Valerie Vaz Portrait

Valerie Vaz

Labour - Walsall South

Environmental Audit Committee
5th Jan 2022 - 17th May 2022
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
16th Jan 2020 - 8th Jun 2021
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons
7th Oct 2016 - 9th May 2021
House of Commons Commission
21st Nov 2016 - 9th May 2021
Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority
31st Oct 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee
7th Mar 2016 - 31st Oct 2016
Panel of Chairs
25th Jun 2015 - 11th Oct 2016
Science and Technology Committee
26th Oct 2015 - 18th Jul 2016
Science and Technology Committee (Commons)
26th Oct 2015 - 18th Jul 2016
Draft Investigatory Powers Bill (Joint Committee)
5th Nov 2015 - 26th Nov 2015
Regulatory Reform
26th Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
Health and Social Care Committee
12th Jul 2010 - 30th Mar 2015
House of Commons Governance Committee
16th Oct 2014 - 17th Dec 2014


There are no upcoming events identified
Division Votes
None available
Speeches
Tuesday 19th July 2022
Remote Observation and Recording (Courts and Tribunals) Regulations 2022
If I heard the Minister correctly, she said “name and address”, but the regulations state “name and email address”. I …
Written Answers
Thursday 21st July 2022
Pupils: Assessments
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the premature online publication of the AQA A-level Chemistry …
Early Day Motions
Tuesday 8th February 2022
World Book Day 2022
That this House congratulates World Book Day on celebrating its 25th Anniversary on 3 March 2022; commends its success in …
Bills
Wednesday 29th June 2011
Adoption (Leave, Pay and Allowance Arrangements) Bill 2010-12
The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will …
Tweets
None available
MP Financial Interests
Saturday 11th January 2020
2. (a) Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organisation or indirectly via a central party organisation
Name of donor: Unite the Union
Address of donor: 128 Theobalds Road, London WC1X 8TN
Amount of donation or nature …
EDM signed
Monday 27th June 2022
Recruiting and retaining NHS staff
That this House acknowledges there is a staffing crisis in the National Health Service, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic but …
Supported Legislation
Wednesday 2nd March 2022
Firearms and Hate Crime Bill 2021-22
A Bill to prohibit the keeping of pump action firearms in homes, with exemptions for professional pest controllers and farmers; …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Valerie Vaz has voted in 458 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Valerie Vaz Division Votes

Debates during the 2019 Parliament

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

Sparring Partners
Jacob Rees-Mogg (Conservative)
Minister of State (Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency)
(134 debate interactions)
Eleanor Laing (Conservative)
(18 debate interactions)
Lindsay Hoyle (Speaker)
(17 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Leader of the House
(225 debate contributions)
Department of Health and Social Care
(7 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
Legislation Debates
Elections Act 2022
(636 words contributed)
Health and Care Act 2022
(596 words contributed)
View All Legislation Debates
View all Valerie Vaz's debates

Walsall South 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).

Valerie Vaz has not participated in any petition debates

Latest EDMs signed by Valerie Vaz

22nd June 2022
Valerie Vaz signed this EDM on Monday 27th June 2022

Recruiting and retaining NHS staff

Tabled by: Tony Lloyd (Labour - Rochdale)
That this House acknowledges there is a staffing crisis in the National Health Service, exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic but predating it; recognises the intense pressure on healthcare staff, who having worked incredibly hard during the pandemic now face the vast challenge of clearing the backlog of care caused by …
57 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Jul 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 36
Liberal Democrat: 10
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
Green Party: 1
Social Democratic & Labour Party: 1
Alba Party: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Conservative: 1
Alliance: 1
Scottish National Party: 1
20th June 2022
Valerie Vaz signed this EDM as a sponsor on Tuesday 21st June 2022

Covid-19 Inquiry engagement with ethnic minorities

Tabled by: Bell Ribeiro-Addy (Labour - Streatham)
That this House regrets the adverse impact the covid-19 pandemic has had on black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, including the particular impacts on health and social care workers from these communities; echoes, and urges the Prime Minister to accept, the Inquiry Chair’s recommendation that the draft terms of reference …
20 signatures
(Most recent: 21 Jul 2022)
Signatures by party:
Labour: 9
Scottish National Party: 3
Plaid Cymru: 3
Independent: 2
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Green Party: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
View All Valerie Vaz's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Valerie Vaz, 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.


Valerie Vaz has not been granted any Urgent Questions

1 Adjournment Debate led by Valerie Vaz

Wednesday 26th May 2021

2 Bills introduced by Valerie Vaz


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 require action plans to be prepared for the provision of education and health services for children and adults with epilepsy and related conditions; to make provision about support for children and adults with epilepsy and related conditions; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 24th November 2010

The Bill failed to complete its passage through Parliament before the end of the session. This means the Bill will make no further progress. A Bill to make provision to equalise leave, pay and allowance arrangements for adoptive parents with those of parents whose children are born to them; to equalise eligibility for adoption leave and pay with that of maternity leave and pay; to equalise the rates of pay for the first six weeks of maternity leave and adoption leave; to equalise the entitlement to allowances for self-employed adopters and self-employed mothers; and for connected purposes


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 29th June 2011

85 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
5 Other Department Questions
25th Apr 2022
To ask the hon. Member for Broxbourne, representing the House of Commons Commission, how many positive covid-19 cases were recorded on the Parliamentary estate in each month from November 2021 to March 2022.

Following the change to Government guidance in February 2022 individuals were no longer required to inform their workplace if they tested positive for Covid. The figures below therefore represent the number of positive cases where an individual chose to share their result.

As the original case information has now been deleted in line with our privacy policies, only a summary per week is available.

25 March–1 April: 47
18–24 March: 75
11–17 March: 51
4–10 March: 47
25 February–3 March: 11
18–24 February: 15
11–17 February: 18


The numbers below represent the number of validated case numbers, using data held by the UKHSA and the Parliamentary test and trace team.

4–10 February: 63
28 January–3 February: 61
21–27 January: 89
14–20 January: 68
7–13 January: 69
31 December–6 January: 110
24–30 December: 119
17–23 December: 128
10–16 December: 193
3–9 December: 66
26 November–2 December: 38
19–25 November: 34
12–18 November: 31
5–11 November: 20
29 October–4 November: 28

13th Sep 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment the Commissioners have made of the potential merits of repealing legislation which prevents a Prime Minister who is a Catholic from advising the Sovereign on appointing Anglican Bishops.

The Church Commissioners have not made any such assessment.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, with reference to the Catholic Relief Act 1829, what assessment the Commissioners have made of the Prime Minister's ability to advise the Sovereign on the appointment of Anglican Bishops.

The application of the Catholic Relief Act 1829 to the Sovereign’s advisers is a matter for the Government, not for the Church Commissioners.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what steps he is taking to support building development for historic places of worship.

Advice and support for parishes and cathedrals is available via the Church of England’s platform ‘Church Care’, this website acts as a portal for advice on management, maintenance, development and grants available to parishes and cathedrals.

During the pandemic period, £30m of grants that have been awarded to Church of England churches and cathedrals from a combination of the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) and the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Emergency Fund. The Church of England is grateful for this support and recognition by the Government of the key role these buildings play in their local communities.

The grants awarded by the Culture Recovery Fund were allocated to 227 churches and cathedrals with 43% of this money is going to the 30% most deprived parishes – over £12.9m; 20% of the money going to the 10% most deprived parishes, totalling over £5.9m.

The Lichfield Diocese received of six grants totalling £342,825 from the Culture Recovery Fund and the National Lottery Heritage Emergency Fund, this included five awards to parish churches totalling £199,925 and a grant to Lichfield Cathedral of £142,900

A second Culture Recovery Fund has now launched, and churches with listed buildings are being encouraged to apply for support.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of support available to places of worship in areas of high deprivation; and if he will make a statement.

While the primary responsibility for decisions on resourcing mission and ministry rests with the dioceses, the Church Commissioners have provided an extra resource to dioceses (distributed by The Archbishops’ Council) to support mission and ministry in deprived communities in the form of Lowest Income Communities Funding. Across England, £82.1m has been allocated by the Commissioners for this purpose in 2020-22. Recipient dioceses are required to report on their use of this funding to The Archbishops’ Council each year. The Diocese of Lichfield, which covers Walsall South, will receive over £1.7m of this funding in 2021. In 2019, the diocese allocated some £200,000 of this to support ministry and mission in parishes in Walsall.

The dioceses can also apply for Strategic Development Funding (SDF) for significant projects which support their mission and financial strength, in line with their own strategies. The criteria for this funding seeks to focus on areas of deprivation, and on work with children and young people and within large urban areas. In 2019, £1.7million was awarded to Lichfield Diocese to fund a project to enhance mission and ministry in Telford, which includes some of the diocese’s most deprived areas.

A further £35m Sustainability Funding has also been made available to help diocese whose income has been reduced by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. This funding is focused on those dioceses with fewer historic assets and whose populations have lower average incomes. Grants worth £15m were made to 24 dioceses in 2020.

Andrew Selous
Second Church Estates Commissioner
23rd Sep 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Prime Minister has an advisory role to the Sovereign on the appointment of Anglican bishops; and what assessment the Government has made of the potential merits of reviewing the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829.

Under reforms introduced in 2007 by the then Prime Minister, The Rt Hon Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister does not choose bishops or advise on the choice of bishops. His or her role is confined to putting the name of the nominated candidate to Her Majesty The Queen.

The Government does not have any current plans to review the Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829.

Michael Ellis
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Attends Cabinet)
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he is taking steps for (a) breach of contract and (b) enforcing appropriate financial remedies against Fujitsu for supplying faulty computer software in the Horizon Programme.

We have established the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry chaired by Sir Wyn Williams to find out what happened. We can look at accountability in relation to the Post Office and Fujitsu only when we have Sir Wyn’s findings.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the Post Office Horizon scandal, if the Government will take steps to commence directors disqualification proceedings under the Directors Disqualification Act against those directors in post at the Post Office during that scandal.

We have established the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry chaired by Sir Wyn Williams to find out what happened. We can look at accountability in relation to the Post Office and Fujitsu only when we have Sir Wyn’s findings.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will take steps to recover bonuses paid to company directors during the Post Office Horizon scandal.

We have established the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry chaired by Sir Wyn Williams to find out what happened. We can look at accountability in relation to the Post Office and Fujitsu only when we have Sir Wyn’s findings.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
31st Mar 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has allocated resources to recover the money lost to fraud as part of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme; and what his planned timeframe is for recovering those funds.

BEIS is committed to recovering money from fraudulent applications under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) as soon as reasonably practicable given the nature and stage of the scheme. We seek recoveries in numerous ways.

Lenders are responsible for undertaking recovery action once it becomes due in the first instance, whether fraud or otherwise.

Whilst lenders are the first line of defence, the National Intelligence Service (NATIS) supplements our capacity to investigate the most serious cases of fraud. In the current financial year, NATIS (for all matters including BBLS) has already recovered over £3 million. HM Treasury has also recently announced an additional £13.2m for NATIS which will double their investigative capacity on Bounce Back Loans.

The enforcement strategy also includes utilising Insolvency Service (INSS) resource to investigate misconduct in relation to insolvency and corporate abuse which, like NATIS, is designed to drive recoveries and set a deterrent to those who intend to abuse the scheme. For cases arising out of Bounce Back Loan abuse this includes director disqualification, bankruptcy restrictions, winding up companies operating against the public interest and criminal prosecution.

We are also taking steps to prevent companies attempting to dissolve with an outstanding BBL by blocking such applications, forcing companies to use legitimate liquidation processes thus improving recovery prospects.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
4th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether he has held discussions with the UNK Accreditation Service regarding the provision of accreditation services to companies owned by the Myanmar military.

UKAS is appointed by Government as the National Accreditation Body for the United Kingdom to assess, against nationally and internationally agreed standards, organisations that provide conformity assessment services such as certification, testing, inspection, calibration and verification.

UKAS has stated they do not operate in Myanmar or provide accreditation services to companies owned by the Myanmar military. UKAS treats these matters very seriously and would investigate any such claims thoroughly.

Paul Scully
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what the membership is of the Business Innovation Forum; and when it will meet.

As announced in the Innovation Strategy, in early 2022 we are establishing a Business Innovation Forum to galvanise action from the business community, drive implementation and to hold government to account on delivery.

The Forum will include representatives from the UK's largest R&D intensive businesses, smaller innovative businesses, and experts on innovation more broadly.

The Forum will meet at least quarterly, with the first meeting expected to take place soon. The full attendee list will be confirmed and published online in due course.

17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what powers the Business Innovation Forum will have to scrutinise the implementation of the Innovation Strategy.

As announced in the Innovation Strategy, in early 2022 we are establishing a Business Innovation Forum to galvanise action from the business community, drive implementation and to hold government to account on delivery.

The Forum will support the Government in the implementation of the ‘UK Innovation Strategy’, galvanising action from the business community and reviewing progress against actions set out in the UK innovation Strategy.

I will attend each Forum meeting to receive members’ views directly

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to achieve the UK's new Nationally Determined Contribution to the UNFCCC under the Paris Agreement.

We will publish our comprehensive Net Zero Strategy ahead of COP26, setting out the Government’s vision for transitioning to a net zero economy, and raising ambition as we outline our path to meet net zero by 2050, our Carbon Budgets and 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to support employees of GKN Automotive, Erdington facing redundancy.

The proposed closure of the GKN Automotive plant in Erdington in Birmingham, putting over 500 jobs at risk, is deeply worrying for the employees and their families. While this is a commercial matter. Ministers and officials have met with the management of GKN Automotive, Unite the Union, and the local constituency MP. The purpose was to gain a more detailed understanding of the reasoning behind the proposed closure, and to explore options for securing a future for the site, to safeguard the jobs of the employees.

The statutory consultation process is ongoing, providing an opportunity for stakeholders to ask questions and present alternative proposals. The government is monitoring developments.

In the event of the plant being closed, the government stands ready to support those impacted back into work. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Jobcentre Plus lead on this. They have doubled the number of frontline Work Coaches across the network of jobcentres to ensure people have access to bespoke advice and guidance.

The Government is working in partnership with the automotive sector to exploit the opportunities from the transition to zero emission vehicles. Nearly £500m has been committed through the Automotive Transformation Fund to build an internationally competitive electric vehicle supply chain, which will create jobs in our industrial heartlands.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the closure of GKN Automotive, Erdington on job losses; and if he will make a statement.

The proposed closure of the GKN Automotive plant in Erdington in Birmingham, putting over 500 jobs at risk, is deeply worrying for the employees and their families. While this is a commercial matter. Ministers and officials have met with the management of GKN Automotive, Unite the Union, and the local constituency MP. The purpose was to gain a more detailed understanding of the reasoning behind the proposed closure, and to explore options for securing a future for the site, to safeguard the jobs of the employees.

The statutory consultation process is ongoing, providing an opportunity for stakeholders to ask questions and present alternative proposals. The government is monitoring developments.

In the event of the plant being closed, the government stands ready to support those impacted back into work. The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Jobcentre Plus lead on this. They have doubled the number of frontline Work Coaches across the network of jobcentres to ensure people have access to bespoke advice and guidance.

The Government is working in partnership with the automotive sector to exploit the opportunities from the transition to zero emission vehicles. Nearly £500m has been committed through the Automotive Transformation Fund to build an internationally competitive electric vehicle supply chain, which will create jobs in our industrial heartlands.

Nadhim Zahawi
Chancellor of the Exchequer
29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when the Government will publish its proposals in response to the Fan-Led review of Football Governance.

The Government has published its response to the recommendations made by the Independent Fan Led Review of Football Governance. This was in April 2022.

The Government accepts or supports all of the ten strategic recommendations which set out the government’s planned reform of football. The Queen’s Speech confirmed our commitment to an independent regulator for English football and we will bring forward proposals in this Parliamentary session. A White Paper will be published in the summer that will set out the details on the implementation of our football governance reforms. We are working at pace to deliver these measures that will bring sustainable reform that ensures current and future fans continue to enjoy our national game.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending the Listed Places of Worship grant scheme beyond March 2021; and if he will make a statement.

We do recognise the importance of this scheme and the reliance which is placed on it. We are presently working through the implications of DCMS's Spending Review settlement with HMT and within DCMS. We will be able to provide an update shortly on the Listed Places of Worship grant scheme.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
29th Jun 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the premature online publication of the AQA A-level Chemistry Paper 2 in June 2022, what steps he is taking to ensure the integrity of examinations and fairness for pupils.

This is a matter for Ofqual, the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation. I have asked its Chief Regulator, Dr Jo Saxton, to write to the right hon. Member and a copy of her reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.


Will Quince
Minister of State (Education)
23rd Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he plans to take to provide an alternative student finance product for Muslim students who are unable to access student loans owing to their beliefs on interest.

The government’s priority, in our response to the report of the Independent Panel of the Review of Post 18 Education and Funding, is to put the student finance system on a sustainable footing for the long term.

As part of our response, we are introducing the Lifelong Loan Entitlement (LLE). We are considering if and how Alternative Student Finance (ASF) could be delivered as part of the LLE.

We believe it is sensible to align future delivery of an ASF product with these major reforms to ensure fair treatment for all students.

22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will make an estimate of the number of overseas students in the UK, broken down by (a) nationality and (b) university.

The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects and publishes data about students enrolled at UK higher education (HE) providers.

Statistics on the total number of overseas students at each HE provider in the UK can be found in Table 1 of HESA’s Open Data tables. This data is available here: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/students/table-1.

Further detail, which includes the country of domicile prior to study, is available in Table 28. This data is available here: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/students/table-28.

The statistics available in HESA’s Open Data tables refer to the academic years 2014/15 to 2019/20. Figures for the academic year 2020/21 will be published by HESA in February 2022.

The government fully recognises the important contribution that international students make to the UK’s HE sector, both economically and culturally. International students enrich the university experience for all students, including those from the UK themselves. They bring greater diversity to university and college campuses adding an international dimension to the experience of all students. We are proud that so many international students choose to study here each year and look forward to welcoming many more in the future.

The International Education Strategy update published in February 2021, reaffirms the government’s commitment to the two key ambitions of the International Education Strategy to increase the value of our education exports to £35 billion per year, and to sustainably increase the number of international HE students hosted in the UK to at least 600,000 per year, both by 2030.

9th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Education and Childcare settings New National Restrictions from 5 November 2020 guidance and the updated guidance for full opening of schools, whether private instrumental lessons can take place in (a) teachers' homes, (b) private studios and (c) pupils' homes during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown.

As outlined in the guidance for education and childcare settings on new national restrictions from 5 November 2020, out-of-school activities such as private tuition may continue to operate during the period of national restrictions: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/education-and-childcare-settings-new-national-restrictions-from-5-november-2020#ooss. Providers of these activities who are operating out of their own homes or private studios should ensure they are only being accessed for face-to-face provision by parents if their primary purpose is registered childcare. If they are providing other activities for children, this should be done only where it is reasonably necessary to enable parents to work or search for work, to undertake training or education, or for the purposes of respite care.

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, may also continue to operate for face-to-face provision for the duration of the national restrictions. This could include, for example, private tutors.

Where online lessons are not reasonably possible, providers are permitted to offer face-to-face provision in pupils’ homes, where it is necessary for them to continue to work.

Tutors that continue to operate face-to-face provision during this period should continue to undertake risk assessments and implement the system of controls set out in the protective measures for holiday clubs, after-school clubs and other out-of-school clubs for children during the COVID-19 outbreak: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/protective-measures-for-holiday-or-after-school-clubs-and-other-out-of-school-settings-for-children-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/protective-measures-for-out-of-school-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak. Providers operating out of other people’s homes should also implement the guidance on working safely in these environments: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/homes.

All other out of school activities, not being primarily used by parents for these purposes and that can offer remote education, should close for face-to-face provision for the duration of the national restrictions. This will minimise the amount of mixing between different groups of people and therefore reduce the risk of infection and transmission of COVID-19.

19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, when he plans to publish the refreshed National Plan for Music Education.

The call for evidence on music education was launched on 9 February and closed on 13 March, the findings from which will inform the refreshed National Plan for Music Education. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the refresh of the plan is currently on hold but will be published in due course.

The Government has been clear in its intention to keep schools open throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and ensure all pupils get a high-quality education. Schools should undertake a COVID-19 risk assessment by following the advice set out in the Department’s guidance for full opening of schools. The guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools. There may be an additional risk of infection in environments where singing and the playing of wind or brass instruments takes place. The guidance also includes advice on how schools can teach music safely, including on musical equipment. Guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/performing-arts.

The guidance is also clear that the curriculum should remain broad so that the majority of pupils are taught a full range of subjects over the year, including the arts. In Key Stages 4 and 5, the majority of GCSE and A-level students are expected to continue to study their examination subjects, including those who are due to take exams in music, to support them towards their preferred route to further study.

19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to ensure that music is not removed from the curriculum during the covid-19 outbreak.

The call for evidence on music education was launched on 9 February and closed on 13 March, the findings from which will inform the refreshed National Plan for Music Education. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the refresh of the plan is currently on hold but will be published in due course.

The Government has been clear in its intention to keep schools open throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and ensure all pupils get a high-quality education. Schools should undertake a COVID-19 risk assessment by following the advice set out in the Department’s guidance for full opening of schools. The guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools. There may be an additional risk of infection in environments where singing and the playing of wind or brass instruments takes place. The guidance also includes advice on how schools can teach music safely, including on musical equipment. Guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/performing-arts.

The guidance is also clear that the curriculum should remain broad so that the majority of pupils are taught a full range of subjects over the year, including the arts. In Key Stages 4 and 5, the majority of GCSE and A-level students are expected to continue to study their examination subjects, including those who are due to take exams in music, to support them towards their preferred route to further study.

19th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what guidance he has provided to schools to ensure that their risk assessments do not result in reduced access to music and equipment.

The call for evidence on music education was launched on 9 February and closed on 13 March, the findings from which will inform the refreshed National Plan for Music Education. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the refresh of the plan is currently on hold but will be published in due course.

The Government has been clear in its intention to keep schools open throughout the COVID-19 outbreak and ensure all pupils get a high-quality education. Schools should undertake a COVID-19 risk assessment by following the advice set out in the Department’s guidance for full opening of schools. The guidance can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools. There may be an additional risk of infection in environments where singing and the playing of wind or brass instruments takes place. The guidance also includes advice on how schools can teach music safely, including on musical equipment. Guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/performing-arts.

The guidance is also clear that the curriculum should remain broad so that the majority of pupils are taught a full range of subjects over the year, including the arts. In Key Stages 4 and 5, the majority of GCSE and A-level students are expected to continue to study their examination subjects, including those who are due to take exams in music, to support them towards their preferred route to further study.

25th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the Government's policy is on creating a register of carbon offset schemes in the UK to monitor the purchase of viable agricultural land used for this purpose.

The UK Land Carbon Registry is operated on behalf of the UK and Devolved Governments. It contains information about projects registered under the UK Woodland Carbon Code and the UK Peatland Code, the location of registered projects, and the quantity of carbon units issued to date and expected to be issued in future subject to verification of the carbon savings delivered ( https://www.woodlandcarboncode.org.uk/uk-land-carbon-registry).

Agricultural and planning policies are devolved matters. In England Her Majesty's Land Registry publishes information on all companies (UK and overseas) which own property in England and Wales ( https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/land-registry).

22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions his Department has had with representatives of the music industry on the availability of HGVs and specialist concert hauliers in 2022.

The Department for Transport has been engaging regularly, through meetings and working groups, with representatives of the specialist haulage industry that provides logistics services for the creative sectors. The Department continues to explore ways to support the industry as it adapts to the requirements of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA).

Trudy Harrison
Minister of State (Department for Transport)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of people who have been affected by the underpayment of benefits following their transition from incapacity benefit to employment support allowance in (a) West Bromwich East, (b) West Bromwich West and (iii) Halesowen and Rowley Regis.

I refer the Rt hon. Member to the answer I gave on 19th January to question number 104377.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of people who have been affected by the underpayment of benefits after transitioning from Incapacity Benefit to Employment Support Allowance in (a) Walsall South constituency, (b) Walsall North constituency and (iii) Aldridge Brownhills constituency.

I refer the Rt hon. Member to the answer I gave on 19th January to question number 104377.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
18th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of people who have been affected by the underpayment of benefits after transitioning from Incapacity Benefit to Employment Support Allowance in (a) Wolverhampton South West and (b) Wolverhampton North East to date.

I refer the Rt hon. Member to the answer I gave on 19th January to question number 104377.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate she has made of the number of people who have been affected by the underpayment of benefits after transitioning from incapacity benefit to employment support allowance in (i) Walsall South, (ii) Walsall North and (iii) Aldridge Brownhills constituency.

I refer the Rt hon. Member to the answer I gave on 19th January to question number 104377.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of reintroducing free covid-19 lateral flow tests for asymptomatic clinically vulnerable people.

The success of the COVID-19 vaccination and booster programme and the availability of antiviral treatments has reduced the risk of severe illness or hospitalisation for the majority of the population. For those unable to mount a full immune response, testing pathways to evidence based effective COVID-19 treatments will be available. We will continue to monitor prevalence and other factors, keeping testing policies under review.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many dentists there are in the (a) Walsall Commissioning group and (b) Walsall South constituency.

The Department does not hold data in the format requested.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many GPs are registered in the (a) Walsall Commissioning Group and (b) Walsall South constituency.

The latest available data shows that as at 30 September 2021, there were 847 full time equivalent doctors in general practice working in the Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). This CCG was established on 1 April 2021 following the merger of Dudley CCG, Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG, Walsall CCG and Wolverhampton CCG. The data is not held for Walsall South as general practice workforce figures are not collected by constituency.

Maria Caulfield
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that clinicians are discussing with women and girls the risks of taking sodium valproate and other anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) during pregnancy.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) ensures that documents forming the basis of the valproate Pregnancy Prevention Programme are available electronically and distributed regularly as hard copies to prescribers and pharmacists to support discussions of the risks of taking sodium valproate during pregnancy with women and girls who require this medicine. Healthcare professionals have been reminded of their responsibility to inform women and girls taking valproate of the risks, through letters from the United Kingdom’s Chief Medical Officers and Chief Pharmaceutical Officers and by articles in the MHRA’s electronic bulletin Drug Safety Update. The conclusions of a safety review by the Commission of Human Medicines of the risks of other epilepsy medicines in pregnancy have recently been published to aid discussions about the most suitable treatment options.

The MHRA is working with the wider healthcare network to explore additional ways of improving the reach of regulatory communications through platforms in the healthcare and patient setting. The MHRA is working to establish a registry to monitor the use of valproate in women and girls and clinician and patient compliance with the current regulatory position.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
18th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to paragraph 2.99 of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review, what progress has been made on the establishment of a registry for all women prescribed antiepileptic drugs who become pregnant.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is working with NHS Digital to develop a registry to monitor the use of valproate and compliance with the current regulatory position, and to monitor any children born to women on valproate. A report detailing the findings from the first stage of the registry, which linked data to provide information on all women currently prescribed valproate in England and any exposed pregnancies, is planned shortly. This will then be extended, including to women in the devolved regions, and further developed to include all women prescribed an antiepileptic drug.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Commission on Human Medicines review of available safety data for epilepsy medicines during pregnancy, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure research is conducted on the use of those medicines during pregnancy.

The Department, through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), funds a range of research in maternal and neonatal health focussing on the safety of maternity and neonatal services and the national maternity ambition to halve maternal deaths, stillbirths and neonatal deaths and brain injury by 2025. The NIHR has funded three studies on anti-epilepsy medication use during pregnancy. The NIHR welcomes funding applications for research into any aspect of human health, including anti-epilepsy medication use during pregnancy.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
15th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Commission on Human Medicines' review of the use of epilepsy medicines in pregnancy, published on 7 January 2021, whether the provisions of the Pregnancy Prevention Programme will be extended to include any other anti-epileptic drugs identified in posing a risk.

The Commission on Human Medicines’ review concluded that lamotrigine and levetiracetam are safer to use during pregnancy than other epilepsy medicines and that some of the other reviewed antiepileptic drugs may also be associated with harms to the child. Where the data support evidence of harm, neither the magnitude nor the nature of the risks observed with the reviewed epilepsy medicines are as severe as that associated with the use of valproate during pregnancy. A Pregnancy Prevention Programme therefore has not been recommended for any of the other reviewed epilepsy medicines at this time.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much public money has been granted to research into epilepsy in each of the last five years.

The Department funds research on health and social care through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The figures for the NIHR’s epilepsy funding in each of the last five financial years is shown in the following table:

2014/2015

2015/2016

2016/2017

2017/2018

2019/2020

£2,986,689

£2,528,262

£1,561,313

£2,174,787

£2,143,181

14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much money from the public purse has been allocated to research into (a) Parkinson's disease, (b) Alzheimers Disease and (c) Multiple Sclerosis in each of the last five years.

The Government is committed to supporting research into Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis. The Department funds research into these areas through the National Institute for Health Research. Additionally, UK Research and Innovation funds research into these areas primarily through the Medical Research Council, the Biotechnology Biological Sciences Research Council, and the Economic and Social Research Council.

The attached table shows funding allocated through these routes, not including wider funding that contributes to research in these areas. Figures for research into Alzheimer’s disease are only part of overall dementia research spending.

NIHR values refer to total spend. UKRI values refer to allocated / committed funding.

14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the cost to the NHS of unplanned hospitalisations for those with epilepsy in each of the last five years.

This information is not collected centrally therefore no such estimate has been made.

14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate his Department has made of the costs to the NHS of epilepsy misdiagnosis in each of the last five years.

No such estimate has been made.

14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many people have been diagnosed with epilepsy by (a) gender and (b) age in each of the last five years.

This information is not available centrally.

15th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he plans to implement the recommendations of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review; and if he will make a statement.

The recommendations of the Independent Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Review are being considered carefully.

The Government will provide an update in due course.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
4th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether she is taking steps to deport the Myanmar military attache loyal to the Burmese military regime from the UK.

The UK strongly condemns the military coup and the violence against the people of Myanmar. Any decision to declare a foreign diplomat "persona non grata" under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations would need careful consideration in view of the wider implications of such a decision.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Feb 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how much Government funding is currently provided to Myanmar civil society organisations documenting Human Rights violations; and if she will increase funding to the human rights defenders and civil society organisations in Myanmar that are collecting evidence of the Myanmar military activities.

Since the military coup in February 2021 the UK has been working to protect the civic space, human rights and media freedom. This includes supporting human rights organisations to gather evidence of human rights violations across Myanmar, including around gender-based violence, as well as emergency funding to help journalists and media organisations continue their work in Myanmar. This year, the UK has provided over £1.5 million on human rights monitoring. This includes establishing Myanmar Witness; a human rights monitoring mechanism which collects and verifies open-source information on serious human rights violations and ensures there is a spotlight on the military's actions.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what progress the Government has made on meeting its target of donating 100 million covid-19 vaccines by the end of June 2022; and when that target will be met.

The UK has been a world leader in ensuring developing countries can access vaccines, through our early support to the COVAX scheme and commitment to donate surplus vaccines. The Prime Minister has been clear that no one is safe until we are all safe.

The UK has fulfilled its pledge to donate 30 million coronavirus vaccine doses by the end of 2021, with 25.4 million of these doses already deployed to countries in need. We are managing our vaccine supply so that all vaccines are either used as quickly as possible in our domestic programme or shared internationally. Decisions on vaccine donations will continue to depend on supply chain reliability, Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advice and the ability of countries to absorb and deploy vaccines.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if she will publish (a) how many UK missions overseas are located in premises owned by the UK Government and (b) a list of those missions.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office currently owns 98 UK missions overseas. The number includes British Embassies, High Commissions, Deputy High Commissions and Consulates. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office publishes a list of locations where there are HMG Overseas Missions that is available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/list-of-foreign-office-posts.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, how many UK ambassadors are (a) Black, Asian and minority ethnic and (b) to which countries they are ambassadors to.

As of 31 March 2021, 5% of FCDO Heads of Missions, Heads of Posts and Governors declared an ethnicity as Black, Asian or minority ethnic. Further details, including on countries where Heads of Missions, Posts and Governors serve, can be found at https://www.gov.uk/world/organisations.

As part of the FCDO's Inclusion Framework, the Achieving Potential pillar actively supports all staff to achieve their potential. This supports the FCDO's objectives, taking personal action to address barriers faced by groups and individuals and demonstrate all staff are valued for their contributions. The FCDO continues to make progress developing the talent pipeline and supporting participation from under-represented groups in Civil Service Talent Schemes.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, when she last met with the High Commissioner of India to the UK.

Engagement with the High Commissioner of India to the UK is primarily led at Ministerial level by Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State for South Asia. Lord Ahmad last met the High Commissioner on 13 October. The Foreign Secretary maintains regular engagement with her Government of India counterpart, the External Affairs Minister.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
25th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what representations he has made to the Government of Uganda on (a) the arrest of opposition party leaders, (b) alleged vote rigging and (c) the ensuing violence in that country.

I spoke to Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa on 12 January, ahead of the elections in Uganda on 14 January, to express the importance of British officials being accredited as observers. We deployed 51 Election Observers across Uganda on election day we have been consulting with the diplomatic community, civil society actors, other international observers, and the Government of Uganda to ensure we have a comprehensive and accurate picture of the elections. We have urged the Government of Uganda to respond to the concerns raised on the overall political climate surrounding the elections, which I set out in my statement of 17 January. The treatment of opposition leader Robert Kyagulanyi is unacceptable and I publicly expressed my concerns about this in my tweet of 19 January. Our High Commissioner in Kampala pressed this issue with the Ugandan authorities and I welcome the High Court of Uganda's decision of 25 January that the detention of Robert Kyagulanyi was unconstitutional and unlawful and that these restrictions have been lifted. The British High Commission Kampala pressed the Ugandan authorities to end these unacceptable restrictions on his liberty. Our High Commissioner in Kampala continues to meet political actors from all parties and met Robert Kyagulanyi on 27 January 2021. The High Commissioner urged Kyagulanyi and all parties to reject violence, engage in peaceful dialogue and follow due process to address any electoral irregularities.

James Duddridge
Lord Commissioner (HM Treasury) (Whip)
12th Jul 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of (a) lowering the rate of VAT on motor fuel for low paid workers and (b) abolishing fuel duty.

The temporary 5p cut to duty on petrol and diesel represents a £2.4 billion tax cut in 2022-23, to help consumers with high fuel prices.

VAT is a broad-based tax on consumption and the 20 per cent standard rate applies to most goods and services. It would cost over £6 billion to cut VAT on road fuel from 20% to 5%.

The Government keeps all taxes under review.

Alan Mak
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Apr 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made on the potential merits of increasing the reimbursement of business travel in fully electric company cars.

The government introduced the Advisory Electric Rate (AER) in 2018. It applies to employees who use a fully electric vehicle as a company car.

The Advisory Electric Rate (AER) was changed in December 2021 from 4 pence per mile (ppm) to 5ppm. This was calculated using published consumption rates, adjusted to reflect real driving conditions, and the average cost of electricity.

However, employers are not required to use the AER. Instead, they can use different rates to reflect their employee’s circumstances. Provided they show that the bespoke rates do not result in a profit for the employee, there will be no tax to pay. Otherwise, when employers reimburse employees at a higher rate than the published AER (5ppm), the excess is subject to Income Tax and NICs.

The government keeps this policy under review.

31st Mar 2022
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what support is available to small hospitality businesses affected by rising (a) fuel costs and (b) VAT from 1 April 2022.

The government has prioritised support for SMEs by cutting business rates by 50% for eligible retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, providing a 95% subsidy for apprenticeships, and supporting them to invest and grow by increasing the Annual Investment Allowance to £1 million. The Help to Grow scheme provides eligible SMEs with a 90% subsidy for world class management training and subsidises the cost of new software up to £5,000.

The Spring Statement 2022 went further and cuts the cost of employment for half a million small businesses, by increasing the Employment Allowance from £4,000 to £5,000. This means that from April, 670,000 businesses will not pay NICs and the Health and Social Care Levy. In addition, the main rates of petrol and diesel duty will be cut by 5 pence per litre, the largest cash terms cut that has ever been applied to fuel duty rates at once.

22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make a further assessment of the potential merits of a tax incentive to encourage music production in the UK.

The Government keeps all tax policy under review and regularly receives proposals for sector-specific tax reliefs. When considering a new tax relief, the Government must ensure it supports businesses in a fair way and that taxpayer money is effectively targeted. A tax relief to encourage music production is not currently under consideration.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Oct 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what additional support the Government will provide to self-employed peripatetic music teachers who remain unable to work and whose support from the Self-employment income support scheme will reduce to 20 per cent from 1 November 2020.

The Government recognises the impact that the changing path of the virus has had on the self-employed, including those in peripatetic professions, and has taken action to increase the level of support available.

The support given to the self-employed via the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme Grant Extension (SEISS GE) will now be doubled, increasing the amount of profits covered from 20 per cent to 40 per cent. This means the maximum grant available has increased from £1,875 to £3,750. This will provide a further £3.1 billion of support to the self-employed through November to January alone, with a further grant to follow covering February to April. The Government is now providing broadly the same level of support for the self-employed as is being provided to employees through the Job Support Scheme (Open).

For those requiring further assistance, the SEISS continues to be just one element of a comprehensive package of financial support for the self-employed. The Government has temporarily increased the Universal Credit standard allowance for 2020-21 and relaxed the Minimum Income Floor for the duration of the pandemic meaning that where self-employed claimants' earnings have significantly fallen, their Universal Credit award will have increased to reflect their lower earnings. In addition to this, the self-employed also have access to other elements of the package, including Bounce Back loans, tax deferrals, rental support, mortgage holidays, and other business support grants.

30th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the current backlog of cases for those seeking Leave to Remain in the UK as at 1 October 2021.

UKVI are currently facing extremely high pressure globally and this has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

To tackle this the Home Office is pursuing a programme of transformation and business improvement initiatives which will speed up decision making, reduce the time people spend in the system and reduce the numbers who are awaiting an interview or decision. This includes increasing the number of decision makers and providing improved training and career progression opportunities to aid retention of staff.

We are continuing to develop existing and new technology to help build on recent improvements such as digital interviewing and moving away from a paper-based system. We are streamlining and digitalising the case working process to enable more effective workflow, appointment booking and decision-making.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what the staffing level is of the West Midlands account manager office dealing with immigration cases.

The MP Account Management team (MPAM) is a national team that handle all enquiries received from MPs on both general immigration matters and case specific enquiries.

The MPAM team has 119 staff in several different locations across the UK, one of which is in Solihull. Resources are used flexibly in accordance with enquiry intake levels and staff from each of the regional hubs may respond to enquiries from any MP and not just those exclusive to their region.

There are currently 11 MPAM staff based in Solihull.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, which local authorities in England have accepted Afghan refugees; and how many refugees each of those local authorities have accepted.

We’ve seen over 300 local authorities come forward with commitments to take in displaced Afghans as part of our resettlement plans. We thank those local authorities who are taking their fair share and would encourage others who haven’t yet stepped forward to work with us.

Data on relocation will be published as part of our quarterly release which can be found at this link: Asylum and resettlement datasets - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many Afghan citizens have been granted leave to remain since 1 September 2021.

The Home Office publishes quarterly data on grants and refusals of leave to remain (visa extensions) in the ‘Immigration Statistics Quarterly Release’ on GOV.UK:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/immigration-statistics-quarterly-release

The latest published statistics show that 464 people with Afghan Nationality were granted leave to remain in the third quarter (July to September) 2021. Of this, 385 grants were via a Family route.

25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent estimate she has made of the number of Afghan citizens in bridging hotels who are waiting to be allocated housing.

We are working at pace with local authorities to source appropriate accommodation for Afghan families who were evacuated to the UK. Data on relocation will be published as part of our quarterly release which can be found at this link: Asylum and resettlement datasets - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).

Over 4000 individuals have either moved into a settled home, are in the process of doing so or are being matched.

30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether employers are legally required to follow Disclosure and Barring Service guidance on identification.

An employer, or Registered Body, is responsible for verifying the applicant’s identity in accordance with the Disclosure and Barring Service’s identity checking guidelines. They are legally required to follow Disclosure and Barring Service guidance on identification. This is one of the conditions attached to registration within The Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) (Registration) Regulations 2006.

30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether employers are able to refuse an employee's Disclosure and Barring Service check application if the employee does not provide photographic identification.

The DBS identity guidance (see link below) includes the provision for non-photographic documents. Employers or Registered Bodies may require photographic identity documents to be shown as part of their own employment policies or recruitment processes.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/documents-the-applicant-must-provide

4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many citizenship ceremonies have been cancelled as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Following Government guidelines and social distancing measures, normal arrangements for citizenship ceremonies have been suspended at present. The volume of individuals awaiting citizenship ceremonies is a matter for Local Authorities and figures are not recorded centrally by the Home Office.

The time allowed for people to arrange a citizenship ceremony has already been extended to 6 months. Local Authorities are currently liaising with applicants and exploring alternative options to resume ceremonies.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many people are waiting for citizenship ceremonies.

Following Government guidelines and social distancing measures, normal arrangements for citizenship ceremonies have been suspended at present. The volume of individuals awaiting citizenship ceremonies is a matter for Local Authorities and figures are not recorded centrally by the Home Office.

The time allowed for people to arrange a citizenship ceremony has already been extended to 6 months. Local Authorities are currently liaising with applicants and exploring alternative options to resume ceremonies.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has to extend the three month period for people who have been issued with letters confirming citizenship ceremonies; and if she will make a statement.

Following Government guidelines and social distancing measures, normal arrangements for citizenship ceremonies have been suspended at present. The volume of individuals awaiting citizenship ceremonies is a matter for Local Authorities and figures are not recorded centrally by the Home Office.

The time allowed for people to arrange a citizenship ceremony has already been extended to 6 months. Local Authorities are currently liaising with applicants and exploring alternative options to resume ceremonies.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what the Government's policy is on building a battery energy storage systems on green belt land.

This Government has a manifesto commitment to protect and enhance the Green Belt. Our National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) makes clear that most new building is inappropriate in Green Belt and should be refused permission unless in very special circumstances. When considering any planning application affecting Green Belt land, the local authority should ensure that substantial weight is given to any harm to the Green Belt. ‘Very special circumstances’ will not exist unless the potential harm is clearly outweighed by other considerations.

The latest NPPF published in July 2021 expects planning policies and decisions to support transitioning to a low carbon future by requiring renewable/low carbon energy generation and identifying areas for this infrastructure. It is rightly for the individual local authority to assess each case and judge whether an applicant has successfully argued that ‘very special circumstances’ would justify a planning permission in Green Belt.

25th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will set out the process for allocating levelling up funds.

The Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities has used a range of approaches to determine how funding is distributed through our levelling up funds, depending on the outcomes the department wants to achieve in places.

The Department recently published explanatory notes setting out the assessment and decision-making process for the Levelling Up Fund and the Community Renewal Fund. Information on the selection process for Town Deals is also on gov.uk.

23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, how much and what proportion of the Government's levelling up funding will be allocated to (a) Walsall South constituency and (b) Walsall Borough.

This Government is committed to levelling up, and delivering the economic and social priorities to boost living standards across the UK. As part of this agenda, the following funds have been announced and more information is available on the gov.uk website: £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund, £3.6 billion Towns Fund, £830 million Future High Street Fund, £220 million Community Renewal Fund that will help to shape the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and £150 million Community Ownership Fund.

Walsall will receive up to £42.6 million (£21.3 million Bloxwich, £21.3 million Walsall) as part of the Towns Fund, subject to approval of the full business case, and over £11 million from the Future High Street Fund. The West Midlands Combined Authority, the lead applicant, will receive over £5 million as part of the Community Renewal Fund, with direct and indirect funding benefit Walsall. The Levelling Up Fund is a competitive fund, with funding distributed to places across the UK based on successful project selection. Further detail on how future rounds of the Levelling Up Fund Fund and UKSPF will operate from 2022-23 onward will be set out in due course.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in light of proposals to open a new deep coalmine in Cumbria.

A public inquiry, overseen by an independent Planning Inspector, is scheduled to begin in September. The inquiry will hear the evidence for and against the proposal, and once completed, the Inspector will prepare a report and recommendation for Ministers, based on that evidence. As this application will come before Ministers for decision it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.

14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what recent assessment he has made of the environmental effect of proposals to open a new deep coalmine in Cumbia.

A public inquiry, overseen by an independent Planning Inspector, is scheduled to begin in September. The inquiry will hear the evidence for and against the proposal, and once completed, the Inspector will prepare a report and recommendation for Ministers, based on that evidence. As this application will come before Ministers for decision it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.

27th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to support the installation of electric vehicle charging points in newly built housing developments; and if he will make a statement.

The Government held a consultation on Electric Vehicle Charging in Residential and Non-Residential Buildings in 2019. It will publish its response by the summer.

Permitted development rights currently allow for the installation of electric vehicle chargepoints within the curtilage of a house or block of flats without the need to apply for planning permission, where the chargepoints have a height limit of 1.6 metres.

The On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS) is available to local authorities across the United Kingdom to provide public chargepoints for residents without access to private parking. This year, £20 million is available under the scheme.

The scheme has already supported over 105 different local authorities to fund more than 3,800 chargepoints.

7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what discussions his Department has had with the devolved Administrations on the potential merits of changing pitch fee review inflationary index for park homes from the retail price index to the consumer price index.

We made a commitment in October 2018 to change the pitch fee review inflationary index from the Retail Price Index (RPI) to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) having considered the responses of residents and site owners to our review of park homes legislation. The required primary legislation will be introduced when parliamentary time is available.

The Government response to the review is available at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/749771/Park_homes_Review_Government_response.pdf.

Park homes policy is a devolved matter and formal consultation with the devolved Administrations is not required.

7th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether the Government plans to bring forward legislative proposals to change the pitch fee review inflationary index for park homes from the retail price index to the consumer price index.

We made a commitment in October 2018 to change the pitch fee review inflationary index from the Retail Price Index (RPI) to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) having considered the responses of residents and site owners to our review of park homes legislation. The required primary legislation will be introduced when parliamentary time is available.

The Government response to the review is available at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/749771/Park_homes_Review_Government_response.pdf.

Park homes policy is a devolved matter and formal consultation with the devolved Administrations is not required.

4th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the current backlog is of cases awaiting a first tier immigration tribunal hearing.

The number of appeals in the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) that have either not had a final hearing or been resolved prior to hearing, as at 31 March 2020, is 17,661, a reduction of 4,475 appeals from the same period in 2019.

Published statistics can be found at:

www.gov.uk/government/statistics/tribunal-statistics-quarterly-october-to-december-2019 and

www.gov.uk/government/collections/hmcts-management-information.

3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Leader of the Leader of the House, which Government Department is responsible for answering the Exiting the European Union Select Committee following the closure of the Department for Exiting the European Union.

As my Right Hon Friend the Prime Minister set out to the House (https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2020-02-03/debates/20020316000004/DepartmentForExitingTheEuropeanUnionClosure) the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) closed on 31 January. Those of its functions which are still required have been transferred to relevant government departments. The administration of the closure of DExEU is being carried out by the Cabinet Office.

The Government department responsible for answering written questions will depend on the subject of the question. Questions can be transferred between departments to ensure that they are answered by the relevant department. The Government department responsible for answering oral questions will depend on the subject of the question.

Once the Exiting the European Union Select Committee members are nominated and it is fully constituted, the Committee may wish, in the first instance, to take up any questions it has with the Cabinet Office.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Minister of State (Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Leader of the House, whether the Government's Taskforce Europe will be subject to direct parliamentary scrutiny following the closure of the Department for Exiting the European Union; and whether he plans to allocate parliamentary time to debate the scrutiny of that body.

Taskforce Europe is a unit within the Prime Minister’s Office. Parliamentary scrutiny will be exercised in the usual way for the Cabinet Office and the Prime Minister, including through responding to written and oral questions. Questions on specific issues arising from the negotiations with the European Union will be answered by the department or departments most directly responsible; including the Cabinet Office.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Minister of State (Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Leader of the House, which Government Department is responsible for answering written questions previously within the remit of the Department for Exiting the EU; and if he will make a statement.

As my Right Hon Friend the Prime Minister set out to the House (https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2020-02-03/debates/20020316000004/DepartmentForExitingTheEuropeanUnionClosure) the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) closed on 31 January. Those of its functions which are still required have been transferred to relevant government departments. The administration of the closure of DExEU is being carried out by the Cabinet Office.

The Government department responsible for answering written questions will depend on the subject of the question. Questions can be transferred between departments to ensure that they are answered by the relevant department. The Government department responsible for answering oral questions will depend on the subject of the question.

Once the Exiting the European Union Select Committee members are nominated and it is fully constituted, the Committee may wish, in the first instance, to take up any questions it has with the Cabinet Office.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Minister of State (Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency)
3rd Feb 2020
To ask the Leader of the House, which Government Department is responsible for answering oral questions previously within the remit of the Department for Exiting the EU; and if he will make a statement.

As my Right Hon Friend the Prime Minister set out to the House (https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2020-02-03/debates/20020316000004/DepartmentForExitingTheEuropeanUnionClosure) the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) closed on 31 January. Those of its functions which are still required have been transferred to relevant government departments. The administration of the closure of DExEU is being carried out by the Cabinet Office.

The Government department responsible for answering written questions will depend on the subject of the question. Questions can be transferred between departments to ensure that they are answered by the relevant department. The Government department responsible for answering oral questions will depend on the subject of the question.

Once the Exiting the European Union Select Committee members are nominated and it is fully constituted, the Committee may wish, in the first instance, to take up any questions it has with the Cabinet Office.

Jacob Rees-Mogg
Minister of State (Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency)