Ruth George Portrait

Ruth George

Labour - Former Member for High Peak

First elected: 8th June 2017

Left House: 6th November 2019 (Defeated)



Division Voting information

Ruth George has voted in 417 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
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All Debates

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

Sparring Partners
Mel Stride (Conservative)
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
(27 debate interactions)
Justin Tomlinson (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
(26 debate interactions)
Rory Stewart (Independent)
(22 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department for Work and Pensions
(117 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(98 debate contributions)
Ministry of Justice
(57 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(56 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Civil Liability Act 2018
(8,937 words contributed)
Finance (No.2) Act 2017
(3,399 words contributed)
Finance Act 2019
(2,093 words contributed)
Finance Act 2018
(2,058 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Ruth George's debates

High Peak 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).

Petition Debates Contributed

Developers, and other interested parties are circumventing laws protecting birds by 'netting' hedgerows to prevent birds from nesting.

This facilitates the uprooting of hedgerows which aid biodiversity and provide the only remaining nesting sites for birds, whose numbers are in sharp decline.

Hundreds of thousands of parents will lose out under the new tax-free childcare. The voucher schemes should be kept open alongside tax-free childcare to give parents a genuine choice for the support that best suits their family.


Latest EDMs signed by Ruth George

22nd October 2019
Ruth George signed this EDM on Thursday 24th October 2019

Cancer Research UK work with universities

Tabled by: Jim Shannon (Democratic Unionist Party - Strangford)
That this House welcomes the announcement that Cancer Research UK will work with UK universities and in the US to investigate how cancer is formed to facilitate the earliest possible treatment.
23 signatures
(Most recent: 16 Dec 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 7
Democratic Unionist Party: 6
Conservative: 3
Independent: 3
Scottish National Party: 3
Liberal Democrat: 1
22nd October 2019
Ruth George signed this EDM on Thursday 24th October 2019

Welfare and survival of Asian elephants used in tourism

Tabled by: Rupa Huq (Labour - Ealing Central and Acton)
That this House is concerned about the increasing risk of extinction to Asian elephants; notes that in India and South East Asia some Asian elephants are snatched from the wild when very young, deprived of food and water for months whilst tightly confined in cages, beaten and stabbed with iron …
34 signatures
(Most recent: 4 Nov 2019)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 18
Conservative: 5
Scottish National Party: 5
Independent: 3
Crossbench: 1
Green Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
The Independent Group for Change: 1
View All Ruth George's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Ruth George, 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.


Ruth George has not been granted any Urgent Questions

3 Adjournment Debates led by Ruth George

1 Bill introduced by Ruth George


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make it an offence to use a sky lantern; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 27th March 2019
(Read Debate)

Latest 50 Written Questions

(View all written questions)
Written Questions can be tabled by MPs and Lords to request specific information information on the work, policy and activities of a Government Department
24th May 2018
To ask the Attorney General, how many CPS applications to extend the custody time limit for bail have been made for (a) drug offences, (b) rape charges, (c) firearms offences, (d) other dangerous weapon offences, (e) grievous bodily harm, (f) manslaughter, (g) murder and (h) all other offences in (i) Derbyshire and (ii) each region of the UK in the last five years.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not collect data on the number of applications made by the CPS to the courts to extend custody time limits or on applications made by the CPS to the court to extend pre-charge bail periods. Such information could only be obtained through a manual search of records which would incur disproportionate cost.

24th May 2018
To ask the Attorney General, how many successful CPS applications to extend the custody time limit for bail have been made for (a) drug offences, (b) rape charges, (c) firearms offences, (d) other dangerous weapon offences, (e) grievous bodily harm, (f) manslaughter, (g) murder and (h) all other offences in (i) Derbyshire and (ii) each region on the UK in the last five years.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not collect data on the outcome of applications made by the CPS to the courts to extend custody time limits or the outcome of applications made by the CPS to the court to extend pre-charge bail periods. Such information could only be obtained through a manual search of records which would incur disproportionate cost.

21st Feb 2019
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many children under the age of 16 have had a (a) fatal and (b) non-fatal paracetamol overdose in each of the last 10 years.

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

21st Feb 2019
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many children under the age of 18 have had a (a) fatal and (b) non-fatal paracetamol overdose in each of the last 10 years.

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

4th Dec 2018
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many and what proportion of families in each of the constituent parts of the UK have (a) three, (b) four and (c) five or more dependent children.

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

17th Oct 2019
What recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Transport on rail stations that are inaccessible to people with disabilities; and if she will make a statement.

We are committed to improving accessibility at rail stations, and have recently extended the Access for All programme with £300m to provide accessibility improvements at even more stations. This is in addition to improvements required whenever infrastructure work is carried out at a station by the industry.

Nusrat Ghani
Minister of State (Minister for Europe)
26th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether her Department plans to include carbon emissions from UK Overseas Territories in its carbon accounting processes for the Paris Agreement.

The Department is consulting with UK Overseas Territories as to whether they would like to have the UK’s ratification of the Paris Agreement extended to them. For those UK Overseas Territories that so choose, the Department will work with them to ensure they are ready to implement the Paris Agreement and to regularly report to the Department on that implementation.

Under the accounting and transparency rules for the Paris Agreement agreed at COP24 in December 2018, any UK Overseas Territories included in the geographic scope of UK’s ratification of the Paris Agreement in future will also need to be included in the UK’s accounting for and regular reporting on emissions under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The UK was the first major economy in the world to legislate for a net zero target. The target is enshrined under the Climate Change Act 2008 which does not apply to UK Overseas Territories.

26th Sep 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if her Department will work with the UK Overseas Territories to reduce their carbon emissions as part of the UK’s (a) contribution towards the Paris Agreement and (b) Net Zero commitment.

The Department is consulting with UK Overseas Territories as to whether they would like to have the UK’s ratification of the Paris Agreement extended to them. For those UK Overseas Territories that so choose, the Department will work with them to ensure they are ready to implement the Paris Agreement and to regularly report to the Department on that implementation.

Under the accounting and transparency rules for the Paris Agreement agreed at COP24 in December 2018, any UK Overseas Territories included in the geographic scope of UK’s ratification of the Paris Agreement in future will also need to be included in the UK’s accounting for and regular reporting on emissions under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The UK was the first major economy in the world to legislate for a net zero target. The target is enshrined under the Climate Change Act 2008 which does not apply to UK Overseas Territories.

11th Jun 2019
What recent assessment his Department has made of the equity of employment contract terms and conditions in the supermarket sector.

The Government is committed to upgrading workers’ rights and protecting the most vulnerable workers. Our legal framework already ensures that employers should always treat their employees fairly, and our Good Work Plan will introduce the biggest upgrade to workers’ rights in a generation.

In the retail sector specifically, the industry-led Retail Sector Council has identified employment as a priority workstream and this will be discussed at our next meeting on 20 June.

26th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the scientific reasons are for not continuing the Cardiff Bay Tidal Power scheme.

In his statement on Monday 25th June 2015, my rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy informed Parliament that a value for money assessment if the proposed Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon and the subsequent programme of lagoons (including the proposed Cardiff Bay lagoon) did not represent value for money for the tax payer and consumer.

The summary value for money statement can be read at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/swansea-bay-tidal-lagoon-value-for-money-assessment.

18th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many Energy Company Obligation measures have been delivered to off-gas grid homes using (a) heating oil and (b) liquefied petroleum gas.

The Energy Company Obligation delivered approximately 69,000 measures to oil heated homes and 8,000 measures to liquefied petroleum gas heated homes that are not thought to have a mains gas supply between January 2013 and March 2018.

18th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many Energy Company Obligation measures have been delivered to off-gas grid homes using (a) heating oil and (b) LPG in the High Peak constituency.

The Energy Company Obligation delivered approximately 30 measures to oil or liquefied petroleum gas heated homes in High Peak constituency that are not thought to have a mains gas supply between January 2013 and March 2018. Due to the small sample we are not able to provide a breakdown between oil and liquefied petroleum gas, due to disclosure issues.

18th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how obligated Energy Company Obligation suppliers identify off-gas grid homes for the purposes of the rural sub-obligation of the Energy Company Obligation.

Obligated suppliers can identify off-gas grid homes through off-grid maps. There are several maps and data available online that suppliers could use. Maps such as those found on Xoserve.com and nongasmap.com can be detailed enough to show postcodes in off-gas grid areas. Government also publishes local authority area statistics of households not connected to the gas network.

Those off-gas grid could be supported under ECO with the installation of a first time central heating system, and this support can be linked to connection to the gas grid under the Fuel Poverty Network Extension Scheme. This scheme requires gas distribution companies to extend their network to communities where fuel poverty is high.

18th Jun 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will mandate ECO3-obligated suppliers to deliver a minimum number of energy efficiency measures to off-grid homes under the rural sub-obligation of the Energy Company Obligation.

Department has recently consulted on the future ECO scheme that will run from October 2018 until March 2022.

This consultation proposed that the future scheme have a 15% rural sub-obligation to safeguard delivery for rural homes. Within that sub-obligation, the consultation also proposed that measures delivered to off-grid homes continue to receive an uplift (i.e. increased score) to encourage delivery to off-grid homes.

The response to the consultation will be published shortly.

15th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the Government's policy is on UK laboratories continuing to be able to be certified to EU standards under the ATEX directive after March 2019.

The UK is working towards a comprehensive future agreement with the EU which includes securing the freest and most frictionless trade possible in goods. The UK wants to ensure a smooth exit which minimises disruption for businesses and consumers when goods are placed on the UK and EU market. With regards to third party conformity and certification procedures, the Government’s aim is to provide maximum legal certainty and confidence to citizens, consumers and businesses.

9th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when his Department plans to implement the proposals resulting from the 2016 Review of the Corporate Insolvency Framework consultation.

In May 2016 the Government published its Review of the Corporate Insolvency Framework consultation. The consultation contained a package of proposals to improve the rescue opportunities for financially-distressed companies.

A summary of responses to the consultation was published in September 2016.

Following the publication of the summary of responses, the Government has continued to engage with a range of interested parties to further discuss and explore issues raised in responses to the consultation. This further engagement will ensure that any reforms, if necessary, will be fit for purpose and best achieve the Government’s aims of rescuing distressed but viable businesses, preserving economic value and saving jobs.

The Government will set out the way forward for the proposals in its response later this year.

25th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the balance between (a) theoretical and (b) practice-based content in postgraduate courses in play therapy.

Universities are autonomous institutions and responsible for the content of their courses, including quality and standards. The Department for Education does not assess individual courses or make judgements about the content of courses.

However, the Office for Students (OfS) is responsible for protecting the interests of all students and the quality of all regulated provision, working with the designated quality body, the Quality Assurance Agency. The OfS expects higher education providers to ensure they enable students to progress to employment, including by working with employers on the content of courses. This is particularly relevant where there are professional bodies with an interest in the abilities and standard of graduates and post-graduates. The OfS also manages the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework.

The government has a role in ensuring a framework exists to understand and provide for skills needs at a national and local level.

25th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the availability of postgraduate training in practice-based play therapy in each region of England.

Universities are autonomous institutions and responsible for the content of their courses, including quality and standards. The Department for Education does not assess individual courses or make judgements about the content of courses.

However, the Office for Students (OfS) is responsible for protecting the interests of all students and the quality of all regulated provision, working with the designated quality body, the Quality Assurance Agency. The OfS expects higher education providers to ensure they enable students to progress to employment, including by working with employers on the content of courses. This is particularly relevant where there are professional bodies with an interest in the abilities and standard of graduates and post-graduates. The OfS also manages the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework.

The government has a role in ensuring a framework exists to understand and provide for skills needs at a national and local level.

19th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for resources to engage parents and carers of children in receipt of therapeutic services within school; and if he will make a statement.

The department places a high priority on supporting parents and carers of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Engaging parents fully in determining support for children with SEND is a critical part of the SEND reforms. Section 19 of the Children and Families Act places a duty on local authorities and others to listen to and take account of the views of parents in SEND matters.

The department continues to support families by funding parent carer forums (PCF) in each local authority area, providing £15,000 per year per PCF. The department also funds plus £1.9 million per year until March 2020 to support strategic participation and co-production with local authorities and other partners, by parents and young people through the charity Contact.

The department is also providing £20 million until March 2020 to improve the quality of local authority SEND Information, Advice and Support Services (IASS), and to provide a national helpline and online support.

The IASS support builds on the £60m per year Independent Supporters programme (between 2014-18), which provided support to families going through the Education, Health and Care needs assessment and plan process.

10th Jul 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the provision of professional training for people who work therapeutically with children and young people on mental health issues; and if he will make a statement.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, meets regularly with Cabinet colleagues to discuss the Department for Education's agenda.

The Department for Education committed in 2017, jointly with the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), to an ambitious programme to improve children and young people’s mental health provision in and around schools and colleges. This is highlighted in the Government’s response to the green paper, ‘Transforming Children and Young People’s Mental Health Provision’. Further information on the Government’s proposals can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/transforming-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-provision-a-green-paper.

Issues related to the professional training of those who work therapeutically with children and young people on mental health issues are the responsibility of the DHSC.

29th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many people who were eligible for 30 hours of free childcare in one term did not apply for an eligibility code for the next term.

The specific data requested is not available.

To access 30 hours free childcare for their child a parent must apply via the Childcare Service and receive an eligibility code. Once they have received this code they are required to reconfirm their circumstances every three months but they do not need to apply for a new code each term.

24th Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the effect on (a) financial situation and (b) ability to work of families that have a child eligible for 30 hours of free childcare of not applying for an eligibility code for that childcare.

The government is committed to ensuring parents who want it have access to high-quality childcare to support them financially and to enable them to work, or work more hours. We do not expect all parents who are eligible for the 30 hours offer to take up a place for their child - parents may choose to use other childcare arrangements, for example, family members.

Parents who are eligible for 30 hours but do not apply are eligible for the universal 15 hour per week early education entitlement. They can also take advantage of Tax-Free Childcare which was introduced earlier this year.

23rd Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department has made available for families that have a child eligible for 30 hours of free childcare but mistakenly do not apply for an eligibility code.

The government is committed to ensuring parents have access to high-quality affordable childcare. The termly deadline for the 30 hours offer has been made clear to local authorities, providers and parents, and the department expects parents to adhere to these deadlines to ensure they are able to access a 30 hours place for their child.

The government has invested in strong and clear communications on the 30 hours offer, including a cross government website, Childcare Choices, which clearly sets out how and when a parent can access a place: www.childcarechoices.gov.uk. The department recognises that some applications may be delayed in the childcare service, that is why we have put in place a 14-day discretionary period for those parents who applied in time but received a code after the deadline, through no fault of their own.

Parents who are eligible for 30 hours of free childcare but miss the termly deadline will continue to remain eligible for the universal 15 hour per week early education entitlement before they can access a 30 hours place the following term. They can also take advantage of Tax-Free Childcare which was introduced earlier this year.

22nd Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing local authorities with a discretionary fund to support families that have a child eligible for 30 hours of free childcare but mistakenly do not apply for an eligibility code.

The government is committed to ensuring parents have access to high-quality affordable childcare. The termly deadline for the 30 hours offer has been made clear to local authorities, providers and parents, and the department expects parents to adhere to these deadlines in order to ensure they are able to access a 30 hours place for their child.

The government has invested in strong and clear communications on the 30 hours offer, including a cross government website, Childcare Choices, which clearly sets out how and when a parent can access a place: www.childcarechoices.gov.uk. The department recognises that some applications may be delayed in the Childcare Service and we have put in place a 14 day discretionary period for those parents who applied in time but received a code after the deadline, through no fault of their own.

During the first year of delivery, over 379,000 codes were successfully generated by parents applying through the HM Revenue and Customs Childcare Service, with around 340,000 places being taken up by working parents across the country, taking huge pressures off family lives and budgets.

22nd Oct 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many people have applied for an eligibility code for 30 hours of free childcare after the deadline in each of the terms to date.

During the first year of delivery, over 379,000 eligibility codes were successfully generated by parents applying through HM Revenue and Customs Childcare Service.

This breaks down across each of the terms as follows:

  • Autumn term 2017 – 224,885 codes
  • Spring term 2018 – 329,195 codes
  • Summer term 2018 – 379,662 codes
  • Autumn term 2018 – 254,136 codes

We publish termly management information releases showing the number of codes generated each term. The full publication, which shows local authority and regional level breakdowns, is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/30-hours-free-childcare-eligibility-codes-issued-and-validated.

The government has invested in strong and clear communications on the 30 hours offer, including a cross government website, Childcare Choices, which clearly sets out how and when a parent can access a place – www.childcarechoices.gov.uk. The department recognises that some applications may be delayed in the Childcare Service, that is why we have put in place a 14 day discretionary period for those parents who applied in time but received a code after the deadline, through no fault of their own.

Although the department holds data on the number of eligibility codes and when they were issued, we are unable to determine in which term a parent intends to take up a place, as this is dependent on circumstances and choices of the individual parent.

13th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of pupils permanently excluded from schools in Derbyshire at key stage (a) 1, (b) 2, (c) 3 and (d) 4 in each of the last five years.

Information on the number of permanent exclusions in Derbyshire broken down by year group is published in the ‘Permanent and fixed-period exclusions in England 2015 to 2016’ National Statistics release, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/permanent-and-fixed-period-exclusions-in-england-2015-to-2016.[1] Total exclusion figures for each key stage are not published.

A table is attached showing the total Number and Rate of permanent exclusions in Derbyshire Local Authority from 2011/12 to 2015/16, broken down by year group.

[1] Underlying exclusions data for local authorities can be found in the file SFR_35_2017_LA_characteristics.csv, also available to view at the above site.

13th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, which schools are in the 20 per cent most deprived areas.

The department does not routinely produce information about schools in the 20% most deprived areas. The department’s main measure of deprivation is the percentage of pupils eligible for Free School Meals (FSM) and this is included in School Performance Tables. The full list of FSM rates per school can be downloaded from the School Performance Tables website and ranked accordingly: https://www.compare-school-performance.service.gov.uk/.

31st Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children will be eligible for free school meals as a result of the protections for entitlement under the existing arrangements.

As explained in our consultation paper, we have recently brought forward proposals to update the temporary criteria for free school meals eligibility under universal credit. In setting these new criteria, we are ensuring that the new arrangements are fair, consistent and simple to deliver. The consultation paper is available to view here: https://consult.education.gov.uk/healthy-pupil-unit/fsm/.

Last year, around 1.1 million of the most disadvantaged children were eligible for and claiming a free meal. As a result of our proposed criteria, we estimate that by 2022 around 50,000 more children will benefit from a free school meal compared to the previous benefits system.

In addition, we will also provide generous protections to ensure that no child will lose out as a result of these changes up until the end of the rollout of universal credit. This is part of ongoing policy development.

30th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will estimate how many children will become eligible for free school meals in each of the next 5 years under (a) proposal in the Eligibility for free school meals and the early years pupil premium under Universal Credit government consultation and (b) existing rules of eligibility.

As explained in our consultation paper, we have recently brought forward proposals to update the temporary criteria for free school meals eligibility under Universal Credit. In setting these new criteria, we are ensuring that the new arrangements are fair, consistent and simple to deliver. The consultation paper is available to view here: https://consult.education.gov.uk/healthy-pupil-unit/fsm/.

Free school meals are targeted at children who need them most. If all children in families receiving Universal Credit were to become eligible for a free school meal this would result in around half of school age pupils becoming eligible compared to a current rate of around 14%.

Under our proposed new criteria, we estimate that by 2022 around 50,000 more children will benefit from a free school meal compared to the previous benefits system.

30th Jan 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many families would be better off reducing their income to less than £7,400 a year to secure free school meals.

The information requested is not held centrally. The government recently held a public consultation on setting a net earnings threshold under universal credit to determine a household’s eligibility for free school meals. Under our proposals, we estimate that by 2022 around 50,000 more children will benefit from a free school meal compared to the previous benefits system.

19th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when she plans to respond to Question 4640, tabled by the hon. Member for High Peak on 12 July 2017 on children: day care.
12th Jul 2017
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate she has made of the (a) total number and (b) proportion of families eligible for the offer of 30 hours free childcare who have (i) registered for their place via the Childcare Choices website and (ii) also had their code validated by a childcare provider.

The Childcare Choices website provides information on whether parents could be eligible for a range of government childcare offers, including 30 hours free childcare. Parents can apply for Tax-Free Childcare and 30 hours free childcare through the digital Childcare Service, which is accessible via Childcare Choices.

As of 18 July, successful parent applications via the Childcare Service have generated 145,463 valid 30 hours eligibility codes. 48,577 valid codes have been verified by local authorities.

The number of eligible children fluctuates by term and by parental employment and we cannot estimate with precision how many children are eligible at any specific time.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children will be eligible for free school meals as a result of the protections for entitlement under the existing arrangements.

As explained in our consultation paper, we have recently brought forward proposals to update the temporary criteria for free school meals eligibility under universal credit. In setting these new criteria, we are ensuring that the new arrangements are fair, consistent and simple to deliver. The consultation paper is available to view here: https://consult.education.gov.uk/healthy-pupil-unit/fsm/.

Last year, around 1.1 million of the most disadvantaged children were eligible for and claiming a free meal. As a result of our proposed criteria, we estimate that by 2022 around 50,000 more children will benefit from a free school meal compared to the previous benefits system.

In addition, we will also provide generous protections to ensure that no child will lose out as a result of these changes up until the end of the rollout of universal credit. This is part of ongoing policy development.

25th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to introduce a vicarious liability for estate owners in relation to (a) the actions of gamekeepers and (b) the illegal killing of birds of prey.

The Government does not currently have any plans to introduce vicarious liability in England. The introduction of new legislation, such as vicarious liability, requires evidence that it will be effective. So far there is no compelling evidence that the introduction of the provisions in Scotland and Northern Ireland has had a significant deterrent effect on those who persecute such birds.

20th Dec 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the letter of 18 November from the Minister of State for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food to the hon. Member for High Peak on small abattoirs, if he will provide (a) a list the 79 LEADER groups in England and (b) the closing date of applications for each LEADER group in each area.

Full details of the 79 LEADER groups are available through the Rural Development Programme for England LEADER homepage on gov.uk.

At a national level, the LEADER programme is on track to commit the majority of its funds by March 2019 with more than half of these groups now closed to new applications.

Individual LEADER groups close their programmes when they have sufficient demand to spend their full allocation. As a result, the decision to close is made by the LEADER groups and is shown on their individual websites.

A list of LEADER programmes currently open is provided in the table below.

Beds and Hunts Claylands

Chilterns

Clay Vales

Coast, Wolds, Wetlands and Waterways

Durham and Coast Lowlands

East Kent

Eastern Plateau

Fieldfare

Greensand Ridge

Heart of Wessex

Loddon and Test

Mersey Rural

New Forest

North Nottinghamshire

North Pennine Dales

North Warwickshire Hinckley and Bosworth

North Wessex Downs

North York Moors, Coast and Hills

Northern Lincolnshire

Northumberland Coast and Lowlands

Northumberland Uplands

Plain Action

Rural Surrey

South East Cornwall

South Nottinghamshire

South Pennines

Vale Action

Wealden and Rother Rural Partnership

West Cheshire and Warrington

West Kent

17th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has undertaken an economic impact assessment of the effects of clean air zones and associated air quality measures on businesses in (a) Manchester and (b) Greater Manchester; and if he will make a statement.

The Government assessed the impacts of charging clean air zones on businesses nationally in the technical report accompanying the 2017 UK plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations. This did not look at the impacts on Manchester, or Greater Manchester as whole, or in isolation.

As set out in the UK plan, it is the responsibility of local authorities, as part of their feasibility studies, to assess the impact a local plan could have on individuals and businesses, including through an economic impact assessment and a distributional and equalities impact analysis. This also includes the consultation of relevant stakeholders where appropriate. In the case of Greater Manchester, Transport for Greater Manchester is coordinating work with local authorities to develop their local air quality plan.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th May 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what discussions his Department has had with small and medium-sized businesses in (a) Manchester and (b) Greater Manchester on the financial effect on their businesses of proposed clean air zones and associated air quality measures.

The Government has not had direct discussions with small and medium-sized businesses in Manchester or Greater Manchester about the financial effect of clean air zones.

We assessed the impacts of charging clean air zones on businesses nationally in the technical report accompanying the 2017 UK plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations.

This did not look at the impacts in Manchester or Greater Manchester in isolation. The UK plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations and the documents associated with it, such as the clean air zone framework, were consulted on, inviting relevant stakeholders to submit their views.

As set out in the UK plan for tackling roadside nitrogen dioxide concentrations, it is the responsibility of local authorities, as part of their feasibility studies, to assess the impact a local plan could have on individuals and businesses, including through an economic impact assessment and a distributional and equalities impact analysis.

This also includes consultation of relevant stakeholders where appropriate. In the case of Greater Manchester, Transport for Greater Manchester is coordinating work with local authorities to develop their local air quality plan.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the funding for the maintenance of the England Coast Path will be in line with the National Funding Formula for National Trails.

Funding for the maintenance of the England Coast Path will be in line with the National Funding Formula for National Trails as the new access rights come into force on stretches of the path.

Natural England has written to each of the National Trail Partnerships to let them know that it will be funding the existing National Trails in 2018/19 at the same level of funding as in 2017/18.

2nd Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if his Department will uphold Natural England's agreement to commit to a three-year funding cycle for the National Trails.

Business planning and financial allocations have not yet been completed and we are therefore not yet in a position to announce the future level of funding until 2021 for the 13 national trails.

Natural England wrote to each of the national trail partnerships last December making an interim offer of 50% of the funding made to each of the national trails in 2017/18. The offer was an advance contribution towards the costs the partnerships would incur in 2018/19 in the absence of Natural England being able to confirm its overall funding position for 2018/19.


21st Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, if he will list in full the UK's (a) financial and (b) legal obligations to the EU in the event of the UK leaving the EU.

The Withdrawal Agreement establishes the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU, settling the UK’s financial and legal rights and obligations on withdrawal and providing an orderly transition to the future relationship. The Government has set out a reasonable central estimate of the financial settlement in the Withdrawal Agreement of £35bn to £39bn, which the 20 April 2018 National Audit Office report ‘Exiting the EU: The financial settlement’ concluded was reasonable.

3rd Sep 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what discussions the UK has had with other GAVI Alliance on extending the Advanced Market Commitment pilot beyond the current end date of December 2020.

The Advanced Market Commitment for Pneumococcal Vaccines (AMC) has been enormously successful and has achieved its targets three years ahead of schedule. Its innovative approach has enabled 114 million children to be immunised across 57 countries and prevented 762,000 deaths from severe pneumonia. It is a tremendous example of the impact UK Aid has in delivering results.

The UK works closely with the Gavi Alliance and other AMC donors to ensure that our contribution to the AMC achieves the maximum impact and value for money. We have engaged in extensive discussions regarding the potential extension of Advanced Market Commitment pilot beyond the current end date of December 2020. However, given that the AMC has achieved all of its targets 3 years ahead of schedule, there is limited evidence an extension will deliver significant further benefits. The UK has pushed the AMC to develop and communicate a strategic use for any residual funds during the remaining life of the AMC and will continue to work with the Gavi Secretariat and donors to ensure the best use of these.

3rd Sep 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to support governments in developing countries to build universal health coverage.

The UK supports countries to build the strong and resilient health systems needed to achieve universal health coverage (UHC). DFID provides technical assistance and financial support directly to countries, promotes the technical leadership of the World Health Organisation, and funds research and new products that increase access and reduce prices for essential quality medicines and other commodities. Through health partnerships, we share UK experience and expertise in providing UHC through the NHS.

13th Apr 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how many Medevac evacuations have taken place from St Helena in each of the last five years.

I refer the honourable member to the answer I gave to her earlier PQ 135170.

29th Mar 2018
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what the cost of Medevac evacuations from St Helena was in each of the last 5 years.

Flights are activated for lifesaving medical emergencies only, but the St Helena Government’s (SHG) Health Directorate will where possible send other urgent medical referrals on the same flight to maximise value for money. In 2016/17, there were 5 medical evacuation flights (transporting 9 patients) at a cost to the SHG of £203,160. In 2017/18, there were 8 medical evacuation flights (transporting 13 patients) costing £406,820.

Urgent lifesaving medical evacuations were not possible until the airport opened in St Helena. The first medical evacuation flight was on 3 June 2016. Before then, the island relied primarily on the Royal Mail Ship St Helena to get patients off the island for medical treatment. There are, therefore, no comparable medevac figures pre-2016.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what the cost of Medevac evacuations from St Helena was in each of the last 5 years.

Flights are activated for lifesaving medical emergencies only, but the St Helena Government’s (SHG) Health Directorate will where possible send other urgent medical referrals on the same flight to maximise value for money. In 2016/17, there were 5 medical evacuation flights (transporting 9 patients) at a cost to the SHG of £203,160. In 2017/18, there were 8 medical evacuation flights (transporting 13 patients) costing £406,820.

Urgent lifesaving medical evacuations were not possible until the airport opened in St Helena. The first medical evacuation flight was on 3 June 2016. Before then, the island relied primarily on the Royal Mail Ship St Helena to get patients off the island for medical treatment. There are, therefore, no comparable medevac figures pre-2016.

28th Jan 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what estimate he has made of the total amount of funding provided to businesses by UK Export Finance; and what proportion of that support was provided to SMEs in each of the last five years.

The value of support provided by UK Export Finance (UKEF) for exports, including the percentage share of support for SMEs, is shown in the table:

Financial Year

Business supported, £m

Value of support for SMEs, £m

Proportion of the value of support for SMEs, %

FY13/14

2,272

199

9%

FY14/15

2,730

122

4%

FY15/16

1,793

155

9%

FY16/17

2,966

89

3%

FY17/18

2,530

195

8%

UKEF offers a range of short-term products to help SMEs fulfil export contracts. The typical value of each facility provided through this range is under £2m but enables SMEs to fulfil export contracts of greater value than the support they receive. UKEF has supported £2.5bn in export contracts for SMEs through this product range over the last 5 years. In 2017-18, 77% of all companies UKEF supported were SMEs.

18th Apr 2019
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what (a) statutory requirements he is subject to in relation to and (b) what is the statutory basis for (i) the production of guidance on driving and diabetes and (ii) the appointment of an honorary medical advisory panel on driving and diabetes.

The overarching legal requirements governing medical fitness to drive are contained in sections 92-96 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

The statutory basis for the standards relating to driving and diabetes can be found in Section 72 of the Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) Regulations 1999. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency produces guidance for the public and medical professionals based on the legal requirements.

The appointment of an honorary medical advisory panel on driving and diabetes is not provided for in law. The panel’s role is to help maintain and improve road safety by providing the Secretary of State for Transport with expert medical advice about diabetes and its impact on driving. The panel complies with the Code of Practice for Scientific Advisory Panels, which provides guidance on processes and practices for bodies providing independent scientific advice to government.