Robert Goodwill Portrait

Robert Goodwill

Conservative - Scarborough and Whitby

Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill
12th May 2021 - 24th Jun 2021
Environmental Audit Committee
22nd Jan 2018 - 6th Nov 2019
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Mar 2019 - 25th Jul 2019
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee
5th Mar 2018 - 8th Apr 2019
Minister of State (Education)
12th Jun 2017 - 9th Jan 2018
Minister of State (Home Office) (Immigration)
15th Jul 2016 - 12th Jun 2017
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
7th Oct 2013 - 15th Jul 2016
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
6th Sep 2012 - 7th Oct 2013
Assistant Whip (HM Treasury)
12th May 2010 - 6th Sep 2012
Shadow Minister (Transport)
3rd Jul 2007 - 6th May 2010
Opposition Whip (Commons)
8th Nov 2006 - 3rd Jul 2007
Transport Committee
12th Jul 2005 - 11th Dec 2006


Department Event
Wednesday 13th July 2022
09:25
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Third Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
13 Jul 2022, 9:25 a.m.
The draft Common Agricultural Policy (Cross-Compliance Exemptions and Transitional Regulation) (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2022
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Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 13th July 2022
13:30
Environmental Audit Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Mapping the path to net zero
13 Jul 2022, 1:30 p.m.
At 1.45pm: Oral evidence
The Rt Hon. the Lord Deben - Chair at Climate Change Committee
Mike Thompson - Chief Economist at Climate Change Committee
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Department Event
Thursday 14th July 2022
11:30
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Sixth Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
14 Jul 2022, 11:30 a.m.
The draft United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020 (Exclusions from Market Access Principles: Single-Use Plastics) Regulations 2022
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Department Event
Wednesday 7th September 2022
11:30
Northern Ireland Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
7 Sep 2022, 11:30 a.m.
Northern Ireland
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Department Event
Thursday 8th September 2022
09:30
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Oral questions - Main Chamber
8 Sep 2022, 9:30 a.m.
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (including Topical Questions)
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Division Votes
Monday 4th July 2022
Northern Ireland Troubles (Legacy and Reconciliation) Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 282 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 218 Noes - 282
Speeches
Tuesday 5th July 2022
Zero-emission Buses
I beg to move,

That this House has considered zero emission buses in the UK.

It is a great pleasure …
Written Answers
Tuesday 24th May 2022
Sandeels: Conservation
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make it his policy to …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
None available
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Tuesday 4th January 2022
1. Employment and earnings
Payment of £225 expected from Ipsos MORI, 3 Thomas More Square, London E1W 1YW, for a survey completed on 14 …
EDM signed
Friday 25th September 2020
Mandatory reporting on plastic packaging
That this House notes that UK supermarkets use some 114 billion pieces of throwaway plastic packaging each year; recognises that …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Robert Goodwill has voted in 599 divisions, and 3 times against the majority of their Party.

24 Jun 2020 - Demonstrations (Abortion Clinics) - View Vote Context
Robert Goodwill voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Conservative No votes vs 56 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 213 Noes - 47
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Robert Goodwill voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
22 Oct 2021 - Prayers - View Vote Context
Robert Goodwill voted No - against a party majority - in line with the party majority and in line with the House
One of 210 Conservative No votes vs 2 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 3 Noes - 336
View All Robert Goodwill 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
Daniel Zeichner (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
(44 debate interactions)
Luke Pollard (Labour (Co-op))
Shadow Minister (Defence)
(32 debate interactions)
Stuart C McDonald (Scottish National Party)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Home Affairs)
(31 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(171 debate contributions)
Department for Transport
(24 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(21 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Robert Goodwill's debates

Scarborough and Whitby 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 Scarborough and Whitby signature proportion
Petition Debates Contributed

For the most recent hunting season, Forestry England gave hunting licences for 34 fox & hare “trail hunts”. Despite hunting wild mammals with dogs being illegal, two of the licensed/previously licensed trail hunts have been associated with convictions under the Hunting and Animal Welfare Acts.

In March 2021 Mini the cat was chased and killed by hunting hounds in a quiet residential area.
The Government should back Mini’s Law (Public and Animal Safety Bill 2021) to ensure safety to the public and animals from hunting activity, such as trail hunts and exercise of hunting hounds.

Shooting of Badgers is licensed by Natural England as part of the DEFRA Badger cull. 24,000+ Badgers were shot in 2019.

We ask Parliament to repeal the High Speed Rail Bills, 2016 and 2019, as MPs voted on misleading environmental, financial and timetable information provided by the Dept of Transport and HS2 Ltd. It fails to address the conditions of the Paris Accord and costs have risen from £56bn to over £100bn.


Latest EDMs signed by Robert Goodwill

24th September 2020
Robert Goodwill signed this EDM as a sponsor on Friday 25th September 2020

Mandatory reporting on plastic packaging

Tabled by: Geraint Davies (Labour (Co-op) - Swansea West)
That this House notes that UK supermarkets use some 114 billion pieces of throwaway plastic packaging each year; recognises that this equates to 653,000 tonnes of plastic waste, the equivalent of almost 3,000 747 jumbo jets; further recognises that almost all of this waste will end up polluting the natural …
45 signatures
(Most recent: 25 Mar 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 22
Scottish National Party: 6
Liberal Democrat: 4
Conservative: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 3
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Green Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
22nd January 2019
Robert Goodwill signed this EDM on Tuesday 22nd January 2019

150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE OFFICE OF THE PARLIAMENTARY COUNSEL

Tabled by: Margaret Beckett (Labour - Derby South)
That this House congratulates the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel on its sesquicentennial anniversary; expresses its appreciation of the members of the Office, both past and present, for their contribution to the drafting of legislation and the legislative process; and notes that the Office, now under the leadership of Elizabeth …
26 signatures
(Most recent: 6 Mar 2019)
Signatures by party:
Conservative: 15
Labour: 5
Scottish National Party: 3
Democratic Unionist Party: 2
Liberal Democrat: 1
View All Robert Goodwill's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Robert Goodwill, 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.


Robert Goodwill has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Robert Goodwill has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

Robert Goodwill has not introduced any legislation before Parliament

Robert Goodwill has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


46 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
2 Other Department Questions
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending temporary permitted development rights for pop-up campsites to summer 2022.

To provide greater flexibility during coronavirus restrictions, a permitted development right was introduced to provide additional days for the temporary use of land, including camping.

This has now expired. However, the original right remains, allowing for the temporary use of land for up to 28 days per calendar year.

15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, when he plans to announce the successful UK Community Renewal Fund projects; and whether he plans to extend the project completion deadline beyond 31 March 2022.

There has been significant interest in the UK Community Renewal Fund across the four investment priorities and bids are being assessed in line with the published assessment process. Outcomes will be announced shortly and bidders informed. We will provide further guidance on UK Community Renewal Fund as soon as possible, to enable bidders to plan for delivery once decisions have been announced.

22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of deploying small and advanced modular reactors on existing nuclear sites.

The Government recognises that there are areas across the UK with experience hosting nuclear developments and appreciates the potential benefits that these locations could offer to new nuclear projects.

The Government is developing a siting strategy, and a new National Policy Statement for nuclear electricity generation infrastructure deployable after 2025. The Government will consult on the strategy in due course.

The Government remains open to considering development proposals for projects at sites which stakeholders consider suitable, including existing nuclear sites. Any future project would be subject to planning and development consents.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the proportion of (a) large nuclear reactors and (b) small and advanced modular reactors that the UK requires.

Nuclear power generated in the UK plays a critical role in the UK energy system. Hinkley Point C is under construction and, when operational, will supply 3.2GW of secure, low carbon electricity for around 60 years, providing enough power for around 6 million homes. The Government aims to bring at least one large-scale nuclear project to the point of Final Investment Decision(FID) by the end of this Parliament, subject to value for money and all relevant approvals.

Small and Advanced Modular Reactors (SMRs/AMRs) could play a significant role alongside large nuclear as a low-carbon energy source to support a secure, affordable decarbonised energy system. In order to support this, the Government has announced up to £120 million for a new Future Nuclear Enabling Fund (FNEF) to provide targeted support to address barriers to entry. The Government will publish a roadmap for new nuclear deployment, including large scale and advanced nuclear technologies, in 2022.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many High-Temperature Gas Reactors his Department plans to construct in the UK.

The Department’s Advanced Nuclear Fund includes funding for an Advanced Modular Reactor (AMR) Research, Development & Demonstration (RD&D) Programme to enable a High Temperature Gas Reactor (HTGR) demonstration by the early 2030s to understand the potential of the technology and its contribution to achieving the UK’s Net Zero target.

The Government has published a stakeholder engagement note which sets out a proposed three phase approach for the programme. This approach will develop the evidence base to inform future policy.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make it his policy to not support industrial fishing for sandeel in English waters, on a similar basis to the policy of the Scottish Government, as part of the upcoming publication of the Joint Fisheries Statement.

We are concerned about the impacts on the marine ecosystem by the removal of forage fish by industrial fishing. Following a recent call for evidence, Defra is presently working with others, including the Devolved Administrations, to develop a management strategy for industrial fishing in UK waters. We will consult on the introduction of any new measures in English waters.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the proportionality of the plant health regulatory regime for the import of seeds, plants and trees; and whether he has plans to revise that regulatory regime.

High plant health and biosecurity standards keep harmful pests and diseases, like Xylella fastidiosa, out of the UK, benefiting both the horticultural trade and the environment in the long term. The UK has some of the highest plant health and biosecurity standards in the world, and we have been clear we will not compromise on these standards. They are integral to supporting and protecting the horticultural industry overall as well as sustaining our food supply and natural environment.

The UK Plant Health Risk Group is continuously reviewing risks to plant biosecurity and identifying actions needed to mitigate the most significant threats. These include keeping our regulatory regime up to date, carrying out focused surveillance and inspections, contingency planning, research, and awareness raising as well as identifying areas where intervention would not be helpful or justified.

Since plant health controls on high-priority plants and plant products imported from the EU to GB were introduced on 1 January 2021, 94 interceptions of harmful organisms have been made, which all had the potential to lead to a damaging outbreak in GB.

In addition, more than 300 other instances of non-compliance have been identified.

These cases demonstrate the importance of effective import controls to safeguard commercial plant production; protect food supply and avoid the serious impacts on our natural environment which pest/disease outbreaks can lead to.

We have recently consulted on a permanent system of import checks and frequencies which will deal with imports from EU Member States and other third countries consistently.

This system is based on technical assessments of risk and retains the default position of 100% inspections for imported plants and trees. However, it also considers cases where a lower percentage of checks can be adopted for certain categories of plants where there is an identifiable lower risk (examples could be annual plants, because they are short lived, or house plants, because they are kept indoors).

The consultation closed in early 2022 and we expect to update stakeholders on the outcome of this consultation in March.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure free movement of cultivated plant biodiversity.

UK plant health controls take a risk-based approach informed by the evidence and balance ensuring robust biosecurity with the facilitation of trade. The threat from plant pests and diseases is significant and growing due to globalisation and climate change.

The increase in trade and travel has resulted in an escalation in the volume and diversity of plants and plant products entering the UK from sources across the world. These plant imports can act as hosts or vectors and are one of the primary ways in which new pests and diseases can be introduced.

High plant health and biosecurity standards keep harmful pests and diseases, like Xylella fastidiosa, out of the UK, benefiting both the horticultural trade and the environment in the long term. The UK has some of the highest plant health and biosecurity standards in the world, and we have been clear we will not compromise on these standards. They are integral to supporting and protecting the horticultural industry overall as well as sustaining our food supply and natural environment.

The UK Plant Health Risk Group is continuously reviewing risks to plant biosecurity and identifying actions needed to mitigate the most significant threats. These include keeping our regulatory regime up to date, carrying out focused surveillance and inspections, contingency planning, research, and awareness raising as well as identifying areas where intervention would not be helpful or justified.

Further, the UK is a member of both:

o the OECD Seed Schemes which provide harmonised standards for the international trade of seed of regulated plant species for agriculture, and

o the OECD Forest Seed and Plant Scheme which ensures Forest Reproductive Material (FRM) is produced, controlled and traded according to harmonised standards.

The EU has granted equivalence to the UK for agricultural seed (excluding production of vegetable seed), fruit and vegetable propagating material, and forest reproductive material (FRM), ensuring these commodities may be marketed in the EU.

The UK Plant Health Information Portal has published Defra guidance to importers and exporters of plant material to support trade facilitation.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of support available to the ornamental horticulture and landscaping industry in the transition to peat-free plant exports.

Alongside publishing our consultation on ending the sale of peat and peat containing products in horticulture in England and Wales, we assessed the economic impact of each of the proposed measures. This assessment can be found at: Consultation Impact Assessment Ending the Retail Sale of Peat in Horticulture in England and Wales.pdf (defra.gov.uk)

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to establish a plant health agreement with the EU for the export of seeds, plants and trees.

Defra is not looking to establish a specific plant health agreement with the EU

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement includes a sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) chapter which allows the UK and the EU to take a risk-based approach to our respective SPS border controls and provides a basis for cooperation on avoiding unnecessary barriers to trade.

A key part of this is the Trade Specialised Committee, which is tasked with regularly reviewing the Parties' SPS measures, including certification requirements and border clearance processes, and their application, in order to facilitate trade between the Parties.

We are open to discussions with the EU on additional steps to further reduce trade friction, but these cannot be on the basis of future alignment with EU rules. This would compromise UK sovereignty over our own laws.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what support his Department has given to fishermen and coastal communities affected by the mass deaths of crustacea on the Tees Valley coast.

Defra has regularly updated stakeholders and attended a public meeting on 14 December with the industry and its representatives. This gave an opportunity for industry to raise concerns and to hear actions taken to date as part of the multi-agency response to ascertain and address any potential cause for the mortality. Advice to fishermen and coastal communities has been provided in relation to food safety and hygiene practice, and we remain in close contact with fishermen and others to fully understand the impacts of the incident.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the levels of compensation required to support fishermen on the Tees Valley coast affected by the large scale deaths of crustacea in that area.

No assessment of the potential for compensation has been made as the investigation into the cause of the mass mortality is ongoing. The Department along with its Arm’s Length Bodies are undertaking extensive testing and engaging with fishermen and their representatives to get a fuller understanding of the incident.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with (a) Cefas and (b) the Environment Agency on investigating the cause of the deaths of crabs, lobster and other crustacea along the Tees Valley coastline.

Defra, Cefas, MMO and the Environment Agency (EA), along with other agencies, are continuing to collaborate on the investigation into the cause of death of crustacea along the Tees Valley and other parts of the coastline in the north east. The EA and Cefas have undertaken extensive tests to try to determine the cause and are reviewing the evidence gathered since the start of this incident, as well as considering any additional work needed. Previously, chemical pollution was ruled out by the EA as a likely cause for the mortality.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of extending the seasonal workers visa scheme from six to nine months to include tree production and other ornamental horticulture workers.

Defra is considering the latest data and working with the ornamental horticulture production industry to understand labour demand and supply, including both permanent and seasonal workforce requirements. We will continue to monitor the labour needs of the ornamental horticulture sector and help to ensure that these are met.

The Seasonal Workers Pilot was expanded for 2021, from 10,000 to 30,000 visas, for workers to come to the UK for up to six months to pick and package fruit and vegetables on our farms.

The Government has announced that the seasonal worker visa route will be extended to 2024 to allow overseas workers to come to the UK for up to six months to harvest both edible and ornamental crops. 30,000 visas will be available. This will be kept under review with the potential to increase by 10,000 visas if necessary.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of (a) ornamental horticulture’s contribution to the environment and biodiversity and (b) the potential merits of including that sector in the Seasonal Workers Pilot scheme to support the sector to increase the production of plants and trees.

While no specific assessment has been made of the ornamental horticulture sector’s contribution to the environment and biodiversity, domestic ornamental horticulture production is an important part of the supply chain for green infrastructure. Green infrastructure includes greenspace such as parks and woodlands but also other environmental features such as street trees, hedgerows and green walls and roofs.

Defra is considering the latest data and working with the ornamental horticulture production industry to understand labour demand and supply, including both permanent and seasonal workforce requirements. We will continue to monitor the labour needs of the ornamental horticulture sector and help to ensure that these are met.

The Seasonal Workers Pilot was expanded for 2021, from 10,000 to 30,000 visas, for workers to come to the UK for up to six months to pick and package fruit and vegetables on our farms. The Government has announced that the seasonal worker visa route will be extended to 2024 to allow overseas workers to come to the UK for up to six months to harvest both edible and ornamental crops. 30,000 visas will be available. This will be kept under review with the potential to increase by 10,000 visas if necessary.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the adequacy of supply of seasonal workers for ornamental horticulture.

Defra is considering the latest data and working with the ornamental horticulture production industry to understand labour demand and supply, including both permanent and seasonal workforce requirements. We will continue to monitor the labour needs of the ornamental horticulture sector and to help ensure that these are met.

The Government has announced that the seasonal worker visa route will be extended to 2024 to allow overseas workers to come to the UK for up to six months to harvest both edible and ornamental crops. 30,000 visas will be available. This will be kept under review with the potential to increase by 10,000 visas if necessary.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much his Department spent on (a) legal fees and (b) associated costs in connection with the proposed culling of Geronimo the alpaca from Shepherds Close Farm in Wickwar.

With the exception of legal costs which were awarded to Defra by the High Court following the unsuccessful Judicial Review in 2019 and the owner’s failed appeal against the granting of a warrant, the costs associated with the compulsory slaughter of the twice-TB-test positive alpaca have not been separately accounted for.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether fire and rescue services are exempt from bans on controlled burning where it facilitates wildfire training.

Fire and rescue services will not have a general exemption from the requirements of the regulations. We consider that our most protected sites are not the place for wildfire training, and that other more suitable locations exist. We will engage with the Chief Fire Officers Association to understand whether this will impact on their ability to retain their expertise.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what representations he has received from Natural England on the (a) granting of licences for scientific research on deep peat to inform his Department's policy and land management decisions in the future and (b) continuation of long-term research on Moorhouse National Nature Reserve.

The request for a Minor and Temporary Adjustment to Higher Level Stewardship Schemes is a matter for the Rural Payments Agency in consultation with Natural England, who will take into consideration any wider circumstances surrounding that adjustment where it is made known to them.

In relation to the Moorhouse National Nature Reserve, there have been no representations to perform any future burning. There is no specific ban on burning for scientific purposes, but any such burning would need to be undertaken in accordance with the legislation.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will support a Minor and Temporary Adjustment to Higher Level Stewardship Schemes to permit the continuation of the £2 million heather vegetation management experiment partly funded by his Department.

The request for a Minor and Temporary Adjustment to Higher Level Stewardship Schemes is a matter for the Rural Payments Agency in consultation with Natural England, who will take into consideration any wider circumstances surrounding that adjustment where it is made known to them.

In relation to the Moorhouse National Nature Reserve, there have been no representations to perform any future burning. There is no specific ban on burning for scientific purposes, but any such burning would need to be undertaken in accordance with the legislation.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will take steps to ensure that proposed licences for vegetation management by controlled burning on blanket bog will be made available at the same time as legislative proposals to enable wildfire risk to be managed are brought forward.

The proposed licensing regime for managed burning on protected blanket bog will include the ability to obtain a licence to burn for the purposes of wildfire mitigation where no other practicable management technique is available. We are currently drafting guidance that will be published in advance of the start of the burning season in 2021.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of peatland (a) restoration and (b) management for helping to (i) abate greenhouse gas emissions, (ii) manage fuel loads and (iii) deliver conservation outcomes on deep peat; and what steps he is taking to ensure that learning from (A) scientific research on and (B) practitioner management of peat informs the restoration and protection of blanket bog.

Restored peatland achieves a variety of natural capital objectives, including carbon sequestration, water regulation and quality, optimising biodiversity, preserving archaeology, and minimising wildfire hazards. We are committed to restoring and sustainably managing England’s peatlands. The Chancellor announced in March that as part of the Nature for Climate Fund, 35,000ha of peatland restoration would be achieved over the next five years. This represents a significant step forward in our restoration efforts and will require us to work closely with a wide range of stakeholders, including landowners and land management representative organisations.

We continue to monitor all aspects of scientific research on the impacts of burning on blanket bog habitat. The balance of evidence remains that burning on blanket bog is detrimental as it moves the bog away from its original wet state and risks vulnerable peat bogs becoming converted to drier, heathland habitat. That is why we are taking action to prevent further damage by bringing forward legislation that will limit burning of vegetation on protected deep peat.

The Government will be setting out further measures to restore, protect and manage England’s peatlands this year as part of a package of measures to protect England’s landscapes and nature-based solutions.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to mitigate the risk of wildfires on peat soils and priority habitats where the vegetation fuel load and soil conditions may combine to increase that risk.

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

It is the responsibility of the relevant Fire and Rescue Service to investigate the reasons for any particular wildfire, with these findings being collated by the Home Office. Where appropriate the findings of the relevant Fire and Rescue Service will be shared with Defra so that lessons can learned, as appropriate.

The Met Office developed the Fire Severity Index, which is an assessment of how severe a fire could become if one were to start. It enables landowners and land managers to take action where the severity is identified as high risk.

We recognise that the primary cause of wildfire is people. We are encouraging sustainable land management practices that mitigate wildfire risk by reducing fuel loads and returning the land to a naturally wildfire resilient state. This includes encouraging landowners and land managers to adopt or create good quality wildfire management plans to reduce wildfire risk and prepare for any eventualities of wildfire. We are also exploring with Natural England and the Forestry Commission the possible development of suitable training around wildfire for landowners and land managers.

The Government will be setting out further measures to restore, protect and manage England's peatlands this year, as part of a package of measures to protect England's landscapes and nature-based solutions.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the reasons for wildfires (a) on Bodmin Moor, (b) on Dartmoor, (c) on Benbecula and (d) in Northern Ireland in February 2021; and which other areas of high fuel load he has identified as being at risk of those fires.

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

It is the responsibility of the relevant Fire and Rescue Service to investigate the reasons for any particular wildfire, with these findings being collated by the Home Office. Where appropriate the findings of the relevant Fire and Rescue Service will be shared with Defra so that lessons can learned, as appropriate.

The Met Office developed the Fire Severity Index, which is an assessment of how severe a fire could become if one were to start. It enables landowners and land managers to take action where the severity is identified as high risk.

We recognise that the primary cause of wildfire is people. We are encouraging sustainable land management practices that mitigate wildfire risk by reducing fuel loads and returning the land to a naturally wildfire resilient state. This includes encouraging landowners and land managers to adopt or create good quality wildfire management plans to reduce wildfire risk and prepare for any eventualities of wildfire. We are also exploring with Natural England and the Forestry Commission the possible development of suitable training around wildfire for landowners and land managers.

The Government will be setting out further measures to restore, protect and manage England's peatlands this year, as part of a package of measures to protect England's landscapes and nature-based solutions.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the role of the bus industry in delivering the levelling-up agenda.

The National Bus Strategy published in March 2021 will help deliver better bus services for passengers across England, including through far-reaching reform of how services are planned and delivered, targeted fares reductions and bus priority measures. Enhanced Partnerships and Franchising arrangements will deliver more comprehensive services to drive forward the Government’s levelling-up agenda.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to support the UK bus and coach industry.

Since the start of the pandemic, an unprecedented level of support has been provided to the bus sector. Initially, over £1.5bn in emergency support was provided to operators and Local Transport Authorities through the Coronavirus Bus Service Support Grant.

Recognising the ongoing financial challenges faced by the sector as passengers return, the Government has provided an additional £226.5m in recovery support through the Bus Recovery Grant. This scheme will run between September 2021 and April 2022.

For the coach industry, the Government has announced a range of measures available to support UK businesses, including coach operators, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough), loan schemes and grant funding.

On 25 March 2021, the Government announced a new Covid-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) of £1.5 billion, available to support those businesses affected by the pandemic but that are ineligible for existing support linked to business rates. While this funding is allocated at local authorities’ discretion, the Government has issued guidance to councils encouraging them to consider tour operators among the businesses eligible for support. Coach operators should contact their local authorities for more information.

The Department continues to engage with stakeholders from both sectors to understand the challenges faced and support recovery.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the £355 million allocated in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 for zero-emission buses, when he expects production of these buses to begin.

As set out in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 £355 million of new funding has been made available for zero emission buses. £150 million of this funding has been made available for 2021-22. The Department intends to allocate this funding to support to the Zero Emission Bus Region Areas (ZEBRA) scheme, taking the total funding available for the scheme to £270 million in the financial year 2021 to 2022.

£70.8 million of this funding has been awarded from the ZEBRA to five local transport authorities: Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, Leicester City Council, Kent County Council, Milton Keynes Council and Warrington Borough Council. The Department is in the process of formally awarding funding to these areas. A further 17 local transport authorities are working to produce business cases under the standard process of the scheme. The Department will award funding to successful business cases under the standard process in Spring 2022. As set out in guidance for the ZEBRA scheme all zero emission buses should come into service no later than two years after funding has been awarded.

The remaining £205 million funding announced in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 will be available over the Spending Review period. The Department will provide further details on how this funding will be used in due course.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many zero-emission buses will be purchased using the £335 million allocated in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 for this purpose.

As set out in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 £355 million of new funding has been made available for zero emission buses. £150 million of this funding has been made available for 2021-22. The Department intends to allocate this funding to support to the Zero Emission Bus Region Areas (ZEBRA) scheme, taking the total funding available for the scheme to £270 million in the financial year 2021 to 2022.

£70.8 million of this funding has been awarded from the ZEBRA to five local transport authorities: Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, Leicester City Council, Kent County Council, Milton Keynes Council and Warrington Borough Council. The Department is in the process of formally awarding funding to these areas. A further 17 local transport authorities are working to produce business cases under the standard process of the scheme. The Department will award funding to successful business cases under the standard process in Spring 2022. As set out in guidance for the ZEBRA scheme all zero emission buses should come into service no later than two years after funding has been awarded.

The remaining £205 million funding announced in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 will be available over the Spending Review period. The Department will provide further details on how this funding will be used in due course.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the £335 million allocated in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 for zero-emission buses, how much of this funding will be made available in the next financial year.

As set out in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 £355 million of new funding has been made available for zero emission buses. £150 million of this funding has been made available for 2021-22. The Department intends to allocate this funding to support to the Zero Emission Bus Region Areas (ZEBRA) scheme, taking the total funding available for the scheme to £270 million in the financial year 2021 to 2022.

£70.8 million of this funding has been awarded from the ZEBRA to five local transport authorities: Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority, Leicester City Council, Kent County Council, Milton Keynes Council and Warrington Borough Council. The Department is in the process of formally awarding funding to these areas. A further 17 local transport authorities are working to produce business cases under the standard process of the scheme. The Department will award funding to successful business cases under the standard process in Spring 2022. As set out in guidance for the ZEBRA scheme all zero emission buses should come into service no later than two years after funding has been awarded.

The remaining £205 million funding announced in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 will be available over the Spending Review period. The Department will provide further details on how this funding will be used in due course.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
16th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much funding from the public purse has been allocated to High Speed Two to date; and what the total cost of that project is estimated to be by 2021.

£7.4bn (excl. construction VAT) has been spent on delivering the HS2 project up to 31 March 2019. Expenditure in relation to the 2020/21 financial year, will be released as part of HS2 Ltd’s and the Department’s annual accounts publication. These are subject to audit processes to ensure accuracy. The Oakervee Review has been tasked with rigorously examining HS2 Ltd’s costs and schedule. The Review findings and Government’s assessment of the likely costs of High Speed 2 will be published shortly.

18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to improve access to NHS dentists.

We are working with the National Health Service, Health Education England and the British Dental Association to tackle the challenges in access, both as a result of the pandemic and longer term. Whilst the impacts of the pandemic continue, practices are prioritising patients based on clinical need and a new activity threshold has been set at 85% to safely increase access. Current work on system reform and improving training for dentistry professionals also seeks to improve access for patients.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what changes are being made to the Overseas Registration Exam used to assess the dental qualifications of dentists who are trained outside the EEA.

The Department is working with the General Dental Council on legislative proposals which will allow it greater flexibility to expand and improve on the registration options open to international applicants, which includes the Overseas Registration Exam. We aim to launch a public consultation on these proposals later this year.

18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has plans to bring forward legislative proposals to enable the General Dental Council to have greater discretion in the assessment of overseas qualifications.

The Department is working with the General Dental Council on legislative proposals which will allow it greater flexibility to expand and improve on the registration options open to international applicants, which includes the Overseas Registration Exam. We aim to launch a public consultation on these proposals later this year.

18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his Department’s plans are for reducing bureaucracy in dentistry by giving the General Dental Council more discretion to assess the qualifications of overseas dentists, in line with the powers used by the General Medical Council.

The Department is working with the General Dental Council on legislative proposals which will allow it greater flexibility to expand and improve on the registration options open to international applicants, which includes the Overseas Registration Exam. We aim to launch a public consultation on these proposals later this year.

18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of dental workforce throughout the UK.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are responsible for commissioning primary care dentistry to meet local need. While available data suggests that the number of dentists providing NHS services in England is sufficient, the interim NHS People Plan commits to addressing geographic shortages.

We are working both on improving career pathways and the current dental contract. In the summer, Health Education England will publish the report of their ‘Advancing Dental Care’ programme which has explored opportunities for flexible dental training pathways and the Department will publish a report on the learning from dental contract reform programme.

The Department has asked NHS England and NHS Improvement to work with the British Dental Association to bring forward implementable proposals.

18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many dental practices are registering new (a) adult and (b) child NHS patients.

This data is unavailable. Continuous registration with dental practices is no longer required and patients are only registered with a dental practice during the course of their treatment.

In circumstances where patients are unable to access an urgent dental appointment directly through a National Health Service dental practice, they should contact NHS 111.

18th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent progress has been made on increasing access to NHS dentistry.

National Health Service dentists throughout the country have been asked to maximise safe throughput to meet as many prioritised needs as possible, focussing first on urgent care and vulnerable groups followed by overdue appointments. In addition, NHS England and NHS Improvement has provided a flexible commissioning toolkit to local commissioners to help focus the available capacity on those that need it most and to reduce oral health inequalities.

For the longer term, the Department has asked NHS England and NHS Improvement to work with the British Dental Association to build on the learning from the dental contract reform programme. Through this work, the Department is seeking to bring forward implementable proposals that address the key challenges facing the delivery of NHS dentistry and improve patient access.

2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what positions the UK Government plans to take on the agenda items being discussed at the WHO Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products in November 2021; and if he will make a statement.

The UK is a Party to the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (the Protocol), which supports our objective to improve international coordination to tackle tobacco fraud at all points in the supply chain.

The UK position on the various agenda items at the coming Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to the Protocol is being determined in advance of the meeting and will take account of how best to achieve this objective and whether the proposals being put forward are likely to be the most effective.

No assessment has been made of any Party’s final detailed position for the MOP. However, the objectives of all Parties within the Europe region of the Protocol are often closely aligned.

The Government does not plan to make a statement.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the EU's common positions ahead of the WHO’s Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products; and whether the UK delegation plans to support those positions at that meeting in November.

The UK is a Party to the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products (the Protocol), which supports our objective to improve international coordination to tackle tobacco fraud at all points in the supply chain.

The UK position on the various agenda items at the coming Meeting of the Parties (MOP) to the Protocol is being determined in advance of the meeting and will take account of how best to achieve this objective and whether the proposals being put forward are likely to be the most effective.

No assessment has been made of any Party’s final detailed position for the MOP. However, the objectives of all Parties within the Europe region of the Protocol are often closely aligned.

The Government does not plan to make a statement.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of including ornamental horticulture in the seasonal workers visa scheme.

We are considering the future of the Seasonal Worker route and will confirm further details imminently.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what plans he has in place to reschedule the national Armed Forces day 2020 event.

The Ministry of Defence has no plans to reschedule Armed Forces Day/Week in 2020. This is a timely opportunity to pay tribute to all our Armed Forces at a time of particular challenge.

Whilst the majority of Armed Forces Day events have been cancelled, we will still be encouraging the nation to show their support for our Armed Forces from their homes on 27 June.

Although there can be no National Event in Scarborough this year, I hope that its people will continue to support the day, albeit not as originally planned. I am also pleased to announce that Scarborough will be the venue for the Armed Forces Day National Event in 2021.

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect on purchase prices of specialist retirement properties in the event that ground rents are abolished for those properties.

The Government has set out a package of measures to tackle unfair practices in the leasehold market and promote transparency and fairness for both leaseholders and freeholders.

We will bring forward legislation in the upcoming session to restrict ground rents on newly created leases to a peppercorn (zero financial value). This will be the first part of seminal two-part legislation to implement reforms in this Parliament. In line with usual practice, the government’s intention would be to publish an impact assessment on our leasehold reforms as part of taking primary legislation through Parliament.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what economic impact assessment his Department has undertaken on the potential effect of legislative proposals to remove future ground rents for retirement properties.

The Government has set out a package of measures to tackle unfair practices in the leasehold market and promote transparency and fairness for both leaseholders and freeholders.

We will bring forward legislation in the upcoming session to restrict ground rents on newly created leases to a peppercorn (zero financial value). This will be the first part of seminal two-part legislation to implement reforms in this Parliament. In line with usual practice, the government’s intention would be to publish an impact assessment on our leasehold reforms as part of taking primary legislation through Parliament.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)