Wera Hobhouse Portrait

Wera Hobhouse

Liberal Democrat - Bath

Liberal Democrat Shadow Leader of the House of Commons

(since September 2020)

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Justice)

(since September 2020)

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Women and Equalities)

(since September 2020)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Energy)
6th Jan 2020 - 7th Sep 2020
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Environment and Climate Change)
7th Feb 2019 - 7th Sep 2020
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Transport)
21st Aug 2019 - 6th Jan 2020
Committee on Exiting the European Union
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Committee on the Future Relationship with the European Union
11th Sep 2017 - 6th Nov 2019
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Justice)
7th Feb 2019 - 21st Aug 2019
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government)
16th Jun 2017 - 8th Feb 2019


Department Event
Thursday 2nd December 2021
Leader of the House
Business Statement - Main Chamber
Business Questions to the Leader of the House
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Oral Question
Monday 6th December 2021
14:30
Department for Education
Oral Question No. 5
What steps is he taking to support the professional development of disabled school leavers.
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Department Event
Thursday 9th December 2021
Leader of the House
Business Statement - Main Chamber
Business Questions to the Leader of the House
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Scheduled Event
Thursday 9th December 2021
13:30
Westminster Hall debate - Westminster Hall
9 Dec 2021, 1:30 p.m.
Support for the UK’s transition to electric vehicles by 2030
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Department Event
Tuesday 14th December 2021
11:30
Ministry of Justice
Oral questions - Main Chamber
14 Dec 2021, 11:30 a.m.
Justice (including Topical Questions)
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Department Event
Thursday 16th December 2021
Leader of the House
Business Statement - Main Chamber
Business Questions to the Leader of the House
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Note: This event involves a Department with which this person is linked, and does not guarantee their actual attendance.
Division Votes
Wednesday 1st December 2021
Finance (No. 2) Bill
voted No - in line with the party majority
One of 11 Liberal Democrat No votes vs 0 Liberal Democrat Aye votes
Tally: Ayes - 301 Noes - 206
Speeches
Tuesday 30th November 2021
Community Energy Schemes

Indeed—I completely agree. I urge the Minister to look at clause 3 of the Bill, which would give Ofgem the …

Written Answers
Tuesday 30th November 2021
Employment Schemes: Disability
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to (a) the disability employment gap remaining at …
Early Day Motions
Monday 22nd November 2021
Disability inclusive employment strategy
That this House expresses concern that the covid-19 pandemic is still disproportionately affecting the financial security and working status of …
Bills
Wednesday 24th November 2021
Hate Crime (Misogyny) Bill 2021-22
A Bill to make motivation by misogyny an aggravating factor in criminal sentencing; to require police forces to record hate …
MP Financial Interests
Monday 26th July 2021
1. Employment and earnings
15 June 2021, received £331.59 from Universität Hohenheim, D-70599 Stuttgart, for delivering a lecture. Hours: estimated at 10 hrs. (Registered …
EDM signed
Tuesday 30th November 2021
Outsourcing
That this House notes with concern the use of private contractors in delivering front-line services across the Department for Work …
Supported Legislation
Tuesday 24th March 2020
Wellbeing of Future Generations (No. 2) Bill 2019-21
A Bill to make provision for requiring public bodies to act in pursuit of the United Kingdom’s environmental, social, economic …

Division Voting information

During the current Parliamentary Session, Wera Hobhouse has voted in 292 divisions, and never against the majority of their Party.
View All Wera Hobhouse 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)
Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons
(73 debate interactions)
Robert Jenrick (Conservative)
(20 debate interactions)
Robert Buckland (Conservative)
(19 debate interactions)
View All Sparring Partners
Department Debates
Leader of the House
(43 debate contributions)
Cabinet Office
(35 debate contributions)
Department for Education
(31 debate contributions)
View All Department Debates
View all Wera Hobhouse's debates

Bath Petitions

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

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

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

Petition Debates Contributed

I would like the UK Government to make it law that nightclubs must search guests on arrival to prevent harmful weapons and other items entering the establishment. This could be a pat down search or metal detector, but must involve measures being put in place to ensure the safety of the public.

Much like the existing mandatory requirement for employers with 250 or more employees must publish their gender pay gap. We call upon the government to introduce the ethnicity pay gap reporting. To shine a light on race / ethnicity based inequality in the workplace so that they can be addressed.

We have the second most expensive childcare system in the world. A full time place costs, on average, £14,000 per year, making it completely unaffordable for many families. Parents are forced to leave their jobs or work fewer hours, which has a negative impact on the economy and on child poverty.

Currently, it is not compulsory for primary or secondary school students to be educated on Britain's role in colonisation, or the transatlantic slave trade. We petition the government to make education on topics such as these compulsory, with the ultimate aim of a far more inclusive curriculum.

The right to peaceful assembly and protest are fundamental principles of any democracy and the proposed part of this bill that gives the police new powers to tackle disruptive peaceful protests should be removed from The Policing, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

Black Women in the U.K. are 5 times more likely to die during pregnancy and after childbirth compared to White Women (MBRRACE, 2019). We need more research done into why this is happening and recommendations to improve health care for Black Women as urgent action is needed to address this disparity.

Schools should move to online learning from 9 December so that all students and school staff have a chance to isolate for two weeks and then can safely meet older relatives.

The Government should cancel GCSEs and A Levels in 2021 due to the disruption of Covid-19. By the time students go back to normal learning, 6 months will have passed since schools were closed to most pupils. This has already had a huge impact on the studying of so many.

Close down schools and colleges due to the increase in COVID-19 cases. We are seeing cases of students and teachers catching the virus since schools have reopened.

The threat of covid19 is real. Children can’t be expected to maintain sufficient social distancing to keep this virus from spreading. They are social creatures. Allowing them back to school could cause a new spike in cases. They could bring it back home, even if they are a-symptomatic.

Football is a powerful tool of which allows a range of benefits such as employment, and other important aspects of life. Football can be associated with passion, emotion, excitement and dedication across the community. With Fans attending football games a range of economic benefits are there too.

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

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

In light of the recent outbreak and lock down, those on maternity leave should be given 3 extra months paid leave, at least. This time is for bonding and social engaging with other parents and babies through baby groups which are vital for development and now everything has been cancelled.

The government should consider delaying negotiations so they can concentrate on the coronavirus situation and reduce travel of both EU and UK negotiators. This would necessitate extending the transition period; as there can only be a one off extension, this should be for two years.


Latest EDMs signed by Wera Hobhouse

3rd November 2021
Wera Hobhouse signed this EDM on Tuesday 30th November 2021

Recognising the 1988 massacre in Iran

Tabled by: Bob Blackman (Conservative - Harrow East)
That this House supports justice for the victims of the 1988 massacre in Iran; recognises that in 1988, thousands of political prisoners, as many as 30,000, were massacred based on a fatwa by Iran's Supreme Leader Khomeini primarily targeting members of the opposition PMOI (MEK) who remained committed to their …
25 signatures
(Most recent: 1 Dec 2021)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 8
Labour: 7
Conservative: 5
Democratic Unionist Party: 3
Alliance: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
9th November 2021
Wera Hobhouse signed this EDM on Tuesday 30th November 2021

Freedom of expression in Cuba

Tabled by: Stewart Malcolm McDonald (Scottish National Party - Glasgow South)
That this House notes that the Cuban civil society movement, Archipiélago, has called for marches on the 15 November 2021 against violence, to demand that all Cubans’ rights are respected, for the release of political prisoners and for the solution to their differences via democratic and peaceful channels; further notes …
9 signatures
(Most recent: 30 Nov 2021)
Signatures by party:
Scottish National Party: 4
Conservative: 1
Labour: 1
Democratic Unionist Party: 1
Independent: 1
Liberal Democrat: 1
View All Wera Hobhouse's signed Early Day Motions

Commons initiatives

These initiatives were driven by Wera Hobhouse, 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.


Wera Hobhouse has not been granted any Urgent Questions

Wera Hobhouse has not been granted any Adjournment Debates

8 Bills introduced by Wera Hobhouse


Parallel Parliament Note:

The substantive text of this bill was re-introduced by the Government as the Voyeurism Offences Act which received Royal Assent during the 2017-2019 Parliament.

A Bill to make certain acts of voyeurism an offence.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Tuesday 6th March 2018

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 raise the age of criminal responsibility


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Monday 17th June 2019
(Read Debate)
Next Event - 2nd Reading: House Of Commons
Date TBA

A Bill to make motivation by misogyny an aggravating factor in criminal sentencing; to require police forces to record hate crimes motivated by misogyny; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Wednesday 24th November 2021
Next Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Friday 18th March 2022

A Bill to prohibit sexual orientation and gender identity conversion therapy; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Monday 21st June 2021
Next Event - 2nd Reading (Commons)
Friday 18th March 2022

A Bill to amend the Equality Act 2010 to permit political parties to use all-ethnic-minority shortlists for the selection of election candidates.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Wednesday 14th October 2020

A Bill to make motivation by misogyny an aggravating factor in criminal sentencing; to require police forces to record hate crimes motivated by misogyny; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading (Commons)
Monday 9th March 2020

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 penalties for stationary vehicle idling offences; to grant local authorities increased powers to issue such penalties; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Wednesday 5th June 2019

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 routine six week National Health Service check-ups for new mothers to include mental health assessments and advice; and for connected purposes.


Last Event - 1st Reading: House Of Commons
Thursday 7th March 2019

207 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
21 Other Department Questions
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, if he will commit to reforming public sector land policy to ensure that affordable housing can be delivered more quickly.

Work has begun on a new, ambitious cross-Government Estates strategy to look at how public sector land can be managed and released so it can be put to better use. This will include home building, improving the environment, contributing to net-zero goals and injecting growth opportunities into communities across the country.

National Planning Policy Framework sets out that it is for local authorities to assess the housing needs of different groups, including those who require affordable housing, and to reflect this in their planning policies

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what estimate he has made of the number of Section 21 evictions issued, by (a) ethnicity and (b) gender of the person being evicted, in the latest period for which figures are available.

There is no requirement on landlords to notify the Government when they serve notice of their intention to seek possession to their tenant. As such, the Department does not hold data on the number of Section 21 notices issued by ethnicity, or the gender of the person being evicted.

If the tenant does not vacate the property after the expiry of a notice, a landlord is required to make a claim for possession in the county court to legally regain possession of the property. This can result in the property being repossessed by a county court bailiff or High Court Enforcement Officer if the case is not otherwise resolved.

The Mortgage and Landlord Repossession Statistics, published by the Ministry of Justice, record the number of claims for possession brought by landlords in the county court in each quarter, and the number of repossessions carried out by county court bailiffs. These statistics show that there were 359 evictions via the accelerated procedure (section 21) in April to June 2021 but data on the ethnicity or gender of the occupiers whose property was repossessed is not collected.

The statistics are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/mortgage-and-landlord-possession-statistics-april-to-june-2021/mortgage-and-landlord-possession-statistics-april-to-june-2021.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what estimate he has made of the number of banning orders issued under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 in the last 12 months.

Local authorities are required make an entry on the database of rogue landlords and property agents where a person or organisation has received a banning order. In the last 12 months, there have been no entries made as a result of banning orders issued under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of proposals for a mandatory register of landlords.

The Government has committed to exploring the merits of introducing a national landlord register in England as part of a commitment to drive up standards in rented accommodation. We are engaging with a range of stakeholders from across the sector to inform this work and we will publish a White Paper in due course that will set out proposals for private rented sector reform.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, what estimate he has made of the number of people in rent arrears, broken down by (a) ethnicity and (b) gender, as of 26 October 2021.

The full breakdown of those in arrears with rent payments is provided in Table T15, including Table T15h, which details whether private renters are in arrears with rent payments by ethnicity. These are available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/household-resilience-study-wave-3 in ‘Household Resilience Study: Wave 3 tables’.

To help support the most vulnerable renters, the Government has recently made available the £500 million Household Support Fund and £65 million in additional Homelessness Prevention Grant funding.

Eddie Hughes
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the President of COP26, with representatives from what countries he (a) has had and (b) plans to have discussions to increase their ambition for offshore wind ahead of COP26.

Accelerating the global energy transition from coal to clean power is a top priority of the UK COP26 Presidency. We are working with countries to expand the use of clean, renewable energy sources such as onshore and offshore wind, through both international forums and bilateral engagements. We launched the Energy Transition Council to bring together the political, financial and technical leaders of the global power sector to ensure that clean power is the most attractive option for new power generation for all countries. The Council engages with over twenty countries in Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America. There has also been engagement on this topic with G7 members, who recently committed to achieving overwhelmingly decarbonised power systems in the 2030s. Wind generation will play an important role in delivering decarbonisation in the UK, and internationally we are working closely with partners including the Global Wind Energy Council.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the President of COP26, with reference to the announcement of 29 June 2021 that the UK will provide vaccinations to COP26 delegates, how the Government plans to vaccinate COP26 delegates ahead of the conference in Glasgow.

As announced at the G7 Summit, the UK is working alongside the UNFCCC and other partners, to provide COVID-19 vaccines to Registered COP26 Attendees who would be unable to get them otherwise, including delegates from lower income countries.

We are now asking all those individuals looking to take up this vaccine offer to identify themselves through the UNFCCC COP registration process as soon as possible and no later than 23 July. Further logistic detail will be provided to the individuals involved via UNFCCC.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, if she will bring forward legislative proposals to ensure that transgender people are not subjected to gender identity conversion practices.

As set out in the Queen’s Speech in May, we will bring forward legislation to ban conversion therapy. The Minister for Women and Equalities has confirmed that the ban will protect people from harmful conversion therapy practices in relation to sexual orientation and/or gender identity. We will ensure the action we take to stop this practice is proportionate and effective, with no unintended consequences.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
8th Jun 2021
To ask the President of COP26, whether the Government has plans to provide financial support for covid-19 quarantine measures to international delegates to COP26.

We want COP26 to be a physical event in Glasgow this November. That is the basis on which we are planning, and we are ensuring that we are exploring all measures to ensure the event is safe for participants and safe for the people of Glasgow.

We are working through the process to determine what mitigation measures are needed to safely host COP26, including for people from countries on our amber and red lists at the time of the conference. We will continue to work with colleagues in the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, Public Health bodies and the UN to explore the most appropriate measures; including testing, quarantine, vaccines and other COVID security measures. As announced at the G7 Summit, in order to enable more representatives to attend safely the UK will work to provide vaccines to those accredited delegations who would be unable to get them otherwise.

We will provide delegates and the House with an update in due course.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what assessment he has made of the likelihood of reduced attendance by international delegates at COP26.

We want COP26 to be a physical event in Glasgow this November. That is the basis on which we are planning, and we are ensuring that we are exploring all measures to ensure the event is safe for participants and safe for the people of Glasgow.

We are working through the process to determine what mitigation measures are needed to safely host COP26, including for people from countries on our amber and red lists at the time of the conference. We will continue to work with colleagues in the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, Public Health bodies and the UN to explore the most appropriate measures; including testing, quarantine, vaccines and other COVID security measures. As announced at the G7 Summit, in order to enable more representatives to attend safely the UK will work to provide vaccines to those accredited delegations who would be unable to get them otherwise.

We will provide delegates and the House with an update in due course.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what the deadline is for the decision on whether COP26 will be held in person or online.

We want COP26 to be a physical event in Glasgow this November. That is the basis on which we are planning, and we are ensuring that we are exploring all measures to ensure the event is safe for participants and safe for the people of Glasgow.

We are working through the process to determine what mitigation measures are needed to safely host COP26, including for people from countries on our amber and red lists at the time of the conference. We will continue to work with colleagues in the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, Public Health bodies and the UN to explore the most appropriate measures; including testing, quarantine, vaccines and other COVID security measures. As announced at the G7 Summit, in order to enable more representatives to attend safely the UK will work to provide vaccines to those accredited delegations who would be unable to get them otherwise.

We will provide delegates and the House with an update in due course.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
8th Jun 2021
To ask the President of COP26, whether delegates to the COP26 conference arriving from a red or amber list country will be (a) required to self-isolate on arrival or (b) exempt from covid-19 quarantine measures.

We want COP26 to be a physical event in Glasgow this November. That is the basis on which we are planning, and we are ensuring that we are exploring all measures to ensure the event is safe for participants and safe for the people of Glasgow.

We are working through the process to determine what mitigation measures are needed to safely host COP26, including for people from countries on our amber and red lists at the time of the conference. We will continue to work with colleagues in the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, Public Health bodies and the UN to explore the most appropriate measures; including testing, quarantine, vaccines and other COVID security measures. As announced at the G7 Summit, in order to enable more representatives to attend safely the UK will work to provide vaccines to those accredited delegations who would be unable to get them otherwise.

We will provide delegates and the House with an update in due course.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
24th May 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what assessment she has made of Australia's Victoria State Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practices Prohibition Act 2021 as a model of best practice for banning conversion therapy.

As set out in the Queen’s Speech earlier this month, we will bring forward legislation to ban conversion therapy. We will also launch a consultation before details of the ban are finalised to hear from a wide range of voices on how best to protect people from conversion therapy while protecting the medical profession, defending freedom of speech, and upholding religious freedom. We are considering all options for the scope of a ban and will be engaging the appropriate stakeholders, including organisations who support survivors of conversion therapy, to gather views. We have also already met with conversion therapy survivors, to hear about their experiences.

We have also undertaken research to understand practices, experiences and impacts associated with conversion therapy and will publish this in due course. Officials are also in discussion with international policy counterparts, to fully understand the detail and impact of other jurisdictions’ measures, in order to inform the UK’s next steps.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
24th May 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what steps she will take to consult (a) survivors of conversion therapy and (b) organisations who support those who have been subjected to conversion therapy as part of any consultation on banning conversion practices.

As set out in the Queen’s Speech earlier this month, we will bring forward legislation to ban conversion therapy. We will also launch a consultation before details of the ban are finalised to hear from a wide range of voices on how best to protect people from conversion therapy while protecting the medical profession, defending freedom of speech, and upholding religious freedom. We are considering all options for the scope of a ban and will be engaging the appropriate stakeholders, including organisations who support survivors of conversion therapy, to gather views. We have also already met with conversion therapy survivors, to hear about their experiences.

We have also undertaken research to understand practices, experiences and impacts associated with conversion therapy and will publish this in due course. Officials are also in discussion with international policy counterparts, to fully understand the detail and impact of other jurisdictions’ measures, in order to inform the UK’s next steps.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
24th May 2021
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, when she plans to publish the findings of her Department's research into conversion practices in the UK that was conducted in 2020.

As set out in the Queen’s Speech earlier this month, we will bring forward legislation to ban conversion therapy. We will also launch a consultation before details of the ban are finalised to hear from a wide range of voices on how best to protect people from conversion therapy while protecting the medical profession, defending freedom of speech, and upholding religious freedom. We are considering all options for the scope of a ban and will be engaging the appropriate stakeholders, including organisations who support survivors of conversion therapy, to gather views. We have also already met with conversion therapy survivors, to hear about their experiences.

We have also undertaken research to understand practices, experiences and impacts associated with conversion therapy and will publish this in due course. Officials are also in discussion with international policy counterparts, to fully understand the detail and impact of other jurisdictions’ measures, in order to inform the UK’s next steps.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
14th Apr 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what steps he is taking to ensure that large polluting industries do not have an outsized influence on the climate ambition of the UK and other nations preceding and during COP26.

I have set climate criteria for businesses who will be involved in COP26, including for our corporate sponsorship and for those organisations which have applied for space at COP26 itself.

The climate criteria include requiring businesses to commit to the most ambitious and robust action possible, joining the Race to Zero by committing to net zero by 2050 at the latest and setting science based targets to meet this goal.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
19th Mar 2021
To ask the President of COP26, what steps he is taking to ensure that the formulation of his policy is evidence based.

All climate-related work for COP26 is informed by the best available science, encapsulated in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports. The IPCC reports are the primary tool for providing the best available science to the UNFCCC. The first part of the IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report is due to be released this year, and its findings will inform the negotiations and the wider COP26 conference.

We are also working with leading experts including a global group of Friends of COP, who are sharing their expertise in support of a successful summit.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
2nd Mar 2021
To ask the President of COP26, whether the UK will negotiate as part of the EU grouping in COP26.

Our European partners remain important allies in driving efforts towards a net zero, climate resilient future. I recently visited Brussels and Paris, and have had positive conversations with the European Commission and several Member State governments, including Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, Italy and Spain, to discuss our cooperation ahead of COP26. We look forward to working closely with the EU and all negotiating groups and parties to ensure COP26 is a success.

The UK left the EU climate change negotiating group upon exiting the European Union. At COP26, the UK’s priority will be impartially presiding over the negotiations.

Alok Sharma
COP26 President (Cabinet Office)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what support her Department has provided to BAME LGBTQ+ youth who have been victims of (a) hate crime, (b) serious violence and (c) malicious communications in the last 12 months.

The Government is clear that all hate crimes are completely unacceptable and have no place in British society. To support LGBT youth, we have invested £4m since 2016 to prevent and address homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, reaching 2250 schools in England.

The Government is committed to tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime. Our commitments include a Law Commission review of current hate crime legislation, an assessment of local support for hate crime victims, and improving reporting and recording of LGBT hate crimes through supporting additional police training.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
2nd Jul 2020
To ask the Minister for Women and Equalities, what support her Department has provided to trans youth who have been victims of (a) hate crime, (b) serious violence and (c) malicious communications in the last 12 months.

The Government is clear that all hate crimes are completely unacceptable and have no place in British society. To support LGBT youth, we have invested £4m since 2016 to prevent and address homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying, reaching 2250 schools in England.

The Government is committed to tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic hate crime. Our commitments include a Law Commission review of current hate crime legislation, an assessment of local support for hate crime victims, and improving reporting and recording of LGBT hate crimes through supporting additional police training.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Attorney General, how many estates of people who died without known entitled relatives and left a will were referred to the Bona Vacant Division of the Government Legal Department in (a) March, (b) April and (c) May in (i) 2019 and (ii) 2020.

The Bona Vacantia Division (BVD) of the Government Legal Department (GLD) deals with the solvent estates of people domiciled in England & Wales who appear to have died without leaving a valid will or relatives entitled to share in their estates in priority to the Crown. It therefore does not generally deal with estates where there is a valid will.

If the referral contains information which suggests the deceased has left a valid will disposing of their entire estate, it will be returned to the person who referred it. The Division does not keep a record of these estates.

If the deceased does not appear to have left a valid will or entitled relatives, the estate will be advertised on the Division’s website.

Occasionally the Division determines that the deceased has left a valid will which disposes of the entire estate after it has been advertised. There were two such estates referred in March 2019; two in April 2019; none in May 2019; one in March 2020; one in April 2020 and one in May 2020.

Estates where the deceased has left a valid will but it does not dispose of the entire estate are sometimes referred to the Division because the undisposed residue passes by intestacy to the Crown. One such estate was referred to the Division in March 2019 and one in April 2019. There have been no other referrals in the months concerned.

During the corresponding period, the number of estates referred to the Division where there was no will or no will has subsequently come to light were: March 2019 = 296; April 2019 = 187; May 2019 = 160; March 2020 = 192; April 2020 = 204; May 2020 = 81.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Attorney General, if she will make it her policy to strengthen the guidance issued by the Government Legal Department to local authorities on handling the estates of people who have died without (a) known entitled relatives and (b) leaving a will to ensure that they refer all eligible estates as soon as possible after death to the Bona Vacantia Division and do not pass the details directly to a single heir hunting firm.

The Bona Vacantia Division of the Government Legal Department (GLD) handles the estates of people who die without known entitled relatives, and without leaving a will. There is no statutory obligation to refer estates to GLD. However, GLD publishes guidance on the matter. In addition, local authorities can and do seek advice from GLD about the referral of specific cases.

GLD does not provide advice to local authorities on the use of heir hunters.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
10th Jun 2020
To ask the Attorney General, whether she has made a recent assessment of levels of compliance among local authorities with the guidance issued by the Government Legal Department on the referral to the Bona Vacantia Division of estates of people who have died without (a) known entitled relatives and (b) leaving a will and instead passing the details directly to a single heir hunting firm.

The Bona Vacantia Division (BVD) of the Government Legal Department (GLD) deals with the estates of people domiciled in England & Wales who appear to have died without leaving a valid will or relatives entitled to share in their estates in priority to the Crown. Estates which potentially fall to be dealt with as bona vacantia may be referred to BVD by a variety of routes, for example, banks, other financial institutions, solicitors or members of the public.

There is no statutory obligation to refer estates to BVD but guidance on the referral process and the circumstances in which a referral will be accepted are published on BVD’s website (https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/bona-vacantia). It is for local authorities to determine whether an estate should be referred to BVD.

In 2017-2018, 2768 estates were referred to BVD of which 909 were referred by local authorities. In 2018-2019, 1971 estates were referred to BVD of which 575 were referred by local authorities.

In 2019-2020, 2336 estates were referred to BVD of which 561 were referred by local authorities

GLD has no responsibility for overseeing local authorities or their compliance with guidance issued by GLD about the handling of estates. Such information – including whether an estate has been referred to the Bona Vacantia Division of GLD, or whether the local authority has instructed an heir hunter – will be held by the particular local authority concerned.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
16th Nov 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what progress has been made on the Government’s review of central Government land.

Following the Spending Review 2021, we plan to update the Government Estate Strategy to reflect our vision and objectives for the government estate. We expect the strategy will continue to focus on disposal of government land and property and on reducing the size of the estate - albeit with more focus on divesting of property with high operating costs and maintenance liabilities than capital receipts. Work is already underway and we anticipate that this work will be completed by spring/summer 2022.

Michael Ellis
Paymaster General
22nd Mar 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to his oral contribution of 12 November 2020, Official report, column 1047, what steps he has taken to meet representatives of the slavery memorial campaign.

I am grateful to the hon. Member for raising these issues in the House. The UK deplores the human suffering caused by slavery and the slave trade. They are among the most dishonourable and abhorrent chapters in the history of humanity. I remain eager to meet to discuss this important work when time allows.

Michael Gove
Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
19th Jun 2020
To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how much publicly owned land has been sold by the Government in each of the last five years.

Details of publicly owned land sold by the Government are available on GOV.UK:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sales-of-government-assets

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
5th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for the Home Department on the potential impact of visa requirements for overseas staff on English Language Teaching schools.

My Rt. Hon. Friends the Secretary of State and the Home Secretary have regular discussions covering a variety of issues.

Our new relationship with the EU means that there are new rules in place for UK nationals travelling to the EU. For short-stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period, UK nationals will not need a visa when travelling to and within the Schengen Area, where they are undertaking a limited range of activities such as attending meetings, tourism, cultural or sporting events. Under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement with the EU, business travellers do not require a work permit to carry out certain short-term business travel activities, such as attending meetings and conferences, providing after sale-services, or translation and market research services, unless otherwise stated in the agreement. Some Member States allow additional activities without the need for a visa or work permit. The types of additional activities allowed differ by Member State, and UK nationals should check relevant rules before travelling.

For those undertaking longer-term stays or stays involving work or providing a service under a contract, a visa and/or work permit may be required. How individual Member States regulate cross-border travel is a sovereign decision for them, including visa policy.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
25th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to ban the sale of high decibel fireworks to the public.

There is a comprehensive regulatory framework already in place for fireworks that the Government believes strikes the right balance for people to enjoy fireworks, whilst aiming to reduce risks and disturbances to both people and animals.

Existing legislation already limits the noise level of fireworks available to consumers to a maximum of 120 decibels.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to Table 7 in Shared Parental Leave and Pay Administration Consultation – Impact Assessment (BIS/13/651), published in February 2013, what recent estimate his Department has made of the maximum number of new fathers eligible to take statutory shared parental leave each year.

The Government is currently undertaking an evaluation of the Shared Parental Leave and Pay scheme.

This evaluation will include an assessment of both the numbers of fathers who are eligible for Shared Parental Leave and the number of fathers who have taken Shared Parental Leave in recent years. We intend to publish our findings in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the oral Answer of the Minister for Equalities on 26 May 2021, Official Report, column 356, what actions have resulted from the establishment of the roundtable with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy to discuss pregnancy and maternity discrimination.

Since May, we have held a series of stakeholder meetings with key organisations from business and family/women’s representative groups to discuss the issues which pregnant women and new mothers can face in the workplace. These have focused on what an Advisory Board can usefully add to other work in this area – such as the Government’s commitment to extend the redundancy protection currently offered to someone on maternity leave into a period of return to work. The first full meeting of the Board will take place later in September and will agree Terms of Reference and the forward work programme.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
22nd Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, pursuant to the Answer of 15 July to Question 31509, which pyrotechnics bodies are in discussions with UKAS.

While we are aware that pyrotechnics bodies are currently engaging with UKAS, and are in the process of getting accredited, we cannot share any information about those individual bodies due to commercial sensitivities.


We are working closely with the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) to ensure that a pyrotechnics conformity assessment body is accredited as soon as possible. We will provide an update as soon as a pyrotechnics body has been appointed by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State.


In order to further support businesses in adapting to the new goods regime, we will introduce legislation which will allows CE-marked goods to continue to be placed on the GB market (England, Scotland, and Wales) for a further year until 1 January 2023.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many councils expressed an interest in applying for the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery scheme but did not apply.

Expressions of Interest (EoIs) were not sought prior to the launch of the Local Authority Delivery (LAD) scheme Phase 1A application window. We received 86 applications in total for Phase 1A funding - 70 of these were from individual Local Authorities and 16 were from consortia made up of a total of 90 Local Authorities.

Experience of the Phase 1A application process informed design of the Phase 1B scheme, and we requested Local Authorities submit EOIs in order to estimate the likely quantum of applications. We received 83 EOIs and then subsequently 108 full applications for funding from Local Authorities or Consortia.

Lists of the Local Authorities which were successful in being awarded funding can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/green-homes-grant-local-authority-delivery-successful-local-authorities.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many councils applied for the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery scheme before the 4 December 2020 deadline.

The application window for Local Authorities to apply for funding under Phase 1A of the Local Authority Delivery (LAD) scheme was open from 4th August to 1st September 2020. A total of 86 applications were received; 70 of these were from individual Local Authorities and 16 were from consortia made up of a total of 90 Local Authorities.

The application window for Phase 1B of LAD was open from 23rd October to 4th December 2020. A total of 108 applications were received: 87 of these were from individual Local Authorities and 21 from consortia made up of a total of 133 Local Authorities.

Lists of the Local Authorities which were successful in being awarded funding can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/green-homes-grant-local-authority-delivery-successful-local-authorities.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many councils have expressed an interest in applying for Phase 1B of the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery scheme.

We received 83 Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from Local Authorities indicating their interest in applying for funding under the Local Authority Delivery (LAD) scheme Phase 1B. When the application window closed on 4th December 2020 we had received 108 applications for funding from Local Authorities or consortia - this was comprised of 87 applications from individual Local Authorities and 21 from consortia made up of a total of 133 Local Authorities.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
12th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what plans the Government has for expanding onshore wind power.

Onshore wind is a key part of the government’s strategy for low-cost decarbonisation of the energy sector. Achieving net zero will require increased deployment across a range of technologies, including onshore wind. Our recent Energy White Paper stated that we will need sustained growth in the capacity of onshore wind over the next decade alongside solar and offshore wind.

This is why we announced on 2 March 2020 that onshore wind and other established renewable technologies such as solar PV will be able to compete in the next Contracts for Difference (CfD) allocation round. The round will open in December 2021 and aim to deliver up to double the renewable capacity of the last successful round in 2019.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
15th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will encourage BT to resume talks with its employees on the company's restructuring plans to protect the livelihoods of key workers.

The Government encourages all employers and employees to engage in dialogue. Where there is a dispute between an employer and a trade union, the Government considers that the resolution of the dispute is a matter for the parties involved. ACAS stands ready to assist the parties to resolve their dispute, should they wish it.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
18th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the UK hosting COP26, what steps he is taking to ensure there are no conflicts of interest on the (a) Committee on Climate Change and (b) other Government climate advisory boards.

This November, the UK will host COP26 in Glasgow bringing together world leaders, climate experts, business leaders and citizens to agree ambitious action to tackle climate change. We are setting out ambitious plans across key sectors of the economy, and ahead of COP26 we will be publishing further plans including a comprehensive Net Zero Strategy. We are extremely grateful to our independent advisors, the Climate Change Committee (CCC), for their expert analysis and advice in this process, including their recommendations on the level of the Sixth Carbon Budget published in December 2020.

The Government expects all holders of public office to work to the highest personal and professional standards. According to the Code of Conduct for Board Members of Public Bodies, members must ensure that no conflict arises, or could reasonably be perceived to arise, between their public duties and their private interests, financial or otherwise.

In order to prevent conflict of interests within the CCC, BEIS carries out thorough due diligence exercises on each new member prior to approving their appointment. The CCC also have their own conflict of interest policies, which require members and staff to recognise and disclose activities that might give rise to actual or perceived conflicts of interest.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the effect of the Energy Charter Treaty on the ability of his Department to tackle climate change.

The UK remains deeply committed to domestic and international efforts to tackle climate change and we are working hard to lower emissions. Member States of the Energy Charter Treaty are currently engaged in a process to modernise the Treaty. The UK will seek to ensure the Treaty helps to deliver the Government’s energy priorities, which include tackling climate change and supporting the global clean energy transition.

Anne-Marie Trevelyan
Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish the Government's response to his Department's July 2019 consultation, Good Work Plan: Proposals to Support Families.

We are currently assessing the responses from the consultation on high-level options for reforming parental leave and pay. We have also conducted a formal evaluation of the Shared Parental Leave and Pay scheme, including large-scale, representative surveys of employers and parents. Together, these will give us a fuller picture of how well the current system of parental leave and pay is working for parents and employers.

We are currently processing and analysing the data that we have collected and will consider this in tandem to the information that we have collected through the consultation. This has taken longer than expected due to the impact of Covid-19 on our research partners and because we have necessarily prioritised work on supporting parents during the pandemic. We will publish our findings in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to publish the outcome of his Department's evaluation of the Shared Parental Leave and Pay scheme.

The evaluation of the Shared Parental Leave and Pay scheme is ongoing. This has included commissioning and interrogating information collected through large scale, representative, surveys of employers and parents and a qualitative study of parents who have used the scheme. The various data sources will help us to better understand the barriers and enablers to parents taking Shared Parental Leave.

We are currently processing and analysing the data that we have collected. This has taken longer than expected due to the impact of Covid-19 on our research partners and because we have necessarily prioritised work on supporting parents during the pandemic. However, the evaluation of the Shared Parental Leave and Pay scheme remains important for Government and we will publish our findings in due course.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Justice on the backlog of Employment Tribunal single claims since the covid-19 lockdown announced in March 2020.

Ensuring access to justice remains a priority for this Government. In response to the pandemic, we are installing new video technology, recruiting more judges and introducing reforms to improve efficiency.

The Department has worked closely with the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), to implement a package of measures to help Employment Tribunals hear more cases, enable deployment of a greater range of judicial expertise including from non-employment judges, and support greater use of virtual hearings.

As a result, since September 2020, Employment Tribunals have been able to return to pre-Covid levels of sitting days and case disposals, and they are the single largest user of video hearings among tribunals.

The Department continues to work closely with Ministry of Justice to ensure the system is equipped for future challenges.

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
1st Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure businesses are making their workplaces covid-secure for employees.

The Safer Workplaces guidance includes robust health and safety measures to ensure businesses are supported or, where required, challenged. Alongside legal requirements covered in the guides, they outline the enforcement powers held by the Health and Safety Executive and local authorities (section 1.2).

Paul Scully
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)
6th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government has set a target for the amount of (a) solar PV, (b) onshore wind, and (c) offshore wind deployed by 2030.

Renewable technologies will make a critical contribution to meeting our 2050 net zero commitment, alongside firm low carbon power such as nuclear and gas or biomass generation with carbon capture, usage and storage, and a significant increase in flexibility. The role of government is to enable the market to deliver the levels of deployment required whilst minimising both emissions and systems costs.

We recognise that achieving our 2050 net zero target will require increased deployment across a range of renewable technologies, including sustained growth of both onshore wind and solar by 2030. This is why we announced on 2 March 2020 that onshore wind and large-scale solar PV projects will be able to compete in the next Contracts for Difference (CfD) allocation round. The round will open in late 2021 and aim to deliver up to double the renewable capacity of last year’s successful round, potentially providing enough clean energy for up to 10 million homes.

By 2030 we aim to build a world leading offshore wind industry. We have set a target to deliver 40GW of capacity by 2030, which represents an increase of 10GW against our previous ambition. This increase, including a new target of 1GW of floating offshore wind by 2030, will galvanise industry, open up new possibilities in areas of deeper water around our coastline, and demonstrates that the UK will be at the forefront of the green industrial revolution as we accelerate our progress towards net zero.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions his Department has had on (a) the creation of a Hydrogen Advisory Council and (b) a UK-wide hydrogen strategy.

Government and industry have worked together to launch a new Hydrogen Advisory Council, which met for the first time on 20th July 2020. The Council will enable Government to work in partnership with industry to ensure the UK is at the forefront of low carbon hydrogen production and supply. The Council will oversee a range of workstreams to support the development of a robust UK hydrogen economy.

We are currently developing our strategic approach to hydrogen and its potential to deliver against our net zero goals. This includes extensive stakeholder engagement to inform our approach, including through the Hydrogen Advisory Council.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to raise the minimum energy efficiency standard for properties in the private rented sector to Band D by 2025.

We committed in the Clean Growth Strategy to look at a trajectory to improve as many privately rented homes as possible to EPC Band C by 2030, where practical, cost-effective, and affordable. The Government remains committed to this ambition and intends to consult on improving the energy performance standards of privately rented homes in due course.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
8th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what technologies will be covered by the Green Homes Grant scheme.

In his Summer Economic Update, my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a £2bn Green Home Grant scheme that will support homeowners and landlords in England to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, reducing energy bills and carbon emissions, and supporting a green economic recovery.

The funding will be spent on paying for accredited tradespeople to install a range of measures, for example insulation, to improve the energy performance of their homes. The scheme is due to be launched in Autumn 2020. Further details on the scheme are due to be released in the coming days.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, if he will make it his policy to publish a revised Strategy and Policy Statement in 2020.

With regards to energy, under the Energy Act 2013, a Strategy and Policy Statement (SPS) requires that my Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State set out the Government’s strategic priorities in formulating its policy for the energy sector. The forthcoming Energy White Paper will address the transformation of our energy system, promoting high-skilled jobs and clean, resilient economic growth as we deliver net-zero emissions by 2050.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
20th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps she is taking to deliver the recommendation from the Committee on Climate Change that large-scale solar PV and onshore wind should have a Government-backed route to market.

Latest figures indicate we now have more than 27GW of combined onshore wind and solar PV capacity installed in the UK, enough to power over 13 million UK homes. A number of renewable energy projects, including onshore wind and solar PV projects, are now deploying without subsidy in the UK and we expect others may follow.

No decisions have been taken on future Contracts for Difference (CfD) allocation rounds for established technologies such as onshore wind and solar PV. We keep the CfD scheme under review and will announce the scope of future allocation rounds in due course.

Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
16th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether amateur choirs are permitted to rehearse in groups of more than six under the Performing Arts Guidance at Roadmap Step 3 if the rehearsals lead to a performance for commercial activity.

Non-professional groups of up to six people can now sing indoors, in line with the rule of 6 which applies to many other indoor activities and gatherings. They can also perform or rehearse in groups of up to 30 outdoors, or in multiple groups of 30 outdoors provided the groups are kept separate throughout the activity, in line with other large events that follow the organised events guidance for local authorities.

It is important that we continue taking a cautious approach in easing these restrictions, so that we can see the impact of the steps we are taking before moving to the next step. The Performing Arts Guidance sets out what this means for amateur singing in more detail. We are aware that some amateur groups perform in professional contexts, and even in national institutions, such as the Royal Albert Hall. Whilst the limits do not apply to activity taking place for work or commercial activity, it is for organisers and venues to determine how to operate in accordance with the relevant guidance and regulations.

Further details on moving to step 4 of the Roadmap will be set out as soon as possible, and the decision to move to step 4 will be made subject to the four tests for easing restrictions.

14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, with reference to the Answer of 17 November 2020 to Question 114987, whether local planning authorities that were made competent authorities under EU Directive 2014/61/EC retain that status under EU Directive 2018/1972/EC.

The European Electronic Communications Code Directive updated the EU telecommunications regulatory framework, and was transposed into UK law via the Electronic Communications And Wireless Telegraphy (Amendment) (European Electronic Communications Code And Eu Exit) Regulations 2020.

Whilst the Directive gave member states flexibility to assign certain functions to competent authorities, as under prior EU and domestic law, Ofcom is retained as the designated telecoms national regulatory authority in the UK


Local planning authorities were not made competent authorities through EU Directive 2014/61/EC, as the government was already content that the functions in question relating to planned civil works were already in place. The transposition of the EECC would have no effect on the status of local planning authorities where they are considered competent authorities under EU Directive 2014/61/EC.

21st Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether he plans to review the decision to close golf courses during the covid-19 lockdown period announced in January 2021.

Sports and physical activity are incredibly important for our physical and mental health, and are a vital weapon against coronavirus.

On Monday 4 January the Prime Minister announced a national lockdown and instructed people to stay at home to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives. The National Restrictions are designed to get the R rate under control through limiting social contact and reducing transmissions. Therefore indoor and outdoor sports facilities must close.

Government decisions on reducing the current restrictions will be based on scientific evidence. We are continuing discussions with representatives from the sport and physical activity sector about the steps required to reopen indoor and outdoor sports facilities as soon as it is safe to do so and will update the public when possible.

Nigel Huddleston
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether there is a competent authority in place to fulfill the UK's obligations under the EU Electronic Communications Code 2018.

The European Electronic Communications Code Directive updates the EU telecommunications regulatory framework. The Directive will be implemented in the UK via the Electronic Communications And Wireless Telegraphy (Amendment) (European Electronic Communications Code And Eu Exit) Regulations 2020, as approved by the Houses on 10 November 2020, to come into force for a transposition deadline of 21 December 2020.

Whilst the Directive gives member states flexibility to assign certain functions to competent authorities, as under prior EU and domestic law, Ofcom is retained as the designated telecoms national regulatory authority in the UK.

9th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will make it his policy to replenish the Art Council England funds that have been diverted to the emergency covid-19 response.

DCMS has worked closely with its arm’s-length bodies to deliver tailored support packages at speed, including the £160m Emergency Funding Package announced by Arts Council England (ACE) in March. In providing immediate support for this vital sector, it was necessary for ACE to make decisions on how existing budgets could be reprioritised, in light of the unprecedented challenges of Covid-19.

DCMS will continue to support ACE in its hugely important role in supporting and developing England’s arts and culture, including in its upcoming role in the delivery of the £1.57 billion of new funding announced on 5 July, to provide support for key organisations across the cultural, heritage and creative sectors.

19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions his Department is having with the Department of Work and Pensions on the forthcoming trial of Access to Work adjustment passports for students leaving education; and what the planned (a) scale, (b) commencement date and (c) duration is of that pilot.

The department is supporting the Department for Work and Pensions to develop an adjustments passport that aims to smooth the transition into employment and support people changing jobs including people with special educational needs and disabilities. Twelve-month pilots of the adjustments passport are now underway in higher education and post-16 provider pilot sites. The adjustments passport will capture the in-work support needs of the individual and includes the aim to empower them in having confident discussions about adjustments with employers.

Having an adjustments passport is voluntary and the department will continue to monitor take up alongside communications as to how we might increase visibility and awareness to inform a future approach were the pilots to be successful. Following an evaluation, if the pilots prove successful, the adjustments passport will be made available to support all people with disabilities and health conditions providing a transferable record of adjustments and reduce the need for unnecessary assessments.

The government launched the SEND Review in September 2019, a cross government review being led by the department. The goal of the SEND Review is to substantially improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND, build parental confidence and bring financial sustainability to the system. The government plans to publish proposals for public consultation, in a Green Paper, in the first three months of 2022.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, subject to the successful piloting of Access to Work adjustment passports, whether he plans to embed passports for children with special educational needs and disabilities support (SEND) in schools and colleges in an updated Code of Practice following his Department's SEND review.

The department is supporting the Department for Work and Pensions to develop an adjustments passport that aims to smooth the transition into employment and support people changing jobs including people with special educational needs and disabilities. Twelve-month pilots of the adjustments passport are now underway in higher education and post-16 provider pilot sites. The adjustments passport will capture the in-work support needs of the individual and includes the aim to empower them in having confident discussions about adjustments with employers.

Having an adjustments passport is voluntary and the department will continue to monitor take up alongside communications as to how we might increase visibility and awareness to inform a future approach were the pilots to be successful. Following an evaluation, if the pilots prove successful, the adjustments passport will be made available to support all people with disabilities and health conditions providing a transferable record of adjustments and reduce the need for unnecessary assessments.

The government launched the SEND Review in September 2019, a cross government review being led by the department. The goal of the SEND Review is to substantially improve outcomes for children and young people with SEND, build parental confidence and bring financial sustainability to the system. The government plans to publish proposals for public consultation, in a Green Paper, in the first three months of 2022.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department has taken to encourage (a) awareness and (b) uptake of apprenticeships, supported internships and traineeships among young disabled school-leavers.

In the ‘Skills for Jobs’ White Paper, published in January 2021, we announced the introduction of a three point plan to enforce provider access legislation (the ‘Baker Clause’, commenced in 2018). This requires that all maintained schools and academies provide opportunities for providers of technical education and apprenticeships to visit schools to talk to all year 8-13 pupils, including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). This plan includes creating clear minimum legal requirements, specifying who is to be given access to which pupils and when. This is an important step towards real choice for every pupil.

Through the Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) we support careers leaders in schools and colleges to design and deliver careers education programmes tailored to the needs of young people with SEND. As part of this work, the CEC has worked with the Gatsby Foundation and Disability Rights UK to create support material to help schools and colleges use the Gatsby Benchmarks to deliver high-quality career guidance for students with a wide range of needs and disabilities.

As set out in the National Disability Strategy, we will work to improve supported internships in England, including updating guidance and, through our contract/grant delivery partners in financial year 2020-21, developing a self-assessment quality framework for providers, and helping local authorities to develop local supported employment forums. In addition, the CEC continues to encourage employers to provide work experience and supported internships for young people with SEND.

We are also encouraging more young people to consider apprenticeships through our Apprenticeship Support & Knowledge (ASK) programme which reached over 600,000 students across England in the last academic year. As part of this, we are working with 40 schools through the ASK Development Schools project to support students who have the potential to progress into a traineeship or apprenticeship but who are facing significant personal barriers, including disabilities.

In partnership with Disability Rights UK, we have launched a Disabled Apprentice Network to provide valuable insight and evidence on how to attract and retain disabled people into apprenticeships. We have also improved our ‘Find an Apprenticeship’ and ‘Find a Traineeship’ services to allow people to identify Disability Confident employers offering opportunities.

We are also taking several measures to raise awareness of traineeships and increase uptake. We have created a new online collection of free resources for schools including factsheets, case studies and a guide for teachers. We are also working with the National Careers Service and the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure that young people understand the different options available to them and are supported on the right path.

Alex Burghart
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Autumn Spending Review 2021, what steps his Department is taking to measure how effective the Government's spending plans are in tackling the backlog in new Education, Health and Care Plan assessments.

The government is committed to having clear oversight of local areas’ performance on special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). We work closely with Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and our delivery partners to support and, where appropriate, challenge those local areas at risk of, or who are, underperforming.

We are still looking at the Autumn Spending Review settlement and working across the department to ensure that it does have a measurable impact in reducing backlogs in Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) assessments.

However, we currently support local authorities to meet their statutory duties for SEND, including challenging those local authorities where there are long-standing backlogs in EHCP assessments. As part of this support, we deliver a training programme to local authorities, health, and social care staff on their statutory duties, as well as funding projects to support children with SEND. This in turn supports improved practice so that local authorities are able to address backlogs more effectively.

Additionally, this year, local authorities have access to £51.3 billion to deliver their core services, including SEND services. Local authorities have the flexibility to spend according to local needs and priorities, including to undertake Education, Health and Care needs assessments.

Also, educational psychologists have a statutory duty to assess the needs of individual children and young people for EHCPs. We provide funding to train cohorts of educational psychologists. Since 2020, the number of trainees has increased from 160 to over 200 per year.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
8th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Autumn Spending Review 2021, what steps his Department is taking to measure how effective (a) education recovery and (b) other funding streams are in improving the mental and physical wellbeing of disabled children and parent carers.

As highlighted in the Disabled Children’s Partnership ‘Then There Was Silence’ report earlier this year, children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Through the autumn Spending Review 2021, schools will receive an additional £4.7 billion in core funding in the 2024/25 financial year, including £1.6 billion for schools and high needs in 2022/23 on top of already planned increases from the 2019 Spending Review. This is equivalent to a total cash increase of £1,500 per pupil between 2019/20 and 2024/25; taking the total core schools budget to £56.8 billion in 2024/25.

This core funding sits alongside a further £1.8 billion dedicated to supporting young people to catch up on missed learning, following on from the existing investment in catch up for early years, schools and colleges, including for tutoring and teacher training opportunities. This includes a one-off £1 billion recovery premium for the next two academic years - 2022/23 and 2023/24 - to support disadvantaged pupils in all state-funded primary and secondary schools.

Outside of the Spending Review, specifically on mental health and wellbeing, the government announced on 5 March 2021 that as part of the £500 million for mental health recovery, £79 million will be used to significantly expand mental health services for children, including disabled children. £31 million will also be used to address particular challenges faced by individuals with a learning disability and autistic people, including £3 million for community respite services. For the 2021/22 academic year, the department is also providing more than £17 million to build on existing mental health support available in schools and colleges. This includes £9.5 million to enable up to a third of schools and colleges to train a senior mental health lead, as part of our commitment to fund training for leads in all schools and colleges by 2025, and £7 million into our Wellbeing for Education Recovery programme, enabling local authorities to continue supporting schools and colleges to meet ongoing mental wellbeing.

The government also announced on 6 September 2021 an additional £5.4 billion for the NHS to support the COVID-19 response over the next six months, bringing the total government support for health services in response to COVID-19 to over £34 billion this year. This includes £2 billion to tackle the elective backlog, reducing waiting times for patients, including disabled children. We are providing over £42 million in 2021/22 to continue funding projects to support children with SEND including £27.3 million to the Family Fund in 2021/22 to support over 60,000 families on low incomes raising children and young people with disabilities or serious illnesses.

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
14th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reasons schools continue to be required to complete the daily Educational Setting Status form; and for what purpose these data collected are used..

Information gathered through the educational setting status form is used by the department to monitor attendance in schools, and across government to model the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. This allows the department to provide support in developing policies to help schools manage, and ensure our ability to target educational recovery support.

The department is grateful to schools for providing this information. Following the removal of the advice to teach pupils in bubbles, the department has announced that from the beginning of October 2021 schools will only be asked to complete the educational setting status form once a week. This will be kept under review and, should the national situation require, daily reporting may be reinstated.

Robin Walker
Minister of State (Education)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the potential long-term financial costs of providing early intervention funding for support for disabled children and their families.

We believe it is right for local authorities, who know their areas’ needs best, to determine what services, including early help, are required locally.

Respite care services for disabled children are provided on the basis of an individual assessment of each child and family’s needs, and it is right that this individual focus continues. Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we ensured that respite care services for disabled children and their families were allowed to continue to operate. This applied to services which care for children in and away from home. Where parents have a disabled child under the age of 5, they were also able to establish a support bubble with another household to provide respite care.

To support local areas, the government has given over £6 billion in unringfenced funding directly to councils to support them with the immediate and longer-term impacts of COVID-19 spending pressures, including children’s services. We will continue to work with other government departments, including the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, to ensure the upcoming Spending Review reflects the needs of children’s services.

In addition to statutory services, we are providing £27.3 million to the Family Fund in financial year 2021-22 to support over 60,000 families on low incomes raising children and young people with disabilities or serious illnesses. Grants can be used for a range of purposes, including family breaks.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of implementing a disabled children’s innovation fund to help evaluate and provide early-help services to improve outcomes for disabled children and families in the upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review.

We believe it is right for local authorities, who know their areas’ needs best, to determine what services, including early help, are required locally.

Respite care services for disabled children are provided on the basis of an individual assessment of each child and family’s needs, and it is right that this individual focus continues. Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, we ensured that respite care services for disabled children and their families were allowed to continue to operate. This applied to services which care for children in and away from home. Where parents have a disabled child under the age of 5, they were also able to establish a support bubble with another household to provide respite care.

To support local areas, the government has given over £6 billion in unringfenced funding directly to councils to support them with the immediate and longer-term impacts of COVID-19 spending pressures, including children’s services. We will continue to work with other government departments, including the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, to ensure the upcoming Spending Review reflects the needs of children’s services.

In addition to statutory services, we are providing £27.3 million to the Family Fund in financial year 2021-22 to support over 60,000 families on low incomes raising children and young people with disabilities or serious illnesses. Grants can be used for a range of purposes, including family breaks.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the finding of the Disabled Children’s Partnerships Left Behind report that six in 10 parents remain socially isolated, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of providing funding for ring-fenced additional respite care for families with disabled children.

I refer the hon. Members for the City of Durham, Bath, and Stockton North to the answer I gave on 2 June 2021 to Question 7328.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
28th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what his timetable is for publishing his Department's (a) response to the review of post-16 qualifications at level 3 and (b) updated impact assessments for that review.

The department has consulted in two stages on proposals for the review of post-16 qualifications at level 3. The second stage of consultation ran from 23 October 2020 to 31 January 2021. It set out proposals for ensuring that all qualifications that are approved for funding alongside A levels and T Levels are high quality, necessary, and allow progression to good outcomes. We will publish our response and updated impact assessment shortly.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
11th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 12 April 2021 to Question 179332, whether any of the £700 million catch-up funding will be allocated specifically to tackle social isolation in disabled children as part of wider covid-19 recovery plans.

Children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are disproportionately affected by being out of education, including missing out on important social interaction with their peers. The Department has kept schools open for vulnerable children, including those with an education, health and care plan (EHCP), during periods of national lockdown.

As part of the £1.7 billion funding announced so far for education recovery, the £302 million Recovery Premium will help schools to deliver evidence-based approaches for supporting the most disadvantaged pupils. We have applied additional weighting to special schools, alternative provision and hospital schools to recognise the significantly higher per pupil costs they face. Eligible pupils attending special units within mainstream schools will also attract the higher funding rate.

All schools should use the Recovery Premium funding available to them as a single total from which to prioritise support for particular pupils, including children with SEND or education, health and care plans, according to their need.

In addition, the National Tutoring Programme is a key part of the Government’s COVID-19 catch-up response and provides additional, targeted tuition to disadvantaged children who have been hardest hit from disruption to their education as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. People with SEND aged 19 to 24 who have an EHCP will be eligible for support via the 16 to 19 tuition fund, where they meet the fund criteria. Schools are asked to have regard to the needs of students with SEND when prioritising students that would benefit most for small group tuition.

The Department is also making £200 million available to all secondary schools, including specialist schools, to deliver face to face summer schools, providing opportunities for social interaction. Summer schools funding includes an uplift for pupils in special schools, maintained units in mainstream schools and alternative provision. Guidance for schools includes advice on helping to make a summer school accessible to vulnerable children and those with additional needs.

12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the Disabled Children’s Partnership's Report entitled The Loneliest Lockdown, what plans his Department has to tackle social isolation among disabled children.

Supporting children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families is a priority for this government, and their educational, physical and mental wellbeing remains central to our cross-government response to the COVID-19 outbreak. That is why education settings have remained open for children and young people with an education, health and care plan throughout periods of national lockdown.

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

We have worked with our partners, including the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), Health Education England, Public Health England and other key voluntary sector organisations to deliver the Wellbeing for Education Return programme, which has provided training and resources to help school staff respond to the wellbeing and mental health needs of pupils. This £8 million government backed programme provided schools and colleges all over England with the knowledge and access to resources they need to support children and young people, teachers and parents.

The return to school on 8 March 2021 has been supported with a new £700 million package, which includes a Recovery Premium for state primary, secondary and special schools to use as they see best to support disadvantaged students. This will help schools to provide academic and pastoral support for disadvantaged pupils that has been proven most effective in helping them recover from the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

£200 million will be available to all secondary schools, including specialist settings, to deliver face-to-face summer schools. Schools will be able to target provision based on pupils’ needs. The size and shape of the summer schools will be decided by school leaders who know best what the most effective summer school will look like for their pupils, allowing them to tailor support for pupils, including those with SEND.

Additionally, we have expanded the Holiday Activities and Food programme, which has provided healthy food and enriching activities to disadvantaged children since 2018. From 2021, the programme will cover the Easter, Summer and Christmas school holidays at a cost of up to £220 million. It will be available to children in every local authority in England, building on previous programmes and we are working to ensure that the programme is fully inclusive and accessible for children with SEND.

Sir Kevan Collins has been appointed as the Education Recovery Commissioner and is considering how schools and the system can more effectively target resources and support at pupils in greatest need. Additionally, Dr Alex George was appointed on 4 February as Youth Mental Health Ambassador to advise government and raise the profile of mental health education and wellbeing in schools, colleges and universities. He will use his clinical expertise and personal experience to champion government’s work on children’s and young people’s mental health and shape policy on improving support for young people in schools, colleges and universities.

In the long term, we remain committed to our joint green paper delivery programme with DHSC and NHS England, including introducing new mental health support teams for all schools and colleges, providing training for senior mental health leads in schools and colleges, and testing approaches to faster access to NHS specialist support.

The department will continue to assess the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and its subsequent COVID-19 recovery plans on all pupils, including those with SEND, to ensure it targets support across the system most effectively.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
12th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions officials in his Department have had with officials in the Department for Health and Social Care on the guidance on false positive lateral flow tests that have been administered by students in a controlled environment; and what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the receipt of those false positive tests on the education of those students.

The Department for Education has been working with the Department of Health and Social Care to support higher education (HE) providers to deliver twice-weekly asymptomatic testing of students and staff using lateral flow device (LFD) tests.

LFD tests are a vital tool in helping to identify cases of COVID-19 and to stop the spread of the virus. With up to a third of individuals who have COVID-19 showing no symptoms and potentially spreading it without knowing, rapid LFD tests enable us to find these cases and prevent the spread of infection.

LFD tests used by the UK government have gone through a rigorous evaluation by the country’s leading scientists. Published analysis shows that LFD tests have a very high specificity, possibly as high as 99.97%. This means fewer than one false positive in every 1,000 lateral flow tests carried out.

No test is perfect, and to minimise the chance of false positives, confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing was introduced for positive lateral flow tests when the level of prevalence of the virus is low. Confirmatory PCR tests were re-introduced on 31 March, having been temporarily paused in January, for positive LFD tests conducted at an assisted testing site, such as those at universities. Where a PCR test is taken within 2 days of a positive LFD test result and the result is negative, students and their household can stop self-isolating.

We are working closely with the HE sector in delivering asymptomatic testing, and we understand the impact that self-isolation can have on students. For those students who do need to self-isolate at university, we are asking HE providers to ensure their students are safe and well looked after during their self-isolation period. Universities UK has also produced a checklist for HE providers to support students who are required to self-isolate. They have also produced bespoke guidance for HE providers on how to prepare for and care for students who are required to self-isolate on arrival in the UK, and we encourage HE providers to use this guidance.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on ensuring that (a) nurseries, (b) pre-schools and (c) other early years settings have access to covid-19 testing for staff.

We are continuing to work closely with other Government Departments and local authorities to secure the most effective approach to asymptomatic testing for the whole of the early year's sector.

This includes ongoing discussions about providing testing via the education testing programme as well as encouraging local authorities to consider prioritising appropriate testing for PVIs and childminders via the Community Testing Programme, which is being rolled out to all local authorities. Many local authorities’ community testing programmes are already underway for early years staff to access asymptomatic testing where appropriate.

We are rolling out our asymptomatic testing programme to primary schools, schools-based nurseries and maintained nursery schools who will receive testing kits for staff from 18 January. The asymptomatic testing programme will offer all primary school, schools-based nursery and maintained nursery school staff home Lateral Flow Device test kits for twice-weekly testing. This will help to break the chains of transmission of COVID-19 in schools and nurseries by identifying asymptomatic positive cases. Those who test positive will then self-isolate, helping to reduce transmission of COVID-19.

14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care on the potential merits of prioritising staff in early years settings for covid-19 vaccinations.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) are the independent experts who advise the Government on which vaccine/s the UK should use and provide advice on who should be offered them. JCVI advises that the first priorities for the COVID-19 vaccination should be the prevention of mortality and the maintenance of the health and social care systems, and as the risk of mortality from COVID-19 increases with age, prioritisation is primarily based on age. This prioritisation captures almost all preventable deaths from COVID-19. In the next phase of the vaccine rollout, JCVI have asked that the Department for Health and Social Care consider occupational vaccination in collaboration with other Government departments. The Department is working with the Department for Health and Social Care and Public Health England to ensure that the education and childcare workforce is considered for prioritisation in the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine.

17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the changes in the (a) numbers and (b) hours of children attending early years settings since February 2019.

From January 2019 to January 2020, the numbers of children benefiting from funded entitlements at early years settings decreased slightly. However, the percentage of children aged 3 and 4 benefiting from funded entitlements at these settings remained stable, whilst the percentage of eligible 2-year-olds benefiting from funded entitlements increased slightly. Full data is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/28af6122-62d8-4901-beb4-e02d9e56f069.[1]

From January 2019 to January 2020, the number of hours of funded childcare used by children in early years settings increased, with a higher percentage of all age groups taking between 12.5 and 15 hours per week, the highest band. Full data is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/411250f5-91ca-4269-8ef5-72891b3f3216.

To understand the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, wave two of the Survey of Childcare and Early Years Providers and COVID-19 assessed attendance in September/October for open school-based providers, open group-based providers, and open childminders. Attendance during the survey was compared to the expected attendance for a typical autumn term. The survey showed that, on average, fewer children attended than would have been expected to attend across all age groups. The survey is available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/945249/SCEYP_COVID-19_Wave2_Main_Report_171220.pdf. Further information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/survey-of-childcare-and-early-years-providers-and-coronavirus-covid-19-wave-2.

[1] The figures for four-year-olds do not sum to 100% as 63.5% of four-year-olds are in maintained schools, benefiting from over 15 funded hours of provision per week.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the changes in the number of eligible two year olds taking up 15 hours of funded childcare since March 2020.

From January 2019 to January 2020, the numbers of children benefiting from funded entitlements at early years settings decreased slightly. However, the percentage of children aged 3 and 4 benefiting from funded entitlements at these settings remained stable, whilst the percentage of eligible 2-year-olds benefiting from funded entitlements increased slightly. Full data is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/28af6122-62d8-4901-beb4-e02d9e56f069.[1]

From January 2019 to January 2020, the number of hours of funded childcare used by children in early years settings increased, with a higher percentage of all age groups taking between 12.5 and 15 hours per week, the highest band. Full data is available at: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/data-tables/permalink/411250f5-91ca-4269-8ef5-72891b3f3216.

To understand the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, wave two of the Survey of Childcare and Early Years Providers and COVID-19 assessed attendance in September/October for open school-based providers, open group-based providers, and open childminders. Attendance during the survey was compared to the expected attendance for a typical autumn term. The survey showed that, on average, fewer children attended than would have been expected to attend across all age groups. The survey is available at: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/945249/SCEYP_COVID-19_Wave2_Main_Report_171220.pdf. Further information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/survey-of-childcare-and-early-years-providers-and-coronavirus-covid-19-wave-2.

[1] The figures for four-year-olds do not sum to 100% as 63.5% of four-year-olds are in maintained schools, benefiting from over 15 funded hours of provision per week.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment he has made of the financial costs of securing (a) PPE, (b) cleaning costs and (c) staff replacements for early years providers delivering early education during the covid-19 outbreak.

Keeping children and staff safe is our utmost priority. The majority of early years staff in settings will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work, and our early years guidance confirms what PPE should be used in the event a child becomes symptomatic while in a setting.

If an education or childcare setting cannot obtain the PPE they need they should approach their local authority.

Local authorities should support them to access PPE suppliers and available stock locally, including through coordinating the redistribution of available supplies between settings according to priority needs.

The department has undertaken surveys of providers about their finances throughout the pandemic. The latest report is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/945249/SCEYP_COVID-19_Wave2_Main_Report_171220.pdf. The next wave of the study is currently taking place and asks questions about the cost of PPE, cleaning and workforce. Findings from this wave of the study will be published in due course.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the finding of the survey by Pregnant Then Screwed that 46 per of mothers who had been made redundant or expected to be made redundant said that a lack of childcare provision played a role in their redundancy, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of childcare places to support working parents.

The government prioritised the opening of early years settings in full because of the clear benefits to children’s education and wellbeing, and to support working parents. In July 2020, when the Pregnant Then Screwed survey was in the field from the 16-18 of July, official data shows there were an estimated 43,000 settings open with 417,000 children attending. This data is available here: https://explore-education-statistics.service.gov.uk/find-statistics/attendance-in-education-and-early-years-settings-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/2020-week-29.

Since then, we have continued to see more early years settings open, and attendance has steadily increased over the course of the 2020 autumn term. As of 10 December 2020, official data, also available via the above link, shows an estimated 55,000 early year settings were open with 792,000 children in attendance. On a typical day in the autumn term, we expect attendance to be 929,000, due to different and part-time patterns of childcare during the week. We estimate that the 792,000 children attending early years settings was approximately 85% of the usual daily level.

On 21 December 2020, I wrote to Directors of Children’s Services at local authorities, to remind them of the statutory responsibilities shared between local authorities and the Secretary of State for Education to ensure there is enough Early Years childcare for parents. We are not aware of any local authority reporting a current sufficiency issue. However, we anticipate that the role of local authorities in market stewardship through the next year may prove significant in ensuring that the market is able to continue providing free early education entitlements, and to meet the needs of parents.

We will continue to both monitor sufficiency of childcare places through our regular ongoing contact with early years departments in local authorities, and work in partnership with local authorities and the sector to support working parents.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of students who have not been eligible for student finance because their Indefinite Leave to Remain applications have been delayed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

It is not possible to estimate the number of students who were not eligible for student finance on the first day of the first academic year of their course because their Indefinite Leave to Remain application was delayed as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

The requirement for a student to hold settled status on the first day of the first academic year of their course is a condition that is defined in the Education (Student Support) Regulations. Where certain events occur after the first day of the first academic year of the course (for example, the student is recognised as a refugee) the student may qualify for student support for that year and any subsequent years depending on when the event occurred. Indefinite leave to remain is not, by itself, an event. Most students acquiring indefinite leave to remain part way through a course (for reasons other than Permanent Residence, under the EUSS or as a victim of domestic violence) will not become eligible for full support as a settled person under the Student Support Regulations.

In assessing eligibility for student finance, the Student Loans Company will rely on information from the Home Office on all immigration matters, including in relation to the grant of settlement.

Michelle Donelan
Minister of State (Department for Education) (Higher and Further Education)
10th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether group music and movement classes for children aged under five can continue during the November 2020 covid-19 lockdown.

Music and movement classes for children under 5 need to meet necessary exceptions to continue during the COVID-19 November 2020 national restrictions.

Ofsted-registered early years settings can continue to engage peripatetic teachers for music, dance and drama, including staff from music education hubs, during the period of national restrictions, provided the relevant guidance is followed. Early years settings should continue to follow the guidance available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures#infection-prevention-and-system-of-controls.

Support groups for new parents can continue to be held.

Where these are held in Ofsted registered settings, they should follow government guidance on the COVID-19 outbreak for early years and childcare providers. This is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures.

Support groups for new parents in community settings, such as places of worship, community centres or halls, or libraries, and that are essential to deliver in person, can continue. These can be conducted with up to 15 participants where formally organised to provide mutual aid, therapy, or any other form of support. These groups must be organised by a business, a charitable, benevolent, or philanthropic institution, or a public body, and must follow COVID-19 secure guidance. Restricted businesses which are required to close, such as coffee shops, cannot hold support groups. When national restrictions apply, in determining the limit of 15 participants, no account is to be taken of any child who is below the age of 5.

Informal groups, such as those organised by a parent, need to comply with the gathering and household mixing rules. In practice, during the period of national restrictions, this means these groups should only meet virtually.

Supervised activity for children can continue to take place where it is reasonably necessary to enable parents to work, search for work or to undertake training or education, for example in indoor gyms, fitness studios, indoor sports facilities and other indoor leisure centres, community centres or halls.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what the timeframe is for the reinstatement of funding for the national School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme.

The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme is operated by the NHS Supply Chain on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care. A decision was taken in March that the scheme would not operate for the whole of the summer term of 2020, recognising the substantial operational difficulties which would need to be resolved in order to restart a large, national scheme like this part-way through a term. This ensured that as little fresh produce went to waste as possible.

The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme will resume in September, helping infants to develop healthy eating habits by getting an extra portion of fruit or vegetables every day while at school.

The government does not collect or hold specific data in relation to schools’ provision of free fruit and vegetables during this period. However, infant pupils currently attending schools are entitled to a free lunch under universal infant free school meals. As stated within the School Food Standards, schools must offer one of more portions of fruit every day and one of more portions of vegetables or salad as an accompaniment to meals every day.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many schools are able to offer free fruit and vegetables for children aged four to six, following the suspension of the School Fruit and Vegetable scheme in March and the reopening of schools on 1 June.

The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme is operated by the NHS Supply Chain on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care. A decision was taken in March that the scheme would not operate for the whole of the summer term of 2020, recognising the substantial operational difficulties which would need to be resolved in order to restart a large, national scheme like this part-way through a term. This ensured that as little fresh produce went to waste as possible.

The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme will resume in September, helping infants to develop healthy eating habits by getting an extra portion of fruit or vegetables every day while at school.

The government does not collect or hold specific data in relation to schools’ provision of free fruit and vegetables during this period. However, infant pupils currently attending schools are entitled to a free lunch under universal infant free school meals. As stated within the School Food Standards, schools must offer one of more portions of fruit every day and one of more portions of vegetables or salad as an accompaniment to meals every day.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, for what reason children in reception, Year 1 and Year 6 will be the first to return to school in response to the easing of the covid-19 lockdown measures.

From the week commencing 1 June at the earliest, we will be asking primary schools to welcome back children in nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6, alongside priority groups. The rationale for identifying these year groups is included in guidance for schools and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June 2020:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-educational-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020/actions-for-education-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020.

The three year groups within mainstream primary have been prioritised because they are key transition years – children in reception and year 1 are at the very beginning of their school career and are mastering the essential basics, including counting and the fundamentals of reading and writing, and learning to socialise with their peers. Year 6 children are finishing Key Stage 2 and are preparing for the transition to secondary school, and will benefit immensely from time with their friends and teachers to ensure they are ready.

We will prioritise younger children in the first phases of wider opening, for several reasons. Firstly, because there is moderately high scientific confidence in evidence suggesting younger children are less likely to become unwell if infected with COVID-19; and secondly because evidence shows the particularly detrimental impact which time spent out of education can have upon them. In addition, older children are more likely to have higher numbers of contacts outside of school so pose a greater transmission risk, and they are typically better able to learn at home.

Our approach is in line with other countries across Europe, who have begun to bring pre-school and school-age children back in a phased way and are focusing on primary schools and younger children.

11th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what discussions he has had with school leaders on the timeline for reopening schools in England during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Department has worked closely with the sector throughout the period of school closures in preparation for reopening. There continues to be extensive engagement with teaching unions and other school stakeholder organisations both at a ministerial and official level.

20th Apr 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to safeguard children from abuse while schools are closed due to covid-19.

Ensuring that vulnerable children remain protected is a top priority for government. We know that, for many vulnerable children, attending an education setting is a protective factor from harm. We have therefore asked schools to remain open for children who are vulnerable, as well as for those children of workers critical to the COVID-19 response. Where a child or young person who has a social worker does not attend school, providers should follow up with the parent or carer – and social worker/local authority, where appropriate – to explore reasons for absence.

Our latest guidance on supporting vulnerable children and young people during the coronavirus outbreak can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-vulnerable-children-and-young-people.

Local authorities have the key day-to-day responsibility for delivery of children’s social care, and we are working closely with them to ensure stability of services for our most vulnerable children.

In addition, through the Coronavirus Act 2020 we have taken powers to bring previously registered social workers onto the register of social workers held by the regulator, Social Work England. Information about this is available at: www.socialworkengland.org.uk/news/social-work-together/.

£3.2 billion of additional funding is being provided to support local authorities to address any pressures they are facing in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including for delivering children’s social care.

The government is also making £1.6 million of funding available immediately for the NSPCC to expand and promote its national helpline for adults. Expanding the helpline will mean that many more adults know how and where to raise concerns and seek advice or support about the safety and well-being of any children they are worried about.

We have also published safeguarding advice to support schools and colleges to work with local authorities to keep children safe, including online. This advice is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-safeguarding-in-schools-colleges-and-other-providers/coronavirus-covid-19-safeguarding-in-schools-colleges-and-other-providers.

Vicky Ford
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
30th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the planned timetable is for publication of the 7th Quinquennial Review of Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

The data-gathering phase of the independent 7th Quinquennial Review of Schedules 5 and 8 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) began on 8 April and ran until 7 July 2021. This initial stage collected evidence, via an online survey, from the GB statutory conservation authorities and relevant non-Governmental organisations. The planned timetable is that following a review of the evidence presented JNCC will then hold a public consultation in the late autumn before making final recommendations to Defra, Scottish Government, and Welsh Government at the end of the year.

My Department is also exploring how we might enhance species protections in a Green Paper which we intend to publish later this year. That Green Paper will ensure that the regulatory framework is clear and fit for purpose in driving the delivery of our new 2030 species abundance target and reversing declines of species, including iconic British species like the hedgehog, red squirrel and water vole.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
25th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of introducing compulsory scanning of pets' microchips by vets.

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

We consulted on compulsory scanning of microchips in the recent consultation on Cat and Dog Microchipping and Scanning in England. We are currently analysing the responses and we will respond to the consultation in the autumn.

We have worked closely with the veterinary profession and jointly agreed that the principle of scanning healthy dogs prior to euthanasia should be incorporated in the guidance that underpins the Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Surgeons. This guidance is now in force and applies to all veterinary surgeons operating in the UK.

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
14th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment the Government has made of the potential effect of fully or highly protected Marine Protected Areas on the ecological health of inshore waters and the livelihoods of local fishing communities.

On 8 June 2021, the Government published its response to the Benyon Review into Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs). The Government accepted the central recommendation that we should take forward pilot sites and we will designate these next year. The purpose of HPMAs is biodiversity recovery and by setting aside areas of sea with high levels of protection, HPMAs will allow nature to recover to a more natural state, allowing the ecosystem to thrive in the absence of damaging activities. The Benyon Review Panel reviewed clear evidence and heard strong support for the ecological benefits that HPMAs can deliver. The Government will identify pilot HPMAs with ecological value, including areas with potential to recover. Defra will then use social and economic principles to minimise the impacts on sea users, including fishing communities. Defra will evaluate socio-economic concerns, including fisheries displacement, before designating HPMAs.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
26th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to support scientists to bring forward alternatives to plastic tree guards.

Over the lifetime of the 25 Year Environment Plan, we want to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste and our Resources and Waste Strategy sets out how we will achieve this and move towards a circular economy. The Government continues to monitor the development of viable alternatives to the use of plastic tree guards and is committed to encourage recycling and the more thoughtful use of resources.

Options for protecting young trees include biodegradable tree guards, temporary fencing and wildlife management, but currently these options are less effective than plastic tree guards in deterring browsers, particularly deer.

The forestry sector is carrying out work to develop and trial more effective biodegradable tree guards and other alternatives - the forthcoming England Trees Action Plan will look at how to support this and eliminate unnecessary plastic waste.

In the meantime, current practice demands that tree guards should be retrieved after they have reached a point where they are redundant. Plans to collect and recycle the tree guards have been introduced by a number of forestry institutions.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
3rd Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to encourage local authorities to implement weekly food waste collections in the immediate future ahead of New Burdens funding to support that collection which will be made available in 2023.

The Environment Bill will require local authorities to arrange for the separate collection of food waste from households in England, at least once a week. Businesses and organisations will also be required to arrange for the separate collection of food waste. Ahead of implementation of this and other reforms to increase the consistency of recycling collected from households and businesses, we continue to work with local authorities, businesses, WRAP and other stakeholders to ensure the successful roll-out of separate food waste collections.

The Government will ensure that local authorities are resourced to meet net costs arising from new statutory duties. This will include the additional costs associated with the requirement to separately collect food waste, including upfront transition costs and ongoing operational costs. We are carrying out a new burdens assessment for this policy and will provide further detail on new burdens funding in due course, following the outcome of the second consultation on recycling consistency, which we are preparing to launch in the spring. In this consultation, we expect to seek further views on implementing separate food waste collections, including transition timelines for local authorities and businesses, as well as statutory guidance for waste collectors.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
9th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what new powers he plans to afford to local authorities under changes to the local air quality management framework in the Environment Bill.

Local authorities already have a number of powers available to them to tackle air pollution – for example powers to tackle idling and smoke emissions from domestic chimneys.

The Environment Bill will improve the local air quality management framework to enable greater local action on air pollution by ensuring that responsibility for addressing air pollution is shared across a wider range of partners. We are amending the Local Air Quality Management Framework so that it brings in neighbouring authorities and where relevant, the Environment Agency, and can be extended to include additional relevant public authorities.

Through the Environment Bill we are also making it easier for local authorities to use their existing powers to tackle a major contributor to fine particulate matter emissions – domestic solid fuel burning, and are expanding the scope of the power for local authorities to enable them to tackle smoke emissions from vessels within a smoke control area.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many single-use plastic bags have been sold in each year since the levy on plastic bags was introduced.

Since 5 October 2015, large retailers in England have been required by law to charge a minimum of 5p for single-use plastic bags and to report on the number they sell each year.

The total number of single-use plastic bags that were sold by large retailers each full reporting year is as follows: 2.12 billion in 2016/17, 1.75 billion in 2017/18,1.11 billion in 2018/19 and 564 million in 2019/20.

Retailers are not required to report on the number of plastic bags for life sold as these are not within the scope of the carrier bag charge. However, they can provide this information voluntarily.

The full datasets for each reporting year are on GOV.UK and can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/carrier-bag-charge-summary-of-data-in-england.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many plastic bags for life have been sold in each year since the introduction of the plastic bag levy in 2015.

Since 5 October 2015, large retailers in England have been required by law to charge a minimum of 5p for single-use plastic bags and to report on the number they sell each year.

The total number of single-use plastic bags that were sold by large retailers each full reporting year is as follows: 2.12 billion in 2016/17, 1.75 billion in 2017/18,1.11 billion in 2018/19 and 564 million in 2019/20.

Retailers are not required to report on the number of plastic bags for life sold as these are not within the scope of the carrier bag charge. However, they can provide this information voluntarily.

The full datasets for each reporting year are on GOV.UK and can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/carrier-bag-charge-summary-of-data-in-england.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much has been raised by the plastic bag levy in each year since that scheme was introduced.

The total amount donated to good causes per year was: £29.2 million in 2015/2016, £65.4 million in 2016/2017, £51.6 million in 2017/2018, £22.9 million in 2018/2019 and £9.2 million in 2019/2020. The reduction in later reporting years is primarily due to retailers selling fewer single-use carrier bags in those years.

Data for 2015/2016 covered only 6 months (5 October 2015 to 6 April 2016), so is not directly comparable to other reporting years.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the timeframe is for the introduction of the Deposit Return Scheme in England.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Blackpool North and Cleveleys on 13 July 2020, PQ UIN 69511.

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-07-06/69511/

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
22nd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how much additional funding his Department has provided for the clean up of beaches and local beauty spots since the lockdown restrictions were put in place due to the covid-19 outbreak.

We recognise that in the current circumstances local authorities may have more challenges than usual, including when collecting waste. The Government has responded with an unprecedented £4.3 billion support package for local authorities. This includes £3.7 billion of un-ringfenced grants which can be used by councils to meet local priorities including, should they see fit, cleaning up beaches and local beauty spots.

Defra has also supported, and provided funding for, Keep Britain Tidy's Love Parks campaign, which encourages people to treat our parks with respect this summer. Further information about the campaign is available at:

https://www.keepbritaintidy.org/news/new-campaign-launched-face-littering-epidemic-parks

Additionally, Defra has launched a 'Respect the Outdoors' campaign this summer. This has been promoted both online and in locations near to urban parks, beaches and national parks to further highlight the impacts of littering, as well as unauthorised barbeques and campfires, and breaches of the countryside code.

Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
1st Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when his Department plans to respond to the consultation on controls on the import and export of hunting trophies.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply previously given to the hon. Member for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow on 19 May 2020, PQ UIN 46697, which remains the current situation.

[www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-05-13/46697]

Victoria Prentis
Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, whether there are any extant export licences for the supply of equipment to Turkey by EDO MBM Technology Ltd.

There are no extant licences in scope of this request.

Ranil Jayawardena
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for International Trade)
5th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will provide additional sector specific support to workers in the transport sector to tackle the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on that sector.

The Aviation Skills Retention Platform is being delivered in partnership with the Talent Retention Solutions. The Platform was launched on 10 February 2021 for industry registrations, followed by individual registrations in early March. It allows former and current aviation sector workers who are currently out of work to register their skills, so they can be notified of relevant job opportunities, advice and upskilling opportunities. This platform is a tool for the future, which will aim to retain vital skills within the industry and help address the skills gap that existed prior to the pandemic. To date the Department provided £387,377 funding for this programme.

During the pandemic, the Government has provided over £1.5bn in emergency support for bus and light rail operators. This has provided funding to ensure that vehicles and staff were provided with the correct PPE and ensured that operators did not make significant reductions in staff numbers.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
22nd Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps his Department is taking to encourage (a) the use of face coverings and (b) other covid-19 safety measures on public transport.

The use of face coverings has been mandatory on public transport services since 15 June 2020, unless a passenger is exempt. The Department continues to work closely with our partners to ensure an effective approach to compliance and enforcement. Compliance rates are currently strong, indicating public support and observance of existing regulations. From 9 – 13 June, ONS data found that when asked, 98% of adults self-reported wearing face coverings when using public transport in England. Passengers are also advised to walk or cycle where possible, regularly wash/sanitise their hands, wear a face covering unless exempt and make sure the space is well ventilated by opening windows and maintaining social distancing where possible. The Department has also launched the ‘It’s everyone’s journey’ campaign to reset travel behaviours and support disabled people to return to the transport network.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the findings of Transport Focus’ report entitled Park and ride for Highways England’s roads: a solution to congestion?, published on 30 November 2020, what discussions he has had with Highways England on the steps they are taking to raise awareness of existing park and ride locations among potential users.

Highways England commissioned Transport Focus to produce this report to improve its understanding of road user needs for park and ride facilities, and to identify steps which would help improve journeys.

Highways England is currently considering how to apply the report’s recommendations across its network, and how benefits, such as improved air quality will be realised.

Highways England will start the review of park and ride locations in 2021/22.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to findings of Transport Focus’ report entitled Park and ride for Highways England’s roads: a solution to congestion?, published on 30 November 2020, what discussions he has had with Highways England on the adequacy of signage from the strategic road network to existing park and rides.

Highways England commissioned Transport Focus to produce this report to improve its understanding of road user needs for park and ride facilities, and to identify steps which would help improve journeys.

Highways England is currently considering how to apply the report’s recommendations across its network, and how benefits, such as improved air quality will be realised.

Highways England will start the review of park and ride locations in 2021/22.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, with reference to the recommendations of Transport Focus’ report entitled Park and ride for Highways England’s roads: a solution to congestion?, published on 30 November 2020, if his Department will make an assessment of the potential (a) merits of the making improvements to signage from the strategic road network to existing park and ride locations and (b) effect of making such improvements on contributing towards (i) reductions in nitrogen dioxide emissions levels and (ii) improvements in public health as a result of reducing those nitrogen dioxide emissions.

Highways England commissioned Transport Focus to produce this report to improve its understanding of road user needs for park and ride facilities, and to identify steps which would help improve journeys.

Highways England is currently considering how to apply the report’s recommendations across its network, and how benefits, such as improved air quality will be realised.

Highways England will start the review of park and ride locations in 2021/22.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 8 June 2020 to Question 49803 on hydrogen buses, what funding his Department has provided to increase the use of battery electric buses; and how many battery electric buses have been purchased through that funding.

The Department has provided funding to assist the purchase of low emission buses. Funding to date has been technology neutral, including, the ultra-low emission bus scheme (ULEBS) and the low emission bus scheme (LEBS). These provided successful bidders with £43,517,720 which was used to purchase 341 fully electric buses.

In addition to this, the Department is currently considering its response to expressions of interest in a £50 million All-Electric Bus Town competition.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to increase the use of hydrogen buses.

The Government has supported the use of a range of low carbon bus technologies, including hydrogen, through funds including the Low Emission and Ultra Low Emission Bus Schemes. These schemes have provided funding for the purchase of 62 hydrogen buses.

The Prime Minster announced £5 billion of new funding to boost bus and cycling links on 10 February, including at least 4,000 new zero emission buses to make greener travel the convenient option, driving forward the UK’s progress on its net zero ambitions. The details of these programmes will be announced in due course.

Rachel Maclean
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
30th Jan 2020
What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the effect of High Speed Two on ancient woodland.

The Secretaries of State are in on-going contact and discuss a range of issues concerning HS2 and the environment. The Department for Transport and HS2 Ltd work closely with DEFRA, Natural England, the Environment Agency and the Forestry Commission to ensure the project complies with environmental commitments, and to mitigate environmental impacts.

19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to (a) the disability employment gap remaining at 28.7 percentage points and (b) the Leonard Cheshire research finding that 69 per cent of disabled people have had their work impacted by covid-19, whether he has made a recent assessment of the need for additional funding to support disabled people entering and remaining in work.

The Government is committed to seeing one million more disabled people in work between 2017 and 2027 and reducing the disability employment gap. The disability employment gap

has closed by around 5 percentage points since 2013 (the earliest comparable date, when the current way of measuring disability began) and in the last four years, the number of disabled people in employment has increased by 850,000. This is good progress, however, we know we need to go further to help more disabled people and people with health conditions start, stay and succeed in work, where it is right for them.

We have committed in both the recent Shaping Future Support: The Health and Disability Green Paper and the National Disability Strategy, to continue to improve employment support for disabled people and people with health conditions to help support more people to move towards and into work. We are reviewing Green Paper responses now and will come forward with a White Paper next year.

The Spending Review committed £339 million per year for the continued funding of existing disability employment programmes such as the Access to Work scheme and the Work and Health programme.

In addition to this, £156 million has been agreed over the Spending Review 2021 period to provide job finding support for disabled people, with a focus on additional work coaches. We are continuing to develop detailed plans for a range of disability employment support to best support disabled people towards and into work across the Spending Review period.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, with reference to the £156 million committed in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 to provide job finding support for disabled people, what services that funding will support, in addition to the work coaches referenced in part 4.99 of that document.

The Government is committed to seeing one million more disabled people in work between 2017 and 2027 and reducing the disability employment gap. The disability employment gap

has closed by around 5 percentage points since 2013 (the earliest comparable date, when the current way of measuring disability began) and in the last four years, the number of disabled people in employment has increased by 850,000. This is good progress, however, we know we need to go further to help more disabled people and people with health conditions start, stay and succeed in work, where it is right for them.

We have committed in both the recent Shaping Future Support: The Health and Disability Green Paper and the National Disability Strategy, to continue to improve employment support for disabled people and people with health conditions to help support more people to move towards and into work. We are reviewing Green Paper responses now and will come forward with a White Paper next year.

The Spending Review committed £339 million per year for the continued funding of existing disability employment programmes such as the Access to Work scheme and the Work and Health programme.

In addition to this, £156 million has been agreed over the Spending Review 2021 period to provide job finding support for disabled people, with a focus on additional work coaches. We are continuing to develop detailed plans for a range of disability employment support to best support disabled people towards and into work across the Spending Review period.

Chloe Smith
Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions)
9th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, whether her Department plans to publish its National Strategy for Disabled People before the summer recess.

The National Disability Strategy will be published in the coming months. The strategy will take into account the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on disabled people and will focus on the issues that disabled people say affect them the most in all aspects of life, including employment, transport, housing and education.

19th Oct 2020
How many Child Maintenance Service cases with pre-existing arrears have continued to accrue arrears since covid-19 lockdown restrictions were introduced in March 2020.

Whilst this information is not readily available, we can see from official statistics a gradual and steady increase in paying parent compliance (from March 15 at 56% to March 20 at 68%).

Mims Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Work and Pensions)
24th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many families with children have received the £20 per week uplift in universal credit standard allowance payments in Bath in each month since that uplift was introduced.

The available information on the number of households with children with Universal Credit in payment, by parliamentary constituency, is published and can be found at:

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

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

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

Will Quince
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education)
12th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much and what proportion of the additional funding for health-related research and development, as outlined in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021, will be used on improving understanding of the (a) causes, (b) prevention and (c) treatment of eating disorders.

The Spending Review settlement provides £5 billion for health-related research and development. The National Institute for Health Research’s budget will be finalised as part of a detailed financial planning process. The distribution across health research areas will be confirmed before funding is made available in April 2022.

Maria Caulfield
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
27th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, for what reason a collect code requirement has been implemented for collecting lateral flow tests from pharmacies.

This code enables the Department to track test kit distribution, send reminders to submit results, identify take up and assist the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency in case of a batch recall. While a collect code is encouraged, people can still pick up test kits from pharmacies without one.

Maggie Throup
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Health and Social Care)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many children and young people and adults were referred to specialist secondary mental health services with a primary reason of referral of eating disorders in (a) 2019-20, (b) 2020-21 and (c) 2021-22 to date; and what proportion of those referrals were made to an eating disorder service.

Information is not held on the number of children and young people and adults referred to specialist secondary mental health services with a primary reason of referral of eating disorders. However, the number of referrals of children and young people, and adults referred to specialist secondary mental health services with a primary reason of referral for eating disorders is shown in the table below.

Not all referrals of children and young people, and adults to specialist secondary mental health services with a primary reason of referral for eating disorders are recorded as being made to eating disorder services. Some of these referrals are recorded as being made to other service team types, such as community mental health teams, psychiatric liaison services and single point of access services.

Number of referrals of children and young people, and adults to specialist secondary mental health services with a primary reason of referral for eating disorders1

Referrals with a primary reason of referral for eating disorders referred to eating disorder services2,3

Proportion of referrals with a primary reason of referral for eating disorders referred to eating disorder services (%)

Children and young people (aged 0 to 18)

2019/20

14,455

9,514

66

2020/21

22,449

15,624

70

2021/22 (to July 2021)

10,880

7,726

71

Adults (over 18)

2019/20

20,490

15,576

76

2020/21

24,934

19,488

78

2021/22 (to July 2021)

11,621

9,225

79

Source: Mental Health Services Dataset (MHSDS), NHS Digital

1 Some people may have been referred more than once during a particular time period

2 Includes eating disorders/dietetics services, community eating disorder services for children and young people and community eating disorder services

3 Some referrals may have been referred to multiple service team types

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Scope and the Disabled Children’s Partnership’s report 'The gap widens', published in October 2021, which found that there is a £1.5 billion funding gap in disabled children’s NHS spending, what fiscal steps his Department is taking to ensure that the NHS has adequate resources to provide disabled children and young people with the health care services they need.

On 6 September 2021 the Government announced an additional £5.4 billion for the National Health Service to support the COVID-19 response over the next six months, bringing the total Government support for health services to over £34 billion in 2021/22. This includes £2 billion to reduce waiting times for patients, including disabled children. The forthcoming Spending Review will set out the Government’s spending plans for health and social care for future years.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has had with Clinical Commissioning Groups in England on the availability of Sativex to patients with MS.

The Department has not had any direct discussions. However, the Department has discussed the issue with NHS England which has issued a reminder to clinical commissioning groups in England of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) guidance and their responsibilities and will be monitoring uptake.

The latest guidelines from NICE recommend Sativex to treat moderate to severe spasticity in adults with multiple sclerosis, if other pharmacological treatments for spasticity are not effective. The decision on whether to prescribe must be taken by a specialist clinician on a case by case basis and funding of this medicine is subject to local National Health Service decisions.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 17 June 2021 to Question 10548 on NHS: Staff, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that eating disorder services can recruit and retain the staff needed to meet rising demand for those services.

We are investing approximately £1 billion to improve care for adults with a range of severe mental health problems, including eating disorders, in England by 2023/24. The majority of this funding is to be spent on staffing and contracting the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector, with an ambition to recruit 10,000 new staff in community mental health services, including eating disorder services

The NHS People Plan seeks to improve staff retention, through areas such as flexible working, health and wellbeing and equality, diversity and inclusion. In addition, the NHS Retention Programme supports staff to stay whilst keeping them well to ensure we can retain staff, including those working in eating disorder services.

Gillian Keegan
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent estimate he has made of the average amount of additional (a) therapy and (b) other health support that disabled children will potentially be required to have to help tackle the effect of missed services during the covid-19 outbreak.

No specific assessment has been made. However, as part of COVID-19 recovery planning we are working with the Department for Education and NHS England and NHS Improvement to improve the provision of health services and support, including therapies, to disabled children. In 2020, NHS England and NHS Improvement published guidance making clear that restoration of essential community services must be prioritised for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities aged up to 25 years old and who have an Education Health and Care Plan in place or are going through an assessment for one.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
14th Jul 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme will continue beyond September 2021.

The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme will continue to be offered from September 2021 to all children in Key Stage 1 at state-funded primary schools.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th May 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the evidential basis is for the Government's legislative proposals on introducing calorie labelling on menus as announced on 12 May 2021.

We have been careful to consider the views of a wide range of experts in response to our public consultation on introducing mandatory out-of-home calorie labelling including representatives from eating disorder groups. The Department has also engaged with the eating disorder charity BEAT, as well as others representing the views of people living with eating disorders, on several occasions since the Government published ‘Tackling obesity: empowering adults and children to live healthier lives’ last July.

The Department has published an impact assessment detailing the likely effect the policy will have, including the potential effect of the policy on people living with eating disorders. This and the Government’s response to its public consultation on calorie labelling in the out-of-home sector, set out the evidence used to support the policy. The impact assessment and consultation response are available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/calorie-labelling-for-food-and-drink-served-outside-of-the-home

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Apr 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether the Government has written guidance on cost limits to the public purse on legal proceedings over whistleblowers.

The Government does not issue any specific written guidance on cost limits on legal proceedings over whistleblowers.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
25th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January 2021 to Question 128169, what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that (a) GPs and (b) others administering the covid-19 vaccination programme at the local level are aware that (I) people with an eating disorder may be defined as experiencing severe mental illness and (ii) carers of someone with an eating disorder may meet the definition of an adult carer specified by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation and therefore also require prioritisation for COVID-19 vaccination.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has determined that those with severe mental illnesses (SMI) are within cohort 6 for the vaccine rollout, and we are encouraging General Practitioners (GPs) to take a similar approach for this group of people to that being proposed for people with learning disabilities, working in partnership with secondary care mental health services and Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise partners to ensure appropriate outreach mechanisms are in place.

People with SMI (including people who are severely unwell with an eating disorder, who have a high or low body mass index) and their carers should receive an invitation from their GP to get their COVID-19 vaccine. This might be by letter, text message or phone, or a combination of all three. If someone is unsure if they have an SMI which falls within the official definition above, they are encouraged to contact their GP, or mental health team. GP teams are encouraged to keep prioritising people with severe mental illness, applying a flexible approach to defining SMI.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
9th Mar 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of levels of funding provided to community pharmacy owners during the covid-19 outbreak.

Discussions are ongoing with the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee about additional funding for costs incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of its ongoing assessment of COVID-19 costs incurred by the sector the Government will take account of the £370 million increased advance payments paid to community pharmacies.

The support package for community pharmacy also included general COVID-19 business support, funding for Bank Holiday openings, social distancing measures and the medicine delivery service to shielded patients, free personal protective equipment and non-monetary support including the removal of some administrative tasks, flexibility in opening hours and the delayed introduction of new services.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of prioritising children in residential children's homes for the covid-19 vaccine in the next phase of the vaccine rollout.

At present, there is very limited data on vaccination in adolescents and no data on vaccination in younger children. The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advises that only those children at very high risk of exposure and serious outcomes, such as older children with severe neuro-disabilities that require residential care, should be offered vaccination as part of phase one. Clinicians should discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with a person with parental responsibility, who should be told about the paucity of safety data for the vaccine in children aged under 16 years. The Green Book also sets out that children under 16 year of age, even if they are clinically extremely vulnerable, are at low risk of serious morbidity and mortality and given the absence of safety and efficacy data on the vaccine, are not recommended for vaccination.

Nadhim Zahawi
Secretary of State for Education
27th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 21 January 2021 to Question 137278, what plans he has to publish implementation learnings from the eight sites which have received additional funding to improve the adult eating disorders pathway in 2021-22.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are currently reviewing whether to publish learnings from the early implementer sites.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
13th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 11 January 2021 to Question 131380, what the planned timescale is for testing and evaluating the new integrated models of primary and adult community mental health care, including the eight sites that have received additional funding to improve the adult eating disorders pathway.

Due to current pressures on the system as a result of the impact of COVID-19, a number of our assurance and evaluation activities have been paused. Timescales relating to the early implementer phase are under review. Implementation learnings from the eight sites which have received additional funding to improve the adult eating disorders pathway are being shared to ensure that the lessons from these early implementer sites are made available. These include peer support sessions to share learnings with each other, as well as national webinars where lessons from these sites are shared with those starting their expansion and transformation from 2021/22.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to Health Survey for England 2019's finding that 16 per cent of adults aged 16 and over screened positive for a possible eating disorder, what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that anyone affected by an eating disorder is able to access specialist treatment at the earliest opportunity.

Improving eating disorder services is a key priority for the Government and a vital part of our work to expand and transform mental health services.

The National Health Service will invest almost £1 billion extra in community mental health care for adults. Under the NHS Long Term Plan, 12 areas in England have received funding to test new integrated models of primary and community mental health care since 2019/20. Eight sites have also received specific additional funding to transform the eating disorders pathway, including early intervention for young adults with eating disorders.

Building on this, the NHS has announced the roll out of the first episode rapid early intervention for eating disorders model in 18 sites across the country for young people, aged 16-25 years old, with eating disorders. This model advocates treatment within two to four weeks and aims to contact patients within 48 hours of referral.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to the Health Survey for England 2019's finding that 16 per cent of adults aged 16 and over screened positive for a possible eating disorder, whether his Department will commission research to assess the prevalence of eating disorders.

The Department through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funds a range of research in mental health to inform national mental health policy, including eating disorders. Since 2011, the NIHR’s research programmes have invested over £7.8 million in eating disorders research.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
16th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to recommendation 4 of the UK framework for mental health research, whether the recommended portfolio review of UK mental health research funders has been published.

The 2018 Framework for Mental Health Research recommended a portfolio review of United Kingdom mental health research funders, including the Medical Research Council and the National Institute for Health Research. MQ has subsequently led on a second portfolio review of UK mental health research funders in 2019, building on previous work. The report, ‘UK Mental Health Research Funding 2014-2017’, was published in 2019 by MQ.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
13th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to tackle flu vaccine shortages in Bath.

General practitioners (GPs) and community pharmacists are responsible for ordering flu vaccine from suppliers which are used to deliver the national flu programme to adults, with deliveries phased through the season. The Department has procured additional doses of seasonal flu vaccine to ensure 30 million flu vaccines are available this winter. GPs, community pharmacists and trusts who have exhausted their own supply are now able to order from this central stock. Guidance has been issued with information on how to do this.

NHS England and NHS Improvement are working with local areas to ensure that local providers are supported to meet increased demand for the flu vaccination this winter. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has granted dispensation to allow the movement of vaccines locally between practices and other National Health Service provider organisations this season, to help address local shortages.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
12th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will make it his policy to (a) publish a plan for the functioning of competent authorities to reconcile the public health and environmental effects of 5G technologies and (b) consult on that plan before the European Electronic Communications Code 2018 is transposed into UK law.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has led on this work in the context of the European Electronic Communications Code Directive. The Directive was finalised and published in December 2018 after negotiations and is required to be transposed into domestic legislation by 21 December 2020. A public consultation was launched in July 2019, closing in September 2019 with a Government response published in July 2020. The draft transposition statutory instrument was laid in Parliament via the affirmative procedure on 12 October and passed by Parliament on 10 November. No further body was required to be created or designated as a competent authority as part of transposition as Ofcom acts as the telecommunications regulator in the UK.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to Question 97686 on Contact Tracing: Computer Software, tabled on 30 September 2020 by the hon. Member for Bath.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers to Questions 97685 and 97686 of 9 and 10 November respectively.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many adults aged 18 and over at time of referral were referred to specialist secondary mental health services with a primary reason of referral of eating disorders between April and August in (a) 2019 and (b) 2020; and what proportion of those referrals were made to an eating disorders service.

The information requested is in the following tables:

Month

Referrals of people aged 18 and over with primary reason for referral as eating disorders

Referred to eating disorder service

proportion (%)

April 2019

1,399

1,112

79.5%

May 2019

1,524

1,201

78.8%

June 2019

1,486

1,178

79.3%

July 2019

1,704

1,306

76.6%

August 2019

1,556

1,228

78.9%


Month

Referrals of people aged 18 and over with primary reason for referral as eating disorders

Referred to eating disorder service

proportion (%)

April 2020

1,118

842

75.3%

May 2020

1,456

1,164

79.9%

June 2020

1,931

1,575

81.6%

July 2020

2,158

1,707

79.1%

August 2020

Not yet available


Source: Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDS), NHS Digital

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
4th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, when he plans to respond to Question 97685 on Contact Tracing: Computer Software, tabled on 30 September 2020 by the hon. Member for Bath.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers to Questions 97685 and 97686 of 9 and 10 November respectively.

Edward Argar
Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the number of people who are unable to download the NHS covid-19 app as a result of their phones not support operating systems iOS 13.5 and Android 6.0 Marshmallow or newer.

We estimate that around 10% of smartphone users are unable to download the National Health Service COVID-19 app due to their phones not supporting the necessary version of iOS or Android.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
30th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions he has had with Apple and Google on the incompatibility of the NHS covid-19 app with operating systems older than iOS 13.5 and Android 6.0 Marshmallow.

Officials have on-going discussions with Google and Apple to support app development. The app currently supports Apple iOS versions 13.5 and higher, and Android version Marshmallow (v6.0) and higher. This is because the app needs the Exposure Notification framework developed by Apple and Google, which is only available in these versions.

This is the same in all countries with apps using the Google and Apple exposure notification API for contact tracing.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
1st Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to ensure that (a) young people and (b) adults with Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder can access evidence-based treatment.

In response to concerns about gaps in provision and access to appropriate treatment for children and young people with Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, NHS England and NHS Improvement funded a national pilot in seven community eating disorder services in England which ran from September 2019 to March 2020.

The pilot funded training, delivered by expert academics and clinicians, to support the adaptation of existing care pathways, assessments and treatment interventions to better meet the needs of children and young people with this condition.

This autumn, learning from the pilot will be shared with all other community eating disorder teams to support delivery of appropriate care across England. This learning will also support adult community eating disorder teams in providing quality care to adults with the condition.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, pursuant to the Answer of 17 July 2020 to Question 66169 on obesity, what steps the Government is taking to ensure its work on tackling obesity does not cause harm to people with eating disorders.

We recognise concerns people with eating disorders may have on measures to reduce obesity and are committed to striking a careful balance between enabling people to make healthier food and drink choices whilst not negatively impacting on those with or recovering from an eating disorder.

Obesity represents a huge cost to the health and wellbeing of the individual, the National Health Service and the wider economy. With over six in 10 adults and more than one in three children aged 10 to 11 years old overweight or obese, it is right we take action.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans (a) NHS England, (b) NHS Improvement and (c) the British Medical Association’s General Practice Committee have to review the coverage of mental health care in the Quality and Outcomes Framework during 2020-21; and what steps the voluntary sector can take to contribute to that review.

Changes to the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) are agreed as part of wider amendments to the General Medical Services Contract. These changes are negotiated by NHS England and NHS Improvement and the British Medical Association’s General Practitioners Committee (GPC) England. NHS England and NHS Improvement and GPC England have agreed to an ongoing programme of indicator review in key priority areas, including mental health in 2020/21.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is currently developing potential indicators on anxiety and depression suitable for use in the QOF. Indicators are open to consultation with stakeholders. Stakeholders can register their interest with NICE via indicators@nice.org.uk

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of testing newly arrived international students for covid-19.

The Government continues to consider a range of options to manage the risk of imported cases, including the role COVID-19 virus testing could play as part of measures at the border.

To keep number of transmissions in the United Kingdom as low as possible, and to protect UK residents and international students in the UK, subject to some exemptions international arrivals are required to supply their contact and accommodation information, and self-isolate in their accommodation for 14 days where they have departed from or transited through a non-exempt country in the 14 days before the date of their arrival. It remains the case that we have the capacity to provide free tests to anyone in the UK who is showing symptoms.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the clinical evidential basis is for (a) a maximum of two households to meet in self-catered accommodation and (b) a group of more than two households to book rooms in the same hotel.

People can stay overnight with another household – both in their home or away from home, for example at a hotel or in self-catered holiday accommodation, but they should follow social distancing rules and limit their interactions with those outside their household (or support bubble). This means that although more than two households can book into the same hotel, they should stay socially distanced from each other and limit gatherings to two households. The scientific advice is to minimise the number of households you come into contact with, in order to avoid creating chains of transmission

Venues providing accommodation should follow COVID-19-secure guidance to minimise the risk of infection to customers and staff.

We continually closely monitor the infection rate and are easing restrictions only when it is safe to do so.

Nadine Dorries
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
29th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent discussions Public Health England has had with (a) eating disorder professionals and (b) representatives from eating disorder charities on tackling obesity.

Public Health England (PHE) works with appropriate organisations to develop campaigns that promote healthy eating, for example Start4Life, Change4Life and One You.

PHE has recently met with the Royal College of Psychiatrists and Obesity UK.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what criteria his Department uses to assess the merits of the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme; and what recent assessment he has made of the effect on children of the suspension of that scheme since March 2020.

On 18 March the Government announced that from 23 March 2020, as part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, schools would remain open only for a limited number of pupils - vulnerable children and children of key workers, as defined by the Government.

A decision was taken in March that the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme would not operate for the whole of the summer term of 2020, recognising the substantial operational difficulties which would need to be resolved in order to restart a large, national scheme like the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme part-way through a term. This ensures that as little fresh produce goes to waste as possible. The funding for the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme which will not be spent during the summer term is being used to support the NHS and other priorities during the pandemic.

The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme will resume in September when all children will return to school. As before, all children in Key Stage 1 in state-funded primary schools will receive a free piece of fruit or vegetable every school day.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
15th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what his policy is on the reinstatement of funding for the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme.

On 18 March the Government announced that from 23 March 2020, as part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, schools would remain open only for a limited number of pupils - vulnerable children and children of key workers, as defined by the Government.

A decision was taken in March that the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme would not operate for the whole of the summer term of 2020, recognising the substantial operational difficulties which would need to be resolved in order to restart a large, national scheme like the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme part-way through a term. This ensures that as little fresh produce goes to waste as possible. The funding for the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme which will not be spent during the summer term is being used to support the NHS and other priorities during the pandemic.

The School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme will resume in September when all children will return to school. As before, all children in Key Stage 1 in state-funded primary schools will receive a free piece of fruit or vegetable every school day.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans his Department has to publish the covid-19 reproduction (R) number (R) for each local authority area.

The Government Office for Science currently publishes the latest estimate of the United Kingdom-wide range for R on a weekly basis. At the time of writing the current range is estimated to be 0.7-0.9 and is based on latest data available to determine infection and transmission rates. We do not calculate the R rate in different regions or local authority areas.

R is an average number and so can be highly uncertain if based on small quantities of data, for example, the R value for Northern Ireland will be more uncertain than England as the population is smaller and there have been fewer COVID-19 cases to date from which R can be calculated. R is not usually a useful measure on its own and needs to be considered alongside the number of new cases. Because of this uncertainty, The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies’ view is that it is unhelpful to use estimates of R rates to monitor the epidemic in different regions.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
20th May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether his Department has made an assessment of the efficacy of Vitamin C in boosting immunity to covid-19.

The Government has not undertaken a specific assessment of vitamin C in relation to COVID-19. However, Public Health England (PHE) is not aware of any robust evidence that vitamin C can “boost” the immune system to prevent us from catching COVID-19 or mitigate its effects.

PHE is monitoring emerging evidence on nutrition and COVID-19 and assessing its quality, involving the Government’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition as appropriate.

Jo Churchill
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the Written Statement of 23 February 2021, State Immunity Act 1978: Remedial Order, HCWS788, when she plans to lay before Parliament a draft remedial order in response to the Supreme Court judgement in the case of Benkharbouche v Secretary of State for Commonwealth Affairs [2017] UKSC 62.

The FCDO has been extensively engaged in preparing to respond to the Supreme Court's ruling. Work is not yet complete, but we plan to lay a draft remedial order before Parliament as early as possible in 2022.

Amanda Milling
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to help alleviate famine in the Tigray.

The UK has to date provided £47.7 million in humanitarian support to respond to the conflict in Tigray for healthcare, sanitation and nutrition.

The humanitarian situation in north east Ethiopia continues to deteriorate. Access to Tigray for aid agencies is negligible owing to bureaucratic impediments to delivery imposed by the government and more than 400,000 people are assessed to be in famine-like conditions. Tigray is the most serious food crisis since famine was declared in Somalia in 2011. Conflict in neighbouring Amhara and Afar regions is now impacting an additional 1.7 million people. The UK's Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs, Nick Dyer visited Tigray in May and concluded a that region-wide famine in Tigray is likely if conflict intensifies and impediments to the delivery of humanitarian aid continue. Regrettably the operating context has become more fraught and the risks to civilians have increased. The UK reiterates its call for the protection of civilians and unfettered humanitarian access.

The Foreign Secretary raised concerns on the humanitarian situation and the need for a political dialogue to bring a lasting peace to Tigray directly with Prime Minister Abiy on 5 August. I also raised these issues with the Ethiopian Minister of Peace, Muferihat Kamil Ahmed, on 15 July. The UK Ambassador to Ethiopia has also raised our concerns on multiple occasions to the Government. We have consistently pressed these points in bilateral meetings, in multilateral fora such as the UN Security Council, the Human Rights Council and G7 and worked concertedly with international partners to raise our concerns. At the UN Security Council, I set out on 2 July our concerns at the continued lack of progress in delivering humanitarian access to Tigray.

15th Jun 2021
What steps he is taking in response to the recent assessment of the UK's famine prevention envoy on the situation in Tigray.

Our Special Envoy found growing risk of famine, primarily due to the conduct of the conflict. Last week, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification assessment estimated that 353,000 people are facing famine like conditions. The situation is extremely grave.

Last Wednesday I urged the international community to join our call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire. This call was echoed in the G7 Summit Communique. Yesterday, I announced the UK will reprioritise £16.7m to the crisis in Tigray. This is on top of the existing £27m in 2020-21 already directed to the response, and an additional £4m allocated to support nutrition and vaccinations in Tigray. This brings UK total funding to support response to the crisis to £47.7m.

4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, with reference to the upcoming G7 summit being held in Cornwall between 11 and 13 June 2021, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that its commitment to increasing the number of girls who have access to 12 years of education will be maintained following reductions in aid spending from 0.7 to 0.5 per cent of GNI.

2021 is a year of UK leadership on the world stage, including on girls' education. In May, G7 Foreign and Development Ministers endorsed two new, global, SDG 4 milestone targets of getting 40 million more girls in school, and 20 million more girls reading by age 10 in the next 5 years. The Prime Minister will also be using the G7 Leaders' Summit to call on G7 Leaders to re-endorse our girls' education targets and declaration in the Leaders' Communique, and make pledges to support the Global Partnership for Education as we look ahead to the Global Education Summit next month.

As announced by the Foreign Secretary on 21 April, the FCDO will also spend £400 million bilaterally on girls' education this year. This very substantial investment of UK ODA is only one of our tools in achieving our ambitions.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
4th Jun 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to (a) increase awareness of (i) child marriage, (ii) sexual exploitation, (iii) child labour and (iv) other forms of violence and exploitation being significant barriers to girls' education and (b) remove those barriers to education.

Tackling the complex barriers to girls' accessing and staying in education, including child marriage, sexual exploitation, child labour, and gender-based violence, will be key to achieving our global education targets. The Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) is committed to raising awareness of these issues, and we have ensured that ender equality, including girls' education, is at the centre of the UK's G7 Presidency.

FCDO's £38 million investment since 2015 to tackle child marriage has contributed to a 15% reduction in the global prevalence of child marriage over the last decade. As a leading supporter of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, the UK is driving the international movement to the end violence, abuse, and exploitation of children. The UK is proud to be a global leader in efforts to end violence against women and girls. Through our What Works to Prevent Violence Programme, we have pioneered approaches worldwide that have shown reductions of around 50% in violence.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
17th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent humanitarian assistance his Department has provided to people affected by the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict.

In line with the Foreign Secretary's announcement of 30 October, the UK Government has provided the International Committee of the Red Cross with £1 million in support of its humanitarian efforts in the region. This financial support is being used to provide urgent medical supplies, food and shelter to thousands of people affected by the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We have supported the wider international response by providing funding for additional monitoring and analysis of the humanitarian situation through organisations such as the Humanitarian 2 Humanitarian network. We are keeping the situation under close review, coordinating with local and international partners and will continue to explore opportunities to support partners to deliver an effective international response.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether he is taking steps to extend the sanctions list to include senior Chinese Communist Party officials responsible for human rights violations against Tibetan and Uyghur people.

On 6 July, the UK Government established the Global Human Rights sanctions regime. The Government's position remains that it is not appropriate to speculate about who may be designated under the Global Human Rights sanctions regime, as to do so could reduce the impact of the designations. We will keep all evidence and potential listings under close review.

Nigel Adams
Minister of State (Cabinet Office) (Minister without Portfolio)
7th Dec 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to ensure the continued delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria during the covid-19 pandemic.

The impact of COVID-19 on lives across Syria is alarming. Health care capacity across Syria is overstretched; the regime's brutal pursuit of conflict and bombing of its own hospitals has left the whole of Syria ill-prepared for a pandemic that continues to spread. Deaths due to lack of humanitarian access are unacceptable, and the UK will continue to work with the international donors, the UN and humanitarian partners to pressure all parties to the conflict to allow unfettered humanitarian access across the whole of Syria.

The UK is one of the largest donors to the humanitarian response to the Syria Crisis across the region. Since 2012, we have committed over £3.3 billion to help Syrian civilians displaced and vulnerable within their country, and host communities and Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries. This includes a pledge of at least £300 million for 2020 at this year's Brussels conference that ensures the most vulnerable Syrians continue to have access to life-saving and essential services, including healthcare, food, water and sanitation. We continue to monitor the situation and work closely with UN and NGO partners in Syria to respond to the outbreak and to adapt our ongoing programming effectively to ensure the safe delivery of sustain life-saving services in light of the pandemic.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
3rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the compliance with the 1992 OSCE arms embargo on Nagorno-Karabakh of the supply of equipment by EDO MBM Technology Ltd to Turkey; and what assessment he has made of the accuracy of reports that that equipment has been used in drones in the Nagorno-Karabakh area since September 2020.

HMG considers all export applications against the Consolidated Criteria which provides a strict assessment framework and we keep all licences under careful and continual review. HMG complies with the OSCE arms embargo relating to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which is considered as part of our export licensing process. We have not issued licences contrary to the arms embargo. We continue to monitor developments in the region closely.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
14th Oct 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the findings of the International Criminal Court into the human rights abuses of Venezuelan President, Nicolas Maduro; and what support the Government has provided to the Lima countries.

In September 2018, six members of the Lima Group (Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay and Peru) referred the situation in Venezuela and possible commission of crimes against humanity there to the International Criminal Court (ICC). On 27 September 2019, the Foreign Secretary announced the UK's support for the Lima Group's referral.

The Court has yet to conclude the Preliminary Examination into the situation in Venezuela. The Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) is carrying out a Preliminary Examination to determine whether the situation meets the legal criteria established by the Rome Statute to warrant investigation by the OTP. The OTP will provide an update on the Preliminary Examination in December in its annual report on Preliminary Examination Activities. We look forward to hearing about the progress the OTP has made. It would not be appropriate for the UK to comment further at this stage. The UK respects the independence of the ICC Prosecutor and her role in undertaking a Preliminary Examination into the situation in Venezuela.

Wendy Morton
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
7th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of (a) the article written by Bahraini political prisoner and rights activist Ali AlHajee, published by the Independent on 15 August 2020 and (b) Mr AlHajee’s request that the Government call for the release of all political prisoners in Bahrain.

We are aware of the allegations contained in Mr Al Hajee's article, which have been investigated by Bahrain's independent human rights oversight bodies. The UK Government takes note of a number of sources of information on Bahrain when making assessments. Our latest assessment was published as part of our Human Rights and Democracy Report in July 2020.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
6th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, with reference to the letter of 23 June 2020 to him, from 10 hon. Members on securing the release of human rights activists (a) Loujain AlHathloul in Saudi Arabia, (b) Ahmed Mansoor in the UAE and (c) Dr Abduljalil AlSingace in Bahrain, what (i) public and (ii) private representations he has made to his (A) Saudia Arabian, (B) Emirati and (C) Bahraini counterpart on securing the release of (1) those people and (2) other people imprisoned for peacefully opposing their governments.

We have raised the cases of Loujain al-Hathloul, Ahmed Mansoor and Abduljalil al-Singace at senior levels with the Saudi, Emirati and Bahraini authorities respectively. The UK urges all countries to comply with their human rights obligations. Our close relationship with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain allows us to discuss important issues such as human rights.

We consistently underline the importance of political freedoms globally. This includes respect for the right to peaceful protest, the rule of law, and freedom of speech, the press, and assembly. We continue to raise concerns about individual cases regularly. Where the UK has cause for concern, we raise these concerns at official and Ministerial level.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
23rd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of the effect of the imprisonment and planned execution of people in Bahrain on that country's compliance with international human rights obligations.

The Government of Bahrain is fully aware that the UK is firmly opposed to the death penalty, in all circumstances. The right to a fair trial is enshrined in the constitution of Bahrain; we continue to encourage the Government of Bahrain to follow due process in all cases and meet its international and domestic human rights commitments.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
22nd Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his counterpart in Government of Bahrain on (a) the fairness of the trials of Zuhair and Husain Abdullah Khalil Rashid’s and (b) the allegations of the use torture of those people that resulted in them being given death sentences.

We have raised the cases of Zuhair Ibrahim Jasim Abdullah and Hussein Abdullah Khalil Rashid at a senior level with the Government of Bahrain.

The Government of Bahrain is fully aware that the UK is firmly opposed to the death penalty, in all circumstances. The right to a fair trial is enshrined in the constitution of Bahrain; we continue to encourage the Government of Bahrain to follow due process in all cases and meet its international and domestic human rights commitments.

James Cleverly
Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the impact of changes to Small Brewers Relief on small breweries.

The Treasury committed to reforming Small Brewers Relief (SBR) and our review of SBR is ongoing. A technical consultation was launched in January this year to help inform the Government’s review. The consultation document provides further information on the Government’s assessment of changes and we are currently analysing the responses.

The Treasury believe that reducing the starting taper from 5,000 to 2,100 hectolitres (880,000 pints a year to 370,000 pints a year) strikes a balance between guaranteeing the full value of the relief for truly small breweries, while providing those between the 2,100 to 5,000 hectolitres threshold a smoother transition to the main duty rate. Officials are continuing to work closely with HM Revenue and Customs to deliver a relief that is sustainable and supports brewers of all sizes in the long-term.

We will publish our response to the technical consultation in due course.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Oct 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what support he plans to provide to small breweries to deal with additional costs from the proposed changes to Small Brewers Relief.

The Treasury committed to reforming Small Brewers Relief (SBR) and our review of SBR is ongoing. A technical consultation was launched in January this year to help inform the Government’s review. The consultation document provides further information on the Government’s assessment of changes and we are currently analysing the responses.

The Treasury believe that reducing the starting taper from 5,000 to 2,100 hectolitres (880,000 pints a year to 370,000 pints a year) strikes a balance between guaranteeing the full value of the relief for truly small breweries, while providing those between the 2,100 to 5,000 hectolitres threshold a smoother transition to the main duty rate. Officials are continuing to work closely with HM Revenue and Customs to deliver a relief that is sustainable and supports brewers of all sizes in the long-term.

We will publish our response to the technical consultation in due course.

Helen Whately
Exchequer Secretary (HM Treasury)
19th Jul 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the finding of the Disabled Children’s Partnerships report, Left Behind, published 16 July 2021, that over half of local authorities have failed to meet their targets for providing Education, Health and Care plan assessments, what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on increasing long-term funding for disabled children’s social care services.

HM Treasury Ministers regularly meet with other government departments and a range of stakeholders, which includes discussions around support for disabled children and young people.

To support local areas, the government has given over £6 billion in un-ringfenced funding directly to councils to support them with the immediate and longer-term impacts of COVID-19 spending pressures, including children’s services. At last year’s Spending Review, we provided councils with access to over £1bn of spending for social care through £300m of new social care grant and the ability to introduce a 3% adult social care precept. This funding was additional to the £1 billion social care grant announced in 2019 which was maintained in line with the government's manifesto.

We are also increasing education funding for children with complex special educational needs and disabilities by nearly a quarter in two years, to £8 billion this year.

We will continue to work with other government departments, including Department for Education and the Ministry of Housing, Communities &

Local Government, to ensure the upcoming Spending Review reflects the needs of children’s social care services.

Steve Barclay
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
23rd Feb 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what guidance his Department plans to issue for businesses exporting to the EU with reference to the rate of import tax their customers would need to pay.

HMRC provided extensive and updated GOV.UK guidance on customs processes for the end of the transition period. HMRC continue to work with business stakeholders, listening to their feedback, to develop new content on high priority topics.

The Government has published a digital tool to help exporters check duties and customs procedures for exporting goods: https://www.gov.uk/check-duties-customs-exporting. Import and export procedures in EU countries are the responsibility of the tax and customs authorities in those countries. Businesses and individuals should confirm the processes at their port of arrival. More information can be found at: https://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/home_en.

29th Jan 2021
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with reference to the letter of 12 January 2021 from Maternity Action, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Royal College of Midwives recommending that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme be amended to enable employers to recover the full cost of a maternity suspension on full pay of a woman who is 28 weeks pregnant or more, what estimate his Department has made of the monthly cost to the Exchequer of implementing that proposal.

The objective of the CJRS is to enable employers to keep people in employment. In order to achieve this, the grants compensate employers for the payments that they are contractually obliged to make in order to avoid the need for redundancies. Covering maternity suspension would go beyond the objectives of the scheme. It is also the case that the level of support provided through the CJRS must remain the same for all employers and employees, and that the CJRS is only one part of a wider package of support for business and individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since March 2020, the Government has provided support for people, businesses and public services totalling an estimated £280 billion. In particular, businesses have received billions in loans, tax deferrals, Business Rate reliefs, and general and sector-specific grants. This support can be used by businesses to top up the CJRS grant, ensuring that they can suspend pregnant employees on full pay.

24th Sep 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, how many families with children have received the £20 per week uplift in working tax credit basic element payments in Bath in each month since that uplift was introduced.

The latest available information on the number of families with children receiving Working Tax Credit at the parliamentary constituency level is for April 2020. In April 2020, the number of families with children receiving Working Tax Credit in Bath was 500.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/child-and-working-tax-credits-statistics-provisional-awards-geographical-analyses-december-2013.

Information on following months is not readily available. The next update to this publication will provide statistics relating to December 2020 and will be available in January 2021.

Final annual information on families with children receiving Working Tax Credits is published once a year and updated each July.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/child-and-working-tax-credits-statistics-finalised-annual-awards-2018-to-2019.

28th Aug 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of reducing the rate of VAT on sunscreen and other sun safety products.

The Government's approach is to support safety campaigns that place sunscreen within its proper context; as a precaution that people can take against the sun, but that does not provide 100 per cent protection. While sun protection products have a role to play in skin safety, it is important that people do not rely on sunscreen alone.

VAT raises a significant amount of revenue and plays an important part in funding the Government's public spending priorities. Any application of a reduced rate would have to be balanced against this. The Government keeps all taxes under review.

16th Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of a reduction in beer duty for the independent brewery sector for the rest of the 2020-21 financial year, in response to the covid-19 outbreak.

The Treasury froze beer duty at the recent Budget. This means that the beer duty rate is the same in 2020-21 as in 2019-20. Thanks to decisions by this Government, the beer duty rate has been unchanged since 2017.

The Treasury keeps all taxes, including beer duty, under review.

Kemi Badenoch
Minister for Equalities
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, for what reason a bank is not required to give an explanation before closing a customer's account.

In most circumstances the provision of a bank’s services are a commercial decision for the bank. The terms and conditions of the contract between the two parties govern the termination of that contract, and the Government does not intervene in these decisions. Although the Treasury sets the legal framework for the regulation of financial services it does not have investigative or prosecuting powers of its own.

In line with international standards on money laundering and counter terrorist financing set by the Financial Action Taskforce, banks are expected to apply risk-sensitive customer due diligence measures when considering the services they provide to current or potential customers. Banks should then make a decision on whether and how to provide banking services on the basis of an assessment of each customer’s circumstances. The decision of whether to provide banking services

may, of course, be informed by more than just the bank’s risk appetite and may include an assessment of profitability or other commercial factors.

The treatment of customers by UK firms which are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is governed by its Principles of Business. This includes a general requirement for firms to provide a prompt, efficient and fair service to all their customers.

John Glen
Economic Secretary (HM Treasury)
15th May 2020
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, if he will make available financial support for Barristers' chambers carrying out publicly-funded work where barristers are not eligible to apply for support through the Self-employment Income Support Scheme during the covid-19 outbreak.

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is available for those with trading profits of no more than £50,000, with the requirement to have submitted a Self-Assessment tax return for the 2018/2019 tax year. Recipients of the SEISS have must submitted a tax return for 2018/19 to allow HMRC to mitigate the risk of fraudulent applications.

Chambers and individual barristers may be eligible for other Government support, such as the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, and income tax and VAT deferrals. Chambers can also use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to reduce staffing costs.

The Government will continue to listen to feedback on the support available.

11th Feb 2020
What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on the adequacy of funding for sixth form students.

Treasury ministers regularly speak to Secretaries of State and Junior Ministers on all matters of public spending. We will continue these conversations, including on Further Education funding, as we approach the next Comprehensive Spending Review.

At the 2019 Spending Round we announced a £400 million extra for 16-19 funding in 2020-21. This is the biggest increase in a year for a decade, recognising the vital role of this sector in delivering the skills needed in the UK.

Rishi Sunak
Chancellor of the Exchequer
17th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 15 November 2021 to Question 70295 on Schools: EU Countries, what were the results of the impact assessment of the potential impact of the UK's new immigration rules on the number of school trips from the EU to the UK.

Further to the answer given on 15 November 2021, the Impact Assessment can be viewed here:

Impact Assessment (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
5th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential impact of the UK's new immigration rules on the number of school trips from the EU to the UK.

As part of the changes to the Immigration Rules in September 2021, we no longer accept national identity cards as a valid travel document from EU, EEA and Swiss visitors to the UK.

An impact assessment was undertaken of this change.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what plans she has for the further roll out of body worn video cameras to police forces.

The NPCC report all forces deploy Body Worn Video. Its deployment is an operational matter for each police force and decisions will be made based on local priorities.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many complaints have been received about the lack of recording by body worn video cameras in frontline policing, per police force.

Data is not available on how many complaints have been received about the lack of recording by body worn video cameras in frontline policing.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how many police officers are equipped to wear body worn cameras for each police force in England and Wales.

According to the National Police Chief’s Council, all forces are deploying Body Worn Video. Its deployment is an operational matter for each police force and decisions will be made based on local priorities.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
19th Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, whether she plans to standardise policies on body worn cameras on a national, rather than force-by-force, basis.

The use of imagery captured by Body Worn Video is subject to a number of national standards through the Data Protection Act 2018, the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, College of Policing Authorised Professional Practice (Management of Police Information) and the Surveillance Camera Code.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, if she will make it her policy to introduce a single comprehensive and integrated policy framework for (a) protection against gender-based violence and domestic abuse and (b) support for victims that is aligned to the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and the Istanbul Convention.

Addressing Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) remains a key priority of this Government. We are committed to fighting VAWG crimes, of which domestic abuse is a high-harm and high-volume subset, warranting a dedicated strategy.

Our aim in having two strategies is for twice as much focus on these crimes. allowing space, within the VAWG strategy, for consideration of other evolving or less understood crimes, such as those perpetrated through digital or online means. The approach does not separate domestic abuse out from the umbrella term of VAWG, but allows a dedicated focus on it.

The two strategies will be complementary and work together to drive down VAWG crimes and their impact on society and will put victims and survivors at the heart of our response.

The UK signed the Istanbul Convention in 2012. Chapter IV (Articles 18-28) of the Istanbul Convention relates to protection and support for victims. As set out in the recent report on our progress towards ratification of the Convention, published on 22 October 2020, we are fully compliant with the articles which comprise Chapter IV.

We take seriously our responsibilities under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and were examined by the UN Committee on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in February 2019. The Committee welcomed progress made by the UK in relation to violence against women and girls.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment her Department has made of the effect of the Government's decision to separate its Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy from the Domestic Abuse Strategy on tackling gender-based violence.

Addressing Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) remains a key priority of this Government. We are committed to fighting VAWG crimes, of which domestic abuse is a high-harm and high-volume subset.

Our aim in having two strategies is for twice as much focus on these crimes. allowing space, within the VAWG strategy, for consideration of other evolving or less understood crimes, such as those perpetrated through digital or online means. The approach does not separate domestic abuse out from the umbrella term of VAWG, but allows a dedicated focus on it.

The two strategies will be complementary and work together to drive down VAWG crimes and their impact on society and will put victims and survivors at the heart of our response.

We meet regularly with organisations that support survivors to discuss our approach to the VAWG and DA strategies, and will continue to engage with women’s, girls’ and victims’ organisations on this important work, including several sector-wide sessions in the last few months, individual calls with leading VAWG organisations, and participation in the Domestic Abuse Commissioners regular sector calls.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
14th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions the Government had with Violence Against Women and Girls charities and organisations on the decision to separate its Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy from the Domestic Abuse Strategy.

Addressing Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) remains a key priority of this Government. We are committed to fighting VAWG crimes, of which domestic abuse is a high-harm and high-volume subset.

Our aim in having two strategies is for twice as much focus on these crimes. allowing space, within the VAWG strategy, for consideration of other evolving or less understood crimes, such as those perpetrated through digital or online means. The approach does not separate domestic abuse out from the umbrella term of VAWG, but allows a dedicated focus on it.

The two strategies will be complementary and work together to drive down VAWG crimes and their impact on society and will put victims and survivors at the heart of our response.

We meet regularly with organisations that support survivors to discuss our approach to the VAWG and DA strategies, and will continue to engage with women’s, girls’ and victims’ organisations on this important work, including several sector-wide sessions in the last few months, individual calls with leading VAWG organisations, and participation in the Domestic Abuse Commissioners regular sector calls.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
24th Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to tackle recent trends in the level of disability hate crimes in England and Wales.

Hate crime is completely unacceptable, and this Government takes it very seriously. That is why the Government published the Hate Crime Action Plan in 2016 and refreshed it in October 2018.

The Action Plan established a public awareness campaign which included examples of disability hate crime to make clear that such acts are completely unacceptable, held two ministerial meetings with disability groups and social media companies to help tackle online abuse of disabled people and provided £193,000 in funding for community projects that directly tackled disability hate crime.

Victoria Atkins
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice)
10th Sep 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, for which foreign states the College of Policing provided training courses in (a) 2017-18, (b) 2018-19 and (c) 2019-20; and what the subject of each of those training courses was.

This is a matter for the College of Policing, but I can confirm that it does provide bespoke training packages to international partners.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of increasing flexibility on when and where overseas students can (a) apply for their visa to study in the UK and (b) take their English language tests.

From October students will be able to apply for a visa up to six months in advance of the course start date listed on their Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies. This is an extension on the current period of three months.

Students who require a Secure English Language Test (SELT) must obtain a SELT from an approved provider. A SELT test can be obtained from any of the test centres listed in the below list of approved test centres:-https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-applying-for-uk-visa-approved-english-language-tests

Higher Education Providers (HEP) with a track record of compliance are able to self-assess the English ability of their students at degree level or above. As part of the Covid-19 concessions, we extended this to also permit HEPs to self-assess the English ability of students on pre-sessional courses.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
17th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the potential merits of extending flexibilities on English language tests to students on pre-degree further education courses to encourage student visa applications.

From October students will be able to apply for a visa up to six months in advance of the course start date listed on their Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies. This is an extension on the current period of three months.

Students who require a Secure English Language Test (SELT) must obtain a SELT from an approved provider. A SELT test can be obtained from any of the test centres listed in the below list of approved test centres:-https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-applying-for-uk-visa-approved-english-language-tests

Higher Education Providers (HEP) with a track record of compliance are able to self-assess the English ability of their students at degree level or above. As part of the Covid-19 concessions, we extended this to also permit HEPs to self-assess the English ability of students on pre-sessional courses.

Kevin Foster
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Home Office)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate her Department has made of the number of instances of (a) hate crime, (b) serious violence and (c) malicious communications directed at BAME LGBTQ+ youth in the last 12 months.

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the number of hate crime offences recorded by the police in England and Wales, including a breakdown of those motivated by hatred of the racial, sexual orientation or transgender background of victims. The latest ‘Hate Crime, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/hate-crime-england-and-wales-2018-to-2019

However, from the information we hold it is not possible to identify the number of instances of hate crime, serious violence or malicious communications directed specifically at BAME LGBTQ+ youth or trans youth.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
3rd Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what estimate her Department has made of the number of instances of (a) hate crime, (b) serious violence and (c) malicious communications directed at trans youth in the last 12 months.

The Home Office collects and publishes data on the number of hate crime offences recorded by the police in England and Wales, including a breakdown of those motivated by hatred of the racial, sexual orientation or transgender background of victims. The latest ‘Hate Crime, England and Wales’ statistical bulletin is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/hate-crime-england-and-wales-2018-to-2019

However, from the information we hold it is not possible to identify the number of instances of hate crime, serious violence or malicious communications directed specifically at BAME LGBTQ+ youth or trans youth.

Kit Malthouse
Minister of State (Ministry of Justice) (jointly with Home Office)
14th Jan 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, how much was received by his Department from the Commercial Exploitation Levy in the financial years (a) 2015-16, (b) 2016-17, (c) 2017-18 and (d) 2018-19; and if he will make a statement.

The commercial exploitation levy is a form of royalty for any commercial sales of a design, use of special tooling or the granting of licences where the Ministry of Defence has contributed to research and development costs. The gross amount received in each year since 2015-16 is in the table:

Year

£ million

2015-16

20.1

2016-17

10.8

2017-18

6.6

2018-19

52.7

James Heappey
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Ministry of Defence)
14th Jun 2021
Whether it is his policy that Local Nature Recovery Strategies should be given consideration by local authorities in all planning decisions.

The Environment Bill currently before Parliament provides for a strengthened biodiversity duty on public authorities to have regard to the conservation of biodiversity. This strengthened duty includes a requirement to have regard to relevant Local Nature Recovery Strategies.

Our planning reforms will reinforce the implementation of these measures, to capitalise on the potential of Local Nature Recovery Strategies and biodiversity net gain as we seek to make the system clearer and more positive.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
23rd Nov 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps the Government is taking to ensure adequate funding for the statutory duties in the Domestic Abuse Bill to ensure local authorities can provide support and protection to those experiencing domestic abuse and their children.

Following the outcome of Spending Review, £125 million funding will be allocated to local authorities, to cover costs of the new duty to provide support in safe accommodation for 2021-22.

MHCLG has also provided £6 million to support relevant local authorities to undertake early planning and preparation work so they are ready to implement the new duty.

21st Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will make it his policy to allocate funding to local authorities to (a) meet losses in income from rents and other commercial payments and (b) reimburse losses arising from outsourced leisure contracts during the covid-19 outbreak.

On 2 July, the Government announced a co-payment scheme?to compensate?local councils?for?relevant,?unforeseen sales, fees and charges?losses?that are irrecoverable. Councils?will absorb the first 5 per cent of all?relevant,?irrecoverable?losses?compared to?budgets,?with government?compensating?councils?for 75p in every pound?of loss?thereafter.

This scheme is designed to compensate for transactional income losses that are truly irrecoverable. This will include transactional income from customer and client receipts which are generated from the delivery of goods and services and which were budgeted for in 2020/21, including leisure centres, but excluding rents and commercial investment income.

Commercial income losses are more complicated in nature, and the Government recognises that there are a complex set of variables relating to commercial income sources including recoverability.

We are also aware of instances where councils are currently experiencing cost pressures by supporting local services, such as leisure, which are delivered through contracted arrangements. We will continue to work with DCMS and councils over the coming weeks to ensure they are managing as the pandemic progresses. ?The Government stands ready to support any local authority with particular financial concerns.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
20th Jul 2020
What steps the Government is taking to tackle the risk of local authorities becoming insolvent as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

We recognise the additional costs and pressures councils are facing as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. We have made £3.7 billion available to councils through an un-ringfenced grant so they can address these pressures. We will continue to work with local government to ensure they are managing as the pandemic progresses.

Simon Clarke
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
14th Jul 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment his Department has made of trends in the level of enforcement of standards in the private rented sector by local authorities.

The Department does not currently collect data from local authorities on enforcement of standards.

MHCLG publishes the English Housing Survey annually which collects information about people’s housing circumstances and housing conditions in England. The Department has seen the proportion of private rented homes failing to meet the Decent Homes Standard fall from 37 per cent in 2010 to 25 per cent in 2018.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
18th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the level of contribution made by local authorities to raising building standards for new dwellings.

The Government remains committed to meeting its target of net zero emissions by 2050 and recognises the important contribution that the energy efficiency of buildings has to make in meeting it. In October 2019, we launched the first stage of a two-part consultation on Part L and Part F of the Building Regulations. We proposed an ambitious uplift in the energy efficiency of new homes through the introduction of a Future Homes Standard from 2025. We expect that homes built to the Future Homes Standard will have carbon dioxide emissions 75-80 per cent lower than those built to current Building Regulations standards, which means they will be fit for the future, with low carbon heating and very high fabric standards.

We have consulted on a meaningful and achievable increase to the energy efficiency standards for new homes as a first step towards the 2025 standard. The preferred option set out in consultation is a standard that should result in a 31 per cent reduction in emissions, compared to current standards.

We have proposed a stringent minimum standard for energy efficiency, to be applied across the country, to address issues of ambition, consistency, offsetting and targeting. This means that there may no longer be any need for local planning authorities to set higher standards at a local level. Our research suggests that few local planning authorities set higher standards, but those who do often set a 19 per cent improvement over 2013 standards. Our stage-one proposals will see a 31 per cent improvement over 2013 standards. In some local areas carbon offsetting schemes form part of the energy efficiency framework for buildings; and in others energy efficiency standards are targeted at specific kinds of building work. A single, national standard may minimise any confusion and uncertainty for local planning authorities, and better support the growth of supply chains of key products required to deliver the Future Homes Standard.

The Future Homes Standard consultation closed on 7 February. The responses we received will be considered carefully, and a Government response will be published in due course.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
8th Jun 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of requiring that solar PV be installed on all new homes.

Mandating a particular renewable technology, such as solar panels, may not be appropriate for all dwellings in all areas. Building regulations and national planning policy encourage the use of renewables without requiring any particular technology. Building regulations are deliberately couched in performance terms, allowing builders, local councils and architects the flexibility to select from a range of renewable energy technologies to suit the potentially unique circumstances of a particular development.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
1st May 2020
To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether he has made an assessment of the level of availability of accommodation for British citizens returning from overseas as a result of the covid-19 pandemic who do not have a permanent home in the UK.

United Kingdom Nationals returning from abroad who have been stranded as a result of Covid-19 and who encounter difficulty sustaining accommodation, are entitled to advice and support under the provisions of the Homelessness Reduction Act. This will include the provision of emergency accommodation for the most vulnerable who return from abroad and are homeless.

Under the Homelessness Reduction Act, local authorities and other public bodies must work together to actively prevent homelessness for people at risk.?Local authorities?must do so?irrespective of whether they are a family or single person,?the?reason they are at?risk, or if they have a local connection to the area.

We have announced over £3.2 billion of additional funding to enable local authorities to respond to other COVID-19 pressures across all the services they deliver, including stepping up support for services helping the most vulnerable, including homeless people.

Christopher Pincher
Minister of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities)
26th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what estimate he has made of the number of illegal evictions, by (a) ethnicity and (b) gender of the evictee, in the last 12 months.

The Ministry of Justice has published information on prosecutions and convictions for illegal eviction offences in England and Wales, up to December 2020, in the ‘Principal offence proceedings and outcomes by Home Office offence code’ data tool, available here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/987731/HO-code-tool-principal-offence-2020.xlsx

In the data tool linked above, use the ‘offence code’ filter to isolate the following offence under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977:

  • 08701 – Unlawful eviction of occupier

Information on the ethnicity and gender of the alleged victim or victims of illegal eviction is not held centrally by the MoJ and a further search of HMCTS court records has shown this information was not recorded on any accessible court record. Centrally held courts data is recorded under a series of offence definitions, which align with legislation, and only includes characteristics related to the victim where it is central to the statutory offence (e.g. age of victim in some sexual offences). We do not otherwise routinely collect details about the victim, such as ethnicity or gender.

James Cartlidge
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) (and Assistant Government Whip)
6th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to Section 1 of the HM Courts & Tribunal Service annual report and accounts 2020-21, published in July 2021, HC 405, what actions have been taken as a result of the establishment of the ministerial taskforce to improve capacity, efficiency and productivity of the Employment Tribunal system.

Despite the enormous challenges they have faced, the employment tribunals remained open throughout the pandemic. We have harnessed the benefits of technology to ensure that the tribunals remain safely operational and accessible. We have maximised our use of remote hearings in the employment tribunals, which are now the largest user of the cloud video platform across all tribunals.

However, significant challenges remain. We are working closely with the judiciary to continue to improve our disposal rate through maximising judicial capacity and driving further recruitment of judges. The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy have also been working closely through a joint taskforce on what further measures we can introduce to take the employment tribunals towards recovery.

The taskforce is carefully considering what further actions we can take to support recovery across the employment dispute system, and to enhance its resilience and sustainability in the longer term. We expect to able to announce the first part of the taskforce’s work on further actions we can take to support the recovery of the system in due course.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
1st Feb 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, pursuant to the Answer of 29 January 2021 to Question 140903 on Employment Tribunals Service: Coronavirus, how many single claims have been (a) received by and (b) disposed of by Employment Tribunals since 1 September 2020.

Information on single claim receipts and disposals is detailed in weekly management information.

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/hmcts-weekly-management-information-during-coronavirus-march-to-december-2020

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
20th Jan 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, with reference to the oral evidence of the Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets to the Women and Equalities Committee on Unequal impact? Coronavirus and the gendered economic impact on 4 November 2020, Q177, HC 385, how many women made an employment tribunal claim in respect of a redundancy in breach of Regulation 10 of the Maternity and Parental Leave etc. Regulations 1999 in each year since 2000.

HM Courts and Tribunals Service does not hold the information requested.

Chris Philp
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport)
22nd Sep 2020
What steps he is taking to tackle recent trends in the level of self-harm in prisons.

There are encouraging signs that self-harm has started to reduce in recent months, but it remains a concern.

We have given over 25,000 prison staff better training to spot and prevent self-harm;

We have refreshed our partnership with the Samaritans which supports the Listeners scheme, whereby selected prisoners are trained to provide emotional support to their fellow prisoners;

We have also piloted improvements to Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT), the multidisciplinary case management approach to supporting prisoners thought to be at risk of self-harm or suicide. We are currently planning the resumption of roll-out of the revised ACCT across the prison estate.

Lucy Frazer
Financial Secretary (HM Treasury)