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Written Question
Mental Health Services: Children and Young People
8 Mar 2021

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will set out a timetable for the inclusion of parental conflict being in factors routinely assessed in mental health services for children and young people.

Answer (Nadine Dorries)

We have no plans to do so.

The inclusion of family-focused interventions are for local commissioning and clinical determination. There is no single ‘specification’ for children and young people’s mental health services or child and adolescent mental health services. It is not a single service or pathway and the term refers to the range of services that offer support based on different needs. In response to a National Health Service benchmarking project on children and young people’s mental health services, 99% of providers that responded confirmed that they offer family therapy in joint and group work.


Written Question
Mental Health Services: Children and Young People
8 Mar 2021

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if he will set out a timetable for the inclusion of couples therapists trained to address parental conflict in the specification for multi-disciplinary teams working in child and adolescent mental health services.

Answer (Nadine Dorries)

We have no plans to do so.

The inclusion of family-focused interventions are for local commissioning and clinical determination. There is no single ‘specification’ for children and young people’s mental health services or child and adolescent mental health services. It is not a single service or pathway and the term refers to the range of services that offer support based on different needs. In response to a National Health Service benchmarking project on children and young people’s mental health services, 99% of providers that responded confirmed that they offer family therapy in joint and group work.


Written Question
Debts: Advisory Services
26 Feb 2021

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what estimate he has made of the number of households who (a) will need debt advice in 2021-22 and (b) needed debt advice in (i) 2019-20 and (ii) 2020-21.

Answer (John Glen)

The Government works closely with the Money and Pensions Service to understand the need for debt advice and monitor financial difficulty through an annual survey and notes the Financial Conduct Authority’s biennial Financial Lives Survey.

The Government recognises that some people are struggling with their finances at this challenging time. To help people in problem debt get their finances back on track, an extra £37.8 million support package has been made available to debt advice providers this financial year, bringing this year's budget for free debt advice in England to over £100 million.

In May 2020, the Government announced the immediate release of £65 million of dormant assets funding to Fair4All Finance, an independent organisation that has been founded to support the financial wellbeing of people in vulnerable circumstances. The funding is used to increase access to fair, affordable and appropriate financial products and services for those in financial difficulties.

From May 2021, the Breathing Space scheme will offer people in problem debt a pause of up to 60 days on most enforcement action, interest, fees and charges, and will encourage them to seek professional debt advice.

The Government has delivered unprecedented support for living standards during this challenging time, protecting livelihoods with the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), and temporary welfare measures.

The Government has extended the CJRS until 31 March 2021. Eligible employees will continue to receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

The Government has increased the overall level of the third grant under the SEISS to 80% of average trading profits, meaning that the maximum grant available has now increased to £7,500.

The Government has provided local authorities with £500 million to support people who may struggle to meet their council tax payments this year. The Government expects that this will provide all recipients of working age local council tax support with a further reduction in their annual council tax bill of £150 this financial year.

These measures are in addition to the changes this Government has made to make the welfare system more generous, worth over £7 billion according to recent estimates by the Office for Budget Responsibility.

The Government has worked with mortgage lenders, credit providers and the Financial Conduct Authority to ensure the financial sector provides support for people across the UK to manage their finances by providing payment holidays on mortgages and consumer credit products.

The Government has also delivered protections for renters, including an extension to the ban on bailiff evictions for all but the most egregious cases until at least 21 February 2021, with measures kept under review.


Written Question
None
24 Feb 2021

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, whether British businesses were given the opportunity to bid for the St Helena airport contract; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Nigel Adams)

British businesses were given the opportunity to bid for the St Helena Airport contract. On three separate occasions the St Helena Government sought expressions of interest through Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), this was in line with UK Government procurement regulations for large infrastructure projects at the time.


Written Question
Armoured Fighting Vehicles
5 Feb 2021

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps he is taking to develop a viable infantry fighting vehicle capability that meets the Army’s requirements to allow soldiers safely to enter, operate and be supported directly in close combat and high threat environments.

Answer (Jeremy Quin)

Regular analysis conducted by the Army has confirmed the requirement for a range of armoured vehicles. This analysis includes a review of current and future threats and the environment in which vehicles are required to operate; work continues to focus on these areas to inform the Integrated Review.


Written Question
Eastern Europe: Armoured Fighting Vehicles
5 Feb 2021

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment his Department has made of the relative tactical mobility performance of the vehicles to be provided under the (a) Warrior Capability Sustainment and (b) Mechanised Infantry Vehicle programmes in weather and terrain in (i) Eastern Europe and (ii) the Baltics.

Answer (Jeremy Quin)

Regular analysis conducted by the Army has confirmed the requirement for a range of armoured vehicles. This analysis includes a review of current and future threats and the environment in which vehicles are required to operate; work continues to focus on these areas to inform the Integrated Review.


Written Question
Armoured Fighting Vehicles
3 Feb 2021

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps the Army’s armoured capability is taking to contribute to (a) enhanced Forward Presence and (b) NATO’s other conventional deterrence tasks.

Answer (James Heappey)

The UK is firmly committed to the core NATO principles of collective deterrence and defence. Fifth Battalion The Rifles currently lead an Armoured Infantry Battlegroup in Estonia, as a Framework Nation for Enhanced Forward Presence. We currently provide Challenger 2, the Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle, and a suite of Armoured capabilities from the UK's Third Division to the multinational presence there. In addition, the UK contributes a Light Cavalry Squadron to the US led Enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup in Poland, currently provided by the Queen's Dragoon Guards and reservists from the Royal Yeomanry.

The UK also makes one of the largest commitments to NATO's high-readiness forces, including the NATO Response Force, the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, and we host the headquarters of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps. NATO's conventional deterrence extends to the enhanced air policing mission and standing maritime groups as well - to which the UK is also a major contributor.


Written Question
Coronavirus: Screening
27 Jan 2021

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what the operational false positive rate for population mass screening was for the last four formal internal quality assurance runs, with the supporting report.

Answer (Jo Churchill)

In the United Kingdom population screening is offered across 11 screening programmes which cover over 30 conditions, as recommended by the UK National Screening Committee. These screening programmes do not report on the false positive rates but do include information where further testing is required.


Written Question
Energy Supply
4 Dec 2020

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many Principal councils are running local electricity schemes.

Answer (Kwasi Kwarteng)

This information is not compiled centrally, but all councils have a role to play in our transition to Net Zero. We are helping them through funding for Public Sector decarbonisation, Heat decarbonisation and support for Electric Vehicle charging.


Written Question
Travellers: Caravan Sites
3 Dec 2020

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, whether an inspector can approve a council policy allowing for traveller site development when the council has concluded that there is no unmet accommodation need in the planning period.

Answer (Christopher Pincher)

The Inspector’s role is to examine whether a submitted plan meets the Tests of Soundness set out in paragraph 35 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and legislative requirements.

The Inspector’s conclusions will be based on a consideration of all the evidence and on the application of professional expertise and judgement.

With regard to traveller sites, as part of this consideration an Inspector will consider plan proposals against policy in the Planning Policy for Traveller Sites (PPTS) and NPPF. The PPTS encourages authorities to identify a 5-year supply of specific, deliverable sites and other developable sites to accommodate growth for years 6-10 and, where possible, years 11-15.


Written Question
Airspace
27 Nov 2020

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to implement the Airspace Modernisation strategy.

Answer (Robert Courts)

The Government recognises that airspace modernisation is an important enabler to allowing us to build back better and to meet out carbon commitment

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

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

My officials have and will continue to work closely with all stakeholders to identify ways forward for the programme, considering all options for the future.


Written Question
Jet Zero Council
27 Nov 2020

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what plans the Jet Zero Council has for airspace modernisation.

Answer (Robert Courts)

At the request of DfT and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the Airspace Change Organisation Group (ACOG) was established in 2019 to coordinate the delivery of key aspects of the Government’s Airspace Modernisation Strategy (AMS), namely the national programme of airspace change amongst major UK airports.

The Jet Zero Council (JZC) will take into account all of the decarbonisation levers available to ensure the sector reaches its net zero goals, including Airspace Modernisation. However, it will be primarily focused on driving forward areas that require further coordination where previously, cross-sectoral collaboration was missing; such as zero emission aerospace technology and sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). Critically, the JZC is not seeking to duplicate areas already progressing, such as an agreement on international emissions, or aviation modernisation which has an existing governance/delivery structures in ACOG.


Written Question
Local Government: Churches
19 Nov 2020

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the effect of the Church of England's statement on Local Authority Investment in Church Property, published March 2018, on his Department's implementation of the (a) Local Government Act 1894 and (b) Local Government Act 1972.

Answer (Luke Hall)

The Government recognises and values the important work which churches carry out for their communities. We would encourage local authorities and churches to work together closely to consider the wishes and priorities of local people, as well as how to make the best use of public resources. It is important to ensure that any additional public funding given to local churches, and any consequences for council tax or precepts are considered carefully given the current financial pressures on local council taxpayers.


Written Question
Buses: Exhaust Emissions
6 Nov 2020

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what progress he has made in delivering the 4,000 zero emission buses announced by the Prime Minister in February 2020.

Answer (Rachel Maclean)

The Government is committed to delivering at least 4,000 zero emission buses. Further details, including government support for the additional costs of purchasing zero emission buses, will be announced after the Spending Review has concluded.


Written Question
Buses: Exhaust Emissions
6 Nov 2020

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he plans to take to support bus operators with the additional costs of purchasing zero emission buses to deliver the Government's policy of 4,000 new zero emission buses.

Answer (Rachel Maclean)

The Government is committed to delivering at least 4,000 zero emission buses. Further details, including government support for the additional costs of purchasing zero emission buses, will be announced after the Spending Review has concluded.


Written Question
Road Traffic Act 2004
13 Oct 2020

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, when part six of the Road Traffic Act 2004 will be implemented.

Answer (Rachel Maclean)

The Department has started discussions with key stakeholders about implementing Part 6 of the Traffic Management 2004 and this will inform the drafting of regulations and statutory guidance. Implementation will require a number of statutory instruments to be made covering matters such as enforcement, level of penalties, approved devices, adjudication, representations and appeals. It is not possible at this stage to say when the powers will be available to local authorities.


Written Question
Internet: Safety
28 Jul 2020

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, when the interim codes of practice will be published under the proposals in the Online Harms White Paper Initial Consultation Response.

Answer (James Brokenshire)

The Government will be publishing interim codes of practice on terrorist use of the internet and child sexual exploitation and abuse (CSEA) as part of the full government response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation. This will ensure that companies are provided with the necessary context to understand the expectations around what companies should do to address CSEA and terrorist content and activity online.

We are currently working swiftly to prepare the interim codes of practice and the full government response to the Online Harms White Paper, which we will publish in the autumn.

We will follow this publication with legislation, when Parliamentary time allow.


Written Question
Pornography: Internet
27 Jul 2020

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether online pornography operators based outside of the UK will be required to meet the requirement to provide a duty of care as proposed in the Online Harms White Paper Initial Consultation Response.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

We published our Online Harms Initial Consultation Response in February this year. Under the new regulatory framework, the duty of care will apply to all companies that provide services which facilitate the sharing of user generated content or user interactions. Where pornography sites have such functionalities (including video and image sharing, commenting and live streaming) they will be subject to the duty of care.

The duty of care will apply to all companies who provide services to UK users. Noting the particularly serious nature of some of the harms in scope and the global nature of many online services, the White Paper proposed that there should be a level playing field between those companies that have a legal presence in the UK, and those that operate from overseas.



Written Question
Pornography: Internet
27 Jul 2020

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what steps online pornography operators must take to protect children from harm under the proposals in the Online Harms White Paper Initial Consultation Response.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

Our Online Harms proposals will deliver a higher level of protection for children than for the typical adult user. As we set out in the initial response to the Online Harms White Paper consultation on 12 February, we expect companies to use a proportionate range of tools, including age assurance and age verification technologies, to prevent children accessing age-inappropriate content such as online pornography, and to protect them from other harms.


Written Question
Internet: Safety
27 Jul 2020

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, when the final Government response to the Online Harms Consultation responses will be published.

Answer (Caroline Dinenage)

The Government is firmly committed to making the UK the safest place to be online, and we are working at pace on our proposals. We will publish a full government response later this year.


Written Question
Overseas Aid: Minority Groups
23 Jul 2020

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department has taken to develop practical programmes of assistance which take into account the specific contexts and needs of vulnerable (a) religious communities and (b) other groups.

Answer (Nigel Adams)

The UK is firmly committed to the protection of ethnic and religious minorities. We work to ensure that the specific contexts and needs of vulnerable religious communities and other vulnerable groups are taken into account when practical programmes of assistance are developed.

DFID undertakes interdisciplinary analysis to ensure that religious groups are factored into all of our country programmes. The situation of minority communities is taken into account when assessing those most in need of protection and assistance. This includes when a community is being targeted or is otherwise vulnerable because of their faith. We actively consult civil society including faith-based organisations to understand how best to support vulnerable groups.

Vulnerable religious minority groups will experience crises such as COVID-19 outbreaks differently. Crises are likely to reinforce their marginalised position in society, their experience of discrimination, violence and stigma, and further limit their access to essential support and services. For this reason, guidance was circulated across DFID highlighting that inclusion must be central to our response and the specific contexts and needs of vulnerable religious communities and other vulnerable groups should be taken into account when developing practical programmes of assistance.

On 8 June, Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister of State responsible for Human Rights, hosted a roundtable to hear from faith leaders and faith-based development organisations about the specific challenges minority faith communities are facing during this COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to work closely with partners to ensure that vulnerable religious communities and other vulnerable groups are being supported through our programming.


Written Question
Air Pollution: Coronavirus
3 Jul 2020

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when he plans to publish the Air Quality Expert Group review of air pollution during the covid-19 lockdown period.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

The Air Quality Expert Group Report entitled "Estimation of changes in air pollution emissions, concentrations and exposure during the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK" was published on 1 July and is available on Defra’s UK-Air website: https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/library/reports.php?report_id=1005.


Written Question
Public Sector: Recruitment
22 Jun 2020

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, whether the Government (a) practices and (b) encourages the public sector to practice name blind recruitment; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Chloe Smith)

'Anonymised' recruitment (where candidates' personal details are removed from the application form prior to shortlisting) is considered the "default" for external Civil Service recruitment.


Written Question
Home Education: Standards
12 May 2020

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department makes of parents's competence in (a) reading, (b) writing and (c) mathematics in relation to home schooling; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (Nick Gibb)

The Department has made no such assessment. The Government does not expect parents to act as teachers or to provide the activities and feedback that a school or nursery would. Parents and carers should do their best to help children and support their education while dealing with other demands. We have issued information, guidance and support to parents and carers of children who are learning from home, which is available at:
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/supporting-your-childrens-education-during-coronavirus-covid-19.


Written Question
Gaza: Israel
17 Mar 2020

Questioner: Andrew Selous

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps he has taken in relation to the shooting of civilians across the Gaza border by the Israel Defence Forces; and if he will make a statement.

Answer (James Cleverly)

The Government is very concerned at the high numbers of Palestinians killed by Israel Defense Forces in the West Bank and Gaza. We have repeatedly made clear to Israel our longstanding concerns about the manner in which the Israel Defense Forces police the border areas, including the use of live ammunition. We call on Israel to adhere to the principles of necessity and proportionality when defending its legitimate security interest. We also encourage them to carry out transparent investigations into whether the use of live fire had been appropriate. We did so most recently at the UN Security Council on 21 January.