of the Climate Change Levy on the energy they use for non-business purposes. Government is also bringing forward an exemption on business rates for green technology.

These organisations can also search for local schemes that provide both advice and grants on gov.uk.

In addition, the Government has announced the Energy Bill Relief Scheme, to protect all businesses, voluntary sector, and public sector organisations against rising gas and electricity bills.

The Government is developing options to deliver additional energy efficiency support to businesses.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
5th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what progress his Department has made on providing support to households that will not be reached through the £400 energy bills discount.

On 29th July, the Government set out further details of the Energy Bills Support Scheme (EBSS) following the technical consultation which ran from April to May.

As part of this package, the Government confirmed that further funding will be available to provide equivalent support of £400 for energy bills for the households which will not be reached through the EBSS. This includes those who do not have a domestic electricity meter or a direct relationship with an energy supplier.

The Government will be announcing details in the autumn on eligibility and how additional households will receive the £400 of support.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
22nd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what the real-terms change to funding for youth services has been in each year since 2015.

The Government recognises the vital role that youth services and activities play in improving the life chances and wellbeing of young people. In England, between 2015 - 2021, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), including the National Citizen Service (NCS), provided over £1.1 billion to the youth sector. Over this Spending Review Period, DCMS is investing over £500 million in youth services to deliver the National Youth Guarantee, a government commitment that by 2025, every young person will have access to regular clubs and activities, adventures away from home and opportunities to volunteer.

As set out in section 507B of the Education Act 1996, Local Authorities have a statutory duty to ‘secure, so far as is reasonably practicable, sufficient provision of educational and recreational leisure-time activities for young people’. This is funded from the Local Government settlement, the majority of which is un-ringfenced, allowing local authorities to spend on services according to local priorities, including on youth services. The settlement is anticipated to be almost £60 billion this year (FY 23/24) for councils in England - a 9% increase on the previous year. Details of all Local Authorities’ annual spending on youth services in England can be found in Section 251 data published on gov.uk.

DCMS is committed to working with Youth Sector organisations and Local Authorities to review and improve the Local Authority Statutory Duty Guidance for Youth Services. We will publish the outcomes of the review in due course.

The devolved administrations of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland are responsible for their own youth services.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, whether the Government plans to make additional funding available for youth services in the UK.

The Government recognises the vital role that youth services and activities play in improving the life chances and wellbeing of young people. In England, between 2015 - 2021, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), including the National Citizen Service (NCS), provided over £1.1 billion to the youth sector. Over this Spending Review Period, DCMS is investing over £500 million in youth services to deliver the National Youth Guarantee, a government commitment that by 2025, every young person will have access to regular clubs and activities, adventures away from home and opportunities to volunteer.

As set out in section 507B of the Education Act 1996, Local Authorities have a statutory duty to ‘secure, so far as is reasonably practicable, sufficient provision of educational and recreational leisure-time activities for young people’. This is funded from the Local Government settlement, the majority of which is un-ringfenced, allowing local authorities to spend on services according to local priorities, including on youth services. The settlement is anticipated to be almost £60 billion this year (FY 23/24) for councils in England - a 9% increase on the previous year. Details of all Local Authorities’ annual spending on youth services in England can be found in Section 251 data published on gov.uk.

DCMS is committed to working with Youth Sector organisations and Local Authorities to review and improve the Local Authority Statutory Duty Guidance for Youth Services. We will publish the outcomes of the review in due course.

The devolved administrations of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland are responsible for their own youth services.

Stuart Andrew
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how many Project Gigabit vouchers have been issued since June 2022.

Building Digital UK publishes quarterly updates on the progress of Project Gigabit. Between April and November 2022, 31,900 vouchers were issued under the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme. These figures are provisional and will be confirmed in Building Digital UK’s 2022-23 Performance Report.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how long the current average wait is for Project Gigabit vouchers to be issued is following a successful application.

Vouchers for the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme are usually issued within 48 hours of Building Digital UK receiving confirmation that the beneficiary has validated their details, confirming the application. In certain instances, this timeframe can be extended while BDUK awaits the mandatory evidence that is required for a project to proceed.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
14th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will publish figures on the amount of time taken for her Department to review and approve applications for Project Gigabit vouchers.

BDUK does not publish figures on the average amount of time taken to review applications for the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme.

BDUK is committed to working with all suppliers registered to the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme to ensure that projects are sequenced appropriately and align with the suppliers’ capacity to deliver the projects.

Projects that have been deemed as a high priority by the supplier can be submitted, reviewed and approved within 48 hours of a supplier highlighting a project to BDUK. Similarly, projects can be deprioritised by a supplier if the build date is further in the future, meaning that the review and approval process can take longer.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
27th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will publish a list of (a) the projects funded and (b) the amount of funding each project has received through Project Gigabit.

Project Gigabit was launched in March 2021 and its spend for the financial year 2021-22 will be reported through DCMS’s Annual Report and Accounts, which will be published in due course.

In April 2022, Building Digital UK (BDUK) became an Executive Agency of DCMS, and will publish its own Annual Report and Accounts, including details of Project Gigabit spend, from next year.

BDUK also publishes quarterly updates on the Project Gigabit Delivery plan and procurement pipeline for the £5 billion gigabit broadband roll out, with the most recent Summer Update published in August 2022.

We have already launched procurements with a value of over £700 million to deliver gigabit connections to hard-to-reach homes and businesses across the UK, and we recently signed our first contracts in North Dorset and Teesdale in Durham.

In addition to our Project Gigabit procurements, through the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme and its previous iterations, we have issued over 100,000 vouchers worth more than £214 million. Over 73,000 of these vouchers have been used to connect premises to gigabit-capable broadband.

In July 2022 we announced a joint £82 million investment with the Department for Education (DfE) to connect up to 3,000 primary schools with gigabit broadband over the next three years.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether she is taking steps to ensure the provision of non-dairy milk products in (a) schools and (b) other early-years learning environments.

The government’s School Food Standards (SFS) regulate the food and drink provided at both lunchtime and other times of the school day. Although schools are required to make milk available, the SFS (Schedule 1) also enables schools to provide a variety of other drinks including plain soya, rice or oat drinks enriched with calcium and combination, and flavoured variations of these drinks to suit particular medical, dietary and cultural needs. School food policies work best when schools discuss them with parents and pupils, so that parents can raise pupils’ particular dietary needs.

There is a requirement within the early years foundation stage (EYFS) statutory framework that all registered early years settings must ensure that: ‘where children are provided with meals, snacks and drinks, they must be healthy, balanced and nutritious’. The EYFS also states that before a child is admitted to the setting the provider must also obtain information about any special dietary requirements, preferences and food allergies that the child has, and any special health requirements.

The department believes that schools and early year settings are best placed to make decisions about their food policies, taking into account local circumstances and the needs of their children. In doing so, the department expects settings to make reasonable adjustments for children with particular requirements, for example to reflect dietary and cultural needs.

Damian Hinds
Minister of State (Education)
7th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps she is taking to help support school bus services; and what steps she is taking with stakeholders to protect existing school bus routes from cutbacks.

​​The Department’s school transport policy aims to ensure that no pupil is unable to attend school because of a lack of transport. Local Authorities must arrange free travel to school for pupils aged 5 to 16 who attend their nearest school and cannot walk there due to distance, route safety, or as a result of special educational needs, disability or mobility problems. There are additional rights to free transport for low income families, aimed at helping them exercise school choice.

​The majority of central Government funding for home to school transport is made available to Local Authorities through the Local Government Finance Settlement (LGFS), administered by the Department for Levelling up, Housing and Communities. The Department for Education provides grant funding to Local Authorities as a contribution towards the cost of extended rights transport. This is £45.8 million in the 2023/24 financial year.

​The Department recognises that Local Authorities are delivering services in a challenging environment. The Department is working with other Government departments and with the sector to understand the challenges they are facing.

28th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when the next allocation of School Rebuilding Programme funding will take place.

The Department intends to confirm the next schools prioritised for the School Rebuilding Programme shortly. Details will be published on GOV.UK.

13th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to utilise new technology to support people's physical and mental wellbeing in educational settings.

Schools, colleges, and universities have the flexibility to decide what provision is appropriate for their students’ mental and physical wellbeing. This may include the use of technology, such as apps and fitness trackers, but it is for individual educational establishments to decide whether and how technology is appropriate to their educational contexts and circumstances.

27th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with the National Farmers Union on tackling rural crime.

Defra Ministers meet regularly with the NFU on a wide range of issues including rural crimes such as fly tipping and livestock worrying.

27th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether her Department is taking steps to (a) review the breeds of dog covered by and (b) update the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

We currently have no plans to review Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. The existing legal framework for dog control equips the police and local authorities with appropriate powers to tackle dangerous dogs and irresponsible dog ownership. We are working in partnership with the police, local authorities and animal welfare organisations to ensure that the full range of existing dog control powers are effectively applied to encourage responsible dog ownership and reduce the risk of dog attacks.

27th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when she last met the Neighbourhood Watch Network to discuss rural crime.

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has not met the Neighbourhood Watch Network on rural crime issues.

28th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much has issued been to South West Water in fines since 1 January 2019.

The following fines have been imposed on water companies directly by Ofwat and as a result of prosecutions brought by the Environment Agency and the Drinking Water Inspectorate.

Fines imposed on all water companies

Year

Number of prosecutions / fines

Total fines

2019

8

£6,756,725

2020

3

£852,000

2021

8

£102,490,001

2022

11

£4,448,083

In addition to fines, water companies face other financial penalties such as financial undertakings from companies secured by Ofwat following enforcement cases. These include rebates to customers and money paid to charities and community groups.
Water companies can face financial penalties if they underperform against performance targets. Ofwat recently announced penalties for 2021-22, with almost £135 million being returned to customers. A breakdown of these penalties by water company can be found at: Final determinations of in-period outcome delivery incentives for 2021-22.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many fines were issued to South West Water since 1 January 2019.

The following fines have been imposed on water companies directly by Ofwat and as a result of prosecutions brought by the Environment Agency and the Drinking Water Inspectorate.

Fines imposed on all water companies

Year

Number of prosecutions / fines

Total fines

2019

8

£6,756,725

2020

3

£852,000

2021

8

£102,490,001

2022

11

£4,448,083

In addition to fines, water companies face other financial penalties such as financial undertakings from companies secured by Ofwat following enforcement cases. These include rebates to customers and money paid to charities and community groups.
Water companies can face financial penalties if they underperform against performance targets. Ofwat recently announced penalties for 2021-22, with almost £135 million being returned to customers. A breakdown of these penalties by water company can be found at: Final determinations of in-period outcome delivery incentives for 2021-22.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many fines have been issued to water companies every year since 2019.

The following fines have been imposed on water companies directly by Ofwat and as a result of prosecutions brought by the Environment Agency and the Drinking Water Inspectorate.

Fines imposed on all water companies

Year

Number of prosecutions / fines

Total fines

2019

8

£6,756,725

2020

3

£852,000

2021

8

£102,490,001

2022

11

£4,448,083

In addition to fines, water companies face other financial penalties such as financial undertakings from companies secured by Ofwat following enforcement cases. These include rebates to customers and money paid to charities and community groups.
Water companies can face financial penalties if they underperform against performance targets. Ofwat recently announced penalties for 2021-22, with almost £135 million being returned to customers. A breakdown of these penalties by water company can be found at: Final determinations of in-period outcome delivery incentives for 2021-22.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to support (a) rural and (b) cross-county border bus services.

Since March 2020, the Government has announced over £4.5 billion to support and improve bus services. This includes £2 billion in emergency and recovery funding to maintain services during the pandemic; over £1 billion allocated in 2022 to help local transport authorities (LTAs) deliver their Bus Service Improvement Plans; a further £1 billion redirected from HS2 to improve bus services in the North and the Midlands as part of Network North; £300 million in ongoing funding to support and improve services until April 2025; and nearly £600 million to cap single bus fares at £2 from 1 January 2023 until the end of 2024.

The Government also makes over £200 million available directly to bus operators every year through the Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) to keep fares down and help them maintain an extensive network. LTAs in England outside of London also receive £42 million annually through the BSOG for the purpose of subsidising socially necessary services that would otherwise be commercially unviable, helping to support rural routes.

The Government believes LTAs, working with operators, are best placed to determine the shape and structure of local bus services. The funding we are providing to the sector can be used to support and improve services across England outside London, including those running in rural areas or those that cross county borders.

In addition, our £20 million Rural Mobility Fund in England is supporting 16 innovative, demand-led minibus trials in rural and suburban areas across 16 local authorities in England. These pilots are exploring whether Demand Responsive Transport can serve these communities more effectively than traditional public transport solutions alone.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
11th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the average waiting time is for a driver's test in (a) England and (b) the South West as of 12 September 2023.

As of 18 September 2023, there were 561,275 car practical driving tests booked, and 64,817 driving tests available within the 24-week booking window.

The average waiting time during August 2023 for a car practical driving test in England was 20.7 weeks, and in the South West it was 18.9 weeks.

A full driving licence allows a driver to use any roads, not just those they are familiar with. To be safe and competent, learner drivers need a broad range of driving experience in different areas and on different roads. Candidates do not, therefore, need to take their driving test at the nearest test centre to where they live.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
11th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to help people book a driving test close to where they live.

As of 18 September 2023, there were 561,275 car practical driving tests booked, and 64,817 driving tests available within the 24-week booking window.

The average waiting time during August 2023 for a car practical driving test in England was 20.7 weeks, and in the South West it was 18.9 weeks.

A full driving licence allows a driver to use any roads, not just those they are familiar with. To be safe and competent, learner drivers need a broad range of driving experience in different areas and on different roads. Candidates do not, therefore, need to take their driving test at the nearest test centre to where they live.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
28th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what financial support is available to local bus franchises to protect rural bus routes.

The Government recognises the importance of transport for rural areas and is committed to improving access to services that provide vital connectivity. The Government pays almost £260 million per year in Bus Service Operators Grant, which benefits passengers by helping operators keep fares down, and enabling operators to run services that might otherwise be unprofitable and could lead to cancellation.

The Government has also provided nearly £2 billion in emergency and recovery funding to local transport authorities and bus operators since March 2020 to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on bus services and protect local bus routes. This includes an additional £130 million to continue support services until March 2023.

The Government does recognise that inflationary pressures, including rising fuel costs, are impacting operating costs of bus services across England. Recovery funding provided to LTAs from April this year has accounted for forecast inflationary increases.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
28th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the impact of inflation on rural bus services.

The Government recognises the importance of transport for rural areas and is committed to improving access to services that provide vital connectivity. The Government pays almost £260 million per year in Bus Service Operators Grant, which benefits passengers by helping operators keep fares down, and enabling operators to run services that might otherwise be unprofitable and could lead to cancellation.

The Government has also provided nearly £2 billion in emergency and recovery funding to local transport authorities and bus operators since March 2020 to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on bus services and protect local bus routes. This includes an additional £130 million to continue support services until March 2023.

The Government does recognise that inflationary pressures, including rising fuel costs, are impacting operating costs of bus services across England. Recovery funding provided to LTAs from April this year has accounted for forecast inflationary increases.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the Child Maintenance Service enforces the collection of child maintenance payments from parents who are not living with their children.

The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) has a range of enforcement powers at its disposal to ensure parents meet their financial obligations to their children.

These include deductions directly from earnings and bank accounts, using Enforcement Agents (previously known as bailiffs) to take control of goods, forcing the sale of property, removal of driving licence or UK passport or even commitment to prison.

In 2023, The Government supported The Child Support (Enforcement) Act. This will allow the Child Maintenance Service to streamline the enforcement process by removing the requirement to obtain a court issued liability order and instead allow the Secretary of State to issue an administrative liability order. This will replace the court-based system and speed up the enforcement process.

In October 2023, The Government consulted on "Accelerating Enforcement" to inform proposed regulations to support the introduction of administrative liability orders. We will be publishing the Government response shortly.

Paul Maynard
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate his Department has made of the number of people who will not meet the 35 qualifying years in order to receive the full new State Pension due to prolonged periods of low-income work.

The Government has made no such assessment.

The Government has ensured that people with earnings below the Primary Threshold continue to have their entitlement to State Pension protected. Although the Primary Threshold, when people start making National Insurance Contributions, has increased from £190 to £242 per week in 2022/23, the Lower Earnings Limit (LEL) remains at £123 per week in 2022/23 (£6396 per annum). The LEL is the level of earnings above which people are treated as having paid National Insurance, even though they have not paid Contributions.

People with earnings from a single employer above the LEL, receive a Qualifying Year of National Insurance, which counts towards their State Pension eligibility. For people on low incomes, there is a wide range of National Insurance credits available, including people in receipt of Universal Credit, ensuring they can achieve the best possible State Pension outcome when they reach State Pension age. Information about these can be found on www.gov.uk/national-insurance-credits/eligibility.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps he is taking to ensure low-paid workers do not miss out on receiving the full new State Pension due to zero rate National insurance Contributions.

The Government have ensured that people with earnings below the Primary Threshold continue to have their entitlement to State Pension protected. Although the Primary Threshold, when people start making National Insurance Contributions, has increased from £190 to £242 per week in 2022/23, the Lower Earnings Limit (LEL) remains at £123 per week in 2022/23 (£6396 per annum). The LEL is the level of earnings above which people are treated as having paid National Insurance, even though they have not paid Contributions.

People with earnings from a single employer above the LEL, receive a Qualifying Year of National Insurance, which counts towards their State Pension eligibility. For people on low incomes, there is a wide range of National Insurance credits available, including people in receipt of Universal Credit, ensuring they can achieve the best possible State Pension outcome when they reach State Pension age. Information about these can be found on www.gov.uk/national-insurance-credits/eligibility.

Laura Trott
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
28th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of people in receipt of Universal Credit (a) are economically inactive as of 28 November 2022 and (b) were subject to monthly deductions in the (i) 2019-20, (ii) 2021-22 and (iii) 2022-23 financial year.

The information requested is not readily available and to provide it would incur disproportionate cost.

The number of people on Universal Credit, broken down by conditionality group, are published every month on Stat-Xplore, with the latest statistics currently available to 13 October 2022.

If needed, you can access guidance on how to extract the information required from Stat-Xplore.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate her Department has made of the number of people affected by a shortage of insulin.

We are aware of a supply disruption affecting Tresiba (Insulin degludec) FlexTouch 100 units per millilitre solution for injection three millilitre pre-filled pens. While we do not hold information on number of people affected by this issue, we have worked with industry to identify suitable alternatives and can confirm that Tresiba Penfill cartridges are available and can fully support the increase in demand.

A National Patient Safety Alert was issued for Tresiba Flextouch pens on Friday 8 December 2023, providing updates to the National Health Service about the supply issue and providing advice for healthcare professionals on how to manage patients during the supply disruption. Any patient who is concerned should speak to their clinician.

There is a team within the Department that deals specifically with medicine supply problems. It has well-established tools and processes to manage medicine supply issues, working closely with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the pharmaceutical industry, NHS England and others operating in the supply chain to help prevent shortages and expedite resupply as soon as possible to ensure that the risks to patients are minimised. Information on the number of people affected by the supply issue is not held.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure people who require insulin are aware of alternative medications.

We are aware of a supply disruption affecting Tresiba (Insulin degludec) FlexTouch 100 units per millilitre solution for injection three millilitre pre-filled pens. While we do not hold information on number of people affected by this issue, we have worked with industry to identify suitable alternatives and can confirm that Tresiba Penfill cartridges are available and can fully support the increase in demand.

A National Patient Safety Alert was issued for Tresiba Flextouch pens on Friday 8 December 2023, providing updates to the National Health Service about the supply issue and providing advice for healthcare professionals on how to manage patients during the supply disruption. Any patient who is concerned should speak to their clinician.

There is a team within the Department that deals specifically with medicine supply problems. It has well-established tools and processes to manage medicine supply issues, working closely with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the pharmaceutical industry, NHS England and others operating in the supply chain to help prevent shortages and expedite resupply as soon as possible to ensure that the risks to patients are minimised. Information on the number of people affected by the supply issue is not held.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps she is taking to help ensure that people who require insulin are able to access it.

We are aware of a supply disruption affecting Tresiba (Insulin degludec) FlexTouch 100 units per millilitre solution for injection three millilitre pre-filled pens. While we do not hold information on number of people affected by this issue, we have worked with industry to identify suitable alternatives and can confirm that Tresiba Penfill cartridges are available and can fully support the increase in demand.

A National Patient Safety Alert was issued for Tresiba Flextouch pens on Friday 8 December 2023, providing updates to the National Health Service about the supply issue and providing advice for healthcare professionals on how to manage patients during the supply disruption. Any patient who is concerned should speak to their clinician.

There is a team within the Department that deals specifically with medicine supply problems. It has well-established tools and processes to manage medicine supply issues, working closely with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, the pharmaceutical industry, NHS England and others operating in the supply chain to help prevent shortages and expedite resupply as soon as possible to ensure that the risks to patients are minimised. Information on the number of people affected by the supply issue is not held.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps she is taking to help ensure that health and social care staff continue to have access to free covid-19 testing.

From 1 April 2023, the Government implemented changes to COVID-19 testing. These changes aligned COVID-19 more closely with the management of other respiratory infections. As part of this change, routine symptomatic testing of staff in high-risk settings ended. Staff testing has continued in a limited number of the most high-risk settings to protect particularly vulnerable people. This includes hospice staff with symptoms and some National Health Service staff with symptoms, working on inpatient wards with severely immunosuppressed patients. Information on testing in these settings is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-testing-during-periods-of-low-prevalence

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
30th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking with local authorities to increase levels of social care provision.

Local authorities are tasked with the duty to shape their care market and deliver a range of care and support services to meet the diverse needs of local people. To support with this, the Government has made a total of nearly £2 billion available to local authorities over two years through the Market Sustainability and Improvement Fund (MSIF) and MSIF Workforce Fund. Both are designed to support increased adult social care capacity, and support local authorities to make improvements to adult social care services.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many Registered Nurses are both currently not working and in receipt of Carer’s Allowance.

The information requested is not held centrally.

23rd Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether her Department has had discussions with (a) the UK Health Security Agency and (b) Wiltshire Council on the decision to close Hickory House nursery at Porton Down science park.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) developed a business case for future options for nursery provision at Porton Down. After careful consideration it was concluded that UKHSA are not able to prioritise such capital costs for physical reprovision of a nursery against other needs. UKHSA are continuing to engage with partners to explore any other opportunities.

There have been joint meetings with Wiltshire Council, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and Porton Biopharma Ltd that use the nursery. A joint meeting with impacted staff and families took place on 6 March 2023.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to provide mental health support, including counselling, to people living in rural communities as part of the Major Conditions Strategy.

The Major Conditions Strategy will cover prevention to treatment for six broad conditions including mental ill health and we will continue to work closely with stakeholders, citizens and the National Health Service in coming weeks to identify actions that will have the most impact.

We are already taking steps to increase access to mental health services, including for people in rural settings. The NHS Long Term Plan commits to investing an additional £2.3 billion a year into mental health services, including through integrated care board (ICB) baseline funding. As part of this, we are increasing access to NHS Talking Therapies across all parts of England, including rural areas. NHS Talking Therapies provide evidence-based support for a range of conditions.

ICBs are responsible for decisions about the provision of services in their area and how funding allocations should be used to meet the needs of people in their areas. There are a range of adjustments made in the ICB allocations formula to account for how the costs of providing health care may vary between different types of rural and urban areas.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
27th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, What steps he has taken to improve access to Liothyronine (T3) for the treatment of hypothyroidism?

No specific assessment has been made. NHS England’s guidance ‘Items which should not be routinely prescribed in primary care’ states that levothyroxine is the first treatment for hypothyroidism and liothyronine should not be routinely prescribed. However, the guidance states that liothyronine may be recommended for individual patients who may not respond to levothyroxine alone. NHS England is currently reviewing its guidance and has engaged with patient groups and other stakeholders to obtain feedback.

1st Feb 2024
To ask the Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whether his Department has had discussions with Donald Trump's presidential campaign team on US support for Ukraine.

The UK and the US have been at the forefront of support to Ukraine since the beginning of Putin's illegal invasion. The Foreign Secretary travelled to Washington on 6-7 December where he heard strong support from all sides for future military and non-military aid. We will continue to work with US counterparts to deepen and strengthen our mutual priorities. Continued US support, funding, and leadership through 2024 is critical for Ukraine's prospects against Russia's continued egregious actions. We hope that US Congress will be able to agree a new funding package for Ukraine as part of its wider ongoing budget negotiations.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions he has had with his Ethiopian counterpart on (a) supporting the families of those killed in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 302, (b) the release of an air accident investigation report, and (c) establishing a UK coroner's inquest.

Our thoughts remain with the victims and their families of this tragic accident, and appreciate the distress caused by the ongoing delays. Officials at the British Embassy in Addis Ababa have been in contact with the Ethiopian Ministry of Transport and Air Accident Investigation Department to discuss the release of the final air accident report and will continue to lobby them for its immediate release. The Ethiopian authorities have said the report was delayed due to the pandemic and have not yet confirmed a new date for issue. We will continue to urge the Ethiopian authorities to release the report as soon as possible, as this will be part of the requirement for any inquest hearing into the crash to proceed.

Gillian Keegan
Secretary of State for Education
6th Feb 2024
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will take steps to help support people to regain access to their Government Gateway accounts who do not have the necessary physical documentation.

Users may regain access to their Government Gateway account by following a simple online process to recover their Government Gateway user ID and, if necessary, reset their password. Access to the email account used to set up the Government Gateway account is required to complete this process, but no documentation is required.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has had recent discussions with the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Communities and Local Government on the provision of additional funding for local authorities to provide warm spaces for vulnerable people in winter 2022.

The 2022-23 Local Government Financial Settlement provides local authorities with an additional £3.7 billion of resources – including the largest cash-terms increase in grant funding in 10 years. It is for local authorities to determine how to allocate this funding. The Government’s Energy Price Guarantee scheme will cap the unit price households pay for electricity and gas, which means that a typical household in Great Britain will have to pay bills equivalent to no more than £2500 a year on their energy bills this winter. In addition, the Government has provided a £650 Cost of Living payment to over 8 million households on means-tested benefits, with additional support for pensioners and those on disability benefits, and a six-month extension to the Household Support Fund in England.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
27th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she last met the National Police Chiefs Council to discuss rural crime rates.

The Government are committed to driving down rural crime. Whether someone lives in the countryside, a town, or a city, they should have the same peace of mind when going about their daily lives, and they should get the same high-quality service from the police if they fall victim to a crime.

The Home Secretary, Ministers and officials meet with a range of stakeholders on a regular basis to discuss how best to tackle rural crime and are taking important steps to address issues that we know affect rural communities.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act empowers and equips the police and courts with the powers they need to combat hare coursing, and the Government is supporting the Equipment Theft (Prevention) Bill, which aims to prevent the theft of quad bikes and All-Terrain Vehicles. The Government is also providing funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit and new National Rural Crime Unit, which will support forces nationally in their response to rural crime such as theft of farming construction machinery, livestock theft and rural fly tipping.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, on what date (a) she or (b) a minister in her Department last met with the National Rural Crime Network to discuss measures to tackle rural crime.

The Government are committed to driving down rural crime. Whether someone lives in the countryside, a town, or a city, they should have the same peace of mind when going about their daily lives, and they should get the same high-quality service from the police if they fall victim to a crime.

The Home Secretary, Ministers and officials meet with a range of stakeholders on a regular basis to discuss how best to tackle rural crime and are taking important steps to address issues that we know affect rural communities.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act empowers and equips the police and courts with the powers they need to combat hare coursing, and the Government is supporting the Equipment Theft (Prevention) Bill, which aims to prevent the theft of quad bikes and All-Terrain Vehicles. The Government is also providing funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit and new National Rural Crime Unit, which will support forces nationally in their response to rural crime such as theft of farming construction machinery, livestock theft and rural fly tipping.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
27th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she last met the Neighbourhood Watch Network to discuss rural crime.

The Government are committed to driving down rural crime. Whether someone lives in the countryside, a town, or a city, they should have the same peace of mind when going about their daily lives, and they should get the same high-quality service from the police if they fall victim to a crime.

The Home Secretary, Ministers and officials meet with a range of stakeholders on a regular basis to discuss how best to tackle rural crime and are taking important steps to address issues that we know affect rural communities.

The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act empowers and equips the police and courts with the powers they need to combat hare coursing, and the Government is supporting the Equipment Theft (Prevention) Bill, which aims to prevent the theft of quad bikes and All-Terrain Vehicles. The Government is also providing funding for the National Wildlife Crime Unit and new National Rural Crime Unit, which will support forces nationally in their response to rural crime such as theft of farming construction machinery, livestock theft and rural fly tipping.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
11th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that police shooting ranges (a) have adequate boundaries and (b) operate at times that ensure (i) maximum safety and (ii) minimum disruption to local residents.

Decisions around training arrangements are an operational matter for Chief Officers who are best placed with the skills and expertise to determine requirements and to manage any risks associated with training.

Safe areas are implemented around live fire facilities and they are subject to stringent planning permissions which must include consideration of any disruption to members of the public.

6th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the recent negotiations in the United States Congress on the allocation of funding for military support for Ukraine, whether he has had recent discussions with his NATO counterparts on the implications for their policies of the United States' potential decision to withdraw military support for Ukraine.

The Secretary of State for Defence regularly holds discussions with his NATO counterparts, including the US, on a range of issues. They will discuss NATO support to Ukraine at the upcoming NATO Defence Ministers Meeting on 15 February. The UK and US together will continue to urge our NATO allies to make the commitments that Ukraine needs to gain a vital edge on the battlefield.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will make an estimate of the potential savings of reducing the armed forces by 10,000 personnel in each year until 2030-31.

The Ministry of Defence is already committed to a reduction in Regular military personnel as part of the restructuring of the Armed Forces following the 2021 Integrated Spending Review. This restructuring presents Defence with the opportunity to undertake the modernisation required to meet all of their current commitments, keep the country safe, and deliver a force that is fit for the challenges of the future. The Government remains committed to ensuring that this country has the world class Armed Forces that it needs and deserves, with an extra £11 billion recently allocated over the next five years that will provide improved resilience and readiness for the military.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent assessment he has made of the UK’s defence readiness.

Defence takes a threat-led approach to setting our readiness, ensuring that the Armed Forces are ready to deter adversaries and defend the nation.

Our capability and readiness levels are regularly reviewed to ensure that they are consistent with our strategic approach and are relevant to the threat.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
25th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many full complements of the ground crew the RAF currently has available.

I have interpreted ground crew as Royal Air Force (RAF) personnel in Trade Group 1, which includes Aircraft Maintenance Avionic, Aircraft Maintenance Mechanic and Weapons Technicians.

As of 1 October 2022, the total number of personnel was 5,860 (rounded to the nearest 10).

This data covers trained RAF Regular personnel only and excludes RAF Reservists.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
25th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many pilots fully trained to fly Typhoon aircraft are employed in the Royal Air Force.

I am withholding the information requested as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the Armed Forces.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
25th Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the average waiting time is for a pilot between selection for and beginning Typhoon flight training; and what the longest time is that a pilot has waited to begin that training.

A pilot is selected to fly Typhoon on completion of their Advanced Fast Jet Training. The average waiting time between selection to fly Typhoon and beginning training on the Typhoon Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) was 28 weeks, with the longest waiting time being 49 weeks. The wait between selection and starting the Typhoon OCU has begun to reduce, with the most recent wait time being approximately eight weeks.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
12th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will undertake an impact assessment on the effect of military personnel cover for workers engaged in industrial action over winter 2022-23 on the UK's armed forces' capability over that period.

Defence considers a range of factors before approving a MACA request - including the extent to which the request can be fulfilled without disrupting core Defence activity. I and my Ministerial colleagues are clear that the primary task of the Armed Forces is the defence of the realm; we would not approve a MACA request if it put our ability to undertake priority Defence activity at inappropriate risk.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
12th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many military personnel have been seconded to cover for workers engaged in industrial action in (a) December 2022 and (b) January 2023.

No military personnel are being seconded to cover for workers engaged in industrial action. Service personnel will provide support only in response to specific agreed MACA requests for specific tasks, but this will not equate to secondments.

James Heappey
Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)
14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, whether he intends to publish a response to the report Mobile Homes: The impact of a change in the maximum park home sale commission, published on 16 June 2022.

Announcements will be made in the usual way.

17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to support councils to provide and maintain adequate council housing.

In the Levelling Up White Paper the Government set out its ambition to reduce the number of non-decent rented homes by 50% by 2030 with the biggest improvements in the lowest performing areas. In the Charter for Social Housing Residents, the government committed to a range of measures to drive up the quality of social housing, including through the introduction of a new, proactive consumer regulation regime and a review of the Decent Home Standard.

Further to the statement made by the Secretary of State on 16 November 2022, the Social Housing Regulation Bill will create a strong and proactive consumer regulation regime that will drive up standards in social housing and help tenants and the Regulator of Social Housing hold landlords to account. The Regulator will have stronger enforcement powers so they can take robust action if they identify failings by social housing landlords. We expect registered providers to place tenants’ concerns at the heart of all they do, with effective resident engagement in place, so no one has to live in sub-standard social housing.

17th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department plans to take to provide housing providers with support to meet the standards set out in the forthcoming Social Housing Regulation Bill.

Registered providers of social housing already have a duty to comply with the Regulator of Social Housing's standards. The Regulator will consult on its revised consumer standards following the passage of legislation and the issuance of government directions, and is already conducting extensive engagement with the sector to prepare providers for the new regulatory regime.

12th Dec 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make an estimate of the number of homeless veterans in winter 2022-23.

As set out previously in response to Question UIN77402 on 11 November, our veterans play a vital role in keeping our country safe and we are committed to providing them with the support they need. Homelessness statistics for England are collected on a quarterly basis and consistently show levels of veteran homelessness are low - less than 1% of homeless households. For Winter 2021 (Oct-December) the proportion of households owed a homelessness duty with a support need due to service in the Armed Forces was 0.7%. The latest statutory homelessness statistics for England, covering the period April-June 2022, show the figure remaining at the same level and are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/homelessness-statistics

Felicity Buchan
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to help Ukrainian refugees find independent housing.

The updated guidance for the Homes for Ukraine guests, hosts and councils setting out all the support options available to them can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/homes-for-ukraine-guidance-for-councils#four-to-6-months-after-guests-have-moved-to-your-area.

31st Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average waiting time was for probate cases to be processed in (a) 2021-22, (b) 2022-23 and (c) in the latest period for which data is available.

The average mean length of time taken for a grant of probate, following receipt of the documents required, is:

a) 7.3 weeks in 2021-22

b) 7.8 weeks in 2022-23

c) 12.5 weeks during July to September 2023

The majority of grants issued (digital, non-stopped) in July to September were completed within 7 weeks on average. HMCTS is focused on reducing the time for all types of applications to bring down the overall average waiting times.

Average waiting times for probate grants are routinely published on gov.uk via Family Court Statistics Quarterly and currently cover the period up to September 2023.

HMCTS are aware of the impact that timeliness has on the financial well-being of recipients and has increased staffing levels, streamlined internal processes and continued to invest in further improving the digital service.

As a result, grant output for recent months has been at record levels, with over 12,000 more grants issued than applications received during the last three months (September to November) using more recent management information published by HMCTS (which does not go through the same level of quality assurance and analysis as the Family Court Statistics Quarterly).

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)
31st Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will make an assessment of the impact of trends in average waiting times for processing probate applications on the financial well-being of recipients.

The average mean length of time taken for a grant of probate, following receipt of the documents required, is:

a) 7.3 weeks in 2021-22

b) 7.8 weeks in 2022-23

c) 12.5 weeks during July to September 2023

The majority of grants issued (digital, non-stopped) in July to September were completed within 7 weeks on average. HMCTS is focused on reducing the time for all types of applications to bring down the overall average waiting times.

Average waiting times for probate grants are routinely published on gov.uk via Family Court Statistics Quarterly and currently cover the period up to September 2023.

HMCTS are aware of the impact that timeliness has on the financial well-being of recipients and has increased staffing levels, streamlined internal processes and continued to invest in further improving the digital service.

As a result, grant output for recent months has been at record levels, with over 12,000 more grants issued than applications received during the last three months (September to November) using more recent management information published by HMCTS (which does not go through the same level of quality assurance and analysis as the Family Court Statistics Quarterly).

Mike Freer
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Justice)