Wales Office

The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales supports the Welsh Secretary and the Parliamentary Under Secretaries of State in promoting the best interests of Wales within a stronger United Kingdom. It ensures Welsh interests are represented at the heart of the UK Government and the UK Government’s responsibilities are represented in Wales.



Secretary of State

 Portrait

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales

Shadow Ministers / Spokeperson
Liberal Democrat
Wendy Chamberlain (LDEM - North East Fife)
Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Wales)

Labour
Jo Stevens (LAB - Cardiff Central)
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales

Liberal Democrat
Baroness Humphreys (LDEM - Life peer)
Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Wales)

Labour
Baroness Wilcox of Newport (LAB - Life peer)
Shadow Spokesperson (Wales)

Scottish National Party
Richard Thomson (SNP - Gordon)
Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Wales)
Junior Shadow Ministers / Deputy Spokesperson
Labour
Gerald Jones (LAB - Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney)
Shadow Minister (Wales)
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries of State
David T C Davies (CON - Monmouth)
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Wales Office)
Scheduled Event
Wednesday 26th January 2022
09:30
Welsh Affairs Committee - Private Meeting - Select & Joint Committees
26 Jan 2022, 9:30 a.m.

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Scheduled Event
Wednesday 9th February 2022
11:30
Wales Office
Oral questions - Main Chamber
9 Feb 2022, 11:30 a.m.
Wales
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Debates
Tuesday 18th January 2022
Select Committee Docs
Wednesday 19th January 2022
00:00
Select Committee Inquiry
Wednesday 21st July 2021
The economic and cultural impacts of trade and environmental policy on family farms in Wales

The Welsh Affairs Committee is conducting a short inquiry to explore the impact of major policy changes (particularly, but not …

Written Answers
Thursday 20th January 2022
Television Licences: Wales
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the impact of …
Secondary Legislation
Monday 14th December 2020
Government of Wales Act 2006 (Amendment) Order 2021
This Order amends Schedules 7A and 7B to the Government of Wales Act 2006 (c. 32) (“the 2006 Act”). It …
Bills
Tuesday 7th June 2016
Wales Act 2017
A Bill to amend the Government of Wales Act 2006 and the Wales Act 2014 and to make provision about …
Dept. Publications
Thursday 13th January 2022
14:38
Treaty
None available

Wales Office Commons Appearances

Oral Answers to Questions is a regularly scheduled appearance where the Secretary of State and junior minister will answer at the Dispatch Box questions from backbench MPs

Other Commons Chamber appearances can be:
  • Urgent Questions where the Speaker has selected a question to which a Minister must reply that day
  • Adjornment Debates a 30 minute debate attended by a Minister that concludes the day in Parliament.
  • Oral Statements informing the Commons of a significant development, where backbench MP's can then question the Minister making the statement.

Westminster Hall debates are performed in response to backbench MPs or e-petitions asking for a Minister to address a detailed issue

Written Statements are made when a current event is not sufficiently significant to require an Oral Statement, but the House is required to be informed.

Most Recent Commons Appearances by Category
Nov. 17
Oral Questions
Jul. 14
Westminster Hall
View All Wales Office Commons Contibutions

Bills currently before Parliament

Wales Office does not have Bills currently before Parliament


Acts of Parliament created in the 2019 Parliament

Wales Office has not passed any Acts during the 2019 Parliament

Wales Office - Secondary Legislation

This Order amends Schedules 7A and 7B to the Government of Wales Act 2006 (c. 32) (“the 2006 Act”). It comes into force on the day after the day on which the Order is made. The provisions fall into three categories.
View All Wales Office Secondary Legislation

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).

Trending Petitions
Petition Open
3,592 Signatures
(225 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
19 Signatures
(None in the last 7 days)
Petitions with most signatures
Petition Open
3,592 Signatures
(225 in the last 7 days)
Petition Open
19 Signatures
(None in the last 7 days)
Wales Office has not participated in any petition debates
View All Wales Office Petitions

Departmental Select Committee

Welsh Affairs Committee

Commons Select Committees are a formally established cross-party group of backbench MPs tasked with holding a Government department to account.

At any time there will be number of ongoing investigations into the work of the Department, or issues which fall within the oversight of the Department. Witnesses can be summoned from within the Government and outside to assist in these inquiries.

Select Committee findings are reported to the Commons, printed, and published on the Parliament website. The government then usually has 60 days to reply to the committee's recommendations.


11 Members of the Welsh Affairs Committee
Stephen Crabb Portrait
Stephen Crabb (Conservative - Preseli Pembrokeshire)
Welsh Affairs Committee Chair since 27th January 2020
Beth Winter Portrait
Beth Winter (Labour - Cynon Valley)
Welsh Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Jamie Wallis Portrait
Jamie Wallis (Conservative - Bridgend)
Welsh Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Rob Roberts Portrait
Rob Roberts (Independent - Delyn)
Welsh Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Robin Millar Portrait
Robin Millar (Conservative - Aberconwy)
Welsh Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Ben Lake Portrait
Ben Lake (Plaid Cymru - Ceredigion)
Welsh Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Geraint Davies Portrait
Geraint Davies (Labour (Co-op) - Swansea West)
Welsh Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Virginia Crosbie Portrait
Virginia Crosbie (Conservative - Ynys Môn)
Welsh Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Simon Baynes Portrait
Simon Baynes (Conservative - Clwyd South)
Welsh Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Tonia Antoniazzi Portrait
Tonia Antoniazzi (Labour - Gower)
Welsh Affairs Committee Member since 2nd March 2020
Ruth Jones Portrait
Ruth Jones (Labour - Newport West)
Welsh Affairs Committee Member since 15th June 2020
Welsh Affairs Committee: Upcoming Events
Welsh Affairs Committee - Private Meeting
26 Jan 2022, 9:30 a.m.
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50 most recent Written Questions

(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

17th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the impact of freezing the BBC licence fee until April 2024 on the people of (a) Newport West constituency and (b) Wales.

Under the new licence fee settlement, the fee will remain at £159 until April 2024 and then rise in line with inflation for the following four years. Television is important to people across the UK, including those in Newport West and Wales as a whole. This settlement shields licence fee payers from the current inflationary pressures for the next two years, while providing billions of pounds and secure funding for the BBC for the next six years. This settlement strikes the right balance between protecting households and allowing broadcasters to deliver their vital public responsibilities, while also encouraging them to make further savings and efficiencies.

The licence fee offers a strong settlement for S4C, providing £88.8 million per annum for the first two years, then rising in line with inflation thereafter. This includes a new commitment of £7.5 million per annum to support S4C’s digital development, ensuring S4C’s offering remains sustainable in the digital age. Overall, this settlement delivers a 9% increase in funding for S4C following a five-year funding freeze.

As the only Welsh language broadcaster, S4C is vital to the people of Newport West and Wales overall, and this settlement will enable S4C to continue to reach more Welsh language speakers, including younger audiences, and contributes to the UK Government’s commitment to support the ambition of 1 million Welsh speakers by 2050.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
14th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to the Answer of 17 December 2021 to Question 90819, on Wales Office: Official Hospitality, how many members of staff were working in the departmental building on (a) 5 November 2020 and 1 December 2020 and (b) 16 December 2020 and 22 February 2021.

The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales holds only time-limited, office-wide data for the number of staff working in its departmental buildings. The data does not extend back to the dates requested

Our staff follow relevant Covid-19 guidance when working in the office, including on social distancing.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
11th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, whether his Department has held (a) any financial or consultancy contracts and (b) meetings with representatives of (i) Clifford Chance LLP, (ii) FTI Consulting and (iii) Fenchurch Advisory Partners in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales has not held any financial or consultancy contracts or meetings with representatives of Clifford Chance LLP, FTI Consulting or Fenchurch Advisory Partners in any of the last five years.

David T C Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Wales Office)
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on how people in (a) Newport West constituency and (b) Wales can benefit from trade agreements signed by the Government.

I regularly meet with my ministerial colleagues to discuss a range of topics, including our future trade agreements. This includes the quarterly Inter-Ministerial Trade Advisory Groups, in addition to regular bi-lateral meetings.

Leaving the EU has given us the ability to strike our own trade deals, creating new opportunities for our excellent businesses in Wales to trade internationally. The Australia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is the first we have negotiated from scratch since leaving the EU and shows what we are capable of as a sovereign trading nation. This trade deal can boost Wales’ economy by around £60 million. We have further achieved an agreement in Principle with New Zealand, and through this Welsh automotive companies will benefit from the removal of tariffs of up to 10% and build on their £3.4m of exports to New Zealand in 2020.

Further trade agreements in the pipeline include agreements with India, the US, Gulf Co-Operation Council, along with the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Joining CPTPP puts us into the dynamic economies of the Pacific region, with UK exports to current CPTPP countries already set to increase by 65% by 2030, equating to £37 billion for the UK as whole.

In addition to this, we are also renegotiating FTAs with Canada and Mexico later in the year to build on our existing bilateral trade relationship with these countries. These exciting trade deals will open up new markets to Welsh businesses and create exciting new export opportunities.

Businesses across Wales and the UK have the ability to seize the opportunities provided by these trade agreements, and the UK Government will continue to support businesses to achieve their trading potential. To support this vision, the UK Government has announced its new Export Strategy called ‘Made in the UK, Sold to the World’, with the aim of helping UK businesses hit £1 trillion in exports. This twelve-point strategy includes support for businesses through the UK Export Academy, UK Export Finance, and a new UK Tradeshow Programme, all designed to provide UK businesses with the tools they need to promote and export their products abroad, and help the UK become a nation of exporters.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
12th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what assessment he has made of the potential benefits to Wales of writing the Common Travel Area into domestic UK law.

The Common Travel Area (CTA) is an administrative arrangement between the UK and Ireland, as well as the Isle of Man, Guernsey and Jersey.

It allows British and Irish citizens to travel freely between the UK and Ireland and reside in either jurisdiction. It also facilitates the enjoyment of associated rights and privileges including the right to work, to study and to access social security benefits and health services. We have always been clear on the shared commitment to protect the rights of our citizens in each other’s state, and this is already underpinned by domestic legislation, and will be updated as necessary, to ensure that the agreed CTA rights and privileges are properly reflected and Wales as part of the UK would continue to benefit from the CTA.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the Welsh farming industry on the effect of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement on their ability to operate.

I regularly meet with various representatives from across the farming sector in Wales. I met with the President of NFU England and Wales in December 2021 and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State attended the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in November 2021, where he met with various representatives from the farming unions in Wales.

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement maintains zero tariffs and zero quotas on trade in goods between the UK and EU. It provides for ongoing cooperation regarding public, animal and plant health, whilst limiting technical barriers to trade and maintaining full control over our domestic regimes.

With EU Exit, new trading opportunities have opened up, and the UK Government continues to support businesses – including those in the Welsh farming sector – to achieve their trading potential. The UK Government is supporting farming businesses to seize new global export opportunities and is working in lockstep with partners like the NFU and the Food and Drink Federation to deliver tailored support on the ground for Welsh farmers in the wake of EU Exit.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what the floor area of his Department's estate was in each year from 2010-11 to 2020-21.

The floor area of the Office of the Secretary of Wales’ estate between 2010-11 to 2020-21 was

Reporting period

Total Net Internal Floor Area (m2) *

2010: 31/12//10

1,106

2011: 01/01/11

1,106

2012: 01/01/12

1,106

2013: 01/01/13

1,106

2013-14

1,141

2014-15

1,141

2015-16

1,141

2016-17

1,141

2017-18

1,141

2018-19

1,141

2019-20

1,141

2020-21

1,141

* The floor area is taken from the “State of the Estate Reports” which are laid in Parliament and provide an annual summary of the central government estate.

David T C Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Wales Office)
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the removal of free TV licences for people aged over 75 on people affected by that change in (a) Newport West constituency and (b) Wales.

The Government recognises the value of free TV licences for over-75s and believes they should be funded by the BBC. Television is important to people of all ages, particularly for older people across the UK, including those in Newport West and Wales as a whole, who may value television as a way to stay connected with the world.

The Digital Economy Act 2017 provides that the future of the licence fee concession is the responsibility of the BBC, not the government. The BBC must look at how it uses its substantial licence fee income to support older people. The BBC must also ensure it provides support to those affected by its decision on the over-75s concession and we expect them to do so with the utmost sensitivity.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what recent discussions he has had with the Welsh Government on the Afghan citizens resettlement scheme.

Representatives from across Government, including the Minister for Afghan Resettlement, meet frequently with colleagues in the Welsh Government and across the Devolved Administrations to update them on the resettlement of Afghans in the UK.

Through the Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme, the government will resettle up to 20,000 people over the coming years, and will prioritise those who have assisted the UK efforts in Afghanistan and stood up for values such as democracy, women’s rights, freedom of speech, and the rule of law, as well as vulnerable people, including women and girls at risk, and members of minority groups at risk (including ethnic and religious minorities and LGBT+).

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the Welsh fishing industry on the effect of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement on their ability to operate.

I have regular discussion with representatives from various stakeholders in relation to UK-EU trade. My officials have also met with representatives from the Welsh fishing industry.

The UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) upholds UK sovereignty, protects our rights as an independent coastal state and takes back control of our waters. Throughout the five and a half year adjustment period, the UK Government will invest in fishing communities, and will do everything it can to rebuild the industry after more than forty years of being bound to the Common Fisheries Policy.

Furthermore, the UK Government has gone well beyond its manifesto commitment to replace EU funding, by investing an additional £100 million through the UK-wide UK Seafood Fund (UKSF). A year on from the TCA, a positive picture is emerging for the fishing industry. The UKSF is tangible evidence of the UK Government’s commitment to Wales’ fishing industry and ensuring that it has a sustainable and prosperous future.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
6th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect of a failure to reach agreement with the EU on the Northern Ireland protocol on trade between Wales and Northern Ireland.

The Government is monitoring and assessing these critical trade routes between Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland and the rest of the UK. Ministers meet regularly to discuss such matters, to ensure effective implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and support the implementation of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

Our overall aim is to re-negotiate the Northern Ireland Protocol and any solution must respect the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. We have worked hard, and in good faith, to make the Protocol work, while the EU finally acknowledged in October that the operation of the Northern Ireland Protocol is causing problems for people and businesses. Our preference is to reach a comprehensive solution dealing with all the issues now.

We want a positive relationship with the EU, underpinned by trade and our shared belief in freedom and democracy. Resolving the current issues is critical to unleashing that potential.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what discussions he has had with the Welsh Government on the support required by the hospitality sector in Newport West constituency following the rise in the number of positive omicron covid-19 cases.

My ministerial colleagues and I have regular discussions with the Welsh Government on a range of topics, including the rise in the number of positive Omicron and Covid-19 cases. The UK Government is closely monitoring the impact of the virus on the economy.

I am pleased that the Welsh Government has followed the UK Government’s lead in offering business rate relief to support the hospitality sector, as announced by the Chancellor at the Budget in October. We have supported Welsh businesses and people throughout the pandemic, this includes the provision of £1.1 billion through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, £2.4 billion in business support loans and 474,000 employees supported through the furlough scheme.

The Welsh Government has also benefitted from an extra £3.8 billion of Barnett-based funding during this financial year – taking total block grant funding for the Welsh Government in 2021-22 to £19.3 billion that can be used to support Welsh Businesses. We have further confirmed £270 million the Welsh Government can spend in advance of budgets being finalised at Supplementary Estimates, to support the vaccine roll out and ongoing Covid-19 response in Wales.

Furthermore, the UK Government has reintroduced the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to help small and medium-sized employers cover the cost of Covid-related sick absences, covering up to two weeks per employee. This is in addition to a reduced VAT rate until the end of March 2022 for tourism and hospitality businesses, helping to support around 150,000 businesses, as well as continued access to the Recovery Loan Scheme until June 2022.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
16th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, whether he has made an assessment of the support required by businesses in Newport West constituency following the rise in the number of positive omicron covid-19 cases.

The UK Government is committed to supporting Welsh businesses and continues to assess what support is needed as a result of Covid-19. This includes the provision of £1.1 billion through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, £2.4 billion in business support loans, and 474,000 employees supported through the furlough scheme.

The Welsh Government has also benefitted from an extra £3.8 billion of Barnett-based funding during this financial year – taking total block grant funding for the Welsh Government in 2021-22 to £19.3 billion that can be used to support Welsh Businesses. A further £270 million has been confirmed, which the Welsh Government can spend in advance of budgets being finalised at Supplementary Estimates, to support the vaccine roll out and ongoing Covid-19 response in Wales.

Furthermore, the UK Government has reintroduced the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme to help small and medium-sized employers cover the cost of Covid-related sick absences, covering up to two weeks per employee.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what recent assessment the Government has made of the contribution of the steel industry in Wales to the UK economy.

The UK Government recognises the importance of the steel industry in Wales and the UK. This House only needs to look at the £30 million loan we secured for Celsa to see our commitment to the sector. Our response during the pandemic helped secure more than 1,000 steel jobs.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what recent assessment he has made of the potential effect on the Welsh lamb industry of the end of US restrictions on the import of British lamb.

The lifting of this ban is fantastic news and brings Welsh farmers one step closer to putting their first-class lamb on US menus for the first time in 20 years.

Farmers will now be able to reach a new market of over 300 million people. This win will support vital jobs and growth in Wales.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of devolving control of the Crown Estate in Wales to the Welsh Government.

Effective working relationships already exist between the Crown Estate and the Welsh Government.

There is no public appetite at all in Wales to devolve the Crown Estate, which would serve merely to fragment the market and delay the further development of key projects in Wales.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
5th Jan 2022
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, if he will hold discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on support for (a) businesses and (b) people affected by the outbreak of the covid-19 omicron variant in Wales.

The UK Government has supported Welsh businesses and people throughout the pandemic, including providing £1.1bn through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, £2.4bn in business support loans, and supported 475,000 employees through the furlough scheme.

We have further confirmed £270m the Welsh Government can spend in advance of budgets being finalised at Supplementary Estimates.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
14th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, if he will make an assessment of the effect of the Human Rights Act 1998 on people in (a) Newport West and (b) Wales.

The Government fully supports the fundamental rights as set out in the European Convention for Human Rights. The framework for the application of human rights in Wales and across the UK – through the Human Rights Act 1998 – has however proved flawed. We are therefore consulting on proposals for a Bill of Rights that will protect people’s fundamental rights whilst safeguarding the broader public interest and respecting the will of elected representatives in Parliament. We are seeking views from across the UK, including on how our reforms can best reflect the different interests, histories and legal traditions of all parts of the UK.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
10th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, whether any social events took place between three or more people within his Departmental buildings between (a) 5 November 2020 and 1 December 2020 and (b) 16 December 2020 and 22 February 2021.

This information is not collected. At the time, staff were expected to work from home and undertake meetings remotely, wherever possible.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
6th Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what assessment he has made of the health of birds in Wales following the discovery of bird flu in Northern Ireland.

This is a devolved matter, however, the UK Government works with the devolved administrations to seek a coordinated response wherever possible to control disease. In November, the Chief Veterinary Officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland worked together to bring in an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone (AIPZ) across Great Britain on 3 November 2021, and in Northern Ireland on 17 November 2021, with additional housing measures coming into force across the UK on 29 November 2021. These measures were introduced to protect poultry and captive birds from avian influenza following a number of confirmed cases across Great Britain and means it a legal requirement for all bird keepers across the UK (whether they have pet birds, commercial flocks or just a few birds in a backyard flock) to keep their birds indoors and follow strict biosecurity measures to limit the spread of avian influenza.

All four administrations are an integral part of the UK-wide decision-making processes. All attend the Defra Group’s National Disease Control Centre meetings, are members of the Animal Disease Policy Group (ADPG) and participate in daily stocktakes to review on-going disease control strategy. Decisions on disease control measures, made through these groups, are based on risk assessments containing the latest scientific and ornithological evidence and veterinary advice.

The risk of incursion of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5 in wild birds is currently assessed as very high for England and high for Wales and Scotland for wild birds. The risk of poultry exposure to HPAI H5 across Great Britain is currently assessed as medium where good biosecurity is applied at poultry premises, but high where there are substantial biosecurity breaches and poor biosecurity. If, however, stringent biosecurity is in place at poultry premises the risk would be low for these premises.

All bird keepers are encouraged to maintain high standards of biosecurity as good practice for the health of their birds, and that good biosecurity is an essential defence against diseases such as avian influenza and is key to limiting the spread of avian influenza in any potential outbreak.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
1st Dec 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what recent assessment he has made of the sustainability of trade between Wales and (a) Ireland and (b) Northern Ireland.

There has been a notable recovery in Great Britain (GB) trade with Ireland throughout 2021, with the latest September statistics showing a 118% increase for GB exports and a 48% increase for imports compared to January 2021.

Ministers meet regularly to monitor and assess the critical trade routes between Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland and the rest of the UK, to ensure effective implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and support the implementation of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

We will continue to help businesses get the support they need to trade effectively with Europe, including running export helplines such as the Export Support Service and webinars with experts, providing financial support to SMEs, and delaying the introduction of full import controls.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
24th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what recent discussions he has had with the Welsh Government on the Windrush Compensation Scheme.

UK Government is in regular engagement with the Welsh Government on a wide range of subjects, including the Windrush Compensation Scheme.

Home Office officials wrote to the Devolved Administrations, including the Welsh Government, to inform them of significant changes we made to the Windrush Compensation Scheme in December. Home Office officials have also engaged with the Welsh Government to encourage the promotion of engagement events the UK Government has held in Swansea, Newport and Cardiff.

The Government also raised awareness of the Windrush Schemes through the national advertising campaign, launched in August 2020, which included radio stations, digital channels and local press in Wales. Campaign materials were also made available in Welsh.

In addition, the Windrush Community Fund, which is a £500k fund to promote awareness of Windrush Schemes to affected communities, was promoted across the UK, including in Wales. The UK Government awarded over £24,000 in funding to Butetown Community Association who are a longstanding organisation in Cardiff, to deliver a series of projects to reach their local communities.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, when he last met with representatives of NFU Cymru.

I regularly meet with various representatives from across the farming sector in Wales.

I will be meeting with the President of NFU England and Wales this week and will also be holding an engagement session with all farming unions and interests in the New Year. Furthermore, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State has met with representatives and spoken to NFU Cymru many times in recent months and is meeting them again today (30 November) along with other farming unions.

Moreover, the NFU are part of the UK Governments Strategic Trade Advisory Group and Trade Advisory Group, where stakeholders represent a cross-section of interests from all parts of the UK on trade policy matters, including on agriculture.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, when he last met representatives of RSPCA Cymru.

I have regular discussions with representatives from various stakeholders in relation to animal welfare.

Whilst animal welfare policy is a devolved matter in Wales, as well as in Scotland and Northern Ireland, both the Office for Secretary of State for Wales and Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs engages with stakeholders across the UK to promote our animal welfare policy objectives or to seek views where appropriate to do so.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on steps to tackle drink spiking in Wales.

I have regular discussions with my Cabinet colleagues on a wide range of subjects, including the steps required to tackle drink spiking across the UK.

Reports of spiking, whether that is adding substances to drinks or injecting people with needles, are extremely concerning, and this is an issue that the Government takes very seriously. We have every sympathy with victims and anyone who might feel unable to enjoy a night out without fear.

The Home Secretary has already asked the National Police Chiefs’ Council to urgently review the extent and scale of the issue, and we are receiving regular updates from the police who are working locally, regionally and nationally, including with our partners in the National Crime Agency.

The abhorrent crimes of spiking also speak to broader issues of violence against women and girls. We published our new cross-Government tackling violence against women and girls (VAWG) strategy this summer to help to ensure that women and girls are safe everywhere. We are delivering a pilot £5 million safety of women at night fund, focused on preventing violence against women and girls in public spaces at night, particularly in the night-time economy. This is in addition to the £25 million safer streets fund, which focuses on improving public safety, with an emphasis on the safety of women and girls and their feelings of safety in public spaces.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
22nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what assessment he has made of the impact on Welsh commuters of the Government's decision not to proceed with the HS2 rail extension to Leeds.

By improving regional connectivity, the Integrated Rail Plan will unify labour markets, so that people can access a much wider range of jobs; bring businesses closer together; and improve access to key international gateways and markets so they become even more attractive locations for business investment.

Crewe Northern Connection would improve connections from North Wales to the HS2 network, potentially bringing many passengers within 2 hours 15 minutes of London. Work to progress options on completing the Midlands Rail Hub could give passengers from South Wales easy access to the HS2 network at Birmingham Curzon Street.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, when he last met with representatives of the haulage industry in Wales.

I have regular discussions with representatives from various industries, including those in the haulage industry.

The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales hosted a roundtable with Welsh hauliers and their representative bodies earlier this year to discuss issues facing the industry.

The Department for Transport has discussions with the Devolved Administrations on issues relating to road haulage. The Minister for Transport Baroness Vere is due to talk to her counterpart in December on the HGV situation in Wales.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, pursuant to the Answer of 23 November 2021 to Question 75126 on UN Climate Conference 2021: Government, how many Ministers in his Department travelled to COP26 by airplane.

No Ministers from the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales travelled to COP26 by air. I travelled to the conference by train. No other Wales Office Ministers attended.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, how many senior civil servants employed by his Department were based in each of the 12 NUTS1 regions of the UK on (a) 1 March 2019, (b) 1 March 2020, (c) 1 March 2021 and (d) 1 September 2021.

The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales has five SCS roles (including job shares). They are split between our London and Cardiff offices as follows:

1 March 2019

Cardiff 1

London 3

1 March 2020

Cardiff 1

London 5

1 March 2021

Cardiff 1

London 5

1 September 2021

Cardiff 1

London 5

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what steps his Department takes to ensure that at least one official from his Department is present during all (a) meetings and (b) phone calls relating to Government business between Ministers and third parties.

Ministers holding meetings or phone calls on government business are routinely accompanied by a private secretary or other official, in line with paragraph 8.14 of the Ministerial Code.

David T C Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Wales Office)
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, if he will provide details of his Department’s process for recording and retaining minutes from all meetings in respect of Government business.

Formal, structured meetings are usually minuted, however, not all internal meetings need to be minuted. In line with the Civil Service Code obligation to ‘keep accurate official records’, officials make judgements as to which meetings need to be minuted.

Specific procedures are in place for external meetings involving ministers. These are publicly available and can be found in the Guidance on the management of Private Office Papers.

David T C Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Wales Office)
23rd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, when he last met representatives of the Muslim Council of Wales.

I have regular discussions with representatives from various religious groups.

The Government wholeheartedly supports the invaluable work being done by the Muslim community, and indeed all of our faith communities, who are inspired by their faith or belief.

The Government believes that people need to be able to feel strong in their religious identities and we are making sure that the voices of people of faith are heard in Government.

Increasing understanding and respect between faith communities is central to the Government’s integration agenda.

We continue to work with all of our faiths, and even more so during the pandemic. A Places of Worship Taskforce and faith-specific roundtables, including a Muslim roundtable, chaired by the Faith Minister were established so we can best support our faith communities, and listen and act on their concerns.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
19th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, how many civil servants employed by his Department were based in each of the 12 NUTS1 UK regions on (a) 1 March 2021, (b) 1 June 2021 and (c) 1 September 2021.

The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales has offices in Cardiff and London. The workforce split across each location on the dates requested is:

1 March 2021

Cardiff 21

London 26

1 June 2021

Cardiff 19

London 27

1 September 2021

Cardiff 16

London 24

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
17th Nov 2021
What assessment he has made of the potential merits of increasing energy generation through nuclear power in Wales.

The Government’s recently published Net Zero Strategy is clear that nuclear is an important part of our plans to achieve net zero. Wylfa is one of the best sites for large and small-scale projects in the world and we will continue to work with industry to exploit the opportunities for nuclear power in Wales.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
3rd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations, if any, they have received from the Welsh Government requesting financial assistance to make safe coal-tips that existed prior to 1999.

The Secretary of State for Wales has regular discussions with colleagues in the Welsh Government on a wide range of subjects, including the request for additional financial assistance to make coal tips safe.

The Secretary of State for Wales met with the Welsh Government Minister for Finance and Local Government on 20 October 2021, where they discussed this matter, among others. The matter was also discussed at the recent Coal Tip Safety Summit which was co-chaired by the Secretary of State for Wales and the First Minister. The Secretary of State reiterated that the management of coal tips in Wales is a devolved matter and therefore not a matter the UK Government would expect to provide additional funding for. Nevertheless, as a testament to our commitment, we provided £31 million to the Welsh Government to ensure that vital work to help with the unforeseen consequences of Storm Dennis could be delivered.

The Welsh Government is more than adequately funded to manage the costs of its devolved responsibilities. The UK Government has provided the Welsh Government with an additional £2.5 billion a year over the SR21 period through the Barnett formula. This spending review settlement provides Welsh Government with around £120 per person for every £100 of equivalent funding in England, which is over 20% higher than equivalent funding in England. This is around £1 billion per year more than the agreed level of fair funding set out in the Welsh Government's fiscal framework. Therefore, the Welsh Government can pay for coal tip maintenance and still have more than fair funding for their other devolved responsibilities.

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
4th Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what estimate he has made of the number of ivory items owned by or collated by his Department.

The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales has not made any estimates of the number of ivory items owned by or collated in this Department or institutions owned or managed by the Government.

David T C Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Wales Office)
3rd Nov 2021
To ask Her Majesty's Government what funding they will provide to the Welsh Government to replace the (1) European Regional Fund, (2) European Structural and Investment Fund, and (3) European Social Fund, for (a) 2022–23, (b) 2023–24, and (c) 2024–25.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) will replace the European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund. It will ramp up to £1.5 billion a year in 2024-25 as EU Structural Funds tail off and total funding will at a minimum match the size of EU Funds in all nations, each year. UKSPF funding in the next Spending Review period will total over £2.6 billion.

The UKSPF is key to levelling up the whole of the UK. It will help people access opportunity in places in need, such as former-industrial areas, deprived towns, rural and coastal communities and for people in disadvantaged groups across the UK. Further details about the Fund will be set out later this year.

In addition to the UKSPF, Wales will also receive £121 million from the first round of the Levelling Up Fund, £46 million from the UK Community Renewal Fund and £464,000 from the Community Ownership Fund. We are also providing the Welsh Government with an additional £2.5 billion per year on average through the Barnett formula, on top of its annual baseline funding of £15.9 billion. These are the largest annual block grants of any spending review settlement since devolution began.

Baroness Bloomfield of Hinton Waldrist
Baroness in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)
2nd Nov 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what discussions he has had with the Welsh Government on its LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales.

The Equality Hub has held discussions with the Welsh Government about its LGBTQ+ action plan for Wales as well as wider LGBT policy, including most recently the proposals to ban conversion therapy in England and Wales.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what funding his Department has allocated to Stonewall in each of the last five years; and for what projects.

None. The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales has not allocated any funding to Stonewall during the last five years.

David T C Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Wales Office)
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on improving the support available to pregnant female prisoners in Welsh prisons.

I have regular discussions with my Cabinet colleagues on a wide range of subjects, including the provisions for female prisoners in Wales.

On 20 September, the Ministry of Justice published a new policy on pregnancy, Mother and Baby Units and maternal separation from children up to the age of two in women’s prisons, which contains a range of reforms for improving the care of pregnant women.

Women in prison are entitled to the same quality and range of healthcare services compared with that which they have access to in the community. Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service is responsible for working in partnership with local healthcare providers to secure access to these services.

In addition, the Government announced last year that the first residential women’s centre for female offenders will be in Wales. Having carefully considered the evidence, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed that the first residential women’s centre will be located in South Wales. Officials have been undertaking a scoping exercise to understand how the needs of mothers with children might be met within the pilots.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
22nd Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, how many of his Department's ministers have been exempted from quarantine in a hotel after returning to the UK from a covid-19 red list country to which they have travelled for the purposes of conducting official business.

No Ministers from the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales have travelled to a covid-19 red list country for the purpose of conducting official business, therefore no Ministers have been exempted from quarantine.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
15th Oct 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what steps he is taking to improve his Department's response times to correspondence from members of the public.

The Government recognises the importance of responding to members of the public in an effective and timely manner, and the Cabinet Office published an updated Guide to Handling Correspondence for government departments and agencies in July 2021.

The guidance reasserts the standards for handling correspondence, including a 20 working day deadline for departments to respond to members of the public, criteria outlining when a response to a member of the public is required, and when a piece of correspondence from a member of the public should be transferred to another department. Following publication of the updated guidance, all departments have been reminded that they must follow the processes outlined in the guidance.

The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales has a 15 working day deadline to reply to correspondence where a response is required. Correspondence response times are regularly monitored and reported to the Departmental Board. Internal processes have been improved to ensure members of the public are responded to in a timely manner.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
13th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what recent discussions he has had with the Welsh Government on Operation Warm Welcome.

Representatives from across Government meet frequently with colleagues in the Welsh Government to update them on the resettlement of Afghans in the UK.

In recent weeks, both the Minister for Safeguarding and Afghan Resettlement and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster have chaired meetings to discuss Operation Warm Welcome with Ministers from all the devolved administrations.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
15th Sep 2021
What recent assessment his Department has made of the effect of the United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020 on the ability of the Senedd to legislate effectively in devolved policy areas.

The UK Internal Market Act has not taken a single power away from the devolved administrations.

What it has done is protect seamless trade within our United Kingdom which is vital to Welsh business and the Welsh economy, with Wales selling more to the rest of the UK than to the rest of the World put together.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
15th Sep 2021
What estimate he has made of the total funding provided by the Government to Wales to help tackle the covid-19 outbreak.

The funding provided to Wales by the UK Government demonstrates the value of the Union to Wales and reflects Wales’ value to the Union.

The UK Government has provided over £3.4 billion in direct support to businesses across Wales, an additional £8.6 billion to the Welsh Government to tackle the pandemic.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
15th Sep 2021
What discussions he has had with the Welsh Government on the potential merits of a separate independent public inquiry into the handling of the covid-19 outbreak in Wales.

It is for the Welsh Government to consider the merits of a separate public inquiry. It is vital that all such inquiries rigorously examine public bodies’ handling of the Covid crisis and provide at least the same level of scrutiny as the UK public inquiry.

The UK Government is working closely with the devolved administrations on the scope of the UK public inquiry. I look forward to this beginning its work next year.

David T C Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Wales Office)
15th Sep 2021
What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on lorry driver shortages in Wales.

The Secretary of State for Wales and I have a wide range of discussions with Ministerial colleagues, including how to solve the current shortage of lorry drivers.

That is why the government is increasing the availability of HGV driving testing. However, I would like to remind the honourable Member that the HGV driver shortage is not exclusive to the UK and is a Europe wide issue.

David T C Davies
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Wales Office)
8th Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, if he will publish the (a) properties classified as heritage assets by his Department, (b) most recent estimate of the value of those properties and (c) annual income derived from those properties.

The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales does not own any properties.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales
3rd Sep 2021
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales, what recent assessment he has made of the Government’s preparedness for the COP26 summit and its potential impact on (a) Newport West constituency and (b) Wales.

The UK Government is working intensively with countries, businesses and civil society organisations around the world to secure our path to global net zero emissions by 2050 and deliver a safe, secure, sustainable and inclusive COP26. The UK set the tone for the level of ambition we invite all countries to rise to when earlier this year we announced our commitment to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.

Climate change does not recognise territorial borders. The summit aims to mobilise countries to bring down global emissions, improve air quality, reduce pollution and protect and restore natural ecosystems globally. These benefits would be felt by citizens and communities in Newport, Wales and beyond.

COP26 is also an opportunity to showcase the breadth of engagement in climate action across the UK. All parts of the UK will have important roles to play in ensuring the summit’s success and will benefit from the collective momentum generated by COP26. We are working with the Welsh Government to ensure an inclusive and ambitious summit for the whole UK. We are grateful to those organisations from Wales that applied to have a physical presence at the summit in the UK-managed Green Zone, about which we hope to make an announcement in due course. Welsh communities have also taken part in the Together for Our Planet and Race to Zero campaigns and engaged with the COP26 Schools Pack.

Simon Hart
Secretary of State for Wales