Stephanie Peacock Portrait

Stephanie Peacock

Labour - Barnsley East

Shadow Minister (Defence)

(since May 2021)
Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
10th Apr 2020 - 14th May 2021
Women and Equalities Committee
8th May 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Opposition Whip (Commons)
18th Jan 2018 - 14th Mar 2019
International Trade Committee
4th Dec 2017 - 2nd Jul 2018
Science and Technology Committee
16th Oct 2017 - 4th Dec 2017
Science and Technology Committee (Commons)
16th Oct 2017 - 4th Dec 2017


Select Committee Meeting
Wednesday 8th June 2022
09:00
Northern Ireland Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Investment in Northern Ireland
8 Jun 2022, 9 a.m.
At 9.30am: Oral evidence
Conor Burns MP - Minister of State at Northern Ireland Office
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Department Event
Monday 13th June 2022
14:30
Ministry of Defence
Oral questions - Main Chamber
13 Jun 2022, 2:30 p.m.
Defence (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Wednesday 22nd June 2022
11:30
Northern Ireland Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
22 Jun 2022, 11:30 a.m.
Northern Ireland
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 25th May 2022
Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill
voted Aye - in line with the party majority
One of 147 Labour Aye votes vs 0 Labour No votes
Tally: Ayes - 163 Noes - 280
Speeches
Tuesday 24th May 2022
Oral Answers to Questions
Four years ago, Jackie Wileman was tragically killed on her daily walk by four men joyriding a stolen HGV around …
Written Answers
Wednesday 25th May 2022
Gulf War Syndrome
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what data his Department (a) holds and (b) plans to collect on …
Early Day Motions
Wednesday 24th July 2019
PERIOD POSITIVE PLEDGE
That this House welcomes the Period Positive Pledge which has now been adopted by institutions and organisations across the world …
Bills
Employment and Workers' Rights Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 28th March 2022
2. (b) Any other support not included in Category 2(a)
Name of donor: Cranswick PLC
Address of donor: Crane Court, Hesslewood Country Office Park, Ferriby Road, Hessle HU13 0PA
Amount …
EDM signed
Thursday 18th March 2021
Agriculture
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Heather and Grass etc. Burning (England) Regulations 2021 …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 5th February 2020
Education (Guidance about Costs of School Uniforms) Act 2021
A Bill to make provision for guidance to schools about the costs aspects of school uniform policies.

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Stephanie Peacock has voted in 384 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Stephanie Peacock 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
Victoria Prentis (Conservative)
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
(72 debate interactions)
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Minister of State (Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government efficiency)
(26 debate interactions)
Matt Hancock (Conservative)
(21 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(24 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(23 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Stephanie Peacock's debates

Barnsley East 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 Barnsley East signature proportion
Petitions with most Barnsley East signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

The Home Secretary said what happened to victims of child sexual exploitation gangs was “one of the biggest stains on our country’s conscience.” Last year local authorities identified 18,700 suspected victims of child sexual exploitation. We want an independent public inquiry into Grooming Gangs.

The Government is refusing to release official research on the characteristics of grooming gangs, claiming it is not in the “public interest”.

We, the British public, demand the release of the official research on grooming gangs undertaken by the Government in full.

A significant number of students will sit their final 2021 examinations. The outcome of which undoubtedly will be their passport, for many of their future life chances and successes. In order for this to be done fairly, it is imperative that the amount of content they are tested on is reduced.

We want the Education Secretary and the Government to step in and review the exam board’s decision on how GCSE and A-Level grades will be calculated and awarded due to the current coronavirus crisis. We want a better solution than just using our previous data to be the basis of our grade.


Latest EDMs signed by Stephanie Peacock

18th March 2021
Stephanie Peacock signed this EDM as a sponsor on Thursday 18th March 2021

Agriculture

Tabled by: Keir Starmer (Labour - Holborn and St Pancras)
That an humble Address be presented to Her Majesty, praying that the Heather and Grass etc. Burning (England) Regulations 2021 (S.I., 2021, No. 158), dated 15 February 2021, a copy of which was laid before this House on 16 February 2021, be annulled.
10 signatures
(Most recent: 11 May 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 9
Green Party: 1
14th January 2021
Stephanie Peacock signed this EDM on Monday 18th January 2021

Godfrey Colin Cameron

Tabled by: Chris Stephens (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South West)
That this House is deeply saddened by news of the death of Godfrey Colin Cameron, a hardworking member of Parliamentary security staff and member of the PCS trade union who passed away aged just 55 after contracting covid-19; extends our sincere condolences to his devoted wife Hyacinth, children Leon and …
139 signatures
(Most recent: 8 Feb 2021)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 117
Scottish National Party: 15
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
Alba Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
View All Stephanie Peacock's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Stephanie Peacock, 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.


Stephanie Peacock has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Stephanie Peacock

Wednesday 21st April 2021

1 Bill introduced by Stephanie Peacock


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make provision about employment conditions and workers' rights; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Friday 27th April 2018
(Read Debate)
Next Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Date TBA

443 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
18 Other Department Questions
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how much funding was available for veteran's supported accommodation in each year since 2010.

The Government is committed to supporting veterans who have given so much in service of our country. A refreshed Veterans Strategy Action Plan was published on 19 January.

Funding for housing support services is devolved to local authorities through the Local Government Settlement. Local authorities are best placed to assess need and make decisions on what local services they provide, based on local priorities and circumstances.

The Local Government Finance Settlement for 2022/23 makes available £54.1 billion for local government in England, an increase of up to £3.7 billion on 2021/22. This is an increase in local authority funding for 2022/23 of over 4.5% in real terms, which will ensure councils across the country have the resources they need to deliver key services.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what estimate his Department has made of the funding required to provide specialist supported housing to every veteran in the UK who needs it.

The Government is committed to supporting veterans who have given so much in service of our country. A refreshed Veterans Strategy Action Plan was published on 19 January.

Funding for housing support services is devolved to local authorities through the Local Government Settlement. Local authorities are best placed to assess need and make decisions on what local services they provide, based on local priorities and circumstances.

The Local Government Finance Settlement for 2022/23 makes available £54.1 billion for local government in England, an increase of up to £3.7 billion on 2021/22. This is an increase in local authority funding for 2022/23 of over 4.5% in real terms, which will ensure councils across the country have the resources they need to deliver key services.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of funding available for specialist supported housing for veterans with complex needs.

The Government is committed to supporting veterans who have given so much in service of our country. A refreshed Veterans Strategy Action Plan was published on 19 January.

Funding for housing support services is devolved to local authorities through the Local Government Settlement. Local authorities are best placed to assess need and make decisions on what local services they provide, based on local priorities and circumstances.

The Local Government Finance Settlement for 2022/23 makes available £54.1 billion for local government in England, an increase of up to £3.7 billion on 2021/22. This is an increase in local authority funding for 2022/23 of over 4.5% in real terms, which will ensure councils across the country have the resources they need to deliver key services.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to support veterans with complex needs to find supported housing.

In framing their allocation scheme, local housing authorities must ensure that reasonable preference is given to people who need to move on medical or welfare grounds, including people with complex needs such as learning disabilities, as well as those with a physical disability.

In line with the Armed Forces Covenant, we changed the law in 2012 so that certain members of the armed forces community with urgent housing needs are always given additional preference (high priority) for social housing. Urgent housing need can include those who need to move because of a life threatening illness or sudden disability, families in severe overcrowding which poses a serious health hazard, and those who are homeless and require urgent re-housing as a result of violence or threats of violence.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what cross-boundary housing support is available for veterans in local authorities with low numbers of veterans.

The Government is committed to ensuring veterans are provided with all the support they need to successfully adjust back into civilian life.

Delivering on the Armed Forces Covenant, in 2012 we introduced regulations which ensure that serving personnel and those within 5 years of having left the forces cannot be disqualified from social housing because of a local connection or residency requirement.

At the same time we changed the law to ensure that ‘additional preference’, high priority, is given to serving members of the Armed Forces suffering from a serious injury or disability, and veterans with urgent housing needs.

Both provisions also apply to seriously injured and disabled Reservists and bereaved spouses of Service personnel. In June 2020 we published new statutory guidance for local authorities to further improve access to social housing for members of the Armed Forces, veterans, and their families. This guidance makes clear that local authorities are expected to disapply any local connection requirement from divorced or separated spouses or civil partners of Service personnel who are required to move out of accommodation provided by the Ministry of Defence.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what estimate his Department has made of the number of local authorities that take into account the needs of veterans in their housing strategies.

Local authorities must frame their allocation scheme for social housing to give additional preference to certain members of the Armed Forces community, where they fall within one or more of the reasonable preference categories and have urgent housing needs. In line with the Armed Forces Covenant we changed the law in 2012 so that those serving in the Armed Forces as well as those who have recently been discharged do not lose their qualification rights for social housing because of the requirement to move from base to base.

When exercising their allocations function, local authorities must also have regard to statutory guidance (2020) which strongly encourages local authorities to take into account the needs of all serving or former Service personnel, including veterans, when framing their allocation schemes. The guidance also encourages local authorities to consider the housing needs of family members of serving or former Service personnel who may themselves have been disadvantaged by the requirements of military service.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of removing the local connection test for the Armed Forces community when applying for social housing on the prevalence of veteran rough sleeping.

The Government recognises the dedication and sacrifices made by members of the Armed Forces and we are committed to ensuring that they are provided with all the support they need to adjust successfully back into civilian life.

In line with the Armed Forces Covenant, in 2012 we introduced regulations which ensure that serving personnel and those within 5 years of having left the forces cannot be disqualified from social housing because of a local connection or residency requirement. The data in England shows that the percentage of serving personnel and those leaving the forces within five years who were allocated social housing in a local authority area where they had not previously lived remained higher in 2019-20 than the percentage among the non-veteran population.

Veteran homelessness is low. Data shows that for the year 2020-21, 1,730 veterans were owed a homelessness duty out of the 268,560 total households who were homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of the advice outlined in Improving access to social housing for members of the Armed Forces 2020 on the prevalence of veteran rough sleeping.

The Government recognises the dedication and sacrifices made by members of the Armed Forces and we are committed to ensuring that they are provided with all the support they need to successfully adjust back into civilian life.

Statutory guidance to improve access to social housing for members of the Armed Forces, veterans, and their families makes clear that seriously injured, ill or disabled Service personnel, and former members of the Armed Forces, with urgent housing needs are always given high priority for social housing.

The allocation of social housing by a local council is the responsibility of the council concerned. Local authorities are best placed to assess the impact of allocations policy on local communities as these will vary, based on local priorities and circumstances.

In 2018, the Government implemented the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017, the most ambitious piece of legislative reform in this area in over a decade. This requires the Secretary of State for Defence to refer members of the regular Armed Forces in England to a local housing authority within 56 days if they believe they may be homeless or threatened with homelessness (with the individual’s consent).

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how many veterans have been allocated social housing in each year since 2010.

Between April 2012 and March 2020, there were 70,378 new social lettings to households containing someone who has served in the UK Armed Forces. From April 2016 this includes reservists. We do not have data on Armed Forces service for lettings before April 2012. The proportion of new social lets to households containing someone who has served in the UK Armed Forces has remained between 2-3% throughout this period.

Stuart Andrew
Minister of State (Minister for Housing)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to the Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan 2022-24 stated goal to end veteran rough sleeping within this Parliament, what steps his Department are taking to improve pathways of support.

The government is committed to ending rough sleeping, including veteran rough sleeping, and we are spending £2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the next three years. Our veterans play a vital role in keeping our country safe and we are committed to ensuring that they are provided with all the support they need to successfully adjust back into civilian life.

We are providing local areas with the support and funding they need to provide tailored support to respond to the needs of those sleeping rough in their areas, including where some may have served in the Armed Forces. Through the Rough Sleeping Initiative, we have provided over £200 million this year to local authorities to make sure they can continue to provide tailored local interventions for rough sleepers in their area.

The key objective of the Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme (RSAP), backed by £433 million, is to provide 6,000 move-on homes and accompanying support services to those who are rough sleeping, or who have a history of sleeping rough, including veterans.

Through the Homelessness Case Level Information Collection (H-CLIC), the Department collects data on the support needs of households owed a prevention or relief duty, including if they have served in Her Majesty’s Forces. H-CLIC also collects the number of people homeless on departure from Armed Forces Accommodation.

HCLIC Data shows that for the year 2020-21, 1,730 veterans were owed a homelessness duty out of the 268,560 total households who were homeless or at risk of homelessness. This is down from 1,920 households in 2019-20. We will continue to monitor this data carefully.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to the Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan 2022-24 to end veteran rough sleeping within this Parliament, what data his Department plans to us to measure the success of the Government's ambition to end veteran rough sleeping within this Parliament.

The government is committed to ending rough sleeping, including veteran rough sleeping, and we are spending £2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the next three years. Our veterans play a vital role in keeping our country safe and we are committed to ensuring that they are provided with all the support they need to successfully adjust back into civilian life.

We are providing local areas with the support and funding they need to provide tailored support to respond to the needs of those sleeping rough in their areas, including where some may have served in the Armed Forces. Through the Rough Sleeping Initiative, we have provided over £200 million this year to local authorities to make sure they can continue to provide tailored local interventions for rough sleepers in their area.

The key objective of the Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme (RSAP), backed by £433 million, is to provide 6,000 move-on homes and accompanying support services to those who are rough sleeping, or who have a history of sleeping rough, including veterans.

Through the Homelessness Case Level Information Collection (H-CLIC), the Department collects data on the support needs of households owed a prevention or relief duty, including if they have served in Her Majesty’s Forces. H-CLIC also collects the number of people homeless on departure from Armed Forces Accommodation.

HCLIC Data shows that for the year 2020-21, 1,730 veterans were owed a homelessness duty out of the 268,560 total households who were homeless or at risk of homelessness. This is down from 1,920 households in 2019-20. We will continue to monitor this data carefully.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with reference to Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan 2022-24, what funding will be allocated to end veteran rough sleeping within this Parliament.

The government is committed to ending rough sleeping, including veteran rough sleeping, and we are spending £2 billion to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping over the next three years. Our veterans play a vital role in keeping our country safe and we are committed to ensuring that they are provided with all the support they need to successfully adjust back into civilian life.

We are providing local areas with the support and funding they need to provide tailored support to respond to the needs of those sleeping rough in their areas, including where some may have served in the Armed Forces. Through the Rough Sleeping Initiative, we have provided over £200 million this year to local authorities to make sure they can continue to provide tailored local interventions for rough sleepers in their area.

The key objective of the Rough Sleeping Accommodation Programme (RSAP), backed by £433 million, is to provide 6,000 move-on homes and accompanying support services to those who are rough sleeping, or who have a history of sleeping rough, including veterans.

Through the Homelessness Case Level Information Collection (H-CLIC), the Department collects data on the support needs of households owed a prevention or relief duty, including if they have served in Her Majesty’s Forces. H-CLIC also collects the number of people homeless on departure from Armed Forces Accommodation.

HCLIC Data shows that for the year 2020-21, 1,730 veterans were owed a homelessness duty out of the 268,560 total households who were homeless or at risk of homelessness. This is down from 1,920 households in 2019-20. We will continue to monitor this data carefully.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what estimate he has made of the number of veterans in the UK who are homeless in each year since 2019.

The Government is committed to tackling all forms of homelessness and levels of veteran homelessness are low. Data shows that for the year 2020-21, 1,730 veterans were owed a homelessness duty out of the 268,560 total households who were homeless or at risk of homelessness. This is down from 1,920 households in 2019-20

The data is not yet available for 2021-22.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to monitor the prevalence of veteran rough sleeping throughout the UK.

We are committed to tackling homelessness in all its forms, and this Government has committed to ending rough sleeping. The Department uses rough sleeping and homelessness data collections to drive progress and to monitor trends of the homelessness and rough sleeping population, including veterans. Our veterans play a vital role in keeping our country safe and we are committed to supporting this cohort.

Through the Homelessness Case Level Information Collection (H-CLIC), the Department collects data on the support needs of households owed a prevention or relief duty, including if they have served in Her Majesty’s Forces. H-CLIC also collects the number of people homeless on departure from institution, one of which is Armed Forces Accommodation.

Levels of Veteran homelessness are low, the most recent H-CLIC statistics, for the period June to September 2021, are published here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/live-tables-on-homelessness. The latest homelessness statistics in England show that in this period, of the 67,820 households owed a homelessness duty, 450 (0.66%) households had a support need as a result of serving in the Armed Forces.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
27th Jan 2022
To ask the Prime Minister, With reference to the oral contribution of the Prime Minister of 19 November 2021, official report, column 577, when he plans to meet with the nuclear testing veterans.

We are grateful to all those who participated in the British nuclear testing programme which played a valuable role towards developing a nuclear deterrent that has ultimately kept Britain safe for decades. We take our obligations to our personnel extremely seriously and ministers are always open to discussing whether we can do more.

My Office is in discussions to arrange a mutually convenient time to meet representatives of the nuclear testing veterans.

Boris Johnson
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what steps his Department is taking to gather evidence on the prevalence of incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by gas cookers.

The Government takes the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning very seriously. We have announced that we will be legislating to extend requirements for carbon monoxide alarms, so that they are required in all private and socially rented homes in rooms with fixed combustion appliances and where new appliances are installed in any home.

Consideration was given to including gas cookers. The evidence available at the time showed that gas cookers are responsible for fewer incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning than gas boilers and that inclusion would be disproportionate.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, for what reason his Department has excluded gas cookers from the extended regulations on domestic smoke and carbon monoxide alarms announced in November 2021.

The Government takes the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning very seriously. We have announced that we will be legislating to extend requirements for carbon monoxide alarms, so that they are required in all private and socially rented homes in rooms with fixed combustion appliances and where new appliances are installed in any home.

Consideration was given to including gas cookers. The evidence available at the time showed that gas cookers are responsible for fewer incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning than gas boilers and that inclusion would be disproportionate.

Christopher Pincher
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
13th May 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department will respond to the recommendations listed in the 2022 Forward Assist and Salute Her UK Privileged Access Interview Report titled Exit Wounds: Members of the Veteran LGBTQ+ Community Share their Lived Experience of Life Before, During and After Service in the UK Military.

I pay tribute to the work of those involved in this important research. While the Government has no formal obligation to respond to this study, I acknowledge its recommendations and have asked the Office for Veterans' Affairs to consider them carefully. In addition, I am confident that this study, along with a range of other evidence, will be considered by the upcoming Independent LGBT Veterans Review, which the government will formally respond to in due course.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the advisory group of organisations employing veterans has been established; and how that group's findings will be presented or published.

The commitment to establish an advisory group of organisations employing veterans is one of over 60 set out in the Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan, which was published earlier this year. The group will focus on members' experiences employing those who have served and will also provide a forum for discussion around the range of policies and programmes impacting veterans in this area.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to plans outlined in the Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan 2022-24 to promote opportunities for Service leavers to go into careers with the uniformed and health services, how his Department plans to measure and evaluate the success of those plans.

Ensuring veterans maintain stable and fulfilling employment post service is a key theme of the Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan. The Government has committed over £70 million on more than 60 Action Plan commitments, including promoting opportunities in the uniformed and Health services. It will be delivered by departments through sharing of resources and messaging, creation of networks and championing schemes such as Step into Health and Advance Into Justice.

The Office for Veterans’ Affairs monitors the delivery of the Strategy Action Plan, and regularly convenes departments across Government to ensure these important commitments are met.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what funding has been allocated to promote opportunities for service leavers and veterans to go into careers with the Uniformed and Health Services and associated support staff.

Ensuring veterans maintain stable and fulfilling employment post service is a key theme of the Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan. The Government has committed over £70 million on more than 60 Action Plan commitments, including promoting opportunities in the uniformed and Health services. It will be delivered by departments through sharing of resources and messaging, creation of networks and championing schemes such as Step into Health and Advance Into Justice.

The Office for Veterans’ Affairs monitors the delivery of the Strategy Action Plan, and regularly convenes departments across Government to ensure these important commitments are met.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps have been taken to bring together all service leaver and veteran life chances schemes in the civil service under the central management of Going Forward Into Employment.

The Going Forward into Employment (GFiE) Life Chance scheme provides opportunities for those who face barriers to employment, and who would struggle to compete on the basis of fair and open competition without further training and support. Through the use of an exception (2) in the Recruitment Principles 2018, we are able to use innovative approaches to recruit individuals on Fixed Term Appointments, which may lead to the option of being made permanent.

The Veterans scheme, launched by GFiE in 2019, provides all departments with the ability to employ Veterans or Military Partners & Spouses into real roles. In addition, a single departmental scheme (run out of HMRC) was developed to support Service Leavers and in December 2021, this was brought into the GFiE delivery model, allowing it to be delivered centrally, but more importantly, it has now been made available for all departments to utilise.

We continue to grow the scheme and do more, with the introduction of GFiE targets announced in the Office for Veteran Affairs Strategic Action Plan from April 2022. This will help provide an increasing number of Life Chance opportunities and help to make the Civil Service a great place to work for Veterans.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure veteran services are consistent across the UK; and if he will make an assessment of the potential for improvements in co-ordination between veteran services deliverers.

The Veterans' Strategy Action Plan 2022-24, launched in January 2022, outlines the actions the UK Government will take to support veterans and their families across the UK. Many services are devolved, but we work closely with the Devolved Administrations and service providers across the United Kingdom to learn from one another.

Veterans Commissioners exist in Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as a newly appointed Veterans Commissioner for Wales, to represent the views of their veterans and signpost services in their nation. We have also appointed the Independent Veterans Adviser who reports directly to the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.

We will continue to engage and collaborate on delivery with local authorities, other statutory service providers, service charities, academia and private sector organisations - many of which have UK-wide reach. Moving forward, analysis of standardised census data on veterans will provide unprecedented insight into where our veterans live and allow us to better address their needs. In addition, the new Covenant duty, introduced as part of the Armed Forces Act 2021, will increase awareness of the Armed Forces Community and the Covenant at the local level, improving delivery in key areas of health, housing and education across the UK, and so provide greater consistency of support.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
10th Feb 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the impact of the closure of the Veterans Mobility Fund on (a) veterans and (b) veterans charities.

The Veterans Mobility Fund was launched in 2016 with a five-year commitment of £3 million from LIBOR fines, to support veterans with Service-related serious physical injury. The Government is committed to ensuring there is no gap in provision for those who relied on the Mobility Fund. The NHS has a range of mobility equipment which meets the clinical needs experienced by veterans, which includes Personal Health Budgets for Wheelchairs.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what assessment his Department has made of the success of the Civil Service Great Place to Work for Veterans Scheme Pilot.

During the early adopter phase, 3,126 applications were submitted by veterans through the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative. Of the applications, 1,063 were offered an interview, with 310 subsequent job offers. These numbers suggest the initiative has been successful in providing greater opportunities to veterans to pursue a career in the Civil Service. Feedback from Civil Service and Veterans’ organisations agreed the scheme helps break down negative perceptions of veterans within society and among employers.

Following the success of the early adopter phase, we are currently rolling the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative out across the Civil Service with all departments expected to have implemented the initiative by 31 March 2022.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many veterans applied using the civil service great place to work scheme over the nine month pilot; and how many of those applicants (a) received an interview, (b) were offered a job, (c) were placed on reserve lists and (d) went on to accept a role and begin work.

During the early adopter phase, 3,126 applications were submitted by veterans through the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative. Of the applications, 1,063 were offered an interview, with 310 subsequent job offers. These numbers suggest the initiative has been successful in providing greater opportunities to veterans to pursue a career in the Civil Service. Feedback from Civil Service and Veterans’ organisations agreed the scheme helps break down negative perceptions of veterans within society and among employers.

Following the success of the early adopter phase, we are currently rolling the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative out across the Civil Service with all departments expected to have implemented the initiative by 31 March 2022.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many veterans have been employed by the Civil Service in his Department in each year since 2010.

During the early adopter phase, Cabinet Office received 255 applications from veterans through the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative. Of the applications, 48 were offered an interview, with 10 subsequent job offers. These numbers suggest the initiative has been successful in providing greater opportunities to veterans to pursue a career in the Civil Service.

The number of veterans employed in the Cabinet Office since 2010 is not held.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many veterans applied to his Department using the civil service great place to work scheme over the nine month pilot; and how many of those applicants (a) received an interview, (b) were offered a job and (c) went on to accept a role and begin work.

During the early adopter phase, Cabinet Office received 255 applications from veterans through the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative. Of the applications, 48 were offered an interview, with 10 subsequent job offers. These numbers suggest the initiative has been successful in providing greater opportunities to veterans to pursue a career in the Civil Service.

The number of veterans employed in the Cabinet Office since 2010 is not held.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
28th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what budget will be allocated to the Office for Veterans Affairs for the financial year 2022-23.

The 2022-23 budget allocation for the Office for Veterans’ Affairs has not yet been confirmed as the Cabinet Office's business planning process is still ongoing.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many death certificates have recorded both covid-19 and underlying industrial disease since March 2020.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
13th Jan 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether his Department has taken steps to ensure that underlying industrial disease is recorded on the death certificates of former miners with respiratory conditions who die with covid-19.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have, therefore, asked the Authority to respond.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent progress his Department has made on developing new ways to measure loss of veteran lives through suicide.

The Office for Veterans’ Affairs has been working with the Office for National Statistics to further develop plans for a ten year retrospective study looking at suicides within the veteran community. We are working with the MoD to access the data required for this study, and this analysis will look at issues including the frequency of suicide within the veteran community since 2011 and how this rate has changed. This study is expected to be conducted with results published next year.

The Office for Veterans’ Affairs also continues to engage with the Office for National Statistics as analysis plans are put in place for the veterans data collected in the 2021 England and Wales census, which will be used to produce a measure of the number of veterans who take their own lives each year. It is expected that the first annual statistic on this will be published in 2023.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent progress his Department has made on its review of veteran deaths through suicide in the last ten years.

The Office for Veterans’ Affairs has been working with the Office for National Statistics to further develop plans for a ten year retrospective study looking at suicides within the veteran community. We are working with the MoD to access the data required for this study, and this analysis will look at issues including the frequency of suicide within the veteran community since 2011 and how this rate has changed. This study is expected to be conducted with results published next year.

The Office for Veterans’ Affairs also continues to engage with the Office for National Statistics as analysis plans are put in place for the veterans data collected in the 2021 England and Wales census, which will be used to produce a measure of the number of veterans who take their own lives each year. It is expected that the first annual statistic on this will be published in 2023.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
10th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many veterans were employed by the Civil Service in (a) February 2020 and (ii) November 2021.

I am committed to ensuring that veterans enter appropriate employment post service. The Great Place to Work for Veterans Scheme is an example of one of the initiatives we have brought in to support veteran employment. A successful trial phase ran in six departments for nine months.

1,524 veterans who applied through the scheme received an interview and 344 received a job offer.

Given this was just a trial phase rolled out in six early adopter departments, it is not appropriate to measure the proportion of jobs filled through the scheme across the whole Civil Service.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
10th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to the announcement entitled Detail of the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative published in October 2020, how many and what proportion of civil service vacancies were filled through this initiative in (a) January to March, (b) April to June and (c) July to September 2021.

I am committed to ensuring that veterans enter appropriate employment post service. The Great Place to Work for Veterans Scheme is an example of one of the initiatives we have brought in to support veteran employment. A successful trial phase ran in six departments for nine months.

1,524 veterans who applied through the scheme received an interview and 344 received a job offer.

Given this was just a trial phase rolled out in six early adopter departments, it is not appropriate to measure the proportion of jobs filled through the scheme across the whole Civil Service.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
10th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what estimate he has made of the number of veterans who have received (a) an interview and (b) a job through the Great Place to Work scheme.

I am committed to ensuring that veterans enter appropriate employment post service. The Great Place to Work for Veterans Scheme is an example of one of the initiatives we have brought in to support veteran employment. A successful trial phase ran in six departments for nine months.

1,524 veterans who applied through the scheme received an interview and 344 received a job offer.

Given this was just a trial phase rolled out in six early adopter departments, it is not appropriate to measure the proportion of jobs filled through the scheme across the whole Civil Service.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he plans to take to help ensure that lessons are learnt from the handling of the covid-19 pandemic before the public inquiry into its handling, for the purposes of ensuring a stronger response in the event that the virus mutates in a dangerous way between autumn 2021 and spring 2022.

The Government has consistently adapted its response to COVID-19, including new variants, as more is learnt about the virus and how best to manage it.

The Government has developed a wide range of tools to: reduce the risk of new variants emerging; stop and slow importation of the most dangerous variants; identify new variants and outbreaks; and ensure there is an appropriate response if further outbreaks occur. This includes - but is not limited to - the enhancement of domestic sequencing capacity this year. Our domestic capacity is set to further increase over the coming months, enabling a higher number of PCR positive cases to undergo whole genome sequencing, which in turn improves our ability to detect any new variants.

The Government is committed to learning lessons from COVID-19 to inform our preparedness for future epidemics. The government fully expects that many of those lessons will come from the public inquiry which will begin its work in spring 2022.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress he has made on (a) hiring staff, (b) finding offices and (c) sending advance requests for documents in preparation for the public inquiry into the handling of the covid-19 pandemic.

On 12 May, the Prime Minister confirmed that a public inquiry into COVID-19 would be established on a statutory basis, with full formal powers, and that it will begin its work in spring 2022.

Further details will be set out in due course.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress he has made on defining the terms of reference in preparation for the public inquiry into the handling of the covid-19 pandemic.

On 12 May, the Prime Minister confirmed that a public inquiry into COVID-19 would be established on a statutory basis, with full formal powers, and that it will begin its work in spring 2022.

Further details will be set out in due course.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent progress has been made on appointing a chair for the public inquiry into the Government's response to the covid-19 pandemic.

On 12 May, the Prime Minister confirmed that a public inquiry into COVID-19 would be established on a statutory basis, with full formal powers, and that it will begin its work in spring 2022.

Further details will be set out in due course.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will make it his policy to bring forward the public inquiry into the Government's response to the covid-19 pandemic to afford bereaved families the opportunity to have their concerns answered and come to terms with their losses.

On 12 May, the Prime Minister confirmed that a public inquiry into COVID-19 would be established on a statutory basis, with full formal powers, and that it will begin its work in spring 2022.

Further details will be set out in due course.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
21st Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the (a) minutes and (b) decisions of the meetings of the independent Military Advisory Sub-Committee.

The assessment of historic medals claims is a matter for the independent Advisory Military Sub-Committee (AMSC) whose terms of reference are publicly available on gov.uk.

The independent chair of the AMSC was appointed through open and fair competition via a public appointments process. The AMSC has a majority of independent members who were recruited for their working knowledge of HM Armed Forces; experience of public service; experience of assessment and decision-making. It is important that members of the Sub-Committee advising on the award of military honours have relevant knowledge and experience. Members are required to declare any conflicts of interest to the AMSC secretariat before any evidence is presented to the AMSC and prior to any discussion of a particular claim taking place.

The AMSC meets regularly to discuss cases. As an independent Sub-Committee, the AMSC may determine for itself which medals claims should be reviewed. I understand that the case for medallic recognition for Nuclear Test Veterans was considered at length by the Sub-Committee.

It is not possible to give specific timings on the duration required for the Sub-Committee to consider a case, as each claim will be different and each case is carefully considered. The details of cases must remain confidential until the decision-making process is final. To preserve the confidentiality of the honours process, the details of decisions are not published. The outcome of AMSC reviews are announced on gov.uk once the advice has been fully assessed, including (where appropriate) via the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals to The Sovereign.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, why the communication of the decision not to award medals to nuclear test veterans was delayed for 8 months.

The assessment of historic medals claims is a matter for the independent Advisory Military Sub-Committee (AMSC) whose terms of reference are publicly available on gov.uk.

The independent chair of the AMSC was appointed through open and fair competition via a public appointments process. The AMSC has a majority of independent members who were recruited for their working knowledge of HM Armed Forces; experience of public service; experience of assessment and decision-making. It is important that members of the Sub-Committee advising on the award of military honours have relevant knowledge and experience. Members are required to declare any conflicts of interest to the AMSC secretariat before any evidence is presented to the AMSC and prior to any discussion of a particular claim taking place.

The AMSC meets regularly to discuss cases. As an independent Sub-Committee, the AMSC may determine for itself which medals claims should be reviewed. I understand that the case for medallic recognition for Nuclear Test Veterans was considered at length by the Sub-Committee.

It is not possible to give specific timings on the duration required for the Sub-Committee to consider a case, as each claim will be different and each case is carefully considered. The details of cases must remain confidential until the decision-making process is final. To preserve the confidentiality of the honours process, the details of decisions are not published. The outcome of AMSC reviews are announced on gov.uk once the advice has been fully assessed, including (where appropriate) via the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals to The Sovereign.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether members of the independent Military Advisory Sub-Committee are required to declare any links they have with the Ministry of Defence while serving on that committee.

The assessment of historic medals claims is a matter for the independent Advisory Military Sub-Committee (AMSC) whose terms of reference are publicly available on gov.uk.

The independent chair of the AMSC was appointed through open and fair competition via a public appointments process. The AMSC has a majority of independent members who were recruited for their working knowledge of HM Armed Forces; experience of public service; experience of assessment and decision-making. It is important that members of the Sub-Committee advising on the award of military honours have relevant knowledge and experience. Members are required to declare any conflicts of interest to the AMSC secretariat before any evidence is presented to the AMSC and prior to any discussion of a particular claim taking place.

The AMSC meets regularly to discuss cases. As an independent Sub-Committee, the AMSC may determine for itself which medals claims should be reviewed. I understand that the case for medallic recognition for Nuclear Test Veterans was considered at length by the Sub-Committee.

It is not possible to give specific timings on the duration required for the Sub-Committee to consider a case, as each claim will be different and each case is carefully considered. The details of cases must remain confidential until the decision-making process is final. To preserve the confidentiality of the honours process, the details of decisions are not published. The outcome of AMSC reviews are announced on gov.uk once the advice has been fully assessed, including (where appropriate) via the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals to The Sovereign.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
20th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the recruitment processes for the appointment of the (a) Chair and (b) other appointments to the independent Military Advisory Sub-Committee.

The assessment of historic medals claims is a matter for the independent Advisory Military Sub-Committee (AMSC) whose terms of reference are publicly available on gov.uk.

The independent chair of the AMSC was appointed through open and fair competition via a public appointments process. The AMSC has a majority of independent members who were recruited for their working knowledge of HM Armed Forces; experience of public service; experience of assessment and decision-making. It is important that members of the Sub-Committee advising on the award of military honours have relevant knowledge and experience. Members are required to declare any conflicts of interest to the AMSC secretariat before any evidence is presented to the AMSC and prior to any discussion of a particular claim taking place.

The AMSC meets regularly to discuss cases. As an independent Sub-Committee, the AMSC may determine for itself which medals claims should be reviewed. I understand that the case for medallic recognition for Nuclear Test Veterans was considered at length by the Sub-Committee.

It is not possible to give specific timings on the duration required for the Sub-Committee to consider a case, as each claim will be different and each case is carefully considered. The details of cases must remain confidential until the decision-making process is final. To preserve the confidentiality of the honours process, the details of decisions are not published. The outcome of AMSC reviews are announced on gov.uk once the advice has been fully assessed, including (where appropriate) via the Committee on the Grant of Honours, Decorations and Medals to The Sovereign.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
6th May 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many death certificates refer to industrial disease in (a) each year since 2010, (b) March and April 2019, and (c) March and April 2020.

The information requested falls under the remit of the UK Statistics Authority. I have therefore asked the Authority to respond. A copy of the UKSA response has been placed in the library of the House.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many members of staff will be allocated to work for the Office for Veterans' Affairs.

There are 8 members of staff working in the Office for Veterans’ Affairs with more staff, who have already been recruited, joining shortly. Plans to increase the Office for Veterans’ Affairs beyond its current size are in place with recruitment due to begin shortly. Future increases in the size of the Office will be determined by the capacity it needs to ensure the United Kingdom becomes the best place to be a veteran anywhere in the world. Beyond the Office for Veterans’ Affairs there are many Civil Servants across Government Departments working everyday to support this country’s veterans.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent progress his Department has made on the implementation of the Government’s Strategy for Our Veterans.

The Strategy for our Veterans sets out the Government’s ambition to make the UK the best place to be a veteran anywhere in the world. In January the Government published its first Action Plan to deliver this strategy following a UK-wide consultation on how to implement it.

This plan included the creation of the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, which this Government has already delivered, and that Office are responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Strategy. A number of the actions are already complete, such as the establishment of charity-facing posts within the Ministry of Defence and the recruitment of more Jobcentre Plus Armed Forces Champions, to help those who have left the military transition into employment. Progress is being made in all areas, with a number of other commitments due to be completed in the coming months; these include the publication of a factsheet drawing together key data on veterans, and shortly the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government will publish guidance for local authorities on allocating social housing for the Armed Forces community. In addition to the actions set out in the Strategy, we have already set out plans to introduce railcards for veterans and make it easier for veterans to get an interview for a job in the Civil Service.

Work on many of the other commitments in the consultation’s action plan is in full swing, and the Government looks forward to announcing further progress over the coming months.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, if the Government’s Strategy for Our Veterans will classify the very seriously injured as a priority group.

The Strategy for Our Veterans is inclusive of all veterans who access UK services, covering all experiences, conflicts and circumstances. As the Government works towards delivering the Strategy, it may be appropriate to provide certain cohorts of veterans with particular types of focused support to recognise their specific experiences or circumstances. As detailed within the Strategy for our Veterans UK Government Consultation Response, the Government already provides bespoke services to support the very seriously injured, such as the Integrated Personal Commissioning for Veterans (IPC4V) framework and benefit cap exemptions.

28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to establish an appropriate compensation scheme for the 555 subpostmasters involved in the Group Litigation Order.

The 555 subposmasters involved in the Group Litigation Order (GLO) agreed a settlement of £42.75m plus costs. In bringing this case they performed a public service; I understand their frustration that they have received less compensation than others. My officials have recently met their representatives to understand the harms which they have experienced.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many miners were recipients of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme in November 2021.

As of November 2021, there are 127,876 Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme members, of whom 118,154 are in receipt of their pension.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many miners were recipients of the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme in (a) May 2020, (b) November 2020 and (c) May 2021.

In May 2020, there were 136,886 Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme members of whom 125,355 were in receipt of pension. Equivalent numbers in November 2020 were 134,391 and 123,516 and in May 2021, 131,534 and 121,262.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of households in England that will experience fuel poverty after the energy price cap raise has been enforced.

The Government is committed to ensuring fair energy prices for consumers. We therefore introduced the energy price cap in 2019, which saves 15 million households on default tariffs up to £100 a year on average.

Alongside this support, eligible low income and vulnerable households will have access to energy bill support through the Warm Home Discount, Winter Fuel Payment and Cold Weather Payment. Energy efficiency schemes are also available, including the Energy Company Obligation, the Local Authority Delivery scheme and the Home Upgrade Grant.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of households in Barnsley that will experience fuel poverty after the energy price cap raise has been enforced.

Under the Low Income Low Energy Efficiency fuel poverty metric, approximately 20,000 (18.6%) of households in the Barnsley Local Authority area are fuel poor, according to the latest data from 2019.

In order to tackle fuel poverty, the Government have committed £1.3 billion to improving the efficiency of fuel-poor and other low-income homes through stimulus schemes such as the Local Authority Delivery Scheme, the Social Housing Decarbonisation fund and the Home Upgrade Grant. The energy price cap is set by Ofgem, the independent energy regulator.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support businesses to switch to renewable energy sources for their power supply.

The Government is working with stakeholders to drive the ambitious action needed from UK businesses to help tackle climate change and reduce their impact on the environment.

Significant financial savings are available to businesses taking steps to improve their energy efficiency and decarbonise to achieve Net Zero. We are working to encourage as many UK businesses to pledge to join the Race to Zero campaign and set climate targets. The UK’s Net Zero Business Champion, my Hon. Friend the Member for Arundel and South Downs, will also be launching a small and micro business campaign ahead of COP26, which is aimed at mass mobilising local businesses and getting as many as possible to sign up to the Race to Zero via a new UK landing page on the SME Climate Hub.

Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting Regulations (SECR) came into force on 1 April 2019 and have been introduced to simplify requirements for businesses to report on their energy use and carbon emissions. This provides greater levels of transparency, helping to stimulate demand for low carbon energy supplies.

We are supporting small-scale renewable electricity through the Smart Export Guarantee scheme (SEG). The SEG provides small-scale renewable generators the right to be paid for the excess energy they export to the grid.

The Clean Heat Grant (CHG) will be targeted at households and small non-domestic buildings, to enable the installation of heat pumps and, in limited circumstances, biomass, to provide space and water heating.

The Green Gas Support Scheme (GGSS) will follow on from support for biomethane under the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive, which is due to close to new applicants on 31 March 2021. The GGSS will provide tariff support for biomethane produced via anaerobic digestion. It will launch in autumn 2021 and will be open to applicants for four years.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment his Department has made of the effect on pubs, clubs and breweries of the ban on off sales during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown in England.

During the new national restrictions in place from 5 November, hospitality venues are permitted to sell alcohol through delivery or via click and collect where remote ordering has been utilised. Off licenses and licensed shops selling alcohol, including breweries, are permitted to remain open.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps the Government is taking to support pubs, clubs and breweries affected by the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown in England.

The Government is providing an unprecedented package of support for hospitality businesses including an extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until 31 March 2021 and grants of up to £3000 per month in addition to loans, business rate holidays and VAT cuts.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the areas that were allocated additional financial support in response to going into the Tier 3 local covid alert level will still receive those funds.

Yes. We set out in guidance to local authorities on 3rd November what additional support will be available to make grants to business. This covers both during the period of national restrictions and for the prior period where some areas were in High and Very High Local Covid Alert Levels.

Where local authority areas were previously in Local Covid Alert Level 3 (Very High) they may have accessed additional enhanced business support settlements. These settlements are now part of the Additional Restrictions Grant and they will still receive the agreed funding.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate he has made of how much the Government will receive from the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme in the financial year (a) 2018-19, (b) 2019-20 and (c) 2020-21.

In 2018-19, the Government received £142.4m as its share of surplus and £475m from the Investment Reserve. In each of 2019-20 and 2020-21, the Government received £142.4m as its share of surplus. The presence of the Guarantee has given the Trustees the freedom to invest in a way that targets surpluses and, as a consequence, bonuses to members. Bonuses paid to date mean that the typical member’s pension today is around 33% higher in real terms than it would otherwise have been.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Answer of 3 November 2016 to Question 51063 on the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme, whether the Government has made any direct payments to the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme under the guarantee arrangements since November 2016.

No such payments have been made.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
12th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much is held in the investment reserve funds for the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme.

As at 30 September 2020, the Investment Reserve stood at £1,216m.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how much the Government has received from its share of the surplus from the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme since the surplus-sharing arrangement was agreed.

Since the agreement was reached in 1994, the Government has received £3,111.8m as its share of surpluses. This is in return for the provision of the guarantee that ensures pensions are paid. The guarantee has enabled an investment strategy that has resulted in scheme members receiving payments 33% higher than they would have been if they received only their actual earned pension up to privatisation.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy how many fishing and aquaculture businesses have applied to the (a) Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and (b) Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme in England.

As of 22 April, over £2.8bn worth of loans have been issued under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme across all sectors, to over 16,600 businesses. At this time we cannot provide a breakdown of funding by sector, as we have given lenders a temporary dispensation from uploading their data to the British Business Bank’s system in order to let them focus on issuing new loans. This is a pragmatic step that reflects the urgency of getting loans issued. We are working with the British Business Bank, HM Treasury and lenders on regular and transparent data publication going forward.

Applications for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) opened on Monday 20th April. As of Thursday 23rd April HMRC had received about 512,000 claims with a total value of about £4.5bn. This is a new scheme and HMRC are currently working through the analysis they will be able to provide based on the data available. HMRC will make the timescales for publication and the types of data available in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy how many loans have been granted to fishing and aquaculture companies under the Government's Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme.

As of 22 April, over £2.8bn worth of loans have been issued under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme across all sectors, to over 16,600 businesses. At this time we cannot provide a breakdown of funding by sector, as we have given lenders a temporary dispensation from uploading their data to the British Business Bank’s system in order to let them focus on issuing new loans. This is a pragmatic step that reflects the urgency of getting loans issued. We are working with the British Business Bank, HM Treasury and lenders on regular and transparent data publication going forward.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of providing additional paid family leave to help working parents cope with school closures.

The Government is committed to supporting individuals through this difficult time, that is why the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a substantial package of measures to support businesses and individuals as part of the national effort in response to coronavirus.

Employees are entitled to time off to deal with an emergency involving a dependent, This would apply to situations related to coronavirus (COVID-19), including if they have children they need to look after or arrange childcare for because their school has closed. We encourage employers to support parents who choose to take leave, and those who choose to work flexibly. Parents’ employment rights are protected whilst taking existing leave entitlements or sick pay.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
24th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the timeframe is for the implementation of the long-term protection of pension bonuses for members for the Mineworkers' Pensions Scheme.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent on 15 January 2020 to Question 1709.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of local and regional news outlets on matters affecting those outlets as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is clear that local and regional newspapers play an invaluable role in the fabric of our society, and it has been an absolute priority to ensure we do all we can to support news publishers at this time of financial instability. With this in mind, we continue to focus both on alleviating the existential threat posed by the pandemic and simultaneously progressing commitments made in our response to the Cairncross Review.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have held regular roundtable discussions and bi-lateral meetings with stakeholders from across the industry to better understand their developing needs and concerns, and to inform the support measures we have put in place. To date, these include designating journalists as ‘key workers’; issuing guidance to local authorities on the importance of newspaper delivery; ensuring the use of ‘keyword blocklisting’ technology is not disproportionately limiting news publishers’ online advertising revenues for Covid-19 related stories by ad-blocking coronavirus-related terms; implementing a significant public information campaign across the local and national press to ensure that authoritative, up-to-date information about the Government’s response to Covid-19 is distributed through reliable channels; and fast-tracking the commencement of zero-rating of VAT on e-newspapers.

21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps his Department is taking to support the roll-out of superfast broadband to communities in (a) South Yorkshire and (b) Barnsley.

The department invested over £10 million in broadband rollout across South Yorkshire. As a result of this, as well as commercial investment, 98% of premises in South Yorkshire now have access to superfast broadband. Nearly 14% of premises can also access gigabit-capable connectivity - up from 0% in February 2016. A further £780,000 has been made available to bring more South Yorkshire premises in scope for a broadband upgrade.

In Barnsley, 98% of premises in Barnsley have access to superfast broadband which is up from 44% in November 2011. Nearly 20% of premises have access to gigabit-capable connectivity, up from 0.4% in August 2018.

For those premises that are still struggling with slow speeds, there are a number of options available to them. DCMS runs a voucher scheme that can be used by rural communities across the UK to reduce the cost of installing gigabit-capable connectivity. This provides a voucher worth up to £3,500 for eligible small businesses and vouchers worth up to £1,500 for residents. ‘Top-up’ schemes run by Local Authorities, who provide their own funding on top of DCMS’s, are also operating across the UK.

The government also introduced the broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO) on 20 March 2020. The USO gives eligible premises in the UK the right to request a decent and affordable connection. The government has defined decent broadband as a service that can provide a download speed of 10Mbps and an upload speed of 1Mbps.

28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department has taken steps to restrict targeted online advertising by gambling businesses during the covid-19 outbreak.

The government, Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), and Gambling Commission do not hold data on the frequency at which targeted advertising is shown to or seen by social media users. The nature of targeted advertising makes it difficult to generate accurate figures as the number of targeted gambling advertisements varies considerably between users.

Targeted gambling advertising on social media platforms, like all forms of gambling advertising, is subject to strict controls. Rules on content mean that these adverts must never seek to exploit or appeal to children or vulnerable people, and rules on placement mean that they must never be targeted at these groups. In October 2019 the Gambling Commission issued a challenge to industry to make better use of advertising technology to target away from vulnerable people. Following this, it was announced in April that industry has committed to make better and more consistent use of customer data to ensure paid-for advertising is targeted away from vulnerable people on social media platforms.

The government is aware of concerns that the anxiety and isolation experienced as a result of measures in place to curb the spread of covid 19 may increase the risk of gambling-related harms for some people. In recognition of this, the Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage has written to operators to urge them to increase the prominence of safer gambling messaging in all adverts during the current period, including online. In addition, the ASA has written to operators warning them that they must continue to abide by existing rules and must not look to exploit the current situation.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the UK gambling industry on the protection of children and vulnerable adults.

The government has made clear that we expect operators to be aware of the potential risk for increased gambling harm as people spend much more time at home and online. I have written and spoken to operators to remind them that they should be particularly responsible regarding player protections and advertising at this time, as have the Gambling Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority. We are continuing to monitor the situation carefully.

The government has welcomed the ‘10 commitments’ launched by the Betting and Gaming Council to ensure safer gambling practices amongst its members. Following engagement and correspondence with the government and the Commission, BGC members have also pledged for the next six weeks to replace all slot, casino and bingo advertising on TV and radio with safer gambling adverts or to donate the slots to charity, and their online advertising will focus more on safer gambling measures.

The Gambling Commission has published Covid specific guidance to customers about staying safe when gambling online, including on how to limit ad exposure on social media and access support if needed. This all comes against a backdrop of continuing government and regulator action, including the introduction of tighter age and identity verification requirements, a ban on credit card gambling and the introduction of Gamstop integration as a condition of holding a licence.

We continue to hold operators to account if they fail to adequately protect consumers at this difficult time and will not hesitate to step in if that becomes necessary.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to plans outlined in the Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan 2022-24 to promote opportunities for service leavers to get into teaching, how his Department plans to measure and evaluate the success of those plans.

The department is committed to further promoting opportunities for service leavers to get into teaching. Many veterans already use our services to support service leavers into Initial Teacher Training (ITT) each year.

Through collaboration with the science, technology, engineering and maths communities and the Office for Veterans’ Affairs, and in partnership with the Careers Transition Partnership in the Ministry of Defence, we are working to further develop this offer. This will include increased signposting, tailored communications, hosting webinars, careers fairs, and information sessions for service leavers.

The department plans to track several data points through all these activities to determine the success of, and engagement with, the offer, and over the longer term track the wider journey through to ITT. All of this will help us develop and evolve our offer to ensure it meets the needs of service leavers wishing to enter the profession.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
29th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what funding has been allocated to promote opportunities for veterans to go into teaching.

For veterans who do not already hold a degree, the department offers a Troops to Teachers undergraduate bursary worth £40,000. This is paid over two years to veterans who undertake an undergraduate initial teacher training (ITT) course in secondary biology, chemistry, computing, languages, mathematics or physics. Veterans who hold a degree can access the postgraduate ITT bursaries and scholarships of up to £26,000 that we offer for secondary biology, chemistry, computing, design and technology, geography, languages, mathematics and physics courses.

Regardless of the subject or phase they train in, veterans can also access student finance to complete undergraduate and postgraduate ITT courses. This includes a tuition fee loan, maintenance loan and additional means-tested funding for trainees in particular circumstances, including those with children, adult dependants, or a disability.

All of the above funding is allocated on a demand-led basis so there is no limit to the number of veterans who can access this funding to enter teaching.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether Ofsted inspections for schools previously rated outstanding are taking priority over inspections on other schools.

There are no longer any schools exempt from inspection as a result of having been rated Outstanding. The exemption from routine inspection, which applied to 3,446 outstanding schools at the time, was removed in November 2020. The removal took place at a time when Ofsted’s routine inspections were suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In September 2021, Ofsted resumed its programme of routine inspections and will aim to inspect every state funded school, including previously exempt outstanding schools, by the end of summer 2025. Ofsted will continue to prioritise schools most in need of inspection, particularly those with the lowest Ofsted grades and outstanding schools that have gone the longest without a visit.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
16th Dec 2021
To the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools are exempt from Ofsted inspections as a result of having been rated outstanding.

There are no longer any schools exempt from inspection as a result of having been rated Outstanding. The exemption from routine inspection, which applied to 3,446 outstanding schools at the time, was removed in November 2020. The removal took place at a time when Ofsted’s routine inspections were suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In September 2021, Ofsted resumed its programme of routine inspections and will aim to inspect every state funded school, including previously exempt outstanding schools, by the end of summer 2025. Ofsted will continue to prioritise schools most in need of inspection, particularly those with the lowest Ofsted grades and outstanding schools that have gone the longest without a visit.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
16th Dec 2021
To the Secretary of State for Education, whether his Department has a timetable for the re-inspection by Ofsted of schools that were previously rated outstanding.

There are no longer any schools exempt from inspection as a result of having been rated Outstanding. The exemption from routine inspection, which applied to 3,446 outstanding schools at the time, was removed in November 2020. The removal took place at a time when Ofsted’s routine inspections were suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In September 2021, Ofsted resumed its programme of routine inspections and will aim to inspect every state funded school, including previously exempt outstanding schools, by the end of summer 2025. Ofsted will continue to prioritise schools most in need of inspection, particularly those with the lowest Ofsted grades and outstanding schools that have gone the longest without a visit.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support the mental health and wellbeing of school and college students during the covid-19 outbreak.

We know that the COVID-19 outbreak, and associated measures and restrictions, such as social distancing and school closures, will be impacting on the mental wellbeing of many people, including children and young people. The government has made student wellbeing and mental health a central part of our response to the COVID-19 outbreak, and the support we have already put in place for schools, colleges and universities will be critical during this time.

The return to school for all pupils is being prioritised due to the significant and proven impact caused by being out of school, including on wellbeing. The support schools provide to their pupils as they return to face-to-face education should include time devoted to supporting wellbeing, which will play a fundamental part in supporting children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing recovery. The expectations for schools in this regard are set out clearly in the main DfE guidance to schools which also signposts further support, available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.

We are also providing support and training to schools through the £8 million Wellbeing for Education Return programme, a Department for Education-led initiative alongside the Department of Health and Social Care, Higher Education England, Public Health England and key voluntary sector organisations. It is funding local experts to provide training, advice and resources for schools and further education providers to help support pupil and student, parent and carer, and staff wellbeing, resilience, and recovery considering the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown. Over 90% of local authority areas in England have reported that they are delivering additional training and support into local schools and further education providers because of the Wellbeing for Education Return funding and have been continuing to do so remotely.

We have also put in place a £1 billion COVID “catch-up” package with £650 million shared across early years, schools and 16 to 19 providers over the 2020/21 academic year to support education settings to put the right catch-up and pastoral support in place. The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) have published a COVID-19 support guide to support schools to direct this funding, which includes further information about interventions to support pupils’ mental health and wellbeing.

In addition to this, the return to school for all pupils from 8 March will be supported with a new £700 million package, which includes a new one-off Recovery Premium for state primary, secondary and special schools to use as they see best to support disadvantaged students. This will help schools to provide their disadvantaged pupils with a one-off boost to the support, both academic and pastoral, that has been proved most effective in helping them recover from the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. Further details are available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-education-recovery-package-for-children-and-young-people.

For further education (FE) we are also committed to providing and signposting wellbeing guidance and support, and ensuring that specialist mental health support is available for all students and staff in FE who need it. The FE operational guidance includes a specific section on supporting the mental health of staff and students in addition to signposting providers to additional resources, such as webinars and online platforms. This is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-further-education-provision.

The department’s College Collaboration Fund (CCF) is a £5.4 million grant funding programme open to all statutory FE colleges, to be delivered in the financial year 2020/21. We particularly welcomed applications that address one of five specific quality improvement needs. Five of the funded projects are designed to provide remote/online mental health and wellbeing support to students and/or staff.

We have worked closely with the Office for Students (OfS), providing up to £3 million to fund the mental health platform Student Space in response to COVID-19, and have asked the OfS to allocate an additional £15 million towards student mental health, through proposed reforms to Teaching grant funding. Student Space is a mental health and wellbeing platform designed to bridge any gaps in support for students arising from this unprecedented situation and works alongside existing services. Ensuring students have access to quality mental health support is a top priority, which is why we asked the OfS to look at extending the platform. I am delighted they have been able to extend the platform to support students for the whole 2020/21 academic year.

For students that need specialist support the government continues to invest in and prioritise mental health. The NHS will receive around an additional £500 million this year, to address waiting times for mental health services, give more people the mental health support they need, and invest in the NHS workforce.

The department and the Department of Health and Social Care have convened a Mental Health in Education Action Group. The purpose of the Action Group is to look across the age ranges at the impact of COVID-19 on children, young people and staff in nurseries, schools, colleges, and universities.

Furthermore, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, appointed Dr Alex George (an A&E Doctor) as Youth Mental Health Ambassador to advise the government and raise the profile of mental health education and wellbeing in schools, colleges, and universities. As Youth Mental Health Ambassador, he will use his clinical expertise and personal experience to champion the government’s work on children’s and young people’s mental health and shape policy on improving support for young people in schools, colleges, and universities.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the digital divide in access to remote learning for school and college students.

The Department is providing over £400 million to support access to remote education and online social care. We have secured 1.3 million laptops and tablets and have already delivered over 1.2 million of these to schools, colleges, trusts, local authorities, and further education providers to support disadvantaged children and young people who would not otherwise have access to a digital device.

The Department are making deliveries all the time and expect to achieve our overall commitment of delivering 1.3 million devices by the end of the spring term. The Government is providing this significant injection of laptops and tablets on top of an estimated 2.9 million already owned by schools before the start of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department has extended support to disadvantaged 16-to-19 year olds, including those in further education. Schools with sixth forms, colleges and other further education institutions are being invited to order laptops and tablets to further support disadvantaged students to access remote education.

The Department has partnered with mobile operators to provide free data to help disadvantaged children go online as well as delivering over 70,000 4G wireless routers for pupils without connection at home.

The Department is grateful to EE, Lycamobile, O2, Sky Mobile, Smarty, Tesco Mobile, Three, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, Vodafone, iD Mobile and giffgaff for supporting the mobile data offer. We are currently engaged with additional mobile network operators and continue to invite a range of mobile network providers to support the offer.

Four major mobile network operators, Vodafone, O2, Three and EE, have also committed to working together to make access to Oak National Academy free for school children. Additionally, the Department is grateful to BT and EE, who have made access to BBC Bitesize resources free from the end of January 2021.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support the mental health and wellbeing of school and college staff during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department recognises the pressure that teachers and leaders in schools and colleges are under, and is enormously grateful to them for their efforts, resilience, and service as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department has worked in partnership with the sector and mental health experts to provide a range of support for mental health and wellbeing. This includes improving access to resources and the development of the first ever wellbeing charter for staff which the Department intends to publish in the coming months.

The Department has taken action to respond to the mental health needs of school leaders as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak by launching a £95,000 pilot led by Education Support to provide online support and telephone supervision from experts to around 250 school leaders. This service has now been extended until March 2021. The outcome of the pilot will inform future wellbeing support. More information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-mental-health-support-for-pupils-and-teachers.

The £8 million Wellbeing for Education Return training programme continues to support staff in schools and colleges to respond to the additional pressures children and young people may be feeling as a direct result of the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as to any emotional response they or their teachers may be experiencing. Additional support can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/supporting-pupils-wellbeing. The Government has also provided over £10 million funding to mental health charities – including Mind, the Samaritans, Young Minds, and Bipolar UK to help them adapt, expand, and reach those who are most vulnerable.

Following my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education’s announcement on 13 January 2021, the Department is also convening a new Mental Health in Education Action Group, chaired by my hon. Friend, the Minister for Children and Families, and my hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Universities. This group will look at how we support young people and staff with their wellbeing as they return to school and university. On 4 February my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister appointed Dr Alex George as Youth Mental Health Ambassador to advise government and raise the profile of mental health education and wellbeing in schools, colleges and universities. He will be joining the new Mental Health in Education Action Group.

As well as providing additional COVID-19 specific mental health advice and support for children and young people, our Relationships, Health and Sex Education curriculum includes mental health and wellbeing. We have a host of online training materials and implementation guides, which give inclusive advice to schools and staff on how best to support pupils’ mental health, available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/teaching-about-mental-wellbeing.

The Government remains committed to long term improvements to support children and young people’s mental health, set out in the government’s response to its green paper and NHS Long Term Plan. This includes rolling out new Mental Health Support Teams to work with a fifth to a quarter of schools and colleges across the country by academic year 2023/24, offering training for a senior mental health lead in every state school in the country, and Link Programme training for all schools and colleges to help frontline health and education professionals work together effectively.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department plans to take to help replace the provision of educational and skills training offered under the Union Learning Fund after the Government ceases its funding of that Fund.

The Union Learning Fund (ULF) only rarely directly provides learning, as its main role has been to link individuals to training that is funded and provided elsewhere, for example via the adult entitlement to fund adults to gain English and Maths qualifications at level 2 and basic digital skills (level 1).

Adult skills are key in supporting the economy and tackling disadvantage and so we are continuing to invest in education and skills training for adults through the Adult Education Budget (AEB) (£1.34 billion in 2020/21). The AEB fully funds or co-funds skills provision for eligible adults aged 19 and above from pre-entry to level 3, to support adults to gain the skills they need for work, an apprenticeship or further learning and training up to level 2 for unemployed people aged 19 and over.

The AEB supports 4 statutory entitlements to full funding for adult learners:

o English and maths, up to and including level 2, for individuals aged 19 and over, who have not previously attained a GCSE grade A* - C or grade 4, or higher, and/or

o First full qualification at level 2 for individuals aged 19 to 23, and/or

o First full qualification at level 3 for individuals aged 19 to 23.

o Specified digital skills qualifications for adults with no or low digital skills (came into effect from 1 August 2020).

The fourth statutory entitlement to fully fund specified digital skills qualifications for adults, aged 19+, with no or low digital skills came into effect from 1 August 2020. This will ensure adults, aged 19 and over, can study for specified qualifications in basic digital skills free of charge to get the skills and capabilities they need to get on in life and work. These statutory entitlements apply in devolved and non-devolved areas.

Instead of continuing to support the ULF, the funding will be used to support larger and wider initiatives in adult education. The National Skills Fund and the Skills Recovery Package will expand the funding and support open to all. As announced by my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister, in September as part of his Lifetime Skills Guarantee, this includes for adults who do not currently have a level 3 qualification, fully funding their first full level 3, focusing on the valuable courses that will help them get ahead in the labour market.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to develop an equitable system for awarding exam results for the 2020-21 academic year.

GCSE, AS and A levels

Students have worked hard in preparation for their exams this year and teachers have made tremendous efforts to provide high quality remote education. Given the ongoing disruption to education caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, we announced in January that GCSE, AS and A level exams will not go ahead as planned this summer. In ensuring our approach was developed with the sector, the Department and Ofqual launched a joint consultation in January on how to award grades in 2021 so they are robust and fair. We received over 100,000 responses from students, parents, teachers, school leaders and other stakeholders. There was widespread support for our approach.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, confirmed in his statement on 25 February that students will receive grades determined by their teachers, with pupils only assessed on what they have been taught. Fairness to young people is fundamental to the Department and Ofqual’s decision making. We want to ensure all young people have the confidence that, despite exams not going ahead, they will receive a grade that reflects their ability and enables them to progress.

Full details on alternative arrangements to exams can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/teacher-assessed-grades-for-students.

Vocational and Technical Qualifications (VTQs)

On 25 February, the outcome of the Department for Education’s joint consultation with Ofqual on the arrangements for awarding Vocational and Technical Qualifications (VTQs) including BTECs, as well as the approach to awarding other general qualifications was also published.

The diverse nature of VTQs and other general qualifications means that one approach to awarding cannot be taken to all these qualifications. Different approaches should be taken to three groups of VTQs. However, it is important that there is as much fairness as possible between VTQ students and students taking GCSEs, AS and A levels.

The first group are qualifications used to support progression to further or higher education, which includes many Pearson BTEC qualifications. These will be awarded through teacher assessed grades similar to those being implemented for GCSE and AS/A level awarding.

The second group are VTQs used to enter directly into employment. Exams or assessments will continue where they are critical to demonstrate occupational or professional competence and can be delivered in line with public health measures. However, where the assessment cannot take place safely it will be delayed.

The third group are smaller qualifications that are used for progression to further or higher education but are not like GCSEs or A levels in their structure, such as Functional Skills Qualifications and English for Speakers of Other Languages. Exams and assessments for these will continue in line with public health measures, including remotely, but with alternative arrangements available for those who cannot access the assessments.

Apprenticeships

Apprentices working towards mandatory qualifications as part of their apprenticeship framework or standard are assessed in the same way as students taking those same qualifications through other routes.

Additionally, apprenticeship end-point assessments can continue and should take place remotely wherever possible, in line with the guidance from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education on the delivery of assessment. Our intention is to safeguard the quality of apprenticeships, and end-point assessment is an integral part of that. We do not consider that it would be appropriate to estimate an apprentice’s occupational competence by other means.

To support students taking qualifications used to enter directly into employment and apprentices nearing completion, face-to-face training and learning can take place in schools and colleges where it is essential to enable students and apprentices to prepare for and undertake their exams, assessments and end-point assessments. Furthermore, on 22 February it was announced that all school and further education students will be able to return from 8 March. This means that students taking qualifications which confer occupational competence and apprentices can get back to face-to-face teaching and training, which we know is important for their mental health and educational achievement.

23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support help ensure an equitable approach to assessing (a) BTEC and (b) apprenticeship qualifications and (c) other courses with formal assessments in the 2020-21 academic year.

GCSE, AS and A levels

Students have worked hard in preparation for their exams this year and teachers have made tremendous efforts to provide high quality remote education. Given the ongoing disruption to education caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, we announced in January that GCSE, AS and A level exams will not go ahead as planned this summer. In ensuring our approach was developed with the sector, the Department and Ofqual launched a joint consultation in January on how to award grades in 2021 so they are robust and fair. We received over 100,000 responses from students, parents, teachers, school leaders and other stakeholders. There was widespread support for our approach.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, confirmed in his statement on 25 February that students will receive grades determined by their teachers, with pupils only assessed on what they have been taught. Fairness to young people is fundamental to the Department and Ofqual’s decision making. We want to ensure all young people have the confidence that, despite exams not going ahead, they will receive a grade that reflects their ability and enables them to progress.

Full details on alternative arrangements to exams can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/teacher-assessed-grades-for-students.

Vocational and Technical Qualifications (VTQs)

On 25 February, the outcome of the Department for Education’s joint consultation with Ofqual on the arrangements for awarding Vocational and Technical Qualifications (VTQs) including BTECs, as well as the approach to awarding other general qualifications was also published.

The diverse nature of VTQs and other general qualifications means that one approach to awarding cannot be taken to all these qualifications. Different approaches should be taken to three groups of VTQs. However, it is important that there is as much fairness as possible between VTQ students and students taking GCSEs, AS and A levels.

The first group are qualifications used to support progression to further or higher education, which includes many Pearson BTEC qualifications. These will be awarded through teacher assessed grades similar to those being implemented for GCSE and AS/A level awarding.

The second group are VTQs used to enter directly into employment. Exams or assessments will continue where they are critical to demonstrate occupational or professional competence and can be delivered in line with public health measures. However, where the assessment cannot take place safely it will be delayed.

The third group are smaller qualifications that are used for progression to further or higher education but are not like GCSEs or A levels in their structure, such as Functional Skills Qualifications and English for Speakers of Other Languages. Exams and assessments for these will continue in line with public health measures, including remotely, but with alternative arrangements available for those who cannot access the assessments.

Apprenticeships

Apprentices working towards mandatory qualifications as part of their apprenticeship framework or standard are assessed in the same way as students taking those same qualifications through other routes.

Additionally, apprenticeship end-point assessments can continue and should take place remotely wherever possible, in line with the guidance from the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education on the delivery of assessment. Our intention is to safeguard the quality of apprenticeships, and end-point assessment is an integral part of that. We do not consider that it would be appropriate to estimate an apprentice’s occupational competence by other means.

To support students taking qualifications used to enter directly into employment and apprentices nearing completion, face-to-face training and learning can take place in schools and colleges where it is essential to enable students and apprentices to prepare for and undertake their exams, assessments and end-point assessments. Furthermore, on 22 February it was announced that all school and further education students will be able to return from 8 March. This means that students taking qualifications which confer occupational competence and apprentices can get back to face-to-face teaching and training, which we know is important for their mental health and educational achievement.

29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to ensure that teachers are offered priority access to a covid-19 vaccine.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccines the UK should use and provide advice on who should be offered them. The JCVI advises that the first priorities for the COVID-19 vaccination should be the prevention of mortality and the maintenance of the health and social care systems, and as the risk of mortality from COVID-19 increases with age, prioritisation is primarily based on age.

Under the priority groups for the first phase of vaccine rollout, those over 50 years of age, and all those 16 years of age and over who are clinically extremely vulnerable or have certain underlying health conditions, are eligible for vaccination within the first phase of the programme. This captures almost all preventable deaths from COVID-19 and will include thousands of those in the education and childcare workforce.

In the next phase of the vaccine rollout, the JCVI have asked that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) consider occupational vaccination in collaboration with other Government departments. The Department for Education is working with DHSC and Public Health England to ensure that the education and childcare workforce is considered for prioritisation in the rollout of the vaccine.

29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what funding is available to support the mental health of pupils and staff at (a) school and (b) home for the duration of the covid-19 outbreak.

Schools already support the mental wellbeing of their pupils as part of their curriculum provision and pastoral support. This is paid for from schools’ core funding, which is rising in each financial year by £2.6 billion in 2020/21, £4.8 billion in 2021/22 and £7.1 billion in 2022/23, compared to 2019/20 funding levels. Pastoral support is a core job for schools; we do not place restrictions on spending because it is important that schools are free to decide how best to use the core funding they receive.

We have also put in place a £1 billion COVID “catch-up” package, with £650 million shared across early years, schools and 16-19 providers over the 2020/21 academic year to support education settings in putting the right catch-up and pastoral support in place. The Education Endowment Foundation have published a COVID-19 support guide to support schools to direct this funding, which includes further information about interventions to support pupils’ mental health and wellbeing.

The Wellbeing for Education Return, a Department for Education led initiative alongside the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Health Education England, Public Health England, and key voluntary sector organisations, backed by £8 million, has trained local experts to provide additional advice and resources for schools and colleges. This is to help support pupil, student, parent, carer, and staff wellbeing, resilience, and recovery, in light of the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown. Alongside this, the department has launched a £95,000 pilot led by the Education Support charity to provide online peer-support and telephone counselling from experts to around 250 school leaders. The pilot will end in March 2021. The outcome of the pilot will inform any future wellbeing and mental health interventions for staff.

The College Collaboration Fund is a £5.4 million grant funding programme open to all statutory further education colleges, to be delivered in the 2020/21 financial year. We particularly welcomed applications that address one of five specific quality improvement needs. Five of the funded projects are designed to provide remote/online mental health and wellbeing support to students and/or staff.

We worked closely with DHSC on their wellbeing and mental health support plan for COVID-19. The plan sets out the support available for individuals in the context of a second wave, and the winter months, including support for children and young people. As part of taking forward this work, the department will also be convening a mental health action group to look at the effects on children, young people and staff in the education system. We will confirm the next steps as soon as possible.

For children and young people who need specialist support, the government continues to invest in and prioritise mental health for all, with an additional investment of £2.3 billion a year by the 2023/24 financial year through the NHS Long Term Plan. The NHS will also receive approximately an additional £500 million this financial year, to address waiting times for mental health services, give more people the mental health support that they need, and invest in the NHS workforce. The government has also provided £9 million in funding to mental health charities, including Mind, the Samaritans, Young Minds, and Bipolar UK, to help them adapt, expand, and reach those who are most vulnerable. We have also extended the Barnardo’s See Hear, Respond support for vulnerable children, including support for mental health.

In the long term, we remain committed to our joint green paper delivery programme with DHSC and NHS England, including introducing new mental health support teams for all schools and colleges, providing training for senior mental health leads in schools and colleges, and testing approaches to faster access to NHS specialist support. The department will be convening an action group to look at the effects on children, young people and staff in the education system and we will confirm the next steps as soon as possible.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of covid-19 outbreak on the (a mental and (b) physical health of (i) teachers and (ii) school and college staff.

The Department recognises the pressure that teachers and leaders in schools and colleges are under. We are enormously grateful to them for their efforts, resilience and service to our country’s children and young people as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Department has been working closely with members of our Expert Advisory Group on staff wellbeing throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, and we understand the pressures that teachers and leaders are facing.

The Department has taken decisive action to fund a pilot with Education Support to provide professional supervision from experts and peer support for school leaders, managing the pressures caused by COVID-19. This service will run until at least December 2020, and the outcome of the pilot will inform future wellbeing and mental health interventions. Alongside this, the £8 million Wellbeing for Education Return training programme is already supporting staff in schools and colleges to respond to the additional pressures children and young people may be experiencing because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In June, the Department announced a range of commitments to support the wellbeing of teachers and other education professionals in schools and colleges. These include the creation of a wellbeing charter for the teaching sector. The charter will help create an open culture around wellbeing and mental health, breaking down stigma, and will include a range of commitments by the Government and for employers in schools and colleges to promote and protect staff wellbeing. Further information on this is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-mental-health-support-for-pupils-and-teachers.

12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to develop a long term plan for education during and beyond the covid-19 outbreak.

Education recovery is a priority for the Department as schools recover from the disruption caused by COVID-19. Schools have been open for all pupils full-time since the start of the autumn term. It continues to be the Department’s aim that all pupils remain in school full-time as this is the best place for them to be for their education, development and wellbeing.

The Department recognises that all children and young people have had their education disrupted as a result of COVID-19. The Department has announced a catch up package worth £1 billion, including a ‘Catch up Premium’ worth a total of £650 million to support schools to make up for lost teaching time. Alongside the Catch up Premium, the Department has announced a new £350 million National Tutoring Programme, which will increase access to high-quality tuition for the most disadvantaged young people.

The Department is also delivering a remote education support package which includes access to the right technology to deliver remote education, peer to peer training on how to use this effectively, and practical tools, guidance and webinars. Additionally, over 340,000 laptops and tablets, owned by schools, trusts or local authorities, are being made available by the Department this term to support disadvantaged children in Years 3 to 11 whose face-to-face education may be disrupted.

Understanding the long term impact of COVID-19 disruption on attainment and progress is a key research priority for the Department , and it has commissioned an independent research and assessment agency to consider catch up needs and monitor progress over the course of the year. This will help inform strategic policy for supporting the school system.

14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department is providing to schools to help disadvantaged pupils catch-up on time missed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

All children have had their education disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak, but it is likely that disadvantaged and vulnerable groups will have been hardest hit. The government has announced a catch-up package worth £1 billion, including a catch-up premium worth a total of £650 million to support schools to make up for lost teaching time. To help schools make the best use of this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has published a support guide for schools, which is available here:
https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/national-tutoring-programme/covid-19-support-guide-for-schools/#nav-covid-19-support-guide-for-schools1.

The guidance includes evidence-based approaches to catch-up for all students and a further school planning guide: 2020 to 2021, which is available here:
https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/covid-19-resources/guide-to-supporting-schools-planning/.

Alongside this universal grant, a National Tutoring Programme worth £350 million will deliver proven, successful interventions to the most disadvantaged young people. Research shows high-quality individual and small group tuition can add up to five months of progress for disadvantaged pupils.

Schools continue to receive the pupil premium, worth almost £2.4 billion this year. We strongly encourage school leaders to review their Pupil Premium Strategy to ensure that it responds to the needs of pupils as they resume learning in the autumn term.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that early intervention children's services are adequately funded.

The government has provided over £3.2 billion of additional funding to support local authorities in meeting COVID-19 related pressures including on children’s services and early intervention. This will be kept under very close review over the coming weeks and months.

We have also committed over £100 million to support access to social care services and remote education, including by providing laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers to vulnerable and disadvantaged children. Further, we have committed additional funding worth £26.4 million directly to charities to support them and £1.6 million to expand the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’s helpline.

In order to ensure engagement with all children in their care and to support effective risk assessment, through emergency legislation and with Social Work England, we have reinstated the professional registration of 8,000 former social workers so that they can re-join the profession, providing additional resource where it is required.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that children's services have adequate resources to support vulnerable children effectively (a) during and (b) after the covid-19 outbreak.

The government has provided over £3.2 billion of additional funding to support local authorities in meeting COVID-19 related pressures including on children’s services and early intervention. This will be kept under very close review over the coming weeks and months.

We have also committed over £100 million to support access to social care services and remote education, including by providing laptops, tablets and 4G wireless routers to vulnerable and disadvantaged children. Further, we have committed additional funding worth £26.4 million directly to charities to support them and £1.6 million to expand the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children’s helpline.

In order to ensure engagement with all children in their care and to support effective risk assessment, through emergency legislation and with Social Work England, we have reinstated the professional registration of 8,000 former social workers so that they can re-join the profession, providing additional resource where it is required.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for children's services in light of the finding of the report published by Barnardo's, the Children's Society, Action for Children, the NSPCC and the National Children's Bureau that there has been a £2.2 billion decline in available funding for children's services over the last decade.

The government announced at the Local Government Finance Settlement that English councils' core spending power is rising by over £2.9 billion this financial year. This includes £1 billion of new grant funding that can be used flexibly by local authorities to deliver adult and children’s social care services. Further to this, the government has provided over £3.2 billion of additional funding to support local authorities in meeting COVID-19 related pressures including on children’s services. We will keep this under very close review over the coming weeks and months.

Longer term funding decisions are for this year’s Spending Review.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
18th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans he has to support teachers in providing face-to-face and online support to students in different year groups and classes during the proposed phased re-opening of schools.

The Department has asked primary schools to welcome back children in nursery, Reception, year 1 and year 6, alongside priority groups (vulnerable children and children of key workers), from 1 June. From 15 June, secondary schools can invite year 10 and 12 pupils (years 10 and 11 for alternative provision schools) back into school for some face-to-face support with their teachers, to supplement their remote education, which will remain the predominant mode of education for these pupils this term. Priority groups can continue to attend full-time.

The Department has published guidance to help schools prepare for wider opening which includes sections on curriculum as well as staff workload and wellbeing. The guidance is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-educational-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020/actions-for-education-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020.

The Department has also published a planning guide for primary schools which includes a section on what to teach and how. The guidance is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/preparing-for-the-wider-opening-of-schools-from-1-june/planning-guide-for-primary-schools.

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


Teachers will continue to be able to access support to deliver remote teaching to year groups not eligible to be in school at this time. Schools are encouraged to consider how Oak National Academy or other remote education platforms can provide additional support, as well as how education delivered in school, if manageable, could be made available to pupils learning remotely. The Department has provided a range of information, guidance and support for teachers on educating children during the COVID-19 outbreak which is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/remote-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19.

4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the capacity of Edenred to meet the demand for free school meals while schools are closed during the covid-19 outbreak.

As both my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

During this period, we are asking schools to support children who are eligible for and claiming benefits-related free school meals by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. We know that many schools are successfully delivering food parcels or arranging food collections for eligible children, and we encourage this approach where it is possible.

However, we recognise that providing meals and food parcels is not a practicable option for all schools. That is why on 31 March we launched a national voucher scheme as an alternative option, with costs covered by the Department for Education.

Schools are best placed to make decisions about the most appropriate arrangements for eligible pupils, and this can include food parcel arrangements, provision through the national voucher scheme or alternative voucher arrangements. We do not hold details of how many schools are making arrangements outside of the national voucher scheme.

We are working very closely with our national voucher scheme supplier, Edenred, to improve the performance of the scheme. Edenred has reported that over £65 million worth of voucher codes has been redeemed into supermarket eGift cards by schools and families through the scheme as of Monday 11 May. Edenred has also reported that over 16,500 schools had placed orders for the scheme as of Tuesday 28 April. We are very grateful to families and schools for their understanding and patience while we upgrade this service to meet increased demand.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the timely provision to families with children on free school meals of vouchers to spend in a supermarket of their choice.

As both my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

During this period, we are asking schools to support children who are eligible for and claiming benefits-related free school meals by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. We know that many schools are successfully delivering food parcels or arranging food collections for eligible children, and we encourage this approach where it is possible.

However, we recognise that providing meals and food parcels is not a practicable option for all schools. That is why on 31 March we launched a national voucher scheme as an alternative option, with costs covered by the Department for Education.

Schools are best placed to make decisions about the most appropriate arrangements for eligible pupils, and this can include food parcel arrangements, provision through the national voucher scheme or alternative voucher arrangements. We do not hold details of how many schools are making arrangements outside of the national voucher scheme.

We are working very closely with our national voucher scheme supplier, Edenred, to improve the performance of the scheme. Edenred has reported that over £65 million worth of voucher codes has been redeemed into supermarket eGift cards by schools and families through the scheme as of Monday 11 May. Edenred has also reported that over 16,500 schools had placed orders for the scheme as of Tuesday 28 April. We are very grateful to families and schools for their understanding and patience while we upgrade this service to meet increased demand.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many free school meal vouchers have been issued since schools were closed in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

As both my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

During this period, we are asking schools to support children who are eligible for and claiming benefits-related free school meals by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. We know that many schools are successfully delivering food parcels or arranging food collections for eligible children, and we encourage this approach where it is possible.

However, we recognise that providing meals and food parcels is not a practicable option for all schools. That is why on 31 March we launched a national voucher scheme as an alternative option, with costs covered by the Department for Education.

Schools are best placed to make decisions about the most appropriate arrangements for eligible pupils, and this can include food parcel arrangements, provision through the national voucher scheme or alternative voucher arrangements. We do not hold details of how many schools are making arrangements outside of the national voucher scheme.

We are working very closely with our national voucher scheme supplier, Edenred, to improve the performance of the scheme. Edenred has reported that over £65 million worth of voucher codes has been redeemed into supermarket eGift cards by schools and families through the scheme as of Monday 11 May. Edenred has also reported that over 16,500 schools had placed orders for the scheme as of Tuesday 28 April. We are very grateful to families and schools for their understanding and patience while we upgrade this service to meet increased demand.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools have chosen their own alternatives to the free school meal voucher system.

As both my right hon. Friends the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer have made clear, the government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID-19.

During this period, we are asking schools to support children who are eligible for and claiming benefits-related free school meals by providing meals or food parcels through their existing food providers wherever possible. We know that many schools are successfully delivering food parcels or arranging food collections for eligible children, and we encourage this approach where it is possible.

However, we recognise that providing meals and food parcels is not a practicable option for all schools. That is why on 31 March we launched a national voucher scheme as an alternative option, with costs covered by the Department for Education.

Schools are best placed to make decisions about the most appropriate arrangements for eligible pupils, and this can include food parcel arrangements, provision through the national voucher scheme or alternative voucher arrangements. We do not hold details of how many schools are making arrangements outside of the national voucher scheme.

We are working very closely with our national voucher scheme supplier, Edenred, to improve the performance of the scheme. Edenred has reported that over £65 million worth of voucher codes has been redeemed into supermarket eGift cards by schools and families through the scheme as of Monday 11 May. Edenred has also reported that over 16,500 schools had placed orders for the scheme as of Tuesday 28 April. We are very grateful to families and schools for their understanding and patience while we upgrade this service to meet increased demand.

These are rapidly developing circumstances; we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans the Government has to ensure that disadvantaged children do not experience a comparative reduction in attainment during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department has taken rapid, wide-ranging action to help schools and parents support all young people during the school closures. This includes publishing an initial list of online education resources and guidance for parents, supporting the launch of a new online academy, and supporting the BBC package of TV and online education materials.

The Department is doing everything it can to ensure that schools and other education providers are getting the guidance and support they need to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 while pupils are not attending school. We will do everything possible to make sure no child, whatever their background, falls behind as a result of COVID-19.

The Government has already committed over £100 million to boost remote education, including by providing devices and internet access to vulnerable children who need it most. Devices have been ordered for the most disadvantaged Year 10 pupils who are preparing for examinations, as well as for children receiving support from a social worker, and for care leavers.

Schools also continue to receive additional funding in the form of the pupil premium – worth around £2.4 billion annually – to help them support their disadvantaged pupils.

The Department recognises that disadvantaged pupils making the transition into new primary and secondary schools and into post-16 education risk missing out on crucial support. The Department is looking at how to draw on best practice being put into place by schools and how to support links between education providers. The Department is also looking at how other providers might support children and young people with engagement and development activity now and in the run up to schools reopening.

The Department is also considering, with a range of partner organisations, how best to support all pupils, especially the disadvantaged, who have been affected by school closures.

18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when his Department plans to issue advice to schools and high education institutions on possible closures as a result of covid-19.

The Department sends a daily email to schools, colleges and other education providers, which gives updates and new guidance. All advice is on GOV.UK and is frequently updated in line with developments.

The Department is also working closely with the English higher education sector to ensure they have the latest guidance from Public Health England (PHE) and other relevant Government departments.

Vice chancellors and college principals will make decisions about their own institutions using the latest PHE guidance. The Department is working closely with the sector to facilitate this.

Advice continues to be that campus accommodation should remain open unless advised otherwise by PHE. Many universities are home to international students, care leavers and students who are estranged from their families – all of whom might not have anywhere else to go.

18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent discussions he has had with his counterparts in the devolved Administrations on school closures as a result of covid-19.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, held several conversations with his counterparts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland regarding school closures. Cooperation with devolved administrations is ongoing.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many and what proportion of children in secondary school in Barnsley who were eligible for free school meals went on to higher education in each year since 2010.

The attached tables show the number and proportion of disadvantaged young people attending state-funded schools and colleges in Barnsley that went on to higher education after 16 to 18 study (taking A level or other level 3 qualifications) in academic years 2010/11 to 2017/18.

Table 1 includes figures for students eligible for free school meals until 2013/2014 and table 2 shows figures of students eligible for pupil premium from 2014/2015 to 2017/2018.

Free school meals and pupil premium status of students is based on eligibility in year 11. From 2017/18, the 16-18 group of leavers contains additional students who took level 3 qualifications not included in the 16-18 attainment tables. Information on student destinations is published annually at: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/statistics-destinations.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many people in (a) Barnsley and (b) Barnsley East constituency commenced study at a higher education institution in each year since 2010.

Information on students enrolled in UK Higher Education is collected and published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). More information is available at: https://www.hesa.ac.uk.

The number of undergraduate and postgraduate higher education entrants who were domiciled in Barnsley and Barnsley East constituency prior to study in each year between 2010/11 and 2018/19 has been provided in the table.

The decline in undergraduate entrants into higher education in Barnsley East constituency and Barnsley local authority can partly be explained by the demographic changes in the area. The entry rate for 18-year-olds into higher education in the Barnsley East constituency has increased from 14.8% in 2010/11 to 21.6% in 2018/19.

Undergraduate and postgraduate entrants domiciled in Barnsley local authority and Barnsley East constituency prior to study

UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)

Academic years 2010/11 to 2018/19

Source: DfE analysis of the Higher Education Statistics Agency’s (HESA) Student Record

Academic Year

Entrants from Barnsley Local Authority

Undergraduates

Postgraduates

Total entrants

2010/11

1945

520

2465

2011/12

1855

425

2280

2012/13

1490

375

1865

2013/14

1410

415

1825

2014/15

1395

485

1880

2015/16

1470

485

1955

2016/17

1325

480

1805

2017/18

1335

545

1880

2018/19

1355

540

1895

Academic Year

Entrants from Barnsley East constituency

Undergraduates

Postgraduates

Total entrants

2010/11

685

170

855

2011/12

620

135

755

2012/13

555

110

670

2013/14

475

150

625

2014/15

495

165

660

2015/16

525

155

685

2016/17

490

155

645

2017/18

430

180

615

2018/19

455

185

640

Notes:

1) Figures are based on the HESA standard registration population.

2) Figures are rounded to the nearest five.

3) Totals may not sum due to rounding.

4) Parliamentary constituency is derived from the student's postcode prior to study.

Statistics for the 2019/20 academic year will become available in January 2021.

17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reasons four of the 76 offshore Marine Protected Area sites were consulted on ending bottom trawling practices.

Marine protection is a devolved matter and the information below relates to England only.

In England, we have 40 offshore Marine Protected Areas which have been designated to protect a variety of important habitats, species and geological features. Outside of the Common Fisheries Policy, we now are focused on ensuring these sites have the appropriate level of protection from bottom trawling.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has developed an ambitious programme for assessing sites and implementing byelaws, where necessary, to manage fishing activity in all English offshore Marine Protected Areas. We recognise the urgency to establish management measures to protect the marine environment. We will engage fully with all stakeholders and have established a process to enable evidence gathering and consultation, with the aim of all sites being protected within 3 years. As soon as the transition period ended, the MMO moved quickly to launch a consultation on draft management measures for the first four sites. All English offshore sites have been prioritised based on the features sensitivity to fishing activity and these four sites were considered the most urgent.

The consultation closes on the 28th March 2021 and the MMO is keen to hear views on the proposed management measures.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment the Government has made of the length of time it will take to protect all 76 offshore Marine Protected Areas from bottom trawling in those protected areas.

Marine protection is a devolved matter and the information below relates to England only.

In England, we have 40 offshore Marine Protected Areas which have been designated to protect a variety of important habitats, species and geological features. Outside of the Common Fisheries Policy, we now are focused on ensuring these sites have the appropriate level of protection from bottom trawling.

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has developed an ambitious programme for assessing sites and implementing byelaws, where necessary, to manage fishing activity in all English offshore Marine Protected Areas. We recognise the urgency to establish management measures to protect the marine environment. We will engage fully with all stakeholders and have established a process to enable evidence gathering and consultation, with the aim of all sites being protected within 3 years. As soon as the transition period ended, the MMO moved quickly to launch a consultation on draft management measures for the first four sites. All English offshore sites have been prioritised based on the features sensitivity to fishing activity and these four sites were considered the most urgent.

The consultation closes on the 28th March 2021 and the MMO is keen to hear views on the proposed management measures.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to convene an emergency flood summit before a major flood event to ensure that adequate resources are available to (a) local authorities and (b) the Environment Agency in order to protect communities.

There are currently no plans to convene an emergency flood summit before a major flood event. As part of our ongoing preparedness work for flooding, the department engages across Government to understand and mitigate risks that flooding may pose.

In anticipation of a major flood event, Defra facilitates continuous cross-Government situational awareness and rapid coordination of the central Government response. This aids effective decision making in a significant flooding emergency.

To ensure adequate resources are available, we have committed to review local government funding for local statutory flood and coastal erosion risk management functions to ensure it is fair and matches the needs and resources of local areas. We want to make the funding framework for local government funding simpler, more up to date and more transparent.

Flood funding is part of the overall local government settlement and 2020-21 saw the biggest year-on-year increase in the overall settlement for over ten years, an average 4.4% real terms increase. As set out at the Spending Review, we will be making an additional £2.2 billion available to local government to deliver local services.

The Environment Agency (EA) is prepared to take action this winter wherever it is needed. The EA has 40 kilometres of metal frame temporary barriers, which can be delivered anywhere in the country within 12 hours, providing additional protection to locations where there are no permanent defences or where forecast river levels could overtop existing defences. The EA also has 250 high volume pumps available and 6,500 trained staff across the country, including 314 trained flood support officers. In addition, the EA has trained its contractors to be on hand to support local incident teams preparing for and responding to flooding across England. The EA routinely trains the Army civil contingency battalions as they rotate to ensure additional trained support is available to help deploy barriers should a major incident occur.

Through its communications, including social media, the EA has been encouraging residents and business to sign up to its free flood alert service so they can Prepare, Act and Survive. As of 8 January 2021, there were over 1.52 million properties in England signed up to the EA's free flood warning service, which sends a message directly by voice message, text or email when a flood warning is issued.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans the Government has to ensure that UK fishing can restart in (a) the Norwegian Exclusive Economic Zone and (b) around the Barents Sea; and what the timeframe is for securing those fishing agreements.

The UK has a Fisheries Framework Agreement with Norway. The annual bilateral negotiations with Norway for opportunities during this year will begin shortly, however some UK vessels already have access and will sail imminently. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for agreements to not conclude by December; it is important agreements are met which are balanced for the whole industry.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plan does the Government has to ensure that UK fishing can restart in the Svalbard Exclusive Economic Zone; and what the timeframe is for securing that fishing agreement.

The UK fleet continues to benefit from fishing opportunities in the waters around Svalbard as a result of arrangements between the UK and Norway. The Marine Management Organisation has now received the relevant information from the operators involved and the relevant licensing processes are complete.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans the Government has to ensure that UK fishing can restart in the Icelandic Exclusive Economic Zone; and what the timeframe is for securing that fishing agreement.

The UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Iceland on 11 November 2020. This agreement provides a platform for cooperation on fisheries issues but does not provide for annual negotiations or exchanges of fishing opportunities. The UK has not had fishing opportunities in the Icelandic Exclusive Economic Zone since 2008.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which stocks of interest to the UK had Total Allowable Catch limits set above the scientific advice in the last 12 months.

For stocks which the UK has an interest in, and that have assessments advising on their maximum sustainable yield (MSY), 36 (67%) Total Allowable Catches (TACs) were set at MSY out of a total of 54 in 2020. A full list is set out in the “Analysis of the outcomes of the 2019 December EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council & EU-3rd Country Negotiation” report submitted to the Select Committee on the European Union on 1st April 2020.

The UK advocates an approach to TACs setting for 2021 founded on the best available scientific advice and which aims to deliver sustainability improvements.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which stocks the UK advocates should have Total Allowable Catch limits set above the scientific advice.

For stocks which the UK has an interest in, and that have assessments advising on their maximum sustainable yield (MSY), 36 (67%) Total Allowable Catches (TACs) were set at MSY out of a total of 54 in 2020. A full list is set out in the “Analysis of the outcomes of the 2019 December EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council & EU-3rd Country Negotiation” report submitted to the Select Committee on the European Union on 1st April 2020.

The UK advocates an approach to TACs setting for 2021 founded on the best available scientific advice and which aims to deliver sustainability improvements.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether it is Government policy in total allowable catches negotiations with the EU on deep sea species that all deep-sea stocks should follow the precautionary approach advice provided by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.

The UK Government supports the application of the precautionary approach in setting total allowable catches (TACs) for deep sea stocks. The deep-sea stocks that are subject to a total allowable catch and which will be negotiated with the EU for 2021 and 2022 are :

  • Black scabbardfish (BSF)
  • Alfonsinos (ALF)
  • Roundnose grenadier (RNG)
  • Roughhead grenadier (RHG)
  • Red seabream (SBR)
  • Orange Roughy (ORY)
  • Deep-water catsharks (API)
  • Frilled shark (HXC)
  • Gulper shark (CWO)
  • Portuguese dogfish (CYO)
  • Longnose velvet dogfish (CYP)
  • Black dogfish (CFB)
  • Birdbeak dogfish (DCA)
  • Kitefin shark (SCK)
  • Great lanternshark (ETR)
  • Velvet belly (ETX)
Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which stocks the Government has assessed to be deep sea species.

The UK Government supports the application of the precautionary approach in setting total allowable catches (TACs) for deep sea stocks. The deep-sea stocks that are subject to a total allowable catch and which will be negotiated with the EU for 2021 and 2022 are :

  • Black scabbardfish (BSF)
  • Alfonsinos (ALF)
  • Roundnose grenadier (RNG)
  • Roughhead grenadier (RHG)
  • Red seabream (SBR)
  • Orange Roughy (ORY)
  • Deep-water catsharks (API)
  • Frilled shark (HXC)
  • Gulper shark (CWO)
  • Portuguese dogfish (CYO)
  • Longnose velvet dogfish (CYP)
  • Black dogfish (CFB)
  • Birdbeak dogfish (DCA)
  • Kitefin shark (SCK)
  • Great lanternshark (ETR)
  • Velvet belly (ETX)
Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 6 October 2020 to Question 98265 and to the November 2020 spending review CP 330, whether he plans to ensure that the Environment Agency receives adequate funding to meet its long-term investment scenario of £1 billion per year.

The Environment Agency's Long-Term Investment Scenarios (LTIS) assess what could happen with regard to flood risk over the next 50 years in England, and recommend a long-term annual average investment need over that period for works that are cost-beneficial.

LTIS considers total investment from all sources and is not a recommendation for levels of Government spend alone. However, total investment in flood risk management is currently in line with the LTIS optimum investment levels, and will rise above this through the next 6 year flood defences delivery programme beginning in April 2021.

At the Budget earlier this year, the Government confirmed it will invest a record £5.2 billion over six years to build around 2,000 new flood defences and better protect 336,000 properties. In addition, up to £170 million will be spent to accelerate work on shovel-ready flood defence schemes that will begin construction by March 2022, along with a £200 million investment in an innovative flood and coastal resilience programme.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which areas will receive funding from the £200 million announced in July 2020 for innovative projects to improve flood resilience.

We are investing £200m in a new Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme to pilot new and creative approaches to improve resilience to flooding and coastal change in 25 areas across England. On 9th November 2020, we invited Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) and Coast Protection Authorities (CPAs) to work together with partners to develop their expressions of interest by 15 January 2021. Areas will then be selected based on a range of criteria, including repeated significant flooding in the past. Some initial funding will be used help the areas selected to develop their project proposals into more detailed plans during spring 2021, before the projects formally begin from summer 2021.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which areas will receive funding from the £170 million announced in July 2020 for shovel-ready flood defence schemes.

In July, £170 million capital funding was announced to accelerate work on shovel-ready flood defence schemes that will begin construction before the end of 21-22. 22 areas across the country will benefit from this immediate boost to jobs supporting the local economy as communities recover from the impact of coronavirus.

The schemes, which were shortlisted and approved based on their economic growth and recovery potential, will together better protect more than 10,000 local businesses and safeguard around 100,000 jobs.

The following table provides a breakdown of funding by scheme for each area:

Project

Funding

Severn Valley Flood Risk Management Scheme

Up to £30,000,000

Leeds FAS

Up to £21,000,000

Sheffield Upper Don Valley coastal& the Upper Don Catchment NFM Programme

£16,000,000

Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project (LFRMP) Tidal Walls and Barrier

£43,486,439

Hebden Bridge

£12,000,000

Derby OCR

£10,000,000

Team Valley

£6,000,000

Severn Valley NFM and carbon offsetting

£5,400,000

Lowdham

£5,000,000

Tenbury Wells

Up to £4,895,000

Benacre and Kessingland Flood Risk Management Scheme

£3,297,660

Bude, The Crescent

Up to £2,140,000

Brighton Marina to River Adur

£2,000,000

Padiham

£2,000,000

Lancaster, Caton Road

£1,400,000

Leeds FAS, Natural Flood Management

£1,320,000

Hexham

£1,000,000

Peak District, peatland restoration

£960,000

East Cowes

£500,000

Falmouth IUDM inc Tidal Prince of Wales Pier

£500,000

Penketh & Whittle

£480,000

Ponteland FAS

£450,000

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress his Department has made on updating plans for all (a) catchments and (b) coastal cells in England.

The government recognises the important role that strategic planning plays in managing flood and coastal erosion risks.

The Flood Risk Regulations 2009 set out the current statutory process for regional flood risk planning over a six-year cycle. The Environment Agency is working with Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) to review and update Flood Risk Management Plans (FRMPs) as part of the next cycle of flood risk planning.

This will aim to improve local flood risk management planning and will also inform the government’s long-term commitment to transform local flood risk planning, as set out in the government Policy Statement on Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management.

Coastal erosion is a natural and ongoing process and the government is committed to supporting communities on the coastline to adapt to and manage the risks of climate change. Defra has provided £1 million to refresh the 20 Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs) in England. The Environment Agency is working with coastal authorities to update SMPs which set the future policy direction and management of the coast.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 23 October 2020 to Question 104129 on Floods: Building Regulations, if his Department will work with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government to update British Standard 85500:2015 on flood resilient construction for new buildings and retrofits for existing buildings to make it more explicit for the reinstatement of flood-damaged properties.

The British Standards Institute is independent of Government and reviews its standards every five years. There is a consultation in progress as to whether to proceed with a review of BS85500:2015, which is due to close on 22 November.

Defra and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) keep in regular contact on these matters. MHCLG keeps building regulations under review.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 23 October 2020 to Question 104127 on property level flood resilience grants, how many Risk Management Authorities have developed local Property Flood Resilience grant schemes and applied to Regional Flood and Coastal Committees for a contribution towards their cost through local-levy or grant-in-aid.

In England, 46 Risk Management Authorities (RMAs) have developed Property Flood Resilience (PFR) schemes with an element of Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Grant-in-Aid or levy funding within the current investment period (2015-2021).

Elements of PFR work may also be carried out within wider flood risk management schemes. However, it is not currently possible to readily identify the number of additional RMAs that have done this.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much and what proportion of flood defence funding has been allocated to (a) Yorkshire and Humber, (b) the South East, (c) London, (d) the North West, (e) the East of England, (f) the West Midlands, (g) the South West, (h) the East Midlands, (i) the North East and (j) England in each year since 2009.

Capital flood defence grant-in-aid per Office of National Statistics region is shown in the table in the attached document. Actual expenditure for 2019/20 and 2020/21 is not yet available and are allocations only, based on the Environment Agency’s latest consented Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management investment programme.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when the Blanc review into the affordability of flood insurance is planned for publication.

The report was published on Thursday 5 November.

This link can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/flood-insurance-review-2020-blanc-review

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the oral contribution of the Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 10 September 2020, Official Report, column 759, which Members she has had Zoom calls with and when on the issue of flooding.

The Government recognises the impact that flooding has had on individuals, businesses and local communities and sympathises with all those affected. The Secretary of State, myself and the department have been actively engaging with hon. Members whose constituencies have been affected by flooding.

I am always willing to discuss flooding, or other pertinent matters, with hon. Members, and I refer the hon. Member to the reply previously given on 17 September 2020, PQ UIN89799. [https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-09-14/89799]

For completeness, meetings and other engagements I have had with hon. Members so far this year are detailed below.

Date

Event

8 October 2020

Meeting with South Yorkshire November 2019 flood-affected Members and other local risk management authorities

7 October 2020

End of day debate, flooding in Staffordshire, led by the hon. Member for Stafford

1 September 2020

Meeting with the hon. Member for South Ribble

30 September 2020

End of day debate, flooding preparedness in Yorkshire, led by the hon. Member for Barnsley Central

21 July 2020

All-Party meeting about the Severn Valley, attended by the hon. Members for Shrewsbury and Atcham, Gloucester, Montgomeryshire, West Worcestershire, North Herefordshire, Stroud, Stafford, the Rt Hon Member for Ludlow, and Defra’s PPS the hon. Member for Brecon and Radnorshire

20 July 2020

Meeting with the hon. Member for North East Derbyshire

4 June 2020

Meeting with the Rt Hon Member for Scarborough and Whitby and the hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton

3 June 2020

End of day debate, flood defences for Tenbury Wells, led by the hon. Member for West Worcestershire

14 May 2020

Members surgery with the hon. Members for Don Valley and Barnsley Central

7 May 2020

Meetings with the hon. Members for Don Valley and Brigg and Goole

30 April 2020

Meeting with the hon. Member for Cheadle

23 April 2020

Meeting with the hon. Member for Shipley

16 March 2020

Meeting with the hon. Member for Westmorland and Lonsdale

11 March 2020

Westminster Hall debate, flooding of the River Severn, led by the hon. Member for Shrewsbury and Atcham

9 March 2020

End of day debate, improving rainwater attenuation and reservoirs to prevent flooding, led by the hon. Member for Warwick and Leamington

4 March 2020

Opposition debate, flooding, led by the Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the hon. Member for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport

27 January 2020

Meeting with the hon. Member for Macclesfield

30 January 2020

Westminster Hall debate, South Yorkshire flooding, led by the Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), the hon. Member for Barnsley East

20 January 2020

End of day debate, Lowestoft flood barrier, led by the hon. Member for Waveney

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 30 September 2020 to Question 95729, whether the Environmental Agency received enough funding from all of its sources of funding to reach its estimated investment need for flood and coastal protection.

The 2020 Budget announced £5.2 billion of Defra capital investment for the six years starting in 2021. This equates to £866 million per year. In addition there will be partnership funding contributions, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government investment direct to local authorities and revenue investment for the maintenance of defences.

Subject to the upcoming comprehensive spending review, it is very likely the overall level of investment over the six years from 2021 will exceed the £1 billion per year identified in the Environment Agency’s Long Term Investment Scenarios.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 30 September 2020 to Question 95729, how much funding the Environment Agency has received from all its sources of funding including Government investment in each year since 2010.

The table below shows all the sources of funding for Environment Agency (EA) expenditure by year since 2010/11. This includes central government funding to the Environment Agency, together with local levy and other sources which includes partnership-funding-contributions to Environment Agency schemes that are partially funded by government Grant in Aid.

Estimated Total Flood and Coastal Risk Management Expenditure through Environment Agency (EA), 2010/11 to 2019/20 (£m)

Financial Year

EA Central Government Funding Resource

EA Central Government Funding Capital

EA Local Levy

EA funding from other sources

Total

2010/11

291.6

360.0

30.9

17.1

699.6

2011/12

287.8

260.7

33.7

16.9

599.1

2012/13

268.0

269.1

20.2

27.2

584.5

2013/14

250.6

315.3

29.1

39.4

634.4

2014/15

282.6

466.7

24.1

42.9

816.3

2015/16

274.5

390.7

18.2

55.8

739.2

2016/17

314.6

446.9

27.1

55.0

843.6

2017/18

338.2

403.1

29.3

49.8

820.4

2018/19

304.8

453.0

35.5

42.8

836.1

2019/20*

316.7

514.1

38.9

38.0

907.7

*Note that for 2019/20 the accounts have not yet been finalised for the last financial year, these figures are still subject to change.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimates the Environment Agency has made of the funding required for flood risk mitigation projects in each year since 2010.

The Environment Agency’s (EA) Long Term Investment Scenarios (LTIS) for England sets out the total national level of investment required for FCERM. The Environment Agency produced LTIS 2009, 2014 and LTIS 2019. LTIS is used as evidence for government and others considering future policy and investment choices.

The latest LTIS was published in 2019 and shows that the EA’s best estimate of the overall economic optimum level of investment has a long-term annual average of over £1 billion. The 2020 Budget announcement for capital funding is consistent with the ‘optimal’ spend suggested by LTIS. Overall funding is expected to at least meet the LTIS recommendation, allowing for faster progress towards long term adaptation.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
29th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much funding the Environment Agency has been allocated for flood risk mitigation projects in each year since 2010.

Defra provides the majority of its funding for flood and coastal erosion risk management to the Environment Agency (EA) as Grant-in-Aid, which is the mechanism for financing Non-Departmental Public Bodies, such as the EA. The EA spends this funding directly on manging flood risk, but it also passes some of this funding on as capital grants for flood or coastal erosion defence improvements to local authorities or Internal Drainage Boards – local public authorities established in areas of special drainage need which manage water levels within their respective drainage districts.


The capital funding allocated to the EA for flood and coastal erosion risk management in present and future financial years 2019/20 to 2021/22 can be found in table 1 (page 4) of the document available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/funding-for-flood-and-coastal-erosion-risk-management-in-england.

Expenditure on flood and coastal erosion risk management by the EA, Defra and Lead Local Flood Authorities for 2010/11 – 2018/19 can be found in table 2 (page 5) of the same document. Figures for 2019/20 spend are still in the process of being audited and will be available in an updated document on GOV.UK soon.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of flood warning systems in the UK.

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

Approximately 1.4 million people in England are signed up the Environment Agency’s free flood warning service which sends a message directly to people by voice message, text or email when a flood warning is issued. On average, over 99% of messages sent are received within 15 minutes.

The Environment Agency is continually reviewing the adequacy and improving its warning service to enable people to take timely and appropriate action. These improvements mean that by 2022 the flood warning service will be expanded to all places at a high risk of flooding from rivers and the sea.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much funding the Government has allocated to flood resilience schemes in each year since 2010.

All the flood and coastal erosion risk management schemes delivered by the Environment Agency help to increase the resilience of people and places to flooding or coastal erosion risk.

Expenditure by the Environment Agency 2010/11 – 2018/19 can be found in table 2 (page 5) of the document available at the following link: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/funding-for-flood-and-coastal-erosion-risk-management-in-england.

Financial Year

EA Resource (£m)

EA Capital (£m)

Total (£m)

2010/11

291.6

360.0

651.6

2011/12

287.8

260.7

548.5

2012/13

268.0

269.1

537.1

2012/14

250.6

315.3

565.9

2014/15

282.6

466.7

749.3

2015/16

274.5

390.7

638.2

2016/17

314.6

446.9

761.5

2017/18

339.2

403.1

742.3

2018/19

304.8

453.0

757.8

Figures for 2019/20 spend are still in the process of being audited and will be available in an updated document on the GOV.UK website soon.

The Government invested in property flood resilience measures for homeowners as part of flood recovery schemes delivered by local authorities in 2013/4 (£24 million) and 2015/6 (£45 million). There are new recovery schemes underway for those impacted by the exceptional flooding of November 2019 (closes December 2021) and February 2020 (closes July 2022).

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to reforest upstream areas to reduce flooding risk.

The Government’s new £640 million Nature for Climate Fund will drive up tree planting and peat restoration rates, including in upland areas. This fund will complement many of the Environment Agency’s existing flood and coastal erosion risk management schemes that include nature-based solutions such as tree planting. In addition, the Environment Agency’s new National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy outlines the need to increase the use of nature-based solutions including tree planting to slow the flow of or store flood water to reduce flooding risk.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of funding for the Environmental Agency.

The Environment Agency has the resources to deliver its statutory duties. It receives grant in aid from the Government plus charge income for its regulatory services. In 2019/20 the Environment Agency had a budget of £1.377 billion and in 2020/21 the Environment Agency’s budget is £1.742 billion.

In the spring Budget the Chancellor announced record funding of £5.2 billion for flood defences between 2021 and 2027, offering better protection from flooding for 336,000 homes and non-residential properties. The Environment Agency also received £120 million for repairs following winter flooding.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much the Environmental Agency has spent on flood defence measures in each year since 2010.

Expenditure on flood and coastal erosion risk management by the Environment Agency 2010/11 – 2018/19 can be found in table 2 (page 5) of the document available at the following link: www.gov.uk/government/statistics/funding-for-flood-and-coastal-erosion-risk-management-in-england.

Environment Agency spend taken from the above reference document is as follows:

Financial Year

EA Resource (£m)

EA Capital (£m)

Total (£m)

2010/11

291.6

360.0

651.6

2011/12

287.8

260.7

548.5

2012/13

268.0

269.1

537.1

2012/14

250.6

315.3

565.9

2014/15

282.6

466.7

749.3

2015/16

274.5

390.7

638.2

2016/17

314.6

446.9

761.5

2017/18

339.2

403.1

742.3

2018/19

304.8

453.0

757.8

Figures for 2019/20 spend are still in the process of being audited and will be available in an updated document on the GOV.UK website soon.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent estimates the Environment Agency has made on funding needed for future flood risk mitigation.

The Environment Agency’s Long Term Investment Scenarios for England estimate that an average spend of over £1 billion per year is needed on flood and coastal protection over the next 50 years. Investment at this level will avoid existing flood and coastal erosion risk increasing and illustrates the challenge of managing these risks in the face of climate change.

The estimated investment need refers to all sources of funding and not just central Government investment.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference his Department's 25 year environment plan progress report of 11 June 2020, what recent assessment he has made on progress towards meeting the Government's long-term target of at least three-quarters of water bodies, including rivers, lakes, canals, coastal waters, and groundwater, to be restored to as close as possible to their natural state.

The Environment Agency's latest water body classification results 2019 showed that 16% of waters overall and 14 % of rivers are at Good Ecological Status. This is the same result as the data for 2016 which means progress in improving the ecological status of England's surface water has plateaued. More needs to be done and we need to go further and faster. The Government remains committed to bringing at least three quarters of our water to as close as possible to its natural state as soon as is practicable and in support of this, we will be bringing forward a further legally binding target in the Environment Bill. We are tackling pollution from poor farming practice with regulation, financial incentives and educational schemes for farmers. Water company investment is being scaled up to £4.6 billion, the highest yet, in the next five-year period. A new task force comprising the Government and water companies will help address the problem of sewage discharge from storm overflows and our new chemicals strategy will build on a robust statutory regime to ensure chemicals are managed and handled safely.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to the Answer of 22 September to Question 91696, which hon. Members from the South Yorkshire Area the Minister has been in contact which and when on the issue of a roundtable.

The Government recognises the impact that flooding has had on individuals, local communities and businesses and sympathises with all those affected.

The hon. Member for Sheffield South East and the hon. Member for Barnsley Central have written to my office, and I replied, discussing the issue of holding a roundtable.

In addition, I have engaged in the House with the hon. Members for Barnsley Central and Barnsley East on the issue of a roundtable through Parliamentary Questions on this and in a Westminster Hall debate.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to undertake a formal public consultation on economic link reform in relation to fisheries management and landing a higher proportion of fish in the UK.

The Government will consult on proposals for reform of the economic link imminently. As fisheries management is a devolved matter the consultation will cover England only.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, under what statutory authority Ministers may dispense with the Fish Quota Allocation to the commercial fishing sector on behalf of the Crown.

The fish quota is distributed by the Secretary of State under common law powers. This is set out in the publicly available UK Quota Management Rules and in the Quota Management Rules for of the Fisheries Administrations.

We are also seeking related powers in the Fisheries Bill which would supplement these common law powers in future. Clause 2(2) provides for the Joint Fisheries Statement to include policies relating to the distribution of quota. Clause 25 sets out criteria for the distribution of quota.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of water bodies are in good ecological health in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland, and (d) Northern Ireland.

The Environment Agency's latest classification results for England show that 16% of surface water bodies meet the criteria for good ecological status or good ecological potential. We are committed to improving our water with a legally binding target in the Environment Bill and we are making a concerted effort on many fronts. This includes working with water companies who are investing £4.6 billion in improvements, educating and incentivising farmers to reduce harmful run-off and developing a new chemicals strategy.

Water quality in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is a devolved matter.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many water samples have been taken in each year since 2010.

The numbers of water samples taken each year since 2010 are:

Year

Number of Samples Taken

2010

131,602

2011

137,250

2012

155,394

2013

159,737

2014

135,452

2015

122,103

2016

112,022

2017

95,247

2018

87,605

2019

100,037

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish information on the (a) known and (b) potential areas within the UK's exclusive economic zone of sensitive or vulnerable deep-sea habitats for (i) coldwater corals, (ii) deep-sea sponges, (iii) mud and sand emergent epifauna, (iv) bryozoan patches and (v) xenophyophore patches.

Information on the extent, or area covered, and distribution of marine habitats is currently publicly available in different formats.

Created by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) in 2018, UKSeaMap provides a broad-scale overview of the coverage of different physical seabed habitats in the UK. In addition to this, the JNCC’s UK Marine Protected Area mapper portal provides up to date detailed information on the known distribution and extent of sensitive deep-sea habitat types such as deep-sea sponge aggregations and cold-water corals, and also provides information on their protection status. Through the Canyons Marine Conservation Zone, located in the far south-west of the UK, Defra is protecting the only known example of cold-water corals within English waters, so action is being taken. All other instances of cold-water corals in the UK are recorded from Scottish waters such as the Rosemary Bank Seamount, East & North West Rockall Bank, Anton Dhorn Seamount and Darwin Mounds.

We are also currently in the process of mapping and analysing data on the condition of biogenic reefs, hard structures made up of living organisms, and underwater rocky communities, specifically looking at those habitats with sensitive emerging epifauna, such as corals and sponges. The results are not yet publicly available, although we are in the process of finalising the report for external publication.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
18th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many areas of less that 800 metres depth in UK territorial waters have been closed to bottom trawling following identification of a vulnerable marine ecosystems since the implementation of the Deep-sea Access Regulation (EU) 2016/2336.

The deep-sea access regulation provides the European Commission with delegated powers to establish a list of areas where Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs) are known or likely to occur below a depth of 400m. Once identified, those areas will be closed to fishing with bottom gears in accordance with the regulation. The Commission requested advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) in October 2019, and details of a related ICES workshop report and the advice request can be found at the links below. The workshop report also includes a summary of existing VME protection measures through national conservation initiatives, including in UK waters (ref. pages 8 and 9).

http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Expert%20Group%20Report/Fisheries%20Resources%20Steering%20Group/2019/WKREG/WKREG2019.pdf

http://www.ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2019/Special_Requests/eu.2019.19.pdf

The UK, while still a Member State, submitted UK-related VME data to assist the implementation process of the deep-sea access regulation. When ICES provides its advice the Commission will proceed with implementation in EU waters. As this will happen after the end of the transition period the UK will be in a position to develop the retained regime in our waters from next year, taking the ICES UK-related advice into consideration as we do so.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has set a date for the South Yorkshire flood summit.

The Government recognises the impact that flooding has had on individuals, local communities and businesses and sympathises with all those affected. I have been in contact with hon. Members from the South Yorkshire area on the issue of a round table.

Prior to lockdown, Defra officials were working to set this up. However, the coronavirus pandemic has caused delays. Officials continue to work on the logistics for holding a meeting in response to the November 2019 flooding and I expect to be able to confirm a date very soon.

Yesterday (21 September) the Government announced an extension of the £5,000 grant scheme available to homes and businesses affected by flooding last winter.

The Property Flood Resilience (PFR) scheme will be extended by nine months to take into account delays to repair work and the additional pressures placed on local authorities by coronavirus. The extension will give homeowners and businesses more time to carry out repairs and local authorities a greater period to process the grants.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much his Department has spent on flood defence by region in the UK in the last 12 months.

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

Defra provides most of its funding for flood and coastal erosion risk management (FCERM) to the Environment Agency (EA) as grant-in-aid, which is the mechanism for financing non-departmental public bodies such as the EA. The EA spends this funding directly on managing flood risk, but it also passes some of this funding on as capital grants for flood or coastal erosion defence improvements to local authorities or Internal Drainage Boards.

The EA allocated capital grant-in-aid for 2019/20 per Office for National Statistics (ONS) region as follows. This information is a forecast only, based on the EA’s current consented FCERM investment programme (approved and published in April 2019).

ONS Region

2019/20 £

East Midlands

67,321,698

East of England

55,614,346

London

40,116,579

North East

10,119,997

North West

58,167,332

South East

58,641,225

South West

39,507,690

West Midlands

32,554,347

Yorkshire and the Humber

117,484,419

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many meetings he has held with regional stakeholders in South Yorkshire on (a) the winter 2019 floods and (b) flood defence support in the last 12 months.

The Government recognises the impact that flooding has had on individuals, local communities and businesses and sympathises with all those affected. Following the winter 2019-20 flooding, the Secretary of State, myself and the department have been actively engaging with regional stakeholders.

As Minister for floods I engaged in a Westminster Hall debate focused on the flooding in South Yorkshire over the winter. This was attended by the hon Members for Barnsley East, Kingston upon Hull North, Rother Valley, Newport West, and the Rt Hon Member for Doncaster North. I have also met with the hon Member for Don Valley to discuss the impact of the winter floods and Sheffield City region's planned investment programme.

A number of hon Members from South Yorkshire have also written to Defra since November 2019. These include the hon Members for Barnsley Central, Don Valley, Rother Valley, and the Rt Hon Members for Doncaster North and Wentworth and Dearne.

Recently South Yorkshire, Sheffield, Upper Don Valley and the Upper Don Catchment NFM programme schemes received an allocation of the £170 million announced on 14 July, £15.4 million for the Sheffield Upper Don scheme and £600,000 for the NFM programme. Following this announcement, I met with the Member for Penistone & Stocksbridge to discuss flooding.

I have been in contact with hon Members from the South Yorkshire area on the issue of a round table and I expect to be able to confirm a date very soon.

Additionally, my officials have been engaging actively with eligible local authorities on the Property Flood Resilience Fund to provide clarity on the guidance for these schemes and to provide clarity on delivery questions.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many meetings he has had on the winter 2019-20 flooding with hon. Members whose constituencies were affected.

The Government recognises the impact that flooding has had on individuals, local communities and businesses and sympathises with all those affected. Following the winter 2019-20 flooding, the Secretary of State, myself and the department have been actively engaging with hon Members whose constituencies were affected.

The Secretary of State has made a number of site visits and hosted an event following the winter floods in November 2019 and February 2020. These included visits to Ironbridge and Shrewsbury. He has also met individual Members including the hon Member for Halifax and the Rt Hon Member for Newark to discuss flooding in their constituencies.

In addition, I have taken part in a Westminster Hall debate on the South Yorkshire flooding with several affected Members. I have also met hon Members to discuss flooding in their constituencies including the hon Member for North East Derbyshire, the hon Member for Brigg and Goole and the hon Member for Don Valley. I have also attended an end of day debate with the hon Member for West Worcestershire.

I also attended an all-party meeting about the Severn Valley, held on 21 July 2020. The hon Members for Shrewsbury and Atcham, Gloucester, Montgomeryshire, West Worcestershire, Ludlow, North Herefordshire, Stroud, Stafford, and Defra's Parliamentary Private Secretary, the hon Member for Brecon and Radnorshire, attended.

I have been in contact with hon Members from the South Yorkshire area on the issue of a round table and I expect to be able to confirm a date very soon.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government has taken to ensure that non-assessed fish stocks are not overfished.

The Government has and will continue to use the best scientific advice available in setting fishing opportunities for species that are subject to a Total Allowable Catch (TAC). This includes those stocks which do not have a Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) assessment.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government has taken to meet Aichi Target 6 under the Convention on Biodiversity; and what assessment the Government has made of its effectiveness in seeking to meet that target.

Within the confines of the Common Fisheries Policy, the UK has made significant progress in introducing sustainable fisheries measures, including a landing obligation, subsidies and incentives for more selective gear, accreditation schemes, and area-based management measures.

For 2020, the UK will have 67% of its Total Allowable Catches set at Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) out of total of 54 stocks with MSY assessments.

We recently published our Marine Strategy Part One assessment on the health and resilience of our marine ecosystems, including our progress towards the achieving our objective of good environmental status (GES) in UK waters. This encompasses the scope of Aichi Target 6.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether it is his policy that a zero total allowable catch limit be set for the herring stock in ICES divisions 6a and 7b-c.

Whilst joint scientific advice is issued for the herring stock in ICES divisions 6a and 7b-c, they are managed separately. Since 2016, a small Total Allowable Catch (TAC) has been set based on ICES advice to enable monitoring of the stock, specifically the levels of mixing between different stocks North and South. TAC setting for 2021 will be a matter for negotiation, using this and any other available scientific evidence.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the Environment Agency's water quality monitoring programme, what number of (a) samples have been taken and (b) sampling points there have been in (i) each year since 2010 and (ii) each month since January 2020.

The table below shows the number of water quality samples taken by the Environment Agency, and the number of sample points, in each year since 2010:

Year

No. samples taken

No. sample points

2010

131602

18079

2011

137251

17286

2012

155394

16790

2013

159737

18498

2014

135452

17962

2015

121755

16088

2016

111951

15428

2017

94879

15335

2018

86737

13086

2019

97587

14439

The table below shows the number of water quality samples taken, and the number of sample points, in each month since January 2020:

Month

No. samples taken

No. sample points

January

9475

8175

February

7740

6612

March

7196

6189

Data for April is not yet available.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans his Department has to resume sampling of rivers, groundwater and bathing waters to measure water quality.

In line with Government guidelines to reduce the spread of Coronavirus, the Environment Agency (EA) has paused all monitoring activities that are not essential to prevent serious harm to people or the environment, or to support responses to major incidents.

The EA will keep this under review and will restart non-critical activities (including routine environmental monitoring) in due course, in line with Government guidance on lockdown measures.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many samples of England's designated bathing waters have been taken to monitor water quality (a) since 2010 and (b) in each month of 2020.

From 2010 to the end of 2019, the Environment Agency (EA) collected and analysed 78,250 samples to monitor water quality at England’s designated bathing waters. The EA has not taken any samples yet in 2020 because the sampling season starts on 1 May and has been disrupted due to the Coronavirus emergency.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the timetable is for the publication of the Water Framework Directive water body classifications.

During the Coronavirus emergency, the Environment Agency (EA) has prioritised activities critical to preventing serious harm to people or the environment, or to supporting responses to major incidents. The EA does not, therefore, currently have a release date for the Water Framework Directive water body classifications. The EA is considering this as part of its planning for the ‘restart’ phase of the Coronavirus emergency and will publish the classifications as soon as it reasonably can.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
5th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much funding has been allocated to water quality monitoring since 2010.

£130.5 million was allocated to the Environment Agency (EA) for water quality monitoring from 2015 to the end of 2019. This includes planning, sampling, analysing, recording and interpreting the data.

Prior to 2015, funding allocations within the EA were not recorded to the same level of detail and so accurate and consistent figures cannot be provided for the period 2010 to 2015.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many projects to support fishermen in selling their catch to local communities have been funded by the Government's fisheries support scheme.

The £1 million Direct Seafood Supply Scheme is due to be launched during this week, commencing with a call for projects. Applicants will have time to complete their bids for grants, which will be judged by a panel including fishing industry representatives. It is anticipated that decisions will be made and applicants informed from May 15.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many businesses have applied to the Coronavirus Fisheries Support Scheme.

The £9 million Fisheries Response Fund (FRF) went operational on Tuesday, April 21st. The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has contacted just under 1000 registered fishing vessel owners directly by email, and the final 200 will be contacted today (28 April).

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many businesses have received a direct cash grant through the Coronavirus fisheries support scheme.

Of the 978 registered fishing vessel owners contacted, over 600 have returned completed application forms and 351 payments have been processed (to a total value of over £1.5 million) within the first five days. Further payments to all eligible fishing vessel owners will be made during this week and will continue in response to applications returned.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many staff have been employed by the Environment Agency in each year since 2009.

The below table shows the number of full-time equivalents (FTEs) in England only from 2009:

a) Directly

b) Contracted Basis

Year

Perm Employees

Fixed Term Contract Employees

Employment Agency Staff

Contractors

Total

09/10

10,918

359

429

452

12,158

10/11

10,063

105

209

135

10,512

11/12

9,816

158

516

139

10,628

12/13

10,345

310

487

216

11,358

13/14

10,068

207

218

114

10,608

14/15

9,624

113

343

154

10,235

15/16

9,556

117

275

391

10,340

16/17

9,839

264

185

607

10,896

17/18

9,174

316

233

283

10,006

18/19

9,577

296

297

260

10,429

January 2020

9,918

359

219

256

10,752

The changes in the number of staff who work at the Environment Agency represent the Spending Review settlements and income received from charge payers. The response uses England only figures as pre 2013 the Environment Agency was made up of England and Wales. Following 2013 it is England only. In addition, 896 Full Time Equivalents transferred to Defra Corporate Services under a Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) arrangement in November 2017.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much and what proportion of flood defence funding has been allocated to (a) Yorkshire and Humber, (b) the South East, (c) London, (d) the North West, (e) the East of England, (f) the West Midlands, (g) the South West, (h) the East Midlands, (i) the North East and (j) England since 2009.

Between 2010/11 and 2018/19 the Government has invested over £3.3 billion to better protect the country from flooding. This includes over 1,200 flood defence schemes which have better protected over 400,000 homes. The Government has also invested over £1 billion to maintain flood defences

In addition to this, in September 2019 a further £62.35 million of Government spending was announced to protect communities across Yorkshire, Cumbria, the North East and South East of England from flooding. In total, more than 9,000 homes will be better protected against flooding through this round of funding.

ONS Region

2010/2011 to 2018/2019 Government Investment (£k)

National or Cross-Boundary

421,971

East Midlands

326,130

East of England

426,356

London

192,481

North East

130,100

North West

371,759

South East

547,220

South West

360,209

West Midlands

108,105

Yorkshire and the Humber

480,627

Total

3,364,957

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what proportion of planning applications were objected to by the Environment Agency because of flood risk concerns since 2009.

As a statutory consultee in development planning, the Environment Agency (EA) comments on all development proposals (other than minor development) in areas that are at (i) medium or high risk of flooding from rivers or the sea, (ii) within 20 metres of a Main River, (iii) within an area with critical drainage problems. The EA does not make the final decision on local planning approvals. Local planning authorities are responsible and accountable for approving proposals for new development in their local areas. In the majority of cases the EA’s flood risk advice is taken on board by local planning authorities.

Between 2009 and 2018, the EA initially objected to approximately 30% of planning applications where it was a statutory consultee on flood risk matters. However, by working with the local planning authorities and developers to gather additional information, or make modifications to the initial development proposals, the vast majority of these objections were overcome.

The EA, in working with communities, developers and planning authorities, ensures that necessary development in flood risk areas is designed to be safe and resilient to flooding, and does not increase risk to others. The success of the EA’s role is demonstrated in the reporting figures with over 99% of new homes in planning applications being made in line with our advice, and in 2018/19, over 95% of all planning applications (where flood risk was considered) were made in line with EA advice, where we were made aware of the planning decision.

Year

Planning decision in line with EA advice

Planning applications involving new homes decided in line with EA advice on flood risk

2018/19

95%

99%

2017/18

95%

99%

2016/17

96%

99%

2015/16

97%

99%

2014/15

96%

98%

2013/14

97%

99%

2012/13

95%

99%

2011/12

96%

99%

2010/11

97%

No data

2009/10

96%

No data

The EA publishes a comprehensive list of all applications where we’ve lodged objections on flood risk grounds. This can be seen at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/environment-agency-objections-to-planning-on-the-basis-of-flood-risk. Many of the issues will have been resolved before a final decision was made.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will call a flood summit in response to the November 2019 floods.

Minister Pow announced at the Westminster debate on Flooding in South Yorkshire, on 30 January, that she proposes to host a meeting with the Mayor of Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, Members of Parliament from South Yorkshire and the Environment Agency in the near future to discuss the recent flooding and the work that can be done locally to plan for the future.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
8th Oct 2020
What recent discussions she has had with UK trade partners on maintaining International Labour Organisation standards in future trade agreements.

While the detail of free trade agreements is reserved for formal negotiations, we have committed in our public mandates to protect our labour standards as the British people would expect. These include health and safety, minimum wages and action on modern slavery. We will continue to uphold Britain’s high standards and remain an active member of the International Labour Organisation.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate his Department has made of the potential number of unroadworthy vehicles in the event that MOT tests were required only every two years.

The Department has made no proposal or decision to change the requirements for MOT tests. Should any such proposal be made, we would produce an assessment of the effects of the change.

DVSA publish statistics on the number of vehicles that pass and fail MOT tests and the reasons for failed tests:-

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/mot-testing-data-for-great-britain

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the data his Department holds on the number of MOT testing centres that have closed since March 2020.

The percentage of vehicles declared unroadworthy following an MOT conducted statistics are published at Vehicle testing and enforcement activity effectiveness reports - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

It is not possible to determine the number of MOT testing centres that have ‘closed’ since March 2020 as sites might cease testing and then resume testing at a later date either by the site owner or a new owner. Should an MOT testing centre cease to conduct MOT tests, the site may remain open to continue its underlying service and repair work.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
16th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the data his Department holds on the percentage of vehicles declared unroadworthy following an MOT conducted (a) January to March 2020 and (b) January to March 2022.

The percentage of vehicles declared unroadworthy following an MOT conducted statistics are published at Vehicle testing and enforcement activity effectiveness reports - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

It is not possible to determine the number of MOT testing centres that have ‘closed’ since March 2020 as sites might cease testing and then resume testing at a later date either by the site owner or a new owner. Should an MOT testing centre cease to conduct MOT tests, the site may remain open to continue its underlying service and repair work.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
21st Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the average processing time was for an HGV driving licence application renewal in (a) 2018, (b) 2019, (c) 2020 and (d) 2021 to 31 August.

The table below shows the average processing time for vocational (which includes both HGV and bus) driving licence renewal applications.

Calendar Year

Average days to issue a renewal vocational driving licence

2018

2.94

2019

2.45

2020

4.74

2021 (to 31 August)

12.02

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
17th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to increase the speed with which HGV driver applications are processed.

The DVLA is currently prioritising applications for HGV driving licences and continues to explore opportunities to reduce turnaround times for paper applications. Extra staff have been recruited and the DVLA is seeking extra office space to house more staff to help reduce backlogs and provide future resilience and business continuity.

Paper driving licence applications are currently taking between six and ten weeks to process and more information is available on GOV.UK here. There may be additional delays in processing more complex transactions, for example, if medical investigations are needed.

Following a public consultation, the Department is also introducing changes that will streamline the licensing process for new HGV drivers and increase driving test availability. These are aimed to help address current driver shortages. A written statement to Parliament about these changes has been published on GOV.UK.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many renewal applications for HGV driver licences were not processed by their renewal date as a result of delays in DLVA processing in each month since January 2021 to date. .

On 15 September, there were 54,191 applications for vocational driving licences awaiting processing. These are a mix of first applications for a provisional vocational licence and renewals. It is important to note that the majority of those applying to renew their vocational licence will be able to continue to drive while their application is being processed. Vocational applications include those applying for entitlement to drive both HGVs and buses and it is not possible to separate them out.

On 31 March 2010, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) employed 6,428 staff. It is not possible to specify how many staff were working on applications for HGV licences in 2010 as most DVLA operational roles require employees to carry out a range of tasks.

Information about the number of renewal applications for HGV driver licences that were not processed by their renewal date is not held.

The DVLA is currently prioritising applications for HGV driving licences and continues to explore opportunities to reduce turnaround times for paper applications. Extra staff have been recruited and the DVLA is seeking extra office space to house more staff to help reduce backlogs and provide future resilience and business continuity.

Paper driving licence applications are currently taking between six and ten weeks to process and more information is available on gov.uk here. There may be additional delays in processing more complex transactions, for example, if medical investigations are needed.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many staff working for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency were dedicated to processing HGV driver applications in 2010.

On 15 September, there were 54,191 applications for vocational driving licences awaiting processing. These are a mix of first applications for a provisional vocational licence and renewals. It is important to note that the majority of those applying to renew their vocational licence will be able to continue to drive while their application is being processed. Vocational applications include those applying for entitlement to drive both HGVs and buses and it is not possible to separate them out.

On 31 March 2010, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) employed 6,428 staff. It is not possible to specify how many staff were working on applications for HGV licences in 2010 as most DVLA operational roles require employees to carry out a range of tasks.

Information about the number of renewal applications for HGV driver licences that were not processed by their renewal date is not held.

The DVLA is currently prioritising applications for HGV driving licences and continues to explore opportunities to reduce turnaround times for paper applications. Extra staff have been recruited and the DVLA is seeking extra office space to house more staff to help reduce backlogs and provide future resilience and business continuity.

Paper driving licence applications are currently taking between six and ten weeks to process and more information is available on gov.uk here. There may be additional delays in processing more complex transactions, for example, if medical investigations are needed.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many staff worked for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in 2010.

On 15 September, there were 54,191 applications for vocational driving licences awaiting processing. These are a mix of first applications for a provisional vocational licence and renewals. It is important to note that the majority of those applying to renew their vocational licence will be able to continue to drive while their application is being processed. Vocational applications include those applying for entitlement to drive both HGVs and buses and it is not possible to separate them out.

On 31 March 2010, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) employed 6,428 staff. It is not possible to specify how many staff were working on applications for HGV licences in 2010 as most DVLA operational roles require employees to carry out a range of tasks.

Information about the number of renewal applications for HGV driver licences that were not processed by their renewal date is not held.

The DVLA is currently prioritising applications for HGV driving licences and continues to explore opportunities to reduce turnaround times for paper applications. Extra staff have been recruited and the DVLA is seeking extra office space to house more staff to help reduce backlogs and provide future resilience and business continuity.

Paper driving licence applications are currently taking between six and ten weeks to process and more information is available on gov.uk here. There may be additional delays in processing more complex transactions, for example, if medical investigations are needed.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many applications for HGV driving licences the DVLA had taken receipt of but had not yet completed processing of as at 15 September 2021.

On 15 September, there were 54,191 applications for vocational driving licences awaiting processing. These are a mix of first applications for a provisional vocational licence and renewals. It is important to note that the majority of those applying to renew their vocational licence will be able to continue to drive while their application is being processed. Vocational applications include those applying for entitlement to drive both HGVs and buses and it is not possible to separate them out.

On 31 March 2010, the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) employed 6,428 staff. It is not possible to specify how many staff were working on applications for HGV licences in 2010 as most DVLA operational roles require employees to carry out a range of tasks.

Information about the number of renewal applications for HGV driver licences that were not processed by their renewal date is not held.

The DVLA is currently prioritising applications for HGV driving licences and continues to explore opportunities to reduce turnaround times for paper applications. Extra staff have been recruited and the DVLA is seeking extra office space to house more staff to help reduce backlogs and provide future resilience and business continuity.

Paper driving licence applications are currently taking between six and ten weeks to process and more information is available on gov.uk here. There may be additional delays in processing more complex transactions, for example, if medical investigations are needed.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many and what proportion of Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency Staff are responsible for processing heavy goods vehicle driver applications.

The table below shows the average processing time for vocational (which includes HGV) driving licence applications.

Financial Year

Average days to issue a vocational driving licence

2018/19

3.33

2019/20

3.42

2020/21

6.71

2021/22 (to end of August)

16.80

Industrial action by the Public and Commercial Services union, a significantly reduced number of staff on site to ensure social distancing in line with Welsh Government requirements, as well as the increased demand for Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) services has led to the increased processing times in this financial year.

It is not possible to specify how many staff are working on applications for HGV licences as most DVLA operational roles require employees to carry out a range of tasks.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the average processing time was for an HGV driving licence application in (a) 2018, (b) 2019 and (c) 2020.

The table below shows the average processing time for vocational (which includes HGV) driving licence applications.

Financial Year

Average days to issue a vocational driving licence

2018/19

3.33

2019/20

3.42

2020/21

6.71

2021/22 (to end of August)

16.80

Industrial action by the Public and Commercial Services union, a significantly reduced number of staff on site to ensure social distancing in line with Welsh Government requirements, as well as the increased demand for Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) services has led to the increased processing times in this financial year.

It is not possible to specify how many staff are working on applications for HGV licences as most DVLA operational roles require employees to carry out a range of tasks.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what the average processing time has been for an HGV driving licence application in 2021.

The table below shows the average processing time for vocational (which includes HGV) driving licence applications.

Financial Year

Average days to issue a vocational driving licence

2018/19

3.33

2019/20

3.42

2020/21

6.71

2021/22 (to end of August)

16.80

Industrial action by the Public and Commercial Services union, a significantly reduced number of staff on site to ensure social distancing in line with Welsh Government requirements, as well as the increased demand for Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) services has led to the increased processing times in this financial year.

It is not possible to specify how many staff are working on applications for HGV licences as most DVLA operational roles require employees to carry out a range of tasks.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many staff currently work for the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency.

On 16 September 2021 the total headcount at the DVLA was 6,120.

Trudy Harrison
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to support businesses to electrify their road delivery fleet.

We recognise that business fleets have an important role to play in the transition to zero emission driving. A central part to supporting this transition is the recently announced 2030 phase out of new petrol and diesel cars and vans, and the upcoming consultation on phasing out the sale of new diesel heavy goods vehicles.

The Government is investing £2.8 billion through a package of measures to support industry and consumers to make the switch to cleaner vehicles. This includes £582m for grant schemes to help with the cost of purchasing vehicles and £1.3 billion for the associated recharging infrastructure, which supports businesses to make the transition. We are showing leadership by working towards electrifying the Government’s fleet. In 2017 the Government committed that 25% of central Government cars will be ultra low emission by 2022, and in 2018 through the Road to Zero strategy committed to 100% ultra low emission cars by 2030.

The Government has funded a series of R&D competitions, focussed on developing zero emission vehicle and associated infrastructure technology, including seeking solutions to electrify fleets and improve fleet charging capability. The £20m Low Emission Freight and Logistics Trial funded a series of industry-led trials of alternative propulsion technologies for UK commercial fleets. Other R&D programmes supporting fleet electrification include the £10m Wireless EV Charging for Commercial Users competition to examine the potential of wireless charging technology for taxi and home delivery fleets.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to ensure a coordinated inter-departmental approach to tackling (a) speeding and (b) anti-social behaviour on roads.

The Government believes that any form of dangerous or inconsiderate driving behaviour is a serious road safety issue. All available research shows a link between excessive speed and the risk of collisions.

Enforcement of road traffic laws is for the police. Last autumn the Department for Transport launched a Call for Evidence, part of a wider roads policing review, a thorough examination of roads policing of roads policing in England and Wales and its relevance to road safety. Responses to the Call for Evidence will inform the action plan that is being developed by the roads policing review governance board. This is jointly chaired by officials from the Home Office and the Department for Transport. The Call for Evidence closed in October and we are planning to publish our response later this year.

The Road Safety Statement, ‘A Lifetime of Road Safety’, published in July 2019, describes many actions that will contribute towards safer driving and riding all round. By improving the training of new drivers, exposing them to a better understanding of hazards on the road and explaining road safety message through ‘THINK!’ campaigns, we aim to produce novice drivers with a better understanding of the importance of sensible speeds.

The Department has allocated £500 million for the period 2020/21 to 2021/22 to local highways authorities in England, outside of London, through the Integrated Transport Block for small scale transport schemes, including road safety measures. The Integrated Transport Block is not ring-fenced, allowing authorities to spend their allocations according to their own priorities. It is therefore for each authority to decide how it allocates its resources and which transport improvement projects to support.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that local authorities have the resources they need to tackle (a) speeding and (b) anti-social behaviour on roads.

The Government believes that any form of dangerous or inconsiderate driving behaviour is a serious road safety issue. All available research shows a link between excessive speed and the risk of collisions.

Enforcement of road traffic laws is for the police. Last autumn the Department for Transport launched a Call for Evidence, part of a wider roads policing review, a thorough examination of roads policing of roads policing in England and Wales and its relevance to road safety. Responses to the Call for Evidence will inform the action plan that is being developed by the roads policing review governance board. This is jointly chaired by officials from the Home Office and the Department for Transport. The Call for Evidence closed in October and we are planning to publish our response later this year.

The Road Safety Statement, ‘A Lifetime of Road Safety’, published in July 2019, describes many actions that will contribute towards safer driving and riding all round. By improving the training of new drivers, exposing them to a better understanding of hazards on the road and explaining road safety message through ‘THINK!’ campaigns, we aim to produce novice drivers with a better understanding of the importance of sensible speeds.

The Department has allocated £500 million for the period 2020/21 to 2021/22 to local highways authorities in England, outside of London, through the Integrated Transport Block for small scale transport schemes, including road safety measures. The Integrated Transport Block is not ring-fenced, allowing authorities to spend their allocations according to their own priorities. It is therefore for each authority to decide how it allocates its resources and which transport improvement projects to support.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the effect on transport in the North of changes to funding to Transport for the North.

The Government is committed to levelling up every part of this country, including the North. This is reflected in the recent Spending Review, which included funding for key transport infrastructure projects and programmes in the North. Recently, we’ve confirmed Teeside as the home of the UK’s first hydrogen transport hub, are progressing a £500m scheme to bring back rail connections lost in the Beeching cuts including in the North, started work on the £51million A19 upgrade six months ahead of schedule and are progressing plans for the £1billion A66 upgrade.

The most recent allocation of core funding to Transport for the North will enable the organisation to continue to play a valuable role in delivering its statutory functions of developing a transport strategy for the region and helping the Department to prioritise, bringing strength of partnership among members to speak to the government with one voice. The Department will continue to work with TfN to achieve our shared ambition of world-class transport infrastructure in the region.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the airline industry on the repatriation of UK nationals.

The Government is working in partnership with the airline industry to help British people travelling abroad to return to the UK, and up to £75 million in Government funding has been pledged to bring UK travellers back home.

The Department for Transport is working closely with the FCO and airlines to ensure effective communication with and support for Britons who are trying to return home, and is working intensively with international partners to keep air routes and critical transit hubs open so that passengers can return by commercial means wherever possible. Where commercial routes are no longer available, charter flights are being arranged.

This continues to be a challenging situation, as different countries introduce restrictions, but the Government and airlines are continuing to make progress, and a large number of Britons have now returned to the UK.

19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of using taxis as an additional emergency service for isolated households and families.

The Department is aware of and appreciates the role taxis and private hire vehicles have always played in assisting those that are unable to access public transport. We would encourage everyone to follow the health advice, which can be found at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps the Government is taking to prevent airports throughout the country from closing.

Following the Chancellor’s recent announcement, we are working urgently to develop proposals to support the UK aviation industry - we are committed to ensuring the sector and its employees come through this crisis.

27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many road traffic accidents have taken place outside schools in each year since 2005.

The Department for Transport collects and publishes data on the location of road traffic accidents. However, we do not collect or define a variable which states whether these accidents occurred outside schools.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department plans to take to replace Pacer trains when Northern Rail is renationalised.

The ongoing rollout of new trains, which are enabling the retirement of Pacers, will continue.

Northern is introducing 101 new trains as part of a £500 million investment across its network. The programme of introduction started in the summer last year on a phased basis, with the remaining trains introduced by summer 2020.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that departmental staff assessing applications for veteran benefits are aware of the consequences of both mental and physical injury and illness.

DWP itself does not provide any exclusively "veterans benefits". Instead disabled veterans have access to the usual range of extra cost disability benefits (such as Personal Independence Payment) and means tested benefits (such as Universal Credit). These benefits are designed to help with the costs of living and the additional costs that disabled people might face because of their disability. DWP staff receive training to help them understand the circumstances of veterans and the challenges they may face, including with their physical or mental health, with our Armed Forces Champions having a particular responsibility to build capability and awareness within DWP. More generally DWP has put in place a number of specific provisions to support veterans, ranging from voluntary early entry to the Work and Health Programme to using Service Medical Board evidence to help assess claims where we can.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that benefit assessments for veterans focus on the increased costs of living for disabled people in addition to an individual's ability to secure and maintain employment.

DWP itself does not provide any exclusively "veterans benefits". Instead disabled veterans have access to the usual range of extra cost disability benefits (such as Personal Independence Payment) and means tested benefits (such as Universal Credit). These benefits are designed to help with the costs of living and the additional costs that disabled people might face because of their disability. DWP staff receive training to help them understand the circumstances of veterans and the challenges they may face, including with their physical or mental health, with our Armed Forces Champions having a particular responsibility to build capability and awareness within DWP. More generally DWP has put in place a number of specific provisions to support veterans, ranging from voluntary early entry to the Work and Health Programme to using Service Medical Board evidence to help assess claims where we can.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder have (a) had a claim for Personal Independence Payments rejected at assessment and (b) have subsequently had decisions overturned on review in the latest period for which figures are available.

The information requested is not readily available and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate he has made of the number of people in Barnsley East constituency who have been affected by the underpayment of benefits after transitioning from incapacity benefit to employment and support allowance.

The Department published an update on the exercise to correct past ESA underpayments on Gov.uk on 8 July 2021. This reported that as of 1 June 2021, of the 600,000 cases checked, 118,000 arrears payments have been made totalling £613 million. This report showed the numbers of cases paid arrears at a national level only as the data was not available at sub-national level at that time. The Department is investigating the feasibility of providing this analysis at a constituency level.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
16th Dec 2021
To the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether she has made an assessment of the potential effect of increasing statutory sick pay on compliance with self-isolation measures.

The government has put in place support to help individuals to comply with public health advice on self-isolation.

This includes extending Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to those who are sick or self-isolating due to coronavirus. SSP is also now payable from the first day of absence, rather than the fourth, where an employee is sick or self-isolating due to coronavirus.

Alongside this, to ease financial barriers to self-isolating, we are providing the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment. This policy has been extended until the end of March 2022

SSP is just one part of our welfare safety net and our wider government offer to support people in times of need. Where an individual’s income is reduced while off work sick and they require further financial support they may be able to claim Universal Credit and new style Employment and Support Allowance, depending on their personal circumstances.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many employed people are receiving universal credit in Barnsley East constituency as at 23 September 2021.

The latest available statistics, currently to 12 August 2021, on the number of people who are on Universal Credit and are in employment, by parliamentary constituency, are published monthly and can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the impact of ending the £20 uplift to universal credit on the number of people living in poverty in Barnsley East constituency.

No such assessments have been made of the effect of ending the £20 uplift on the numbers of people living in poverty in County Durham or Barnsley East.

It is not possible to produce a robust estimate of the impact of removing the £20 uplift on poverty. This is due to the uncertainty around the speed and distribution of the economic recovery, and the resulting effect on the caseload.

The latest poverty figures (2019/20) demonstrate that absolute poverty rates (both before and after housing costs) have fallen since 2009/10. In 2019/20, 14% of people were in absolute poverty (before housing costs), compared to 16% in 2009/10.

There have been significant positive developments in the public health situation since the uplift was first introduced. With the success of the vaccine rollout and record job vacancies, it is right that our focus is on helping people back into work. This approach is based on clear evidence about the importance of employment, particularly where it is full-time, in substantially reducing the risks of poverty.

This Government is wholly committed to supporting those on low incomes, and continues to do so through many measures, including by increasing the living wage, and by spending over £111 billion on welfare support for people of working age in 2021/22.

We recognise that some people continue to require extra support, which is why we have introduced a £421 million Household Support Fund to help vulnerable people in England with essential household costs over the winter as the economy recovers. The Barnett Formula will apply in the usual way, with the devolved administrations receiving around £80 million (£41m for the Scottish Government, £25m for the Welsh Government and £14m for the NI Executive), for a total of £500 million.

David Rutley
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if she will make it her policy to publish her Department's responses to future recommendations made by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council.

I refer the honourable member to the answer I gave on 1st February 2021 to Question 143863

23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if her Department will publish the criteria it uses to select which recommendations from the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council to implement.

I refer the honourable member to the answer I gave on 1st February 2021 to Question 143863

29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, which diseases are included in the D1 category her Department uses for assessments for industrial injuries disablement benefits.

Due to COVID-19, face-to-face assessments for all disability benefits including the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) have been suspended since March 2020.

We have continued to process IIDB claims and lump sum payments for those individuals with terminal illnesses, and those for Fast Track prescribed diseases. These claims have continued to be assessed as usual without the need for a face to face assessment.

Eligibility to the Pneumoconiosis Etc. (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979 (‘1979 Act’) is dependent on an individual having an IIDB assessment and their age at the time of this assessment. However, they will not be entitled to ‘1979 Act’ compensation payment if they have already had a payment from the Coal Workers Compensation Scheme.

We have now begun some paper based assessments for certain prescribed diseases. This allows a decision on such claims and will enable claimants to determine their eligibility to the ‘1979 Act’. At present the paper based approach includes claims for pneumoconiosis (D1) disease and miners with exposure to coal dust are potentially eligible for the ‘1979 Act’.

Assessing these cases on paper means that we can reduce the overall backlog and give some claimants the awards they are entitled to.

Disease number D1 covers pneumoconiosis which includes silicosis and asbestosis.

More information, including a list of diseases which are covered by IIDB and the kinds of jobs which are included can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/industrial-injuries-disablement-benefits-technical-guidance/industrial-injuries-disablement-benefits-technical-guidance#:~:text=Industrial%20Injuries%20Disablement%20Benefit%20is,a%20list%20of%20prescribed%20diseases.

28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of including pneumoconiosis in the D1 category in assessments on miners’ ability to claim pneumoconiosis support grants.

Due to COVID-19, face-to-face assessments for all disability benefits including the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) have been suspended since March 2020.

We have continued to process IIDB claims and lump sum payments for those individuals with terminal illnesses, and those for Fast Track prescribed diseases. These claims have continued to be assessed as usual without the need for a face to face assessment.

Eligibility to the Pneumoconiosis Etc. (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979 (‘1979 Act’) is dependent on an individual having an IIDB assessment and their age at the time of this assessment. However, they will not be entitled to ‘1979 Act’ compensation payment if they have already had a payment from the Coal Workers Compensation Scheme.

We have now begun some paper based assessments for certain prescribed diseases. This allows a decision on such claims and will enable claimants to determine their eligibility to the ‘1979 Act’. At present the paper based approach includes claims for pneumoconiosis (D1) disease and miners with exposure to coal dust are potentially eligible for the ‘1979 Act’.

Assessing these cases on paper means that we can reduce the overall backlog and give some claimants the awards they are entitled to.

Disease number D1 covers pneumoconiosis which includes silicosis and asbestosis.

More information, including a list of diseases which are covered by IIDB and the kinds of jobs which are included can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/industrial-injuries-disablement-benefits-technical-guidance/industrial-injuries-disablement-benefits-technical-guidance#:~:text=Industrial%20Injuries%20Disablement%20Benefit%20is,a%20list%20of%20prescribed%20diseases.

28th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of including industrial diseases such as pneumoconiosis in the D1 category in assessments on the ability of miners to claim compensation.

Due to COVID-19, face-to-face assessments for all disability benefits including the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB) have been suspended since March 2020.

We have continued to process IIDB claims and lump sum payments for those individuals with terminal illnesses, and those for Fast Track prescribed diseases. These claims have continued to be assessed as usual without the need for a face to face assessment.

Eligibility to the Pneumoconiosis Etc. (Workers’ Compensation) Act 1979 (‘1979 Act’) is dependent on an individual having an IIDB assessment and their age at the time of this assessment. However, they will not be entitled to ‘1979 Act’ compensation payment if they have already had a payment from the Coal Workers Compensation Scheme.

We have now begun some paper based assessments for certain prescribed diseases. This allows a decision on such claims and will enable claimants to determine their eligibility to the ‘1979 Act’. At present the paper based approach includes claims for pneumoconiosis (D1) disease and miners with exposure to coal dust are potentially eligible for the ‘1979 Act’.

Assessing these cases on paper means that we can reduce the overall backlog and give some claimants the awards they are entitled to.

Disease number D1 covers pneumoconiosis which includes silicosis and asbestosis.

More information, including a list of diseases which are covered by IIDB and the kinds of jobs which are included can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/industrial-injuries-disablement-benefits-technical-guidance/industrial-injuries-disablement-benefits-technical-guidance#:~:text=Industrial%20Injuries%20Disablement%20Benefit%20is,a%20list%20of%20prescribed%20diseases.

26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many recommendations from the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council are awaiting implementation by her Department.

The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) is a non-Departmental public body of independent experts, representatives of employers and employees, whose primary role is to make recommendations about which diseases should be included in the list of diseases covered by Industrial Injuries Scheme. On matters relating to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB), the Secretary of State is advised by IIAC to consider any recommendations to improve the scheme and any changes to prescription and guidance. We carefully consider each of the recommendations made by the Council, taking into account the feasibility of implementation and the estimated cost and timing of delivery. If legislative change is required, we must also draft and lay regulations in Parliament. We do not hold information on the average time taken to implement recommendations from the IIAC.

However, we are aware of two outstanding recommendations which IIAC has made. The first of which is a recommendation that guidance to medical assessors and decision makers be changed where a case exists for recognising prescribed disease D11 in a coalminer with primary lung cancer. More recently, IIAC recommended that malignant melanoma in pilots and cabin crew be added to the list of prescribed diseases for which benefit is payable. Due to considerable constraints on departmental resources, the Department has not yet been able to take these recommendations forward. My officials are aware of the outstanding recommendations and are carefully considering the recommendations made by the Council and will continue to progress them forward as soon as possible.

More details and updates from IIAC, including their recommendations to the Department of Work and Pensions can be found on the GOV.UK site: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/industrial-injuries-advisory-council

26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what criteria her Department uses to select which recommendations from the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council to select.

The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) is a non-Departmental public body of independent experts, representatives of employers and employees, whose primary role is to make recommendations about which diseases should be included in the list of diseases covered by Industrial Injuries Scheme. On matters relating to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB), the Secretary of State is advised by IIAC to consider any recommendations to improve the scheme and any changes to prescription and guidance. We carefully consider each of the recommendations made by the Council, taking into account the feasibility of implementation and the estimated cost and timing of delivery. If legislative change is required, we must also draft and lay regulations in Parliament. We do not hold information on the average time taken to implement recommendations from the IIAC.

However, we are aware of two outstanding recommendations which IIAC has made. The first of which is a recommendation that guidance to medical assessors and decision makers be changed where a case exists for recognising prescribed disease D11 in a coalminer with primary lung cancer. More recently, IIAC recommended that malignant melanoma in pilots and cabin crew be added to the list of prescribed diseases for which benefit is payable. Due to considerable constraints on departmental resources, the Department has not yet been able to take these recommendations forward. My officials are aware of the outstanding recommendations and are carefully considering the recommendations made by the Council and will continue to progress them forward as soon as possible.

More details and updates from IIAC, including their recommendations to the Department of Work and Pensions can be found on the GOV.UK site: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/industrial-injuries-advisory-council

26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans her Department has to publish its responses to recommendations made by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council.

The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) is a non-Departmental public body of independent experts, representatives of employers and employees, whose primary role is to make recommendations about which diseases should be included in the list of diseases covered by Industrial Injuries Scheme. On matters relating to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB), the Secretary of State is advised by IIAC to consider any recommendations to improve the scheme and any changes to prescription and guidance. We carefully consider each of the recommendations made by the Council, taking into account the feasibility of implementation and the estimated cost and timing of delivery. If legislative change is required, we must also draft and lay regulations in Parliament. We do not hold information on the average time taken to implement recommendations from the IIAC.

However, we are aware of two outstanding recommendations which IIAC has made. The first of which is a recommendation that guidance to medical assessors and decision makers be changed where a case exists for recognising prescribed disease D11 in a coalminer with primary lung cancer. More recently, IIAC recommended that malignant melanoma in pilots and cabin crew be added to the list of prescribed diseases for which benefit is payable. Due to considerable constraints on departmental resources, the Department has not yet been able to take these recommendations forward. My officials are aware of the outstanding recommendations and are carefully considering the recommendations made by the Council and will continue to progress them forward as soon as possible.

More details and updates from IIAC, including their recommendations to the Department of Work and Pensions can be found on the GOV.UK site: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/industrial-injuries-advisory-council

26th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average taken by her Department to implement recommendations from the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council is.

The Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) is a non-Departmental public body of independent experts, representatives of employers and employees, whose primary role is to make recommendations about which diseases should be included in the list of diseases covered by Industrial Injuries Scheme. On matters relating to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB), the Secretary of State is advised by IIAC to consider any recommendations to improve the scheme and any changes to prescription and guidance. We carefully consider each of the recommendations made by the Council, taking into account the feasibility of implementation and the estimated cost and timing of delivery. If legislative change is required, we must also draft and lay regulations in Parliament. We do not hold information on the average time taken to implement recommendations from the IIAC.

However, we are aware of two outstanding recommendations which IIAC has made. The first of which is a recommendation that guidance to medical assessors and decision makers be changed where a case exists for recognising prescribed disease D11 in a coalminer with primary lung cancer. More recently, IIAC recommended that malignant melanoma in pilots and cabin crew be added to the list of prescribed diseases for which benefit is payable. Due to considerable constraints on departmental resources, the Department has not yet been able to take these recommendations forward. My officials are aware of the outstanding recommendations and are carefully considering the recommendations made by the Council and will continue to progress them forward as soon as possible.

More details and updates from IIAC, including their recommendations to the Department of Work and Pensions can be found on the GOV.UK site: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/industrial-injuries-advisory-council

13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps her Department is taking to include coal miners in the prescription and guidance for D11 primary carcinoma of the lung where there is accompanying silicosis.

On matters relating to Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB), the Secretary of State is advised by the Industrial Injuries Advisory Council (IIAC) to consider any recommendations to improve the scheme and any changes to prescription and guidance. The Council can only recommend prescription where there is good scientific and epidemiological evidence to establish the link between the disease and the occupation.

In June 2018, the IIAC published a position paper 41 “Coal Mining, Silicosis and Lung Cancer” recommending eligibility of coal miners for PD D11 due to an inherent part of their jobs involving tunnelling.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/717040/coal-mining-silicosis-and-lung-cancer-iiac-position-paper-41.pdf

IIAC has recommended that there should be a change to the technical guidance. Due to considerable constraints on departmental resources, this has not yet been actioned, and as a result of Covid-19 other priorities have taken precedence over the last year. My officials are aware of the IIAC recommendation and will be carefully considering the recommendations made by the Council. We will take this forward as soon as possible.

3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if her Department will provide an email facility to allow support information for (a) children's disability living allowance, (b) mandatory reconsideration and (c) other benefits applications to be submitted electronically.

The Department is looking into alternative methods for submitting evidence. E-mail is one of the considerations. However, a robust solution that properly safeguards customer information is yet to be identified.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what comparative assessment her Department has made of the the level of emergency food parcels provided by food banks in the weeks of March 2020 with same period in 2019.

The Department does not keep official statistics on food bank use, so no such assessment has been completed.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what plans his Department has for an emergency food voucher referral system due to (a) the closure of referral agencies due to staff self-isolation or sickness relating to the covid-19 outbreak and (b) increased need for food banks due to the economic effects of that outbreak.

Food banks are independent charitable organisations and, as such, are best placed to decide on the most appropriate arrangements for supporting people who use them. As both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that no one should be penalised for doing the right thing. These are rapidly developing circumstances, we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

I also refer the honourable member to the response given by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in response to an oral question made on 19 March:

https://hansard.parliament.uk/Commons/2020-03-19/debates/EBB8F3D7-F9F4-4C5C-B913-86FD27851B5D/VulnerablePeopleFoodSupplies

[Additionally announcements were made at the Prime Minister’s daily briefings on 21 and 22 March in relation to food supply]

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
18th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what steps he is taking to prevent low-paid workers from being pressured to work when Government guidance suggests they should self-isolate.

As both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have made clear, the Government will do whatever it takes to support people affected by COVID 19 and we have been clear in our intention that no one should be penalised for doing the right thing. These are rapidly developing circumstances, we continue to keep the situation under review and will keep Parliament updated accordingly.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, when her Department plans to start its review of the effect of the six-month rule which prevents terminally ill people who are expected to live longer than six months from having their benefits claims fast-tracked.

The Department is taking forward as a priority its evaluation of how the benefits system supports people nearing the end of their life and those with severe conditions. We have made progress on all areas of this work and will be continuing to engage with clinicians and claimants to ensure their views are heard.

26th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many terminally people have died while waiting for a decision on their personal independence payment claim in each year since 2009.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is claimed by people with a range of health conditions and disabilities, many of which are degenerative or life limiting and the Department treats the death of any claimant sympathetically. Claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness (SRTI) are fast tracked and are currently being cleared within 6 working days.

The cause of death of claimants to PIP is not collated centrally by the Department.

Between the introduction of PIP in April 2013 and 31st October 2019, the latest date for which published data is available, 143,030 decisions were made on claims which had been registered under SRTI. Of these, 5,470 claimants died prior to a decision being made on their case.

Table: Number of claimants who registered under SRTI and died prior to a decision being made on their case.

Claimant’s year of death

Number of claimants under SRTI who died prior to decision

2013

760

2014

1,040

2015

840

2016

840

2017

680

2018

780

2019 (to October 31st)

540

Total

5,470

Notes:

  • These figures include claims made under Special Rules for Terminal Illness and include new claims and Disability Living Allowance (DLA) to PIP reassessment claims.
  • If a claimant dies before a decision is made on an outstanding claim, the Department establishes whether the claimant’s representative or next of kin wishes to proceed with the claim. If not, the claim is withdrawn.
  • It is possible for claims to transition between Normal and Special Rules during the course of the claimant journey.
  • The point of application is taken as the day the claimant registered a claim to PIP as recorded on the PIP computer system.
  • This is unpublished data from the PIP computer system’s (PIP CS) management information. It should be used with caution and may be subject to future revision.
  • Figures cover claims on which a decision has been made and recorded on the PIP CS on or prior to 31st October 2019. Claims on which a decision has not been entered are excluded.
  • Figures are rounded to the nearest 10 and cover GB only.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many and what proportion of appeals of a personal independence payment assessment were successful in 2019.

The table below provides information on the number of initial decisions following a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) assessment where the decision was overturned at a tribunal hearing.

Appeals cleared January to September 2019

Number

Overturned

28,160

Upheld

10,930

Percentage of appeals cleared at a hearing where the decision
was overturned (%)

72

These figures cover appeals cleared in January 2019 to September 2019 against initial decisions following a PIP assessment. They do not include appeals relating to decisions prior to an assessment being completed (disallowances due to failure of basic eligibility criteria or non-return of the Part 2 form within the time limit and have not been marked as requiring additional support, or disallowances following the claimant failing to attend the assessment without good reason). Nor do they include appeals against decisions made at an Award Review or Change of Circumstance.

Since PIP was introduced 3.4 million initial decisions following an assessment have been made up to June 2019, and 9% have been appealed and 5% have been overturned at a tribunal hearing.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the longest time period was from initial claim to the first payment for universal credit in 2019.

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

Measuring the longest time includes complex issues such as claims with a sanction, the process of habitual residency tests, outstanding evidence etc. which could mean a minority of claims wait longer than the average and would require analysis of multiple datasets and individual claimant records.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average time period was from initial claim to the first payment for universal credit in 2019.

Universal Credit is designed to mirror the way most people in work are paid, which is monthly. Our latest published data shows around 87% (October 2019) of new claimants are being paid in full and on time. If there are delays in making the first payment, this can be due to outstanding verification issues, such as proving bank statements or proof of rent. It can also be due to a claimant not signing their claimant commitment. For anyone waiting for their first Universal Credit payment, advances are available of the indicative monthly payment.

The latest available information on Universal Credit payment timeliness is published and can be found at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the shortest time period was from initial claim to the first payment for universal credit in 2019.

Universal Credit is designed to mirror the way most people in work are paid, which is monthly. Our latest published data shows around 87% (October 2019) of new claimants are being paid in full and on time. If there are delays in making the first payment, this can be due to outstanding verification issues, such as proving bank statements or proof of rent. It can also be due to a claimant not signing their claimant commitment. For anyone waiting for their first Universal Credit payment, advances are available of the indicative monthly payment.

The latest available information on Universal Credit payment timeliness is published and can be found at: https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/

Guidance on how to extract the information required can be found at:

https://stat-xplore.dwp.gov.uk/webapi/online-help/Getting-Started.html

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much her Department has paid to credit unions to distribute to benefits claimants in (a) Barnsley, (b) South Yorkshire, (c) Yorkshire and Humber and (d) England in each year since 2010.

Whilst some claimants choose to have benefit payments paid into Credit Union accounts, the Department does not have a contract with Credit Unions to distribute this money. DWP does not, therefore, make any payments Credit Unions to distribute money to benefit claimants.

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many benefit claimants receive their benefits from a credit union in (a) Barnsley, (b) South Yorkshire, (c) Yorkshire and Humber and (d) England.

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

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how much her Department has spent under the Eligible Loan Deduction Scheme in each year since its introduction.

Deductions can only be made where all benefit rules are satisfied, including affordability/hardship considerations. If deductions are appropriate, any recoveries are paid to the lender on a monthly basis. There are no backlogs for agreed deductions.

DWP has administered deductions of this type since 2006. However, administration costs are only available from 2015/16 onwards. These costs can be found in the table below.

Year

Administrative costs for ELDS

2015/16

£403,000

2016/17

£555,000

2017/18

£539,000

2018/19

£546,000

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the current backlog is of payments to lenders under the Eligible Loan Deduction Scheme.

Deductions can only be made where all benefit rules are satisfied, including affordability/hardship considerations. If deductions are appropriate, any recoveries are paid to the lender on a monthly basis. There are no backlogs for agreed deductions.

DWP has administered deductions of this type since 2006. However, administration costs are only available from 2015/16 onwards. These costs can be found in the table below.

Year

Administrative costs for ELDS

2015/16

£403,000

2016/17

£555,000

2017/18

£539,000

2018/19

£546,000

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
30th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the timescale is for making payments to lenders under the Eligible Loan Deduction Scheme.

Deductions can only be made where all benefit rules are satisfied, including affordability/hardship considerations. If deductions are appropriate, any recoveries are paid to the lender on a monthly basis. There are no backlogs for agreed deductions.

DWP has administered deductions of this type since 2006. However, administration costs are only available from 2015/16 onwards. These costs can be found in the table below.

Year

Administrative costs for ELDS

2015/16

£403,000

2016/17

£555,000

2017/18

£539,000

2018/19

£546,000

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how long the average wait-time is for a caller to be put through to a phone operator on the personal independence payment helpline.

The average wait time for calls to the Personal Independence Payment helplines in December 2019 is shown in the table below in the format of hours:minutes:seconds.

December 2019

Average Speed of Answer

PIP Enquiries

00:12:58

PIP Reassessment Enquiries

00:11:39

PIP New Claims

00:01:53

PIP New Claims Special Rules for Terminally Ill

00:02:47

28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people in (a) Barnsley East constituency, (b) Yorkshire and Humber and (c) England have contacted the personal independence payment helpline in the latest period for which figures are available.

The information is not available

23rd Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of women affected by changes to the state pension age, in (a) Barnsley East constituency, (b) Yorkshire and Humber and (c) the UK in each year until 2029-30.

The Labour Government 1997-2010, the Coalition 2010-2015 and the Conservative Government of 1992-1997 have taken a similar approach to raising State Pension age. As you are aware, from the 1940s until April 2010, the State Pension age was 60 for women and 65 for men. The decision to equalise the State Pension age for men and women dates back to 1995 and addresses a longstanding inequality between men and women's State Pension age. Without equalisation, women who reach the age of 60 in 2019 would be expected to spend over 40 per cent of their adult lives in receipt of State Pension, on average. Changes to the State Pension age put right a long lasting inequality which was based on an outdated rationale that women were dependent on their husband's incomes.

Further changes were recommended by the Pensions Commission in 2005 as it became clear that things were changing, for example, life expectancy was increasing and a State Pension age fixed at age 65 was not sustainable or fair between generations. It recommended that in the future State Pension age should increase in line with life expectancy and also recommended the introduction of a State Pension age timetable that reflected this.

The 2010 to 2015 Government made the decision to bring in changes to the State Pension age, following extensive debates in both Houses of Parliament. The 2011 Pensions Act accelerated the equalisation of women's State Pension age by 18 months and brought forward the increase in men and women's State Pension age to 66 by five and a half years, relative to the previous timetables.

Women born between 6 April 1950 and 5 April 1953 were affected by State Pension age equalisation under the Pensions Act 1995. The Pensions Act 2011 accelerated the equalisation of State Pension age, and included transitional arrangements limiting State Pension age delays, affecting women born between 6 April 1953 and 5 December 1953. It also brought forward the increase in State Pension age from 65 to 66 which affected women born between 6 December 1953 and 5 April 1960.

The Department for Work and Pensions only holds estimates at a Great Britain level. The latest estimates are that 4.84 million women in Great Britain are affected by the changes to the state pension age between 2010/11 and 2029/30 (rounded to the nearest 10,000). The figures are based on DWP calculations using the 2018-based ONS population projections. These estimates are the numbers reaching State Pension age, and are not necessarily the same as the number of new claims for State Pension.

A detailed breakdown of the overall 4.84 million figure is provided per tax year in the Table 1 below:

Table 1 – Number of women in Great Britain affected by SPA reforms between 2010/11 and 2029/30, Source: DWP calculations using ONS population projections, Rounded to the nearest 1,000

Tax Year

2010/11

2011/12

2012/13

2013/14

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

No of women

179,000

170,000

178,000

166,000

176,000

169,000

93,000

89,000

81,000

179,000

Tax Year

2020/21

2021/22

2022/23

2023/24

2024/25

2025/26

2026/27

2027/28

2028/29

2029/30

No of women

253,000

349,000

362,000

377,000

383,000

389,000

204,000

201,000

415,000

427,000

Information on the numbers affected by UK, constituent country, parliamentary constituency or local authority is not held by the Department for Work and Pensions. However, recent population projections for the UK can be found here:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationprojections/datasets/tablea11principalprojectionuksummary

Population by local area and higher local authorities can be found here:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationprojections/datasets/localauthoritiesinenglandtable2

Population projections by regional area can be found here:

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/populationprojections/datasets/regionsinenglandtable1

Guy Opperman
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
13th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average ambulance response times were at Barnsley Hospital in each year since 2010.

The information is not collected in the format requested. Response times are not measured at individual hospital level.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the prevalence of PTSD amongst LGBTQ+ veterans compared to non LGBTQ+ veterans.

No specific assessment has been made as this information is not collected centrally.

Following the conclusion of the independent review into the impact of the pre-2000 ban of homosexual personnel in the military, we will consider its findings and assess whether any additional tailored support is needed for the LGBTQ+ community.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to provide (a) support and (b) compensation to families who have been bereaved due to slow ambulance response times.

All National Health Service providers have a complaints process to support families who may have concerns regarding NHS services. Patients who believe that their care was negligent can bring a legal claim for compensation. Where negligence is established, the Government supports patients’ entitlement to compensation.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many calls Op COURAGE has received each month from October 2021.

The following table shows the number of referrals received by Op COURAGE in each month from October 2021 to March 2022. Data from April 2022 is not yet available.

Month of referral

Number of referrals

October 2021

490

November 2021

560

December 2021

436

January 2022

489

February 2022

505

March 2022

520

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department holds on the number of women in the armed forces who have (a) been taken to a sexual assault referral centre (SARC) and (b) have received support from a mobile SARC unit following military sexual assault or rape, in each year since 2010.

The information requested is not held centrally. From April 2022, NHS England and NHS Improvement are collecting information on whether people accessing sexual assault referral centres are veterans or currently serving in the armed forces.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the new social care data framework will identify veterans and their families accessing social care services.

We have no plans to do so. Data on an individual’s prior employment status within social care records is not routinely collected and veterans receive the same access to social care services as non-veterans.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the changes to financial assessments for social care support in England will disregard military compensation awarded for illness and injury caused by Service.

The Care and Support (Charging and Assessment of Resources) Regulations 2014 allow certain income or capital lump sum payments to be disregarded from a means test. It requires any guaranteed income payments made under the Armed Forces and Reserve Forces (Compensation Scheme) Order 2011 for injury caused by service on or after 6 April 2005 to be disregarded. This will not be affected by the forthcoming social care charging reforms.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what data his Department holds on the number of young carers from Armed Forces families.

The Health and Care Bill references the term ‘carer’ to include all groups of carers who provide care, unpaid, for a friend or family member who has needs, such as unpaid carers in the armed forces community. Guidance is being prepared for integrated care boards on the duties relating to public and carer involvement. We expect this guidance to be issued in the summer subject to the passage of the Bill.

The funding announced will assist commissioners and service providers in projects to understand the support required for those with different caring circumstances, acknowledging the wide variety in experience and need among carers. The Department does not hold statistics on young carers. However, the 2021 Census in England and Wales asked respondents whether they had previously served in the United Kingdom Armed Forces. We will consider this data as part of future policy development.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether carers from the ex-Service community will be recognised in guidance accompanying the new obligation for Integrated Care Boards to involve carers when commissioning care.

The Health and Care Bill references the term ‘carer’ to include all groups of carers who provide care, unpaid, for a friend or family member who has needs, such as unpaid carers in the armed forces community. Guidance is being prepared for integrated care boards on the duties relating to public and carer involvement. We expect this guidance to be issued in the summer subject to the passage of the Bill.

The funding announced will assist commissioners and service providers in projects to understand the support required for those with different caring circumstances, acknowledging the wide variety in experience and need among carers. The Department does not hold statistics on young carers. However, the 2021 Census in England and Wales asked respondents whether they had previously served in the United Kingdom Armed Forces. We will consider this data as part of future policy development.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Adult Social Care Reform White Paper, published in December 2021, whether the support needs of unpaid carers in the Armed Forces community will be included as part of the allocation of £25 million in funding to support unpaid carers.

The Health and Care Bill references the term ‘carer’ to include all groups of carers who provide care, unpaid, for a friend or family member who has needs, such as unpaid carers in the armed forces community. Guidance is being prepared for integrated care boards on the duties relating to public and carer involvement. We expect this guidance to be issued in the summer subject to the passage of the Bill.

The funding announced will assist commissioners and service providers in projects to understand the support required for those with different caring circumstances, acknowledging the wide variety in experience and need among carers. The Department does not hold statistics on young carers. However, the 2021 Census in England and Wales asked respondents whether they had previously served in the United Kingdom Armed Forces. We will consider this data as part of future policy development.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps with the devolved Administrations to increase veterans access to cross border medical referrals where there is (a) a clinical need or (b) long local waiting lists.

Health services across the United Kingdom are available to members of the armed forces community. The Government continues to work with the devolved administrations to ensure veterans have access to services which meet their needs.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to record how many veterans are seen by NHS commissioned services for mental health support, including (a) time to enter treatment and (b) the length of treatment offered on delivery.

Veterans may be seen in a variety of National Health Service mental health services including the bespoke veteran mental health services that Op COURAGE provides. The average time to be seen for assessment by the Transition Intervention and Liaison service, within Op COURAGE was nine days in January 2022. The length of treatment offered by the Op COURAGE service is dependent on an individual’s clinical need.

Veterans can also access Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services which record the number of ex-service members seen via NHS commissioned services for mental health support. In 2021, there were 15,782 ex-service members accessing IAPT treatment. In Quarter 3 of 2021/22, 91.4% had a first treatment appointment within six weeks and 98.5% with 18 weeks. The mean number of sessions received was 7.9. These waiting times and the number of treatment sessions are similar to all to IAPT patients.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many copies of the 1988 National Radiological Protection Report Board Report, Mortality and cancer incidence in UK participants in UK atmospheric nuclear weapon tests and experimental programmes, have been published.

The UK Health Security Agency does not hold records of the number of individual reports published.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what targets his Department has for waiting time to receive an assessment with the Veterans' Mental Health (a) Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service, (b) Complex Treatment Service and (c) High Intensity Service following first initial contact with Op Courage.

Veterans who self-refer or are referred to the Transition, Intervention and Liaison Service will be offered an initial face-to-face assessment from a care coordinator within 14 days of receipt of the referral.

Veterans referred to the Complex Treatment Service will be contracted within three working days of referral and offered an initial appointment within ten working days from receipt of the referral.

There are no set targets for referrals to the High Intensity Service as this service augments existing provisions and veterans will already be receiving support within Op COURAGE or mainstream mental health services such as the Crisis Team.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the commitment in the Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan 2022-24 to further develop the Veterans Trauma Network, what steps his Department is taking to improve that service for veterans.

NHS England is committed to further developing the Veterans Trauma Network to create and embed an integrated pathway of clinical and holistic care for veterans. NHS England is working with providers to formalise the arrangements in place with the NHS Trusts that form the Veterans Trauma Network to create stability and certainty over the coming years. We continue to use feedback from veterans who use the service to identify areas for change and improvement.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reduce waiting times for an initial appointment with Community Therapeutic Services following a referral from the Transition, Intervention and Liaison veterans' mental health service.

The ambition is that each Op COURAGE service performs the role of care coordinators for the patients that require this element of support but how services deliver this requirement is for local determination.

NHS England and NHS Improvement do not hold data of the number of care co-ordinators currently employed as part of Op COURAGE. The care co-ordination role is delivered in a variety of ways to meet the needs of veterans within the service and can be performed across more than one role rather than specific post holders.

The table below shows the average wait time for services within Op COURAGE after the first contact by a person. Data for January 2022 is not yet available.

Transition, Intervention and Liaison veterans' mental health service

Community Therapeutic Services

High Intensity Services

November 2021

10 days

12 working days

4 days

December 2021

9 days

14 working days

3 days

The Government is investing an additional £2.7 million into the Op COURAGE service which will be used to provide additional capacity within the service. This increase in capacity will assist in reducing the time veterans wait to be seen.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the average wait time was for an assessment conducted by (a) the Transition, Intervention and Liaison veterans' mental health service, (b) Community Therapeutic Services and (c) High Intensity Services following a person's first contact with Op COURAGE between November 2021 and January 2022.

The ambition is that each Op COURAGE service performs the role of care coordinators for the patients that require this element of support but how services deliver this requirement is for local determination.

NHS England and NHS Improvement do not hold data of the number of care co-ordinators currently employed as part of Op COURAGE. The care co-ordination role is delivered in a variety of ways to meet the needs of veterans within the service and can be performed across more than one role rather than specific post holders.

The table below shows the average wait time for services within Op COURAGE after the first contact by a person. Data for January 2022 is not yet available.

Transition, Intervention and Liaison veterans' mental health service

Community Therapeutic Services

High Intensity Services

November 2021

10 days

12 working days

4 days

December 2021

9 days

14 working days

3 days

The Government is investing an additional £2.7 million into the Op COURAGE service which will be used to provide additional capacity within the service. This increase in capacity will assist in reducing the time veterans wait to be seen.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many care coordinators are currently employed as part of Op COURAGE.

The ambition is that each Op COURAGE service performs the role of care coordinators for the patients that require this element of support but how services deliver this requirement is for local determination.

NHS England and NHS Improvement do not hold data of the number of care co-ordinators currently employed as part of Op COURAGE. The care co-ordination role is delivered in a variety of ways to meet the needs of veterans within the service and can be performed across more than one role rather than specific post holders.

The table below shows the average wait time for services within Op COURAGE after the first contact by a person. Data for January 2022 is not yet available.

Transition, Intervention and Liaison veterans' mental health service

Community Therapeutic Services

High Intensity Services

November 2021

10 days

12 working days

4 days

December 2021

9 days

14 working days

3 days

The Government is investing an additional £2.7 million into the Op COURAGE service which will be used to provide additional capacity within the service. This increase in capacity will assist in reducing the time veterans wait to be seen.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his Department's target is for the number of care coordinators employed as part of Op COURAGE.

The ambition is that each Op COURAGE service performs the role of care coordinators for the patients that require this element of support but how services deliver this requirement is for local determination.

NHS England and NHS Improvement do not hold data of the number of care co-ordinators currently employed as part of Op COURAGE. The care co-ordination role is delivered in a variety of ways to meet the needs of veterans within the service and can be performed across more than one role rather than specific post holders.

The table below shows the average wait time for services within Op COURAGE after the first contact by a person. Data for January 2022 is not yet available.

Transition, Intervention and Liaison veterans' mental health service

Community Therapeutic Services

High Intensity Services

November 2021

10 days

12 working days

4 days

December 2021

9 days

14 working days

3 days

The Government is investing an additional £2.7 million into the Op COURAGE service which will be used to provide additional capacity within the service. This increase in capacity will assist in reducing the time veterans wait to be seen.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the commitment in the Veterans’ Strategy Action Plan 2022-24 to improve personalised treatment by clinicians who understand the military environment and specialise in the type of physical health problems veterans may have, what steps his Department is taking to (a) employ those clinicians and (b) train existing clinicians.

The Veterans Trauma Network uses consultants with military experience who are working within the National Health Service (NHS), either as part of their military role, because they are a reservist or because they used to be a military consultant, to support veterans with service-related physical healthcare needs.

Initiatives to train clinicians to ensure they understand the military environment include the Veteran Friendly GP accreditation scheme, which looks to support general practitioners to learn more about the needs of veterans, and the Veteran Healthcare Covenant Alliance which works to ensure that accredited NHS Trusts have a clinical champion, and that staff are aware of the needs of veterans. There is also a free to access e-learning package on Health Education England’s e-learning platform.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department plans to maintain virtual wards beyond the peak of covid-19 omicron cases.

No patient should be discharged until it is safe to do so. Existing guidance states that hospitals should determine the level of support each individual needs to ensure they are placed onto the most appropriate discharge pathway.

The COVID-19 virtual ward standard operating procedure provides the entry criteria for a virtual ward and notes that clinical judgement remains paramount for all assessments, particularly for patients with higher risk factors or other complicating medical conditions. Virtual wards provide safe and convenient care for patients. However, if patients require round the clock in-person hospital care, they would not meet the entry criteria for a virtual ward. The standard operating procedure is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2021/01/C1517-covid-virtual-ward-standard-operating-procedure-v2.pdf

NHS England’s operational planning guidance sets out an ambition for the deployment of virtual wards beyond the peak of the Omicron variant. By December 2023, NHS England expect systems to have completed the development of virtual wards, towards a national ambition of 40 to 50 virtual beds per 100,000 population. The operational planning guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/B1160-2022-23-priorities-and-operational-planning-guidance-v2.pdf

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the covid-19 patients in virtual wards will be made up of those who would have otherwise (a) been fully discharged by hospitals, or (b) had round the clock in-person hospital care.

No patient should be discharged until it is safe to do so. Existing guidance states that hospitals should determine the level of support each individual needs to ensure they are placed onto the most appropriate discharge pathway.

The COVID-19 virtual ward standard operating procedure provides the entry criteria for a virtual ward and notes that clinical judgement remains paramount for all assessments, particularly for patients with higher risk factors or other complicating medical conditions. Virtual wards provide safe and convenient care for patients. However, if patients require round the clock in-person hospital care, they would not meet the entry criteria for a virtual ward. The standard operating procedure is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2021/01/C1517-covid-virtual-ward-standard-operating-procedure-v2.pdf

NHS England’s operational planning guidance sets out an ambition for the deployment of virtual wards beyond the peak of the Omicron variant. By December 2023, NHS England expect systems to have completed the development of virtual wards, towards a national ambition of 40 to 50 virtual beds per 100,000 population. The operational planning guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/B1160-2022-23-priorities-and-operational-planning-guidance-v2.pdf

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
28th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what measures are in place to ensure that covid-19 patients are not discharged to a virtual ward earlier than is safe to do so.

No patient should be discharged until it is safe to do so. Existing guidance states that hospitals should determine the level of support each individual needs to ensure they are placed onto the most appropriate discharge pathway.

The COVID-19 virtual ward standard operating procedure provides the entry criteria for a virtual ward and notes that clinical judgement remains paramount for all assessments, particularly for patients with higher risk factors or other complicating medical conditions. Virtual wards provide safe and convenient care for patients. However, if patients require round the clock in-person hospital care, they would not meet the entry criteria for a virtual ward. The standard operating procedure is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/wp-content/uploads/sites/52/2021/01/C1517-covid-virtual-ward-standard-operating-procedure-v2.pdf

NHS England’s operational planning guidance sets out an ambition for the deployment of virtual wards beyond the peak of the Omicron variant. By December 2023, NHS England expect systems to have completed the development of virtual wards, towards a national ambition of 40 to 50 virtual beds per 100,000 population. The operational planning guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/B1160-2022-23-priorities-and-operational-planning-guidance-v2.pdf

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of general practice appointments took place in person in (a) October 2019, (b) November 2019 and (c) December 2019.

The following table shows the proportion of face-to-face general practice appointments in the months requested, excluding COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Data for December 2021 is not yet available.

October 2019

November 2019

December 2019

October 2021

November 2021

81%

80.3%

79.5%

64.4%

62.7%

Note:

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place.

Information on the number of vaccinations appointments on each working day is not held. However, the following table shows an estimate of the average appointments per working day for the months requested, excluding COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Data for December 2021 is not yet available.

October 2019

November 2019

December 2019

October 2021

November 2021

1,340,000

1,307,143

1,209,000

1,447,619

1,385,909

Source: NHS Digital https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/appointments-in-general-practice

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what proportion of general practice appointments took place in person, excluding covid-19 vaccination appointments, in (a) October 2021 (b) November 2021 and (c) December 2021.

The following table shows the proportion of face-to-face general practice appointments in the months requested, excluding COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Data for December 2021 is not yet available.

October 2019

November 2019

December 2019

October 2021

November 2021

81%

80.3%

79.5%

64.4%

62.7%

Note:

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place.

Information on the number of vaccinations appointments on each working day is not held. However, the following table shows an estimate of the average appointments per working day for the months requested, excluding COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Data for December 2021 is not yet available.

October 2019

November 2019

December 2019

October 2021

November 2021

1,340,000

1,307,143

1,209,000

1,447,619

1,385,909

Source: NHS Digital https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/appointments-in-general-practice

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of general practice appointments that took place on each working day in (a) October, (b) November and (c) December 2019.

The following table shows the proportion of face-to-face general practice appointments in the months requested, excluding COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Data for December 2021 is not yet available.

October 2019

November 2019

December 2019

October 2021

November 2021

81%

80.3%

79.5%

64.4%

62.7%

Note:

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place.

Information on the number of vaccinations appointments on each working day is not held. However, the following table shows an estimate of the average appointments per working day for the months requested, excluding COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Data for December 2021 is not yet available.

October 2019

November 2019

December 2019

October 2021

November 2021

1,340,000

1,307,143

1,209,000

1,447,619

1,385,909

Source: NHS Digital https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/appointments-in-general-practice

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
10th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of general practice appointments, excluding covid-19 vaccination appointments, that took place on each working day in (a) October, (b) November and (c) December 2021.

The following table shows the proportion of face-to-face general practice appointments in the months requested, excluding COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Data for December 2021 is not yet available.

October 2019

November 2019

December 2019

October 2021

November 2021

81%

80.3%

79.5%

64.4%

62.7%

Note:

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place.

Information on the number of vaccinations appointments on each working day is not held. However, the following table shows an estimate of the average appointments per working day for the months requested, excluding COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Data for December 2021 is not yet available.

October 2019

November 2019

December 2019

October 2021

November 2021

1,340,000

1,307,143

1,209,000

1,447,619

1,385,909

Source: NHS Digital https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/appointments-in-general-practice

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his Department's timescale is for clarification the eligibility of the clinically vulnerable and immunosuppressed for covid-19 booster vaccinations.

On 29 November, the Government accepted advice from the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to expand the COVID-19 vaccine booster programme to include all adults over the age of 18 years old. This included advice that severely immunosuppressed individuals who have completed their primary course of three doses should be offered a booster vaccination, with a minimum of three months between these doses. Those who have not yet received their third dose may be given the third dose immediately.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether additional support is available for people in receipt of statutory sick pay who cannot afford to self-isolate.

Those in receipt of statutory sick pay may also qualify for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment (TTSP). This payment is for people on low incomes who have to self-isolate because they have tested positive for COVID-19; or if they are a close contact of a positive case but are not themselves exempt from self-isolation. Further details of the scheme are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/test-and-trace-support-payment-scheme-claiming-financial-support.

Local authorities can make discretionary payments under the TTSP scheme to individuals who are not on means-tested benefits but who will face hardship as a result of self-isolating.

Help with everyday tasks from a National Health Service volunteer responder, such as collecting shopping, medicines or prescriptions, can be requested by calling 0808 196 3646.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of introducing voluntary formal registration for stillbirths that occur before 24 weeks gestation.

In February 2018, the Department announced a new Pregnancy Loss Review to consider questions on registering/certifying pregnancy loss that occurs before 24 weeks gestation and the quality of National Health Service care for women experiencing such losses.

The Pregnancy Loss Review has successfully engaged with a range of stakeholders, including baby loss charities, parents with lived experience of pregnancy loss, registrars and clinicians.

Work on the Pregnancy Loss Review was paused in 2020 owning to the response to the COVID-19 emergency. Work has now resumed, progress has been made and we aim to publish the Review findings in due course.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that all workers can afford to self-isolate in the event that they are required to do as a result of the transmission of the Omicron covid-19 variant.

A range of measures are in place to support those who have to self-isolate:

  • The Test and Trace Support Payment, which provides a payment of £500 to eligible individuals,
  • Statutory Sick Pay is available from the first day of self-isolation and eligible individuals are entitled to £96.35 per week,
  • Help with everyday tasks from a National Health Service volunteer responder, such as collecting shopping, medicines or prescriptions, can be requested by calling 0808 196 3646.
Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many veterans received support from Op Courage between (a) April-July and (b) August-November 2021.

Op COURAGE is the collective term for three NHS England services: Transition, Intervention and Liaison Services; Complex Treatment Service; and High Intensity Service. NHS England do not hold data on waiting times for veterans across the three services which form Op COURAGE. There may be some duplication in the data collected on veterans accessing each service, depending on the needs of the individual.

The following table shows waiting times for assessment in Transition, Intervention and Liaison Services and Complex Treatment Service from April to October 2021/22. Data for November is not yet available.

Average waiting time in days

Transition, Intervention and Liaison Services

Complex Treatment Service

Offered assessment

14

14

Attended assessment

16

16

The average waiting time for the High Intensity Service from referral to first contact in 2021/22 is four days.

The following table shows the number of veterans who were referred to or contacted Op Courage for support in April to July and August to October 2021.

Period of referral

Transition, Intervention and Liaison Services

Complex Treatment Service

High Intensity Service

Total

April to July

1,528

179

217

1,924

August to October

1,212

119

216

1,547

The following table shows the number of veterans who received support from Op Courage between April to July and August to October 2021.

Month of attendance

Transition, Intervention and Liaison Services

Complex Treatment Service

High Intensity Service

April to July

187

138

184

August to October

142

107

178

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many veterans were (a) referred to or (b) contacted Op Courage for support in (ii) April-July and (ii) August-November 2021.

Op COURAGE is the collective term for three NHS England services: Transition, Intervention and Liaison Services; Complex Treatment Service; and High Intensity Service. NHS England do not hold data on waiting times for veterans across the three services which form Op COURAGE. There may be some duplication in the data collected on veterans accessing each service, depending on the needs of the individual.

The following table shows waiting times for assessment in Transition, Intervention and Liaison Services and Complex Treatment Service from April to October 2021/22. Data for November is not yet available.

Average waiting time in days

Transition, Intervention and Liaison Services

Complex Treatment Service

Offered assessment

14

14

Attended assessment

16

16

The average waiting time for the High Intensity Service from referral to first contact in 2021/22 is four days.

The following table shows the number of veterans who were referred to or contacted Op Courage for support in April to July and August to October 2021.

Period of referral

Transition, Intervention and Liaison Services

Complex Treatment Service

High Intensity Service

Total

April to July

1,528

179

217

1,924

August to October

1,212

119

216

1,547

The following table shows the number of veterans who received support from Op Courage between April to July and August to October 2021.

Month of attendance

Transition, Intervention and Liaison Services

Complex Treatment Service

High Intensity Service

April to July

187

138

184

August to October

142

107

178

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the average amount of time it takes between an individual making initial contact with Op Courage to that individual attending an assessment appointment.

Op COURAGE is the collective term for three NHS England services: Transition, Intervention and Liaison Services; Complex Treatment Service; and High Intensity Service. NHS England do not hold data on waiting times for veterans across the three services which form Op COURAGE. There may be some duplication in the data collected on veterans accessing each service, depending on the needs of the individual.

The following table shows waiting times for assessment in Transition, Intervention and Liaison Services and Complex Treatment Service from April to October 2021/22. Data for November is not yet available.

Average waiting time in days

Transition, Intervention and Liaison Services

Complex Treatment Service

Offered assessment

14

14

Attended assessment

16

16

The average waiting time for the High Intensity Service from referral to first contact in 2021/22 is four days.

The following table shows the number of veterans who were referred to or contacted Op Courage for support in April to July and August to October 2021.

Period of referral

Transition, Intervention and Liaison Services

Complex Treatment Service

High Intensity Service

Total

April to July

1,528

179

217

1,924

August to October

1,212

119

216

1,547

The following table shows the number of veterans who received support from Op Courage between April to July and August to October 2021.

Month of attendance

Transition, Intervention and Liaison Services

Complex Treatment Service

High Intensity Service

April to July

187

138

184

August to October

142

107

178

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of GP surgeries requiring patients to phone up to book a GP appointment on waiting times for all GP appointments.

Data on waiting times for general practitioner (GP) appointments is not held centrally therefore no such assessment has been made.

Patients can book GP appointments by visiting the surgery’s website, using the NHS App and calling the practice directly. Accessing general practice services has changed during the pandemic, with practices offering triage and remote consultations alongside face-to face appointments, in order to see as many patients as possible while protecting staff and patients from infection risks.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment he has made of the availability of in-person GP appointments before the covid-19 outbreak and after the covid-19 lockdown restrictions have been eased.

Face to face appointments remained available throughout the pandemic and NHS England and NHS Improvement have been clear that practices must provide both in person and remote consultations.

Excluding COVID-19 vaccinations appointments, there were 1.30 million average appointments per working day in September 2021 compared to 1.26 million in September 2019, an increase of 3.5%. In September 2021, 60.8% of all appointments were face-to-face compared to 80.5% in September 2019. However, this was a 3.1% increase on August 2021 and the highest proportion of face-to-face appointments since March 2020.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what comparative assessment he has made of the number of patients seeking private primary care as a result of NHS GP and referral waiting times in the periods (a) following the lifting of covid-19 lockdown restrictions and (b) before the covid-19 outbreak.

The data requested is not collected centrally, therefore no assessment has been made.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure in-person appointments are available in all GP surgeries.

On 14 October, we set out measures in ‘Our plan for improving access for patients and supporting general practice’ to support general practice over the winter period and in the longer term. This included an additional investment of £250 million in a Winter Access Fund to improve the availability of general practitioner (GP) practices and increase the number of face-to-face appointments, while also investing in technology to make it easier for patients to see or speak to their GP. We expect patients to experience the same high quality of care regardless of how they access their GP surgery.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that GP surgeries can meet the demand for their services during the covid-19 outbreak.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for York Central (Rachael Maskell MP) on 9 November 2021 to Question 69132.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps his Department has taken to stop the appearance of incorrect or phantom notifications from the NHS covid-19 app.

The version 3.9 update to the COVID-19 app deployed on 29 October 2020 removed the exposure notifications generated automatically from the Apple and Google Application Programming Interface. Users needed to update their app to version 3.9 for this to take effect. For those who have not yet done this the app will continue to send a follow up message to confirm when no action needs to be taken.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the number of people waiting of breast cancer screenings in (a) Barnsley, (b) South Yorkshire, and (c) England.

Local National Health Service breast screening services are working to ensure that all eligible women are invited for screening as quickly as possible. The number of women waiting for an invitation for breast screening has reduced by over 400,000 nationally since June 2020. Since that time, further women have become due for invitation and there are currently 896,240 women awaiting a screening invitation nationally.

Within South Yorkshire there are 30,852 women awaiting a screening invitation, of which 9,731 are in Barnsley.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have been instructed to isolate through track and trace to date.

Since NHS Test and Trace was launched on 28 May, in total, as of 14 October, 1,133,094 people have been reached by the service and instructed to self-isolate. This figure includes both those testing positive and their contacts.

Weekly statistics for NHS Test and Trace can be found on GOV.UK at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/nhs-test-and-trace-statistics-england-weekly-reports

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the (a) average stay, (b) maximum recorded stay and (c) average intensive care unit stay is for patients admitted to hospital after testing positive for covid-19.

This data is not available.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
25th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of the number of people waiting for cancer screening tests following delays as a result of the covid-19 lockdown.

We have interpreted the hon. Member’s question to refer to people awaiting tests after an initial screen, as opposed to the number of people waiting for screening invitations. This data is unavailable.

Although some appointments for cancer screening have been rescheduled during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect vulnerable patients, NHS England and NHS Improvement have taken a robust approach to ensuring that people at highest risk are seen as a matter of priority. Week by week, we have seen the number of people in these screening pathways reducing. At the same time, there is a continued focus on sending out invites for routine screening that were previously delayed.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of profiteering on the supply of personal protective equipment during the covid-19 outbreak.

The United Kingdom is paying the market rate for medical supplies and working with partners to ensure a fair international market for access to COVID-19 medical equipment.

Personal protective equipment prices can be affected by a range of factors, such as market conditions and air freight costs, but we are taking a number of steps to reduce inflated prices and we expect each wholesaler to apply their normal margins and levels of profit for these types of products.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to tackle profiteering on the supply of personal protective equipment during the covid-19 outbreak.

The United Kingdom is paying the market rate for medical supplies and working with partners to ensure a fair international market for access to COVID-19 medical equipment.

Personal protective equipment prices can be affected by a range of factors, such as market conditions and air freight costs, but we are taking a number of steps to reduce inflated prices and we expect each wholesaler to apply their normal margins and levels of profit for these types of products.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what criteria a person needs to meet in order to book a covid-19 test.

We have now made testing available to all symptomatic people across the whole of the United Kingdom. Most common symptoms include a new continuous cough, high temperature and a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste. Anyone who suffers from these symptoms is eligible for a test.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what support his Department is offering to people without access to the internet to book covid-19 tests.

Tests can be booked by calling 119 in England and Wales or 0300 303 2713 in Scotland and Northern Ireland from any telephone.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
3rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether an email address is a pre-requisite for booking a covid-19 test.

Tests can be booked by calling 119 in England and Wales or 0300 303 2713 in Scotland and Northern Ireland from any telephone.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that industrial chest disease is examined as a potential cause of death in the event that a retired miner dies of suspected covid-19.

In response to the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 in relation to death certification, the General Register Office/Home Office and the Office for National Statistics published revised guidance to medical practitioners completing medical certificates cause of death (MCCD) for a period of emergency. Medical practitioners are expected to state the cause of death to the best of their knowledge and belief. This guidance confirms that COVID-19 is an acceptable direct or underlying cause of death for the purposes of completing the MCCD. The notification of death regulations 2019, 3(1)(ix) includes the requirement of notification to the coroner if the registered medical practitioner suspects that that the person’s death was due to an injury or disease attributable to any employment held by the person during the person’s lifetime.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of relaxing legislation on the completion of death certificates on the number of referrals of potential cases of death by industrial disease to coroners.

In response to the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 in relation to death certification, the General Register Office/Home Office and the Office for National Statistics published revised guidance to medical practitioners completing medical certificates cause of death (MCCD) for a period of emergency. Medical practitioners are expected to state the cause of death to the best of their knowledge and belief. This guidance confirms that COVID-19 is an acceptable direct or underlying cause of death for the purposes of completing the MCCD. The notification of death regulations 2019, 3(1)(ix) includes the requirement of notification to the coroner if the registered medical practitioner suspects that that the person’s death was due to an injury or disease attributable to any employment held by the person during the person’s lifetime.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
6th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that guidance on the completion of death certificates advises medical practitioners to take into account (a) the former occupation of deceased patients with suspected covid-19 and (b) that those patients may have suffered from industrial disease.

In response to the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 in relation to death certification, the General Register Office/Home Office and the Office for National Statistics published revised guidance to medical practitioners completing medical certificates cause of death (MCCD) for a period of emergency. Medical practitioners are expected to state the cause of death to the best of their knowledge and belief. This guidance confirms that COVID-19 is an acceptable direct or underlying cause of death for the purposes of completing the MCCD. The notification of death regulations 2019, 3(1)(ix) includes the requirement of notification to the coroner if the registered medical practitioner suspects that that the person’s death was due to an injury or disease attributable to any employment held by the person during the person’s lifetime.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what guidance his Department has issued to NHS trusts on recording covid-19 on death certificates.

In response to the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 in relation to death certification, the General Register Office and the Office for National Statistics published revised guidance to medical practitioners completing medical certificates cause of death (MCCD) for a period of emergency. Medical practitioners are expected to state the cause of death to the best of their knowledge and belief. This guidance confirms that COVID-19 is an acceptable direct or underlying cause of death for the purposes of completing the MCCD. In the emergency period the MCCD is electronically transferred to the registration office for the registrar to review and approve the MCCD, for the purpose of registering the death, and issue the death certificate to the next of kin/informant.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to ensure that covid-19 is recorded on the death certificates of people that died as a result of that disease.

In response to the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 in relation to death certification, the General Register Office and the Office for National Statistics published revised guidance to medical practitioners completing medical certificates cause of death (MCCD) for a period of emergency. Medical practitioners are expected to state the cause of death to the best of their knowledge and belief. This guidance confirms that COVID-19 is an acceptable direct or underlying cause of death for the purposes of completing the MCCD. In the emergency period the MCCD is electronically transferred to the registration office for the registrar to review and approve the MCCD, for the purpose of registering the death, and issue the death certificate to the next of kin/informant.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to undertake a review of death certificates issued during the covid-19 outbreak to ensure the virus is correctly identified as a cause of death in cases where covid-19 was suspected as (a) a direct and (b) an underlying cause.

In response to the provisions in the Coronavirus Act 2020 in relation to death certification, the General Register Office and the Office for National Statistics published revised guidance to medical practitioners completing medical certificates cause of death (MCCD) for a period of emergency. Medical practitioners are expected to state the cause of death to the best of their knowledge and belief. This guidance confirms that COVID-19 is an acceptable direct or underlying cause of death for the purposes of completing the MCCD. In the emergency period the MCCD is electronically transferred to the registration office for the registrar to review and approve the MCCD, for the purpose of registering the death, and issue the death certificate to the next of kin/informant.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on cancer (a) treatment and (b) care.

The situation is being closely monitored by the Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement.

The National Health Service is adapting how it runs its cancer services to ensure the safety of both patients and staff – this includes establishing dedicated cancer hubs for urgent treatment and diagnosis.

Essential and urgent cancer treatments are continuing. Cancer specialists are discussing with their patients the potential risks to them, either through undergoing or to delay treatment at this time.

Medical staff will always have the safety of patients at the centre of any decisions they make.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to decreasing emergency attendances since lockdown measures were introduced in response to the covid-10 outbreak, what steps his Department is taking to encourage seriously ill people to go to hospital.

In line with Government advice, people have been advised that they should not leave their home during the COVID-19 outbreak unless it is essential to do so. This is central to our strategy which is to ensure that the National Health Service is not overwhelmed but also able to operate sustainably. Nevertheless, we have been clear from the outset that patient safety remains our priority and have ensured that urgent services, such as cancer operations, are protected. The Prime Minister has encouraged all patients needing urgent and emergency services to continue to come to hospital and receive treatment – and not to delay which might make someone’s condition worse. Clear and consistent processes have also been agreed between local partners to ensure the safe handling of emergency and urgent referrals from primary care. We are taking every step necessary to bolster the NHS’s resilience and capacity so it can provide the best possible care for those who need it.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps have been taken to mobilise UK manufacturing to supply personal protective equipment to frontline workers dealing with the covid-19 response.

The Department are working closely with industry, the National Health Service, social care providers and the army to ensure that personal protective equipment (PPE) are delivered to staff. Industry has reported constraints on supply of new stocks of PPE due to increase in global demand and the impact of COVID-19 in China, one of the largest global manufacturers of PPE. The Department is working to manage demand and secure additional stocks to further enhance our preparedness. The Department have asked manufacturers to increase existing capacity. On Friday 20 March, industry were asked to switch manufacturing capability to produce high priority PPE items.

Latest guidance on PPE can be found on the NHS website at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/publication/guidance-supply-use-of-ppe/

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to address variations in NHS trusts' ability to test for covid-19.

The Government is working closely with NHS England and NHS Improvement and Public Health England to expand testing capability.

We are working to ensure all National Health Service trusts have the ability and capacity to respond to demand.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps his Department has taken to relieve pressure on mental health services as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Mental health providers are looking at how they can maximise the use of digital and virtual channels to keep delivering support and manage the impact of self-isolation on staff and patients. For example, where it is not possible to carry out home visits (e.g. because a patient may be self-isolating due to symptoms of COVID-19), care contacts may need to take place on the phone or through video consultation.

NHSX guidance has been published to support their use. As well as tools such as Skype, WhatsApp and Facetime, there are also products designed specifically for health and mental health.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to tackle the increase in covid-19 cases in Yorkshire.

The Government is responding to the outbreak of COVID-19 as a national issue and is actively implementing support plans across the nation.

More information can be found at the following link:

www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of increasing funding for mass testing for covid-19.

On 4 April 2020, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care advised that the Government will be adopting a testing strategy based on five pillars.

This new national effort for testing will ensure everyone who needs testing will get it.

Testing has already reached the Government’s ambition of 10,000 tests per day by the end of March as committed and have set a new challenge of 100,000 tests per day, by the end of April using this new tiered approach.

More information can be found at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/878121/coronavirus-covid-19-testing-strategy.pdf

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of (a) low paid and (b) insecure work on life expectancy.

Health is good for work and work is good for health. We have taken a range of actions to help families keep more of what they earn including the recent announcement that on 1 April we will increase the National Living Wage for over 25s by 6.2% to £8.72. The Department for Work and Pensions is building a clearer picture of how people in low pay progress in work and what we can do to support them, so that everyone, at whatever life stage, can improve their employment outcomes.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of levels of child poverty on life expectancy.

The circumstances we are born in to and the conditions in which we live all have a major bearing on our health and wellbeing. The Government is committed to a sustainable long-term solution to child poverty in all areas of the United Kingdom, including reforming the benefits system so that it supports employment and higher pay. The approach we are taking goes beyond focus on income alone, so that we address the root causes of poverty and improve long-term outcomes from families and children, with a focus on parental employment and children’s educational attainment – the two areas that can make the biggest difference.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate his Department has made of the funding required to respond effectively to an outbreak of Covid-19.

The Department is following Government plans to contain, delay, research and mitigate against COVID-19. Whilst in the current ‘contain’ phase all costs are being managed within existing health funding allocations. The Department has made £40 million available to fund COVID-19 related research and speed up the development of a vaccine.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of cancelling NHS workers' leave to deal with a potential Covid-19 outbreak.

The Government published its action plan on 3 March.

As part of its phased response, the Government will ensure that the health and social care system is prepared to respond to all eventualities, at all phases of a potential future pandemic, the National Health Service, Health and Social Care Northern Ireland and local authorities have plans in place to ensure people receive the essential care and support services they need - and sometimes this might mean that other services are reduced temporarily. Plans are flexible to respond to different types of pandemics - ranging from a mild pandemic with a low impact on services, for example, the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, through to a severe prolonged pandemic as experienced in 1918 ‘Spanish Flu’.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to tackle regional disparities in early diagnosis rates for pancreatic cancer.

Cancer Alliances are working with local sustainability and transformation partnerships and integrated care systems to improve care and reduce variation across whole patient pathways.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of trends in the number of surgical procedures for people with pancreatic cancer in (a) South Yorkshire, Bassetlaw, North Derbyshire and Hardwick Cancer Alliance and (b) England.

This information is not available as requested, and so no assessment has been made.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that people with pancreatic cancer can receive surgery.

Increasing access to treatment by reducing variation and introducing new treatments as they become available will improve survival and are key ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of trends in the rates of (a) one-month, (b) one-year and (c) five-year survival of pancreatic cancer in the last three decades; and if he will make a statement.

The information is not held in the format requested.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve (a) one-month, (b) one-year and (c) five-year survival rates for people with pancreatic cancer.

Diagnosing pancreatic cancer at an earlier stage will contribute to improved survival rates. Increasing the number of cancers that are diagnosed earlier is a top priority for the National Health Service. The NHS Long Term Plan sets an ambition to diagnose 75% of cancers at stage 1 or 2 by 2028, up from the current rate of around 50%. In delivering this, NHS England and NHS Improvement aim to see 55,000 more people a year surviving cancer for five years by 2028.

Actions to improve early diagnosis include setting up Rapid Diagnostic Centres and committing up to £100 million to roll out innovative approaches and technologies, helping diagnose more cancers at an earlier stage.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will undertake a review of the provision of local health services for veterans throughout the UK.

In England, individual local authorities are responsible for completing local health needs assessments. Guidance has been provided that explains how local authorities should consider veterans, this includes delivering on the armed forces covenant.

The Department, NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will consider options for updating this guidance.

In addition, the NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned central needs assessments on veteran mental health services, musculoskeletal rehabilitation services, prosthetics and veterans’ mental health needs in the criminal justice system. There is also a planned national engagement on veteran families’ health needs to start in March 2020.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of adequacy of the provision of health services for veterans in each local authority in the UK.

In England, individual local authorities are responsible for completing local health needs assessments. Guidance has been provided that explains how local authorities should consider veterans, this includes delivering on the armed forces covenant.

The Department, NHS England and NHS Improvement and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will consider options for updating this guidance.

In addition, the NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned central needs assessments on veteran mental health services, musculoskeletal rehabilitation services, prosthetics and veterans’ mental health needs in the criminal justice system. There is also a planned national engagement on veteran families’ health needs to start in March 2020.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to tackle inequalities in research funding allocated to different forms of cancer.

As with other Government funders of health research, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) does not allocate funding for specific disease areas. The level of research spend in a particular area, is driven by factors including scientific potential and the number and scale of successful funding applications.

The NIHR’s cancer research expenditure has risen from £101 million in 2010/11 to £132 million in 2018/19. This constitutes the largest investment in a disease area.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will take steps to increase public awareness of the symptoms of (a) pancreatic and (b) other less survivable cancers.

Public Health England (PHE) has run several ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ (BCOC) campaigns to help improve early detection of cancer. These campaigns can be viewed at the following link:

https://www.nhs.uk/be-clear-on-cancer/

Several factors are considered when deciding which campaigns to develop and run, with one of the main criteria being the scope to save lives through earlier diagnosis. This can only be effective through broad awareness campaigns if the cancer has a high enough incidence to be able to impact upon through marketing campaigns, as well as a clear early sign or symptom that the public can act upon should it arise.

In 2017, PHE also ran a pilot campaign in the East and West Midlands which focussed on a range of abdominal symptoms, such as diarrhoea, bloating and discomfort that can be indicative of several cancers, including pancreatic cancer. Further information on the pilot is available at the following link:

https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/16-be-clear-on-cancer/Abdominal%20Symptoms%20Regional%20Pilot

PHE is currently undertaking new data analysis and research to determine the future direction of BCOC activity.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has made an assessment of the adequacy of the UK's vaccine (a) development and (b) production to respond effectively to emerging diseases.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) continually reviews the United Kingdom’s current vaccination programmes and carries out horizon-scanning of vaccines in development over the next 3-5 years. This ensures JCVI advice to the Government includes the best available vaccines to deal with current and emerging diseases.

To deal with rapidly emerging threats, the Department’s Global Health Security Programme also provides core funding to the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). For instance, regarding the current spread of novel coronavirus, CEPI are supporting three programmes developing vaccines against this disease.

Furthermore, our first dedicated Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre was announced in December 2018 and has been awarded £66 million by the UK Government. It will act as a focal point for the establishment of a modern Vaccines Manufacturing Industry in the UK and is expected to be operational in 2022.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the outbreak of Coronavirus in the People’s Republic of China, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of disease screening arrangements at UK airports.

We have been closely monitoring the situation in Wuhan and China more widely. We have put in place proportionate, precautionary measures. Our approach has at all times been guided by the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty. Professor Whitty, Public Health England, aided by independent experts, are in close contact with their international counterparts, and are continually monitoring the scientific evidence as it emerges.

These measures do not include the introduction of ‘medical screening’, such as temperature screening. Expert advice suggests that medical screening would be of very limited effectiveness and detect only a small minority of cases as symptomatic. This is because symptoms do not usually appear until five to seven days, and sometimes up to 14 days, after infection, meaning that only a very small proportion of people would be likely to present symptoms during a flight or immediate arrival to the United Kingdom and therefore be picked up by temperature screening.

Travellers who have arrived from Wuhan within the last 14 days are asked to stay indoors and self-isolate and contact NHS111 for further information – irrespective of whether they show signs of infection – while people in Northern Ireland should phone their general practitioners. Nobody who has returned from the area should leave home until they have received clinical advice that it is safe to do so.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions officials in his Department have had with their counterparts in the Home Department on the (a) identification and (b) segregation of people entering the UK who are at risk of carrying the Coronavirus.

We have been closely monitoring the situation in Wuhan and China more widely. We have put in place proportionate, precautionary measures. Our approach has at all times been guided by the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty. Professor Whitty, Public Health England, aided by independent experts, are in close contact with their international counterparts, and are continually monitoring the scientific evidence as it emerges.

These measures do not include the introduction of ‘medical screening’, such as temperature screening. Expert advice suggests that medical screening would be of very limited effectiveness and detect only a small minority of cases as symptomatic. This is because symptoms do not usually appear until five to seven days, and sometimes up to 14 days, after infection, meaning that only a very small proportion of people would be likely to present symptoms during a flight or immediate arrival to the United Kingdom and therefore be picked up by temperature screening.

Travellers who have arrived from Wuhan within the last 14 days are asked to stay indoors and self-isolate and contact NHS111 for further information – irrespective of whether they show signs of infection – while people in Northern Ireland should phone their general practitioners. Nobody who has returned from the area should leave home until they have received clinical advice that it is safe to do so.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps the (a) Government and (b) pharmaceutical industry is taking to develop a vaccine for the coronavirus.

We have been closely monitoring the situation in Wuhan and China more widely. Our approach has been guided by the advice of the Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty. We have put in place proportionate, precautionary measures to protect the United Kingdom and it will continue to take action in line with the level of threat. Funding is in place to support this.

Professor Chris Whitty and Public Health England, aided by independent experts, are in close contact with their international counterparts and are continually monitoring the scientific evidence as it emerges. This has been done in close collaboration with our health sector partners in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland during our daily national incident management call. Professor Chris Whitty is also working closely with his counterparts in the devolved administrations.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to screen for the coronavirus at UK airports and international rail terminals during the period of high migration resulting from the Chinese lunar year festivities.

We have been closely monitoring the situation in Wuhan and China more widely. Our approach has been guided by the advice of the Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty. We have put in place proportionate, precautionary measures to protect the United Kingdom and it will continue to take action in line with the level of threat. Funding is in place to support this.

Professor Chris Whitty and Public Health England, aided by independent experts, are in close contact with their international counterparts and are continually monitoring the scientific evidence as it emerges. This has been done in close collaboration with our health sector partners in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland during our daily national incident management call. Professor Chris Whitty is also working closely with his counterparts in the devolved administrations.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government has established a contingency fund to tackle the potential effects of the Wuhan coronavirus.

We have been closely monitoring the situation in Wuhan and China more widely. Our approach has been guided by the advice of the Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty. We have put in place proportionate, precautionary measures to protect the United Kingdom and it will continue to take action in line with the level of threat. Funding is in place to support this.

Professor Chris Whitty and Public Health England, aided by independent experts, are in close contact with their international counterparts and are continually monitoring the scientific evidence as it emerges. This has been done in close collaboration with our health sector partners in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland during our daily national incident management call. Professor Chris Whitty is also working closely with his counterparts in the devolved administrations.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions he has had with his counterparts in the devolved Administrations on additional measures to respond to an outbreak of coronavirus in the UK.

We have been closely monitoring the situation in Wuhan and China more widely. Our approach has been guided by the advice of the Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty. We have put in place proportionate, precautionary measures to protect the United Kingdom and it will continue to take action in line with the level of threat. Funding is in place to support this.

Professor Chris Whitty and Public Health England, aided by independent experts, are in close contact with their international counterparts and are continually monitoring the scientific evidence as it emerges. This has been done in close collaboration with our health sector partners in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland during our daily national incident management call. Professor Chris Whitty is also working closely with his counterparts in the devolved administrations.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department has taken with local authorities to develop contingency planning for monitoring people (a) infected with and (b) at risk of contracting the coronavirus.

We have been closely monitoring the situation in Wuhan and China more widely. Our approach has been guided by the advice of the Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty. We have put in place proportionate, precautionary measures to protect the United Kingdom and it will continue to take action in line with the level of threat. Funding is in place to support this.

Professor Chris Whitty and Public Health England, aided by independent experts, are in close contact with their international counterparts and are continually monitoring the scientific evidence as it emerges. This has been done in close collaboration with our health sector partners in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland during our daily national incident management call. Professor Chris Whitty is also working closely with his counterparts in the devolved administrations.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to help UK citizens stranded overseas as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Following the change to date for answer of this PQ, I submitted a response by email on 26 March, with the following response.The Table Office have agreed this approach.

We are working closely with local authorities, commercial airlines and other diplomatic missions to enable British people to get home. Our consular team is working around the clock to provide support, advice and information. The situation is fast moving, and our advice at this time is for British nationals to secure safe accommodation and to speak to their tour operator, airline and insurance company to discuss the options available to them. Consular teams are continuing to support British people who are experiencing disruption. We are working intensively with the Governments of those countries that have closed their borders to people travelling to and from the UK, to enable airlines to bring back British people to the UK, if that is what they want. British people abroad should keep up to date with our travel advice for the country/territory they are in. We have published advice for British nationals who do not have immediate departure options available to them: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus#if-youre-abroad-and-you-want-to-return-to-the-uk.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
23rd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what support his Department is providing to UK citizens who cannot get in touch with the airline that has cancelled their flight back to the UK.

Following the change to date for answer of this PQ, I submitted a response by email on 26 March, with the following response.The Table Office have agreed this approach.

Consular staff at local embassies are working around the clock to provide support, advice and information. The British Government is working with airlines to keep routes open and is calling for international action to keep air routes open for a sufficient period of time to enable international travellers to return on commercial flights. British people abroad should keep up to date with our travel advice for the country/territory they are in. We have published advice for British nationals who do not have immediate departure options available to them: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus#if-youre-abroad-and-you-want-to-return-to-the-uk

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if the Government will provide financial support to the (a) hospitality and (b) culture sectors as levels of covid-19 infection rise.

On 21st December, the government announced £1 billion of new grant support to protect jobs and businesses in England from the adverse economic impacts of the Omicron variant. This includes targeted support for the hospitality, leisure and cultural sectors in the form of:

  • New one-off cash grants of up to £6,000 to support eligible businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors, totalling nearly £700 million.
  • Over £100 million of new discretionary funding has been provided to local authorities to support businesses in other sectors, including in the supply chain for the hospitality sector, that are not eligible for these new grants, supplementing around £250 million of unallocated discretionary grant funding already held by local authorities.
  • £30 million through the Culture Recovery Fund, to support theatres, museums and other vital cultural institutions through the temporary disruption this winter. This figure will build on nearly £240 million of Culture Recovery Fund grant support already allocated this financial year or currently available for organisations in England to bid for online until the end of January.

The government has also announced that the devolved administrations will receive £860 million of up-front funding, to help them continue their response to Omicron. As the new cash grants are England-only, Barnett consequentials will lead to a total of around £150 million for the devolved administrations: £80 million for Scotland, £50 million for Wales, and £25 million for Northern Ireland.

The government also announced that it is reintroducing the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to help small and medium-sized employers cover the cost of Covid-related sick absences, covering up to two weeks per employee. This applies UK-wide.

HMRC also stand ready to support any business affected by the coronavirus pandemic through its Time to Pay arrangement. As part of this, businesses in the hospitality and leisure sectors in particular will be offered the option of a short delay, and payment in instalments, on a case by case basis.

The government is also waiving late filing and late payment penalties for Income Tax Self-Assessment taxpayers, including those in the hospitality and cultural sectors, to support cashflow and ease administrative burdens. Taxpayers will not receive a late filing penalty if they file online by 28 February, and will not receive a late payment penalty if they pay their tax in full or set up a payment plan by 1 April.

The additional funding announced in December is on top of the generous and wide-ranging support package already in place. Businesses in the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors continue to benefit from capped business rates relief at 66% until the next financial year, when a new capped relief of 50% takes effect. Hospitality and tourism businesses also benefit from reduced VAT at 12.5% until the end of March. Businesses in these sectors may also benefit from access to wider economic support, including the Recovery Loans Scheme and protection from eviction if they are behind on rent on their premises.

As we have done throughout the pandemic, we are closely monitoring the impact of COVID-19 on the economy. We will continue to respond appropriately and proportionately to the changing path of the virus.
Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the total collective monetary cost to people in Barnsley East of administering the planned increase to National Insurance Contributions for the Health and Social Care levy.

HMRC has not made an estimate of the administrative cost to people in the Barnsley East constituency. However, at the UK level, some estimates were presented in the tax information and impact note (TIIN): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-and-social-care-levy/health-and-social-care-levy.

HMRC estimates (from the Survey of Personal Incomes) that around 40,900 people were liable to pay employee class 1 and/or class 4 NICs in the 2018 to 2019 tax year (latest available outturn) in the constituency of Barnsley East. HMRC does not publish this information at constituency level for projection years.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many people are making National Insurance Contributions in Barnsley East constituency as at 23 September 2021.

HMRC has not made an estimate of the administrative cost to people in the Barnsley East constituency. However, at the UK level, some estimates were presented in the tax information and impact note (TIIN): https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-and-social-care-levy/health-and-social-care-levy.

HMRC estimates (from the Survey of Personal Incomes) that around 40,900 people were liable to pay employee class 1 and/or class 4 NICs in the 2018 to 2019 tax year (latest available outturn) in the constituency of Barnsley East. HMRC does not publish this information at constituency level for projection years.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps the Government has taken to ensure that base rate cuts are passed on by lenders to mortgage prisoners.

The Financial Conduct Authority have written to all closed-book firms following the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, encouraging them to pass on base rate reductions in accordance with their fair treatment guidelines.

Data released in July 2020 stated that customers with inactive lenders pay on average just 0.4% more than borrowers with the same lending characteristics with active lenders. The Government is committed to helping mortgage prisoners where they will see genuine benefit and will continue to work with the Financial Conduct Authority and industry to provide switching options for borrowers with an inactive lender.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
13th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether an agency worker that was not a live assignment but was on the payroll of an agency on 19 March 2020 qualifies for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

An agency worker that was not on a live assignment but was on the payroll may qualify for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, provided other eligibility criteria are met; in particular, that the employee was included on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020 which relates to a payment of earnings in the 2019/20 tax year. It is for the agency to decide whether to offer to furlough a worker.

28th Apr 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether his Department holds data on the number of applications by region made to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme after the eligibility date was extended to 19 March 2020.

Applications for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) opened on Monday 20th April.

This is a new scheme and HMRC are currently working through the analysis they will be able to provide based on the data available. HMRC will make the timescales for publication and the types of data available in due course.

21st Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent steps his Department has taken to provide support to mortgage prisoners.

Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with many organisations in the public and private sectors on a variety of issues. The Treasury is discussing the issue of mortgage prisoners with consumer groups, mortgage lenders, the Financial Conduct Authority and UK Finance.

A mortgage prisoner is defined by the FCA as an existing customer that may be experiencing harm because they are unable to switch to a better deal. The Government is aware that these borrowers have been in a difficult and stressful situation. That is why we have worked closely with the FCA to implement their rule change to remove the regulatory barrier that has prevented some customers from switching.

Lenders are currently making the necessary adjustments and system changes to enable them to use the modified affordability assessment for borrowers looking to re-mortgage. We expect lenders to start offering these borrowers products using the new rules in Q2 2020.

I have written to Stephen Jones, Chief Executive Officer of UK Finance, to outline my expectation that as many of its members as possible should move quickly to offer new deals to borrowers that are eligible to switch under the new FCA rules.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent discussions he has had with representatives from the (a) Financial Conduct Authority and (b) UK Finance on mortgage prisoners.

Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with many organisations in the public and private sectors on a variety of issues. The Treasury is discussing the issue of mortgage prisoners with consumer groups, mortgage lenders, the Financial Conduct Authority and UK Finance.

A mortgage prisoner is defined by the FCA as an existing customer that may be experiencing harm because they are unable to switch to a better deal. The Government is aware that these borrowers have been in a difficult and stressful situation. That is why we have worked closely with the FCA to implement their rule change to remove the regulatory barrier that has prevented some customers from switching.

Lenders are currently making the necessary adjustments and system changes to enable them to use the modified affordability assessment for borrowers looking to re-mortgage. We expect lenders to start offering these borrowers products using the new rules in Q2 2020.

I have written to Stephen Jones, Chief Executive Officer of UK Finance, to outline my expectation that as many of its members as possible should move quickly to offer new deals to borrowers that are eligible to switch under the new FCA rules.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
28th Jan 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many Help to Buy ISAs were opened in (a) Barnsley East constituency, (b) Yorkshire and Humber and (c) England.

We do not collect regional data for Help to Buy ISA account openings, therefore cannot confirm the amount of accounts opened specifically in those areas. However, as of June 2019, 1.6 million Help to Buy ISAs have been opened. 339,747 bonuses have been claimed throughout the UK, including (a) 645 in Barnsley East, (b) 34,192 in Yorkshire and Humber, and (c) 259,506 in England.

Further regional data about bonuses claimed under the Help to Buy ISA scheme, can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/official-statistics-on-the-help-to-buy-isa-scheme

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
22nd Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Afghan nationals with UK visas who served (a) as interpreters and (b) in other locally employed staff roles have resettled in the UK as of 28 February 2022; and what steps her Department is taking to support those people and their families.

Over 15,000 people were supported to come to the UK directly following the evacuation of Afghanistan, and a further 2,000 have since arrived. The Home Office will publish the number of people being offered protection under UK Resettlement programmes in its quarterly Immigration Statistics. The next publication will be in May 2022.

On 31 August, the Government announced ‘‘Operation Warm Welcome’’ to support those who have been relocated to the UK in accessing accommodation and the vital health, education, and support into employment they need to fully integrate into society.

Following their arrival into the UK, Afghan evacuees are provided with housing, support to access benefits or employment and additional wrap around support provided by local authorities plus:

  • Healthcare support – providing £3 million of additional NHS funding, so Afghans arriving under ARAP can access healthcare and register with a GP.
  • Education support – making £12 million available to prioritise additional school places and enrol children as soon as possible.
  • Support into accommodation – providing £5 million for local authorities to provide housing.

To harness the generosity of the British public and make sure those who want to help know where to turn, we have launched a new webpage, Help people who have come to the UK from Afghanistan: Ways you can help - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) through which people can submit offers of support for people arriving from Afghanistan

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many veterans applied to her Department, including border force, using the civil service great place to work scheme over the nine month pilot; and how many of those applicants (a) received an interview, (b) were offered a job and (c) went on to accept a role and begin work.

During the pilot of the Great Place to Work for Veterans scheme the department received 685 applications from veterans, of which 317 were offered an interview, 55 offered a job. Data on how many veterans accepted and started work is not available.

The pilot demonstrated that the initiative was successful in providing greater opportunities to veterans to pursue a career in the Civil Service and will now be rolled out across all Departments. This is one of a number of schemes to support veterans into public sector employment, including specific plans to get more veterans into teaching, the prison service and uniformed services.

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
31st Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many armed forces veterans have been employed by the civil service in her Department in each year since 2010.

The Home Office is unable to provide the number of forces veterans employed due to the disproportionate cost.

Tom Pursglove
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will take steps to encourage and support police and crime commissioners to introduce dedicated anti-social behaviour taskforces.

We have provided the police, local authorities, and other local agencies with a range of flexible tools and powers that they can use to respond quickly and effectively to all forms of anti-social behaviour (ASB) through the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. These powers are deliberately local in nature, and it is for agencies to use their local knowledge of each incident to determine whether their use is appropriate in the specific circumstances.

The Government is absolutely committed to supporting local agencies in using these powers and in tackling and preventing ASB. We know the serious impact this issue has on both individuals and wider communities.

In July, the Beating Crime Plan was published which laid out the Government’s plan for tackling crime and ASB. This set out a commitment to launch the second part of the PCC Review which is looking to equip PCCs with the tools and levers they need to drive down crime and ASB.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the effectiveness of community triggers on reducing levels of anti-social behaviour.

We have provided the police, local authorities, and other local agencies with a range of flexible tools and powers that they can use to respond quickly and effectively to all forms of anti-social behaviour (ASB) through the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. These powers are deliberately local in nature, and it is for agencies to use their local knowledge of each incident to determine whether their use is appropriate in the specific circumstances.

The Government is absolutely committed to supporting local agencies in using these powers and in tackling and preventing ASB. We know the serious impact this issue has on both individuals and wider communities.

That is why, in July, the Beating Crime Plan laid out the Government’s plan for tackling crime and ASB. This included a commitment to working with local agencies and partners, including the Anti-social Behaviour Strategic Board, to drive down ASB using the full range of powers and tools in the ‘2014 Act’, including the Community Trigger.

My predecessor as Minister for Safeguarding also wrote out to all local authorities this year to remind them of their duties around the Community Trigger.

In addition, funding has made available for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and local authorities via the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund, which has now allocated £70m to support areas that are disproportionately affected by crime. Many of the crime prevention measures supported by the fund, such as improved streetlighting and CCTV, are also intended to tackle ASB.

The Home Office updated statutory guidance this year to support local agencies further to make effective use of the powers from the ‘2014 Act’, and to ensure a victim-centred approach is taken to tackling ASB.

The Beating Crime Plan also set out a commitment to launch the second part of the PCC Review which is looking to equip PCCs with the tools and levers they need to drive down crime and ASB.

The Home Office only collects data at Police Force Area level and not at lower levels of geography due to the localised nature of the flexible powers. We look to improve upon this collection from April 2022. HMICFRS have also this year begun to request Community Trigger data from police forces, about all cases they have been involved with, in their local area.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to work with (a) police and crime commissioners, (b) local authorities and (c) agencies to (i) understand and (ii) tackle local challenges relating to anti-social behaviour.

We have provided the police, local authorities, and other local agencies with a range of flexible tools and powers that they can use to respond quickly and effectively to all forms of anti-social behaviour (ASB) through the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. These powers are deliberately local in nature, and it is for agencies to use their local knowledge of each incident to determine whether their use is appropriate in the specific circumstances.

The Government is absolutely committed to supporting local agencies in using these powers and in tackling and preventing ASB. We know the serious impact this issue has on both individuals and wider communities.

That is why, in July, the Beating Crime Plan laid out the Government’s plan for tackling crime and ASB. This included a commitment to working with local agencies and partners, including the Anti-social Behaviour Strategic Board, to drive down ASB using the full range of powers and tools in the ‘2014 Act’, including the Community Trigger.

My predecessor as Minister for Safeguarding also wrote out to all local authorities this year to remind them of their duties around the Community Trigger.

In addition, funding has made available for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and local authorities via the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund, which has now allocated £70m to support areas that are disproportionately affected by crime. Many of the crime prevention measures supported by the fund, such as improved streetlighting and CCTV, are also intended to tackle ASB.

The Home Office updated statutory guidance this year to support local agencies further to make effective use of the powers from the ‘2014 Act’, and to ensure a victim-centred approach is taken to tackling ASB.

The Beating Crime Plan also set out a commitment to launch the second part of the PCC Review which is looking to equip PCCs with the tools and levers they need to drive down crime and ASB.

The Home Office only collects data at Police Force Area level and not at lower levels of geography due to the localised nature of the flexible powers. We look to improve upon this collection from April 2022. HMICFRS have also this year begun to request Community Trigger data from police forces, about all cases they have been involved with, in their local area.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to improve local data on anti-social behaviour for the purposes of providing clarity on the severity of the situation at a more local level than the Police Force Area.

We have provided the police, local authorities, and other local agencies with a range of flexible tools and powers that they can use to respond quickly and effectively to all forms of anti-social behaviour (ASB) through the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. These powers are deliberately local in nature, and it is for agencies to use their local knowledge of each incident to determine whether their use is appropriate in the specific circumstances.

The Government is absolutely committed to supporting local agencies in using these powers and in tackling and preventing ASB. We know the serious impact this issue has on both individuals and wider communities.

That is why, in July, the Beating Crime Plan laid out the Government’s plan for tackling crime and ASB. This included a commitment to working with local agencies and partners, including the Anti-social Behaviour Strategic Board, to drive down ASB using the full range of powers and tools in the ‘2014 Act’, including the Community Trigger.

My predecessor as Minister for Safeguarding also wrote out to all local authorities this year to remind them of their duties around the Community Trigger.

In addition, funding has made available for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and local authorities via the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund, which has now allocated £70m to support areas that are disproportionately affected by crime. Many of the crime prevention measures supported by the fund, such as improved streetlighting and CCTV, are also intended to tackle ASB.

The Home Office updated statutory guidance this year to support local agencies further to make effective use of the powers from the ‘2014 Act’, and to ensure a victim-centred approach is taken to tackling ASB.

The Beating Crime Plan also set out a commitment to launch the second part of the PCC Review which is looking to equip PCCs with the tools and levers they need to drive down crime and ASB.

The Home Office only collects data at Police Force Area level and not at lower levels of geography due to the localised nature of the flexible powers. We look to improve upon this collection from April 2022. HMICFRS have also this year begun to request Community Trigger data from police forces, about all cases they have been involved with, in their local area.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to help ensure that (a) the Community Trigger and (b) other tools designed to tackle anti-social behaviour are being used properly and effectively to stop people who cause persistent anti-social behaviour.

We have provided the police, local authorities, and other local agencies with a range of flexible tools and powers that they can use to respond quickly and effectively to all forms of anti-social behaviour (ASB) through the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. These powers are deliberately local in nature, and it is for agencies to use their local knowledge of each incident to determine whether their use is appropriate in the specific circumstances.

The Government is absolutely committed to supporting local agencies in using these powers and in tackling and preventing ASB. We know the serious impact this issue has on both individuals and wider communities.

That is why, in July, the Beating Crime Plan laid out the Government’s plan for tackling crime and ASB. This included a commitment to working with local agencies and partners, including the Anti-social Behaviour Strategic Board, to drive down ASB using the full range of powers and tools in the ‘2014 Act’, including the Community Trigger.

My predecessor as Minister for Safeguarding also wrote out to all local authorities this year to remind them of their duties around the Community Trigger.

In addition, funding has made available for Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) and local authorities via the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund, which has now allocated £70m to support areas that are disproportionately affected by crime. Many of the crime prevention measures supported by the fund, such as improved streetlighting and CCTV, are also intended to tackle ASB.

The Home Office updated statutory guidance this year to support local agencies further to make effective use of the powers from the ‘2014 Act’, and to ensure a victim-centred approach is taken to tackling ASB.

The Beating Crime Plan also set out a commitment to launch the second part of the PCC Review which is looking to equip PCCs with the tools and levers they need to drive down crime and ASB.

The Home Office only collects data at Police Force Area level and not at lower levels of geography due to the localised nature of the flexible powers. We look to improve upon this collection from April 2022. HMICFRS have also this year begun to request Community Trigger data from police forces, about all cases they have been involved with, in their local area.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what proportion of successful Indefinite Leave to Remain applications were via the SET (AF) route in each of the last three years.

We do not publish the specific data relating to grants of ILR made under the SET(AF) route, as to do so would incur disproportionate cost.

The published statistics relating to individuals granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in the United Kingdom are recorded together as part of published Migration Statistics and can be located at:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
27th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many successful applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain were processed via the SET (AF) route in each of the last three years.

We do not publish the specific data relating to grants of ILR made under the SET(AF) route, as to do so would incur disproportionate cost.

The published statistics relating to individuals granted Indefinite Leave to Remain in the United Kingdom are recorded together as part of published Migration Statistics and can be located at:

www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much revenue to the Exchequer was generated through fixed penalty notices for speeding in each region of the UK in the most recent period for which figures are available.

The Home Office does not collect data on the revenue generated through fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued for speed limit offences in each region.

Data on the number of FPNs issued for motoring offences including speed limit offences can be found in the ‘Police Powers and Procedures, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin, which can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales-year-ending-31-march-2020

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to strengthen legislation to improve protections for victims of stalking and their families.

Stalking is a terrible, insidious crime that can have a devastating impact on victims’ wellbeing. This Government is committed to protecting and supporting victims and is determined to do everything we can to stop perpetrators at the earliest opportunity.

The Government has significantly strengthened the law to improve protection for victims of stalking. In 2012 we created two stalking offences to highlight stalking as a specific behaviour and through the Policing and Crime Act 2017 the maximum sentence for the offence of stalking involving fear of violence or serious alarm or distress was raised from five to ten years’ imprisonment.

In January 2020 we introduced new civil Stalking Protection Orders. These enable early police intervention, pre-conviction, to address stalking behaviours before they become deep-rooted or escalate. Stalking Protection Orders can be used in relation to any type of stalking and have the flexibility to impose both restrictions and positive requirements on the perpetrator. A breach of this order has a criminal penalty, carrying a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the police are adequately resourced to tackle (a) speeding and (b) anti-social behaviour on roads.

Excess speed is still a major cause of death and serious injury on our roads. Anyone who breaks the speed limit should expect to face proper sanction.

The enforcement of speeding offences and anti-social behaviour on roads is an operational matter for the police. It is for chief officers to decide how to prioritise enforcement in accordance with local priorities and demand and their PCC’s police and crime plan.

On 4 February 2021, the Government published a total police funding settlement of up to £15.8 billion in 2021/22, an increase of up to £636 million compared to 2020/21.

Decisions regarding the number of officers and how they are deployed are a matter for Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department is taking to tackle (a) speeding and (b) anti-social behaviour on roads.

Excess speed is still a major cause of death and serious injury on our roads. Anyone who breaks the speed limit should expect to face proper sanction.

The enforcement of speeding offences and anti-social behaviour on roads is an operational matter for the police. It is for chief officers to decide how to prioritise enforcement in accordance with local priorities and demand and their PCC’s police and crime plan.

On 4 February 2021, the Government published a total police funding settlement of up to £15.8 billion in 2021/22, an increase of up to £636 million compared to 2020/21.

Decisions regarding the number of officers and how they are deployed are a matter for Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
29th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the economic effect on police officers of their pay freeze.

At the Spending Review, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that pay rises in the public sector will be restrained and targeted in 2021/22. The pay freeze will apply to headline pay uplifts only. Other payments, such as progression pay, overtime and special allowances will continue as before.

The Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) provides independent advice to the Government on pay and conditions for police officers. The Review Body will provide recommendations on the implementation of the £250 uplift for those earning less than £24,000 and the number of officers it will apply to.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
16th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans he has to increase the numbers of traffic patrol officers to ensure road safety around the ports.

Local Resilience Forums and Police Forces have comprehensively prepared to ensure disruption on roads is kept to a minimum and the safety of all road users is not compromised, this includes working with Highways England where appropriate.

Decisions regarding the number of officers and how they are deployed are a matter for Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables. They are best placed to understand how to deal with all the issues for which the force is responsible, taking into account any specific local problems and demands.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
5th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what information her Department holds on the number of phone calls received by the police relating to people breaking covid-19 restrictions since the start of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government does not hold information on how many phone calls the police have received relating to people breaking covid-19 restrictions since the start of the covid-19 outbreak

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
2nd Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people have been arrested for breaking covid-19 restrictions.

The number of arrests in relation to breaches of Covid-19 restrictions are not distinguished from broader statistics covering arrests for breach of the peace and other public order offences.

The number of fixed penalty notices issued for breaches of the Covid-19 regulations are published monthly by ACRO with the most recent release being made on Tuesday 29 September.

They show that for the period between 27 March - 27 September 2020, a total of 19,045 fixed penalty notices have been issued by police forces in England (16,373) and Wales (2,672).

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many fines have been issued to people breaking restrictions due to the covid-19 outbreak to date.

Data on the number of fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued under the new emergency COVID-19 health regulations are published by the National Police Chiefs’ Council on a fortnightly basis. The latest information can be found here:

https://news.npcc.police.uk/releases/crime-is-close-to-pre-lockdown-levels-and-fines-given-to-the-public-rise-as-new-regulations-are-introduced-1

Information on how much has been collected in fines from people breaking public health regulations is not held centrally.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
1st Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much has been collected in fines from people breaking restrictions due to the covid-19 outbreak to date.

Data on the number of fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued under the new emergency COVID-19 health regulations are published by the National Police Chiefs’ Council on a fortnightly basis. The latest information can be found here:

https://news.npcc.police.uk/releases/crime-is-close-to-pre-lockdown-levels-and-fines-given-to-the-public-rise-as-new-regulations-are-introduced-1

Information on how much has been collected in fines from people breaking public health regulations is not held centrally.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether her Department plans to provide support to broadband engineers working on upgrading the broadband network who fear abuse as a result of 5G conspiracy theories.

Abuse, threats or harassment against telecoms engineers are unacceptable and where abuse against engineers does take place, the police should be notified so they can investigate and take appropriate action.

The UK telecommunications network consists of over 40,000 telecommunications masts and associated equipment that provides essential connectivity for everyone’s daily life. The security of these sites and the engineers working on them is primarily the responsibility of the companies which own the masts. The Government works closely with the telecommunications industry and we take the security and resilience of the UK’s telecommunications infrastructure and the safety of the industry’s key worker personnel very seriously.

We know that individuals are setting out to damage 5G masts and we have seen a number of unacceptable confrontations targeting telecoms engineers. These confrontations include a small number of assaults. The NCA has rapidly developed a nationally co-ordinated response. The response to these incidents has been a collaborative one, with law enforcement working alongside industry to combat the threat, we will do all we can to make sure that any criminality is dealt with swiftly and robustly. As part of this response, the NCA has issued guidance for the telecommunications industry to issue to their staff on what they can do to ensure they remain safe and what they should do in certain situations.

Much of the anti-5G conversation is taking place on social media. These conversations have enabled the spread of conspiracy theories relating to masts, particularly their links to the coronavirus. These are of course, unsubstantiated. The NCA and partners are engaged with Social Media companies to take action to limit the spread and impact of these conspiracy theories.

19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential merits of an inquiry into Gulf War Illness.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) continues to monitor and welcome any new research on Gulf War issues that is published around the world. New research will be considered carefully, and a determination made to assesses if our current policies and compensation arrangements remain appropriate. The majority of information held by the MOD concerning the 1990/91 Gulf conflict, now being some thirty years ago, has long since been transferred to the National Archives: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20050328202002/http://www.mod.uk/issues/gulfwar/index.html

What data MOD does still hold is primarily limited to War Pensions data on veterans’ symptoms/conditions and veterans who were awarded compensation for those conditions. Help and support is available for any veteran who requests it through a variety of sources, including the Veterans Welfare Service, the Veterans Gateway, and Veterans UK. Gulf War veterans who believe they have suffered ill health due to service have the right to apply for no-fault compensation under the War Pensions Scheme. War Pensions are payable in respect of illness or injury as a result of service in the Armed Forces before 6 April 2005, with the benefit of reasonable doubt always given to the claimant. Decisions are medically certified and follow consideration of available service and medical evidence, contemporary medical understanding of the causes of claimed disorders, and the relevant standard of proof. The decisions carry full rights of appeal to an independent Tribunal. All Gulf veterans who are ill receive appropriate medical care from the NHS and will receive priority treatment, subject to clinical need, in England, Scotland, and Wales if their condition is as a result of their military service.

Contemporary medical and scientific understanding from the mid-1990s onwards has identified no distinct disease process or pathology underlying Gulf symptoms and illness. In line with the Medical Research Council (MRC) review of 2003, which recommended no further research on possible causation of Gulf illness, the MOD has no plans to institute further research into Gulf conflict related illnesses nor to hold an inquiry. The UK Government's strategy on research topics and studies into the health of Gulf War veterans has been informed and overseen by independent scientific experts nominated by the MRC, taking account of published peer-reviewed international literature and international studies.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what data his Department (a) holds and (b) plans to collect on the (i) causes of and (ii) treatments for Gulf War Illness.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) continues to monitor and welcome any new research on Gulf War issues that is published around the world. New research will be considered carefully, and a determination made to assesses if our current policies and compensation arrangements remain appropriate. The majority of information held by the MOD concerning the 1990/91 Gulf conflict, now being some thirty years ago, has long since been transferred to the National Archives: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20050328202002/http://www.mod.uk/issues/gulfwar/index.html

What data MOD does still hold is primarily limited to War Pensions data on veterans’ symptoms/conditions and veterans who were awarded compensation for those conditions. Help and support is available for any veteran who requests it through a variety of sources, including the Veterans Welfare Service, the Veterans Gateway, and Veterans UK. Gulf War veterans who believe they have suffered ill health due to service have the right to apply for no-fault compensation under the War Pensions Scheme. War Pensions are payable in respect of illness or injury as a result of service in the Armed Forces before 6 April 2005, with the benefit of reasonable doubt always given to the claimant. Decisions are medically certified and follow consideration of available service and medical evidence, contemporary medical understanding of the causes of claimed disorders, and the relevant standard of proof. The decisions carry full rights of appeal to an independent Tribunal. All Gulf veterans who are ill receive appropriate medical care from the NHS and will receive priority treatment, subject to clinical need, in England, Scotland, and Wales if their condition is as a result of their military service.

Contemporary medical and scientific understanding from the mid-1990s onwards has identified no distinct disease process or pathology underlying Gulf symptoms and illness. In line with the Medical Research Council (MRC) review of 2003, which recommended no further research on possible causation of Gulf illness, the MOD has no plans to institute further research into Gulf conflict related illnesses nor to hold an inquiry. The UK Government's strategy on research topics and studies into the health of Gulf War veterans has been informed and overseen by independent scientific experts nominated by the MRC, taking account of published peer-reviewed international literature and international studies.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what support is available for people suffering from Gulf War Illness.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) continues to monitor and welcome any new research on Gulf War issues that is published around the world. New research will be considered carefully, and a determination made to assesses if our current policies and compensation arrangements remain appropriate. The majority of information held by the MOD concerning the 1990/91 Gulf conflict, now being some thirty years ago, has long since been transferred to the National Archives: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20050328202002/http://www.mod.uk/issues/gulfwar/index.html

What data MOD does still hold is primarily limited to War Pensions data on veterans’ symptoms/conditions and veterans who were awarded compensation for those conditions. Help and support is available for any veteran who requests it through a variety of sources, including the Veterans Welfare Service, the Veterans Gateway, and Veterans UK. Gulf War veterans who believe they have suffered ill health due to service have the right to apply for no-fault compensation under the War Pensions Scheme. War Pensions are payable in respect of illness or injury as a result of service in the Armed Forces before 6 April 2005, with the benefit of reasonable doubt always given to the claimant. Decisions are medically certified and follow consideration of available service and medical evidence, contemporary medical understanding of the causes of claimed disorders, and the relevant standard of proof. The decisions carry full rights of appeal to an independent Tribunal. All Gulf veterans who are ill receive appropriate medical care from the NHS and will receive priority treatment, subject to clinical need, in England, Scotland, and Wales if their condition is as a result of their military service.

Contemporary medical and scientific understanding from the mid-1990s onwards has identified no distinct disease process or pathology underlying Gulf symptoms and illness. In line with the Medical Research Council (MRC) review of 2003, which recommended no further research on possible causation of Gulf illness, the MOD has no plans to institute further research into Gulf conflict related illnesses nor to hold an inquiry. The UK Government's strategy on research topics and studies into the health of Gulf War veterans has been informed and overseen by independent scientific experts nominated by the MRC, taking account of published peer-reviewed international literature and international studies.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what data his Department holds on the number of UK Armed Forces veterans with symptoms of Gulf War Illness.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) continues to monitor and welcome any new research on Gulf War issues that is published around the world. New research will be considered carefully, and a determination made to assesses if our current policies and compensation arrangements remain appropriate. The majority of information held by the MOD concerning the 1990/91 Gulf conflict, now being some thirty years ago, has long since been transferred to the National Archives: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20050328202002/http://www.mod.uk/issues/gulfwar/index.html

What data MOD does still hold is primarily limited to War Pensions data on veterans’ symptoms/conditions and veterans who were awarded compensation for those conditions. Help and support is available for any veteran who requests it through a variety of sources, including the Veterans Welfare Service, the Veterans Gateway, and Veterans UK. Gulf War veterans who believe they have suffered ill health due to service have the right to apply for no-fault compensation under the War Pensions Scheme. War Pensions are payable in respect of illness or injury as a result of service in the Armed Forces before 6 April 2005, with the benefit of reasonable doubt always given to the claimant. Decisions are medically certified and follow consideration of available service and medical evidence, contemporary medical understanding of the causes of claimed disorders, and the relevant standard of proof. The decisions carry full rights of appeal to an independent Tribunal. All Gulf veterans who are ill receive appropriate medical care from the NHS and will receive priority treatment, subject to clinical need, in England, Scotland, and Wales if their condition is as a result of their military service.

Contemporary medical and scientific understanding from the mid-1990s onwards has identified no distinct disease process or pathology underlying Gulf symptoms and illness. In line with the Medical Research Council (MRC) review of 2003, which recommended no further research on possible causation of Gulf illness, the MOD has no plans to institute further research into Gulf conflict related illnesses nor to hold an inquiry. The UK Government's strategy on research topics and studies into the health of Gulf War veterans has been informed and overseen by independent scientific experts nominated by the MRC, taking account of published peer-reviewed international literature and international studies.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
19th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what data his Department holds on the number of British Armed Forces personnel exposed to sarin gas during the Gulf War.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) continues to monitor and welcome any new research on Gulf War issues that is published around the world. New research will be considered carefully, and a determination made to assesses if our current policies and compensation arrangements remain appropriate. The majority of information held by the MOD concerning the 1990/91 Gulf conflict, now being some thirty years ago, has long since been transferred to the National Archives: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ukgwa/20050328202002/http://www.mod.uk/issues/gulfwar/index.html

What data MOD does still hold is primarily limited to War Pensions data on veterans’ symptoms/conditions and veterans who were awarded compensation for those conditions. Help and support is available for any veteran who requests it through a variety of sources, including the Veterans Welfare Service, the Veterans Gateway, and Veterans UK. Gulf War veterans who believe they have suffered ill health due to service have the right to apply for no-fault compensation under the War Pensions Scheme. War Pensions are payable in respect of illness or injury as a result of service in the Armed Forces before 6 April 2005, with the benefit of reasonable doubt always given to the claimant. Decisions are medically certified and follow consideration of available service and medical evidence, contemporary medical understanding of the causes of claimed disorders, and the relevant standard of proof. The decisions carry full rights of appeal to an independent Tribunal. All Gulf veterans who are ill receive appropriate medical care from the NHS and will receive priority treatment, subject to clinical need, in England, Scotland, and Wales if their condition is as a result of their military service.

Contemporary medical and scientific understanding from the mid-1990s onwards has identified no distinct disease process or pathology underlying Gulf symptoms and illness. In line with the Medical Research Council (MRC) review of 2003, which recommended no further research on possible causation of Gulf illness, the MOD has no plans to institute further research into Gulf conflict related illnesses nor to hold an inquiry. The UK Government's strategy on research topics and studies into the health of Gulf War veterans has been informed and overseen by independent scientific experts nominated by the MRC, taking account of published peer-reviewed international literature and international studies.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
13th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many LGBTQ+ people were serving in the armed forces in each of the last 10 years.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) does not hold accurate figures for the number of serving LGBTQ+ people. While sexual orientation is recorded on the MOD's Joint Personnel Administration system, this data is reliant on self-declaration by individuals, and declaration rates have not yet reached a high enough percentage to be representative.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
13th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his department is taking to support LGBT+ (a) service personnel and (b) veterans who are survivors of military sexual assault.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 25 April 2022 to Question 155765 to the hon. Member for South Shields (Mrs Lewell-Buck).

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
13th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to his Department's new Zero Tolerance approach to sexual offences published on 30 March 2022, whether his Department will be (a) collecting and (b) publishing data on the number of service personnel discharged through the policy.

Sexual offence convictions that pre-date the introduction of the Zero Tolerance policy will be dealt with in accordance with the relevant single Service policy, which may well result, or have resulted, in discharge.

Data will be collected to understand the number of personnel discharged as a result of the policy, but it has not yet been decided whether the data will be published.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
13th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to his Department's Zero Tolerance approach to sexual offences published on 30 March, whether that policy will be applied retrospectively to those previously convicted of a sexual offence.

Sexual offence convictions that pre-date the introduction of the Zero Tolerance policy will be dealt with in accordance with the relevant single Service policy, which may well result, or have resulted, in discharge.

Data will be collected to understand the number of personnel discharged as a result of the policy, but it has not yet been decided whether the data will be published.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
13th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department is taking to help encourage research examining the long-term impact of military sexual assault on LGBTQ+ survivors.

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) does not recognise the term ‘military sexual assault’, nor the associated term ‘military sexual trauma’ and has, therefore, no plans to encourage research of the type described.

The MOD is committed to the welfare of all its people. The Armed Forces promote equity in Service for all those affected by sexual assault and abuse, and there are multiple forms of support and assistance available, both within and external to Defence, for all our personnel, including the LGBTQ+ community, both during and post-service.

Whilst in service, available support includes unit welfare officers, the chain of command, and pastoral support via the chaplaincy. Further assistance is also available via the Aurora service which provides confidential independent support to any serving member who is experiencing sexual violence, domestic abuse, or stalking. There is also Togetherall, an independent digital mental health support tool operated by the NHS in partnership with the MOD, through which Service personnel, veterans, and their family members can anonymously access tailored self-help courses.

Independent support is also available via the charitable sector. For example, SSAFA (The Armed Forces Charity) provides help to all Service personnel and veterans with any mental or emotional health concerns. SSAFA can signpost individuals to specific organisations for further targeted support. The MOD also works with The Samaritans and other charities to support Serving personnel, veterans, and their families.

For LGBTQ+ personnel specifically, Galop, for instance, operates helplines which facilitate access to caseworkers who can design tailored assistance for LGBTQ+ personnel who have experienced abuse and violence. Fighting with Pride also signposts sources of help for LGBTQ+ veterans, and works with a wide range of organisations.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
13th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Answer of 8 February 2022 to Question 117868, in what particular exceptional circumstances serving personnel listed on the sex offender register will not be discharged from the armed forces.

The Ministry of Defence’s Zero Tolerance to Sexual Offences policy came into force on 31 March 2022. Under this policy, all Service persons who are convicted of a sexual offence, or who are placed on the Sex Offenders Register, will be dismissed from the Armed Forces as a matter of course. My answer to Question 117868 refers to those few situations where a decision to discharge would be legally unsafe as it conflicts with existing law; for example, cases that are subject to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. However, we continue to review this area and are committed to making further improvements to ensure that Defence is a safe and respectful environment.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
13th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Answer of 8 February 2022 to Question 117868 on Veterans: Violent and Sex Offender Register, what information his Department holds on potential circumstances in which serving personnel who are on the Sex Offenders Register might be in contact with vulnerable people as part of their service.

Defence places great importance on the appropriate management of both suspected and convicted sex offenders. Different arrangements are in place across the three Services. These may include an Employment Suitability Risk Assessment (ESRA) for those under investigation or made subject to registration under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. ESRAs provide a record of management and risk mitigation plans, are completed by the chain of command upon receipt of expert policy advice, and are updated at least every six months. The cases of those convicted of, or in receipt of a caution for a sexual offence could also be referred to the Standing Committee for Employment Risk Analysis (SCERA) who will provide advice on the appropriate action to be taken. Although appointment to roles requiring contact with vulnerable persons or under-18s is conditional upon a clean Disclosure and Barring Service certificate, additional risk assessment may be conducted by the chain of command and decisions may be reviewed by SCERA. An ‘Assignment Restriction’ note can also be placed on a subject’s personnel file within the Joint Personnel Administration System to ensure the individual does not get posted to units where it may be inappropriate to do so.

This is an area of great importance to Defence as we recognise the risk that sex offenders pose to others. We will continue to review and improve our policies and procedures to ensure that they are rigorous and that appropriate safeguarding measures are in place to enable a safe and respectful working environment.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
13th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to the Answer of 8 February 2022 to Question 117868, what risk assessments are in place to safeguard personnel serving alongside registered sex offenders.

Defence places great importance on the appropriate management of both suspected and convicted sex offenders. Different arrangements are in place across the three Services. These may include an Employment Suitability Risk Assessment (ESRA) for those under investigation or made subject to registration under the Sexual Offences Act 2003. ESRAs provide a record of management and risk mitigation plans, are completed by the chain of command upon receipt of expert policy advice, and are updated at least every six months. The cases of those convicted of, or in receipt of a caution for a sexual offence could also be referred to the Standing Committee for Employment Risk Analysis (SCERA) who will provide advice on the appropriate action to be taken. Although appointment to roles requiring contact with vulnerable persons or under-18s is conditional upon a clean Disclosure and Barring Service certificate, additional risk assessment may be conducted by the chain of command and decisions may be reviewed by SCERA. An ‘Assignment Restriction’ note can also be placed on a subject’s personnel file within the Joint Personnel Administration System to ensure the individual does not get posted to units where it may be inappropriate to do so.

This is an area of great importance to Defence as we recognise the risk that sex offenders pose to others. We will continue to review and improve our policies and procedures to ensure that they are rigorous and that appropriate safeguarding measures are in place to enable a safe and respectful working environment.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what data his Department holds on (a) incidences of and (b) complaints regarding military initiation rituals, in each year since 2010.

Initiation ceremonies are prohibited within Defence and are not tolerated. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is committed to the welfare of its people and anyone who finds themselves a victim of any form of assault or harassment can access a range of support. This includes from the Service Police, from welfare officers, the chain of command, and pastoral support via the chaplaincy. Assisting Officers are also available to support people where cases are being investigated. In addition, we have an independent bullying, harassment and discrimination helpline run by trained professionals and local Diversity and Inclusion Advisers.

Independent support is also available via the charitable sector. For example, SSAFA (The Armed Forces Charity) provides help to all Service personnel and veterans with mental or emotional health concerns. SSAFA can signpost individuals to specific organisations for further targeted support. In addition, the MOD works with The Samaritans and other charities to support Serving personnel, veterans, and their families.

This detailed information requested is not held in a format that would allow an answer to be generated without incurring disproportionate costs.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many service personnel and veterans are undertaking an appeal against a Veterans UK decision regarding an application to (a) AFCS and (b) War Pensions.

The number of Service personnel and veterans undertaking an appeal against a Veterans UK decision regarding an application to AFCS as at 30 April 2022 is 1,692 (358 on hand with Veterans UK and 1,334 outstanding at HM Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS)).

The number of Service personnel and veterans undertaking an appeal against a Veterans UK decision regarding an application under the War Pension Scheme as at 30 April 2022 is 1,158 (397 on hand with Veterans UK and 761 outstanding at HMCTS).

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what the average length of appeal is, from start to resolution, for those appealing against Veterans UK decisions on applications for (a) AFCS and (b) War Pensions.

It should be noted that appeals are a three-stage process in which Veterans UK are solely responsible for Stage One and Stage Three. There is no Key Performance Indicator for Stage Three. Information on Stage Two should be requested from HM Courts and Tribunal Service (HMCTS).

Key Performance Indicators are set for Stage One of the process and data is held regarding achievement as follows:

War Pension Scheme appeals Key Performance Indicator Average Clearance Time is set at 122 days, current achievement as at end April 2022 is 117.32.

AFCS appeals Key Performance Indicator Average Clearance Time is set at 150 days, current achievement as at end April 2022 is 123.9 days.

Work is ongoing towards an end to end Key Performance Indicator for Veterans UK and MOJ (HMCTS). This is in parallel with work being undertaken with HMCTS England and Wales to adopt a process of Direct Lodgement. This should provide customers with a better overall experience. A date for the implementation of Direct Lodgement for England and Wales has not yet been confirmed.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what data his Department holds on the number of British ex-service personnel residing in Ukraine.

This information is not held. The Ministry of Defence does not collect or hold information on all veterans and cannot say where veterans of the Armed Forces reside post service.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, if he will publish all anonymised data his Department holds on the number of armed forces personnel who have experienced childhood abuse.

This information is not held in the format requested.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how many applications to (a) the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and (b) War Pensions have been rejected as a result of mental health diagnoses not being from psychiatrists of a consultant grade.

The information requested is not held electronically and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what support his Department provides for people who have experienced assault or harassment as part of a military initiation.

Initiation ceremonies are prohibited within Defence and are not tolerated. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) is committed to the welfare of its people and anyone who finds themselves a victim of any form of assault or harassment can access a range of support. This includes from the Service Police, from welfare officers, the chain of command, and pastoral support via the chaplaincy. Assisting Officers are also available to support people where cases are being investigated. In addition, we have an independent bullying, harassment and discrimination helpline run by trained professionals and local Diversity and Inclusion Advisers.

Independent support is also available via the charitable sector. For example, SSAFA (The Armed Forces Charity) provides help to all Service personnel and veterans with mental or emotional health concerns. SSAFA can signpost individuals to specific organisations for further targeted support. In addition, the MOD works with The Samaritans and other charities to support Serving personnel, veterans, and their families.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps his Department has taken to prevent assault and harassment occurring as part of military initiation rituals.

Initiation ceremonies are prohibited within Defence and any form of involvement is considered unacceptable. We are clear that our people should not organise, participate in or be present at any form of initiation ceremony. Soliciting or coercing another person to undertake any such activity will also not be tolerated. Allegations concerning initiation ceremonies will be formally investigated, including by the Service Police if a crime is alleged to have been committed. If substantiated it may result in disciplinary, administrative, or misconduct action being taken.

The Ministry of Defence is committed to the welfare of its people, and we are taking a wide range of action to prevent any form of assault or harassment occurring, including through mandatory training.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of Veterans UK accepting diagnoses letters from clinical psychologists, rather than psychiatrists of consultant grade, when applying for compensation for mental ill health from AFCS or War Pensions.

For mental health awards under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme (AFCS), the Ministry of Defence (MOD) requires evidence of the diagnosis by either a psychiatrist or a clinical psychologist, at the consultant grade. This was a recommendation of the 2013 report by the Independent Medical Expert Group (IMEG), the Advisory Non-Departmental Public Body sponsored by MOD that provides assurance that AFCS policy and decision-making reflect contemporary medical understanding on causation and progress of disorders and injuries. The Department accepted this recommendation. This approach was reviewed by the IMEG again in their report of 2020, which maintained its recommendation that diagnosis is made at the consultant level by either a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. The next IMEG report, expected to be published in June of this year, will make any new recommendations to the Department on the approach to mental health awards under the AFCS.

No such requirement exists under the War Pension Scheme, which predates the AFCS and operates under a different burden of proof and award system.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what processes are in place to gather forensic evidence from survivors of military sexual assault or rape where the incident takes place while overseas.

Processes can vary considerably, dependent on where the offence takes place. In places where Defence has a well-established presence and appropriate forensic examination facilities exist, standing arrangements will be in place to utilise such facilities, as this allows the best evidence to be obtained. In places where Defence does not have a well-established presence, or where there are no appropriate forensic facilities available, the Service Police Officer in command will need to decide whether an in-theatre examination should be conducted by a UK Medical Officer (MO) who is not qualified in forensic medical examination. If so, the MO will conduct the primary recovery of forensic evidence with the victim’s consent. The MO would be guided by a specially trained Service Police person in this process. The victim would then, with their consent, be recovered back to the UK to attend a Sexual Assault Referral Centre where additional evidence may be gathered and support offered.

Leo Docherty
Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (jointly with the Ministry of Defence)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what recent progress he has made on the rollout of Programme Cortisone.

Programme CORTISONE will provide an enduring information capability that will fully and effectively support the delivery of evidence-based medical and dental health and healthcare. In due course, it will provide connectivity between the MOD, NHS and our NATO allies and partners.

The recent launch of the CORTISONE MyHEALTH app has for the first time given Service personnel ready access to a subset of their Healthcare record (including vaccination status) through their mobile electronic devices.

The CORTISONE Primary Medical Care (PMC) Solution is currently being developed: it will link MOD systems with National NHS systems in all 4 home countries. In parallel, other parts of the system are being developed to support areas such as occupational health, mental health, rehabilitation, and dental services. CORTISONE services are due to extend beyond Great Britain to all fixed UK Armed Forces locations overseas as well as enable the provision of healthcare services to entitled personnel on deployed operations.

The programme is designed to bring services online in stages: the PMC solution is set to go live early next year, with an estimated eighteen months rollout period across the DMS. While this will be slightly later than originally anticipated due to COVID related issues, full functionalit