Selaine Saxby Portrait

Selaine Saxby

Conservative - North Devon

First elected: 12th December 2019


Electronic Trade Documents Bill [HL]
14th Jun 2023 - 19th Jun 2023
Electricity and Gas Transmission (Compensation) Bill
18th Jan 2023 - 23rd Jan 2023
Child Support Collection (Domestic Abuse) Bill
7th Dec 2022 - 14th Dec 2022
Employment Relations (Flexible Working) Bill
30th Nov 2022 - 6th Dec 2022
Glue Traps (Offences) Bill
12th Jan 2022 - 19th Jan 2022
Professional Qualifications Bill [HL]
12th Jan 2022 - 18th Jan 2022
Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill
3rd Nov 2021 - 18th Nov 2021
Building Safety Bill
9th Sep 2021 - 26th Oct 2021


Department Event
Monday 26th February 2024
18:00
Department for Business and Trade
Second Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
26 Feb 2024, 6 p.m.
The draft Limited Liability Partnerships (Application of Company Law) Regulations 2024
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Department Event
Monday 26th February 2024
18:00
Department for Business and Trade
Second Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - Select & Joint Committees
26 Feb 2024, 6 p.m.
The draft Limited Liability Partnerships (Application of Company Law) Regulations 2024
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Department Event
Tuesday 27th February 2024
09:25
Department for Business and Trade
Third Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
27 Feb 2024, 9:25 a.m.
The draft Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024
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Department Event
Tuesday 27th February 2024
09:25
Department for Business and Trade
Third Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - Select & Joint Committees
27 Feb 2024, 9:25 a.m.
The draft Paternity Leave (Amendment) Regulations 2024
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Department Event
Tuesday 27th February 2024
14:30
Department for Work and Pensions
Fourth Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - General Committee
27 Feb 2024, 2:30 p.m.
The draft Occupational Pension Schemes (Collective Money Purchase Schemes) (Amendment) Regulations 2023
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Department Event
Tuesday 27th February 2024
14:30
Department for Work and Pensions
Fourth Delegated Legislation Committee - Debate - Select & Joint Committees
27 Feb 2024, 2:30 p.m.
The draft Occupational Pension Schemes (Collective Money Purchase Schemes) (Amendment) Regulations 2023
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Department Event
Thursday 7th March 2024
09:30
Department for Business and Trade
Oral questions - Main Chamber
7 Mar 2024, 9:30 a.m.
Business and Trade (including Topical Questions)
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Department Event
Thursday 14th March 2024
09:30
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Oral questions - Main Chamber
14 Mar 2024, 9:30 a.m.
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (including Topical Questions)
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Scheduled Event
Friday 15th March 2024
09:30
Private Members' Bills - Main Chamber
15 Mar 2024, 9:30 a.m.
Animal Welfare (Import of Dogs, Cats and Ferrets) Bill: Second Reading
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Department Event
Monday 18th March 2024
14:30
Department for Work and Pensions
Oral questions - Main Chamber
18 Mar 2024, 2:30 p.m.
Work and Pensions (including Topical Questions)
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Department Event
Thursday 2nd May 2024
09:30
Department for Business and Trade
Oral questions - Main Chamber
2 May 2024, 9:30 a.m.
Business and Trade (including Topical Questions)
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Department Event
Thursday 9th May 2024
09:30
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Oral questions - Main Chamber
9 May 2024, 9:30 a.m.
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (including Topical Questions)
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Division Votes
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 277 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 44 Noes - 285
Speeches
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Offshore Petroleum Licensing Bill
As always, I agree with the points my hon. Friend makes. Prioritising space is critical, as the Government have committed …
Written Answers
Tuesday 20th February 2024
Electricity Generation: Renewable Energy
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy, Security and Net Zero, when she will launch a consultation on removing …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Wednesday 6th December 2023
Animal Welfare (Import of Dogs, Cats and Ferrets) Bill 2023-24
A Bill to make provision for and in connection with restricting the importation and non-commercial movement of dogs, cats and …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 20th March 2023
1. Employment and earnings
30 March 2022, received £75 for a survey on 30 January 2022. Hours: 25 mins.
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 19th September 2023
Import of Dogs Bill 2022-23
A Bill to prohibit the import of puppies under six months; to prohibit the import of pregnant dogs in specified …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliament, Selaine Saxby has voted in 894 divisions, and 2 times against the majority of their Party.

2 Sep 2020 - Recall of MPs (Change of Party Affiliation) - View Vote Context
Selaine Saxby voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 41 Conservative No votes vs 47 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 55 Noes - 52
17 Jun 2020 - Health and Personal Social Services - View Vote Context
Selaine Saxby voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 104 Conservative Aye votes vs 124 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 253 Noes - 136
View All Selaine Saxby 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
Penny Mordaunt (Conservative)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(36 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
(21 debate interactions)
Christopher Pincher (Independent)
(19 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Department of Health and Social Care
(53 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(47 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Disposable Barbecues Bill 2022-23
(1,417 words contributed)
Energy Act 2023
(1,033 words contributed)
Agriculture Act 2020
(970 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Selaine Saxby's debates

North Devon 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 North Devon signature proportion
Petitions with most North Devon signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

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

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

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

Hundreds of thousands of people signed numerous petitions calling for actions that the Government has included in the Kept Animals Bill. The Government should urgently find time to allow the Bill to complete its journey through Parliament and become law.


Latest EDMs signed by Selaine Saxby

Selaine Saxby has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Selaine Saxby, 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.


Selaine Saxby has not been granted any Urgent Questions

2 Adjournment Debates led by Selaine Saxby

Monday 11th December 2023
Thursday 3rd November 2022

2 Bills introduced by Selaine Saxby


A Bill to make provision for and in connection with restricting the importation and non-commercial movement of dogs, cats and ferrets.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Wednesday 6th December 2023
Next Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 15th March 2024
Order Paper number: 1
(Certain to be Debated)

A Bill to prohibit the use of disposable barbecues on open moorland, on beaches, in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and in certain other areas designated for environmental protection; to give local authorities the power to prohibit the sale of disposable barbecues in their area; and for connected purposes.

Commons - 20%

Last Event - 1st Reading
Tuesday 22nd November 2022
(Read Debate)

150 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
6 Other Department Questions
11th Jan 2024
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what funding is available for Georgeham Parish Council to apply for to repair the parish church grounds and supporting boundary walls.

If the churchyard is open, then the Parochial Church Council is responsible for maintenance and upkeep. If it has been closed for burials by Order in Council, the statutory responsibility falls to the Local Authority unless a local arrangement has been reached. I will ask the diocese to make contact with the Parochial Church Council and Local Authority to see if they can offer advice.

Local Authorities are able to make small grants available to Parochial Church Councils to support the maintenance and upkeep of a churchyard, whether open or closed. The Church Commissioners are grateful to the Government for its clarification of the law in the recent Levelling Up and Regeneration Act, which now enables Local Authorities like all other faith communities to give grants to parish churches who need support with the maintenance of their buildings and fabric.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
25th May 2023
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps she is taking to help support women into science, technology, engineering and mathematics jobs.

We’ve made great progress in increasing the number of girls studying STEM subjects but we need to do more to get women into STEM jobs.

To support this, we are delivering a new STEM returners programme to refresh and grow the skills of people who have taken career breaks to care for others.

Following a successful recruitment campaign, the first cohort of returners began training in May.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
20th Apr 2023
What steps she is taking to help support women into science, technology, engineering and mathematics jobs.

We’ve made great progress in increasing the number of girls studying STEM subjects but we need to do more to get women into STEM jobs. To support this, we have launched a new STEM returners programme to refresh and grow the skills of people who have taken career breaks to care for others. The first cohort of returners will begin training this May.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
20th Jul 2022
To ask the President of COP26, what recent assessment he has made of the progress of businesses in developing solutions to climate change.

Businesses absolutely drive the innovation in green technologies, both in terms of efficiency and also reduction in costs.

The wind, solar and electric vehicle sectors demonstrate what R&D, innovation and economies of scale can do in terms of the expansion of clean technologies across the world.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment the Church Commissioners have made of (a) the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on church parishes and (b) the support that dioceses will require to (i) recover and (ii) ease the legal and administrative burdens experienced by those parishes as a result of that outbreak.

The Commissioners, in partnership with the Archbishops’ Council, provided £75m of immediate liquidity support and established a £35m Diocesan Sustainability Fund programme, plus a £20m Cathedral Sustainability Fund, following the decline in churches’ and cathedrals’ income from donations and visitors during Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns.

The Legislative Reform Committee of the General Synod and the Church Commissioners are consulting on simplifying legal and administrative burdens experienced by parishes. A review of the Mission and Pastoral Measure 2011 is currently underway, and a green paper has been published, which will be debated at the General Synod at its July meeting. The green paper forms the basis of a consultation with dioceses, parishes and other stakeholders. The consultation will remain open until 15 September 2021.

The Church Commissioners would welcome the views of all Members and their constituents on the questions set out in the paper, and I am placing a copy in the Library of the House of Commons for reference.

The Green Paper and supporting material are also available on the consultation website at: https://www.churchofengland.org/resources/parish-reorganisation-and-church-property/review-mission-and-pastoral-measure-2011

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
5th Nov 2020
What recent assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the extension to the unduly lenient sentence scheme.

The unduly lenient sentence scheme was extended to incorporate further serious offences, in November of last year.

The horrendous crime of stalking involving serious alarm or distress was one of the offences which was added.

I am pleased to tell the House that this extension meant I was able to refer a case recently to the Court of Appeal, one in which the sentence of the offender was more than doubled.

21st Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment he has made of whether elderly people with limited internet access receive up-to-date information about covid-19; and what steps the Government is taking to ensure that information is widely accessible.

It is important we reach everyone with public health information in this pandemic.

All new guidance is amplified via our public information campaign, utilising multiple national and local channels including TV, radio, newspapers, out of home and social media to ensure government communications reaches the widest possible audience. In some cases we have used publicly held contact details to contact directly those who may need.

In addition, third parties and local support networks are able to deliver more detailed information in response to bespoke enquiries. We have supported them in doing so by specialist guidance being available on gov.uk and, in the case of Members of Parliament - daily calls with myself.

Penny Mordaunt
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy, Security and Net Zero, when she will launch a consultation on removing the barriers to selling clean electricity.

The Government has announced that it will consult on the barriers preventing the development of community energy schemes. The Government is actively working with the Community Energy Contact Group on the content of the consultation and plans to publish the consultation as soon as possible once these discussions have concluded.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what her Department's latest estimate is of the capital expenditure cost of a new 1GW hydrogen-fired power plant commissioning by 2030.

Figures published by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero in the Electricity generation costs 2023 report estimate that a 1.2 GW Combined Cycle Hydrogen Turbine (CCHTs) would cost £830million in 2025 to construct, falling to £740million by 2040.

Hydrogen to Power is an emerging technology and as such all figures are subject to change. We will continue to monitor and update cost estimates based on new evidence as it becomes available.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/electricity-generation-costs-2023

Andrew Bowie
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what her Department's latest estimate is of the mass of hydrogen that would be produced per running hour by a 1GW blue hydrogen plant.

A 1GW[1] blue hydrogen production plant running for 1 hour at full capacity would produce 1GWh of hydrogen, equivalent to 25.4 tons.

[1] Rated as 1GW on the basis that the hydrogen it produces will be used for combustion and the latent heat of vaporisation of water is recovered

Andrew Bowie
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what recent estimate she has made of the mass of hydrogen required to be burned in a hydrogen-fired power plant to generate 1GWh of electricity.

Figures published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in the June 2022 Hydrogen Readiness Report suggest that an 800MWh hydrogen-fired power plant would require 50 tonnes of hydrogen fuel per hour. Therefore, a 1GWh plant could be expected to require 62.5 tonnes of hydrogen.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/electricity-generation-costs-2023

Andrew Bowie
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what recent estimate she has made of the operating expenditure cost of generating one tonne of green hydrogen in a plant commissioning by 2030.

‘Hydrogen Production Costs 2021’, published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in August 2021, sets out the levelised cost of various hydrogen production technologies. Please see:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hydrogen-production-costs-2021

We will continue to monitor and update cost estimates based on new evidence as it becomes available.

Andrew Bowie
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what her Department's latest estimate is of the capital expenditure cost of a new 1GW green hydrogen plant commissioning by 2030.

‘Hydrogen Production Costs 2021’, published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in August 2021, sets out the levelised cost, based on commissioning year, of various hydrogen production technologies. The information requested can be found in the table ‘Technical and cost assumptions (2020 real prices) within the annex to the report. The capital expenditure associated with a 1GW electrolytic plant commissioning in 2030 ranges from £433 million to £1,708 million depending on the technology. Please see:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hydrogen-production-costs-2021

We will continue to monitor and update cost estimates based on new evidence as it becomes available.

Andrew Bowie
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what her Department's latest estimate is of the capital expenditure cost of a new 1GW blue hydrogen plant commissioning by 2030.

‘Hydrogen Production Costs 2021’, published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in August 2021, sets out the levelised cost of various hydrogen production technologies. The information requested can be found in the table ‘Technical and cost assumptions (2020 real prices) within the annex to the report. Therefore, the cost from the table is £531 /kW hydrogen HHV meaning £531M for the 1GW plant.

Please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hydrogen-production-costs-2021

We will continue to monitor and update cost estimates based on new evidence as it becomes available.

Andrew Bowie
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
5th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what recent estimate her Department has made of the operating expenditure cost of generating one tonne of blue hydrogen in a plant commissioning by 2030.

'Hydrogen Production Costs 2021’, published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in August 2021, sets out the levelised cost of various hydrogen production technologies. The annex to the report (worksheet '2030_R') sets out a range of levelised costs for gas reformation with CCUS (blue) hydrogen production commissioning in 2030. Costs range from 1,454 to 3,096 £/tonne hydrogen depending on technology [1]. Please see:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/hydrogen-production-costs-2021

We will continue to monitor and update cost estimates based on new evidence as it becomes available.

[1] Costs are calculated on the basis that the hydrogen is used for combustion and the latent heat of vaporisation of water is recovered.

Andrew Bowie
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
31st Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what assessment her Department has made of the potential merits of bringing forward the ban on flaring to 2025.

I refer my Hon Friend to the answer I gave to the Hon Member for Bristol East (Kerry McCarthy) on 13 June 2023 to Question UIN 188490.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
2nd Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero, what recent discussions his Department has had with industry on recent data on the adequacy of global (a) production and (b) supply of (i) hydrotreated vegetable oil and (ii) other renewable liquid fuels for domestic heating usage in the UK.

The Government meets regularly with industry representatives to discuss levels of global production and supply of renewable liquid fuels.

The Government expects heat pumps will be the primary technology for decarbonising off-grid buildings. The Government recognises that not all off-grid properties will be suitable for a heat pump and there will be a role for alternative low carbon technologies where heat pumps cannot be used.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
21st Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent assessment his Department has made of the resilience of rural electricity networks.

The Government works closely with industry to improve and maintain the resilience of old and new energy infrastructure, networks and assets, to reduce vulnerabilities, and ensure an effective response to actual or potentially disruptive incidents.

For example, the Department published the Storm Arwen Review in June 2022 which includes actions being undertaken to reduce the impact of electricity disruption in rural areas.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
24th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support households (a) with a low income, (b) in listed buildings, (c) in long term rentals and (d) in short term holiday lets in rural communities to improve the insulation of their homes.

The Government has allocated £3.2 billion in this Parliament to improve home energy efficiency. The Government's approach to supporting fuel poor households was set out in the fuel poverty strategy, Sustainable Warmth, in February 2021.

The cost-of-living crisis gives even greater urgency for action to make homes more energy efficient and reduce energy bills. Through the Governments ‘Help to Heat’ capital schemes, domestic consumers could potentially save between £300and £700 per annum, based on the current price cap.

Work is ongoing to meet the commitment in the British Energy Security Strategy to review the planning barriers households face when installing energy efficiency measures in conservation areas and listed buildings.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
17th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the rollout out of Electric Vehicle charging points, particularly in rural areas.

Of the £2.5 billion of Government funding committed to the Electric Vehicle (EV) transition since 2020, £1.6 billion will be invested into accelerating the roll-out of charging infrastructure, targeting support on rapid chargepoints on motorways and major A roads to assuage any anxiety around long journeys, and installing more on-street chargepoints near homes and workplaces to make charging reliable and easy.

In the spring we published our electric vehicle infrastructure strategy, which defines our vision for the continued roll-out of a world-leading network. The strategy laid out our commitments to make EV charging cheaper and more convenient than refuelling at a petrol station right across the country.

The Department for Transport monitors the progress of the installation of chargepoints and publishes data, broken down to local authority areas, on a quarterly basis, the latest of which was as at 1st July 2022. Government will continue to monitor market developments to determine whether any significant gaps in charging infrastructure provision emerge in the medium term and whether there may be a case for direct central government support in areas of market failure, which may include rural areas.

2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what his Department's timescale is for the publication of the Government's biomass strategy.

The Government is actively progressing work on the biomass strategy, including work on the assessment of the priority use of biomass across the economy, which will be explained in the forthcoming strategy. The Government plans to publish the Biomass Strategy in due course.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Department for Energy Security and Net Zero)
21st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to ScotWind's announcement on the outcome of its application process for leasing on January 2022, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that there is sufficient supply chain development around the Celtic Sea to ensure that the potential benefits of floating offshore wind are distributed across the whole UK.

The Celtic Sea will play a vital role in the UK’s Green Industrial revolution, creating new industries and thousands of high-skilled jobs. Floating offshore wind will be a vital component of the UK’s energy mix as the UK moves towards net zero. The Government has committed to delivering at least 1GW of floating capacity by 2030 as a stepping-stone to larger scale deployment through the 2030s. In the draft budget notice for the fourth Contracts for Difference round, the Government announced ringfenced support for floating offshore wind.

The Celtic Sea is an area of significant potential for floating offshore wind. In addition to the test and demonstration floating projects already in early development, the Crown Estate has commenced work on a floating wind leasing round in the Celtic Sea which could bring forward up to 4GW of new projects. Government has set aside up to £160 million to support new floating wind ports and infrastructure; projects servicing the Celtic Sea will be eligible to access this support.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business and Trade)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what research the Government is funding on how UK businesses and their supply chains make, use and dispose of plastic, and the risks those actions pose to human health.

The Government put together a package of £100 million for research and innovation to tackle the issues that arise from plastic waste. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funds a variety of projects related to plastics including around understanding and improving supply chains and environmental and health impacts. For example, the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging Challenge, with £60m of funding from UKRI through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and matched by £149m from industry, is supporting academic-led research to address known problems and to support industry-led collaborative research and development of new technologies, establishing the UK as a leader in smart sustainable packaging and supporting a reduction in waste entering the environment. This builds on the success of the £20m Plastic Research and Innovation Fund, which established projects like the UK Circular Plastics Network which brings together the diverse users of plastic products and realise the best means for reducing plastic waste.

6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made ahead of COP26 of the potential merits of developing floating offshore wind generation in the Celtic Sea to help the UK Government deliver its target of 1GW of energy by 2030.

The Celtic Sea is an area with significant potential for floating offshore wind. Following engagement with the market, The Crown Estate is currently designing new seabed leasing for floating wind in the Celtic Sea, focusing on projects up to 300MW. The number, size and locations of potential projects will not be known until the process is completed.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of Sate, what steps he plans to take ahead of COP26 to achieve the Government's (a) net zero target and (b) levelling-up agenda in the context of the development of floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea.

The UK has achieved record clean growth - between 1990 and 2019, our economy grew by 78% while our emissions decreased by 44%, the fastest in the G7. The government has recently laid legislation for the UK’s sixth carbon budget, proposing a target which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels. This marks a decisive step towards net zero by 2050 and builds on the series of ambitious plans we have announced since committing to net zero emissions in law, including through my Rt hon Friend the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan and our new UN climate target to reduce emissions in 2030 by at least 68% compared to 1990 levels – the highest reduction target made by a major economy to date.

Through the Ten Point Plan, our Energy White Paper and Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, we have set out concrete steps we will take to build back greener from the pandemic and reach net zero emissions by 2050. Ahead of COP26, we will bring forward further bold proposals, including a Net Zero Strategy, to cut emissions and create new jobs and industries across the whole country.

The Ten Point Plan announced our aim to quadruple the capacity of our offshore wind available to generate 40GW, including 1GW of floating offshore wind by 2030 - enough to power every home in the country. To do this we are investing £160 million for ports and infrastructure, which could support up to 60,000 jobs. The government is working with the offshore wind sector, through the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, to grow and strengthen a competitive UK based supply chain creating jobs around the UK.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions his Department has held with the Department for Transport on the deployment of the Government's proposed funding for the purchase of 4,000 zero-emissions buses.

The funding for 4000 zero emission buses formed part of my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s commitment to £5 billion of new funding announced in February to overhaul bus and cycle links for every region outside London.

The Government recognises the importance of bringing together co-ordinated policy action across all departments, to achieve net zero. Two cabinet committees have been established, chaired by the Prime Minister and my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. These Committees are driving forward the net zero transition and co-ordinating action across Government. At official level, there are also regular discussions between departments on issues relating to transport decarbonisation, as there are for decarbonisation in other sectors of the economy.

10th Nov 2020
What steps his Department is taking to support businesses to achieve an environmentally sustainable recovery from the covid-19 outbreak.

As my Rt hon Friend the Prime Minister has said, we are determined to build back greener, and deliver millions of new green jobs. We are taking action to deliver on that commitment, including committing over £3 billion to reduce emissions from our buildings across the UK. There are an estimated 460,000 jobs in low carbon businesses and their supply chains across the country, and we want that to rise to 2 million by 2030.

1st Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if she will take steps to safeguard the provision of digital terrestrial television and radio broadcast services beyond 2040 for communities in rural areas; and if she will make a statement.

I refer my honourable friend to the answer I gave on 5 June 2023 to her question UIN 186801.

5th Jul 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, if she will make an assessment of the potential impact of the Media Bill on access to digital terrestrial television in the period to 2040.

The Government remains committed to the future of digital terrestrial television (DTT), the technology which underpins Freeview. Millions of households across the UK rely on DTT, particularly rural communities and older people.

We also recognise the crucial role that DTT services play in the wider UK broadcasting system, in particular in helping ensure that public service content continues to be widely available and free-to-air to all audiences.

For these reasons, the Government has already legislated to secure the continuity of DTT until at least 2034.

As the sector evolves, it is right that we continue to evaluate the future distribution of television services. To that end, and as set out in the Broadcasting White Paper, the Government has asked Ofcom to continue to track changes in DTT viewing and to undertake an early review on market changes that may affect the future of content distribution before the end of 2025.

Before any decisions about the future of terrestrial television are made, close consideration will be given to how any changes would impact audiences, and especially those who rely on DTT as their primary means of watching television.

Separately, the Media Bill will reform decades-old laws to turbocharge the growth potential of our world-leading public service broadcasters (PSBs). The Government has published impact assessments for the draft Media Bill and, as is usual practice, an updated set will be submitted to the Regulatory Policy Committee for independent scrutiny, and published when the Bill is introduced.

24th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, what steps the Government is taking to help ensure the continuity of (a) terrestrial television and (b) radio broadcast services for households that (a) live in rural areas and (b) do not have (i) access to broadband and (ii) sufficient broadband connectivity.

The Government remains committed to the future of digital terrestrial television (DTT) and national commercial digital radio services.

Millions of households across the UK rely on digital terrestrial television and radio broadcast services, and we expect this to continue over the next decade. This includes households in rural areas and the small number of households who do not currently have access to superfast broadband.

We also recognise the crucial role that digital terrestrial television and radio broadcast services play in the wider UK broadcasting system, in particular in helping ensure that public service content continues to be widely available free-to-air to all audiences.

For these reasons, the Government has legislated to secure continuity of digital terrestrial television until at least 2034 and national commercial digital radio services until 2035.

As the sector evolves, it is right that we continue to evaluate the future distribution of radio and television. To that end, and as set out in the Broadcasting White Paper, the Government has asked Ofcom to continue to track changes in DTT viewing and to undertake an early review on market changes that may affect the future of content distribution before the end of 2025.

Before any decisions about the future of terrestrial television and radio broadcast services are made, close consideration will be given to how any changes would impact audiences, and especially those who rely on DTT as their primary means of watching television.

25th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will publish the outcome of the consultation on developing a tourist accommodation registration scheme in England.

The Government has not yet published a consultation on developing a tourist accommodation registration scheme in England.

In June, DCMS issued a call for evidence on the benefits and challenges presented by the rise in short-term and holiday letting seen in England over the last 10 to 15 years. This will inform the development of appropriate policy options, which the government intends to consult on later in 2022. The call for evidence closed on 21 September and we are now carefully analysing 4,000 responses to this exercise, which will help inform next steps.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
20th Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment her Department has made of the (a) progress of the nationwide switch from copper phone lines to fibre and (b) resilience of fibre phone lines in rural areas.

The move from traditional to digital telephony, known as Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) migration, is being led by the telecoms industry and not the government.

While DCMS meets regularly with telecoms providers to discuss the progress of their migration, we do not assess overall progress given each provider has their own schedule and plans for the upgrade including how and when they will migrate customers. Regardless, telecoms providers have said they remain committed to the 2025 deadline.

Telecommunications equipment is usually highly resilient and major outages are extremely rare. However, in general, fibre connections are less affected than copper cables by environmental factors, such as temperature and electro-magnetic fluctuations.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to help ensure that customers in (a) the South West and (b) North Devon constituency have access to every broadband fibre connection on the wholesale market; and what steps he is taking with industry representatives to help ensure that customers have a choice of provider across the South West.

The Government is committed to delivering nationwide gigabit connectivity as soon as possible. Today, over 57% of premises in the South West - and 32% of premises in North Devon specifically - have access to a gigabit-capable network. By 2025 the government is targeting a minimum of 85% gigabit-capable coverage.

There is now a thriving market of over 80 providers rolling out gigabit-capable broadband all over the UK using a range of technologies, including full-fibre networks and fixed wireless solutions. This technology-neutral strategy means that not every premises in the South West - or specifically North Devon - will have coverage from every type of connection on the wholesale market when choosing a gigabit-capable service. In addition, State aid and Competition Law prevents the government from intervening directly in functioning markets such as telecoms. Whilst the government’s policy is to increase competition and investment in the telecoms market whilst lowering the barriers to entry, we cannot force providers to offer a service where it is not commercially-viable for them to do so.

In areas where network deployment is not commercially-viable and is supported directly by the government as part of Project Gigabit, contracts include requirements for the successful supplier to offer wholesale access over the subsidised network for up to 15 years after the network is built, and the procurement process differentiates suppliers on the choice of retail offerings they are able to bring. Further, DCMS is supporting various industry initiatives that are developing the wholesale market for smaller alternative network providers. Again, whilst the government can ensure winning bidders for its contracts offer wholesale access, it is a commercial decision for individual service providers themselves as to whether they wish to use these networks.

Julia Lopez
Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when the Government plans to begin the planned consultation on the introduction of a Tourist Accommodation Registration scheme.

The Government intends to launch a consultation later in 2022, but will begin the process by launching a call for evidence in the coming weeks.

The call for evidence will seek views on a range of issues that arise from the increase in short-term holiday letting, not just on housing supply but also on matters such as compliance with health and safety regulations and the impact on anti-social behaviour.

I have already begun the process of informally consulting with stakeholders across the sector on this issue. For example, in late December I held several roundtables with attendees from the private sector, Local Authorities, tourism representative groups and others.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Electronic Communications Code contained within the Digital Economy Act 2017 in delivering the rollout of digital infrastructure.

My Department has been working closely with stakeholders within the private and public sector since the 2017 reforms to the Electronic Communications Code (the Code) came into effect to support their implementation and to understand their impact on this important sector. Over the summer and autumn, I have held a number of roundtable meetings with a wide range of stakeholders to discuss these matters.

We intend to consult on whether further reforms to the Code are necessary to support investment in digital networks, and will provide further details regarding the timing of this as soon as possible.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to encourage (a) local authorities and (b) other public sector landlords to support the delivery of infrastructure to improve mobile connectivity in their areas.

Public sector landlords play a critical role in facilitating the delivery of greater mobile connectivity. We are keen to ensure that the public sector leads by example and that public property is readily available for digital infrastructure deployment.

My Department’s Barrier Busting Task Force regularly engages with local authorities across the country to advise on the deployment of mobile infrastructure. This includes the publication of guidance, for example on access to assets and valuation, and working directly with councils to encourage greater collaboration with the mobile sector and develop understanding of the Electronic Communications Code, which underpins rights to install digital communications apparatus. My officials engaged with Devon County Council in November and December of last year to advise on this issue.

In addition to our work with local authorities, both we and the Office of Government Property are continuing to engage with government departments and arm’s length bodies in order to provide them with training and guidance on access to public sector land.

30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when he plans to consult on the Electronic Communications Code contained within the Digital Economy Act 2017.

My Department has been working closely with stakeholders within the private and public sector since the 2017 reforms to the Electronic Communications Code (the Code) came into effect to support their implementation and to understand their impact on this important sector. Over the summer and autumn, I have held a number of roundtable meetings with a wide range of stakeholders to discuss these matters.

We intend to consult on whether further reforms to the Code are necessary to support investment in digital networks, and will provide further details regarding the timing of this as soon as possible.

27th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, how much funding he has allocated to the roll-out of gigabit-capable broadband; and what his timeframe is for the UK reaching 100 per cent coverage.

The Government set out in its National Infrastructure Strategy that it is working with industry to target a minimum of 85% gigabit capable coverage by 2025, but will seek to accelerate roll-out further to get as close to 100% as possible. The Government will continue to implement an ambitious programme of work to remove barriers to broadband deployment and work with suppliers to accelerate build in the hardest to reach parts of the UK through its £5 billion UK Gigabit Programme.

The Spending Review 2020 provided further details on our planned year on year capital spend for 2021-22 to 2024-25, which totals £1.2 billion, as part of the £5 billion UK Gigabit Programme. DCMS is continuing to work closely with industry to develop this programme and accelerate our year on year rollout plans for these areas to bring forward additional spend, wherever possible.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he is taking to help people that are employed on regular seasonal contracts in the (a) tourism industry and (b) Royal National Lifeboat Institution during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Chancellor has set out unprecedented support for workers - including seasonal workers across the tourism industry - to protect them against the current economic emergency. This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

After consultation with businesses, we have changed the cut-off date for employees to be employed and paid from 28 February to 19 March (the day before the Job Retention Scheme was announced). This means that over 200,000 more people will benefit.

This change expands the scheme to cover more workers, whilst keeping the fraud risks under control.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps he plans to take to support the tourism industry to rebuild following the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is committed to helping the tourism industry through this crisis and beyond. We will continue to engage with stakeholders to assess how we can most effectively support the sector during the recovery period.

We have announced unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency. This includes employee support, business rates relief and grants for eligible hospitality and leisure businesses, plus £330bn worth of government backed and guaranteed loans. The Chancellor also announced a Bounce Back loan scheme to help small businesses access loans of up to £50,000, with a 100% government-backed guarantee for lenders.

Our immediate national priority is containing the spread of the virus. As soon as it is safe to do so, we will be encouraging people to book holidays and support tourism companies once again.

Nigel Huddleston
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
10th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to her Department's guidance entitled Senior mental health lead training, which schools in North Devon constituency have applied for the senior mental health training grant.

The department began offering schools and colleges a grant to train senior mental health leads in October 2021. A list of schools and colleges receiving a senior mental health lead training grant is published and updated throughout the year. This list is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-data-on-funding-claims-by-institutions. In the 2021/22 financial year, 15 schools and colleges within the North Devon constituency applied for the senior mental health training grant. 8 schools and colleges applied for the grant in the 2022/23 financial year, totalling 23 grant applications to date. There were no grant applications in this constituency for Q1 and Q2 of this financial year (2023/24).

David Johnston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
6th Sep 2021
What assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the 2021 summer schools programme.

Understanding the effectiveness and success of the 2021 summer schools programme is important. We have designed a research study to help us to better understand the perceived impact of summer schools on children’s wellbeing, transition to secondary school, and academic recovery. The fieldwork for this research is currently under way. We have commissioned an independent research agency to carry out the analysis and reporting of this important research. The results from this study will be published on gov.uk.

Over 2800 secondary schools signed up to participate, which is equivalent to three quarters (74%) of those eligible and over 500,000 pupils were invited to take part in courses designed to offer a mix of academic and enrichment activities to aid lost learning.

2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has for the reopening of schools in relation to pupils taking (a) GCSE and (b) A Level exams in 2021.

From the 15 June, we are asking secondary schools to offer face-to-face support to supplement the remote education of year 10 and year 12 pupils, which should remain the predominant mode of education during this term for pupils in these year groups.

Our assessment, based on the latest scientific and medical advice, is that we need to continue to control the numbers attending school to reduce the risk of increasing transmission. Therefore, schools are able to have a quarter of the year 10 and year 12 cohort (for schools with sixth forms) in school at any one time, alongside full time provision for priority groups (vulnerable children and children of critical workers) in all year groups.

Year 10 and year 12 have been prioritised in mainstream secondary schools because they are preparing for key examinations next year (2021) and, of the secondary year groups, are most impacted by time out of school.

Guidance for secondary schools on wider opening is available on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preparing-for-the-wider-opening-of-schools-from-1-june/planning-guide-for-secondary-schools.

6th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of using the grid multiplication method in maths teaching at key stage 2; and whether he plans to publish revised guidance to encourage that method in the curriculum.

The mathematics national curriculum was reformed in 2014. It was developed by the Department with advice from subject experts, to ensure that it provided the knowledge to progress in education and employment.

The national curriculum requires pupils in state-maintained schools to be taught a formal written method of multiplication and ‘Mathematics Appendix 1’ provides a set of examples for this.

There are no current plans to published revised guidance on this matter.

17th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will (a) ask the Environment Agency to conduct bathing water tests in the context of the activation of storm overflows and (b) make an assessment of the potential merits of routinely conducting bathing water tests all year round.

Event duration monitoring (EDM) data shows how often storm overflows are active and for how long. Government directed water companies to increase their storm overflow monitoring in 2013 and achieved 100% EDM coverage before the end of 2023. This increased transparency will help regulators hold water companies to account to reduce storm overflow discharges and will support public understanding of water quality. The Bathing Water Regulations require the Environment Agency to sample bathing waters at a fixed location using a pre-determined sampling schedule during the bathing season, which is fixed in the Bathing Water Regulations as 15 May to 30 September. The government is committed to reviewing the Bathing Water Regulations 2013 to ensure they reflect changes in how and where people use bathing waters.

Robbie Moore
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make it his policy to ban the use of bottom-towed fishing gear in marine protected areas on a whole-site basis.

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are a devolved competency and the information provided therefore relates to England only.

Each MPA protects specific features, whether that is a particular species or a variety of different habitats. Byelaws to protect MPAs from damaging fishing activity are developed using an evidence-led process to determine what measures are required to protect these specific features. Site by site assessments are carried out to tailor management measures and to avoid unnecessary restrictions on fishing. Only fishing activities which could damage the protected features of an MPA require management.

Nearly 60% of the 181 English MPAs are already protected from damaging fishing activity. This includes byelaws made in 2022, which ban bottom towed gear over sensitive features in the first four offshore sites. The Marine Management Organisation consulted in 2023 on similar proposals for a further 13 sites; a decision on this will be taken shortly. We have also recently designated three Highly Protected Marine Areas. These sites have the highest level of protection in English waters and take a whole-site approach.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when his Department plans to publish the research study into single use sky lanterns, disposable barbecues and helium balloons that concluded in March 2023.

Defra commissioned Eunomia in September 2022 to assess the environmental impacts of single use barbecues, sky lanterns and helium balloons. The research concluded earlier this year and we are hoping to publish the report soon.

Robbie Moore
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 5 June to Question 186951 on Packaging: Recycling, how her Department plans to define the life of packaging.

The Department has no plans currently to define the life of packaging.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the potential for an extremely hot and dry summer season in 2023, what steps her Department is taking to reduce the risk of wildfires; and when the findings of her Department’s research into the fire and environmental risks of sky lanterns and disposable BBQs will be published.

The Government has a key role to play in making our natural landscapes resilient to the risks posed by wildfire.

We are working with Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Park Authorities and other Government departments to promote a series of guidance videos to educate users about travelling to and spending time outdoors safely in the wider countryside. This includes an updated Countryside Code which advises not to have barbecues or fires.

In 2021 we supported the development of a new accredited training programme, designed to consolidate knowledge, skills and understanding of vegetation fires including wildfire incidents. Within the first two years more than 800 prevention and response modules have been completed by public and private land managers.

The Government has committed further funding for the next two years and we continue to work closely with a range of stakeholders including land managers, the Forestry Commission, NFU, ENGOs and the National Fire Chiefs Council to embed this training across England, and to identify and respond to further training requirements.

Research into the environmental impacts of single use barbecues and sky lanterns concluded in March. We are currently considering next steps which we aim to finalise soon.

14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to protect rare species.

The Government remains committed to taking action to recover our threatened native species. In England, we have set four legally binding targets for biodiversity: to halt the decline in species abundance by 2030; then to reverse declines by 2042; to reduce the risk of species extinction by 2042; and restore or create more than 500,000 hectares of wildlife-rich habitat, also by 2042. We have set out our plan to deliver on these ambitious targets, along with our other environmental targets, in the revised Environmental Improvement Plan (EIP23), published 31 January 2023. The EIP23 revises the 25-Year Environment Plan as part of our obligations under the Environment Act 2021.

We know that to meet our targets we will need large-scale habitat restoration, creation and improved connectivity; to tackle pressures on species including pollution, unsustainable use of resources and climate change; and targeted action to recover specific species. Measures introduced in the Environment Act, such as Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) and Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS), will help deliver actions to enable wildlife to recover and thrive. Additionally, our new Environmental Land Management schemes will pay for sustainable farming practices, creating and preserving habitat such as woodland, heathland and species-rich grassland, as well as making landscape-scale environmental changes, all of which could benefit our threatened native species.

Additionally, Natural England's Species Recovery Programme (SRP) supports the recovery of threatened and declining species, such as lady’s slipper orchid, water vole, natterjack toad, wartbiter cricket, and curlew. On 3 April 2023, Natural England launched the Species Recovery Programme Capital Grant Scheme which will support projects over two years, delivering targeted conservation action through the creation and improvement of specific wildlife habitats, conservation translocations, as well as supporting research and creating solutions to address species decline.

30th Mar 2023
What steps her Department has taken to reduce storm overflows in North Devon constituency.

We are requiring water companies to deliver their largest ever infrastructure investment worth £56 billion over 25 years. South West Water are now required to undertake improvements to storm overflows in your constituency for example by increasing capacity of storm storage. I have also asked every water and sewerage company in the country to provide an action plan for every storm overflow, including South West Water.

We are driving increases in monitoring across the country with coverage increasing from 7% in 2010 under Labour to around 90% today, and 100% by the end of this year.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
7th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether she plans to implement the recommendations of the independent report entitled Benyon review Into Highly Protected Marine Areas, published on 17 August 2022.

As confirmed in the recent Environment Improvement Plan, we intend to designate the first HPMAs this year. Following the public consultation on candidate HPMAs last summer, we will soon be making an announcement on which of those sites will be designated.

26th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when she plans to introduce the new Deposit Return Scheme in England and Wales; what progress she has made on setting up an administrator for that scheme; and if she will make a statement.

In its 2019 manifesto, HM Government committed to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers to incentivise people to recycle more and to reduce littering of in-scope containers. HM Government has consulted twice on the introduction of a DRS and further details will be set out in HM Government’s response to the 2021 consultation. We are working towards publication of HM Government’s response in late 2022.

The DRS will have a central organisation to manage its operation which will be a new not-for-profit body established for the purpose of running the scheme - the Deposit Management Organisation (DMO). We are currently developing secondary legislation which will set out the obligations imposed on the DMO. Once the secondary legislation is in place, we will progress with selecting the DMO.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to introduce a deposit return scheme in England.

In its 2019 manifesto, HM Government committed to introduce a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) for drinks containers to incentivise people to recycle more and to reduce littering of in-scope containers. HM Government has consulted twice on the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) and further details will be set out in the Government response to the 2021 consultation. We are working towards publication of the Government response in late 2022.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to establish a single, mandatory recycling labelling scheme.

In the response to the 2021 consultation on Extended Producer Responsibility for packaging, HM Government set out its intention to introduce mandatory recyclability labelling on all product packaging. Producers will be required to label packaging to indicate whether it is recyclable or not. To provide consumers with clear and consistent information to help them to recycle correctly, there will be a single approach to labelling packaging across the UK. This will reduce confusion over what can be recycled which will increase recycling rates and reduce contamination in recycling waste streams.

The requirement to label packaging will be introduced as part of new UK-wide packaging regulations that are expected to enter into force late in 2023.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the recent recommendation in the Automation in Horticulture Review on a long-term Seasonal Workers Scheme for edible horticulture starting in 2022.

During 2021 my Department undertook a review of automation in horticulture, covering both the edible and ornamental sectors in England. We have now published this review (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/defra-led-review-of-automation-in-horticulture). The review recommended extending the Seasonal Worker visa route to 'mind the gap' until automation technologies have developed enough to reduce the sector's reliance on seasonal labour.

The review provides a better understanding of what is required to accelerate the development and uptake of automation technologies in both the edible and ornamental sectors, in England, with the view to reducing the sector's long-term dependency on seasonal migrant labour from 2022 onwards. Non-binding recommendations are put forward to increase adoption of available technology and accelerate development of innovative automation and robotics. HM Government will consider the report's recommendations and will respond in due course.

Our responses to the review will work alongside the recently extended and expanded Seasonal Workers visa route - and Defra's efforts to attract more residents of the United Kingdom into agricultural work - to support the overall aim of reducing the sector's dependency on seasonal migrant labour.

HM Government recognises the importance of a reliable source of seasonal labour for crop picking and packing, and that it is a key part of bringing in the harvest for the horticultural sector. That is why the Prime Minster committed to look at expanding seasonal workers schemes in the leadership campaign and we have already extended the seasonal worker visa route to 2024. Discussions are on-going with the Home Office on the visa allocation for 2023.

As announced in the Government Food Strategy in June, HM Government has now commissioned an independent review which will consider how automation, domestic labour and migrant labour can contribute to tackling labour shortages in the food supply chain. The review will focus on farming, processing, and food and drink manufacturing as sectors which are critical for food production and food security. This review, due to report in spring of 2023, will inform our thinking on the Seasonal Workers scheme beyond that.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Oct 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recent extreme weather; and whether his Department is taking steps to provide advice to the horticulture industry on urban (a) greening and (b) cooling.

We have extensive plans in place and underway to adapt to and mitigate the risks of a warming climate. This includes our work being delivered through our landmark Environment Act to protect and increase biodiversity, protect and restore our peatlands, wetlands and natural environment, and improve air quality. We are working closely with responsible departments to ensure they are addressing the risks posed by extreme weather and will respond to the Climate Change Committee's assessment of climate risks in our next National Adaptation Programme, due to be published in 2023.

We have engaged with a number of initiatives to better understand and respond to the effects of climate change on food production. We provide advice to farmers via the Farming Advisory Service, which includes advice for water abstraction and consumption in the drier extremes of the year which are likely to become more common.

Our climate risk assessments and adaptation policies are underpinned by research from the Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Science and Services. This includes efforts to better align our crop breeding work with pressures identified in climate projections.

Whilst no specific assessment of Government policy or its implication for the horticulture industry has been made at this time, we are aware that the recent extreme weather has had an impact on the industry, effecting yield, growth and quality of crops, and that this continues to be of concern to growers in many parts of the country. We are fortunate in this country to have a highly resilient food supply chain and are able to meet much of our domestic needs supplementing this supply with imports from overseas to meet consumer demand. Any disruption from risks such as adverse weather is unlikely to affect the overall security of the UK’s supply chain. We will continue to keep the situation and any impact on the domestic sector under close review and have increased engagement with the industry to supplement HM Government analysis with real-time intelligence.

We recognise the contribution urban greening can make to climate adaptation. New guidance is being developed by Natural England as part of the Green Infrastructure Framework on how to deliver cooling and other benefits.

21st Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that UK (a) garden centres and (b) tree and plant growers are able to trade effectively once the Border Control regime is implemented.

In April 2022, HM Government announced that it was accelerating its transformative programme to digitise Britain’s borders, harnessing new technologies and data to reduce friction and costs for businesses and consumers, while maintaining and enhancing our high standards of biosecurity.

A Target Operating Model will be published later this year which will set out how and when we will introduce this improved global regime of border controls. It will aim to create a seamless new ‘digital’ border, where technologies and real-time data will cut queues and smooth trade.

This new approach will ensure that controls for plants and plant products are implemented in a way which removes friction for businesses while safeguarding our national biosecurity.

In developing the Target Operating Model, Defra officials are engaging extensively with businesses and trade bodies, including those representing the horticulture sector, to deliver the best possible user experience for those involved with border processes.

Scott Mann
Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of establishing an accreditation body to approve and administer standards for nature markets for the purposes of enabling farmers and land managers to realise new revenue streams.

The Government is committed to scaling up private investment in sustainable farming and nature recovery. Robust standards and accreditation arrangements are already established for some ecosystem service markets, namely though the UK Woodland Carbon Code and UK Peatland Code. We are exploring with the British Standards Institute other opportunities to support standards' development in order to unlock investment for a broader suite of sustainable farming and nature recovery activities.

Mark Spencer
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
13th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what species the Government classifies as forage fish; and if he will take steps to introduce an ecologically protective programme for the management of those species in UK waters.

Forage fish are important to the ecosystem as they provide food for predator fish and sea birds. We are reviewing our policy on forage fish that are caught for industrial purposes. In the context of the Northeast Atlantic, there are specific fleet segments that specialise in this type of fishing, and their effort within UK waters is targeted on particular species, principally sandeel and Norway pout.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
29th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has made an assessment of the implications for its policies of the recommendations of the UN Environment Programme’s Life Cycle Initiative’s report on single-use nappies and their alternatives, published March 2021.

In line with the 25 Year Environment Plan, and our Resources and Waste Strategy, we are considering the best approach to minimise the environmental impact of a range of products, including nappies, taking on board the environmental and social impacts of the options available. Potential additional policy measures include standards, consumer information and encouraging voluntary action by business.

Through the Environment Bill, we are seeking powers that will enable us to, where appropriate and subject to consultation, introduce eco-design and consumer information requirements. This could include labelling schemes that provide accurate information to consumers, to drive the market towards more sustainable products. The Environment Bill will also enable us to put in place extended producer responsibility schemes as well as design and labelling requirements, that relate to the efficient use of resources, for a wide range of products, including potentially nappies.

We are aware of the UN Environment Programme's report which references a number of life cycle analyses on nappies from around the world, including the work carried out by the Environment Agency in the UK in 2005 and 2008. We are also funding our own environmental assessment of disposable and washable absorbent hygiene products, with the primary focus on nappies, to bring the research for the UK up to date. The work will be published later this year, following peer review, and the sources of the information used will be included in the final report. Any future action on nappies by Government and industry will take this and any other relevant information into account.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Jan 2021
What steps he is taking to promote sustainable fisheries.

The Fisheries Act sets out clear objectives on sustainability with detailed policies published in the Joint Fisheries Statement. We will publish our Fisheries Management Plans to meet our commitment to fishing within sustainable limits. As an independent coastal state, we are committed to working with our international partners to manage our shared stocks sustainably.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
30th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department plans to join up the work on the Biomass Strategy, the England Tree Strategy and development of the Agricultural Transition Plan to encourage tree planting and support rural economies.

There are many important interdependencies between our policies on trees, agriculture and biomass. Defra and BEIS are working closely in partnership to maximise the role of nature-based solutions to meet net zero and ensure that these strategies are mutually supportive.

  • The England Tree Strategy will set out policies to deliver planting commitments, support nature recovery, protect and improve woodlands, and provide a source of employment, sustainable wood fibre and energy.
  • The Biomass Strategy will set out the results of a review of the amount of sustainable biomass – including woody biomass - available in the UK, and how this could be best utilised across the economy to help achieve net zero.
  • These strategies will set out long term priorities to be implemented alongside the Agricultural Transition, and the introduction of the Environmental Land Management scheme, which will support farmers, foresters and land managers to improve the environment, improve animal health and welfare, and reduce carbon emissions.
Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of supporting producers of plastic-free sanitary products to reduce their environmental impact.

We recognise the need to address the issues associated with the environmental impact of absorbent hygiene products (AHPs). In line with the Resources and Waste Strategy published in December 2018, we are considering the best approach for a range of products. There are a number of policy measures available to us, including standards and consumer information, and we believe the right approach for each product requires careful consideration taking account of various factors, for example, waste benefits versus energy usage. Therefore, we are carrying out new research into the impacts of reusable and disposable AHPs, which will help us decide on the best course of action. The tender for this project is currently live and more information is available here: www.contractsfinder.service.gov.uk/Notice/2d7f60a0-658a-460a-870d-839c5fb52305

We are also seeking new powers in our landmark Environment Bill to drive the market towards more sustainable products. These measures form a package of powers that will help incentivise and shift the market towards more reusable alternatives.

However, plastic has an important role to play in many products due to its strength and sterility. We must therefore think carefully about how we solve the problems arising from plastic waste in order to avoid unintended consequences.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to reduce the (a) production and (b) sale of single use plastics.

It is the Government’s ambition to have zero avoidable waste going to landfill by 2050. The Resources and Waste Strategy sets out how we will eliminate avoidable plastic waste and move towards a more circular economy.

We have already made significant progress, by introducing one of the world’s toughest bans on microbeads in rinse-off personal care products and significantly reducing the use of single-use carrier bags in the main supermarkets by 95% with our 5p charge. We have announced our plans to increase the minimum charge to 10p and to extend the charge to all retailers from April 2021. We will also introduce a ban on the supply of single-use plastic straws, plastic drink stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds from October 2020. The Government also remains committed to introducing the Plastic Packaging Tax in April 2022, which will apply to plastic packaging manufactured in or imported into the UK containing less than 30% recycled plastic.

Our landmark Environment Bill will enable us to go even further. The Bill will include powers to create extended producer responsibility schemes; introduce deposit return schemes; establish greater consistency in the recycling system; better control the export of plastic waste; and allow us to set new charges for other single-use plastic items. Further information can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/news/stronger-protections-for-the-environment-move-closer-as-landmark-bill-takes-shape.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Sep 2020
What steps he is taking to tackle plastic pollution.

We have made real progress in tackling plastic pollution. We have introduced a microbead ban and reduced single-use plastic carrier bag usage by 95% in the main supermarkets. We are increasing the single-use carrier bag charge to 10p and extending it to all retailers and we are restricting the supply of plastic straws, stirrers and cotton-buds. We are seeking powers in the Environment Bill to charge for single-use plastic items, make recycling more consistent and reform packaging waste regulations.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to ensure that opportunities to improve access to the natural environment are included in the Environmental Land Management scheme.

Our Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme is the cornerstone of our new agricultural policy. Founded on the principle of "public money for public goods", ELM is intended to provide a powerful vehicle for achieving the goals of the 25 Year Environment Plan and commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, while supporting our rural economy.

Farmers and other land managers may enter into agreements to be paid for delivering the following public goods:

  • clean air
  • clean and plentiful water
  • thriving plants and wildlife
  • reduction in and protection from environmental hazards
  • beauty, heritage and engagement with the environment
  • mitigation of and adaptation to climate change

Beauty, heritage and engagement with the environment is a public good identified in the 25 Year Environment Plan and an important objective of ELM. ELM could support this through providing funding for access to infrastructure or educational visits, for example.

We will engage with a range of stakeholders as we develop the scheme.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure the welfare of animals in zoos is safeguarded during the covid-19 outbreak.

We recognise that zoos are undertaking very valuable work at this time to ensure that the health and welfare needs of the diverse range of animals they care for are well met. We are aware of the issues currently facing zoos and we have been engaging with the main industry association, the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), and with individual zoos about the best way forward.

The Government has provided a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support businesses, including zoos, through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19. Zoos are eligible to apply for a range of support schemes including the Job Retention Scheme, VAT deferral, Business Rates Relief, the Business Interruption Loan schemes, the option to reclaim the costs of Statutory Sick Pay and grant funding of up to £25,000.

In addition, specifically for zoos in severe financial distress, the Government is introducing a Zoos Support Fund for licensed zoos in England. Similar support will be provided by the Devolved Administrations. Where a zoo in England is in severe financial distress and has fully explored and exhausted all other reasonable avenues to generate income and reduce costs, including the existing COVID-19 business support schemes, then they should approach Defra as quickly as possible. Defra has already written to all licensed zoos in England to make them aware of the COVID-19 support schemes available as well as the new Zoo Support Fund.

Victoria Prentis
Attorney General
8th Feb 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when will the Road Safety Investigation Branch be formed.

The Government has introduced the Automated Vehicles Bill to Parliament, which includes proposed legislation to enable the creation of a capability within my department to investigate safety incidents involving at least one self-driving vehicle.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
5th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the recommendation that the Government should consider the introduction of escalating penalties for repeat traffic offences made in the Road Justice report published by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cycling and Walking in September 2023.

No such assessment has been made.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
4th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when his Department plans to publish the final report of the Roads policing review.

I believe the Hon member is referring to the Government Response to Call for Evidence on Roads Policing.

The Call for Evidence saw 149 responses submitted, many of which were incredibly detailed. The Government intends to publish the response, once it has given the responses full consideration.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
28th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his department is on track to legislate for ending sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030 within the proposed January 2024 timeframe.

Yes, the Department is on track.

21st Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to publish the results from the managing pavement parking consultation; and if he will make an assessment of the potential impact of that consultation on North Devon constituency.

The Department consulted on measures to address inconsiderate pavement parking in 2020 and received over 15,000 responses. We have been considering all views expressed, including from those with vision impairments, and the options for managing pavement parking. This is a complex issue and we want to ensure that local authorities have appropriate and effective tools at their disposal. We will publish the formal consultation response and announce next steps as soon as possible. An impact assessment will be published alongside the consultation response.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
16th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he plans to publish the results of the Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme evaluation.

The Department is currently evaluating the impacts of the Fix Your Bike Voucher scheme. A report on the results of the evaluation will be published in mid-2023.

31st Jan 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies of the findings by Cambridge Econometrics in the report The impact of a 2030 ICE phase-out in the UK, published in 2020, that if the UK motor vehicle industry could secure a greater share of the UK domestic market for new vehicles in the context of a 2030 phase-out of internal combustion engines, this could potentially lead to the creation of an additional 63,000 jobs in the UK compared to a 2035 phase-out.

The end of sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030, will help the UK meet its climate change obligations. It will improve air quality in our towns and cities, support economic growth, and create new jobs in our industrial heartlands. The 2030 phase out will contribute to increasing the supply of ZEVs to meet increasing demand from UK consumers and will make the UK a more attractive environment for vehicle manufacturers to produce and sell ZEVs. Alongside government support, this will generate new employment opportunities in the BEV supply chain, as well as in the chargepoint and energy industries.

As estimated in the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, the production of all zero emission road transport vehicles has the potential to support up to 72,000 jobs, worth up to £9.7 billion GVA in the year 2050.

We will shortly bring forward a proposed ZEV mandate to support legislative delivery of our phase out commitments. We will consider the potential impact this legislation will have on jobs as part of our Government Response Impact Assessment.

Richard Holden
Minister without Portfolio (Cabinet Office)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to raise public awareness of the (a) responsible use of and (b) speed limit that applies to e-bikes and (c) the legal provisions that apply to the modification of the speed restrictions of e-bikes.

E-cycle users, like any other road user, have a duty to behave in a safe and responsible manner and to comply with the Highway Code. Legal provisions applying to e-cycles are set out in The Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles Regulations 1983 and The Pedal Cycles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1983, and subsequent amendments.

The Department does not have any plans to raise public awareness of these provisions beyond existing road safety messaging, such as THINK!

17th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the Written Statement of 25 March 2021, HCWS891 on Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy 2 (CWIS2) and the target on walking stages set in the first Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy having been met, whether he plans to set a new strengthened target to support walking in the CWIS2.

The second Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy (CWIS 2) will be published after the Government has agreed its long-term spending plans for active travel at the Spending Review later this year. It will reflect and build on the vision and commitments outlined in the Prime Minister’s “Gear Change” Cycling and Walking Plan of July 2020, as well as setting out the financial resources available for cycling and walking and the other matters required by the Infrastructure Act 2015. The Department will consult with relevant stakeholders to develop objectives for both walking and cycling as required by the Act, and will ensure that these objectives are consistent with the Gear Change vision that half of all journeys in towns and cities should be walked or cycled by 2030.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to publish details of the e-bike national support programme.

We are developing a national programme of support to boost e-bike uptake to the levels seen in many other countries. Details will be announced in spring 2021, subject to the outcome of the Spending Review process. Ahead of this, the Department will consult key stakeholders on the programme, including those representing bicycle retailers and manufacturers. The Department is also planning to support a number of pilot e-bike support schemes in the current financial year to help build an evidence base on the type of approaches which are most effective in increasing take-up of e-bikes.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has had with the Treasury on ensuring that forthcoming transport spending decisions support the aims of the Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

The Government is committed to tackling climate change and reducing emissions from transport. The Department for Transport and HM Treasury hold regular discussions to consider how forthcoming spending decisions align with ambitions to decarbonise the sector.

30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of walking, cycling and local traffic reduction schemes delivered under Tranche 1 of the Emergency Active Travel Fund; and what progress he has made in distributing Tranche 2 funding.

The Department will be undertaking a full evaluation of the Active Travel Fund in due course, which will inform decisions on subsequent capital investment programmes for cycling and walking. Local authorities who received funding under tranche 1 of the scheme were required to complete an evaluation survey which will be used to help measure the effectiveness of schemes in their areas. The Department plans to confirm tranche 2 allocations shortly, once it is satisfied that the funding will support schemes which are properly thought out and which will deliver benefits to all road users.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to support the bus and coach industries during the covid-19 outbreak.

On 8 August, the Department for Transport announced funding at up to £27.3 million per week to support the bus sector, through the Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG) Restart scheme, until a time when the funding is no longer needed. CBSSG Restart funding also covers costs for essential PPE such as hand sanitiser and protective screens for drivers’ cabs.

This is in addition to the £397 million the Government announced on 3 April 2020 so that England’s buses will continue to serve those who rely on them, and the £254 million announced on 23 May to support services returning to 100% service levels.

The Government has announced several measures available to UK businesses, including the coach sector, which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/financial-support-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

The Department of Education (DfE) has announced over £70 million to local transport authorities to provide dedicated, additional capacity in our transport system, helping students journey to and from their schools and colleges whilst social distancing reduces the capacity of existing public transport. This has been provided in two tranches that were announced on 8 August date and 14 October and will provide additional capacity to the end of the autumn term.

13th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to provide support to bus and coach industries to mitigate the effects of covid-19 outbreak on those industries.

The Department for Transport is working closely with representatives from the bus and coach industries through the Confederation of Passenger Transport, and colleagues in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and other Government Departments, to discuss the concerns of the coach and bus industries in England and review our approach to mitigating the effects of covid-19 on these industries.

The Department has published Safer Travel Guidance for Operators which helps transport organisations in England understand how to provide safer workplaces and services for themselves, their workers and passengers.

On 8 August, the Department announced funding at up to £27.3 million per week to support the bus sector, through the Covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant (CBSSG) Restart scheme, until a time when the funding is no longer needed. CBSSG Restart funding also covers costs for essential PPE such as hand sanitiser and protective screens for drivers’ cabs. This is in addition to the £397 million the Government announced on 3 April 2020 so that England’s buses will continue to serve those who rely on them, and the £254 million announced on 23 May to support services returning to 100% service levels.

On 31 July 2020, the Department announced that a further exemption from Public Service Accessibility Regulations (PSVAR) until 31 July 2021. Whilst many coach operators are PSVAR-compliant, we understand the COVID-19 outbreak may have constrained some operators’ ability to invest in PSVAR-compliant vehicles. This further exemption enables operators to redirect their revenue streams to those areas most needed for the immediate future.

The Department of Education (DfE) has announced over £70 million to local transport authorities to provide dedicated, additional capacity in our transport system, helping students journey to and from their schools and colleges whilst social distancing reduces the capacity of existing public transport. This has been provided in two tranches that were announced on 8 August date and 14 October and will provide additional capacity to the end of the autumn term.


15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on ensuring the financial viability of the UK bus and coach industries during the covid-19 outbreak.

Ministers and officials from the Department for Transport continue to engage with the Treasury and other government departments on assessing the impact of COVID-19 on the bus and coach industries.

19th Jun 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of Personal Independence Payment assessments were carried out (a) face-to-face, (b) remotely and (c) on paper in each month since 1 September 2022.

The number and proportion of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments carried out (a) face to face (b) remotely (this includes telephone and video) and (c) paper based can be found in the tables below.

For the months from September 2022 to May 2023 (the latest month figures are available) the number of assessments per channel are:

Month

Face-to-Face

Remote

Paper-Based

Sep-22

6,440

62,530

15,540

Oct-22

7,080

65,380

15,990

Nov-22

7,540

71,150

18,340

Dec-22

5,260

52,530

13,810

Jan-23

6,150

72,800

17,750

Feb-23

6,880

65,810

17,420

Mar-23

7,210

78,130

20,200

Apr-23

6,610

59,680

16,260

May-23

7,290

68,460

18,600

The channel proportion is:

Month

Face-to-Face

Remote

Paper-Based

Sep-22

7.6%

74.0%

18.4%

Oct-22

8.0%

73.9%

18.1%

Nov-22

7.8%

73.3%

18.9%

Dec-22

7.3%

73.4%

19.3%

Jan-23

6.4%

75.3%

18.4%

Feb-23

7.6%

73.0%

19.3%

Mar-23

6.8%

74.0%

19.1%

Apr-23

8.0%

72.3%

19.7%

May-23

7.7%

72.6%

19.7%

Please note:

  • All volumes have been rounded to the nearest 10;
  • Percentages may not always total 100% due to rounding;
  • All of the above data is derived from management information produced by the assessment providers; and
  • The above data is derived from unpublished management information which is collected for internal departmental use only and has not been quality assured to Official Statistics Publication standards.
Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
2nd Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of Personal Independence Payment assessments were carried out (a) face-to-face, (b) remotely and (c) on paper in each month since 1 January 2022.

The number and proportion of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessments carried out (a) face to face, (b) remotely, including telephone and video, and c) paper based, can be found in the tables below.

For the months from January to September 2022 (the latest month that figures are available for) the number of assessments per channel are:

Month

Remote

Paper-Based

Face-to-Face

Jan-22

61,300

12,170

90

Feb-22

58,070

13,170

3,150

Mar-22

63,230

15,050

6,390

Apr-22

53,580

12,950

5,100

May-22

63,740

13,710

5,700

Jun-22

58,680

13,790

5,530

Jul-22

59,430

14,380

5,350

Aug-22

62,860

14,910

5,950

Sep-22

62,530

15,540

6,440

With channel proportion as:

Month

Remote

Paper-Based

Face-to-Face

Jan-22

83.3%

16.5%

0.1%

Feb-22

78.1%

17.7%

4.2%

Mar-22

74.7%

17.8%

7.5%

Apr-22

74.8%

18.1%

7.1%

May-22

76.7%

16.5%

6.9%

Jun-22

75.2%

17.7%

7.1%

Jul-22

75.1%

18.2%

6.8%

Aug-22

75.1%

17.8%

7.1%

Sep-22

74.0%

18.4%

7.6%

Please Note:

  • All volumes have been rounded to the nearest 10;
  • Percentages may not always total 100% due to rounding;
  • Proportions are based on actual values and may not add up due to rounding;
  • All of the above data is derived from management information produced by the assessment providers;
  • The above data is derived from unpublished management information which is collected for internal departmental use only and has not been quality assured to Official Statistics Publication standards.
Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery)
20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what was the purpose of claims made to the Flexible Support Fund in North Devon in the last 12 months.

The information requested is not collated centrally and could only be provided for the whole of North Devon at disproportionate cost as we do not record this information by Parliamentary constituency.

Of the three Jobcentres that serve the North Devon constituency, Barnstaple Jobcentre is the only office with its claimant base entirely within the North Devon constituency. For Barnstaple Jobcentre, Flexible Support Fund which is issued on top of benefits spend has been recorded in each of the following categories for the last 12 months, from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022:

  • Travel – Training
  • Travel - Work Related Interview
  • Travel - Job Interviews
  • Claimant Equipment for Work
  • Other Claimant Expenses to remove barriers
  • In Work Emergency Fund
  • Up Front Childcare
  • Travel – Sector Based Work Academies Programmes
David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many claimants have accessed the Flexible Support Fund in North Devon in each of the last five years.

The information requested is not collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

We do not hold information about the number of individual claimants who have received support from Flexible Support fund and information is not recorded by Parliamentary constituency.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much and what proportion of the Flexible Support Fund has been claimed in North Devon in each of the last five years.

The information requested is not collated centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps she is taking to reduce levels of fraud and error in universal credit.

We take any case of fraud and error extremely seriously and actively pursue fraudsters, using a wide range of powers to bring them to justice.

Last Autumn we announced a significant increase in our investment in Counter Fraud, Compliance and Debt operations by 75%, up to £1.4bn over the next three years. We are using this to scale up our existing operations, enhance our approach to data and intelligence and set up a new targeted review of the Universal Credit (UC) caseload. This will generate billions of savings over the scorecard period.

We published figures in the DWP Annual Report and Accounts 2020-21 that showed the estimated rate of fraud and error in Universal Credit was 14.5%, up from 9.4% in 2019/20.

These estimates are based on in depth reviews of a random sample of around 3,000 Universal Credit cases (taken between February and November 2020) to establish the extent of Fraud and Error. The level of fraud and error found in this sample is then applied to the 2020-21 Universal Credit expenditure to give our overall estimate. During the early months of the pandemic we faced unprecedented levels of claims, with 2.4 million new UC claims between 1 March and 26 May 2020. We took a decision to implement easements to ensure we could prioritise payments to those who needed help during this difficult time. This meant that although the overall level of fraud and error in Universal Credit across the year was 14.5%, the subset of claims made after the pandemic started had a level of 25.6%. Claims prior to the pandemic remained at a level of 9.4%. This detailed analysis indicates that the total overpayment for fraud and error for claims from the start of the pandemic (in 2020/21) was £3.1 billion, of which £1.1billion being overpaid due to incorrect information about self-employed income.

It is regrettable that people may have sought to exploit the extraordinary circumstances of a global pandemic for gain by not reporting changes in circumstances or even making false claims. This is particularly true for bogus claims orchestrated by organised criminals.

During the pandemic, we were able to detect and shut down systematic attacks on the benefit system, including preventing £1.9bn from an attack from Organised Criminals in May 2020. We removed the easements as early as possible from June 2020 and introduced new processes, including a new Enhanced Checking Service created in April 2020, comprising a team of trained investigators who review claims and contact claimants in order to obtain further information or evidence where there is suspected fraud. In total we estimate that we have prevented nearly £3bn of additional fraud and error.

Our rigorous checks to prevent fraud are now back in place and the new targeted UC case reviews funded as part of the £1.4bn investment will be focused on relentlessly pursuing and finding incorrect claims and driving out the Fraud and Error. We are determined to combat all attempts at fraud and will not hesitate to pursue those who exploit the system when benefits are there to support those most in need.

Fraud and error in the benefit system: financial year 2020 to 2021 estimates - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that personal independence payment claims and reviews are processed in a timely manner.

We are committed to ensuring people can access financial support through Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in a timely manner.

We have seen increasing levels of demand for PIP and are constantly making improvements to our service to ensure claimants get a timely decision.

We introduced a blend of phone, video and face-to-face assessments to deliver a more efficient and user-centred service. We are also increasing case manager and Assessment Provider health professional resource to deal with the increased demand.

We are sending new claims to Assessment Providers ahead of award reviews for existing claims, to ensure newly entitled claimants get the support they need.

Where possible, decisions on award reviews are made by DWP decision makers without a new referral to an Assessment Provider. Those who do require an assessment are put into a queue until our Assessment Providers have capacity to assess them, and their existing awards are extended where necessary until the review is completed. This ensures that they get the right decision, and that there is no risk of their award ending before they are assessed.

1st Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment she has made of trends in the level of pensions credit uptake among eligible people in each constituency in the past twelve months.

The latest Pension Credit take-up statistics are due for publication on 24 February. These will cover the financial year 2019/20. Due to the sample size used to estimate Pension Credit take-up statistics, figures cannot be broken down to a constituency level.

Since then, the Department has undertaken a range of actions to raise awareness of Pension Credit, encourage pensioners to check their eligibility, and to make a claim. This has included a Pension Credit media day of action in June, working with stakeholders such as the BBC and Age UK.

Our initial internal management information suggests new claims for Pension Credit in the past twelve months to December 2021 were around 136,000, representing an increase of around 30% compared to the 12 months to December 2019 when they were around 105,000. It also suggests that we have been receiving consistently high volumes of claims over recent months, at around 3,300 per week.

This management information has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics but are provided here in the interests of transparency.

The impact of these claim volumes on numbers of successful awards and on Pension Credit take-up will take longer to establish given the usual cycle involved in producing those statistics.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many Kickstart scheme placements have been (a) approved, (b) advertised and (c) started by young people by (i) nation, (ii) region and (iii) sector.

As of the 22nd September, over 76,900 young people have started a Kickstart job. Over 196,300 roles have been made available for young people to apply to through the scheme and over 295,000 jobs have been approved for funding.

Below are tables listing the number of Kickstart jobs which have been made available and started by young people to date by geographical area of Great Britain and work sector. The figures used are correct as of the 22nd September and these figures have been rounded according to departmental standards.

From 26/08/21 to 22/09/21 an average of over 3,600 young people started on the scheme each week.

Although care is taken when processing and analysing Kickstart applications, referrals and starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system, which has been developed quickly.

The management information presented here has not been subjected to the usual standard of quality assurance associated with official statistics, but is provided in the interests of transparency. Work is ongoing to improve the quality of information available for the programme.

Location

Jobs Made Available

Total Jobs Started

East Midlands

12,300

4,710

East of England

15,500

5,430

London

40,800

16,670

North East

7,800

3,610

North West

24,600

9,830

Scotland

14,800

6,710

South East

22,400

8,280

South West

14,400

5,080

Wales

10,900

3,740

West Midlands

17,600

6,940

Yorkshire and The Humber

15,200

5,970

*These numbers are rounded and so may not match provided totals. Jobs Made Available include 1,000 non-grant funded vacancies and Total Starts include around 900 starts to non-grant funded jobs

Sector

Jobs Made Available

Total Jobs Started

Administration

48,700

19,350

Animal Care

1,000

610

Beauty & Wellbeing

1,400

610

Business & Finance

7,000

2,840

Computing Technology & Digital

13,600

6,640

Construction & Trades

6,000

2,420

Creative & Media

15,400

7,710

Delivery & Storage

5,600

2,190

Emergency & Uniform Services

500

170

Engineering & Maintenance

6,400

2,390

Environment & Land

3,700

1,590

Government Services

700

190

Healthcare

5,400

1,640

Home Services

1,500

400

Hospitality & Food

21,900

6,060

Law & Legal

400

240

Managerial

1,100

390

Manufacturing

5,100

2,080

Retail & Sales

30,400

12,580

Science & Research

800

370

Social Care

4,800

1,220

Sports & Leisure

4,600

1,910

Teaching & Education

9,100

2,980

Transport

600

160

Travel & Tourism

600

230

*These numbers are rounded and so may not match provided totals. Jobs Made Available include 1,000 non-grant funded vacancies and Total Starts include around 900 starts to non-grant funded jobs

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Written Statement of 9 July 2020, Health Transformation Programme update, HCWS353, what plans her Department has to continue providing (a) paper, (b) telephone and (c) other methods of disability benefit assessments to claimants of (i) personal independence payments and (ii) disability living allowance; and whether she plans to extend such methods of assessment to claimants of (A) employment and support allowance and (B) universal credit.

Paper based assessments of entitlement to Disability Living Allowance have always been offered in preference to other forms of assessment and will continue as normal. Paper based assessments have also always been a feature of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and are undertaken where there is sufficient evidence. Where possible and in line with usual processes, a paper-based assessment will be undertaken. In PIP we will continue to do telephone-based assessments where necessary.

Paper based reviews have also always been a feature of Work Capability Assessments for UC and ESA. Wherever possible, if there is sufficient evidence available, our Assessment Provider will make a recommendation based on a paper-based review. If this is not possible, our provider will currently look to offer a telephone assessment, where appropriate.

We remain fully committed to making continuous improvements to the support we provide to people with health conditions and disabilities, and are evaluating the changes to our assessment approach which were temporarily introduced. This will inform the approach taken to conducting assessments in the future. We are using a range of information to inform these decisions, including research with PIP and ESA/UC claimants about their experiences of telephone assessments.

22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the Written Statement of 9 July 2020 by the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, what plans her Department has to enable claimants to decide which method of disability benefit assessment they have.

We are considering the next steps for assessments when public health advice allows face to face assessments to be re-introduced. We are using a range of information to inform these decisions, including research with PIP and ESA/UC claimants about their experiences of telephone assessments, which will take place over the Summer. Further discussions with stakeholders will also be welcomed to ensure we take a range of views into consideration.

16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to extend easements on work search requirements for claimants of universal credit after 30 June 2020.

We made the decision to temporarily suspend the requirement for face-to-face Jobcentre Plus appointments for all claimants in Universal Credit, New Style Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), old-style JSA and ESA, and Income Support.

Arrangements after the 30th June will be communicated in due course.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of fluoridating the water supply in Devon.

No specific assessment has been made. The United Kingdom Chief Medical Officers in their joint statement in September 2021 concluded that on balance, there is strong scientific evidence that water fluoridation is an effective public health intervention for reducing the prevalence of tooth decay and improving dental health equality across the UK.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Dec 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to ensure equal experiences of patients with (a) Chron's disease and (b) Ulcerative Colitis in the South West.

The Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) national specialty report on gastroenterology was published in September 2021. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis is one of the conditions covered under gastroenterological services in the report. The report sets out actions and recommendations to improve patient care in gastroenterology. The aim is to reduce unwarranted variation in treatments and services in, which will ensure consistent care is provided to IBD patients across the country.

The GIRFT programme is now embedded within NHS England programmes to improve quality and productivity, so that best practice is adopted throughout the National Health Service. RightCare scenarios support local systems to identify where patient outcomes, quality of life and service costs can be improved as the result of shifting the care pathway from a suboptimal journey to an optimal one that consistently delivers timely, evidence-based excellence of care. Once published, a new IBD RightCare scenario will set out high-quality joined-up care at every point of the patient journey.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
29th Nov 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps her Department is taking to help tackle the NHS dentistry backlog in North Devon constituency.

  • In the South-West, NHS England have commissioned additional urgent dental care appointments that people can access via NHS 111.

  • They have also implemented a new pathway called stabilisation dental care to support those who do not have access to a regular dentist but require non-urgent dental care.

Andrea Leadsom
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department will take to ensure equal access to paediatric interventional radiology services in the UK.

The Department will discuss this with NHS England.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help increase the number of dental professionals who have qualified outside the EEA who practice in the UK.

The Government is currently amending the General Dental Council’s (GDC) international registration legislation. This aims to provide greater flexibility for the GDC to improve its existing international registration process and introduce alternative routes to registration for international applicants, whilst maintaining its focus on robust public protection. We aim to introduce these amendments in autumn 2022, subject to Parliamentary approval.

24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Government announcement on investment into neurodegenerative disease research of 14 November 2021, what (a) allocation of funding is available for research into cures for Parkinson's Disease and (b) the allocation process is to determine the distribution of funds.

The £375 million investment will fund research projects into a range of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The NIHR and UKRI rely on researchers submitting high-quality applications to access funding, therefore details of allocations are not currently available. All applications are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the importance of the topic to patients and health and care services, value for money and scientific quality.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Women)
6th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment the National Institute for Health Research has made of the merits of funding projects to establish the potential effect of microplastics on human health.

The National Institute for Health Research is funding research on microplastic toxicity in humans through the Health Protection Research Unit in Environmental Exposure, which is led by Imperial College London and Public Health England. This work will be reported in peer reviewed academic journals in due course.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the disruption to routine dentistry as a result of the covid-19 outbreak on the early detection of oral cancers.

No such assessment has been made. Dentists play an ad hoc role in detecting oral cancers as a by-product of dental check-ups. However, oral cancer is primarily detected through the medical system. Patients with concerns about changes in their mouth should seek advice from their general practitioner and not wait for their next dental appointment.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to support the private dentistry sector to recover from the effect of the covid-19 outbreak.

Dentists who meet the criteria can access the full range of HM Treasury support for their private earnings. Self-employed dentists who have met the criteria have been eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme which will continue until September, with a fourth and fifth grant. Dentists who receive a salary through a Pay As You Earn scheme may be eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has also been extended until September. In addition, a new United Kingdom-wide Recovery Loan Scheme will help businesses of all sizes through the next stage of recovery.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to promote ongoing, routine preventative dental care to protect people's oral health.

Public Health England have published the guidance ‘Delivering better oral health - an evidence-based toolkit for prevention’, for dental teams to support preventive advice and treatment for their patients. The toolkit includes evidence-based advice and treatment that dentists and their teams can use to support their patients to help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, mouth cancer and tooth wear. This toolkit is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/delivering-better-oral-health-an-evidence-based-toolkit-for-prevention

The dental contract reform programme has been piloting new contract models to better incentivise preventative and restorative treatments. The Department will publish an evaluation of the programme this summer and based on the learning, NHS England and NHS Improvement will take forward the design of proposals to protect and improve oral health.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of continuing routine dental care provided on an ongoing basis by dentists on the protection and promotion good oral health.

Public Health England have published the guidance ‘Delivering better oral health - an evidence-based toolkit for prevention’, for dental teams to support preventive advice and treatment for their patients. The toolkit includes evidence-based advice and treatment that dentists and their teams can use to support their patients to help prevent tooth decay, gum disease, mouth cancer and tooth wear. This toolkit is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/delivering-better-oral-health-an-evidence-based-toolkit-for-prevention

The dental contract reform programme has been piloting new contract models to better incentivise preventative and restorative treatments. The Department will publish an evaluation of the programme this summer and based on the learning, NHS England and NHS Improvement will take forward the design of proposals to protect and improve oral health.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he will give care homes discretion to decide on the best use of funding allocated under the Infection Control Fund.

The £600 million Infection Control Fund was set up to reduce the rate of COVID-19 transmission in and between care homes and support wider workforce resilience. It provides funds in addition to the £3.7 billion of general funding provided to local authorities, which can be used to support adult social care. Public Health England advice is that one of the key mitigations against transmission was through restricting staff movements between care homes wherever feasible. Taking this advice and feedback from care providers regarding workforce costs into account, care home providers may use the fund to support the implementation of a new set of measures. These measures also include paying staff full pay to isolate, and other infection control matters as set out in the grant determination. Local authorities have greater discretion over the use of 25% of the funding, which may be used on other COVID-19 infection control measures.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help protect (a) care homes and (b) home care providers during the easing of the covid-19 lockdown.

On 15 May 2020 the Government published a care home support package, backed by a £600 million Infection Control Fund. The package sets out the steps that must now be taken to keep people in care homes safe, and the support that will be brought together across national and local government to help care providers put this into practice.

We are currently reviewing our care homes guidance and will be publishing new guidance shortly. As the easing of the COVID-19 lockdown begins, any assessment of a resident’s needs, and subsequent decisions made, must consider individual circumstances and ethical implications, ensuring that the resident is treated with respect so that their human rights, personal choices, safety and dignity is upheld.

We also recognise the vital importance of protecting those who receive care in their homes, as well as those who provide home care. We have published detailed guidance for home care providers to support them to deliver care safely and effectively during the pandemic.

We keep our policies under continuous review during the COVID-19 pandemic, based on the emerging international and domestic evidence.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Transport and (b) health sector bodies on promoting cycling and walking for NHS (i) employees and (ii) patients.

The Secretary of State has frequent conversations with relevant Cabinet colleagues and stakeholders. The Department of Transport recently announced a £2billion investment to boost a greener active transport. This includes a £250million emergency active travel fund to help encourage more people to choose cycling and walking as alternatives to public transport when they need to travel. Evidence suggests that regular physical activity can promote good physical health and help manage stress and anxiety.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to help ensure the adequacy of staffing levels in the social care sector during the covid-19 outbreak.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 5 May 2020 to Question 902192.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th May 2020
What steps he is taking to help ensure the adequacy of staffing levels in the social care sector during the covid-19 outbreak.

Social care workers are at the frontline of our battle with COVID-19. We are grateful to all care workers, caring for our loved ones every day.

Care workers must follow the guidance on isolating if they or a household member have COVID-19 symptoms - which means that there are higher absence levels than normal – but there must also be enough staff to provide essential care.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has been monitoring staff absence rates to see where there are particular risks.The CQC is sharing this information with local authorities and the Government has provided them with guidance on supporting care providers. We are encouraging returning health and social care professionals to work in social care and we have launched a national recruitment campaign with the ambition to attract 20,000 people into adult social care.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that radiotherapy services used in cancer treatment continue during the covid-19 outbreak.

A letter was issued to trusts on 29 April detailing the Second Phase of Response to COVID-19. This letter sets out that:

Local systems and Cancer Alliances must continue to identify ring-fenced diagnostic and surgical capacity for cancer, and providers must protect and deliver cancer surgery and cancer treatment by ensuring that cancer surgery hubs are fully operational. Full use should be made of the available contracted independent sector hospital and diagnostic capacity locally and regionally. Regional cancer Senior Responsible Officers must now provide assurance that these arrangements are in place everywhere.

Treatment, including radiotherapy, must be brought back to pre-pandemic levels at the earliest opportunity to minimise potential harm, and to reduce the scale of the post-pandemic surge in demand.

Jo Churchill
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he has taken to help ensure that residents of care homes living with dementia can maintain contact with their relatives to preserve their cognitive and communication skills during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

The Department, Public Health England, the Care Quality Commission and the National Health Service have published guidance on the care of residents in care homes, including those with dementia. It asks care homes to consider alternatives to in-person visiting, including use of telephones or video, or the use of plastic or glass barriers between residents and visitors. Care homes are responding with innovative solutions which are allowing residents to stay in touch with their family and friends.

We continue to review the need for further guidance including specific guidance on the care of people with dementia, informed by the views of stakeholders. We have also commissioned research on the best ways to mitigate the psychological and social impact of COVID-19 on people with dementia living in the community and their family.

Helen Whately
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
5th Sep 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what cost-benefit analysis has been conducted of departmental funding for the Blue Belt programme since its creation in 2012.

The Blue Belt initiative was launched in 2016 and has invested over £40 million in enhancing the protection of waters around the UK's Overseas Territories (OT). Over 4.3m square kilometres is designated as protected waters and the Blue Belt supports the OTs on management, monitoring, surveillance and enforcement - less than £10 per protected square kilometre to date. The Blue Belt programme has also raised awareness of the value and global significance of OT waters and contributes to the delivery of the global target to protect 30% of the world's ocean by 2030.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Feb 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the resumed fifth session of the intergovernmental conference on marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction, if the Government will support enabling the Conference of Parties of any high seas treaty to create marine protected areas.

Negotiations in the Intergovernmental Conference to negotiate a new Implementing Agreement under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) resumed at the UN on 20 February. The UK strongly supports the conclusion of an ambitious agreement at these negotiations and is working hard with international partners to achieve that outcome, which will include a mechanism for establishing Marine Protected Areas in the high seas. Negotiations conclude on 3 March.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether the Government plans to support employees who are not eligible to be furloughed following the change of cut off date for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The eligibility cut-off date for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was pushed back from 28 February 2020 to 19 March 2020. This means that employees who were originally ineligible can now participate in the scheme. This change makes the scheme more generous while keeping the significant fraud risks under control.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is open to any individual who was on an employer’s PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020 and for whom HMRC received an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee on or before the 19 March 2020. Processing claims for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme where HMRC did not have RTI data by 19 March would significantly slow down the system while risking substantial levels of fraud. It would also require greater resource for HMRC when they are already under significant pressure to deliver the system designed.

Those not eligible for the scheme may be able to access other support that the Government is providing, including a package of temporary welfare measures and up to three months’ mortgage payment holidays for those struggling with their mortgage payments.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure that EU citizens eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are issued with National Insurance numbers as quickly as possible.

HMRC have put processes in place to allow an employer with employees that do not have a National Insurance number to submit a claim to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, in order to ensure that employees without a National Insurance number, including EU citizens, are not disadvantaged.
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to ensure EU citizens receiving a National Insurance number for the purposes of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme are not disadvantaged by any delay to that process as a result of covid-19.

HMRC have put processes in place to allow an employer with employees that do not have a National Insurance number to submit a claim to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, in order to ensure that employees without a National Insurance number, including EU citizens, are not disadvantaged.
20th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to support small businesses that pay council tax on their properties and not business rates during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

All councils have their own local council tax support scheme which provides reductions in council tax for low income residents. In addition, the Government has provided councils with a £500m hardship fund to enable additional council tax relief.

This funding is in addition to support for businesses, including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme. Those who are self-employed or a member of a partnership may be eligible for a grant through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

12th Jan 2024
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of establishing national minimum standards for investigations into road collisions.

Standards in relation to the investigation of fatal and serious injury road collisions is set out in authorised professional practice published by the College of Policing.

Further details can be found at: Investigation of fatal and serious injury road collisions | College of Policing

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
13th Mar 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have settled in the UK under the UK Resettlement Scheme in 2023.

The Home Office publishes data on resettlement in the ‘Immigration System Statistics Quarterly Release’. Data on refugees resettled in the UK by scheme can be found in table Asy_D02 of the ‘asylum and resettlement detailed datasets’. Information on how to use the datasets can be found in the ‘Notes’ page of the workbooks.

The latest data relate to the year ending December 2022. Data for the year ending March 2023 will be published on 25 May 2023. Information on future Home Office statistical release dates can be found in the ‘Research and statistics calendar’.

29th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if the police will take steps to ensure the adequate policing of Albanian Independence Day celebrations in 2023.

The Metropolitan Police Service is operationally independent of government. They confirm that they responded quickly to deploy spontaneous resources in response to a large no-notice event in London, celebrating Albanian Independence Day. Police worked closely with partners to minimise disruption.

MPS confirmed that the force will ensure there is an adequate, appropriate policing plan in place for the next event in 2023.

The management of public processions and public assemblies is as an operational matter for the police. Ministers are unable to intervene in individual cases or in operational decisions made by the police. To do so would undermine the principle that the police are operationally independent of Government.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
29th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the police took to (a) ensure safety and (b) enforce the law during celebrations in London of Albanian Independence Day on 28 November 2022.

The Metropolitan Police Service is operationally independent of government. They confirm that they responded quickly to deploy spontaneous resources in response to a large no-notice event in London, celebrating Albanian Independence Day. Police worked closely with partners to minimise disruption.

MPS confirmed that the force will ensure there is an adequate, appropriate policing plan in place for the next event in 2023.

The management of public processions and public assemblies is as an operational matter for the police. Ministers are unable to intervene in individual cases or in operational decisions made by the police. To do so would undermine the principle that the police are operationally independent of Government.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
28th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether asylum seekers have absconded from the Dilkhusa Hotel in Ilfracombe since the hotel was adopted by the Home Office.

The Home Office has no power to hold asylum seekers in hotels or any temporary accommodation if they wish to leave.

The Home Office does not publish a breakdown of statistics which disaggregates the number of adult asylum seekers leaving hotels. These figures are not available.

28th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for what reasons the rates of approval for asylum claims made by people from Albania are different in the UK to those of other countries in Europe.

Other countries in Europe have legal migration routes that may impact the number of asylum claims lodged and subsequently granted. For example, Germany pursued a Western Balkan strategy which included issuing of 250,000 work visas from 2016-2020 and subsequently saw a 90% reduction in total asylum claims from the region across 2015-2017, from 120,882 first time applications in 2015 to 10,915 in 2017. Asylum grant rates can fluctuate for a number of different reasons, for example prioritisation of certain case types, including those more vulnerable for safeguarding or health-related reasons, and changes in country situations. Within a nationality, the grant rate can also vary. For example, despite the overall grant rate for Albanians in the year ending September 2022 being 51%, for Albanian adult men the grant rate was 13% and for Albanian women and children it was 88% (How many people do we grant protection to? - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)).

The domestic UK case law of TD and AD (Trafficked women) CG [2016] UKUT 92 (IAC) sets out the current approach to assess asylum claims from Albanian females who claim to be a victim of trafficking. It details the likelihood of risk on return, vulnerability factors that must be taken into account, and whether there is sufficiency of protection in Albania. Other European countries are not bound by this, or any other UK case law.

24th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the UK Resettlement Scheme closed to applicants from the majority of countries; and whether she plans to reopen that scheme to applicants from all countries.

The UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS) is a global scheme with a multi-year commitment to resettle the most vulnerable refugees in need of protection. It has not closed. It continues to offer a safe and legal route to the UK for some of the most vulnerable refugees around the world.

The UKRS is not application based. Instead, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) identifies and refers refugees for resettlement to the UK using its established submission categories.

15th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many staff in her Department work on processing asylum cases.

The Home Office currently employs circa c. 1176 asylum decision makers. There are recruitment strategies in place, with the aim of increasing staffing and reducing the number of cases awaiting a decision and increasing outputs.

15th Nov 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the potential impact of disposable BBQs on wildfires.

The Government is looking at the impact of disposable barbecues, as part of a research project led by Defra. The contract has now been awarded and the research is underway, due to report early next year.

Should the evidence indicate that these items represent a risk, we will of course examine the most appropriate options available to protect our precious natural environment for ours and future generations.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of (a) restricting or (b) banning the recreational use or sale of nitrous oxide.

The Government takes the supply of substances for their psychoactive effect seriously. There are legitimate uses for nitrous oxide, such as in medicine, dentistry and as a propellant for whipped cream canisters, but those who supply nitrous oxide who know, or who are reckless as to whether, it will be used for its psychoactive effect may be subject to a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine, or both under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016.

The Anti-social Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014 introduced powers, such as Public Space Protection Orders, which the police and local councils can use to prevent people from taking intoxicating substances, including psychoactive substances such as nitrous oxide, in specified areas.

On 3 September 2021, the Government asked the independent statutory advisory body, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, to provide an updated assessment of the harms of nitrous oxide, including whether it should be controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The ACMD is independent of Government and provides a broad range of recommendations, including advice on legislative changes. The Government will consider the ACMD’s advice carefully before deciding how to proceed.

2nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the role of (a) disposable barbecues and (b) other factors in causing wildfires; and what recent steps her Department has taken to help prevent wildfires.

The Government intends to research the issue further, looking at the impact of disposable barbecues, as part of a research project led by Defra. This research will also include the impact of sky lanterns which may be a factor in causing wildfires.

Should the evidence indicate that these items represent a risk, we will of course examine the most appropriate options.

At a local level, each Fire and Rescue Authority is required to plan for the foreseeable risks in their area (including wildfires) through their Integrated Risk Management Plan. This will include plans to prevent and respond to incidents and Fire and Rescue Services will have regard to other key local responders including landowners and other emergency services in their planning.

9th May 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to the white paper entitled A Fairer Private Rented Sector, published on 16 June 2022, what plans he has to bring forward the Renters Reform Bill.

Everybody has a right to a secure and decent home. The Government has today introduced the Renters (Reform) Bill which will deliver a fairer, more secure, and higher quality private rented sector that is fit for the 21st century and works for both tenants and landlords.

14th Apr 2023
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to the White Paper entitled A Fairer Private Rented Sector, published on 16 June 2022, what plans the Government has to bring forward the Renters Reform Bill.

I refer my Hon Friend to the answer I gave in Oral Parliamentary Questions on 27 March 2023 (Official Report, HC, Volume 730, Column 642).

22nd Sep 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a designation for wildbelt land.

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) already makes clear that planning policies and decisions should contribute to and enhance the natural and local environment by providing net gains where possible and acknowledges the importance that green and open space make to achieving sustainable development.

Government will continue to explore the options for protecting our wild and natural spaces while delivering homes where they are needed.

Lee Rowley
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps her Department is taking to support (a) Ilfracombe and (b) other coastal communities.

As an island nation, the Government is committed to supporting coastal communities and levelling-up across the Union. We are working with local leaders to ensure every region including coastal areas, cities and towns will recover from COVID-19 and ultimately level-up.

I am pleased that Ilfracombe is benefitting from a share of the £35.4 million Getting Building Fund investment across the Heart of the South West to boost economic growth, and fuel local recovery and jobs. This includes one project in the North Devon constituency: Ilfracombe Water Sports Centre, which is set to receive £1.5 million for the construction of a water sports centre and associated infrastructure on a brownfield site within Ilfracombe Harbour. The project aims to regenerate the harbour, improve and increase tourism, provide up to 101 direct and indirect jobs and support up to 300 local businesses. The centre will also provide training and events facilities.

The Heart of the South West LEP was also allocated £197.8 million from the Local Growth Fund (LGF) between 2015 and 2021. Recent LGF projects in North Devon include the North Devon Innovation Centre in Roundswell and Connecting Devon and Somerset to extend superfast broadband provision.

Officials will shortly be in contact with North Devon Council to discuss their unsuccessful Levelling Up Fund bid for Ilfracombe and to offer feedback to support future bids.

We have continued to make significant progress in supporting coastal communities in a number of areas, demonstrated by the Coastal Communities Fund now having supported 359 projects, totalling over £229 million since 2012. North Devon Council received £1.5 million in 2019 for the new swimming pool at the North Devon Leisure Centre in Barnstaple.

Our coastal economies and communities add unique value to the country and offer significant growth potential. Our commitment to unlocking this growth was demonstrated at Budget 2021, where the Chancellor announced 8 Freeports from 8 regions of England, 7 of them in coastal areas. Freeports will be national hubs for international trade, innovation and commerce, regenerating communities across the UK; attracting new businesses, spreading jobs, investment and opportunity to towns and cities across the country including in coastal areas.

1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what further financial support will be provided to local authorities to enable them to open toilet blocks after the additional cleaning required as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

We have now made £3.2 billion available to local authorities through an un-ringfenced grant so they can address pressures they are facing in response to the Covid-19 pandemic


The additional funding is un-ringfenced and can be used across all local services facing pressures, recognising local authorities are best placed to decide how to meet the major Covid-19 service pressures in their local area.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he plans to take to support (a) small businesses and (b) the high street to recover from the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government has announced a package of support for businesses to help with their ongoing business costs in recognition of the disruption caused by Covid-19. In particular, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has been working across Government to provide £12.33 billion of grant funding to help small and rural businesses and businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors manage their cashflow through this period. This support will take the form of two grant funding schemes, the Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF) and the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF).

Small Business Grant Fund (SBGF):

  • All businesses in England in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief (SBRR) and Rural Rates Relief (RRR) in the business rates system will be eligible for a payment of £10,000.
  • This is estimated to apply to around 730,000 businesses across England.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund (RHLGF):

  • Businesses in England that would have been in receipt of the Expanded Retail Discount (which covers retail, hospitality and leisure) on 11 March with a rateable value of less than £51,000 will be eligible for the following cash grants per property:
  • Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of up to and including £15,000 will receive a grant of £10,000.
  • Eligible businesses in these sectors with a property that has a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive a grant of £25,000.

Through Section 82 of the Coronavirus Act 2020, the Government has also made provision for a three-month moratorium on the ability of landlords of commercial properties to exercise any right of forfeiture that they may have due to the non-payment of rent by tenants. The provision delays the right to forfeiture; it does not otherwise impinge on a landlord’s right to claim forfeiture at the end of that period. The objective of the clause is to provide much-needed certainty to those businesses hit hard by the Coronavirus and worried about security of tenure during this difficult period. The moratorium is in effect until 30 June, a period that can be extended by Government if necessary.

3rd Nov 2020
What steps his Department is taking to ensure that courts operate effectively during the covid-19 outbreak.

Progress against the HMCTS recovery plan published on 1 July is already well underway to reduce outstanding cases and to get our operating capacity as close as possible to pre-Covid levels.

We are investing record amounts, with £153m to improve court and tribunal buildings – the biggest single investment in court estate maintenance for more than 20 years. We’ve also opened 14 Nightingale Courts and over 240 jury courtrooms, while Magistrates’ Courts have been completing more cases than they are receiving.

We’ve piloted Covid Operating hours at the Crown Court in Liverpool and several other crown courts. I’m also pleased the number of hearings across the civil, family and tribunal jurisdictions is also increasing.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, when HM Courts and Tribunals Service plans to take on the operation of virtual remand hearings from court premises as police forces return to their usual duties.

HMCTS will continue to facilitate video remand hearings using the Cloud Video Platform (CVP). Steps have been taken to increase the capacity of our existing systems to enable other participants to appear remotely. We continue to engage with Policing across England and Wales on the use of video in the criminal justice system.

Chris Philp
Minister of State (Home Office)
3rd Mar 2021
What steps his Department is taking to strengthen the Union.

The Government places great importance on the Union, and Northern Ireland’s integral place within it. We are using Northern Ireland’s centenary to promote Northern Ireland on the world stage and showcase the contribution of its people, places and products to our United Kingdom.

We have just signed Heads of Terms for the Derry-Londonderry City Deal, which includes a £105m UK Government investment, showing our commitment to levelling up across the UK.

In addition to the £2bn we have committed through New Decade New Approach, we have supported the Executive with £3.3bn to tackle Coronavirus. The £400m New Deal for Northern Ireland will boost economic growth, supporting businesses across Northern Ireland to invest.

We will continue working tirelessly for our family of nations, ensuring it is a Union of people that works for everyone.

9th Dec 2020
What steps his Department is taking to strengthen the Union.

This Government has always stressed the importance of the Union.

The recent spending review showed this Government’s commitment to investing in all parts of the UK, from city and growth deals, to driving the development of innovative technologies across Scotland.

Alister Jack
Secretary of State for Scotland