Tom Hunt Portrait

Tom Hunt

Conservative - Ipswich


Department Event
Monday 19th September 2022
14:30
Department for Education
Oral questions - Main Chamber
19 Sep 2022, 2:30 p.m.
Education (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
None available
Speeches
Monday 27th June 2022
Oral Answers to Questions
It is likely that Ipswich is going to be connected to two levelling-up bids, one from the county council and …
Written Answers
Wednesday 27th July 2022
Special Educational Needs: Ipswich
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many pupils in Ipswich constituency are waiting for special school places.
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Monday 20th June 2022
Flashing Images Bill 2022-23
A Bill to make provision for an offence in relation to the sending of flashing images; and for connected purposes.
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Monday 27th June 2022
4. Visits outside the UK
Name of donor: The Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United Kingdom
Address of donor: 6 Grosvenor Gardens, …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 3rd November 2021
Schools and Educational Settings (Essential Infrastructure and Opening During Emergencies) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to make provision for educational settings including early years, schools, colleges and universities to be classified as essential …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Tom Hunt has voted in 563 divisions, and 7 times against the majority of their Party.

22 Mar 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Tom Hunt voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 33 Conservative No votes vs 320 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 253
13 Oct 2020 - Public Health: Coronavirus Regulations - View Vote Context
Tom Hunt voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 42 Conservative No votes vs 298 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 299 Noes - 82
24 Jun 2020 - Demonstrations (Abortion Clinics) - View Vote Context
Tom Hunt voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 43 Conservative No votes vs 56 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 213 Noes - 47
27 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Tom Hunt voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative No votes vs 320 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 320 Noes - 256
27 Apr 2021 - Delegated Legislation - View Vote Context
Tom Hunt voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 77 Conservative No votes vs 222 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 431 Noes - 89
28 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Tom Hunt voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 32 Conservative No votes vs 321 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 322 Noes - 256
14 Dec 2021 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Tom Hunt voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 97 Conservative No votes vs 224 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 369 Noes - 126
View All Tom Hunt 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
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Minister of State (Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency)
(30 debate interactions)
Michael Gove (Conservative)
Minister for Intergovernmental Relations
(13 debate interactions)
Toby Perkins (Labour)
Shadow Minister (Education)
(11 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Home Office
(75 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(54 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(27 debate contributions)
HM Treasury
(24 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Tom Hunt's debates

Ipswich Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

Call on the government to consider holding debates in Parliament between MPs and university students to raise/discuss issues that affect them. It will allow students to voice their opinions and concerns about tuition fees of £9250 a year which are too high, particularly as grants have been removed

Undocumented Migrants are suffering in silence, with no access to adequate Financial support, or any help. The Government should grant an urgent Amnesty of 5years to those with no criminal record so that they could live their lives as normal human beings and pay tax to help the UK economy.

Government should support vulnerable children & #endchildfoodpoverty by implementing 3 recommendations from the National Food Strategy to expand access to Free School Meals, provide meals & activities during holidays to stop holiday hunger & increase the value of and expand the Healthy Start scheme

The government should allow BTEC students to achieve teacher predicted grades rather than being forced into a system that is unethically downgrading thousands of students grades.

Please don’t send students back until we know we have had the priority groups vaccinated such as the elderly, the extremely clinically vulnerable, and those with underlying health conditions.

Cancel all standardise testing for year 11 and year 12 students in 2021. By replacing tests with smaller amounts of course work and teacher assessment, students would have a fair chance at achieving their target grades and it would relieve stress for teachers and students.

Schools can be a breeding ground for the spread of coronavirus. Children are mingling at schools and returning to families who are potentially vulnerable, keeping rates high.

It's only been since schools opened that infection rates have been high in Kent, and keeping them open may keep it high.

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.

Legislate to allow parents to have the option to remove their children from school if there is a pandemic e.g. Coronavirus or similar without negative action by schools or local authorities. They shouldn’t lose the child’s place in the school or face any kind of prosecution.

Pet Theft Reform 2020: Revise the sentencing guidelines in the Theft Act 1968 to reclassify pet theft as a specific crime. Ensure that monetary value is irrelevant for the categorisation of dog and cat theft crime for sentencing purposes. Recognise pet theft as a category 2 offence or above.

Illegal immigrants are entering the UK in many different ways, including small boats from France which are not stopped by either French or British forces.

I would like the government to review and increase the pay for healthcare workers to recognise the work that they do.

We would like the government to support and regard social care: financially, publicly and systematically on an equal par as NHS. We would like parliament to debate how to support social care during COVID-19 and beyond so that it automatically has the same access to operational and financial support.

To revoke the Immigration Health Surcharge increases for overseas NHS staff. The latest budget shows an increase of £220 a year for an overseas worker to live and work in the UK, at a time when the NHS, and UK economy, relies heavily on them.

Give NHS workers who are EU and other Nationals automatic UK citizenship if they stay and risk their own lives looking after the British people during the COVID crisis.


Latest EDMs signed by Tom Hunt

Tom Hunt has not signed any Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Tom Hunt, 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.


Tom Hunt has not been granted any Urgent Questions

3 Adjournment Debates led by Tom Hunt

1 Bill introduced by Tom Hunt


A Bill to make provision for an offence in relation to the sending of flashing images; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading
Monday 20th June 2022
Next Event - 2nd Reading
Friday 3rd February 2023

122 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
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of Sizewell C on levels of employment in Ipswich.

The proposed Sizewell C Nuclear Power station is subject to a live planning application, which is entirely separate from the ongoing commercial negotiations on the project. Given the Department’s statutory responsibility for determining individual planning applications for energy projects, the Government is unable to comment on specific matters related to this application, including the socio-economic impacts, as this could be seen as prejudicing the decision-making process.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of Sizewell C on the UK's energy security.

New nuclear projects are important for ensuring a low-carbon, low-cost and resilient electricity system, to help us reach our world-leading emission reduction targets and ensure our energy security and prosperity.

The Government has set out its ambition to increase our plans for the deployment of civil nuclear power up to 24GW by 2050. The Government have been in negotiations on the Sizewell C project since January 2021. If approved, Sizewell C would make a substantial contribution to this objective by producing 3.2GW of low carbon electricity, enough to power around 6 million homes or 7 percent of UK electricity.

Greg Hands
Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take urgent steps to ensure that floating bar and restaurant businesses that are not eligible for business rates are able to access the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund has been designed to support smaller businesses in some of the sectors which have been hit hardest by the measures taken to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The scheme has been tied to the business rates system and rating assessments, which together provide a framework for Local Authorities to make payments as quickly as possible.

On 1 May 2020 the Business Secretary announced that a further up to £617 million is being made available to local authorities. This additional fund is aimed at small businesses with ongoing fixed property-related costs such as rents rather than business rates. We are asking local authorities to prioritise businesses in a range of shared workspaces, regular market traders, small charity properties that would meet the criteria for Small Business Rates Relief, and bed and breakfasts that pay council tax rather than business rates. Local authorities may choose to make payments to other businesses based on local economic need.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
24th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he plans to make St George's Day a bank holiday.

The Government regularly receives requests for additional bank and public holidays to commemorate a variety of occasions – such as cultural, history, military and religious events.? The current pattern on public and bank holidays is well established and acknowledged throughout the country.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps she is taking to help improve the level of physical activity in Ipswich through (a) grassroots sport and (b) other means.

Sport and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health and this government is committed to ensuring that everyone, regardless of background, should have access to and benefit from quality sport and physical activity opportunities.

Since 2018, the government has invested £528,357 into a range of grassroots sport projects within Ipswich through Sport England, for example the Ipswich BMX club, the School Games Organisers and through National Leisure Recovery Fund.

The Government also invests £18 million each year in community sport facilities via the Football Foundation. In partnership with the Football Association and Premier League, this results in £70 million being invested into community sport facilities every year.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether her Department has made an assessment of the impact of free public Wi-Fi on footfall in town centres.

The Department has not made an assessment on the impact of free public Wi-Fi on footfall in town centres. However, we know that good quality digital infrastructure, including in public spaces, has substantial social and economic benefits, and this can play a role in supporting our broader policy objectives, including Levelling Up. We are developing a Wireless Infrastructure Strategy to set out a strategic framework for the development, deployment and adoption of 5G and future networks.

14th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the impact of increasing grassroots sport opportunities on the level of physical activity undertaken in local authority areas.

Sport and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health and this government is committed to ensuring that everyone, regardless of background, should have access to and benefit from quality sport and physical activity opportunities.

Since the government launched its sports strategy, Sporting Future in 2015, we have achieved a huge amount.

Sport England has allocated over £1.5 billion to nearly 5,000 grassroots organisations across the UK, increasing opportunities for individuals all over the country to get active.

In 2020 alone, Sport England distributed over £340 million of Exchequer and Lottery funding to support the development of grassroots sport in England, in addition to £100 million through the National Leisure Recovery Fund.

The Government also invests £18 million each year in community sport facilities via the Football Foundation. In partnership with the Football Association and Premier League, this results in £70 million being invested into community sport facilities every year.

The Government has also recently announced a £30 million package to refurbish 4,500 park tennis courts throughout the country in partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association.

On top of this, the Prime Minister has committed to delivering the grassroots pitches every community needs and this has already resulted in an investment of £25 million by the government in 2021/22 to upgrade and improve facilities across the UK. At the Spending Review, a further £205 million was pledged over the next three years, targeted at the communities most in need, with the aim of increasing participation in sport among under-represented groups, as part of the government’s levelling up plans.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the adequacy of provision of sporting opportunities for young people in Ipswich.

The Government is committed to ensuring that all children and young people have the opportunity to engage in sport and physical activity. A key driver of the government’s School Sport and Activity Action Plan is to ensure that all children and young people have access to at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. This is supported by £320 million per year through the PE and sport premium.

Sport England have, since 2016, invested £1,408,100 in different projects in Ipswich. Of that sum, £511,214 went towards 13 different projects which specifically targeted young people. 19 schools in Ipswich have also benefited £145,778 through other funding streams.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will (a) refund community radio stations' Ofcom transmitter and relay licence fees to support those stations during the covid-19 outbreak and (b) take steps to ensure that those stations do not incur those costs in future.

This is a matter for Ofcom, who are responsible for setting and collecting licence fees from radio broadcast licence holders, including those payable by community radio stations.

Ofcom have taken steps to engage with community radio stations that are struggling to meet fees, and have made arrangements with a number of broadcast licence holders that are having difficulties. Community stations should contact Ofcom if they have fees that they are unable to pay as the result of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

14th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of places in special schools for children with SEND in Ipswich constituency.

Local authorities must ensure there are sufficient good school places for all pupils, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The Children and Families Act 2014, requires local authorities to keep the provision for children and young people with SEND under review, including its sufficiency, working with parents, young people, and providers.

There are currently six special schools within Ipswich, providing 368 places to children up to the age of 16 with SEND, including social, emotional, and mental health needs and specific learning difficulties. Two of the six schools, The Bridge School and Sir Bobby Robson School, are yet to be inspected by Ofsted. Two schools, Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy and Stone Lodge Academy, are rated Good. The other two schools, West Lodge School and New Skill Centre, are rated Requires Improvement.

The department continues to support Suffolk local authority and academy trusts with special schools in Ipswich in a range of ways, to help their efforts with providing sufficient good special school places for children with SEND in Ipswich.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
14th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many pupils in Ipswich constituency are waiting for special school places.

The department does not collect data on how many children are waiting for school places on a constituency basis. However, each January, the department collects data from local authorities, covering the number of children and young people and the type of provision attended. This includes mainstream schools, special schools, alternative provision, pupils educated elsewhere, and those awaiting provision.

The most recent return shows that in January 2022, there were 1,503 children of compulsory school age across England with education, health and care (EHC) plans who were not in education and awaiting provision. This is up from 1,460 in January 2021. In Suffolk, in January 2022, there were 36 children of compulsory school age with EHC plans not in education and awaiting provision, up from 26 in January 2021.

The department does not collect data about the specific circumstances of the children awaiting provision. The department knows that this category includes children and young people in a wide range of circumstances, including some who are in an education setting, but awaiting provision in another setting (including those currently attending a mainstream school who are to move to a special school), and some who have only recently moved into the area. The local authority keeps its special school place provision under continual review and has detailed plans for increasing the number of good places available in Ipswich and across Suffolk.

To support these plans, the department collaborates with Suffolk local authority on helping all schools in the county to continually improve their whole-school special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) approach, including ensuring that academies fulfil their obligations to pupils with SEND. While statutory responsibility for providing SEND places rests with Suffolk local authority, the department actively supports the local authority to secure sufficient, good quality SEND places in Suffolk, including in Ipswich.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of provision for specialist education settings in Ipswich.

There are currently six special schools within Ipswich providing 368 places to children (up to age 16) with special educational needs, including social, emotional and mental health needs and specific learning difficulties. More information on the special schools can be found here: https://www.get-information-schools.service.gov.uk/Establishments/Search?tok=8UB4PirD.

Two of the six schools (The Bridge School and Sir Bobby Robson School) are yet to be inspected by Ofsted. Two schools (Thomas Wolsey Ormiston Academy and Stone Lodge Academy) are rated good. The other two schools (West Lodge School and New Skill Centre) are rated requires improvement (to be good). Further queries regarding the adequacy of specialist educational settings should be directed to Ofsted.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the impact of supported apprenticeships on (a) improving the confidence and (b) the future employability of SEND pupils.

Apprenticeships are jobs and are available for all people of all backgrounds, including people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), to start an exciting career in a variety of industries.


In recent years, the department has seen an improved representation of learners who have declared SEND starting apprenticeships, and we want this to continue. The department has improved its ‘find an apprenticeship’ service to allow people to identify Disability Confident employers offering opportunities and ensuring apprenticeships are available to all.


In partnership with the Disability Rights UK, the department has launched a Disabled Apprentice Network to provide valuable insight and evidence on how to attract and retain disabled people into apprenticeships. Disability Rights UK published a report during National Apprenticeship Week 2022 to support employers to improve the diversity of their apprenticeship programmes, whilst highlighting the barriers people may face when undertaking an apprenticeship. In this report, the apprentices identified the opportunity to build confidence, skills, and networks with people with different experiences and gain paid work experience as the key points which influenced them towards undertaking an apprenticeship.


To ensure that more people who declare learning difficulty or disability (LDD) feel confident to undertake apprenticeships, the department has lowered the English and maths requirements to apprenticeships for a defined group of individuals with LDD. We have also introduced British Sign Language (BSL) as an alternative to English Functional Skills for those who have BSL as their first language.


Furthermore, the department makes £1,000 payments to employers and providers for taking on 16 to 18 year olds, or those aged 19 to 24 with an education, health and care (EHC) plan. We also offer £150 per month to help providers make reasonable adjustments for eligible apprentices with special educational needs. Providers can claim additional funding if the cost of support exceeds this rate.


More widely, the department is investing up to £18 million over the next three years to build capacity in the supported internships programme, providing extra support to people with EHC plans to build the necessary skills they need to secure and sustain paid employment or transition into an apprenticeship if they wish to do so.

21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how much SEND pupils receive per pupil in Ipswich constituency under the area cost adjustment to the basic entitlement factor; and how that figure compares to the UK average.

Suffolk County Council, in which Ipswich is located, will attract a year-on-year increase in its high needs allocation of 12.5% per head of their 2-18 population this financial year, bringing its total high needs funding allocation in 2022-23 to £96.1 million.

Suffolk County Council’s allocation of high needs funding is calculated through a national funding formula (NFF) that includes an element of funding based on the number of pupils in special schools in the county, which contributes to the cost of the place funding for those schools. This basic entitlement factor allocates a per-pupil amount of £4,660, to which an area cost adjustment is added, that reflects higher staffing costs in some areas of the country, such as London. The area cost adjustment weightings and basic entitlement per-pupil amounts for each local authority in England are set out in the published NFF calculations which can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-funding-formula-tables-for-schools-and-high-needs-2022-to-2023. The Impact of the schools NFF, 2022 to 2023 spreadsheet shows how the financial year 2022/23 NFF allocations have been calculated. This shows that Suffolk’s area cost adjustment is 1.000. How area cost adjustment is calculated is set out here in Annex A: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/national-funding-formula-tables-for-schools-and-high-needs-2022-to-2023.

A significant proportion of overall funding for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is delivered through the schools NFF and subsequently through each local authority’s local schools funding formula. The information collected from local authorities or schools does not allow us to make a comparative assessment of total SEND or high needs funding on an overall per-pupil basis, at local authority or constituency level, or taking into account the severity of pupils’ needs.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what was the average funding per pupil in mainstream schools in (a) Ipswich and (b) England in each of the last three years.

This 2022/23 financial year, schools in the Ipswich constituency area are attracting an average of £5,089 per pupil through the schools national funding formula (NFF). This compares to a national average of £5,358 per pupil through the NFF.

In the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021, a further national increase in the core schools budget of £1.6 billion in the 2022/23 financial year was announced. This has been allocated to schools through the schools supplementary grant (SSG). Schools in the constituency attracted an additional £149 per pupil on average in the 2022/23 financial year through the SSG, compared to a national average of £156. This is additional to the NFF figures set out above.

In the 2021/22 financial year, schools in the Ipswich constituency area attracted an average of £4,944 per pupil through the NFF. The national average in 2021/22 was £5,212.

In the 2020/21 financial year, schools attracted an average of £4,575 per pupil through the NFF, when the national average was £4,828 per pupil. These figures do not include the funding for the teachers’ pay grant and teachers’ pension employer contribution grant, which were allocated as separate grants in 2020/21. This funding was rolled into the NFF from 2021/22. Therefore, the 2021/22 and 2022/23 NFF figures cannot be directly compared to the 2020/21 figures.

The constituency of Ipswich sees lower levels of funding per pupil than the national average. This is primarily due to the national average including schools in more expensive areas, such as London, that attract higher funding per pupil to reflect the higher costs they face. Schools in Ipswich also have a higher than average number of pupils per school. This means that they receive less than the average, per pupil, in respect of the school-led elements of the NFF that are provided at a fixed rate, such as the lump sum that each school is allocated.

The above figures relate to the amount of funding allocated through the schools NFF. The actual amount of funding schools received may be different, as it is determined by the Suffolk local authority’s local funding formula for schools.

On top of this funding, pupil premium funding rates are increasing by 2.7% in the 2022/23 financial year, meaning that the per pupil funding rate will be the highest, in cash terms, since its introduction. For Ipswich, total pupil premium funding will increase to over £5.7 million in the 2022/23 financial year, from £5.3 million this year. This will ensure that this targeted investment continues to support the most disadvantaged children in our schools.

In the 2022/23 financial year, the department will be allocating approximately £2,000 per pupil, for all pupils who have been eligible for free school meals at any point in the last six years (FSM6), through the NFF, the pupil premium and a 2022/23 school supplementary grant together.

The department has also committed almost £5 billion for an ambitious, multi-year education recovery plan to support young people to catch up on missed learning and invest in what we know works: teacher training, evidence-based support, including tutoring and extra education opportunities. This includes the time-limited recovery premium grant providing over £300 million of additional funding for state-funded schools in the 2021/22 academic year and £1 billion across the 2022/23 and 2023/24 academic years.

Ipswich has been selected at a Priority Education Investment Area (EIA). As a result, the department will offer intensive investment, in addition to the significant support available to all EIAs, so that we can drive improvement further and faster.

In all 55 EIAs, the department will be taking steps to support underperforming schools to make the necessary improvements, build trust capacity, support improved digital connectivity in the schools that need this most and offer the levelling up premium, worth up to £3,000 tax free, to eligible teachers. Our additional support to Priority EIAs includes a share of around £40 million of funding to address local needs, such as those acting as a barrier to improvement at primary and priority access to a number of other department programmes.

24th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the impact on pupils' learning of inclusive learning teams in each further education college.

The government is committed to ensuring that all learners, including learners with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), have access to a world-class education that sets them up for life and supports them to achieve positive outcomes.

Whilst it is for individual colleges to decide how best to support learners with SEND, they must have regard to the SEND code of practice and use their best endeavours to secure the special educational provision called for by the student’s special educational needs.

Ofsted is the body responsible for assessing the quality of further education colleges, rather than my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education. The quality of provision for learners with special educational needs and/or SEND is always considered by Ofsted on inspection.

As of 31 August 2021, 80% of colleges inspected by Ofsted are rated Good or Outstanding.

12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential impact on primary school education in Ipswich of the priority education investment area status.

The department was pleased to announce Ipswich as a Priority Education Investment Area (EIA) as part of the recent Schools White Paper, Opportunity for all: strong schools with great teachers for your child.

The White Paper set out the department's vision for a school system that helps every child to fulfil their potential founded on achieving word-class standards of literacy and numeracy and confirmed the headline ambitions. At primary, this is for 90% of children to achieve the expected standards in reading, writing and maths by the end of Key Stage 2, and for performance in the worst performing areas to have improved by over a third – by 2030.

In Priority EIAs, the department will offer intensive investment in addition to the significant support available to all EIAs, so that they can drive improvement further and faster. This has the potential to transform pupils’ outcomes at primary and secondary, by overcoming entrenched barriers to improvement and strengthening the school’s system in these areas. In existing opportunity areas, like Ipswich, the department will refine the focus on their Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 4 headline ambitions and build on the good work that is already underway.

In all 55 EIAs, the department will be taking steps to support underperforming schools to make the necessary improvements, build trust capacity, support improved digital connectivity in the schools that need this most and offer the Levelling Up premium, worth up to £3,000 tax free, to eligible teachers. The department’s additional support to Priority EIAs includes a share of around £40 million of funding to address local needs, such as those acting as a barrier to improvement at primary and priority access to a number of other Department for Education programmes.

My hon Friend, the Minister for the School System, and I will be writing to all MPs with Priority EIAs in their constituencies to update them on our next steps for the programme, following the briefing session we held on 27 April.

16th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the impact on children’s wellbeing of receiving an early diagnosis of dyslexia.

Early identification of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), including dyslexia, is crucial in supporting the wellbeing of children and young people. It can ensure they receive the support they need to flourish in their education, and as they move into adult life.

Under the Children and Families Act 2014, every mainstream school is required to identify and address the SEND of the pupils they support. They also must endeavour to make sure that every child or young person gets the support they need to succeed in their education.

The department’s SEND code of practice is clear that meeting the needs of a child with dyslexia is not dependent on a diagnostic label or test. Instead, the department expects teachers to monitor the progress of all pupils and put support in place where needed.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the funding of academy chain branches in Ipswich receiving comparatively less than the equivalent branch in London Tower Hamlets, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of regional disparities in funding for the provision of education for SEND students on the resource availability for those students in Suffolk.

There are three key reasons why per pupil school funding rates are different in Tower Hamlets and Suffolk.

The first reason is historical. The national funding formula (NFF) replaced a system which was unfair, untransparent, and out of date, where similar schools and local areas received very different levels of funding with little or no justification. The NFF is improving fairness, so that funding is more closely matched to current needs, rather than historic differences. However, in this move to greater fairness it is also important to maintain stability for schools. The NFF ensures that all schools receive a minimum per-pupil increase in their pupil-led funding, while providing the greatest gains for areas which have been relatively lower funded historically. We believe this strikes the right balance between fairness and stability.

Secondly, it is right that schools with high numbers of pupils with additional needs – such as those indicated by measures of deprivation, low prior attainment, or English as an additional language – receive extra funding to help them meet the needs of all their pupils. The proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals, for example, is higher in Tower Hamlets than in Suffolk, and the funding system reflects this. In addition, schools in more expensive areas, such as London, attract higher funding per pupil than other parts of the country to reflect the higher costs they face.

Thirdly, the current funding system allows for local variation in how funding allocations are determined for individual schools. Local authorities are responsible for designing a local funding formula, within certain parameters, to determine final budgets for schools in their area. This means that there continues to be significant differences in the way in which some local authorities allocate funding. The government has recently put forward its proposals to complete its reforms to the school’s, which will determine schools’ budgets directly rather than through local formulae set independently by each local authority. This will level up the school funding system so that all schools across the country are funded on a fair, consistent basis.

We are also aware that some local authorities have found it difficult to meet the increasing costs of provision for children and young people with education, health and care plans. The right response to tackling this is a multi-faceted approach which looks to the heart of the issues: significant increases in high needs funding nationally; targeted intervention for the local authorities which have struggled the most; and reform from the cross government special education needs and disabilities (SEND) review.

We announced in summer 2021 that high needs funding will increase by £780 million, or 9.6%, in 2022-23 compared to 2021-22; this follows the increase of more than £1.5 billion over the previous two years. This will bring the total high needs budget to £8.9 billion, an increase of over a third since 2019-20. Suffolk County Council’s provisional high needs allocation for 2022-23 is £92.5 million, an increase of 8.1% per head of population aged 2-18 years, compared to 2021-22.

In addition, the autumn 2021 Spending Review will deliver an additional £4.7 billion for the core schools’ budget by 2024-25, compared to previous plans. That includes an additional £1.6 billion for schools and high needs in 2022-23, on top of the funding we previously announced. We will confirm in due course how this additional funding for 2022-23, and for the two subsequent years, will be allocated for schools and high needs.

1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether a school can receive a Good rating from Ofsted where the inspection found an inadequate provision for SEND.

These are matters for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to you directly and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.


1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what proportion of Ofsted’s school education inspection framework involves consideration of SEND provision.

These are matters for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to you directly and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.


1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how his Department plans to allocate the £8.6 million funding announced for 2021-22 for supporting participation of parents and young people in the SEND system.

The department is committed to strengthening the participation of parent carers and young people in the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) system, as evidenced by the £8.6 million provided in 2021-22 to support the effective involvement of parent carers and young people in designing SEND policies and services.

At a local level, this includes providing development support and making available up to £17,500 to each Parent Carer Forum (PCF) to strengthen parent carer participation, an increase of £2,500 compared to 2020-21. Our funding also supports coproduction at a national level, including via FLARE, a national engagement group of disabled young people with representation from each region, and the National Network of Parent Carer Forums.

In addition, the £8.6 million of investment includes funding to ensure families are able to access high quality and impartial information, advice and support, including continued provision of a national helpline to provide advice for families.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to help strengthen participation of parents and young people in the SEND system.

The department is committed to strengthening the participation of parent carers and young people in the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) system, as evidenced by the £8.6 million provided in 2021-22 to support the effective involvement of parent carers and young people in designing SEND policies and services.

At a local level, this includes providing development support and making available up to £17,500 to each Parent Carer Forum (PCF) to strengthen parent carer participation, an increase of £2,500 compared to 2020-21. Our funding also supports coproduction at a national level, including via FLARE, a national engagement group of disabled young people with representation from each region, and the National Network of Parent Carer Forums.

In addition, the £8.6 million of investment includes funding to ensure families are able to access high quality and impartial information, advice and support, including continued provision of a national helpline to provide advice for families.

Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
15th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether it is possible for a school to be graded by Ofsted as outstanding or good if there are concerns that special educational needs provision is not being provided at an equivalent level.

This is a matter for Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman. I have asked her to write to you directly and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what plans the Government has to make the flying of the Union Flag compulsory at all schools.

Schools play an important role in preparing pupils for life in modern Britain. This involves supporting pupils to understand the society in which they grow up and developing their sense of British identity.

Schools are free to display the national flag of the United Kingdom and it is a matter for individual schools to decide. The Department for Education does not provide specific guidance or restrictions on this.

Whilst the Government has a policy on flying the Union Flag above government buildings, this does not extend to schools.

2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of increasing financial support to pre-schools during the covid-19 outbreak to help prevent the closure of those pre-schools.

The government recognises the importance of supporting the early years sector financially during the COVID-19 outbreak.

That is why on 20 July 2020 we announced that we will continue to fund childcare at the same level as before the COVID-19 outbreak, until the end of the calendar year. This will give nurseries and childminders another term of secure income, regardless of how many children are attending. Early years settings will continue to benefit from a planned £3.6 billion funding in the 2020-21 financial year to create free early education and childcare places for children.

In addition to this, the government has provided a package of support for individuals and businesses which are directly benefitting providers of childcare. This includes business rates relief and grants, the extended Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, the Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Job Retention bonus and the extended Job Retention scheme, which will remain open until December 2020, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.

Around £60 million per year of supplementary funding is also being provided to local authorities, to enable them to protect maintained nursery schools’ funding. On 24 August 2020, we announced that we will continue to provide this for the whole of the 2020-21 academic year.

We continue to work closely with both local authorities and the early years sector organisations to monitor the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the sector.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to ensure schools are covid-19 secure during winter 2020-21 when ensuring ventilation in classrooms and outdoor socialising for pupils could become more difficult.

On 2 July we published guidance to help schools prepare for all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. The guidance can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.

The above guidance sets out a ‘system of controls’ which provides a framework for school leaders to put in place a range of proportionate protective measures for children and staff, which also ensure that all pupils receive a high quality education that enables them to thrive and progress. Measures include minimising contacts between groups and maintaining distance where possible, encouraging regular handwashing, and enhanced cleaning.

This includes advice that once the school is in operation, it is important to ensure good ventilation and maximising this wherever possible, for example, by opening windows and propping open doors, as long as they are not fire doors, where safe to do so (bearing in mind safeguarding in particular). Arrangements for ventilation will vary in each setting based on individual circumstances.

Advice on this can be found in Health and Safety Executive guidance on air conditioning and ventilation during the coronavirus outbreak available at https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/equipment-and-machinery/air-conditioning-and-ventilation.htm.

Whilst schools are encouraged to utilise outdoor space, this may be less practical throughout the winter months. The use of outdoor spaces is one element of the protective measures that schools have available to limit the transmission of coronavirus. There cannot be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach, and school leaders will be best placed to understand the needs of their schools and communities and to make informed judgments about how to balance delivering a broad and balanced curriculum with the measures needed to manage risk.

10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support the mental health of students affected by summer 2020’s exam results.

On Monday 17 August, Ofqual confirmed that there no longer would be a standardisation process for AS and A levels or GCSEs. Instead, all students will be awarded the centre assessment grade submitted by their school or college, unless it is lower than their calculated grade, in which case the calculated grade will stand. Unless there is evidence that a processing error has been made, these grades will be final. This means that students can be certain about their grades as a basis for the next steps in their lives.

Individual young people's mental wellbeing is affected in different ways by issues in their lives. It is important that they receive support where they need it, including from their school. The government has provided a wide range of training and resources to schools and colleges to help them support the wellbeing of their pupils. This includes launching the Wellbeing for Education Return programme which is providing £8 million to local authorities to provide schools and colleges all over England with the knowledge and practical skills they need to support teachers, students and parents, to help improve how they respond to the emotional impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The training materials include examples of supporting students around loss and disappointment, including over exam results.

This is additional to longer term work to improve support, including the new mental health support teams that we are rolling out across the country, linked to schools and colleges.

The Office for Students (OfS) have provided up to £3 million to fund the Student Space platform to bridge gaps in mental health support for students. Student Space is a collaborative mental health resource to support students at English and Welsh universities through the unique circumstances created by the COVID-19 outbreak. It provides a range of information, access to dedicated support services (phone or text), details of the support available at each university, and tools to help students manage the challenges of student life.

The government has also worked closely with the OfS to help clarify that higher education providers can draw upon existing funding to provide hardship funds and support disadvantaged students impacted by COVID-19. Providers are able to use the OfS student premium funding worth around £256 million for 2020-21 academic year starting from August towards student hardship funds, including the purchase of mental health support.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to support prospective apprentices while apprenticeship opportunities are reduced as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Apprenticeships will be more important than ever in helping businesses to recruit the right people and develop the skills they need to recover and grow. This government is committed to ensuring people of all ages can continue to benefit from the high-quality training that an apprenticeship offers. Through our ‘Plan for Jobs’, a total of £1.6 billion is to be invested in scaling up employment support schemes, training and apprenticeships.

To help support employers to offer new apprenticeships, employers are now able to claim £2,000 for every new apprentice they hire under the age of 25, and £1,500 for those 25 and over. We have introduced flexibilities to enable apprentices to continue to train during the outbreak and we encourage employers to take advantage of these flexibilities and the new payments. For apprentices who need to find a new employer, due to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, we have launched the Redundancy Support Service for Apprentices, providing clear, accessible advice and guidance to individuals, while supporting their next steps. This includes our vacancy sharing service which works with employers to identify new apprenticeship opportunities which these apprentices can apply for.

We are supporting those who may be interested in an apprenticeship in the future, promoting apprenticeships in schools through our Apprenticeship Support & Knowledge programme, and tripling the scale of our traineeship programme to help young people progress onto an apprenticeship or other employment. We have also announced £101 million for a new offer to give 18 and 19-year-old school and college leavers the opportunity to study high value level 2 and 3 courses when there are not employment opportunities available to them.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with his Israeli counterpart on reopening schools in that country during the covid-19 pandemic.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education has not had discussions with his Israeli counterpart on reopening schools in that country during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is important during this pandemic that we engage internationally and learn from each other on shared challenges in education. Official-level discussions are continuing to take place with counterparts in other countries on all aspects of the education response to the pandemic. However, each country will make their own decisions based on a range of local information, including infection rates and the structure of their education system.

28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to help ensure that student renters and university accommodation providers reach agreement to refund rental payments where students have not been in residence in that accommodation as a result of the covid-19 lockdown.

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.

The government urges universities and private hall providers to be fair in their decisions about rent charges for this period. A number of universities and large companies have waived rents for the summer term or released students early from their contracts. Students who are tenants with individual private landlords can discuss with them the possibility of an early release from their tenancy agreement.

It is important to stress that accommodation providers should not have instructed any student to return home. If any accommodation provider did formally instruct a student to leave the property then it would be unacceptable to continue to charge student rents.

Students will continue to receive scheduled payments of loans towards their living costs for the remainder of the current 2019/20 academic year. Government guidance makes clear that tenants should continue to pay rent and abide by all other terms of their tenancy agreement to the best of their ability during the Covid-19 outbreak.

If a student thinks that their accommodation provider is treating them unfairly, they can raise a complaint under the accommodation codes of practice as long as their provider is a code member. The codes can be found at: https://www.thesac.org.uk/; https://www.unipol.org.uk/the-code/how-to-complain and: https://www.rla.org.uk/about/nrla-code-of-practice.shtml.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to monitor the welfare of vulnerable children who are not attending school 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.

Our latest guidance on supporting vulnerable children is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings.

We are committed to ensuring the safety and protection of vulnerable children and young people, particularly during the current period. Schools and other educational settings remain open for these children and local authorities are maintaining contact with them. Our guidance explains how education providers can support vulnerable children, including to monitor and encourage attendance.

My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State has written to all educational establishments and Directors of Children’s Services in England to encourage attendance for these children. He also stressed the need for schools, local authorities and social workers to maintain contact and support services throughout this period. Officials in the department and re-deployed Ofsted Inspection teams are working with local authorities directly to ensure systems and processes for maintaining contact with vulnerable children are robust in every local authority in England, and to share good practice. We have asked local authorities and educational settings to ensure every vulnerable child knows that their setting is there to support them.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to allocate additional (a) funding and (b) resources to special educational needs provision in (a) Suffolk and (b) England.

As part of the boost to school funding, announced at the spending round last year, mainstream schools in Suffolk will attract £433.1 million this coming year, which will help them provide resources for their pupils with special educational needs. In England the overall increases for schools will be £14.6 billion over 3 years - £2.6 billion in 2020-21, £4.8 billion in 2021-22 and £7.1 billion in 2022-23.

For 2020-21, these overall increases include £780 million additional high needs funding, bringing the total funding for children and young people with the most complex needs to £7.2 billion. Every local authority will see an increase in high needs funding of at least 8% per head of population aged 2 to 18. Suffolk county council will receive £75.5 million of high needs funding in 2020-21, 11.1 million more than in 2019-20. This increase will help the council and other local authorities with the resources they need to support those young people who need the most support, including those with education, health and care plans.

Allocations for high needs in 2021-22 and 2022-23 will be announced in due course.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that teacher training courses provide for an adequate understanding of special educational needs.

The quality of teaching is the most important in-school factor for improving the educational achievements for all children and that this is particularly important for pupils with additional needs.

The new Initial Teacher Training Core Content Framework ( ITT CCF), published on 1 November 2019, has been designed to ensure the training of teachers includes the support for all pupils to succeed, including those pupils identified within the four areas of need set out in the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) code of practice. The ITT CCF is based on the best evidence of what works. The framework therefore deliberately does not detail approaches specific to particular additional needs, but what makes the most effective teaching.

When developing the framework, the Department held stakeholder consultations, events and meetings, including SEND themed events. While there were a range of views about things that could or should be included in the framework, there was consensus that our approach of ‘quality-first teaching’, would be the best way to improve outcomes for all children, particularly those with special educational needs.

In addition to the mandated minimum set out in the ITT CCF, the Department expects ITT providers and their partners to continue to tailor their curricula to the needs of their trainees and the children in the schools where they train and will work.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to ensure that roles in seasonal agricultural work are advertised to people in the UK to limit the need to import foreign workers during the covid-19 outbreak.

The ongoing impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak have meant that there will be a shortfall in the numbers of workers who usually travel to the UK from Europe to work during the harvest season, with the demand for workers peaking from late May through the summer.

Farming leaders have already kick-started a recruitment drive for work on farms, with thousands of British people already expressing an interest in picking up seasonal agricultural work over the coming weeks and months. With many British workers furloughed from their jobs, and students having to put their summer plans on hold, the Government is supporting industry efforts to help farmers bring in this year’s harvest, working to build on these numbers.

The majority of roles for the early part of the harvest season have already been filled. We are closely monitoring the situation and we will shortly be launching a public- facing campaign to highlight the roles available from late May onwards and to encourage people to apply. The Government has confirmed that those who have been furloughed from their jobs due to coronavirus, and who are contractually allowed to work for another employer, can take on this seasonal work.

A new Government-industry digital hub for seasonal work information and job opportunities has been launched to provide guidance on getting into farm work and links to the available jobs and recruiters. The website can be found at pickforbritain.org.uk and will be updated regularly over the coming weeks to help match jobs to workers as the demand grows.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
21st Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will introduce legislative proposals to ban best before labels on food items.

The term ‘best before’ is used to indicate to consumers that the quality of the food may not be at its best after the date has expired. When used appropriately, and in line with the most recent guidance from the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), ‘best before’ helps ensure that consumers are able to make the best use of food and reduce waste.

The Government supports the valuable work done by WRAP in the UK to reduce food waste, which includes providing clear, thoroughly researched, sector-specific guidance on the application of ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates. WRAP’s recommendations are based on a large body of evidence and their work with food businesses, retailers and consumers.

George Eustice
Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
14th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment his Department has made on the impact of park and ride schemes on congestion in Town centres.

The details of how park and ride schemes operate are a matter for local authorities and bus operators concerned.

As set out in the National Bus Strategy published last year, the Government want to see an expansion of park and ride sites in local areas. We have asked Local Transport Authorities to consider parking proposals in their Bus Service Improvement Plans, to improve bus services and encourage modal shift to public transport.

New Local Transport Plan guidance, that we plan to consult on later this year, will also encourage local authorities to consider park and ride sites in their local transport plans if this is something that is appropriate for their area.

Karl McCartney
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
14th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how much investment the region of the East of England has received in rail transport infrastructure in comparison to the other regions of England since 2019.

Regional figures on public sector capital expenditure estimates are published in HM Treasury’s Country and Regional Analysis (CRA):

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/country-and-regional-analysis

Capital expenditure has been used as a proxy for spending on infrastructure.

Capital railway expenditure attributed to the East of England for the financial years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 was £1.8bn. This was approximately 7% of all UK capital railway expenditure (see the attached Table 1).

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
22nd Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the impact of rail strikes on the Port of Felixstowe.

The Department has been working closely with Network Rail and Freight Operating Companies, and those bodies with key users of rail freight such as the port of Felixstowe, to minimise disruption as far as possible during the strikes to protect critical freight flows in key industries. As part of this Network Rail is prioritising keeping essential freight routes open as far as possible, including lines to and from major ports like London Gateway, Felixstowe and Liverpool, to mitigate disruption to supply chains. Whilst a full service is not being run, there will continue to be rail freight provision for the port of Felixstowe throughout the strike period that will mitigate impacts on their operations. Departmental officials are engaged with the port, Network Rail and freight operating companies to monitor impacts.

Whilst there will be impacts on the port of Felixstowe, their current capacity levels mean that this should not cause any major congestion issues for the port at this time.

The Department maintains close engagement with the port and will be discussing mitigations and impacts with the port, post- strike, in order to inform actions for future strikes (if needed).

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of rail strikes on the Greater Anglia line.

We deeply regret the decision of the rail unions to hold three days of strikes. They will adversely affect students taking examinations and have negative impacts on working people and the wider economy.

We committed £16 billion to support the railways through the pandemic - taxpayers’ money - equivalent of £600 for every household in this country or £160,000 per rail worker in this country.

Department officials are working with the industry, including Greater Anglia and Network Rail, to provide some services on key routes, including on the Greater Anglia network but these services will be very limited.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent estimate he has made of the average salary of a train driver employed by Greater Anglia.

Each train operating company, including Greater Anglia, is responsible for its own employees and the Department does not hold this information.

However, the median gross annual pay for train and tram drivers was approximately £59,000 in 2021.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what cost benefit analysis his Department has made of upgrading Haughley Junction.

My Department commissioned Network Rail to undertake analysis on upgrades to Haughley Junction. This work concluded in 2020 and confirmed that both options to deliver an upgrade to Haughley Junction represent “Poor” Value for Money.

Wendy Morton
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many accidents have occurred between Junction 55 and Junction 57 of the A14 trunk road which have resulted in its closure in each year from (a) 2010 to (b) 2020.

The attached table contains the number of traffic collisions reported by Highways England from 2015 for the A14 between junctions 55 and 57, which resulted in a lane closure being implemented:

Date from previous years is not readily available.

25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will remove the requirement that 10 to 15,000 homes be provided in addition to the homes contained within the Suffolk local plans in order for funding to be allocated for the proposed Ipswich Northern Bypass.

I understand the Cabinet of Suffolk County Council has taken the decision to cease development of the proposed Ipswich Northern Bypass scheme, removing it from consideration for funding as part of the Major Road Network and Large Local Majors Programme. Should this remain a priority and development of the scheme resumes, there will be further opportunities for funding.

However, local planning and housing decisions are outside of the Department’s purview and it is not the Department’s policy to specify planning requirements for road schemes to be funded. The Department would simply require a local financial contribution to this scheme.

Kelly Tolhurst
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
27th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps Network Rail plans to take to ensure that disruption is minimised for rail users in Ipswich when closing sections of track from Ipswich to London at weekends to carry out engineering works.

Carrying out engineering works is essential to ensure that the railway remains safe for passengers and staff and changes can be made to improve passenger journeys, for example to prevent infrastructure failures that cause delays. Network Rail seeks to minimise the impact this essential work has on passengers. This includes planning to carry out as much work as possible overnight or while trains are running during the day. Where possible, Network Rail also divert trains from their usual routes (as was done through Colchester area while track improvements to improve reliability were delivered over Christmas and New Year). Where sections of the railway have to be closed, Network Rail seeks to maximise the amount of work undertaken to reduce the number of times an area needs to be closed. They also work with operators to provide passengers with advance notice so they know how their journeys will be affected and what alternatives are available.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury and Chief Whip
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he plans to take with Highways England to prevent the need for the Orwell Bridge in Suffolk to be closed during periods of high wind.

Highways England is aware of the impact any closure of the Orwell Bridge has during high winds. Any decision to close it is not taken lightly and is made on safety grounds alone.

Highways England commissioned a study in October 2018 which will help determine whether the current closure threshold is appropriate. Highways England has meetings planned with stakeholders later this month to present and discuss the findings and next steps. The study will then be published on Highways England’s website.

14th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the quality of the provision of the ambulance service in the East of England.

Ambulance services are assessed through monthly performance data on response times. In June 2022, the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust’s mean Category 1 response time was 10 minutes and 15 seconds, against the standard of seven minutes.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to require dentists to spend 50 per cent of their time working for the NHS for the first five years after they qualify.

There are currently no plans to do so. Health Education England’s ‘Advancing Dental Care Review’, published in September 2021, made recommendations to address recruitment, retention and attract newly qualified dentists into the National Health Service. These recommendations will be implemented through the Dental Education Reform Programme.

The Department and NHS England and NHS Improvement are negotiating with the British Dental Association on reforms to the dental contract to ensure that working in the NHS is more attractive for new dentists.

James Morris
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what was the average waiting time for an NHS dentist appointment in (a) Ipswich and (b) the UK in the latest period for which data is available.

The information requested is not collected centrally, as appointments for National Health Service treatment in England are managed by dental practices.

James Morris
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the availability of steel on the health infrastructure plan; and what steps he is taking to tackle any issues arising from the availability of steel.

No specific assessment has been made. The Department is aware of pressures on the supply chain related to rising inflation and market capacity constraints and keeps this under review.

15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the most effective interventions for increasing levels of physical activity in a local authority area.

The national framework for physical activity, Everybody Active Every Day enables local authorities to support communities to lead more active lives. This includes setting out the evidence base on successfully enabling people to become more active and options for action at each level of the public health system, including local authorities. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s guidance on physical activity and the environment emphasises that local authorities should prioritise the creation and maintenance of environments which encourage people to be active. Local authorities can access physical activity data at community level through the Public Health Outcomes Framework and Sport England Active Lives survey.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the impact on elderly Ipswich residents of moving elective surgeries from Ipswich to Colchester hospital.

No formal assessment has been made. The creation of a new surgical centre at Colchester will not remove access to orthopaedic services from Ipswich Hospital. A locally commissioned patient transport service will be available to all residents who cannot access other methods of attending the centre.

28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress has been made on the development of practice guidance aimed at local authority adult safeguarding teams to bring local practice in line across the England.

In January 2022, the Chief Social Worker for Adults published an independent briefing ‘Revisiting safeguarding practice' to support social workers and other local authority adult safeguarding practitioners to carry out their duties effectively under the Care Act 2014.

We are also preparing to introduce a new duty for the Care Quality Commission to assess local authorities’ delivery of adult social care duties under Part 1 of the Care Act as part of the Health and Care Bill, which we anticipate will include adult safeguarding. These assessments will provide a greater understanding of practice and provision at local level and enable good practice to be shared nationally.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
7th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent comparative assessment his Department has made of the equity of statutory income allocation for children's and adult’s hospice provision; and whether it is his policy that children's hospice funding should be equitable to funding for adult hospices.

Clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) are responsible for commissioning local services. NHS England and NHS Improvement expect CCGs to ensure that the provision of palliative and end of life care (PEoLC) services, including children’s and adult’s hospice provision, effectively meets the needs of the local population and ensures high quality personalised care.

NHS England is increasing its contribution to children’s PEoLC by match-funding CCGs which commit to increase their investment in local children’s PEoLC services, including hospices. This will increase support from £11 million to £25 million a year by 2023/24. In addition, over £400 million has been made available to adult and children’s hospices since the start of the pandemic to increase National Health Service capacity. NHS England and NHS Improvement are reviewing current models of care, commissioning pathways and financial formulas to ensure the sector support children, young people, their families and loved ones.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
9th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to support the retention of care worker staff in (a) general and (b) trusts in which a high proportion of the workforce have left over the last 12 months.

In September 2021, we announced an investment of at least £500 million for the adult social care workforce across three years to deliver new qualifications, progression pathways and wellbeing and mental health support. This will enable a five-fold increase in public spending on the skills, training and wellbeing of care workers, registered managers and others, with the aim of improving retention in the sector. Through the NHS People Plan we are also investing in staff wellbeing, flexible working and other retention initiatives.

To address staffing challenges this winter, on 21 October we announced a new £162.5 million Workforce Recruitment and Retention Fund for local authorities to manage workforce supply in their local areas.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
1st Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the impact of the relative timings of lifting covid-19 restrictions for mixed-household socialising in (a) pubs and hospitality settings and (b) homes on the mental wellbeing of (i) people with autism and (ii) other vulnerable people who may find pubs and hospitality settings inaccessible environments.

We have made no specific assessment.

Throughout the pandemic, we have engaged with stakeholders to understand how the changes to COVID-19 policy and guidance impact people with autism.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the effect of the merger of Ipswich and Colchester hospitals on (a) the effectiveness of Ipswich hospital and (b) the adequacy of the services it provides to users in Ipswich.

It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before prorogation.
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of supporting grassroots initiatives to improve mental health in local communities.

The Government is supportive of grassroots initiatives to improve the mental health of local communities.

The Department is providing £5.23 million in grant funding to Mind to administer the Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund, which is helping local and national voluntary and community sector organisations support people who are experiencing mental ill-health.

As part of this work, the National Survivor User Network is administering a smaller fund to support community and user-led groups and organisations which might not otherwise be eligible for a grant. Grants of up to £2,000 were made available to support community action, peer support, mutual aid and other activities.

We are also providing £12.5 million of funding between 2016/17–2020/21 to the Time to Change mental health anti-stigma campaign which empowers people with lived experience of mental health to work with schools and employers to implement local grassroots mental health anti-stigma campaigns.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the potential merits of a two-site improvement option which would allow Ipswich Hospital to continue to provide orthopaedic surgery in proposals to remove elective orthopaedic surgery from Ipswich Hospital to a new centre in Colchester.

It is for local commissioners to determine how to best deliver services to meet local needs. It is right that decisions on local services and service models are made by local commissioners, who can best assess how to meet the needs of people in their area. For any significant system reconfiguration, we expect all local parts of the system to be talking to the public and stakeholders regularly — it is vital that people can shape the future of their local services.

1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of effect of the proposals to remove elective orthopaedic surgery from Ipswich Hospital on (a) Ipswich patients' ability to get to and from surgery at a new centre in Colchester and (b) the delivery of trauma services remaining at Ipswich Hospital.

It is for local commissioners to determine how to best deliver services to meet local needs. It is right that decisions on local services and service models are made by local commissioners, who can best assess how to meet the needs of people in their area. For any significant system reconfiguration, we expect all local parts of the system to be talking to the public and stakeholders regularly — it is vital that people can shape the future of their local services.

1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the effect of the proposals to make Ipswich Hospital the only general hospital in the East of England not to offer elective orthopaedic surgery on access to such surgery in that region.

It will always be for local commissioners to determine how to best deliver services to meet local needs. It is right that decisions on local services and service models are made by local commissioners, who can best assess how to meet the needs of people in their area.

NHS Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT), is a national clinically-led quality improvement programme that has made recommendations for improving orthopaedic services. These recommendations include the establishment of robust regional networks with regional centres to ensure appropriate critical mass for complex and low volume cases. There is good evidence that these centres offer patient excellent results.

1st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the importance of offering elective orthopaedic surgery close to where people live in respect of the Government's response to the covid-19 outbreak.

Any changes to NHS services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic should be based on clinically-led decisions at the local level.

The National Health Service is working to separate COVID-19 and non- COVID-19 services, to minimise the risk of transmission.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure available university resources are being used to develop tests for covid-19.

The Department is working closely with the universities sector to ensure any available university resources are being deployed in the national testing effort. As a result of our engagement several universities are now conducting research to develop novel solutions and testing methods as well as providing expertise, equipment and workforce to laboratories for COVID-19 testing purposes.

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 assessment he has made of the potential merits of equipping frontline NHS staff with general service respirators from military and civilian authority stocks during the covid-19 outbreak.

The United Kingdom Government and devolved administrations are committed to ensuring that those on the frontline in responding to COVID-19 are provided with the critical personal protective equipment (PPE) they need to do their job safely.

The UK holds stocks of PPE, including respirators through national stockpiles. We are doing everything we can to increase levels of critical PPE through buying as much available product from existing global markets and working with suppliers to make more products. This includes increasing capacity amongst existing PPE manufacturers wherever possible and working with businesses across the economy to divert their manufacturing capacity to PPE products. A technical assurance process is in place, supported by the Health and Safety Executive, Public Health England, and other regulatory bodies so that new and alternative products are checked for effectiveness and safety.

On 10 April 2020, the plan for a national effort on PPE was published at the following link:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/879221/Coronavirus__COVID-19__-_personal_protective_equipment__PPE__plan.pdf

4th Jul 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she has made an assessment of the potential impact of Morocco's Western Sahara Autonomy Proposal on the Western Sahara region; and whether she has made an assessment of the viability of that proposal.

We take note of the proposals presented by the parties to the UN Secretary-General (UNSG) in 2007. We strongly support the work of Staffan de Mistura as the UNSG's Personal Envoy to Western Sahara and encourage all concerned to make the most of this opportunity for a renewed political process to reach a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, based on compromise, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara.

Graham Stuart
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment she has made of the potential effect of the UK’s partnership with Rwanda on development opportunities in that country.

The UK is a longstanding partner to Rwanda, having provided official development assistance (ODA) to support Rwanda's social and economic development since the 1990s. Our development cooperation has delivered huge benefit to the people of Rwanda, helping to lift 2 million people out of poverty. The Migration and Economic Development Partnership builds on this, whilst also delivering a much-needed solution to global migration challenges, and will provide a substantial boost to the development of Rwanda, including on jobs, skills and opportunities to benefit both migrants and host communities.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
20th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what progress has been made on negotiating a new international agreement restricting Iran's (a) nuclear programme, (b) ballistic missile programme and (c) financial support for terror groups.

The UK is committed to finding a diplomatic way forward that brings the US back into the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA), returns Iran to compliance with its commitments, and restores the benefits of the deal. Our diplomats are working hard to negotiate a solution and we welcome the constructive discussions in Vienna so far. But we have always been clear that any sustainable solution will need to address a range of issues, in particular Iran's nuclear programme but also regional security concerns, including Iran's ballistic missile programme and destabilising activity throughout the region. This includes political, financial and military support to a number of militant and proscribed groups. We are committed to engaging regional partners in any future negotiations on regional security.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the reforms to the curriculum to strengthen anti-extremist education in Jordan since 2015.

We frequently engage with the Government of Jordan on countering violent extremism, and Jordan has - in recent years - improved the content of its curriculum. We do not assess that the Jordanian curriculum contains materials that promote engagement with Daesh or other extremist groups, or promotes violent extremist behaviour.

James Cleverly
Secretary of State for Education
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of Freeport East on (a) skills and (b) employment opportunities in (i) Ipswich and (ii) the Ipswich area.

Freeports will increase trade, create employment and attract investment. The Government announced eight Freeports, including Freeport East, at the Budget. Each will now prepare their business cases, to agree with Government their plans and expected impacts.

Steve Barclay
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what further assessment his Department has made of the effect of plans to introduce a reverse VAT charge for building and construction services on the (a) liquidity of mid-market construction firms and (b) Government's infrastructure plans.

The Government remains committed to introducing the VAT reverse charge for building and construction. VAT fraud in this sector still presents a significant risk to the Exchequer.

There are several UK anti-fraud reverse charge measures and their impact on business and supply chains is now well understood and explained in the Impact Assessment. The Government has listened carefully to industry concerns regarding the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and has further delayed the introduction of the reverse charge by a period of five months from 1 October 2020 until 1 March 2021.

HMRC will continue to work closely with the construction industry, providing support and communications to ensure that businesses are fully aware and can prepare for cashflow challenges ahead of the implementation date.

15th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he plans to allow access to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for businesses where HMRC had not received the necessary Real Time Information submissions through no fault of the businesses; and what steps he is taking to put in place an appeals system to deal with such cases.

Employees furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) must have been on their employer’s PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020 and HMRC must have received an RTI (Real Time Information) submission notifying payment in respect of that employee on or before 19 March 2020.

The Government set up the CJRS to operate at significant scale and with limited manual intervention. The eligibility requirements are designed to ensure as many people as possible are included in the scheme while allowing HMRC to verify claims using RTI data, mitigating the risk of fraud. Processing claims for the CJRS in cases where HMRC did not have RTI data would significantly slow down the system and increase the risk of fraud.

27th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an estimate of the number of pet thefts in the last 12 months compared to the 12 months prior.

Information on the scale of pet theft was gathered as part of the recent Pet Theft Taskforce and evidence included data from 33 police forces in England and Wales on trends in reported dog thefts from 2015 to 2020 and is available here:

Pet theft taskforce report - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The Pet Theft Taskforce estimated that around 2,000 dog thefts were reported to the police each year (2019 and 2020) in England and Wales. The Pet Theft Taskforce recommended exploring options which would lead to improving the consistency of recording and collection data on pet thefts by all police forces across England and Wales and government across the entirety of the criminal justice system.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) lead for acquisitive crime has written to all forces asking them to ensure details about stolen dogs are recorded consistently. Operation Opal (the NPCC’s national intelligence unit focused on serious organised acquisitive crime) has suggested that forces across England and Wales are seeing a fall in the number of these crimes, and we are pressing for a further update on the data.

The Government is acting on the recommendations of the Task Force which includes introducing a new dog abduction offence which has been added by the Government to the Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill, bolstering the raft of measures it already includes to further protect pets, livestock and kept wild animals.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent assessment she has made of the impact of the Migration and Economic Development Partnership with Rwanda on the number of small boats crossing the English Channel.

Successfully implementing our ambitious and world-leading Migration and Economic Development Partnership will require a concerted effort but allowing this deadly trade of evil people smuggling gangs to continue is not an option for any humanitarian nation.

Long-lasting change will not happen overnight, it requires a long-term plan. This arrangement with Rwanda is part of a suite of measures aimed at deterring small boat crossings and as with all policies its impact will be kept under review.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when she plans to review the police allocation formula.

The Police Funding Formula Review is currently in progress, with ministers having confirmed their intention to introduce a new formula before the end of this Parliament.

The technical phase of the Review, which will deliver proposals for new funding arrangements, is underway, and a public consultation will take place before any new funding arrangements are implemented.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential impact on residents of using town centre buildings to house asylum seekers.

When procuring accommodation, our accommodation providers will consult on each new property to be procured, this provides Local Authorities with an opportunity to set out concerns about the impact on local services, regeneration schemes and anti-social behaviour.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she has taken to (a) capture data on and (b) provide support for older victims of domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse has no place in our society and this Government is committed to improving our support to those who suffer at the hands of abusers. Our landmark Domestic Abuse Act will strengthen our protection of victims and ensure perpetrators feel the full force of the law. The Government recognises that older people can also be victims of domestic abuse and the new statutory definition of domestic abuse encompasses such victims.

Data on domestic abuse-related offences recorded by the police by age of victim can be found in the Office for National Statistics (ONS) publication ‘Domestic abuse in England and Wales overview: November 2021 in Tables 4 and 10 here: Domestic abuse prevalence and victim characteristics - Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)

The age range for respondents eligible for the domestic abuse, sexual assault and stalking self-completion module of the Crime Survey England and Wales (CSEW) was expanded in April 2017, changing from adults aged 16 to 59 years to adults aged 16 to 74 years. For future data collections as part of CSEW, the ONS will be removing the upper age limit when estimating the number of adults affected by domestic abuse. This will allow us to better monitor the prevalence of domestic abuse amongst older people and further integrate older people’s experiences into conversations and policy decisions around domestic abuse.

Last week, we published the Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan which will seek to transform the whole of society’s response in order to prevent offending, support victims and pursue perpetrators, as well as to strengthen the systems processes in place needed to deliver these goals. The Plan is informed by the unprecedented 180,000 responses we received to our Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Call for Evidence, and relevant data,

literature, and input from experts.

The Plan, investing over £230 million into tackling these crimes, sets out a holistic package of support to ensure that every victim or survivor can get the support they need. We will also monitor their needs and reflect changes in our policy. This individualised approach will help to take the onus off victims and survivors by ensuring support is tailored to them, no matter how complex their needs.

The Plan sets out several key indicators we will use to determine its effectiveness, and we will monitor changes in the prevalence of domestic abuse through the Crime Survey for England and Wales. This year (2021-22) the Home Office is providing the organisation Hourglass with just over £200,000 to support elderly victims of domestic abuse. This funding will also provide casework support, train specialist independent domestic violence advocates and enhance their helpline. This means that Hourglass now operates the UK’s only 24/7 helpline to support older victims of domestic abuse.

The Home Office and the Department of Health and Social Care are jointly leading the Safe Care at Home Review. The Terms of Reference for the review were published on 24th February 2022. The review is looking at the protections and the support available to adults at risk of or experiencing abuse in their own homes from people providing their care, including older victims who are more likely to have care and support needs. As part of the review, we are coordinating inputs from disabled people, carers organisation and other interested parties. The Review is expected to complete before the end of 2022.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to bring forward legislative proposals to amend human rights legislation in order to prevent the unsafe crossings across the English channel by illegal immigrants.

The Nationality and Borders Bill, which is part of our New Plan for Immigration, seeks to build a fair, but firm asylum and illegal migration system.

The Bill will tackle unsafe crossings of the Channel by giving enhanced powers to Border Force, introducing longer sentences for illegal entry and increasing the maximum penalty for people smuggling to life imprisonment.

Tom Pursglove
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions officials in her Department are having with representatives of the College of Policing on removing the obligation on police forces to record non-crime hate incidents.

Officials regularly meet College of Policing representatives to understand how practices and policies can improve.

The Home Secretary also recently wrote to the College of Policing on this important issue.

19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps the Government is taking to intercept boats crossing the English channel before the arrival of those boats onshore.

These are dangerous and unnecessary crossings, which are often illegally-facilitated and which we are determined to end. We are working closely with the French to prevent these crossings and to go after the criminality that profits from them.

Those efforts have seen numbers of gendarmes reservists doubled, enabling wider ranging deployment. Technology and intelligence capabilities are also being used to prevent crossing attempts and to inform operational responses on beaches and inland. Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) is paramount in the approach taken by both ourselves and the French once migrant vessels are at sea. The French continue to stop the majority of those attempting to cross, and over twice as many crossings have been prevented so far in 2021 compared to the same point in 2020.

1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many fines for exceeding the speed limit have been issued between Junction 55 and Junction 57 of the A14 trunk road for each year from (a) 2010 to (b) 2020.

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the number of fixed penalty notices (FPNs) issued for speed limit offences. These data can be found in the ‘Police Powers and Procedures, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin, which can be accessed here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/police-powers-and-procedures-england-and-wales

Detailed information on the location where the offence took place is not collected or held by the Home Office.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals to better protect shop workers from abuse and violence in the workplace as set out in the British Retail Consortium's Shopworkers' Protection Pledge, published in September 2020; and what steps her Department is taking to help reduce the number of incidences of abuse and violence towards shop workers in the workplace (a) at all times and (b) during the covid-19 outbreak.

The existing Sentencing Assaults guidelines by the Sentencing Council already requires courts to treat the fact that an offence was committed against those working in the public sector or providing a service to the public as an aggravating factor, making the offence more serious. The Government does not consider that a change to the law is required

The Government is working closely with retailers through the National Retail Crime Steering Group (NRCSG) co-chaired by the British Retail Consortium to deliver a programme of work which aims to provide better support to victims, improve reporting, increase data sharing and raise awareness of this despicable crime.

Following the outbreak of Covid-19, the Sentencing Council published interim guidance in April that clarifies that, when sentencing assault offences relating to the transmission of Covid-19, the courts should treat this as meriting a more severe sentence.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the lack of a specific offence of pet theft on (a) the police's ability to record pet theft and (b) the incentives for the police to investigate pet theft with regard to the severity of sentences upon successful prosecution.

The Government understands the distress caused by the theft of a pet, which is already a criminal offence under the Theft Act 1968 and carries a maximum penalty of 7 years’ imprisonment. We expect the police to record all such crimes reported to them so that they can determine how best to investigate

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps her Department has taken to tackle increased instances of pet theft during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government understands the distress caused by the theft of a pet, which is already a criminal offence under the Theft Act 1968 and carries a maximum penalty of 7 years’ imprisonment. We expect the police to record all such crimes reported to them so that they can determine how best to investigate

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether the cost of Government-arranged accommodation for international arrivals who have not arranged accommodation in which to quarantine for 14 days will be paid for from the public purse.

Where people arrive and are non-symptomatic, they are expected to have arranged their own accommodation.

If for some reason they require different accommodation, they can use the government organised hotel booking service where all costs will fall to the traveller.

Existing immigration rules allow for a traveller who has insufficient funds to support themselves during a visit to be refused entry to the UK.

Where people arrive and are symptomatic, and they do not have suitable accommodation to self-isolate, the government will provide suitable accommodation until such time as they either complete the 14 day period, recover from their symptoms or have a test which confirms they do not have the virus. In this circumstance the traveller will be expected to cover all other expenditure during the period they are in a government quarantine facility.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
12th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of preventing people from arriving in the UK if they do not have pre-arranged accommodation in which to spend 14 days in quarantine.

The Government will require all international arrivals not on a short list of exemptions to self-isolate in their accommodation for fourteen days on arrival into the UK. Where international travellers are unable to demonstrate where they would self-isolate, they will be required to do so in accommodation arranged by the Government.

All international arrivals will be required to supply their contact and accommodation information and they will also be strongly advised to download and use the NHS contact tracing app.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to (a) prevent illegal arrivals through unauthorised crossings of the English Channel and b) remove those people that entered the UK illegally.

Keeping our border secure is the Government’s highest priority and it is committed to doing everything it can to stop these dangerous Channel crossings which are putting vulnerable lives at risk.

Through joint-working with France, the UK has funded the continued deployment of gendarme reservists along the coast of northern France, who are patrolling constantly in order to detect attempted crossings by migrants. Funding has been allocated, among other projects, for further improvements at ports in northern France and on the ground, this now includes drones, specialist vehicles and detection equipment to stop small boats leaving European shores.

Intelligence flows are also key to dismantling the organised crime groups behind crossings. We have restructured and repurposed our approach to support the growing intelligence feeds which is used to inform and direct how and where resource is deployed.

The majority of countries who are signatories to the Dublin Regulations which governs the return of those seeking asylum in the UK to a third country have announced temporary suspension of transfers to and from all EU Member States due to the Coronavirus. Returns to third-countries can still take place where there is a suitable route of return.

22nd Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make an assessment of the potential merits of reducing foreign nationals' air access to the UK to help tackle the spread of covid-19.

Our approach to international travel and checks at the border must be informed by the scientific and medical evidence and advice provided by SAGE and Public Health England. Any decision to implement additional restrictions on international travel to the UK or on arrival at ports/airports will be made by Ministers based on the consideration and advice of SAGE/PHE.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to encourage recently retired police officers back to service to deal with additional pressures on the force during the covid-19 outbreak.

On 22 April, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury made a written statement confirming that the relevant tax rules are temporarily suspended. This means that that retired officers who re-join the police to support Government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak will not be subject to punitive tax charges which may otherwise deter officers from returning to serve during this period.

The written ministerial statement is available at https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2020-04-22/HCWS196/

The Government is committed to ensuring that police forces and officers have the support and resources they need to meet the increased demands of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
17th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to purchase water cannons for use in public disorder situations.

There are no plans to introduce water cannon into UK policing. The Home Office works closely with the National Police Chiefs Council on police capability and the measures that can be used in response to public disorder.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
25th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if her Department will take steps to ensure that the College of Policing's Hate Crime Operational Guidance is amended to remove the requirement that police forces record non-crime hate incidents.

The College of Policing has revised its operational guidance on hate crime to help provide clarity on responding to non-crime hate incidents, among other things. The College has consulted on this draft revised operational guidance and plans to publish this in due course to support forces dealing with hate crimes and hate incidents.

The College of Policing is independent from Government and its role is clear: setting high professional standards; sharing what works best; acting as the national voice of policing; and ensuring police training and ethics is of the highest possible quality.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she will take to ensure equitable funding for Suffolk constabulary by changing the police funding formula.

The Government is committed to supporting the police, including through the 20,000 additional officers announced in the Chancellor’s September 2019 statement.

The funding formula will be considered in the context of the next Spending Review.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the impact of parking costs on footfall in town centres.

My department is aware of the important link between parking provision and the vitality of our high streets and town centres, especially where transport infrastructure does not allow citizens to use public transport. We know that parking costs may have an impact on whether citizens decide to drive to town centres, but these also need to be balanced against other factors like the availability of adequate accessible parking and attractive alternatives to driving.

My department is currently developing a new, consolidated Code of Practice for the private parking industry which will raise standards and stop unfair practices in the private parking sector. This includes considering the right level of charges for motorists who have fallen foul of parking restrictions.

Furthermore, in the Build Back Better High Streets Strategy, we also committed to consider how we can further improve local authority parking to make high streets more accessible to shoppers, including working with councils to ensure that parking space supply and parking tariffs support high streets strategies, and are joined up with local transport plans.

15th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the levels of funding required to achieve the Government's objectives under its levelling up agenda in the east of England.

Government is providing substantial investment to achieve our levelling up ambitions in the East of England. This includes £287 million through the town deals programme, supporting twelve towns, including Ipswich, to drive growth and regeneration and an initial £87 million of investment through Round 1 of the Levelling Up Fund, funding five projects across the region. Both Norfolk and Suffolk have been invited to agree early county deals to provide them with more powers and freedom to achieve their levelling up ambitions and further investment will be provided across the East of England through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

24th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of identifying Ipswich as a priority levelling up area.

The Government recognises that towns such as Ipswich are crucial to the success of the levelling up agenda. That is why we are investing £25 million in Ipswich though the Towns Fund programme, which will support eleven vital projects across the town.

This funding, coupled with £1,381,860 from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF), will make a tangible difference to the lives of people living in Ipswich, helping the town to reach its full potential and unlock local opportunities for all.

12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the potential impact of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on levels of community engagement.

A national programme of events and celebration is planned around the momentous occasion of Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. While London provides the backdrop to celebrations including the Trooping of the Colour, the Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Platinum Party at the Palace, and the Platinum Jubilee Pageant, community activity is planned right across the United Kingdom. Events include street parties, the lighting of beacons and pageants, with communities coming together to enjoy a weekend of celebrations.

My department are working closely with colleagues in DCMS to map community engagement and activity across the United Kingdom. To date there are over 200,000 local celebration events planned, including 70,000 big Jubilee lunches organised by local communities, with 4,000 events promoted on the Platinum Jubilee event map https://platinumjubilee.gov.uk/events/. We continue to communicate with local councils to encourage their continued involvement and support of the upcoming celebrations.

24th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of using the Levelling Up Fund to support grassroots sport.

Culture and heritage is one of three investment themes for round one of the Levelling Up Fund. Under this investment theme, places were given the opportunity to come forwards with proposals including around creating new cultural and creative spaces such as sports or athletics facilities.

The first round of the Levelling Up Fund awarded funding to multiple projects which will support grassroots sport in local communities, including the creation of a new community sports hub in Newcastle upon Tyne. The next round of the Fund, opening in spring 2022, will provide further funding opportunities.

Michael Gove
Minister for Intergovernmental Relations
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what progress his Department has made on identifying solutions to support leaseholders with (a) the incidental costs of waking watches and (b) other incidental costs with the exception of remediation incurred as a result of dangerous cladding having been installed on their leasehold properties.

The most effective way to make buildings with unsafe cladding safe and eliminate the need for interim measures and associated costs is to have the unsafe cladding removed as quickly as possible. That is why we are prioritising £1.6 billion public subsidy on remediation of unsafe cladding. However, we recognise residents’ concerns about the cost of waking watch measures and the lack of transparency of these costs. That is why we have collected and published information on waking watch costs. This will enable those that have commissioned it to make comparisons and challenge providers on unreasonable costs. The data is available at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/building-safety-programme-waking-watch-costs.

The Government also welcomes the National Fire Chiefs Council's update to its guidance on Simultaneous Evacuation published in October (available at: www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk/Simultaneous-evacuation-guidance). We have asked the Fire Protection Board to advise Fire and Rescue Services on how best to operationalise the revised guidance including looking into other measures such as installing building-wide fire alarm systems to reduce the dependency on waking watches wherever possible.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential merits of introducing a funding mechanism whereby the Government (a) covers the up front cost of all urgent remediation works for dangerous cladding and (b) subsequently recovers the cost of that work over a period of time from those responsible for installing the cladding.

The Government is making £1.6 billion available to support the remediation of unsafe cladding but this does not absolve building owners of their responsibility to ensure their buildings are safe. The remediation of over 50 per cent of privately owned high-rise residential buildings with unsafe Aluminium Composite Material (ACM) cladding will be paid for by building owners and developers, or through warranty or insurance claims - without passing the cost to residents and leaseholders. We expect building owners and developers to step up in a similar way for other kinds of unsafe cladding.

The Government has asked Michael Wade to accelerate work with leaseholders and the financial sector to develop proposals to protect leaseholders from unaffordable costs of remediating historic defects. The Government is determined to remove barriers to fixing historic defects and identify financing solutions that protect leaseholders from unaffordable costs; but we must also ensure that the bill does not fall on taxpayer. It?is likely?our solution will?be a combination of options as there is no one quick fix.?We will update leaseholders as soon as we can, and before the Building Safety Bill returns to Parliament.

For both the Private Sector ACM Fund and the Building Safety Fund applicants are required to demonstrate that they have taken all reasonable steps to recover the costs of replacing the unsafe cladding from those responsible through insurance claims, warranties and/or legal action. Where they are able to successfully recover damages relating to the removal and replacement of unsafe non-ACM cladding, Government will require building owners to repay any amounts recovered which relate to the removal and replacement of the unsafe cladding up to the amount provided through the funding.

21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of the potential benefits of implementing the recommendations in the Law Commission’s Commonhold Report on (a) flat owners’ ability to make key decisions about the management and costs of their building and (b) preventing the exploitation of leaseholders by landlords.

The Government wants to see commonhold reinvigorated as an alternative tenure to leasehold for flats, which is why we asked the Law Commission to look at how this could be done and what changes to legislation are required to support a wider take up of the tenure in the future.

The Law Commission report on commonhold was published in July, alongside reports on enfranchisement and Right to Manage. They are comprehensive and thorough reports and we will now take the time to consider these in detail and set out our preferred way forward in due course.

10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what support his Department is providing to local homeless charities during the covid-19 outbreak.

Charities, and the thousands of people who volunteer with them, make a real difference to vulnerable people’s lives. We all need to work together to break the homelessness cycle and we are committed to drawing on as much expertise and experience as we can. Many of the projects we fund involve joint working with voluntary organisations as delivery partners, and in response to Covid-19 we have worked in partnership with the voluntary sector and faith and community groups.

MHCLG announced £6 million of emergency funding to provide relief for frontline homelessness charitable organisations who are directly affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. This is part of a £750 million package of government support for UK charities who may have been impacted by the pandemic. This Covid-19 Homelessness Response Fund was delivered by Homeless Link and applications closed on Wednesday 27 May.

Following a successful bidding process, over 130 charities across England benefitted from the £6 million emergency Fund. Further detail regarding the organisations who have been funded can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/charities-to-benefit-from-support-for-rough-sleepers-during-pandemic.

The Department also funds work to support a wide range of the homelessness sector – including voluntary organisations and independent providers of learning:

  • Homeless Link are funded £800,000 to support the work of the single homelessness sector. This includes a leadership programme for leaders and managers of single homelessness services; the provision of practical support for frontline workers; maintaining the Homeless England database; and a research programme.
  • The National Homelessness Advice Service (NHAS), which is run by Shelter, is funded by MHCLG to provide free training and expert advice to local authority and public authority staff including those with a duty to refer. For 2020/21 the Department has committed £1.95 million of grant funding to NHAS to ensure that frontline staff have the right skills and legal knowledge effectively to support individuals at risk of homelessness or rough sleeping.
  • MHCLG has funded StreetLink, a service run by Homeless Link and St Mungo’s, since its inception in 2012.
  • In 2020/21 MHCLG provided £200,000 of grant funding to Housing Justice. This fund works to equip faith and community night shelters to develop good practice and to help faith and community groups to be more coordinated and linked-in with other homelessness provision (statutory, commissioned and other third sector) and provide a route away from the street.
Kelly Tolhurst
Treasurer of HM Household (Deputy Chief Whip, House of Commons)
28th Apr 2020
What steps his Department is taking to help renters affected by the covid-19 outbreak.

This Government has put in place an unprecedented package to support renters during this time. Legislation to increase eviction notice periods, coupled with the Court Service’s suspension of proceedings, mean no renter currently faces the threat of eviction.

We have strengthened the welfare safety-net to help households experiencing financial hardship.

28th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending the (a) ban on evictions for renters and (b) mortgage holidays for landlords during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make it the Government's policy that landlords and tenants work together to establish an affordable repayment plan for rent arrears.

Any decision to alter the duration of the emergency measures brought in to support landlords and tenants during this time will be informed by Public Health England guidance. The Government will take further action, including extending the measures, if necessary


The Government is constantly monitoring the measures it has announced in response to COVID-19, including mortgage holidays. If, following the three-month mortgage holiday, a landlord is unable to begin paying their mortgage, they should reach out to their lender to discuss their options.

The Government has delivered unprecedented financial support to assist tenants with living costs, including rental payments. We have?also?been clear?in guidance?that there is a need for landlords to offer support and understanding to tenants – and any guarantor – who may see their income fluctuate.?This could include reaching a temporary agreement not to seek possession action for a period of time and instead, pause payments or accept a lower level of rent, or agree a plan to pay off arrears at a later date.

27th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to ensure the allocation of the additional £1.6 billion support for local authorities is adequate for borough councils in two-tier systems.

MHCLG continues to work with local agencies, including local authorities, on their preparedness to manage a Covid-19 outbreak.

Allocations of the additional £1.6 billion support for councils to respond to coronavirus were announced on Tuesday 28 April. This is a significant package of support which responds to the range of pressures councils have told us they are facing and takes the total amount provided to local councils to over £3.2 billion. Across both waves of funding, almost 70 per cent of district councils will receive £1 million or more in support, whilst 90 per cent of the funding will go to social care authorities. These allocations provide more funding to lower tier authorities than the first wave of funding.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
13th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that local planning authorities accelerate the delivery of housing set out in their local plans.

In 2018 we introduced a Housing Delivery Test and published the 2019 measurement on 13 February 2020.

On 12 March the Secretary of State set out this Government's plans for housing and planning following the announcements at Budget. This includes continuing to raise the Housing Delivery test threshold to 75 per cent in November 2020, setting a deadline for all local authorities to have an up-to-date local plan by December 2023, and consulting on reforming the New Homes Bonus to reward delivery.

In addition, in the Spring we will be publishing bold and ambitious Planning White Paper which will propose measures to accelerate planning.

13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to extend the community housing fund for five years.

The Community Housing Fund provides the principal source of Government support for the community-led housebuilding sector. The Fund is delivered outside London by Homes England and within London by the Greater London Authority. Capital and revenue grants are available to community-based groups wishing to take forward schemes to build locally affordable housing.

The Community Housing Fund is currently scheduled to close in March 2020. Ministers are considering all budgets in the round and allocations for 2020/21 will be confirmed through a business planning exercise. Allocations for future years will be considered at the next fiscal event.

13th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will allocate additional funds for the replacement of (a) aluminium composite material and (b) high pressure laminate cladding.

The Government has committed £600 million for the removal and replacement of unsafe ACM cladding on high-rise residential buildings. Government intervention is wholly exceptional, and is based on the unparalleled fire risk ACM poses. We are aware of concerns leaseholders have about meeting the cost of remediation of fire safety issues other than ACM cladding remediation on high-rise buildings. Building safety is the responsibility of the building owner, and they should consider all routes to meet costs, protecting leaseholders where they can – for example through warranties and recovering costs from contractors for incorrect or poor work.

10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he plans to (a) abolish the Greater Cambridge City Deal and (b) transfer the functions and funding allocated to that deal to the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority.

Government has no plans to abolish the Greater Cambridge City Deal. The Greater Cambridge City Deal Investment Funds are subject to a 5-yearly Gateway Review process. We are currently undertaking this review with the Greater Cambridge Partnership and expect to conclude it by the end of the financial year.

If the local area wants to propose changes to governance arrangements, they should bring forward proposals, agreed by all the signatories, and my officials could consult with the relevant departments to consider Government’s response.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
10th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans the Government has to create an East Anglian Mayor and combined authority to cover Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

The Government wants to see more devolution across the country, and we welcome locally backed proposals. The English Devolution White Paper will provide further information on our plans for full devolution across England, increasing the number of mayors and doing more devolution deals.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of allocating funding from the Stronger Towns Fund to Ipswich based on the work of the Ipswich Vision Board.

We are pleased to confirm that Ipswich has been selected as one of the first 100 places to benefit from the £3.6 billion Towns Fund. We have been in touch with colleagues in Ipswich and will be working with them to develop their Town Deal. I hope you will continue to play an active role in shaping their plans.

28th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to his Department's plan to open a new regional office in Ipswich, announced on 1 February 2022, when he expects that new office to open, and what estimate he has made of the number of jobs which that new office will create in Ipswich.

We are currently planning to open a Justice Collaboration Centre in Ipswich in late summer this year. The MoJ will be moving roles away from London through a national talent location strategy which relies on roles becoming vacant to then be advertised nationally to one of our 7 hubs. This allows MoJ to attract the best talent regardless of their location.

Due to this strategy, it is difficult for MoJ to estimate the number of jobs that may be created in Ipswich; however, this does mean the opening of the regional office will create new opportunities for the people of Ipswich, and its locality, to access good quality civil service jobs in the MoJ.

21st Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the quality of literacy education in prisons.

The Prisons Strategy White Paper sets out the government’s ambition to equip all prisoners with the literacy skills they need to get jobs on release. To support this, HMPPS has introduced new performance measures for English and maths and we are holding Governors to account for improving the teaching of reading in their prisons.

The joint report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons and Ofsted on Prison education: a review of reading education in prisons highlighted the need to improve literacy education in prisons. To address its recommendations, we will review the current mechanisms for assessing and recording the levels of prisoners’ reading; improve the curriculum guidance given to governors to ensure they prioritise the teaching of reading and review teacher capability to ensure that all providers have staff who are properly qualified to teach reading.

We are also planning to develop a Literacy Innovation Scheme to encourage new providers to work with us to trial new approaches to teaching reading with the aim of driving up quality and improving outcomes across the estate.

12th May 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what cost-benefit analysis his Department has conducted on screening all prisoners for learning disabilities.

Screening for Learning Difficulties and Disabilities (LDD) is delivered in prisons by contractors. The number of assessments carried out increased during the pandemic with more learners being supported.

As part of the MoJ’s Action Plan response to the Justice inspectorate’s review of Neurodiversity in the Criminal Justice System, the Cross Government Neurodiversity Working Group will consider current screening tool use, including assessing practicality, affordability and value for money. To help improve support for neurodivergent people, a new role of lead for neurodiversity is also being introduced in the Accelerator prisons with the view to expanding the role across the estate.

We have recently commissioned external research to evaluate current provision and are awaiting the findings. Our response to the recommendations from the recently published HMIP/OFSTED report, ‘Prison education: a review of reading education in prisons’ will include a review of all initial assessments taking place within custody.

28th Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps his Department has taken to monitor older people’s experience of the criminal justice system.

We recognise that some older people can need additional support to access services.

Vulnerable victims, including some older victims, may face specific barriers to engaging victim support services or the criminal justice system. The Victims’ Code sets out a clear framework of 12 key overarching entitlements that set out what all victims can expect from all criminal justice agencies. Vulnerable victims are eligible for enhanced support under the Code, such as being offered a referral to a specialist support service, being contacted sooner after key decisions and having access to special measures when giving evidence.

We have also recently consulted on a Victims’ Bill, which will build on the foundations provided by the Victims’ Code to substantially improve victims’ experiences of the criminal justice system. The consultation committed to placing the Code in legislation, and explored options in relation to using victims’ experiences to drive improvements, and making clearer and sharper lines of accountability if victims do not receive their entitlements from criminal justice agencies.

We also recognise that older individuals in the criminal justice system can face barriers to accessing services which can rehabilitate them. We are developing an ageing prison population strategy currently, with the aim of ensuring older prisoners are rehabilitated successfully, reducing reoffending and better protecting the public.

Kit Malthouse
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
13th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many people convicted of pet theft offences have been awarded a prison sentence in each of the last three years; and what the average length was of those sentences.

The Government is sympathetic to the emotional trauma which the theft of a much-loved pet can cause. The Sentencing Council’s guidelines on theft now take account of the emotional distress on the victim caused by any theft offence, including theft of a pet, meaning that the courts will now take this into account when considering the appropriate sentence.

There are different theft offences under the Theft Act 1968 any of which could relate to the theft of pets depending on the individual circumstances of the case. Centrally held information on theft offences does not identify if a pet specifically was stolen. The information may be held on court records but to be able to identify cases in which pets were stolen would require access individual court records which would be of disproportionate cost.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to ensure that the use of coronavirus as a weapon is treated as an aggravating factor in sentencing.

It is vital that offenders using coronavirus to threaten others during this pandemic face the full force of the law.

Such behaviour is an assault and where this is directed at an emergency worker we have recently doubled the maximum penalty for assault from 6 to 12 months’ imprisonment. We have already seen significant sentences imposed on those using coronavirus as a threat.

Sentencing in individual cases is a matter for our independent Courts. On 8 April 2020, the Sentencing Council also published interim guidance for sentencers in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The interim guidance clarifies that, when sentencing common assault offences involving threats or activity relating to transmission of Covid-19, courts should treat this as an aggravating feature of the offence, meaning a more severe penalty could be imposed than would have been the case absent the aggravating factor (subject always to the maximum penalty for the offence).

13th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps he is taking to ensure that inmates found to have used social media in prison are punished appropriately.

We do not tolerate the use of mobile phones in our prisons and will seek to punish those responsible.

The Prison Service’s Digital Media Investigations Unit (DMIU) works with prisons to identify offenders accessing websites and shuts these down quickly. In 2019, 387 social media profiles were removed.

Prisoners found guilty of using phones or other devices to upload information to social media websites can face punishments including prosecution in court which can result in sentences of up to two years’ further imprisonment.

We are investing an extra £100 million across the prison estate to fund additional staff, X-ray body scanners, baggage scanners and drug detection technology at prison gates, so that we can stop phones from entering prisons. The same investment will fund cutting-edge phone detection and blocking technology so that we can stop phones that do enter from working, or detect and retrieve them. Additionally, we are building a new digital forensics facility, which will enhance our capability to exploit intelligence from seized phones.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)