Tom Tugendhat Portrait

Tom Tugendhat

Conservative - Tonbridge and Malling

Liaison Committee Sub-committee on the effectiveness and influence of the select committee system
13th Feb 2019 - 6th Nov 2019
Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art
12th Dec 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Liaison Committee (Commons)
6th Nov 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
National Security Strategy (Joint Committee)
30th Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Foreign Affairs Committee
12th Jul 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art
5th Oct 2016 - 3rd May 2017
Consolidation Bills (Joint Committee)
9th Nov 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Consolidation, &c., Bills (Joint Committee)
9th Nov 2015 - 3rd May 2017
Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee
6th Jul 2015 - 31st Oct 2016


Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 26th October 2021
10:15
Foreign Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Implementing the Integrated Review: Tilt to the Indo-Pacific
26 Oct 2021, 10:15 a.m.
At 10.30am: Oral evidence
Professor Rory Medcalf - Head, National Security College at Crawford School of Public Policy
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 26th October 2021
14:15
Foreign Affairs Committee - Oral evidence
Subject: Implementing the Integrated Review: Tilt to the Indo-Pacific
26 Oct 2021, 2:15 p.m.
At 2.30pm: Oral evidence
Dr Jack Holland - Associate Professor in International Relations/Security at University of Leeds
Dr Sidharth Kaushal - Research Fellow at Royal United Services Institute
View calendar
Select Committee Meeting
Tuesday 23rd November 2021
09:15
Division Votes
Friday 22nd October 2021
Employment and Trade Union Rights (Dismissal and Re-engagement) Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 249 Conservative No votes vs 0 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 188 Noes - 251
Speeches
Tuesday 21st September 2021
Data Breach: ARAP Applicants in Afghanistan

I am delighted to hear from my right hon. Friend just now that Admiral Key has got a knighthood. There …

Written Answers
Monday 5th July 2021
Broadband: Contracts
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when his Department plans to announce further details …
Early Day Motions
None available
Bills
Tuesday 12th February 2019
Child Cruelty (Sentences) Bill 2017-19
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 18th October 2021
8. Miscellaneous
From 25 April 2020, Chair, and from 16 September 2021, a Director of the China Research Group, a company limited …
EDM signed
Tuesday 11th September 2018
TEACHERS' PAY IN WALES
That this House cautiously welcomes the long over-due pay rise of 3.5 per cent for teachers and other public sector …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Tom Tugendhat has voted in 290 divisions, and 9 times against the majority of their Party.

22 Mar 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Tom Tugendhat 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
20 Jan 2021 - National Security and Investment Bill - View Vote Context
Tom Tugendhat voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 6 Conservative Aye votes vs 350 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 269 Noes - 351
19 Jan 2021 - Trade Bill - View Vote Context
Tom Tugendhat voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 34 Conservative No votes vs 319 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 319 Noes - 308
1 Dec 2020 - Public Health - View Vote Context
Tom Tugendhat voted No - against a party majority and against the House
One of 53 Conservative No votes vs 290 Conservative Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 291 Noes - 78
23 Jun 2020 - Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme - View Vote Context
Tom Tugendhat voted Aye - against a party majority and in line with the House
One of 45 Conservative Aye votes vs 235 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 243 Noes - 238
2 Jun 2020 - Proceedings during the Pandemic - View Vote Context
Tom Tugendhat voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 31 Conservative Aye votes vs 240 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 185 Noes - 242
10 Mar 2020 - Telecommunications Infrastructure (Leasehold Property) Bill - View Vote Context
Tom Tugendhat voted Aye - against a party majority and against the House
One of 36 Conservative Aye votes vs 301 Conservative No votes
Tally: Ayes - 282 Noes - 306
27 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Tom Tugendhat 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
28 Apr 2021 - Fire Safety Bill - View Vote Context
Tom Tugendhat 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
View All Tom Tugendhat 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
Dominic Raab (Conservative)
Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
(52 debate interactions)
Nigel Adams (Conservative)
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
(23 debate interactions)
Boris Johnson (Conservative)
Prime Minister, First Lord of the Treasury, Minister for the Civil Service, and Minister for the Union
(20 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Cabinet Office
(25 debate contributions)
Ministry of Defence
(19 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Tom Tugendhat's debates

Tonbridge and Malling Petitions

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

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

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

Petitions with highest Tonbridge and Malling signature proportion
Petitions with most Tonbridge and Malling signatures
Petition Debates Contributed

The Government should explore using the new sanctions regime that allows individuals and entities that violate human rights around the world to be targeted, to impose sanctions on members of the Nigerian government and police force involved in any human rights abuses by the Nigerian police.


Latest EDMs signed by Tom Tugendhat

5th September 2018
Tom Tugendhat signed this EDM on Tuesday 11th September 2018

TEACHERS' PAY IN WALES

Tabled by: Jonathan Edwards (Independent - Carmarthen East and Dinefwr)
That this House cautiously welcomes the long over-due pay rise of 3.5 per cent for teachers and other public sector workers, many of whom have faced real-term cuts to their wages in recent years; notes, however, that teachers in Wales are concerned as to whether the pay rise applies to …
15 signatures
(Most recent: 9 Oct 2018)
Signatures by party:
Liberal Democrat: 6
Plaid Cymru: 3
Labour: 3
Independent: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
Conservative: 1
View All Tom Tugendhat's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Tom Tugendhat, 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.


2 Urgent Questions tabled by Tom Tugendhat

Monday 24th May 2021
Monday 27th January 2020

Tom Tugendhat has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

1 Bill introduced by Tom Tugendhat


The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to increase the maximum custodial sentence for the offences of child cruelty and causing or allowing a child or vulnerable adult to die or suffer serious physical harm to imprisonment for life; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 12th February 2019
(Read Debate)

Tom Tugendhat has not co-sponsored any Bills in the current parliamentary sitting


93 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
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what paperwork will be required from household removal companies travelling to the EU after the transition period.

These arrangements are subject to the outcome of negotiations.

Commercial drivers and hauliers who move goods between Great Britain and the European Union will require new documentation from 1 January 2021. Hauliers should not attempt to cross the border unless they have all the right documentation.

The Government has produced an easy-to-use checker tool which can be accessed via gov.uk/transition for businesses and citizens to find out exactly what they need to do to prepare.

Penny Mordaunt
Minister of State (Department for International Trade)
30th Apr 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much the Government has spent with local television stations on the coronavirus information campaign in (a) Kent, and (b) across the UK.

I refer the Hon. Member to the answer I gave to PQ 33512 on 21 April 2020.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether his Department plans to open a second tranche of applications for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

The Government has made an unprecedented package of support available to businesses that are required to close or which have been severely affected by the restrictions put in place to tackle Covid-19 and save lives.

Following on from closure of the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund, other grant support measures have been in place to reflect the changing landscape of local and national Covid-19 restrictions. This includes funding for businesses required to close and discretionary funding for Local Authorities to support other businesses that whilst able to remain open may be severely impacted.

In January, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a further package of business grant support. Business premises that are required by law to close – including those businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors – are able to access grants of up to £4,500 per 6-week period of closure and a further one-off Closed Business Lockdown Payment of up to £9,000.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether self-catering holiday lets are eligible for support through the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) Scheme covering the period of national restrictions in November 2020 where an existing booking was being honoured starting before 31 October 2020 when the covid-19 lockdown restrictions were announced and continued beyond 5 November 2020 in line with the Coronavirus Update statement on 2 November 2020.

The Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) is available to all businesses in England that have been required to close due to local or national COVID-19 restrictions.

There are three key considerations when a Local Authority determines the eligibility of a business for a grant under the LRSG (Closed):

  • Is the business the business rate payer of a hereditament that appears on the rating list?
  • Is the main service of that business required to close due to the restrictions?
  • Is the business able to self-declare that it meets all scheme conditions, including eligibility and State aid requirements?

Where an organisation meets all of these criteria, it is considered eligible to receive a grant through the mandatory LRSG (Closed) scheme.

Local authorities are responsible for making decisions on whether a business qualifies for a grant. In doing so they must take into account guidance released by government Statutory Instruments (including exceptions).

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many approved installers for the Green Homes Grant operate within Kent.

The Green Homes Grant Scheme launched for applications on 30 September and as announced on 18 November will run until 31 March 2022. Our installer data is at Local Authority rather than regional level. As of 23 November, the number of TrustMark registered installer businesses available in each of the Local Authorities within Kent are as follows:

  • Dartford Borough Council - 70
  • Gravesham Borough Council - 57
  • Sevenoaks District Council - 70
  • Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council - 66
  • Maidstone Borough Council - 70
  • Tunbridge Wells Borough Council - 75
  • Swale District Council - 60
  • Ashford Borough Council - 71
  • Canterbury City Council - 69
  • Thanet District Council - 64
  • Folkestone and Hythe District Council - 62
  • Dover District Council - 65.
Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will issue guidance to encourage the safe practice of reflexology during periods of national covid-19 restrictions.

Businesses should carry out COVID-19 risk assessments and consult the current guidance. If reflexology businesses interpret that they can remain open during the national COVID-19 restrictions, they should refer to the Close Contact Services guidance.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what financial support is available through the Expanded Retail Discount scheme for breweries which do not have a shop or taproom included within or attached to their premises.

Businesses are eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund and the business rate holiday scheme if they are based in England with a property that is wholly or mainly being used for the purposes of retail, hospitality and/or leisure.

The Government has announced an additional discretionary fund to support small businesses that fall outside the scope of the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants Fund and the Small Business Grants Fund, which have under 50 employees and have seen a significant drop of income due to Coronavirus restriction measures.

The Government is also providing an unprecedented package of wider support available to breweries. This includes business interruption loan schemes, job retention and self-employed income support schemes, as well as a bounce back loan scheme. The full details of all these measures have been published at:

https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when his Department plans to announce further details on (a) dates and (b) contract values for Project Gigabit; and what assessment he has made of the broadband needs of people in Tonbridge and Malling constituency.

The government is committed to deliver lightning-fast, reliable broadband to everyone in the UK. Our plan - to stimulate investment, bust barriers and drive competition - is working. We're on track for one of the fastest rollouts in Europe and for 60% of all households to have access to gigabit capable speeds by the end of the year. It is a huge leap forward from 2019, when it was just 9%.

The government will announce the next areas to be connected via Project Gigabit shortly as it pushes ahead with efforts to connect at least 85 per cent of the UK to gigabit-capable broadband by 2025.

The telecoms market is thriving with new entrants and investments changing the picture on the ground. Project Gigabit is designed to be responsive to this and the ordering and timing of the procurement pipeline will remain dynamic with quarterly updates to the plan.

Kent is Phase 2 of Project Gigabit’s procurement plans. There will be a procurement process for a supplier to provide gigabit coverage to all premises within the area which are not scheduled to get coverage through any other route (subject to a cost cap for the very hard to reach premises).

Both the new voucher scheme and the procurements are part of Project Gigabit, which we are supporting with funding of £5 billion so hard to reach communities are not left out - starting to level up now, not waiting for the end of the commercial rollout, and adding to the half a million rural homes and businesses already given coverage through our support

To provide immediate support across the UK we are funding up to £210 million worth of vouchers over the next three years to help with the costs of installing gigabit capable networks to people’s doorsteps and up to £110 million to connect up to 7,000 rural public buildings such as GP surgeries, libraries and schools.

Currently 93.64% of the constituency of Tonbridge and Malling have access to Superfast broadband, which is slightly lower than the national average of 96.84%. Tonbridge and Malling has seen 292 voucher connections with a value of over £447,805. There are also a further 312 vouchers that are pending connection, totalling £982,778.

16th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment was completed by the Government, in advance of the publication of the Government’s roadmap for easing covid-19 restrictions, for determining that (a) swimming pools could re-open on 12 April 2021 and (b) over 18’s competitive swimming clubs cannot restart until 17 May 2021 at the earliest.

Sports and physical activity providers and facilities play a crucial role in supporting adults and children to be active. That’s why we have continued to make sure that people can exercise throughout the national restrictions, and why we have ensured that grassroots and children’s sport is front of the queue when easing those restrictions.

On Monday 22 February, the Prime Minister announced a roadmap out of the current lockdown in England. The roadmap outlines four steps for easing restrictions. There will be a minimum of five weeks between each step: four weeks for the data to reflect changes in restrictions; followed by seven days’ notice of the restrictions to be eased. The Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser have made clear that this will give adequate time to assess the impact of each step and reduce the risk of having to re-impose restrictions at a later date.

Step 2 will take place no earlier than 12 April and as part of this indoor sports facilities including gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools will reopen for individual usage. At Step 3, no earlier than 17 May, indoor group activities including swimming clubs can resume.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether projects funded by the Rural Gigabit Connectivity vouchers, but not submitted by 19 February 2021, will still be eligible for new Gigabit Broadband Vouchers from April 2021.

Since May 2019, eligible homes and businesses in rural areas that are part of a group project have been able to benefit from the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme funded by the Rural Gigabit Connectivity programme. Voucher funding is a grant to individual residents and small businesses and is therefore committed when a voucher is issued to a beneficiary, at which point their supplier has 12 months to provide a connection. The Rural Gigabit Connectivity programme is due to close on March 31 2021, by which point all voucher requests must be received.

Due to the success of the voucher scheme, and in line with the government’s ambition to provide access to gigabit-capable broadband to the hardest-to-reach communities in rural areas across the UK, a new gigabit broadband voucher is being developed as part of the UK Gigabit programme. This will target the hardest to reach areas which are least likely to benefit from commercial rollout. The government expects the new voucher to go live in April 2021 and, along with further details of the voucher, a new eligibility checker will be published in order to help consumers identify if they are eligible for a voucher. BDUK will also work with suppliers to help them transition existing projects, where they are eligible, to the UK Gigabit programme so that communities do not miss out on the opportunity for government funding to enable their access to gigabit capable connections.

27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what guidance his Department issued to Sport England on the criteria used to determine how much Leisure Trusts could receive under the Notional Fund Allocation of the National Leisure Relief Fund.

The National Leisure Recovery Fund seeks to support eligible public sector leisure centres to reopen to the public, giving the sport and physical activity sector the best chance of recovery to a position of sustainable operation over the medium term.

A total of £100 million is available as a biddable fund to eligible local authorities in England, which will be allocated in a single funding round covering the period 1 December 2020 to 31 March 2021. Eligible local authorities include: those in England who hold responsibility for the provision of leisure services, those who have outsourced their leisure provision to an external body to and those whose outsourced leisure arrangements have ended since 20 March 2020 and services are now delivered as an in-house function.

To help ensure an equitable distribution of the National Leisure Recovery Fund, a Notional Funding Allocation has been calculated for each eligible local authority and funding awards will only be made in excess of the Notional Funding Allocation in the most exceptional circumstances. The basis of the Notional Funding Allocation is a per capita allocation. This has then been adjusted to take into consideration physical activity levels, number of facilities and health outcome indicators.

Government has worked closely with the Local Government Association (LGA), ukactive, the District Councils' Network, Community Leisure UK, Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association and others to make sure the application and funding process is as fast and simple as possible.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what evidence there is on the transmission of covid-19 on tennis courts.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus. That’s why we made sure that people could exercise at least once a day even during the height of lockdown - and why we opened up grassroots sport and leisure facilities as soon as it was safe to do so.

Nobody wanted to be in the position of having to introduce further National Restrictions. However as the Prime Minister said, with the virus spreading faster than expected we cannot allow our health system to be overwhelmed. Therefore, from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December indoor and outdoor leisure will be closed. The National Restrictions are designed to get the R rate under control through limiting social contact and reducing transmissions.


In order for these measures to have the greatest impact, we will all need to sacrifice doing some things that we would otherwise like to do, for a short period of time. We have not introduced further exemptions because when you unpick at one activity the effectiveness of the whole package is compromised. As soon as we're in a position to start lifting restrictions, grassroots sports will be one of the first to return.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what evidence there is on the transmission of covid-19 on golf courses.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus. That’s why we made sure that people could exercise at least once a day even during the height of lockdown - and why we opened up grassroots sport and leisure facilities as soon as it was safe to do so.

Nobody wanted to be in the position of having to introduce further National Restrictions. However as the Prime Minister said, with the virus spreading faster than expected we cannot allow our health system to be overwhelmed. Therefore, from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December indoor and outdoor leisure will be closed. The National Restrictions are designed to get the R rate under control through limiting social contact and reducing transmissions.


In order for these measures to have the greatest impact, we will all need to sacrifice doing some things that we would otherwise like to do, for a short period of time. We have not introduced further exemptions because when you unpick at one activity the effectiveness of the whole package is compromised. As soon as we're in a position to start lifting restrictions, grassroots sports will be one of the first to return.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
6th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when his Department plans to provide financial support to National League clubs.

Football clubs are the bedrock of our local communities and it is vital they are protected.

We have provided unprecedented support to businesses through tax reliefs, cash grants and employee wage support, which many football clubs have benefited from. Sport England’s Community Emergency Fund has also provided £210 million directly to support community sport clubs and exercise centres through this pandemic.

Government recognises the implications for sports clubs of not being able to admit spectators to stadia from 1 October, and are working urgently on what we can do now to support them.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
21st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will issue guidance on the safe holding of Remembrance Sunday events in 2020 in the context of the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

DCMS is responsible for organising the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph on Whitehall on 8 November. We have taken advice from Public Health England on the appropriate mitigations to ensure social distancing and we will continue to review the situation and take advice from experts as necessary.

Those organising Remembrance Sunday events should follow the guidance on outdoor events prepared and issued by the Events Industry Forum, with input from DCMS and in consultation with Public Health England and the Health and Safety Executive. This guidance can be found here. The Local Government Association has also issued guidance for local authorities about outdoor events here.

15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support his Department plans to provide to schools for additional costs incurred when teaching staff are absent to receive covid-19 vaccines during school term time.

Matters relating to any absences by school staff, whether related to COVID-19 or not, are a matter for the individual’s employer.

To manage their staffing requirements, schools may need to alter the way in which they deploy their staff and use existing staff more flexibly, as set out in our guidance. These include making best use of teaching assistants, hosting initial teacher training, using volunteers, engaging supply staff using in-year allocated budget, and seeking support from the local authority or trust.

Schools will continue to receive their core funding allocations – as determined by the local authority for maintained schools and through the general annual grant for academies – for the 2021/22 financial year (April 2021 to March 2022 for maintained schools and until August 2022 for academies and non-maintained special schools). This will happen regardless of any periods of partial or complete closure and will ensure schools can continue to pay staff and meet other regular financial commitments.

23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the evidence basis was for the Government's decision not to enable students to visit tutors for informal tuition during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown.

On Saturday 31 October 2020, my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister announced New National Restrictions from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December to control the spread of COVID-19: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november.

On Wednesday 4 November, the Department for Education published guidance for education and childcare settings on the impact of these restrictions. The guidance can be found through the following link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/education-and-childcare-settings-new-national-restrictions-from-5-november-2020.

Schools that provide a full-time education continue to remain open for all children and young people, as they have since the start of the autumn term, for the duration of the New National Restrictions.

Where provision is taking place outside of school, this provision should only operate where the provision is reasonably necessary to enable parents to work, search for work, or attend education or training, or where the provision is used for the purposes of respite care, including for vulnerable children.

Out-of-school activities that are primarily used by home educating parents as part of their arrangements for their child to receive a suitable full-time education (which can include supplementary schools, tuition centres, or private tutors) may also continue to operate.

All other out of school activities, not being primarily used by parents for these purposes, should close for face-to-face provision but can offer remote education for the duration of the New National Restrictions.

11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what financial support he plans to make available exclusively to outdoor education and residential centres forced to close as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department’s advice on educational visits can be viewed at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools. The advice is in line with guidance from Public Health England, the Cabinet Office and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. It is currently under review and the findings will be available at the end of November.

The Government has introduced a package of support worth more than £200 billion to help as many individuals and businesses as possible during the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes small business grants, the coronavirus loan guarantee schemes, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the deferral of VAT and income tax payments. The measures introduced have been designed to be accessible to businesses in most sectors across the UK.

Further measures have been announced by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, that build on the significant support already available, and set out how the current support will evolve and adapt. These include the extension of the CJRS until the end of March 2021, the extension of the deadline for applications for the Bounce Back Loan scheme and other loan schemes until 31 January 2021, and increased support for the self-employed through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grants.

Furthermore, businesses in England that are forced to close due to national or local restrictions will receive up to £3,000 per month. Local authorities in England will also receive one-off funding of £1.1 billion to support businesses more broadly over the coming months, as a key part of local economies.

The Government will continue to work closely with local authorities, businesses, business representative organisations and the financial services sector to monitor the implementation of current support and understand whether there is additional need. Businesses can also access tailored advice through our Freephone Business Support Helpline, online via the Business Support website, or through their local Growth Hubs in England.

17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether projects financed through the Government’s Priority Schools Building Programme can be constructed with the ability to lease areas of a new building to (a) local nurseries and (b) other local organisations.

The Department is rebuilding or refurbishing school buildings required to deliver the school curriculum through the Priority School Building Programme. It would therefore not be possible for a school to have a building rebuilt or refurbished through this programme with the aim of it being leased to nurseries or other organisations. It is however possible for alternative funding to be provided from third parties so that additional accommodation is included in the scope of works, if this is agreed at the start of a project.

It is possible for all schools to lease areas of their facilities and schools may have informal or lease arrangements with third parties out of hours. Before granting any lease of public school land to a third party, a local authority, governing body, academy trust, or charitable landowning trust must comply with the legislative requirements to involve the Secretary of State. In most cases this requires an application for consent. The grant of a lease by an academy trust would also require the consent of the Secretary of State under the Academies Financial Handbook and the trust’s funding agreement.

24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many colleges in England provide the Level 2 Cities and Guilds Apprenticeship qualification for Trees and Timber; and what guidance his Department has issued to Further Education providers on promoting that qualification in the past two years.

28 separate apprenticeship providers in England had learners who participated on the City and Guilds Apprenticeship framework for Trees and Timber between the academic years 2014/15 to 2018/19, of which 23 were colleges.[1][2] One of these providers - Guildford College of Further and Higher Education – is located in Kent.

Guidance has not been issued to Further Education providers on promoting this qualification, as the department does not actively promote qualifications from particular awarding organisations, or specific apprenticeship standards and frameworks, but make a range of qualifications available for providers to deliver within policy and funding rules, and in response to student, employer and local and skills needs.

Our apprenticeship reforms are supporting employers in all sectors to make a long-term, sustainable investment in the skills that they need to grow. New apprenticeship standards at all levels are being designed and driven by industry to meet their current and emerging skills needs.

[1] The data source is the Individualised Learner Record (ILR) and is published at the following links:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/848363/Apprenticeship_Participation_1415_1819_final_v0.2.xlsx.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/848508/Underlying_data_Apps_participation.zip.

[2] Data will include all funded learners reported on the ILR.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what information he holds on the timetable for the local inquiry under section 17(3)(f)(i) of the River Medway (Flood Relief) Act 1976.

The Environment Agency has applied to enlarge the Leigh Flood Storage Area, via an amendment to the scheme made under the River Medway (Flood Relief) Act 1976 (“the 1976 Act”). In making this application the Environment Agency has consulted interested parties, who have raised concerns, which remain.

Given these concerns remain, and some interested parties supported a local inquiry to examine the application and their concerns, a local inquiry is the appropriate next step.

The local inquiry will be held by a Planning Inspector and I am hopeful that it will begin in the first half of 2021. My officials are currently working with the Environment Agency and the Planning Inspectorate on the details of the specific timetable. This will ensure that the appropriate procedures are followed and that any proposed dates are convenient for all interested parties.

My officials will continue to keep all interested parties, including your Constituency Office, updated on progress and when the inquiry will begin.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what meetings his Department has had with fast food outlets on using vehicle recognition technology to print number plates on take-aways, to make it easier to trace people guilty of littering and fly-tipping.

Defra has not held meetings with fast food outlets specifically on using vehicle recognition technology to print vehicle registration numbers on take-away packaging. We do not think it would be appropriate to require take away vendors to implement such a system due to the additional regulatory burden it would place on these businesses. However, we strongly support voluntary initiatives to reduce littering and we know that some fast-food outlets have piloted similar schemes with some success. The success of any such scheme would be dependent on the willingness of the local authority to follow up with enforcement. Local authorities have the autonomy to decide how to prioritise their enforcement activities.

We believe that businesses should try to reduce the amount of litter their products generate. The Litter Strategy sets out how we intend to work with the relevant industries to tackle certain types of particularly problematic litter, including fast-food packaging, smoking-related litter and chewing gum.

Our forthcoming Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) scheme for packaging will require producers to cover the full net costs of managing packaging at its end of life, including litter. We plan to undertake a second consultation on EPR for packaging in early 2021. In preparation for that consultation, we are currently reviewing the proposed timeline for its introduction.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking with representatives from supermarkets to ensure that people on the covid-19 shielded patient list have access to supermarket home deliveries after support from the Government has ended; and if he will make a statement.

Those who have been advised that they need to shield will still be able to register for support to access food until 17 July. This includes access to emergency food parcels and priority access to supermarket delivery. After this date, the National Shielding Service will no longer accept registrations. From 1 August, the advice to shield ends and so will delivery of emergency food parcels.

Supermarkets and convenience stores have played a phenomenal part in ensuring sure the nation has access to food and essential supplies. Supermarkets have confirmed that shielded individuals who have requested help to access food will retain their priority access to online delivery slots after 1 August.

If an individual registers for support before the deadline, and does not yet have an online account with supermarkets, supermarkets will continue to update their priority matching lists until 31 July. If a supermarket delivery slot is needed, please encourage shielded individuals to create online accounts with supermarkets as soon as possible. We are working continuously across Government and with supermarkets to remove barriers to accessing online delivery.

When the advice to shield ends, there will still be options in place to support people to access food if they need help. If someone cannot access delivery slots, and friends and family are not able to help, then the NHS Volunteer Responders will continue to offer support with getting access to food. There are also other commercially available options including telephone ordering, food box delivery, prepared meal delivery and other non-supermarket food delivery providers. Local Authorities can help people in urgent need of support.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what protections are provided by (a) the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and (b) other legislation to residents who have increased medical needs as a result of the planting of oil seed rape near their properties.

The issue of the impact of oilseed rape on health, specifically in relation to allergies, is kept under review by Defra. Based on the scientific evidence currently available, there would be no justification for regulating the planting and growing of oilseed rape. Defra is responsible for certain legislation that protects human health, including but not limited to air quality legislation and statutory nuisance provisions, however, these do not specifically contain protections from oilseed rape.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether local authorities may use their powers under section 71 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to (a) investigate and (b) quickly remove fly-tipping on private land.

The general power in section 71(2) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to require any person to provide specified information does not extend to local authorities and is limited to the Secretary of State and, in England, the Environment Agency. Under section 71(2A), local authorities have this power but only with regards to their right to search and seize vehicles under sections 34B and 34C. Local authorities do have a range of powers under section 108 of the Environment Act 1995 to investigate pollution incidents.

It is the responsibility of a landowner to dispose of waste fly-tipped on private land. However, under sections 59 and 59ZA of the Environmental Protection Act, local authorities are able to require an occupier or landowner to remove such waste from their land within a specified time, which is not less than 21 days. A local authority is also able to remove such waste in certain circumstances such as where it is necessary that the waste be removed immediately to prevent pollution of land, water or air or harm to human health.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
24th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether learner drivers who had a driving test booked before 22 April 2021 will be given priority access following the delay in the return of car driving tests from 12 April 2020.

In line with the Prime Minister’s road map announcement, car driving lessons will resume on 12 April providing data shows it is safe to move to step 2 of the road map. In response to a request by the Approved Driving Instructor National Associations Strategic Partnership, car driving tests have been scheduled to restart 10 days later on 22 April. This will give candidates the chance to access tuition to ensure they are properly prepared before they take their test.

There are currently over 400,000 people with a driving test booked. This includes some candidates who have had their tests cancelled and rescheduled on more than one occasion because of the pandemic. It would be unfair, and impractical, to move every one of those back to accommodate those with tests booked to take place before 22 April.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the Government plans to (a) make an assessment and (b) implement changes in response to the consultation on proposed changes to the Highway Code where representations tackle the need to provide safe unloading capacity for bus and coach operators on smart motorways.

Highways England is leading the update of The Highway Code to improve guidance for drivers on motorways and high-speed roads. The public consultation began on 1 March and will close on 29 March. Highways England will assess all consultation responses and determine whether they need to amend the current proposals to address the comments received.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many services on the Southeastern Mainline terminating at (a) Dover Priory and (b) Ramsgate have skipped stops since the franchise signed an Emergency Measures Agreement with his Department in March 2020.

Unfortunately, the information required to provide answer to this Parliamentary Question is not held within the Department and therefore should be directed to Network Rail on PublicAffairs@networkrail.co.uk who will be able to assist.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, on how many days there were delays on the (a) Southeastern Mainline and (b) Medway Valley Line since Southeastern signed an Emergency Measures Agreement with his Department in March 2020.

Unfortunately, the information required to provide answer to this Parliamentary Question is not held within the Department and therefore should be directed to Network Rail on PublicAffairs@networkrail.co.uk who will be able to assist.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if his Department will expedite payment of the covid-19 Bus Services Support Grant to operators to ensure that those payments are made by the end of each restart period.

The Department is incredibly grateful to the bus sector and its key workers for providing services throughout the pandemic. These vital services have and continue to allow people to make essential journeys and enable key workers to get to their place of work.

The Department has provided an unprecedented amount of support to the sector during this time. We are continually looking to enhance the scheme’s operations including to the timeliness of payments.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what incentives are included within the Emergency Recovery Measures Agreement between his Department and Southeastern for good performance and punctuality; and how those incentives differ from the incentives for good performance and punctuality included within the first Emergency Measures Agreement signed between his Department and Southeastern in March 2020.

Under EMA’s, Operators will be paid a maximum of 2% of the cost base of the franchise before the COVID-19 pandemic began, with an element of the fee conditional on operators meeting performance, passenger experience and efficiency targets.

The Management Fee is a fixed periodic fee, and is payable at the end of the EMA whilst the Performance Fee covers the EMA Period, with fixed amounts based on an Operators performance, payable after a performance review has taken place.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what guidance his Department issues to local authorities on the introduction of 20mph speed limits.

The Department for Transport issues non-mandatory guidance to English local authorities on setting speed limits, including 20mph speed limits. It suggests that 20mph limits can be introduced in streets that are primarily residential as well as major streets where there may be significant numbers of pedestrian and cycle journeys and this outweighs the disadvantage of longer journey times for motorised traffic.

Local authorities are responsible for taking decisions about setting speed limits on their roads as they have the local knowledge making them the best placed to do so.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department collects data from (a) individual airports and (b) NATS on the number of aircraft which join an interception landing system between 8nm and 10nm from the east of an airport.

The Department has issued notices under Section 78(1) of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 to London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London Stansted airports. These notices set out the noise mitigation requirements for departing and arriving aircraft at these airports, including details on the Instrument Landing System (ILS) joining point arrangements.

The Department does not collect data on where aircraft join the airport’s ILS, but we expect London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London Stansted airports to do so and we encourage other large airports to do the same.

The Department has not provided any specific guidance to NATS, the Civil Aviation Authority or individual airports relating to aircraft arrival operations during an extended period of low air traffic movements. However, we expect that all airports will seek to ensure their arrival operations are efficient, provide safe and stabilised approaches, and minimise their overall environmental impact.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what guidance his Department issues to (a) NATS, (b) the CAA and (c) individual airports on aircraft approaching from the south and east of an airport joining the interception landing system closer to the runway during periods of lower traffic.

The Department has issued notices under Section 78(1) of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 to London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London Stansted airports. These notices set out the noise mitigation requirements for departing and arriving aircraft at these airports, including details on the Instrument Landing System (ILS) joining point arrangements.

The Department does not collect data on where aircraft join the airport’s ILS, but we expect London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London Stansted airports to do so and we encourage other large airports to do the same.

The Department has not provided any specific guidance to NATS, the Civil Aviation Authority or individual airports relating to aircraft arrival operations during an extended period of low air traffic movements. However, we expect that all airports will seek to ensure their arrival operations are efficient, provide safe and stabilised approaches, and minimise their overall environmental impact.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many and what proportion of trial schemes have been withdrawn by local authorities since the allocation of tranche one of the emergency active travel funding.

The Active Travel Fund will deliver over 400 cycling schemes. Whilst the majority of local authorities are reporting a positive impact in local communities, ten local authorities have notified the Department that they have removed schemes funded in tranche one of the emergency active travel fund. We are aware that many other authorities have modified schemes or reprioritised funding in response to feedback from local communities. This is to be expected given that many schemes were introduced on a trial basis, and the pace of delivery as part of the initial phase of the Covid emergency response.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether, as part of Emergency Measures Agreements with Train Operating Companies, his Department will review the use and function of Network Rail goods yards to create more off-street parking options at rural stations.

The Emergency Measures Agreements between the Department and Train Operators were designed to bring stability and certainty to the rail industry. Following the expiry of the EMAs in September, the department agreed Emergency Recovery Measures Agreements with the rail industry. These agreements are between the Department and Train Operators, they do not stipulate Network Rail Land utilisation.

At present, Network Rail do not currently have any plans to review the use and function of goods yards to create more off-street parking options at rural stations. The Network Rail property team are however, assessing parking at Network Rail managed stations, this is focusing on opportunities regarding capacity and the potential introduction of electric vehicle charging stations.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many local authorities have (a) offered structural payment plans and (b) provided three month delays to payments for annual taxi licence renewals since March 2020.

The Department for Transport has encouraged all licensing authorities to consider ways in which they can support the trade to continue to operate and provide essential travel. Any measures that authorities elect to introduce are a matter for them. The Department does not hold any data on payment plans or payment deferrals offered by licensing authorities.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the compliance of the decision by Southeastern to curtail the majority of services on the Medway Valley Line at Paddock Wood instead of Tonbridge with Appendix 4 to Schedule 1, Schedule 1.1, Part 2, Paragraphs 11, 11.1 b i and ii of the Southeastern Emergency Measures Agreement with his Department; and if he will make a statement.

As part of COVID related timetable changes, to protect performance across the network during the pandemic and ensure key workers can continue to move across the network, some Medway Valley services now turn at Paddock Wood, to avoid interactions with Main line services and to reduce the need for unplanned skip-stopping on the Main line.

The services that were removed had an average loading of 5 passengers at Tonbridge; the change has resulted in approximately 12 minutes additional travel time for these passengers. However, the current service delivers an overall significant performance improvement for a much larger number of passengers across the network.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to implement the Airspace Modernisation strategy; and if he will make a statement.

Airspace modernisation is vital to the future of aviation, to delivering net zero and create opportunities for airports to manage the noise impact on local communities. It is a critical infrastructure programme of national importance that will support the aviation sector’s recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, in light of the pandemic, we recognise that the timescales in which airspace modernisation will take place will change. We are working with the CAA to review the Airspace Modernisation Strategy, to consider the recommendations from ACOG’s recent report ‘Remobilising the Airspace Change Programme’, and will advise stakeholders of our preferred approach later in the Autumn.

Robert Courts
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans he has to ensure that there are sufficient buses requiring an MOT between March 2021 and June 2021, following the suspension of tests earlier this year and increased demand for bus MOTs during summer 2020.

In March 2020, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) took the difficult decision to suspend most MOTs for buses to support the Government’s efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Since then it has been working hard to safely reintroduce vehicle testing. It has worked closely with the bus industry to ensure operators are clear about test dates and exemptions, and it will increase testing capacity to minimise the operational impact on businesses.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what estimate he has made of the additional Bus MOT testers required by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency to test all vehicles due an MOT since March 2020.

In March 2020, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) took the difficult decision to suspend most MOTs for lorries, buses and trailers to support the Government’s efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Since then it has been working hard to keep people safe, whilst still providing a critical worker testing service to support the national emergency response.

The DVSA is managing the reintroduction of vehicle testing and demand for MOTs by:

  1. using existing testing resource efficiently through an overtime scheme and redeployment of duties; and

  2. implementing a phased return to testing by:

      • giving 2 three-month MOT exemptions to those vehicles whose MOTs were originally due in March and April, and;

      • giving 1 three-month MOT exemption initially, to those vehicles whose MOTs were originally due from June – initially this will be done for those MOTs due in June, July and August.

      • giving vehicles due an MOT in May an exemption until August.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether his Department has made an assessment of the number of registered buses due an MOT before 30 November 2020.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has carried out a detailed assessment of the number of registered buses due an MOT before 30 November 2020. Based on exemptions currently issued, the volume of tests due from July 2020 to November 2020 for all public service vehicles, which includes buses and coaches, is 52,500.

Andrew Stephenson
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what financial support is available for tenants operating businesses from stations managed by Train Operating Companies subject to Emergency Measures Agreements with his Department.

The government has taken steps to support commercial businesses, including those located within railway stations. These measures include amending the Coronavirus Act to extend the time period for suspension of the forfeiture of evictions from 30 June to 30 September and landlords will also be prevented from using Commercial Rent Arrears Recovery unless they are owed 189 days of unpaid rent. In addition, the temporary ban on the use of statutory demands and winding-up petitions, where a company cannot pay its bills due to the Covid-19 pandemic, has been extended to 30 September. The government has also ensured that businesses and workers have access to unprecedented packages of support, including £330 billion of government-backed and guaranteed loans.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many tenants have rental agreements with Southeastern to operate businesses within stations that company manages.

As of the 9 July 2020, Southeastern has 218 rental agreements with tenants to operate businesses within Southeastern managed stations.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, how many rail season ticket holders on the (a) Southeastern and (b) GTR Southern network have been unable to claim a refund for unused travel on their season tickets since his Department introduced the Emergency Measures Arrangements to support the rail sector.

The majority of rail season ticket holders (i.e. those with more than seven weeks remaining on their annual ticket) are able to claim a refund. Southeastern and GTR Southern introduced new processes to make claiming easier during COVID-19 travel restrictions, for example the ability for passengers to claim refunds remotely rather than returning their ticket to a ticket office. We have also allowed season ticket holders to backdate their claim to 17th March, when ‘do not travel’ advice was first introduced, and they now have up to 56 days to submit their claim.

The Department does not hold data on the number of season ticket holders who have been unable to claim a refund from Southeastern or GTR Southern since the introduction of the Emergency Measures Arrangements. This is because not all season ticket holders require a refund, as some still need to use their tickets to travel to work.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals on e-scooters.

The Department is reviewing the regulations that apply to e-scooters as part of our Future of Transport Regulatory Review. In response to COVID-19, we are accelerating and expanding planned trials of rental e-scooters, allowing all areas that want to host trials to do so. We will introduce legislation in June to allow trials to begin. Evidence gathered in trials will inform whether and how e-scooters should be legalised in the future.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish all communications from his Department to Network Rail on infrastructure improvements required on the Maidstone East line to deliver two Thameslink trains per hour between Maidstone East and Cambridge.

The Department regularly engages with Network Rail on a whole host of infrastructure matters.

We know how important it is to introduce the long awaited regular services between Maidstone East and the City as soon as possible. My officials continue to work with the industry to resolve the issues which have so far prevented a regular service from being introduced and to provide passengers in Maidstone with a regular all-day service to the City at the earliest opportunity. We will endeavour to arrange a meeting between my Honourable Friend, other relevant MPs and senior representatives from GTR and Network Rail to update on the situation and the work that is ongoing to find a solution as soon as practically possible in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 6 March 2020 to Question 22006 on Thameslink Railway Line, if he will list the meetings (a) he, (b) his predecessors, (c) Ministers, (d) the predecessors of those Ministers and (e) his officials have had with (i) GTR and (ii) Network Rail to discuss the delivery of the Thameslink service on the Maidstone East line.

A large number of meetings took place in 2018 and 2019 about the delivery of Thameslink services to Maidstone East.

We know how important it is to introduce the long awaited regular services between Maidstone East and the City as soon as possible. My officials continue to work with the industry to resolve the issues which have so far prevented a regular service from being introduced and to provide passengers in Maidstone with a regular all-day service to the City at the earliest opportunity. We will endeavour to arrange a meeting between my Honourable Friend, other relevant MPs and senior representatives from GTR and Network Rail to update on the situation and the work that is ongoing to find a solution as soon as practically possible in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
16th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions (a) he, (b) his predecessors, (c) current and former Ministers and (d) officials have had with GTR on making available an adequate level of rolling stock for the Thameslink service on the Maidstone East line.

Officials held a number of discussions from late 2018 until late 2019 with GTR and within the cross-industry group, the Thameslink Timetable Industry Readiness Board, to consider rolling stock provision for a Thameslink Maidstone East service. Ministers have not met with GTR specifically to discuss rolling stock provision for a Thameslink Maidstone East service, but do regularly engage with GTR on a wide range of issues.

We know how important it is to introduce the long awaited regular services between Maidstone East and the City as soon as possible. My officials continue to work with the industry to resolve the issues which have so far prevented a regular service from being introduced and to provide passengers in Maidstone with a regular all-day service to the City at the earliest opportunity. We will endeavour to arrange a meeting between my Honourable Friend, other relevant MPs and senior representatives from GTR and Network Rail to update on the situation and the work that is ongoing to find a solution as soon as practically possible in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
9th Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 3 March 2020 to Question 19978 on Railways: Uckfield, what his Department's timescale is for deciding what will replace class 171 rolling stock on the Uckfield Line.

Govia Thameslink Railway is in discussions with the Department to identify future requirements for the Uckfield line. However, these discussions are at a very early stage, and therefore we do not have any confirmed plans in place at this time. Further updates on this matter including timescales will be provided when it is appropriate to do so.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
27th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what contractual obligations his Department has with Govia Thameslink Railway to deliver the Thameslink programme, including the service to Maidstone East.

The Franchise Agreement between Govia Thameslink Railway and the Department specifies two trains per hour between Maidstone East and Cambridge (via the Thameslink core). As with any service introduction, this is subject to obtaining the necessary track access rights from Network Rail.

Following the introduction of the May 2018 timetable, which caused serious disruption to passengers, it was decided any new introduction of service would need to go through more rigorous scrutiny. Thus all future timetable changes need to guarantee the stability and reliability of services.

Unfortunately, introducing the Maidstone East Thameslink services onto an already busy and complex railway network is not yet possible without seriously compromising reliability of existing train services that thousands of passengers rely on every day. Several issues are currently preventing the introduction of the service: on top of timetabling constraints, rolling stock availability and stabling facilities are issues that need to be solved. I can assure my Rt Hon Friend the industry is working hard to resolve these and provide passengers in Maidstone with more frequent services to the City of London as soon as possible. I have had various meetings on this matter with all involved and understand how frustrating this delay is for residents of Maidstone, and other areas which will be served by this route. I will keep my Hon Friend up to date as solutions are found.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what compensation is available to passengers who have season tickets on the Tonbridge-Redhill rail line after that line being shut as a result of the landslip at Godstone in December 2019.

The matter of compensation for season ticket holders in the event of disruption is the responsibility of the train operating companies, in this case Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR). Under its Passenger’s Charter, GTR operates both the Delay Repay and Enhanced Compensation schemes, and I would encourage season ticket holders and other passengers affected by the disruption on this route as a result of the landslip at Godstone to make the appropriate claims under these schemes.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
24th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will publish the correspondence between his Department and Govia Thameslink Railway on the procurement of diesel units for the Uckfield line.

Govia Thameslink Railway is in discussions with the Department to identify future requirements for the Uckfield line. However, these discussions are at a very early stage, and therefore we do not have any confirmed plans in place at this time. The Department will not be publishing details of these discussions as they are of a commercially sensitive nature. Further updates on this matter will be provided when it is appropriate to do so.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
4th Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what additional highway funding Kent county council is able to access to tackle increased pressure on the county road network as a result of its proximity to mainland Europe.

The Department for Transport has allocated Kent county council a total of £34.45m of additional funding in the last two years in recognition of the particular pressures on the County’s road network due the flow of freight traffic to the short strait crossings. This funding was allocated in particular in the context of the development of the Operation Brock traffic management plan, and it has enabled work to improve the resilience of roads that could come under increased pressure in the event of cross-channel disruption.

We will continue to work closely with the Kent resilience forum and other local resilience forums to monitor the situation, including reviewing any additional funding requirements.

Chris Heaton-Harris
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what guidance her Department provides to college staff on supporting universal credit applications for 18 to 25 year olds with learning difficulties.

The Advice for decision makers guide (ADM) supports the decision making for various social security benefits, including Universal Credit (UC). This guide is published online, is freely available to the public and the specific guidance which would support a decision as to whether a person as described would have entitlement to UC is referred to below.

A condition of entitlement for UC is that the claimant must not be receiving education. This excludes most students, including those with learning difficulties. In chapter H6 of the ADM, paragraphs H6026 to H6028 set out the meaning of “receiving education” for the purposes of determining entitlement to UC. If a person is treated as receiving education they will not be entitled to UC unless they meet one of the exceptions which are listed at paragraph H6041.


Paragraphs H6026 to H6028 advise that a person is treated as receiving education if;

  • they are a “Qualifying Young Person” (QYP), i.e. has reached age 16 but not the 1st September following their 19th birthday and are undertaking an average of over 12 hours per week approved non-advanced education at a school or college, or

  • is in full-time advanced education (defined at paragraph H6031), or

  • where not a QYP, is undertaking any other full-time course of study or training at an educational establishment for which a maintenance loan or grant is provided and that course is determined not to be compatible with any work related requirements imposed upon them. Conversely, if the course does not provide a maintenance loan or grant and is determined to be compatible a person’s work related requirements, the person is not treated as receiving education and satisfies this condition of entitlement to UC.

A student with learning difficulties will likely fall to be considered under the guidance set out at the last bullet point, unless they are of a QYP age. If the student is a QYP, they continue to be treated as receiving education and will only have entitlement to UC if they first meet one of the exceptions listed at paragraph H6041 and, if under age 18, one of the minimum age exceptions listed at chapter E of the ADM, paragraph E1024. A QYP remains to be supported by their parents, who receive benefits for them.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if the Government will allow people over 65 years of age to be reassessed for a higher rate of Disability Living Allowance if their needs have changed since they were assessed before the age of 65.

Prior to the introduction of Personal Independence Payment for people of working age, the age limit for new claims to Disability Living Allowance (DLA) was age 65. A claimant, born on or before 8 April 1948, in receipt of DLA can continue to get the benefit beyond age 65 if they continue to satisfy the relevant disability tests. They can also apply for a higher rate of the care component if their care needs increase. People with mobility problems that arise only after they have reached age 65 cannot claim the mobility component for the first time nor can a claimant who was receiving a lower rate mobility component whose mobility needs increase move to the higher rate.

1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what guidance her Department has issued to people in receipt of the New Enterprise Allowance on business support schemes available during the covid-19 oubreak.

The New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) programme provides mentoring support for eligible claimants to help them enter into self-employment, or increase their earnings from an existing business. Each NEA participant works with a business mentor as they develop a business idea, and for up to 52 weeks when they are trading.

Although Covid-19 has presented us with many challenges, the NEA programme remains in place and our providers and mentors continue to deliver information and guidance to support participants in their self-employment journey.

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
14th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make an announcement on the covid-19 vaccine priority applicable to students planning to study abroad in the 2021-22 academic year; and if he will make it his policy that those students will be eligible to receive both doses of that vaccine prior to the start of that academic year.

There are no plans to do so.

On 13 April, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) published their final advice on phase two of the COVID-19 vaccination programme, which was to continue with an age-based programme. Students planning to study abroad in the 2021-22 academic year will receive their vaccinations in line with that advice when they become eligible because of their age, individual clinical risk factors, or because they are students who work as frontline health or social care workers or are unpaid carers. In line with other adults in the United Kingdom, they can expect to receive their first dose by the end of July 2021 and their second dose within 12 weeks of their first.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what financial support will be provided to venues currently operating as covid-19 vaccination sites to compensate such venues for loss of income when their normal bookings would be able to be resumed under the Government’s roadmap for easing covid-19 restrictions.

Non-National Health Service vaccination sites have been secured under formal lease or licence where required. As payment of rental and other costs for the use of these sites has been agreed in each case, there is no expectation of payment for loss of income.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 23 November 2020 to Question 119289, whether photographers are able to work (a) indoors and (b) outdoors in areas under (i) tier 1, (ii) tier 2 and (iii) tier 3 covid-19 restrictions.

Photographers who are practising in a work capacity are exempt from the gathering restrictions, though anybody who is not working and is taking part in the photography, including those being photographed, must adhere to the social contact restrictions that apply in that tier both indoors and outdoors.

Photographers cannot operate in premises that are closed, for example in a hospitality setting in tier 3, unless they are ‘making a film, television programme, audio programme or audio-visual advertisement’.

The Government is keeping the restrictions under continual review.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether photographers are permitted to work (a) indoors and (b) outdoors during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown.

In the national restrictions, which are due to expire on 2 December 2020, photography studios are not considered to be essential services and should not be open to members of the public, although a photographer may continue to leave the house to go to their own studio for work purposes. While photographers could meet one other person outside for the purposes of work, there is not an exemption allowing someone to leave the house to meet a photographer. Photographers may legally visit someone's home if necessary for work purposes. However, we would advise this is kept to a minimum or for essential purposes.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
30th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the need to prevent mixing of households during covid-19 restrictions, what guidance he has given to local authorities where an individual's assessed need under the Care Act 2014 states that they should attend more than one local day centres.

We recognise the importance of day centres for many vulnerable people.

Whilst we have not published specific guidance advising local authorities about individuals’ attendance at more than one local day centre, there is a range of other guidance material available. Guidance published on GOV.UK on 3 November outlines that support groups, including day centres, which are formally organised in order to provide mutual aid, therapy or any other form of support in person, can continue to meet with up to 15 participants.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the proceeds of the sale of the land at Edenbridge War Memorial Hospital can be used to fund the new combined medical facility in Edenbridge.

NHS Property Services has to date been required to reinvest proceeds of surplus site disposals in maintaining its existing estate. The Department is working now with NHS England and NHS Improvement to give NHS Property Services the ability to ringfence a proportion of future proceeds secured from disposals of surplus sites for reinvestment in local National Health Service estate priorities.

With regards to Edenbridge War Memorial Hospital, the site is not currently surplus to NHS operational requirements and unless this position changes and the property is vacated and sold, there are currently no such receipts available to reinvest. NHS Property Services is working closely with the Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group and the local Sustainability and Transformation Partnership to understand their priorities and how it can best support this.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people are included on the Shielded Patient List in (a) Tonbridge and Malling constituency, (b) Tonbridge and Malling Borough and (c) Sevenoaks District.

The information requested is not held at this local level.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions his Department has had with NHS Property Services on the return of Tonbridge Cottage Hospital to Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Tonbridge Cottage Hospital transferred from West Kent Primary Care Trust upon its abolition in 2013 to NHS Property Services. Since May 2019 National Health Service trusts and foundation trusts can request a transfer of estate in the ownership of the NHS Property Companies, which includes NHS Property Services.

Applicant trusts are required to submit a business cases to the Department explaining how a transfer of ownership will benefit the local health system and confirming that the transfer would be on the terms set out in guidance. The Department will then decide whether the transfer should take place.

Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust submitted a business case for the transfer of Tonbridge Cottage Hospital in March 2020. We are currently assessing this and are in discussions with the trust and NHS Property Services as part of the process.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Feb 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he is taking to (a) support the introduction of an observed ceasefire and (b) increase aid to displaced adults and children in the Idlib enclave, Syria.

We are deeply concerned about the situation in Idlib, North West Syria, as a result of the ongoing offensive by the Syrian regime and Russia. We are calling on all parties to adhere to previously agreed ceasefires and abide by their obligations under International Humanitarian Law and relevant UN Security Council resolutions, particularly UN Security Council resolution 2254, which calls for a nationwide ceasefire as part of a political process to end the conflict. We have repeatedly raised the issue at the UN Security Council, and called an emergency session on Idlib on 6 February.

In financial year 2019/20, the Department for International Development allocated £118 million to projects implemented by organisations delivering aid cross-border primarily into North West Syria, including Idlib. This support has helped to provide hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people with food, clean water, shelter and healthcare, including mental health support. UK aid is helping to support protection of civilians in Idlib, including an early warning system to alert civilians of airstrikes and support to emergency search and rescue teams.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what funding has been allocated to the Airspace Modernisation programme in response to Budget 2021.

The UK’s airspace is an essential part of our national transport infrastructure. The Government is therefore committed to modernising UK airspace, in order to deliver quicker, quieter and cleaner journeys and more capacity for the benefit of those who use and are affected by UK airspace.

The Government has recently announced that it will be providing up to £5.5m to support airspace modernisation over 20-21 and 21-22, to ensure that this work continues, despite the challenges that Covid-19 has presented for the aviation sector.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what additional support, beyond the Discretionary Grant Fund scheme, he will provide to businesses ineligible for Government grants or loans, during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown.

During this difficult time for the country, the Government is acutely aware of the extreme disruption to people’s lives, jobs, and businesses due to the necessary actions to tackle COVID-19.

The Local Authority Discretionary Grant Fund closed to new applicants on 28 August. However, the Government recognises that businesses which are legally required to close due to national or local restrictions, including those which were introduced on 5 November, will need additional support. This is why we have announced the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Closed) scheme, which will provide businesses in England which are legally required to close with grants of up to £3,000 per four-week closure period, depending on their rateable value.

Through the Local Restrictions Support Grant (Open), local authorities which were subject to restrictions on socialising between 1 August and 5 November will also receive additional funding so that they can make grants of up to £2,100 per month of closures to hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses which were able to remain open but which experienced a severe reduction in demand due to restrictions on socialising.

On top of this, we have provided Local Authorities with a further £1.1 billion across England via the Additional Restrictions Grant. Local Authorities have discretion on how to use this funding to support businesses in their areas, but we encourage them to set up discretionary grant schemes to support businesses which can remain open, but which are nonetheless severely affected by the enhanced COVID-19 restrictions.

Businesses across the country should also be able to benefit from others measures in the Government’s unprecedented package of support for businesses, including:

  • The extension to 31 March of the CJRS, through which employees will receive up to 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked up to a maximum of £2,500 per month;
  • Support for the self-employed via the SEISS, which will provide the self-employed with grants worth up to 80% of trading profits, covering November to January;
  • The extension of the application deadline for loan guarantee schemes to the end of January 2021;
  • An adjustment to the Bounce Back Loan Scheme rules to allow those businesses who have borrowed less than their maximum (i.e. less than 25% of their turnover) to top-up their existing loan; and
  • Help for businesses in repaying loans from Government-backed schemes through the Pay as you Grow scheme and allowing lenders to extend the terms of CBILS loans to up to 10 years.
Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what support businesses not in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, who can stay open during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown in England, will receive to help cover for lost income as a result of fewer people leaving the home.

Businesses that are not in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, which can stay open but are nonetheless severely affected by the enhanced COVID-19 restrictions, will continue to have access to the Government’s unprecedented package of support throughout the month of November.

This includes the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which provides employees with 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The CJRS has been extended until the end of March and will give open businesses the flexibility to support employees for any amount of time and shift pattern. Further, self-employed individuals who are currently actively trading but are impacted by reduced demand due to coronavirus may also be eligible for the Self-employment income support scheme grant, covering November to January, which has increased to cover 80% of average profits, up to £7,500.

We have also provided Local Authorities with a further £1.1billion across England via the Additional Restrictions Grant. Local Authorities have discretion on how to use this funding in their areas, but we encourage them to set up discretionary grant schemes to support these businesses.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
11th Nov 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what financial support is available during the period of November 2020 covid-19 lockdown restrictions for self-employed people who transferred from a Limited Company during the 2019-20 financial year and are ineligible for Self-Employment Income Support scheme and the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme.

The practical issues that prevented the Government from being able to include the newly self-employed in 2019-20 in the original Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), namely that HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will not have access to their self-assessment returns to be able to verify their eligibility, still remain. Unlike for employees, self-employed income is not reported monthly, but at the end of each tax year on the individual’s Income Tax Self-Assessment return. This means that the most reliable and up-to-date record of self-employed income is from 2018-19 tax returns.

The SEISS Grant Extension continues to be just one element of a comprehensive package of support for individuals and businesses. This package includes Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support and other business support grants. The Government has also temporarily increased the Universal Credit standard allowance for 2020-21 by £20 per week and relaxed the Minimum Income Floor meaning that where self-employed claimants' earnings have significantly fallen, their Universal Credit award will have increased to reflect their lower earnings.

20th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what discussions (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have had with independent taxi operators on reducing VAT to five per cent.

The current structure of VAT rates raises a significant amount of revenue for the Government, raising over £130 billion in 2018/19. This plays an important part in funding the Government's spending priorities including hospitals, schools, and defence.

Changes to the current rate of VAT on the transport service provided by independent taxi operators would come at a cost to the Exchequer, and that cost would have to be balanced by increased taxes elsewhere, or reductions in public spending. Although the Government keeps all taxes under review, the Government has no current plans to change the VAT treatment of such goods.

11th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what guidance his Department has issued to insurers on accepting claims in respect of business interruption cover during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Government is in continual dialogue with the insurance sector about its contribution to handling this unprecedented situation. The Government is also working closely with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ensure that the rules are being upheld during this crisis.

For those businesses which have an appropriate policy that covers government ordered closure and unspecified notifiable diseases, the Government’s social distancing instructions are sufficient to allow businesses to make a claim against their insurance, provided the other terms and conditions in their policy are met.

The FCA’s rules require insurers to handle claims fairly and promptly; provide reasonable guidance to help a policyholder make a claim, and appropriate information on its progress; not reject a claim unreasonably; and settle claims promptly once settlement terms are agreed. In addition, the FCA has said that, in light of COVID-19, insurers must consider very carefully the needs of their customers and show flexibility in their treatment of them.

Furthermore, on 15 April, FCA sent a letter to the insurance industry, setting out the FCA's expectation of firms regarding their handling of business interruption insurance claims, urging insurers to settle claims quickly in cases where there was a clear obligation to pay the claim in full or in part.

In addition, on 1 May, the FCA published a statement setting out their intention to seek legal clarity on the handling of business interruption insurance claims, in order to resolve any doubt for businesses facing uncertainty on their claims. In their statement the FCA also noted that insurers should look at how they can help consumers who are experiencing financial distress as a result of COVID-19.

However, most businesses have not purchased insurance that covers losses from COVID-19. Insurance policies differ significantly, so businesses are encouraged to check the terms and conditions of their specific policy and contact their providers.

The Government recognises that businesses who do not have appropriate insurance cover will require support from elsewhere. As such, businesses should explore the full package of support set out by the Chancellor, which includes measures such as business rates holidays, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and wage support.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether events hire companies that offer dry-hire services to the public are eligible for financial support through the (a) Small Business Rate Relief, (b) Small Business Grant Fund and (c) Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

Events hire companies could be eligible for the Small Business Grant Fund if they are in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rates Relief. Businesses are eligible for a £10,000 per property, for each of their properties in receipt of these reliefs.

Events hire companies could also be eligible for the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Fund. Businesses are eligible for a £25,000 grant per property, for each property which is used for retail, hospitality or leisure purposes with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000. Businesses are also eligible for a £10,000 grant per property, for each property used for these purposes with a rateable value of £15,000 or less which is not in receipt of Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rates Relief.

Events hire companies which are not eligible for grants from these two funds because of how they interact with the business rates system may be eligible for a discretionary grant from their Local Authority. Government has provided up to an additional £617m for Local Authorities in England to enable them to make grants payments to businesses in these circumstances.

Local Authorities are responsible for defining precise eligibility for these discretionary grant funds. However, it is our intention that the following businesses should be considered as a priority for these funds:

  • Businesses in shared offices;
  • Regular market traders who do not have their own business rates assessment;
  • B&Bs which pay Council Tax instead of business rates; and
  • Charity properties in receipt of charitable business rates relief which would otherwise have been eligible for Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief.

Recipient businesses will also have to meet the following criteria:

  • They must be facing high fixed property-related costs;
  • They must be able to demonstrate that they have suffered a significant fall in income due to the Covid-19 crisis;
  • They must have fewer than 50 employees;
  • They must have been trading on or before 11th March.

Businesses will need to apply to their Local Authority in order to receive grants. Each Local Authority will need to create their own process, which may take some time. We encourage businesses to look out for their Local Authority’s version of this scheme, and to contact their Local Authority for more information in due course.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
15th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the Government plans to bring forward legislative proposals to give home owners the ability to apply to the Lands Chamber for the modification or discharge of positive covenants affecting their homes.

The Government is reviewing large parts of property law affecting homeowners as part of its leasehold and commonhold reform agenda. As part of this we are working with the Law Commission to understand the implications of their 2011 report on easements, covenants and profits à prendre, “Making Land Work.” The Making Land Work recommendations would provide a route for challenging future positive land obligations created under the new regime.

For owners of freehold properties who pay estate rentcharges, we will also introduce a right to challenge the reasonableness of those charges in the same way that leaseholders can challenge service charges, and remove the statutory right for owners of rentcharges to take possession or grant a lease of the property in the event of non-payment by the homeowner.

Our reform programme has recently moved forward significantly with the introduction of the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill on 12 May 2021, which we have said will be the first part of major two-part legislation in this Parliament.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what guidance his Department provides to the Planning Inspectorate on meeting hon. Members outside of scheduled evidence hearings regarding concerns on Local Plans affecting their constituencies undergoing examination.

The Planning Inspectorate (PINS) have their own detailed procedural guidance on the conduct of examinations - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/examining-local-plans-procedural-practice and their own code of conduct https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/code-of-conduct. These take account of the report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life. My Department has not provided separate guidance to PINS.

More generally, PINS are aware of the legitimate interest that Members of Parliament have in the progress of local plans in their areas, and the important contribution they can make in representing the interests of their constituents. Local plan Inspectors are encouraged to engage positively with local MPs in the examination process whilst adhering to the Franks principles of openness, fairness and impartiality. This includes avoiding dealing privately with one party in the absence of other parties.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what specific financial support is available to help Town and Parish Councils with (a) lost income and (b) greater costs during the covid-19 outbreak.

The way in which Parish and Town councils have responded to the challenges of the pandemic is testament to the unique position they occupy within our local government family.

Whilst the Government does not have the necessary powers to pay Parish and Town councils directly, we are encouraging their principal authorities to discuss the funding support they can provide from within the support we have provided them, which is over £7.2 billion.

Therefore, Parish and Town councils should liaise with the relevant principal authorities on how this money is allocated in their area.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to bring forward legislative proposals to cap Management Companies raising fees on new developments without the explicit consent of residents on the development.

The Government believes very strongly that fees, such as service charges, should be transparent and communicated effectively, and that there should be a clear route to challenge or redress if things go wrong.

The law is clear that service charges must be reasonable and, where costs relate to work or services, these must be of a reasonable standard. Leaseholders may make an application to the First-tier Tribunal to make a determination on the reasonableness of their service charges.

The Government believes Permission fees and administration charges should only be used where necessary and should only cover any reasonable costs incurred.

The Government established an independent working group chaired by Lord Best to raise standards across the property sector, which also considered how fees such as service charges should be presented to consumers and the circumstances under which permission fees and administration charges could be justified, and whether they should be capped or banned. The working group has published its final report to Government and suggested that Government should consider introducing a prescribed list of acceptable fees. We are considering the report’s recommendations carefully and will announce next steps in due course.

22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, when he plans to end the relaxation of restrictions on night-time deliveries to supermarkets; and what plans he has to introduce tighter conditions on the time of deliveries where they cause a disturbance to neighbouring residents.

The Government made a Written Ministerial Statement on 13 March, setting out the need for flexibility around deliveries to supermarkets and other retailers of food, sanitary and other essential items given the disruption to supply chains due to the impact of the Coronavirus. This statement is being kept under review. Conditions are a matter for local authorities, and should be kept to a minimum, and must meet the tests set out in National Planning Policy Framework of being necessary, relevant to planning and the development, enforceable, precise, and reasonable in all other respects. We are also continuing to engage with supermarkets on the extent to which the relaxation is being used.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
16th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions (a) he, (b) his Ministers, and (c) officials in his Department have had with (i) Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council and (ii) Sevenoaks District Council on continuing support for people on the shielded patient list when direct support from the Government ends in advance of the letter due to be sent out to those on that list in the week commencing 15 June 2020.

We have been working closely with councils and each local authority has a dedicated contact point in the shielding programme. Our South East Regional Team currently works closely with Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council, as well as Kent County Council and its lead District Council Tunbridge Wells. Officers from the team continue to speak with senior officers on matters regarding people who are shielding. This support will continue as the core offer to those shielding has been extended until the end of July.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for what reasons the Re-opening High Streets Safely Fund Guidance, issued on 24 May 2020 made the provision for local authorities to employ street wardens to support the safe re-opening of high streets when the first bulletin, issued on 5 June 2020 suggested that street wardens would not be funded through that scheme.

Our £50 million Re-opening High Streets Safely Fund (RHSSF) will provide councils with additional funding to support their business communities with measures that enable safe trading in public places. We have provided guidance for local authorities on the activities that can be funded through RHSSF. This includes the provision of Information Officers to deliver?business-facing?awareness activity, as set out in strand three of eligible activity in the fund guidance.?The RHSSF is not intended to fund all of the interventions listed in the Safer Public Spaces guidance, published in May, which included the option of street stewards to help manage pedestrian flows.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether local authorities will be reimbursed through the Re-opening High Street Safely Fund for the costs of street wardens.

Our £50 million Re-opening High Streets Safely Fund (RHSSF) will support a range of practical safety measures to help businesses trade safely on our high streets. Whilst street wardens cannot be funded through this stream of funding, Local authorities may wish to fund Information Officers to deliver?business-facing?awareness activity, as set out in strand three of eligible activity in the fund guidance. Signage, street markings and temporary barriers are also in scope of funding. The RHSSF will provide the tools to help towns and cities develop safe trading environments, particularly in high streets, and will be key to kick starting the economy, getting people back to work, businesses trading and helping to reinvigorate communities.

Further information on the RHSS Funding Agreement and claims process will be made available in due course.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has plans to relax the requirement on local planning authorities to meet their five year housing land supply in line with the postponement of local plan inspections during the covid-19 outbreak.

It is important to keep the planning system moving as much as we can, so that it is able to play its full part in the economic recovery to come. We note the concerns some authorities are raising on 5 year housing land supply and we will continue to monitor the situation.

On 13 May the Secretary of State announced measures to further support house building. This included: allowing more flexible working hours on construction sites which will support these sites in meeting social distancing requirements; a statement that site visits and the use of digital technology and virtual meetings should become the norm in planning casework by mid-June; and introducing a range of temporary measures to make it easier to operate the planning system, especially the development management process, within the current public health guidelines. More information is available here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-planning-update

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
2nd Mar 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what guidance is given to local planning authorities on assessing the effect of aviation noise on proposed developments through (a) Local Plan allocations and (b) individual planning applications.

National planning policy and guidance include strong protections against noise effects, making it clear that the planning system should prevent new and existing development from being adversely affected by unacceptable levels of pollution.

Plan-making and decision making need to take account of the acoustic environment and in doing so consider whether or not an adverse effect is occurring or likely to occur when development may create additional noise, or would be sensitive to the prevailing acoustic environment (including any anticipated changes to that environment from activities that are permitted but not yet commenced).

Planning guidance is clear that this can include noise pollution from aircraft, where this could subject residents or occupiers to significant noise impacts.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to ensure that empty buildings designed for use by the elderly are brought back into use as soon as possible.

Local authorities are equipped with a range of powers and strong incentives to tackle empty homes. Through the New Homes Bonus, they earn the same financial reward for bringing an empty home back into use as for building a new one. Since 1 April 2019, via the Rating (Property in Common Occupation) and Council Tax (Empty Dwellings) Act 2018, local authorities have the discretion to increase the maximum level of premium charged on properties that have been empty for more than two years from 50 per cent to 100 per cent extra council tax. In certain circumstances, local authorities can apply for an Empty Dwelling Management Order (EDMO) to temporarily take over the management of a property that has been empty for more than two years and bring it back into use


The National Planning Policy Framework is clear that local authorities’ plans and decisions should support efforts to identify and bring back into residential use empty homes and other buildings in general, supported by the use of compulsory purchase powers where appropriate.

7th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of bringing forward legislative proposals similar to the provisions of the Child Cruelty (Sentences) Bill introduced in the 2017-19 Parliament.

The Government has no current plans to bring forward legislative proposals that seek to increase the penalties for the offences of causing or allowing death or serious injury to a child or child cruelty at this stage.

The Government will, however, continue to keep the maximum penalties for these specific offences closely under review.

Alex Chalk
Solicitor General (Attorney General's Office)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, how many times (a) he, (b) Ministers of his Department and (c) officials of his Department have met with representatives of the Sentencing Council to discuss sentencing for child cruelty offences in the last 18 months.

Ministers meet the Chairman of the Sentencing Council regularly to discuss a range of issues related to sentencing. The Sentencing Council meets on a monthly basis to discuss matters relating to sentencing and guidelines and a representative of the Lord Chancellor attends those meetings. Officials in the MoJ also meet regularly with members of the Office of the Sentencing Council and discuss a wide range of issues.

The Sentencing Council has published a definitive guideline for child cruelty offences, which came into force on 1 January 2019.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what guidance his Department has issued to HMRC on the treatment of probate applications that are unable to be submitted within the statutory six month period as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

There are no statutory deadlines for making probate applications, therefore the Department has issued no guidance to HMRC as it would not be appropriate.

Completing inheritance tax assessment and payment is a necessary part of the process for applying for probate. While HMRC determine the policy on deadlines for inheritance tax calculation and payment in line with that legal framework, they will consider it to be within the scope of a reasonable excuse and grounds for appeal against any late filing penalties should a customer be unable to file their Inheritance tax return on time because of impacts from COVID-19.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)