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Written Question
Cabinet Office: Research
12 Apr 2021

Questioner: Lord Shinkwin

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what is the average cost of literature reviews commissioned by the Cabinet Office.

Answer (Lord True)

This information is not held centrally.


Written Question
Veterans: Mental Health Services
9 Apr 2021

Questioner: Lord Hay of Ballyore

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the effectiveness of mental health support services provided for armed forces veterans.

Answer (Lord True)

All of NHS England’s commissioned services for veterans are evidence based, having been developed and delivered from intensive engagement with experts, members of the armed forces community and service charities. NHS England and NHS Improvement assesses need based on a variety of published data, research output and consultation and engagement exercises. As a result of these assessments, the Government and NHS England recently announced Op COURAGE: The Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service, which will ensure veterans know where to go for help. Op COURAGE combines three bespoke veterans’ mental health services to provide a complete mental health care pathway for veterans, with individuals benefiting from personalised care plans, ensuring they can access support and treatment both in and out of hours.

For veteran specific mental health services, in 2020-2021 NHS England provided £16.5m, which will be increased to £17.8m for 2021-2022.

Service charities are supported by the Government through the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, which benefits from £10m annually, and in both years an additional £10m has been allocated to support veterans’ mental health needs. During 2020, the COVID-19 Impact Fund has provided nearly £6m in grants to over 100 Armed Forces charities across the United Kingdom. Of the charities awarded funding, 68% of grants sampled supported members of the Armed Forces and veterans’ community for mental health and crisis support, and 77% for easing isolation and loneliness.


Written Question
National Identity
6 Apr 2021

Questioner: George Howarth

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, if he will publish the Government's policy on what constitutes British values; and what mechanisms are in place to ensure that such values are taken into account when developing Government policy.

Answer (Julia Lopez)

The British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect and tolerance are a fundamental part of the work of Government. Ministers are accountable to Parliament for the policies, decisions and actions of their departments and agencies.


Written Question
10 Downing Street: Iron and Steel
1 Apr 2021

Questioner: Jessica Morden

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what records his Department holds on the use of UK-produced steel in the construction of the briefing room in 10 Downing Street.

Answer (Julia Lopez)

A briefing room has not been constructed in 10 Downing Street, therefore we do not hold the information requested. The Government is establishing facilities within 9 Downing Street which will be used for daily broadcasting by a number of news organisations, therefore I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to PQ 169917 on 22 March 2021.


Written Question
UK Trade with EU: Exports
1 Apr 2021

Questioner: Bill Esterson

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent representations he has received on (a) delays and (b) no delivery of goods exported to EU member states.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

Lord Frost, the Minister of State regularly meets business representatives, including through the Brexit Business Taskforce, and hears representations on the full range of challenges faced by business in adapting to the end of the Transition Period.

The TCA provides tariff-free and quota-free trade of all goods between the UK and EU. We have received some examples of delays in goods being cleared by different Member States. Officials are working closely with Member State officials, businesses and their representatives to understand the reason for any delays or refusal of goods so that issues can be resolved and goods can move freely.


Written Question
Public Sector: Gender
31 Mar 2021

Questioner: Baroness Noakes

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the declaration in the Order of Consent following the judicial review proceedings brought by Fair Play for Women against the UK Statistics Authority, what plans they have to review how (1) government departments, and (2) public sector bodies, use the word “sex”.

Answer (Lord True)

In the proceedings brought by Fair Play for Women in relation to the sex question guidance in Census 2021 in England and Wales, the claimant’s solicitors named the Minister for the Cabinet Office as an interested party. The Cabinet Office considered this appropriate as the department responsible for the census legislation.

The legal costs have not yet been fully determined for the above proceedings.

The Order made by the court, in the case referenced above specifically related to the census legislation. The court made a distinction between a person’s sex as recognised by law and the gender with which a person self-identifies. HM Government will note this more broadly, and reflect on whether further guidance for government departments and public bodies is required.

HM Government also recognises the importance of accurate data collection.

HM Government has monitored progress of Census 2021 through regular engagement with the Cabinet Office, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority and HM Treasury. The Government is confident that Census 2021 will be successful and provide a wealth of data reflecting the society we live in today.


Written Question
Census: Judicial Review
31 Mar 2021

Questioner: Baroness Noakes

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government why the Minister for the Cabinet Office was listed as an interested party in the judicial review proceedings brought by Fair Play for Women against the UK Statistics Authority in relation to the 2021 census.

Answer (Lord True)

In the proceedings brought by Fair Play for Women in relation to the sex question guidance in Census 2021 in England and Wales, the claimant’s solicitors named the Minister for the Cabinet Office as an interested party. The Cabinet Office considered this appropriate as the department responsible for the census legislation.

The legal costs have not yet been fully determined for the above proceedings.

The Order made by the court, in the case referenced above specifically related to the census legislation. The court made a distinction between a person’s sex as recognised by law and the gender with which a person self-identifies. HM Government will note this more broadly, and reflect on whether further guidance for government departments and public bodies is required.

HM Government also recognises the importance of accurate data collection.

HM Government has monitored progress of Census 2021 through regular engagement with the Cabinet Office, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority and HM Treasury. The Government is confident that Census 2021 will be successful and provide a wealth of data reflecting the society we live in today.


Written Question
Census: Judicial Review
31 Mar 2021

Questioner: Baroness Noakes

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what costs were incurred by (1) the UK Statistics Authority, and (2) the Cabinet Office, in the judicial review proceedings against the UK Statistics Authority brought by Fair Play for Women in relation to the 2021 census.

Answer (Lord True)

In the proceedings brought by Fair Play for Women in relation to the sex question guidance in Census 2021 in England and Wales, the claimant’s solicitors named the Minister for the Cabinet Office as an interested party. The Cabinet Office considered this appropriate as the department responsible for the census legislation.

The legal costs have not yet been fully determined for the above proceedings.

The Order made by the court, in the case referenced above specifically related to the census legislation. The court made a distinction between a person’s sex as recognised by law and the gender with which a person self-identifies. HM Government will note this more broadly, and reflect on whether further guidance for government departments and public bodies is required.

HM Government also recognises the importance of accurate data collection.

HM Government has monitored progress of Census 2021 through regular engagement with the Cabinet Office, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority and HM Treasury. The Government is confident that Census 2021 will be successful and provide a wealth of data reflecting the society we live in today.


Written Question
Veterans: Asbestos
31 Mar 2021

Questioner: Stephen Morgan

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what recent assessment he has made of the number of veterans that have developed lung cancer as a result of their exposure to asbestos.

Answer (Johnny Mercer)

As I stated in my answer given to the hon. Member on 11 January 2021, the MOD’s Health Safety and Environmental Protection directorate, alongside the Defence People function will work with the Office for Veterans’ Affairs to explore potential health issues related to exposure to asbestos during service, and to continue to coordinate MOD's asbestos management approach. Claims for compensation in respect of injuries or illnesses arising as a result of service can be made by veterans through the Ministry of Defence.


Written Question
Government Departments: Procurement
31 Mar 2021

Questioner: Fleur Anderson

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, what steps he is taking to incorporate workplace rights and protections into Government procurement policy.

Answer (Julia Lopez)

Regulation 32 of the Public Contracts Regulations 2015 sets out the grounds in which contracting authorities can procure goods, services and works with extreme urgency in exceptional circumstances. In our recently published Green Paper, we have set out our proposals to clarify these rules, learning from the experience in the pandemic.

The process of implementing the Boardman recommendations began immediately, and the programme is being assured by the Cabinet Office Audit and Risk Committee. We committed to provide an update on implementation six months after publication.

All G-Cloud suppliers must publicly show their security certifications, standards and approach to personnel security on the Digital Marketplace. Suppliers must also maintain physical and IT security that follows good industry practice to ensure there is no unauthorised access to any confidential information and data. Along with this, suppliers must inform Crown Commercial Service of any data breaches within 48 hours and Crown Commercial Service has the power to undertake security audits of suppliers.

Transforming Government Procurement will make it easier to take into account issues relating to workplace rights and protections through aligning the value for money definition with that of the Green Book, and removing in certain circumstances the need for wider policy considerations to be linked to the subject matter of the contract.


Written Question
Public Sector: Gender
31 Mar 2021

Questioner: Baroness Noakes

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to issue guidance to (1) the Civil Service, and (2) public bodies, to ensure that consultations on policies or practices in relation to sex and gender receive responses from a broad range of respondents.

Answer (Lord True)

In the proceedings brought by Fair Play for Women in relation to the sex question guidance in Census 2021 in England and Wales, the claimant’s solicitors named the Minister for the Cabinet Office as an interested party. The Cabinet Office considered this appropriate as the department responsible for the census legislation.

The legal costs have not yet been fully determined for the above proceedings.

The Order made by the court, in the case referenced above specifically related to the census legislation. The court made a distinction between a person’s sex as recognised by law and the gender with which a person self-identifies. HM Government will note this more broadly, and reflect on whether further guidance for government departments and public bodies is required.

HM Government also recognises the importance of accurate data collection.

HM Government has monitored progress of Census 2021 through regular engagement with the Cabinet Office, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority and HM Treasury. The Government is confident that Census 2021 will be successful and provide a wealth of data reflecting the society we live in today.


Written Question
Census: Gender
31 Mar 2021

Questioner: Baroness Noakes

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the conduct of (1) the UK Statistics Authority, and (2) the National Statistician, in relation to the determination of how questions on sex in the 2021 census and the related guidance were framed.

Answer (Lord True)

In the proceedings brought by Fair Play for Women in relation to the sex question guidance in Census 2021 in England and Wales, the claimant’s solicitors named the Minister for the Cabinet Office as an interested party. The Cabinet Office considered this appropriate as the department responsible for the census legislation.

The legal costs have not yet been fully determined for the above proceedings.

The Order made by the court, in the case referenced above specifically related to the census legislation. The court made a distinction between a person’s sex as recognised by law and the gender with which a person self-identifies. HM Government will note this more broadly, and reflect on whether further guidance for government departments and public bodies is required.

HM Government also recognises the importance of accurate data collection.

HM Government has monitored progress of Census 2021 through regular engagement with the Cabinet Office, the Infrastructure and Projects Authority and HM Treasury. The Government is confident that Census 2021 will be successful and provide a wealth of data reflecting the society we live in today.


Written Question
UK Internal Trade: Northern Ireland
30 Mar 2021

Questioner: Lord Field of Birkenhead

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to applying the freedom of goods rules in the United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020 to Northern Ireland in full.

Answer (Lord Frost)

The UK Government is unequivocal in its commitment for unfettered access for Northern Ireland goods moving to the rest of the UK market. The UK Internal Market Act 2020 put in place significant and robust protections for this regime for the long-term, prohibiting checks and controls on qualifying Northern Ireland goods moving to Great Britain, and enabling these goods to be placed on the GB market without additional requirements.

We have always recognised that there are some additional processes on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. In line with our pragmatic and proportionate approach, we have, and will, continue to give these effects in a way which takes full account of all flexibilities and discretion, maintaining the effective flow of goods on which lives and livelihoods rely.


Written Question
Weddings: Coronavirus
30 Mar 2021

Questioner: Caroline Lucas

Question

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what comparative assessment his Department has made of the covid-19 risk from wedding ceremonies in (a) permitted places of worship and some public buildings from 12 April 2021 and (b) outdoor wedding ceremony venues.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

In the COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021, the Government has set out the gradual and cautious approach to reopening different sectors in England, guided by science and the data.

We understand the unique significance that marriages and civil partnerships hold in people’s lives, but we have to take necessary steps to limit transmission of COVID-19. This includes restrictions on wedding and civil partnership ceremonies, as well as other forms of social contact. By their very nature, weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are events that bring families and friends together, making them particularly vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19.

Alternative wedding ceremonies are permitted in line with the regular wedding or civil partnership rules, in the same locations, at each step.

From 29 March, wedding and civil partnership ceremonies can take place indoors or outdoors in COVID-Secure venues that are not expressly closed by the Regulations, or where a broader exemption applies. Only six people are permitted to attend until Step 2, when limits will increase to 15. This approach allows couples to marry in legally binding licensed venues for wedding ceremonies (where outdoor options are limited) while remaining in line with the reopening of sectors and venues as set out in the roadmap. Wedding ceremonies should follow government guidance to reduce the risk of transmission.

Receptions (of up to 15 people) can resume from Step 2. The evidence shows that it is safer for people to meet outdoors rather than indoors. That is why receptions are only permitted outdoors at this Step and should be in a COVID-Secure venue.

From Step 3, no earlier than 17 May 2021, weddings and civil partnership ceremonies are permitted for up to 30 people in COVID-Secure venues that are not required to close, or where a broader exemption applies. Receptions can also proceed with up to 30 people in a COVID-Secure indoor venue, or outdoors, which includes private gardens.

Guidance for wedding and civil partnership receptions and celebrations can be found here - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships/covid-19-guidance-for-wedding-and-civil-partnership-receptions-and-celebrations

At each step, the limits on the number of attendees includes children of all ages, but not workers.


For further information, please refer to the guidance for small marriages and civil partnerships - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships/covid-19-guidance-for-small-marriages-and-civil-partnerships


Written Question
Caravan Sites and Holiday Accommodation: Coronavirus
30 Mar 2021

Questioner: Christopher Chope

Question

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, with reference to Step two of the Government's guidance, Covid-19 Response-Spring 2021, published on 22 February 2021, whether touring caravans and motor homes will be allowed to access supplies of fresh water and waste disposal facilities at camp sites during that stage; whether self-contained holiday accommodation with more than one bedroom can be occupied by members of two households during that stage; and what assessment he made of the relative risk posed to public health arising from those different options.

Answer (Penny Mordaunt)

Self contained accommodation is defined as accommodation in which facilities (kitchens, sleeping areas, and indoor lobbies, lifts, staircases, and internal corridors for entry and exit), are exclusive to a single households/support bubbles.

Self-contained accommodation can open at Step 2, not before 12 April. Campsites and caravan parks may also open at Step 2 provided that the only shared facilities used by guests are washing facilities, toilets, water points and waste disposal points. Where it is reasonably possible to do so, access to bathing facilities and water points should be operated on a rota basis as was previously the case last summer.

The scientific evidence shows that opening too early or too quickly risks a further lockdown. Therefore, we committed to a phased reopening of accomodation prioritising settings that are self contained to allow individual households (including support bubbles where eligible) to visit these settings at Step 2 whilst reducing the risk of household mixing.